|Acts 14:21-23 |
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Strengthening the souls of the disciples and warning and exhorting them to stand firm in the faith; saying that it is through many trials and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.1 [Tribulation is pain and suffering, which destroys sin and works patience. Obtaining purity on earth through crucifixon of the selfish, human nature is not easy; but purity on earth is far less painful than purification in Hell. Everyone passes through the fire, in this life or the next.]
23 And when they had appointed elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they committed them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
1 Paul and Barnabus were warning and exhorting them to stand firm in the faith; saying that it is through many trials and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Note! There is no entering the kingdom of God, unless you have suffered through many trials and tribulations. Peter concurs: Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2... For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. 1 Pet 2:21 . And Paul again: This is a faithful saying: If we are dead with him, we will also live with him. If we suffer, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us. 2 Tim 2:11-12.
You either make your peace with God here, through the cross and suffering in tribulations, or your make your peace with God through the horrible suffering in Hell. As man continues to live in sin, he fills up his cup with his sins; and when he dies still sinning, he must drink that cup (Hell) without the love of God helping him — God leaves him to suffer without his help and comfort, which is available to a man on the earth through God's conviction, man's repentance, and God then removing the sin from his heart by grace. In Hell man gets the desires of his heart in obsession; he replays every wrong action in his life over and over until he sickens of them, and until his desire is "burned out," one desire at a time. This is the torturous, painful experience of fire and brimstone. God is a consuming fire and he burns those desires away, when man becomes so desperate he would do anything, rather than continue that desire.
Then will they call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently, but they shall not find me.
Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.
They would accept none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof,
Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own desires.
For the turning away [from my counsel ] of the ignorant shall slay them, and the careless ease of fools will destroy them. Pro 1:28-32