How can those in heaven be joyful while the lost suffer in hell?

“In heaven we’ll all be sociopaths.” This provocative article title refers to the awareness of those in heaven of the suffering of those in hell. The Bible says that those who enter into eternal life will have eternal joy, free from all sorrow, pain and tears. The Bible also indicates that the people in heaven will be aware of the suffering of the people in hell. At the very least the people in heaven will know that billions of people are in hell. How can the people in heaven have this knowledge and still be happy?

None can deny the sufferings of hell are terrible. No one should delight in them. God does not delight in them. (Ezekiel 33:11; Lamentations 3:33; 2 Peter 3:9) No one in heaven will enjoy the pain of the wicked. The joys of heaven are not malicious or sociopathic. However, God will be praised because of His justice and holiness. Those who hated God and rejected His Son will suffer the punishment prepared for the rebellious angels who rebelled. (Matthew 25:41)

Those in heaven will not weep over the suffering in hell because in heaven we will understand all things perfectly. On earth all men view the judgment of the lost through sinful eyes. None can fully comprehend hell’s justice or God’s holiness. In heaven, the full justice and appropriateness of hell will be understood.

The assurance of the Bible is that God will wipe away all tears from the eyes of the redeeemed. (Revelation 20:3-4) God will come down to earth in all His glory. He will establish His throne in the New Jerusalem. He will be the glory of the earth. The sun will not be needed. There will be no night and no darkness because the glory of God will illuminate all things. The curse of sin will be completely removed. All in the new earth will bring their praise directly to the throne of God. The glory of God will be so great that it will forever enamor those who stand in His presence. Hell is horrible, but God’s glory is so great it will outshine the terrors of eternal suffering.

Instead of denying the goodness of God because of the bliss of heaven consider your own goodness. How grieved are you right now because of the suffering of those in hell? Do you weep because of their agony? Do you work to tell the gospel to the unsaved so they can be delivered from the punishment of their sin?

This does not mean that none should rejoice in this life. All should give thanks to God for His good gifts. You can delight in births, sunsets, snow, Spring and all the other blessings of God knowing. Though millions are suffering in hell we can, and should, rejoice now in the good gifts of God. The seriousness of hell should stir everyone to live with due regard to the eternal realities awaiting everyone.

Did God die on the cross?

Jesus is God. Jesus died on the cross. Did God die on the cross? At times pastors, theologians and the average Christian all say that God died on the cross. This statement is both entirely accurate and entirely inaccurate. In one sense it can be said that God died on the cross. In another, equally important sense, God did not die on the cross.

Understanding what happened on the cross requires an understanding of the Trinity and the hypostatic union. The Bible teaches that God is one God who is Three. God the Father is God. God the Son is God. God the Spirit is God. These three are distinct but not separate. The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Spirit. God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, became fully human without giving up any part of His deity. Jesus is fully God and fully man. When Jesus died on the cross the God-man died.

Saying God died on the cross becomes a kind of short hand for saying, Jesus, God the Son, died on the cross. When understood this way the statement “God died on the cross” is a helpful way to describe the magnitude of God’s sacrifice for our salvation.

In several important ways God did not die on the cross. Because God is a Trinity and because of the unique nature of the incarnation God the Son endured things that the Father and Spirit did not. God the Father did not hang on the cross. God the Spirit was not buried in a tomb. Only God the Son suffered these things. If the phrase means anything more than God the Son died on the cross it is inaccurate. God did not die on the cross.

If death is a cessation of existence, a loss of ability, or a conclusion of consciousness, then God did not die on the cross. Not only did God the Father and God the Spirit not cease to exist on the cross, neither did God the Son. The Divine portion of the second person of the Trinity did not stop functioning on the cross. No member of the Godhead can cease existing. God the Son is as eternal as the Father and the Spirit. His eternal essence did not dissolve on the cross. He remained fully God and His deity did not cease with the end of His physical life.

This does not mean that Jesus’ death on the cross was purely physical or a solely human act. Jesus died as the God-man. Thus His eternal nature was involved in the suffering and death on the cross. Jesus Christ the Son of God died on the cross. He truly suffered all that death entails, physically and spiritually. God the Son did not cease to exist, even for a brief time, but God the Son endured death for the salvation of men.

What’s wrong with the Shack?

Ten years ago The Shack was published. The story wrestles with one of the most pressing questions of Christianity. The book grabbed people’s attention and soon became one of the bestselling books of all time. One reviewer declared The Shack was the greatest book written since John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. Last week the major motion picture The Shack was released. Based on the book the movie had a decent opening weekend. It more than the doubled the opening weekend revenues of the 2014 movie Left Behind. The Shack also had a better opening weekend than other recent, popular Christian movies like Courageous and God’s Not Dead. The book seems set to continue exerting its influence over Christians.

The Shack is a work of fiction. Though the book is a work of make believe it claims to be an instrument for teaching Biblical truth. Like a Biblical parable the story seeks to communicate great truths through the medium of a believable and gripping story. I have not seen the movie, but have read the book. My understanding is that the movie follows pretty close with the book in the essentials.

The Shack is filled with problems. Because it is intended to teach, Christian’s cannot disregard the substance of the message. In wrestling with the problem of evil the book and the movie teach about the nature and character of God, the relationship of evil to God and the nature of salvation. The Shack’s view of God is horribly deficient and its understanding of salvation is tragically errant.

In attempting to address the problem of terrible suffering in this world The Shack presents a god who is limited. The God of The Shack is not in control of world events. He responds to tragedies and through His love brings good out of them. Instead of tragedy being a part of the perfect plan of God tragedy is something that God is unable to avert. God has relinquished some control of the world to give men genuine freewill. In a sense both God and man are powerless to prevent evil. God’s love will eventually win but only when men have chosen to follow God.

The Old Testament book of Job is the story The Shack tries to tell. In Job the readers learns of a father who suffers great loss and life shattering tragedy. He insists he did nothing to deserve such pain. He blames God and demands a chance to prove God’s injustice. When God speaks to Job at the end of the book He does not pass on cutesy witticisms and cryptic truths. God confronts Job with His power and control. God doesn’t shrug His shoulders and say there was nothing He could do about it because He gave man freewill. God declares His sovereignty and justice. The God of the Bible is a God in control of all things.

Genuine comfort in life’s sorrow comes from knowing God. The Shack offers a false comfort built on a modern construct of a god who looks like God but is not. The book, and the movie, have rejected the Word of God. In doing so all that is offered is sentimentalism masquerading as wisdom.

Is the Holy Spirit the personfication of God’s power?

Is the Holy Spirit a force? Or is the Holy Spirit a personal being and a member of the Triune Godhead with the same eternal existence as God the Father and God the Son?

The Holy Spirit is the effective agent through which God works in this world. The Holy Spirit can accurately be described as that which accomplishes the will of God on earth. Some have concluded from this that the Spirit is a force and a personification of the power of God.

The term “person” is not being used to mean a human being. The question is not if the Holy Spirit is human. Person is used to describe a personal being, an entity with intellect, will and emotion. In contrast to a person is force or energy which are impersonal. Gravity is a force, with no ability to think, no feelings about what it is doing and ability to determine when it will and will not act.

The Holy Spirit is not a force. The Holy Spirit is not a personification of God’s power in this world. The Holy Spirit is a person, the third person of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit has a name, a name in which others act. Forces are named, but no one acts in that name of that force. None declare, “In the name of magnetism I christen this boat”, nor do any announce “By the power of electricity I declare you man and wife.” The Holy Spirit is a named entity under whose authority and in whose name Christian’s are commanded to act. “Baptizing them in the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19)

The Holy Spirit has emotions. The Spirit of God can be grieved. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.” (Ephesians 4:30) A force has no feelings. Gravity is not disappointed when a man barely escapes falling.

The Holy Spirit has a will. He makes decisions and acts according to His purposes. Friction does not decide to make the road more slippery for one car and less slippery for another. Forces operate according to the laws of physics and the purposes of a person guiding those forces. The Holy Spirit acts according to His own will. “But all these (spiritual gifts) worketh that selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He wills.” (1 Corinthians 12:11)

The Holy Spirit has intellect and understanding. Air resistance does not increase as a car accelerates because it understands velocity and aerodynamics. All forces are dumb having no understanding of the their own operation nor the world around them. The ability to make decisions indicates intellect. The Bible speaks of the “mind of the Spirit”. The Holy Spirit examines and knows the deep wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10-11) The Holy Spirit understands the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

The Holy Spirit has all the attributes of a personal entity. He is a member of the Triune Godhead. He is as much God as the Father and the Son. He possesses all the perfections of God. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. He is the God of the Bible.

Who made God?

Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, was the child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He ascended to throne of the gods by overthrowing his father.

The father of the Viking gods, Odin, was the son of Bor and grandson of the first viking god, Buri. Buri came from the icefields of Niflheim and was uncovered by a giant frost cow’s licking of the ice. Odin became the chief of the gods as a result of his role in defeating the frost ogre Ymir, making the world from Ymir’s corpse and giving life to the first humans.

Many ancient religions represent their chief gods as the offspring of another. Imagining gods as having ancestors is logical since every living being has a predecessor. Human experience teaches that life comes from preexisting life. What about the God of the Bible? What is the story of His origin?

The Bible presents God as without origin. This is hard to fathom, since all we know has an origin. Human reasoning rightly recognizes that something that has no beginning does not exist. Except, God exists without a beginning.

God has always existed. Reach far back into the ancient depths of eternity and God is there. His existence stretches away into a realm which we cannot comprehend. In the dark past before the creation of the universe God eternally existed.
Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
Psalm 93:2, “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.”

God has no antecedent. No one, no being, no universe, no force, no energy, no thought, nothing, came before God. He owes His existence to none. He follows after none.
Isaiah 44:6, “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”

None came before God and God has eternally existed. As difficult as it is to comprehend, there has never been a point when God did not exist. God never sprang into existence. God never caused Himself to exist. God has always existed.

God has eternally existed because He is not dependent on any. In His infinite perfection God requires no one and no thing to complete Him or to assist Him. God is eternally self-existent. Everything else that exists, whether it be spiritual or physical, material or immaterial owes its existence to God. Space, energy, time, force, matter, spirit, angel and demon were all created by the uncreated Creator. Nothing created God.

Lest there be any confusion on this point, the Triune Godhead has eternally existed as a Trinity. The Father, Son and Spirit eternally existed. None were brought into existence by another. No person of the Trinity is dependent on the other for His existence. God has eternally existed as a Trinity.

The eternal existence of God is incredibly difficult to understand. Everything we know is dependent on something else. God is infinitely greater than everything else. The truth of His eternal self-existence highlights the unfathomable magnitude of God’s greatness.

Why is Jesus called the only begotten Son of God?

This article is a follow up to the recent article regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses. A reader submitted a comment defending the Jehovah’s Witnesses as Christians. I did not approve the comment but want to respond to an objection raised in the comment. Before doing so I want to interject some comments about commenting on this blog.

I filter every comment. I will only approve comments which further legitimate discussion about the topic at hand. Comments which ignore the substance of the article, which raise questions already addressed in other posts or which regurgitate the long standing assertions with little regard to the Bible are going to be rejected. Comments which ask vaild questions or raise pertinent points that are profitable for discussion will be approved. This is not a debate blog. This is not a forum for everyone to spout their opinions- Mark Zuckerberg invented a place for that. This blog is an intentional teaching and evangelizing tool that answers questions about the Bible and Biblical Christianity. I am unapologetically the supreme dictator of the comment section and will only approve comments which in my sole discretion I consider as furthering worthwhile conversation.

I did not approve the comment about Jehovah’s Witnesses but do want to respond to one statement. The commenter said, “Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . do not deny the words of God Who does not tell lies and declares Jesus to be His only begotten son.” If Jesus is eternally God and equal with the Father in essence, nature and power then why does the Bible call him the Son of God? Why is Jesus presented as begotten of God if He has always existed as God?

The title of Son of God is used of Jesus in reference to His incarnation. In other words, Jesus was the Son of God in His birth as a human by the working of God. Jesus is the begotten of God because the supernatural power of God worked through miraculous means for His birth. Mary gave birth to a baby boy by the working of God without the usual biological means of becoming pregnant. Jesus is the only begotten because He is the only One born of woman without a human father.

The gospel of Luke calls Adam the son of God. Jesus is far greater than Adam but this comparison is helpful in understanding why Jesus is called the Son of God. Adam was the son of God in the sense that he came into existence without parents because God created him. Similarly, Jesus became a man because of the direct working of God. Jesus was born fully human, while remaining fully Divine, because of the supernatural working of God in Mary’s body.

Jesus is not the Son of God because at some point in eternity past God the Father brought the Son into existence. Jesus is the Son of God becaus He came into the world, becoming human through the miraculous working of the Father and the Spirit.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

How does God show goodness to those who never hear the gospel?

Recent articles have dealth with justice and goodness of God in sending people to hell. Though one can understand the necessity of hell and even admit eternal punishment in hell is good act by a good God. A small nagging thought remains that God is not really good to those who are condemned to hell. If God is really good and if Jesus’ death on the cross is sufficient to forgive every sin of every person why wouldn’t God make sure that every one believed the gospel? Yet God is good. He shows His goodness to all men. None are condemned to hell because of a lack in the goodness of God but because the wickedness of men moves them to reject God’s obvious goodness. How is God good to all men, even those who never hear the gospel?

God is good in giving and sustaining life. None come into this world only because of biological processes. God’s goodness is the ultimate source of life men and His goodness sustains their life. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) More than the granting of life to men God’s goodness is daily evident by His delaying judgment on individuals and the whole world. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:22)

God is good in giving the blessings of daily provision to all men. In His goodness God sends rain and sun on the just and the unjust alike. “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.”(Matthew 5:34) God could send only fair weather on the just and send torment only to the unsaved. He could mark out the unsaved to be victims of horrible plagues like He did the Egytpians. In His gracious goodness God does not do these things. He gives to men what is necessary for life and what is good for happiness. “He causeth the grass to grow fro the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine , and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.” In their sin men turn the good gifts of God into replacements for God yet God is still good and continues to He makes testimony of Him clear through nature.

God is good in giving a daily declaration of His greatness. Every day every one sees and hears testimony of God. Through the rising of the sun, the passing of the seasons, the growing of flowers, the running of streams and the granting of food God declares Himself to be God. All creation is a reminder that men are contigent creatures. Every person is dependent on something outside himself to sustain his existence. Every person is dependent on things beyond his control for his continued life. God gives those things that man needs to live. The continued operation of the universe in its accustomed fashion is testimony to the majesty of God. In His goodness He has given mankind this constant reminder of Him.

In His goodness to the world God has sent out His servants to preach the gospel. God could have chosen to limit the gospel message to only one family of people. He could have locked the gospel behind closed doors restricted only to the select few. He did none of these things. Since the very beginning God has made salvation known to the whole world. Today God is making the gospel known to the world through Christians going taking the gospel across the globe. Even this blog and it’s accompanying radio broadcast is an evidence of the goodness of God. Christians are using a myriad of means to proclaim the gospel in every corner of world. This ever expanding missionary effort is the direct result of the goodness of God. God has sent out His children as ambassadors to tell every person on earth of the saving grace of God. He knows most will reject, some will scorn and some will assault the messengers of salvation, but God continues to show His goodness to the world by sending His children out as “sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matthew 10:16).

The greatest evidence of the goodness of God is His promise to all men. God promises any who seek Him will find Him. God does not hide Himself from those who wish to know the truth. Those who are thirsty are invited to come and to those who desire the water of life it will be freely given.

Read Psalm 104 for further reflection on this theme.

How is an eternal hell just?

Some view eternal suffering in the lake of fire to be as reasonable as shooting a puppy for wetting the carpet. A good, loving God would never be party to such an extreme injustice. Yet Christian teaching declares that eternal hell is just, good and necessary. How could eternal punishment in torment of flames and darkness be justice?

Justice is the legal response to wrong that brings punishment in proportion with the severity of the crime committed. Conrary to justice is revenge. Revenge is the personal, illegal act of making another endure the same pain that the injured person feels. Justice is not motivated by a desire to get even but by a recognition of the true damage done by a crime. The Old Testament law of “an eye for an eye” was not a prescription for personal revenge but a description of legitimate justice which responded to wrong based upon the extent of harm done. Similar principles of justice are still seen in courts today. The accidental causing of another’s death is treated differently from negligently contributing to the death of a person which is treated differently from suddenly striking down a person which is treated differently from planning and executing the murder of another. Premeditated murder of an adult is treated differently from the intentional murder of an infant. The intent of the crime and the innocence of the victim legitimately affect the response to that crime. Along with murder treason usually brings the severest of punishments. Though treason does not always take another’s life, such a harsh response is generally recognized as just because treason offend the dignity of the ruling power and it threatens the safety of many others within the country. Treason is a repudiation of ones former allegiances that seeks the harm of ones own country, including friends and neigbors, and thus merits stern penalties.

What does treason have to do with the justice of hell? To understand the justice of hell one must understand the true horribleness of sin. Sin is no mere accident. Sin is unintentionally committed by someone unaware that his deed is wrong. Sin is first and foremost a willful act of rebellion against the God of heaven. God is Creator of all things and sole Ruler over all creation. Sin is therefore an act of treason far greater than any national treachery. Sin is mutiny against the perfect Creator. Sin is a repudiation of God, self and fellow man. Disobedience against God is an act of treason that wrongs God, injures self and wounds others. Disobedience against God is worse than mere treason. Disobedience against God is the attempt to overthrow God as ruler of your life and to inaugurate your own self as lord of your own destiny. This treachery is not only treason it is attempt to seize power from the Divine.

Since sin is the rejection of God as God and rebellion against His rule sin causes uncalculable harm to the individual and others around. Sin has wreaked havoc across the world. Sin is responsible for the death of billions and for the anguish felt in every part of creation. Every person born on the planet is complicit with sin. How can such evil against one’s Creator, Sovereign and God not require the greatest of punishments? Because sin is the rebellion of creature against the infinite, eternal Creator the scope of sin is limitless. A just response is measured to be appropriate to the scope of crime committed. A limitless crime requires a limitless payment. No finite creature is able to satisfy justice through any punishment of limited duration. The only appropriate judgment for a crime of infinite severity is an infinite punishment. Hell is just.

How could a good God send to hell people who have never heard the gospel?

Eternal punishment of humans in a place of fire, darkness and extreme torment may be accepted as a necessity of justice but can it really be a good thing? More importantly, can one be good who would condemn a person to unending torture? This issue has been offered by some skeptics as conclusive proof the God of the Bible is not real. This issue has resulted in Christians suggesting varieties of universal salvation (Recently seen in the book, “Love Wins”), views of mitigated judgment that results in a near universal salvation (purgatory), and pithy statements declaring it’s really men who choose to go to hell (“God doesn’t send anyone to hell, people choose to go there”). Variants of these themes abound attempting to show that God is not the bad guy.

Understanding this difficult question begins with the reality of justice. Justice is not a social construct that institutionalizes or rationalizes revenge. Justice is the proper moral response to evil. Justice measures the moral weight of the wrong done and responds with an equally weighty consequence. Justice is based on an absolute standard of morality- God’s character. God’s justice is always a reflection of God’s character. If God’s justice is capricious, excessive or petty then God Himself is capricious, excessive or petty.

Since all justice is based on the character of God and God’s justice is a reflection of His character none can argue that God’s punishment of sin is arbitrary or excessive. When God created people He warned Adam and Eve they would die if they sinned against Him. The death foretold begins with separation from God. Separation from God is the natural result of sin because God is holy to such a degree that He cannot possibly have any fellowship, friendship or relationship with that which is tainted by sin. (Leviticus 20:7; Psalm 5:4-5; Habakkuk 1:13; Revelation 21:27) The infinite holiness of God demands His wrath be leveled against all who commit sin. (Psalm 11:4-7; Psalm 34:15-16) Eternal suffering is the inevitable result of separation from God and falling under the wrath of God. God’s justice is not an arbitrary determination but the logical consequence of sin against the infinitely holy God. For God to change these consequences would be to violate His own justice. If God is in any way unjust then He cannot in any way be good.

Some will concede that God is just for punishing sin but it would be better if He were merciful to all men. The assertion effectively becomes that God is not good because He insists on justice. God would be good if He overlooked what is just to do what is loving. This argument falls down on the premise that something can be unjust and good. Injustice is never a good thing. Injustice may have a show of kindness to some, but it is inherently cruel to others. The response to recent officer involved shootings of children and adolescents illustrates this very well. Supposing an officer of the law carelessly caused the death of an innocent child, it would be evil to allow him to escape the legitimate consequence of his actions. The parents, the community and the police force would all be harmed by the denial of justice. If there are no consequences for ones actions and no retribution for the great wrongs done in this world then a persons actions in life are ultimately meaningless and God is the most evil being imaginable. For God to be good, He must also be unfailingly just.

Some believe that in making the promise of salvation God is promising to be unjust. A famous preacher recently said that God “broke the law for love”. Salvation in not unjust. The justice of God is in no way compromised by His promise of salvation. Salvation is not God’s promise to ignore a person’s sin if that person asks for forgiveness. God has never offered to forget about evil. God always punishes evil. The justice of God that always punishes sin and the mercy of God that offers salvation to men has provided a substitute to bear the punishment of sin so that sinful men will not have to bear that punishment themselves. The cross is the place where God’s mercy and justice are perfectly mingled. At the cross, God’s justice was satisfied and God’s mercy overflowed to all who would believe. At the cross mankind sees the full extent of the goodness of God goodness that is in no way contradictory to justice. A God who does not always punish evil is not the god of the Bible. A God who would not send men to hell would be unjust and evil.

What is the moral argument for the existence of God?

In classical apologetics there are four common philosophical arguments for the existence of God. The first argument is entirely cognitive, the ontological argument. The cosmological and teleological arguments formulate their first premises from nature. The fourth argument does not rely upon reason or creation but conscience. The moral argument says that because everyone has a perception of right and wrong, there must be One who has created in all humanity an understanding of morality.

The moral argument has the briefest formulation of all the philosophical arguments. An objective morality exists in this world. The best explanation for this objective standard is God. Therefore, God exists. A variation of this argument is seen in the existence of measures of goodness. Humanity makes determinations about the goodness and excellence of things. Since there exists the ability to measure excellence, there must be that which is of highest excellence. This highest good is God.

The most common expression starts with the recognition that generally all human populations hold to similar standards of right and wrong. For example prohibitions against murder, theft and deception are common. Even in those situations where a people group holds a different standard of right and wrong, there is still a recognition of some standard of right wrong. Because everyone knows some things are right and some things are wrong there must be a universal basis for the existence of the human conscience. The best explanation as the basis of the conscience is God.

Natural explanations for morality struggle to explain the conscience of man, especially the existence of an altruistic standard. The selfless sacrifice for the benefit of others doesn’t quite fit in a system in which a species is best helped by the fittest members surviving to pass on their genes. Altruism is undeniably common in humanity and can often be found in the animal kingdom. Naturalists have offered varying explanation for the existence of altruism. Many of them offer models by which altruism benefits the survival of the species. For many observers the naturalistic explanations of altruism are not very convincing. A Divine, moral being best explains the existence of selfless love found throughout much of humanity.

Romans 2 appeals to the moral argument. Paul says when those who do not know the law of God do those things commanded in the law then they show the law of God is written in their hearts. However, Paul does not use this argument as proof of the existence of God. Paul presupposes the existence of God and the existence of an objective moral standard. Paul instead uses the moral argument to show the guilt of every person. Because everyone has a conception of right and wrong none can stand before God ignorant of the law or innocent according to the law. Everyone has done that which violates their own conscience and, more importantly, which violates the absoluate standard of God’s law. This leads to the inevitable conviction, “There is none righteous”. Because all are guilty before God the only hope for men is forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus.