• Keys of the Kingdom Article by Guy Waters

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2015

    For many Christians, mentioning the “keys of the kingdom” calls to mind the extravagant claims of the Roman Catholic Church for the papacy. Protestants justifiably shrink from such claims. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus is addressing Peter, but He is not addressing only Peter: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. After asking His disciples at Caesarea Philippi, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (v. 13), Jesus then asks, “But … View Resource

  • The New Heavens and New Earth Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2015 | Romans 8

    Right Now Counts Forever. The title of Dr. Sproul’s column in every issue of Tabletalk concisely captures the relationship between the gospel and the new heavens and new earth. The good news of Christ’s sacrificial death and glorious resurrection has eternal ramifications for the destiny of every human being. Your response to that message—whether in humble trust or in defiant unbelief—will be your tipping point between boundless bliss beyond your wildest dreams and unrelenting torment beyond your worst nightmares. The living God, sovereign over every atom in His universe and every nanosecond of its history, is directing the … View Resource

  • Annihilation or Eternal Punishment? Article by Robert Peterson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2014 | Revelation 19

    Annihilationism is the view that lost people in hell will be exterminated after they have paid the penalty for their sins. Its proponents offer six main arguments. First is an argument based on the Bible’s use of fire imagery to describe hell. We are told that fire consumes what is thrown into it, and so it will be for the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8)—it will burn up the wicked so that they no longer exist. Second is an argument based on texts that speak of the lost perishing or being … View Resource

  • The Biblical Evidence for Hell Article by Christopher Morgan

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2014

    Would a loving Jesus really teach about hell? Yes, and so does every New Testament author. Let’s consider what they teach. Hell in Matthew In the Sermon on the Mount, often known for its emphasis on love and the kingdom, Jesus teaches the reality and nature of hell (5:20–30; 7:13–27). In Matthew 5:20–30, Jesus contrasts hell with the kingdom of heaven and warns that hell is a real danger to unrepentant sinners. The fire of hell, the justice of hell, and the extreme suffering in hell are particularly stressed. The unrepentant are warned to use extreme … View Resource

  • The Disappearance of Hell Article by John MacArthur

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2014

    According to recent polls, some 81 percent of adult Americans believe in heaven, and fully 80 percent expect to go there when they die. By comparison, about 61 percent believe in hell, but less than 1 percent think it’s likely they will go there. In other words, a slight majority of Americans still believe hell exists, but genuine fear of hell is almost nonexistent. Even the most conservative evangelicals don’t seem to take hell very seriously anymore. For decades, many evangelicals have downplayed inconvenient biblical truths, neglecting any theme that seems to require somber reflection. Doctrines such as … View Resource

  • Hell on Trial Article by John Blanchard

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2014

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930), the Scottish physician and author best known for his creation of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, once wrote, “Hell, I may say … has long dropped out of the thoughts of every reasonable man.” He would get a lot of support for that statement today, and not only from those outside of the Christian church. The idea that untold billions of human beings, including many who would have seemed decent, law-abiding citizens, will spend eternity exposed to God’s unrelenting anger, is simply unacceptable to many people. Even some holding high ecclesiastical office have rejected the … View Resource

  • Real Love Wins Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2014

    One of the more loving and merciful things Jesus did was preach on hell. He preached on hell more than He preached on heaven, and He did so in order to point the lost to Himself as the way, the truth, and the life apart from condemnation and eternal punishment in hell—which He created. Although most preachers have not denied the doctrine of hell outright, they might as well have, since it is entirely absent from their sermons. My guess is that many preachers think that preaching on hell is unkind, unloving, and offensive. They are certainly right that it … View Resource

  • Heaven Article by Gerrit Scott Dawson

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    As we discussed heaven, my wife asked a fascinating pair of questions: “How do you think God’s presence with us in heaven will compare to His presence in Eden? Will it be as intimate?” These questions get us right down to the heart of why we want to know about heaven. Once, God walked with us in the garden in the cool of the day. Once, we related to God and to one another with no barriers, no shame. Once, we did not die. Will it be so again? Will heaven answer the yearnings for love and life that … View Resource

  • The Final Exile Article by Ken Jones

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    In this article, I would like to stress two things about hell. First, it is the final exile for those who remain in rebellion against God and refuse to repent. Second, what will be consummated in hell has its origins in time. Admittedly, to speak of hell as an exile can be a little confusing, because to be exiled means to be banished. We tend to think of hell as being banished from the presence of God. This has been reinforced in the language that depicts sinners as “going to the Devil.” From this we have the further depiction … View Resource

  • The Horror of Hell Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell.” So wrote the agnostic British philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1967. The idea of eternal punishment for sin, he further notes, is “a doctrine that put cruelty in the world and gave the world generations of cruel torture.” His views are at least more consistent than religious philosopher John Hick, who refers to hell as a “grim fantasy” that is not only “morally revolting” but also “a serious perversion of the Christian Gospel.” Worse yet is theologian … View Resource

  • Hold the Fire and Brimstone, Please Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    Several years ago I had the opportunity to teach a class on heaven and hell. On the first day of class I asked the middle-aged students to raise their hands if they could recall the last time they had heard a sermon on hell. None of the students raised his hand. I then asked the students if they could recall the last time they heard a sermon on heaven. Once again, not one student raised his hand. Nevertheless, regarding the latter question, many explained that from time to time they had heard a pastor mention heaven in a sermon … View Resource

  • The New Day Article by David King

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2004

    And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:5). Surely, if this language of the risen, glorified Lord Jesus presupposes anything, in the light of John’s vision in verses 1–4, he intimates the complete renovation of all creation as the preparatory act by which God will consummate His eternal purposes for His people and bring them to their final fruition. This imagery: the new creation, the new Jerusalem, God’s communion with His Bride adorned in … View Resource

  • The Reversal of the Curse Article by Vern Poythress

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2004

    God promises us “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1). Some people leap to the conclusion that God will simply throw the present creation onto the scrap heap, so to speak, and start over again from scratch. But this cannot be right. We ourselves are part of this present creation. And if we trust in Christ, we know that we will not end up on the scrap heap! In Romans 8:18–25 God shows us how to think about our future. We who belong to Christ are “sons of God” (vv. 14–15, 19). The Spirit of Christ … View Resource

  • The New Creation Article by Ken Gentry

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2004

    Christianity affirms the material order. In creation God made the physical world (Gen. 1) and man with a tangible body (Gen. 2:7). In redemption God effects the incarnation of Christ (Heb. 2:14) and His physical resurrection (Luke 24:39). We should not be surprised, then, that even in the consummation we will once again inhabit physical bodies (John 5:28–29) in a material environment (2 Peter 3:13). God has created us as men, not angels. As redeemed vessels of mercy, we will inherit a glorious, perfect, physical realm when God refashions the world in the new heavens … View Resource

  • I Believe in the Life Everlasting” Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2004

    His name is “Beechie.” Recently he surprised us with a serendipitous visit. He called to say he was in Orlando with part of his family and asked if he could make an impromptu visit to our home. We responded with unreserved delight at the prospect of seeing a friend from the past. As I relate this yarn, I am looking at an elementary school class picture from 1946–47 (grade 3). There, sitting Indian style in the center front is Bob Beech, wearing knickers and adorned with his ubiquitous smile. Next to him is Johnny, from my novel Johnny Come … View Resource