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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Eternal Hell, the Tree of Life, and the NWO

John Bradshaw - Eternal Hell, the Tree of Life, and the NWO


John Bradshaw - Eternal Hell, the Tree of Life, and the NWO
TOPICS: Line Upon Line, Hell, Tree of Life

John Bradshaw: Hey there, welcome to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. We have the opportunity to answer Bible questions that have been submitted by It Is Written viewers and Bible students. We're excited to be able to do so. I'm John Bradshaw. With me, Wes Peppers. Hey, Wes, great to be doing this again.

Wes Peppers: Good to be here, Pastor John. Always wonderful to answer the great Bible questions that come in all the time.

John Bradshaw: What interests me is this. I used, I've been answering Bible questions in a public setting for decades, and people will say, "Oh man, you know the answers so well". I tell 'em, "Well, A, I probably don't, but B, there's no new questions by now".

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: No new questions by now. You know what intrigues me with "Line Upon Line"? We get questions I've never had.

Wes Peppers: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Never had before.

Wes Peppers: And some quite funny ones and interesting ones.

John Bradshaw: Yeah. Now, I don't know if today we'll have questions I've never had, but I'm always interested in hearing questions and giving someone the opportunity to receive a biblical answer.

Wes Peppers: Sure enough.

John Bradshaw: So we're gonna start at the beginning with a question from Calvin. I'll ask it of you. "I'm a sincere Bible-believing Christian. I know the Sabbath is Saturday, but where I live there are no churches that worship on Saturday, so I'm going to a Sunday church. Should I consider leaving and trying to find a church"? That would be a Sabbath-keeping church. Now, first thing I'm gonna say is this: Whether you're able to attend or not, you want to keep the Sabbath holy. I know it's just not that much fun always on your own at home. Going out in nature, doing stuff with your family, worship is really important. Worship's fun; it's good for the soul. It's good for you. It's good for those you worship with; but firstly, keep the Sabbath anyhow. Be sure you're treating the seventh-day Sabbath correctly. How would you go on and answer Calvin's question?

Wes Peppers: Well, there's a number of things you can do. Maybe there's, if you have another group of believers, maybe there's some others in your area, you don't have a church, but you could get together in a home.

John Bradshaw: Amen. Amen.

Wes Peppers: There's also online churches that you can participate in.

John Bradshaw: You could watch It Is Written TV...

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: ...on the Sabbath. That'd be okay. We have worship services and sermons that are aired on Sabbath mornings.

Wes Peppers: But it's definitely good to be connected to some body of believers in some way, whether that's online. And as you study with others in your community you may gain more of those people. But those are some things that I would do. Another thing you could do is be out in nature...

Yeah.

...and spend time with God. You can spend a quiet day at home. Is it a sin to go and worship with other Christians of other faiths?

No.

No, it's not. But certainly, when you have that conviction in your heart, it's good to be with like-minded people, especially on the Sabbath.

So, Calvin asked us, "Should I consider leaving and trying to find a church"? I'll give you a definite answer there. Maybe.

Mm-hmm.

So here's my question. Calvin says, "There's no church in my area". Now, I don't know where Calvin is that there's no Sabbath-keeping church, because Sabbath-keeping churches are from sea to shining sea. But, it may well be. He could be in a remote place. How far, let me tell you this. If it was half an hour, I'd drive.

Yeah, I would too.

An hour? I'd drive.

I'd drive.

Two hours? If that was the only church near me and no other options, I'd absolutely drive two hours...

That's right.

...to be at church on Sabbath. Three hours? Look, I don't know. I can promise you I'd do it from time to time.

Sure.

I don't know if I'd do it every week. That's six hours driving in one day. I don't know, but I cannot tell you I wouldn't.

Yeah.

You know, I happen to love corporate worship and going to church.

That's right.

Maybe I would, but, I mean, depending on how far you've got to go, Calvin, you might wanna think about that, right?

That's right. And, you know, maybe if it is three hours, let's say, maybe you consider going twice a month.

Yeah.

And you do once a month online and once a month in nature. You know, you can mix it up a little bit. But certainly, you know, if you do your research and find out what's the closest church to me, what's the next closest church, weigh it out, and, you know, just calculate it and figure out some good plan so that you can be faithful to God on the Sabbath; you can still have worship with other believers. And certainly on those, even on those long drives, if it's one, two, or three hours, you can listen to a good sermon.

Yeah.

You can listen to music. You can worship God in the car in that way. But, you can, Pastor John, I've learned this. There's certain things you can get from personal worship...

Yes.

...that you can't get from public worship, corporate worship.

That's right.

But there's also certain things you get from corporate worship that you can't get in your own private devotions. And really, you need both.

What I love about this question is Calvin is saying, "I see the importance".

Yeah.

"I'm, this is the way my life is oriented".

That's right.

"I see worship is important".

Yes.

It's important. Keep it up.

We wanna commend you for that.

Amen.

Commend you for that.

Wanna encourage you. Adam asks, "I took an early retirement because of the pandemic, but now my company wants me to come back. With Christ's second coming being imminent and the political upheaval in the country, should I go back to work"? Adam, this is a question for which there is an answer. I don't know what it is, but God does. Talk to God and tell Him you're willing to do whatever He leads you to do. Question for you, though: Would it be wrong to go back to work?

I don't think so. I'd hate to think that everybody in the country or the world would quit their job because Jesus was coming.

Yeah.

We have to work, and the Bible indicates that we should go about our normal business, God's business first...

Yeah.

...but go about our normal business until Jesus comes. And so I wouldn't see it as a sin to go back to work at all.

Adam mentioned the second coming of Jesus as imminent. Do you agree with that?

I agree with that.

Okay, so tell me when Jesus is coming back.

We don't know exactly.

Yeah. Could it be five years?

It could be five years.

Could be 10.

Could be five months, or it could be...

Twenty years?

It could be five decades from now.

People have thought this for a long time. It doesn't mean they were wrong. They were right.

That's right.

They were right. But we don't know what "soon" means.

Yes.

Jesus did say that we are to "occupy till [He] come," and by that, be about His business. So I would counsel Adam to pray and...not think that because Jesus is coming back soon, you shouldn't be at work. I do believe this. When the time comes for you not to be in the workplace, God will tell you. He'll make it clear to you. Political upheaval? Imagine living in some of these countries where there's nothing but political upheaval, and you say, "I'm not gonna go back to work because I live in a banana republic". No. Pray and ask God. There's nothing wrong with going back to work. It's not too late to be working. But God will guide you. We want to encourage you to press close to God and ask for His leading. What's our next question?

Steve asked, "In Matthew 22 the Sadducees questioned Jesus with a story about seven brothers, the eldest brother dying shortly after being married. And Jesus told them that they did not know what the Scriptures say. Where in the Old Testament does it say there will be no marriage in heaven"?

Look, I don't know that you're gonna find that in the Old Testament, that there'll be no marriage in heaven. I don't think you will, but you certainly find it in the New Testament.

That's right.

And some people get worried by that because they just cannot imagine life without their spouse. "Oh, if I go to heaven and I'm not married, what's that gonna be like"? I'll tell you what it'd be like. It'd be better. Now, I hope you have the sort of marriage that leads you to think, "Oh man, I gotta have my spouse in heaven because I just cannot imagine it". I hope that's what you have. That'd be great. I think there are some people that are really happy that there won't be any marriage in heaven because they won't be stuck to old what's-his-name. But I hope you're not one of those people. Jesus made it clear we'll be as the angels. They evidently do not marry. But don't think that there won't be close relationships in heaven. There will be. And the bonds we have formed on earth will only be strengthened in heaven. But God has something better. Be interesting to find out what that is.

That's right. You know, I'll just mention something with that as well. Maybe they won't be your spouse, but they'll be there, and they'll be with you, and you'll be close. And so that's the most important thing, and that's, the greatest thing is that it's not like you're gonna be separated. You're not gonna be on one end of heaven; they're gonna be the other. You'll be close. You'll have that fellowship and that closeness that only God can bring to your hearts.

Jesse asks a fascinating question, and I think we have to broaden the question a little bit because the question is, "I would like to know: Will disabled people go to heaven"? The answer is, of course. But then we need to do a little followup here with Jesse that we cannot do. What do you mean by "disabled"? Do you mean someone who's a quadriplegic? Of course. Someone who has cerebral palsy? Absolutely. Someone who, I mean, I don't know, what's a disability? I have a niece, or had a niece; she passed away not long ago; she had ataxia cerebral palsy. I'm expecting to see her in heaven. I'm planning on it. But I wonder now if Jesse is speaking about people who are mentally disabled...

Mm-hmm.

...and perhaps severely mentally disabled. Because someone who loses a foot and drives around with one of them things on their rear-view mirror and gets the parking space because they're disabled...

Mm-hmm.

...there's not even a question.

No question.

No. But it might be that Jesse's talkin' about people who have significant mental impairment.

Mm-hmm.

We're not told in the Bible disabled people will or will not go to heaven. What we're told is that saved people go to heaven. Lost people won't. My question is this. Help me understand why someone with a severe mental disability would not be saved. Has that person rejected God? Has that person turned their back on God? Now, what I'm not doing is saying, "All people who are psychologically or emotionally impaired are saved". I don't have the right to say that. The Bible doesn't give us the liberty or the license to say that. But the Bible doesn't indicate they'll be lost either.

That's right.

So I think, I think the point is you can be very hopeful...

Mm-hmm.

...that if you have a family member or a friend who has wrestled with an emotional or a psychological disability, one that's been maybe crippling, or one that's prevented that person from living what you might otherwise call a "normal life", don't hang me for using that word, but I'm, use the little air quotes there. There's no reason to suggest that a person like that wouldn't be saved. You can be hopeful, I think, particularly if you love the Lord and if your family is a God-fearing family, it just seems to me that that person has been around that environment. Look, we can't promise, but I'm hopeful. What do you think?

I think so, and I think that God knows the heart of that person...

Yes!

...and He knows what decision they would've made. And really, it comes down to making that decision to follow Jesus. God knows what they would've chosen, and He will base that, His judgment, on that. One thing we can be sure of is that God will be fair. God is merciful, He's fair, and He's just. And whatever decision He makes about that, He will be just.

Yeah, that's right.

It'll be the very best.

I encourage people to be hopeful...

Yes.

...and to remember the Bible says that God is "not willing that any should perish".

That's right.

He's tryin' to crowd people into heaven.

Everybody.

It's not like this is a package tour with only so many seats on the bus.

Yes. You know, sometimes people worry about the judgment. And I always say, they think of the judgment and think, oh, God's got this button He's pushin' with a trap door. And I always like to tell people that judgment is not about what God is doing to keep you out of heaven, but everything He's doing to get you into heaven.

Yeah.

He wants us there.

That's exactly right. We've got time for one more question. This is from Giannantonio, who writes from Sweden, interestingly enough, and the question is, "I'd like to understand if Jesus ascended to heaven...between His resurrection and the moment described in Acts 1.... Jesus says to Mary, 'Do not cling to me... I've not yet ascended to my Father.'" So He came out the grave. There's Mary. He says, "I haven't ascended," and then in Acts 1 He goes up. We don't have a lotta time, and it's not really easy, easy, easy to prove this from the Bible. There's no magic verse. What's your hunch? We could easily make the case from Scripture, but we don't have a lot of time.

Yeah, I think He did, and He had not between His resurrection and when He saw Mary. Obviously He said that. But between that time He ascended. He likely interacted with His Father. He was presenting Himself to Him, and then He came back again to meet with His disciples. He walked with them for 40 days, and He spent time with them, and then He made that final ascension into heaven. And so, certainly, you know, Scripture seems to indicate, there's not a clear text, but that, He did do that.

Yeah, we would expect that to be so, and we'd expect there to be very good reasons for that.

That's right, absolutely.

Yeah. Well, great questions, and we'll have more questions on the other side of the break. Wes, don't go away. Don't go away. And if you have a question you'd like to run by us, email us; it's nice and easy: [email protected] Be sure to check out our online Bible studies: itiswritten.study. It's free. They're fabulous; you'll learn a lot. Back with more in a moment. This is "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. We have the opportunity to answer your Bible questions. We're thrilled. Thanks for giving us that privilege. I'm John Bradshaw. I'm with Wes Peppers from It Is Written. Let's dive in. What do we have?

Let's jump in. Our first question is from Sophia. She asks, "The Second Coming, when the dead rise in Christ first and those who remain will be caught up in the air to meet Christ, what happens to unbelievers at this first resurrection"?

Yeah, that's an interesting one. I'm gonna read to you from 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2: "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming". In the Psalms it says, "Our God [will] come, and [will] not keep silent," talks about "fire...before Him". It'll "be very tempestuous...around [about] Him". We read in Matthew, chapter 24 what happens to the lost when Jesus comes back. They're destroyed.

That's right.

Now, what's fascinating is they'll live again. And this is a logical question to ask. If they're destroyed by the brightness of Jesus' coming, in fact, in Revelation it says they call to the mountains and the rocks, "And they [say] to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, ... who [shall be] able to stand?'" The lost will not be able to abide the glory of Jesus. Interestingly, they'll be resurrected at the other end of 1,000 years, not so much that they can suffer again, but so that before they're blotted out of existence, they have the opportunity to acknowledge the lordship of Jesus and the justice of His ways.

That's right.

You don't want anybody being blotted out of existence saying, "But I'm not at fault here". None of the lost will do that. "Every knee [will] bow," and "every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord".

That's right.

The lost are destroyed when Jesus comes back. Kevin says, "I'm saved, but I think I broke a promise to God. And I'm in danger of total separation from God".

Wes Peppers: Hmm.

Hey Kevin, first thing: Stop making promises to God. Start believing God's promises to you. The children of Israel are your role models here. They said, "[Everything] the Lord has said we [would] do," and it wasn't long and they were dancing naked around a golden calf, an idol. So don't be making promises to God. You can tell Him this is your will, this is your intent. What you need to do is promise God that you're gonna fall headlong into sin. The pause is for dramatic effect. Do it again. Somebody's goin', "What did he say"? You need to promise God that you are gonna fall headlong irretrievably into sin... if Jesus doesn't live in your heart.

That's right.

Because that's all you can do. "Lord, I'm sunk without You. If Jesus doesn't inhabit me, if You don't fill me with Your Spirit, all I can do is fall into sin and lostness". You made a promise. That's your first wrong move. Don't sweat it, man. I don't know what the promise was. You might be in danger of total separation from God because of the way you're living or you've given up on God or some such thing. But if you promised Him you weren't gonna eat fudge or you promised Him you were gonna visit Grandma, or you promised Him you weren't gonna miss church any day this year or any, you know, any weekend this year... you know, get over it. You made a promise, didn't pan out. You go to God; you say, "Sorry about that, genuinely sorry. Let's start again," and you move forward. We don't need to sweat the small stuff.

That's right.

We don't need to be callous and uncaring and unthinking, "Ah! Doesn't matter"!, I don't mean that. Don't let it hold you down. Failure happens in the Christian experience.

That's right.

It's not about whether or not you fail. People fail. It's whether or not your eyes are on Jesus, and you're ready to get back up and back into faith in Jesus and let Jesus live in you again. That's really what matters.

That's right. And, you know, in the Old Testament the Israelites, under the first covenant they said, "All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient". They were the ones making promises to God. They didn't wait to listen to His promises. They said, "No, no, that's good, sounds great. Ten Commandments, no problem we're gonna do that". Well, they failed, failed, and failed again. The new covenant, God says, "I'm gonna make the promise. I'm gonna live in you. I'm gonna write the law on your heart and on your mind". And so, the difference between the Old and the New, and really, we experience that today.

Yep.

Any time we're living in the, trying to live the Christian experience in our own strength, we're in the old covenant. We're tryin' to do it in our promises, all what we can do, rather than saying, "God, this is what You said You'll do. Do that in me. Fulfill and live Your life through me". That's really the new covenant experience.

Amen. James says, "Will there be a new world order? Because having a new world order basically interferes with the prophecy of Daniel 2. Could this happen after probation closes? Could it happen before probation"? Let's forget about probation. I mean, we won't dig that deep. What is a new world order? So, there's that. People have been talking about...do you remember back even in the '90s...

Mm-hmm.

...where preachers were preaching about the coming new world order?

That's right.

And then it kinda went away.

It went away.

But now you've got the highest-ranking politicians in the world talking about this new world order we're in. Yes. But what's a new world order? This is, this is the thing. Things have changed dramatically. Politics are not like they used to be. We are a global society now, and globalism is pressing ahead, irrespective of your wishes or mine. Things are changing. The order is shifting. But what does this mean: "Will there be a new world order"? Do you have any special insight into exactly what he's referring to? 'Cause he says we don't wanna mess with Daniel 2. Daniel 2 says Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome; Rome divides; then Jesus comes back. Nothing's going to interfere with that.

Well, when you look from Daniel 2 into the book of Revelation, you see this. You look at Revelation, chapter 17 and other places, that it does talk about a unity in the world that is not based upon God.

That's right.

And that's really what we're seeing happening today. There's, there's an attempt to draw all the elements of humanity together, religion, politics, whatever it may be, in an attempt, as the Bible says, at the end of time to defy the truth of God. And so, that demonstrates to me the importance of God's people being united in His word and in His Spirit.

Notice how things have changed.

Yes.

A number of decades ago the United Nations was formed. Up until that time every nation was 100% sovereign, "We'll do what we want". The United Nations was formed, and this gives, it's kind of a global, I don't wanna call it a government, but a global system that starts to dictate to nations, and you've got a world bank that leans in on nations and says, "You'll do this, and you'll do that". You've got the World Health Organization, a fascinating thing they've said: "Next time there's a major pandemic, we want to decide what happens in your country," some have reported...

That's right.

..."Rather than your own government deciding". So the sands are shifting under our feet. There's a strong push towards globalism, where a more centralized authority is gonna start dictating to nations. We're seeing that develop now. Some of the most powerful politicians in the world are already calling it a new world order. But I don't wanna stretch this too far and start getting all conspiratorial...

That's right.

...because... the truth is conspiratorial enough.

That's right. You have to have a balance, but it is interesting that world leaders are saying the very things that years ago weren't being said...

Yeah.

...those very phrases: "new world order," "great reset," whatever they may be, "globalism". And the Bible does speak about these things, but we have to keep Christ at that center; we have to keep a good balance.

Yeah, amen. Spartan asks, "Why do some teach that the wicked burn for an amount of time based on their sins"? Some burn one duration, some another, we wanna be careful that we don't make Jesus out to be vindictive and spiteful, "I'm angrier with you than the other guy".

Yeah.

But there's something you read in Luke, chapter 12.

Mm-hmm.

And that's just a really fascinating passage, where it speaks about some being beaten with few stripes and some being "beaten with many stripes". And that may mean that some... in hellfire will burn longer. Why, why would we say this is not vindictiveness on the part of Jesus, but instead it's justice? How do we thread that needle?

Well, life is short on this planet. And so, you know, there are some people that think a person will burn forever and ever just for minor sins. But in this life you may have some great ruler that was a mass murderer, and he's killed millions of people; we've seen that throughout history, a person that never repented of that. And so some sins, they've just been compiled, and they added up. Some sins are larger than others.

Yep.

You know, and so, God measures that. There's no way for humans to measure that.

Yeah.

But God will punish according to the sin.

I can see people seeing this in varying ways. But let's say there was this sweet lady who never accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She was otherwise a nice soul, you know, no terrible vices; she just couldn't, for whatever, she wasn't turned on by faith in God. And then the devil, who is gonna burn and be reduced to ashes, from a human perspective, it doesn't seem right that Auntie Eileen and the devil suffer for the same amount of time.

That's right.

Yeah. So we need to be careful because we don't wanna say this is suffering for suffering's sake or this is God being vindictive. But when you read Luke, it seems to indicate that some will burn longer than others. So, we don't wanna claim to understand the mind of God completely perfectly here, but that's what it seems to say. What's our next question?

Next question comes from Jean-Pierre, and he asks, "Is the tree of life so important? Because when Adam sinned, he was forbidden to reach for the tree, lest he should live forever in sin. Do we need to eat of the tree of life to live for eternity"?

It's interesting; you read about this in the book of Ezekiel. That's where John got the imagery from that he uses over in the book of Revelation. Yeah, seems like the tree of life is really important.

That's right.

Without it Adam and Eve couldn't live. It's gonna be in heaven. Our eternal life is derived from God, but I wonder if we eat from the tree of life sort of as a symbol that our eternal life comes from God.

Yes.

So, it is important; it's very important.

God works through symbols all through Scripture. He uses different things to explain or to demonstrate his power, and I think that the tree of life is the same thing.

Yeah, I don't think we think that it's a symbolic tree; it's a real tree; it's really there. There's gonna be real fruit. There's gonna be kiwi fruit...

That's right.

...on there. There'll probably be, I think, durian...

Yes. Mangoes.

...on the tree of life. Mangoes, 100%, no doubt about it. Feijoa, if you don't know what a feijoa is, Google that. They're magnificent things. They'll be on the tree of life. It's for real. We need it. What I'm trying to say is not that if you don't eat the fruit, you don't live forever, 'cause that's what gives eternal life. God does, but He set this thing up to demonstrate to us that eternal life is derived from Him. Why don't we tackle a question from Carol about hell? We have only one minute, and it's an enormous question, but why not? This question comes up often on "Line Upon Line" 'cause it's important to people. "Is hell eternal? I was taught that it's not, but most of the people I work with think that it is". Yes, the people you work with want God to be a tyrant and a murderer. They want God to take the lost and burn them without end. Just imagine what that's like. So you're gonna be in heaven and know that your husband, your grandmother, is over there someplace in absolute agony, and it'll never end as long as you're in heaven. No. So the answer, "Is hell eternal"? Yes or no?

Well, the effects of hell are eternal.

That's for sure.

And is hell eternal? Jesus makes clear that, in Matthew, chapter 13 and other places, the Bible indicates that when hell has done its job, it will expire. It consumes the wicked into ashes. You find that over and over through Scripture, in the book of Malachi, the book of Revelation, other places; it's very clear that it does come to an end.

Yes.

And once it's accomplished the justice of God, it does end.

Amen. Thank you so much for your questions. If you'd like to know more about hellfire, visit us online at itiswritten.study. You study that study guide we've got there, and you'll be really blessed. We'll do it again sometime soon. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. This has been "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.
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