A Cup Full of Hell?

A Cup Full of Hell?

A Cup Full of Hell?

A Cup Full of Hell?

 
On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, we find Him in tremendous sorrow and greatly troubled about a cup. The thought of having to drink from this particular cup even had Him sweating drops of blood. 1
 
Notice how Matthew records the night and draws much attention to cup:
 
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me. And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
 
Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” (Matt. 26:38-39,42)
 
Even as Jesus is being arrested, He is still talking about the cup:
 
So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” (John 17:11)
 
What was this cup that Jesus was so concerned about? Was it the fear of His imminent arrest, abandonment, beatings, torture, mockery, and execution that was now only hours away? 
 
As horrible as the anguish of crucifixion may have been, it does not appear to be the cup to which Jesus was referring. If it were, this would be contrary to His previous teaching.“
 
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:4-5)
 
Jesus told the disciples not to fear man, so we can safely assume that He did not either. Why? Because, torment and death, as horrific as it may be, is nothing compared to the eternal punishment that sinners face after death from the hand of God. 
 
From the passage, we begin to get a right understanding of Jesus’ anguish. He was fearful, not of mankind, but of the cup of wrath that He was about to receive; a cup of hell. 
 
To understand this analogy even better, it is good to see how the cup was used to describe God’s wrath even in the Old Testament. Take these examples for example:
 
Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering. These two things have happened to you—who will console you? —devastation and destruction, famine and sword; who will comfort you?  (Isaiah 51:17,19)
 
Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.’
So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day…” (Jeremiah 25:15-18)
 
Though Isaiah and Jeremiah speak of the cup of God’s wrath that unrepentant Israel was to drink, it was only a foreshadowing of the supreme cup of wrath that the enemies of God will drink from for all eternity. For this, we look to John’s description of the cup found in the book of Revelation.
 
He also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name (Rev. 14:10-11)
 
Just from a few passages we begin to see why Jesus was in agony over drinking from this cup. The cup was full of divine wrath that sinners deserved.
 
But why was Jesus, who had not sinned, going to receive this wrath? 
 
He was drinking from the cup that was poured for you and I. All sin deserves the full wrath of God. All sinners must drink of the cup of God’s wrath, or as we have seen, have Jesus drink of it for them. This is what Jesus does for all who trust in Him for salvation. Jesus saves us from the wrath of God, by becoming the object of God’s wrath in our place. What no human can ever drink of exhaustively, Jesus, while on the cross, drank every last drop of the wrath of God for all believers.  As Paul said, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2
 
As Jesus died on the cross, to fulfill prophecy, and to add one more exclamation point to what He had accomplished, He returns to the drinking analogy. As John records, “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished’. With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”3 Jesus drank the cup of God’s Wrath for us. The cup is now empty, God’s wrath has been poured out fully. It is finished.
 

Comfort:

 
All people who trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation will never have to drink of the Wrath of God because the cup is empty! Every drop of judgment and wrath was received by Jesus Christ on the cross. We will not face the wrath of God. We will not drink of that cup. We will not experience hell or eternal punishment for our sin, because Jesus Christ drank of God’s wrath in our place
 

Warning:

 
If Jesus is not your Savior, then you will drink and continue to drink from the never-ending cup of God’s wrath for all eternity. Repent of your sin and believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation today.
 
~ Trey Talley

Footnotes:

1. Luke 22:44
2. 2 Corinthians 5:21
3. John 19:30


Noah’s ark and the flood points not to cute and cuddly animals, but to sin, judgment, wrath, and God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Noah’s Ark: Cute and Cuddly, or Wrath and Fury?

Noah’s ark and the flood points not to cute and cuddly animals, but to sin, judgment, wrath, and God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Noah’s Ark: Cute and Cuddly, or Wrath and Fury?

What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of Noah’s Ark?

Is it cute bunnies, giraffes, and kangaroos; or is it the death and destruction of sinners at the hand of God?

If you are like most, your mind immediately goes to the various childhood images of a lot of cute animals on a large boat. However, despite its overemphasis, the preservation of animals is not the primary lesson to be learned from the story of Noah’s Ark.

Both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Peter taught about the flood, yet neither of them even mentioned the animals. Instead, they used the flood account to teach on more serious matters such as sin, judgment, and salvation. 

Let’s look at what Jesus and Peter said about the flood to discover what they found to be of most importance. 

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him (1 Peter 3:18-22).

  1. God’s people were, and are, in the minority.

Peter’s audience of believers were the minority in their society, yet God was with them. Peter used the ark account to remind his audience that counting heads is not the way to determine who is right and who is wrong. The most important factor is to be right with God; even if that does put you in the minority view. 

Think about it. Only eight people in the entire world were following God in the days of Noah. As it was in the days of Noah and Peter, the same goes for us today. Christians may not be in the majority, but we are right with God. 

  1. God’s method of salvation was, and is, exclusive.

Out of His mercy and grace, God provided the Ark. No matter what other ways people thought they could be saved by, in the end, they were proved wrong. 

Perhaps some of them did not believe that God would judge their sin like He said He would. Perhaps others trusted that they were good enough to escape God’s judgment. And still, others may have thought that if God is good and loving, then surely He will not really bring destruction. However, God provided only one way for people to be saved: the ark. 

So it was with Peter’s audience, and so it is for us today. The exclusivity of salvation by God’s ark points to the exclusivity of ultimate salvation from sin, judgment, and wrath through Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father accept through me” (John 14:6). 

  1. God’s method of salvation was, and is, 100% effective.

God put Noah and his family on the ark and sealed them the door. The rest of the world received God’s wrath, but those on the ark were safe. The ark floated perfectly through the storms, and by the hand of God, all of its inhabitants arrived safely. Its passengers had weathered the storms, were spared God’s wrath, and were saved just as God said they would be. 

Peter reveals that the ark was a type, or shadow, of the ultimate Ark of salvation, Jesus Christ, who will succeed in preserving, protecting, and bringing all of His elect safely home to God the Father. 

Peter reminds his audience that Jesus suffered God’s wrath for their sins to bring them safely to God. We can also fully rest in God’s method of salvation. As he clarified earlier by writing,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

  1. God did, and will, punish sinners.

Sinners hope that God will not judge them for their sins. However, the global flood and consummate death reveals that God does not wink at sin. He wiped out all people on the earth, except for eight, due to their sinfulness. It was a catastrophic event brought about by the anger, wrath, and judgment of God against sinners. 

Both Peter and Jesus Christ use the story of the ark to reiterate that the Day of Judgment is coming for all sinners. And as bad as dying in a flood was, it will be nothing compared to the coming final judgment of God. 

Jesus said, 

“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:37-39).

Summary:

Jesus, God in the flesh, and the Apostle Peter clearly taught that God really did judge sinners by causing a global flood. They also taught that a greater judgment and punishment is coming for all sinners. 

The good news is that God has provided the ultimate Ark of salvation, Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, the entire event of Noah’s ark and the flood points not to cute and cuddly animals, but to sin, judgment, wrath, and God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ. 
~ Trey Talley


When you think of your salvation what comes to mind? A walk, a prayer, baptism, or maybe a hand raised? The truth of the matter is that such activities are no guarantee of salvation. 

The Key Issue of Salvation

When you think of your salvation what comes to mind? A walk, a prayer, baptism, or maybe a hand raised? The truth of the matter is that such activities are no guarantee of salvation. 

When you think of your salvation what comes to mind?

The Key Issue of Salvation A walk, a prayer, baptism, or maybe a hand raised?

When professing Christians are asked about their salvation, their mind often goes to a time when they walked an aisle at church, raised a hand, made a decision, said the “Sinner’s Prayer,” were baptized, or joined a church. While such activities are often relied upon as proof of salvation, the truth of the matter is that such activities are no guarantee of salvation. 

For instance, is it absolutely possible that a person could walk an aisle at church, raise a hand, make a decision, say the “Sinner’s Prayer,” be baptized, join a church and still be just as unsaved as a person who had done none of these things? Is it possible for someone to think he or she is on their way to heaven even though his or her destination is hell? 

The answer is, “Yes.” 

So, if these things do not provide surety of salvation then what does?

This leads to some very important questions, such as “How can a person be saved?”, “How do you know if you are actually saved?”, and “How do I check on the salvation of others?”.

Salvation, according to the Apostle Paul, is directly related to the belief in the gospel. Instead of relying on reciting a prayer, raising a hand, or walking aisle, He simply writes, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16). 

As you can see, Paul links salvation to the gospel; and in order to be saved, one is required to believe in the gospel. In other words, belief in the gospel is essential for a person to be saved. 

The key issue is belief.

Whether a person has walked an aisle, filled out a card, raised a hand, said the sinner’s prayer, asked Jesus into their heart, or even whether or not he or she was baptized, is not the key to determine if one is truly saved. The key issue is belief, and the key belief must be the gospel. This means that belief in the gospel is not a secondary or tertiary matter when it comes to determining one’s salvation, it is of utmost importance.



The Justice of God People wrongly assume that just because they are not immediately receiving punishment for their sin that they are escaping justice. Paul says that God’s slowness to punish does not prove that they someone has escaped justice but that it is meant to lead them to repent of their sin.

The Justice of God

The Justice of God People wrongly assume that just because they are not immediately receiving punishment for their sin that they are escaping justice. Paul says that God’s slowness to punish does not prove that they someone has escaped justice but that it is meant to lead them to repent of their sin.

The Justice of God

The Justice of God People wrongly assume that just because they are not immediately receiving punishment for their sin that they are escaping justice. Paul says that God’s slowness to punish does not prove that they someone has escaped justice but that it is meant to lead them to repent of their sin.Civil justice is sometimes served in this life, but sometimes it is not. However, no matter how much perceived justice a person receives in this life for their sins or crimes, God’s justice can never be satisfied by such measures.

For example, a man commits murder and gets a punishment of 60 years in prison, serves his time, and eventually is set free. At the end of the 60 years is he now right with God because civil justice has been served? He might have served the amount of time demanded by a court or judge to supposedly pay the price for his crime, but did the 60 years of time in prison do anything to satisfy Divine justice? Did it somehow erase his sin before God?

Of course not. 

No amount of prison time or punitive punishment can ever pay for even one single sin. Truly, sixty years of prison time could not even pay for one single “little white lie.” 

Mankind is helpless when it comes to satisfying God’s judgment and subsequent punishment for our sinfulness. 

Let’s consider another situation. What about guilty criminals who escape justice completely? Many people get away with horrible heinous crimes. Even murders sometimes go unsolved. Does this mean that someone has escaped justice? 

What if a person committed horrible crimes and went on to live a life of health, wealth, and apparent happiness then died. Did he escape justice?

No. It is impossible to escape justice. Though a person might appear to have escaped punishment, ultimately, he will not. 

A civil government can punish evil doers, however neither prison nor the death penalty should sinners fear the most. 

Unrepentant sinners should fear the One they will encounter after death. It is then that they will stand before the Supreme Judge and face perfect justice. 

This is what Jesus is talking about when He said, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4-5).

Fear God? Why should someone fear God? 

Because God is the absolute perfect judge who is holy, righteous, just, omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (all-powerful). 

Those who think this life is all there is are greatly mistaken. Those who think they can escape justice by avoiding it in this life make a horrific assumption of what happens at death. They have not escaped justice. They have entered the courtroom of God and will face Him with every single sin that they have ever committed. 

As the Apostle Paul says, 

“Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:3-5).

People wrongly assume that just because they are not immediately receiving punishment for their sin that they are escaping justice. Paul says that God’s slowness to punish does not prove that they someone has escaped justice but that it is meant to lead them to repent of their sin. However, instead of repenting, many people continue to store up their sins and by doing so, they are storing up the wrath that they will receive from God’s righteous judgment. Not one single sin will escape God’s perfect judgment because He is perfectly just. 

For unrepentant sinners, death is not an escape of from punishment but the beginning of eternal punishment. Death does not free them. Rather, their death seals them in their state of sinfulness, guilt, punishment with no chance of repentance, and no possibility of paying off their sin.

We also must be careful to assume that God only punishes certain sins like kidnapping or murder. It is very easy to think of certain horrible sins as deserving of justice but think that God should not punish all sinners. 

Who is not a sinner? The Apostle Paul tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Every single sin from all of humanity must and will be punished because God is perfectly just. 

Knowing that we are guilty of sin, that we will face God, and that justice will be served, is there any hope? 

How can a man get rid of his own sin, make himself sinless in the eyes of God, or pay the price for even one of his sins? 

He can’t. That’s why the solution must come from outside of ourselves. We need a righteousness that is humanly impossible for us to acquire. That is why we need a Savior from God. We find this Savior in the person and work of Jesus. 

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).