Friday, March 25, 2011

Simple Terms

There is a new book out there by a very popular Christian pastor that has stirred up a lot of controversy in the last week.     The premise of his book is that in the end God can't ultimately send people to hell.      He says that in the end "Love Wins" (also the book title in case you are curious).   

You all know that I am wary of the popular stuff.    Any author which becomes so hugely popular or any pastor whose church becomes so obnoxiously huge that ultimately the focus is on them instead of God is a HUGE red flag to me.

As far as this new book, let me just say in simple terms.    God won't send people to hell in the end.     People will send themselves to hell.     God gave us a choice.    He did everything possibly to lead us to Him.    He drew a path, wrote us a love letter, sent His only Son to die for us and gave us the Holy Spirit to whisper words to encourage us to make that choice.    Ultimately though?   That is our choice.    If we choose to reject him then that is our choice.     Will it grieve Him and break His heart.     I believe it hurts Him beyond words.     But as he said, "The wages of sin is death."   

This author's book is following the premise that too many churches are following today.   They don't want people to feel uncomfortable.      If thinking about hell feels uncomfortable now, being there is going to be a lot worse!

I have experienced a lot of loss and death since the beginning of the year.     Quite a few of those people did not know Christ.    They never made that choice.     My heart still hurts over that.  

However, it has made my burden for those in my life who haven't yet made that choice even greater.     I pray more for them than ever before.     Oh how I wish I could make that choice for them.    I know I can't.   

I guess that is why books like this recent one frustrates me so much.    

6 comments:

Andi said...

Rob Bells new book Love Wins is about judging others. If you look at the trailer for the book he states that there was an art show at his church and there was a picture of Gandhi and someone wrote Gandhi's in hell, and he said "he is, you know that for sure?" We don't know the heart of people, only God does, and we can't make that call. Rob isn't trying to be the "popular" deciding vote, from my take he's trying to get us to think. I've seen a lot of his video's and that is his premise. I applaud him for this. It tells us in Philp. 2:12 to work out our faith with fear and trembling and I believe that this is just what Rob Bell is doing.

Deanna said...

I would respectfully disagree as even the cover of this book says it is about "heaven, hell and the fate of every person who ever lived."

Reading Rob Bell's book shows that he is obviously incredibly smart and very much a master communicator. However, he has also subscribed to a very theology of universalism. The Bible is very clear. Not everyone will go to heaven.

Can we judge who is and who isn't in heaven? No. With Mr. Bell on that I agree. That is between God and each individual person. However, I do know that not every person who stands before God will enter the kingdom of heaven.

I know that because the Bible, which is inerrant and infallible, tells me so.

If only Rob Bell has chosen to use these infallible truths and his obvious talent to write a book stating THESE truths.

The Japanese Redneck said...

We were just having a discussion here at work about people who earn a place in Hell.

Andi said...

I haven't read the book yet, I just got it on my Kindle. I am anxious to. I have just two points.
1. Church on the whole in the western world has made a mess of what Christ came to do. He did not like what the religious leaders were doing and he said so. Yet we've taken what he created, a personal relationship and have created such a mess with so many churches, and theologies you can get lost in what Christ actually came to do.
2. As for loosing someone who isn't a believer a dear friend of mine died a year and a half ago. She was Jewish, not Messianic, so does that mean she's in hell? I don't believe so. I believe there is grace! God is the ultimate judge, jury, and executioner.

I so think we need to get back to the Acts church and love and care for each other like they did back then and we would see such an out pouring of God's spirit and people coming to Him we couldn't contain it!

Deanna said...

Andi, I so agree with you on so much of what you have said. Churches have messed up a lot of what Jesus intended. They have become the modern day Pharisees that Jesus fought so hard against.

I also think that if we all lived a life of "loving one another" as Jesus taught that there would be a great revival.

As far as your precious friend, only God knows where she is. That is what personal relationship is all about. However, I know that God's Word is very clear about what He requires to live eternally with Him. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." John 14:6

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Acknowledgement of Jesus and his death on the cross for our sins in addition for asking for forgiveness for our sins is the foundation of salvation.

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