Sign In
forgot username or password?

Welcome

Welcome to the homepage of Martin Luther Church!
 
We are a Bible-based Christian Church located in Neenah, WI, and we would love to share what we have with you! 
 
Members, you can use this site to find all the latest news and information on what's going on at church. 
 
If you're not a member, feel free to look around anywhere you'd like, but you might want to start here.  Please let us know if there is ever any way we can serve you!
Latest News
Click on the headlines below to get the latest Martin Luther News

Coming Events

   
We are a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).  For more information about our Synod, click here
Today's Devotion
Through My Bible In 3 Years
Faith Related Q and A
Where in the Bible does it say that we as believers deserve the punishment of hell? There are certainly many verses in the Bible that say that the punishment of sin is death (e.g. Romans 6:23), but these are all referring to physical death. There are also many verses that say that a lack of faith deserves hell as a punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9), but where does it say that the act of sin is deserving of hell? On WELS documents I have read online (such as in the Sin Questions section), there is constant reference to us deserving hell without any scriptural backing and in church I am repeatedly told that I deserve hell. Our loving God does not say a single word about a believer deserving hell, so why are we telling congregations what God does not? If it is inaccurate that we deserve hell as believers, why give people that awfully false message when instead the message should be rejoicing that our faith ensures us eternal life with God?

As you indicated, the Bible does speak of sin meriting death (Romans 6:23). Ezekiel 18:20 states similar truth: “The one who sins is the one who will die.” When the Bible connects death with sin, it does so in three different ways. The Bible speaks of temporal death (Hebrews 9:27), spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1) and eternal death (Matthew 25:46). The basic idea behind death is separation. When temporal death takes place, the body and the soul are separated. Spiritual death refers to unbelievers whose souls are separated from God in this life because of sin and unbelief. Eternal death is the eternal separation of people in hell from God. In the Garden of Eden, God instructed Adam, a perfect child of God in every way, that “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17). Adam’s transgression meant that his body would, from that time on, head toward the grave. But the consequences of his transgression were much more serious than that. Sin had dashed the perfect relationship he had enjoyed with God and with Eve. Sin threatened to separate him from God forever. A loving God stepped in and promised a Savior who would crush sin and Satan and death (Genesis 3:15). The nature of sin is that it separates people from a holy God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin is serious. Disobedience merits God’s punishment (Galatians 3:10). Thankfully, Jesus took on himself the punishment our sins deserved (Galatians 3:13). So, where does this leave us as Christians? We have a sinful nature. That connection to Adam alone convicts us as “guilty” in God’s court of law (Romans 5:12-21). Our sinful nature is thoroughly corrupt (Romans 7:18) and wants nothing to do with God or godliness. Because following the lead of our sinful nature can lead to (more than physical) death (Romans 8:13), we seek to keep our sinful nature under control by saying “no” to sin and by responding to sin in our lives with contrition and repentance. We still sin. Any sin is deserving of God’s punishment (Galatians 3:10). As Christians though, we stand in grace (Romans 5:2). We enjoy forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Because sin is serious, Jesus instructs us what to do when a Christian sins against us (Matthew 18:15-20). The book of James ends on this note: “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). That is how serious sin—and unrepented sin—is. You can see that part of the answer to your question is that Christians need the message of God’s law and the message of God’s gospel. Because of our sinful nature, we need the message of the law to serve as a mirror and a curb. For our comfort and the strengthening of our new self, we need the message of the gospel. As children of God, the message of the gospel will predominate, but there is definitely a place for the law.

Hello, I agree with WELS that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, but I have always wondered what the water in the sky above the vault is at the beginning of Genesis. What is your explanation? Thanks so much for your time!

Your question addresses the second day of creation: “And God said, ‘Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault ‘sky.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day” (Genesis 1:6-8). In the People’s Bible Commentary on Genesis, Prof. John Jeske offered two possible explanations for the water in the sky above the vault. “There are those who think that ‘the water above the expanse’ consisted of the clouds, the huge quantities of atmospheric water vapor which are held in suspension and are periodically precipitated in the form of rain or snow, only in turn to evaporate and return to the clouds. This is the hydrologic system under which we live today, and there are those who believe this same system was in operation on the second day of creation. “There are many, however, who have difficulty with that view. In Genesis 2:5 we learn that ‘the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth.’ How long did that rainlessness last? Is it possible that the hydrologic system initiated on the second day of creation was completely different from the one under which we live? “Many have found support for this in 2 Peter 3:3-7…Many have seen in St. Peter’s words an indication that the flood brought about a basic change in earth’s hydrologic system. In that case the ‘water above the expanse’ may well have been a vast transparent canopy of water vapor…This huge canopy would have provided a uniformly warm temperate climate and a healthful environment for earth dwellers.” (Pages 15-16) The biblical creation account presents a wise and loving God who made all things in an orderly way by his powerful word. All creation praises him—even the “waters above the skies” (Psalm 148:4).