New Testament

Does Hell Exist? Pope Francis Says ‘No’ . . . the Bible says . . .

Does Hell Exist? Pope Francis Says No

This is what the Bible says:

Matthew 5:22
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:29
If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Matthew 5:30
And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 18:9
And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matthew 23:15
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Matthew 23:33
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

Mark 9:43
If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.

Mark 9:45
And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

Mark 9:47
And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,

Luke 12:5
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

James 3:6
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

2 Peter 2:4
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;

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The Land Remains Beautiful

Cursed after the fall
The land remains beautiful
Restoration signs

A new Heaven and new Earth
The hand of the Creator

To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
– Genesis 3:17

Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
– Revelation 21:1

written in response to this week’s RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt (Challenge #145) – “Beautiful” and “Curse”

‘Behold my Son’

A dove descending,
As Heaven opened the skies –
A voice from above:
‘This is my Son, whom I love,
And with him I am well pleased.’

written in response to today’s prompt at The Daily Post, inspired by Matthew 3:16-17

A King Comes #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

See how your King shall come riding to you?
Not a warrior astride proud battle steed –
On a donkey’s foal as poor servants do;
Greeted with palm branches now freshly freed,
Upon dirt roads dressed with cloaks from the crowd;
Acclaimed heir to a hero king: his son,
“Hosanna!” called out deafeningly loud;
A week begins – Son’s duty to be done,
The cruellest week of all – when souls must be hard won

One of my favourite learning experiences from Na/GloPoWriMo2016 was the challenge of trying new forms of poetry which move us away from our personal preferences or comfort zones. For Day 9 of Na/GloPoWriMo2017, the official prompt at NaPoWriMo.net asked us to write a nine-line poem, for example as used by Sir Edmund Spenser when he wrote The Faerie Queene , using a nine-line form of his own devising. This poem uses that ‘Spenserian Stanza‘ – a rhyme scheme of a. b. a. b. c. d. c. d. d., employing Iambic Pentameter, with the last line in Iambic Hexameter with caesura.

The inspiration comes from Jesus’s ‘triumphal entry’ into Jerusalem, as told in the bible’s gospel of Matthew, at 21:1-11

I Shall Testify #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

I shall testify nothing
if not Jesus Christ and Him crucified
whom God presented
as a sacrifice of atonement
the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring us to God;
for while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us;
in this Way God demonstrated
his own love for us:
reconciling the world
to himself in Christ.

Since Christ was raised from the dead,
he cannot die again;
death no longer has mastery over him:
He has destroyed death,
and has brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel;
for Christ did not enter a sanctuary
manufactured with human hands,
but entered heaven itself,
now to appear for us in God’s presence;
He was put to death in the body
but made alive in the Spirit.

There is one God,
and one mediator between God and mankind:
the man Christ Jesus;
there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things came,
and through whom we now may live;
God made his light shine in our hearts
to give us the knowledge of His glory;
this is how we know what love is:
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us
and we ought to follow, and lay down our lives
for the sake of our brothers and sisters.

Day Three of Na/GloPoWriMo2017, and today’s challenge is to write an elegy – a poem that mourns or honours someone dead or something gone by, centred on an unusual fact about the person or thing being mourned. In this case, as I look ahead a couple of weeks to Easter, we mourn Good Friday’s sacrifice, but rejoice in Easter’s resurrection, inspired by the words of Paul the Apostle’s various letters to the New Testament church.

Day Three of Na/GloPoWriMo2017

A Parable Poem of the Sower #NaPoWriMo17 #GloPoWriMo17

A farmer went out
to sow his seed
it fell here and there
as its nature decreed
some upon the path
a feast for the birds
some on rocky ground
where it was soon sunburned
some among cur thorns
which choke life and loot
yet some on good ground
where the seed could take root
that seed formed a crop
a harvest for years
So whoever has ears
Saleh – let them hear

Today’s Na/GloPoWriMo2017 prompt is in honour of today’s interviewee, Kay Ryan, who was the sixteenth poet laureate of the USA. Maureen challenges us to write a Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and if possible, a sharp little philosophical conclusion.

He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.
But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,
“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
    and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
– Mark 4:9-12

Heavenly Haibun #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
– Revelation 21:1-3

No tears nor sadness
No more death, mourning, nor pain
In newness with God

written in response to today’s early bird prompt for Na/GloPoWriMo Eve, inspired by the description of life in a new Heaven given in Revelation 21.

It’s not too late to sign up and join in the fun of writing 30 poems in 30 days for Na/GloPoWriMo2017!

Never Thirst

the water I give
quenches the eternal thirst;
to whomever drinks –
a welling spring of water,
freshness and newness of life

a second contribution, in tanka form, written in response to RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #142 – “Spring” and “Fresh” and inspired by Jesus’s teaching in the gospel of John (4:14)

Lydia

Lydia listened,
A dealer in purple cloth
And worshipper of God –
Upon hearing Paul’s message
Lord Jesus opened her heart

written in response to today’s prompt at The Daily Post, and inspired by Acts 16:!4

More Than Conquerors

Neither trouble nor hardship,
Nor persecution nor famine,
Nor nakedness, mortal danger, nor any man’s word
Shall lay hold on me;
For in all these things and more,
We are more than conquerors,
Sharing in the victory of Christ Jesus our Lord!

For neither death nor life,
Neither angels nor demons,
Neither the present, the future, nor any powers
Shall lay hold on me;
For nothing extant in all creation
Can separate those from the love of God,
Whose lives have been won by Christ Jesus our Lord!

written in response to today’s prompt at The Daily Post, and inspired by Romans 8:31-39