You silly dogmatic, legalistic, old school Christians who still believe in Hell – lighten up! That’s so first century. I mean, C-O-M-E ON! Do you expect us to believe in an eternal damnation and separation from God for all eternity for less than a century of indiscretion? Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?
“So Harry.., you talked to Adolph yet?”
“Yeah, you know, Adolph Hitler.”
“Adolph Hitler’s here?”
“Yeah.., everybody’s here! Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao.., all the guys.”
“You got to be kiddin’ me, really?”
“No, not kidding!”
“Wow, how’s my grandfather taking that?”
“Awe.., no problem, the two of them are like best buds. Oh sure, your grandfather was a little taken back at first, but once Adolph explained his thoughts behind the whole Holocaust thing, your gramps was fine. I mean, he seemed a little weirded out at first, but now their practically inseparable.”
If, Rob Bell, the Mars Hill Church Pastor’s theology of questions rather than answers is correct on the subject of Hell, then the whole Gospel message taught in scripture is really much ado about nothing!
According to him, centuries of Christians have co-opted the original intent of the gospel message away from a message where “Everyone Wins” (the title of his book), to a message of fire and brimstone, heaven and hell and to a message that is just plain mean. Never mind that he is in disagreement with Jesus himself:
Matthew 13:36-43 - His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."
The questioning theology which Rob Bell hides behind in his book reads more like a junior high seekers journal than any serious expose on the true Gospel meaning. While I must admit that the idea of Hell not existing does have a certain appeal, unfortunately it’s not supported anywhere in scripture as Bell’s book suggests, even though it’s filled with out of context scripture.
Furthermore, If Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was nothing more than a token gesture, with all roads leading to heaven regardless of your beliefs, than the very gospel message itself is a powerless and feeble attempt by an impotent god to reign in his unruly children. And though I sometimes agonize over my friends and family who reject Christ spending an eternity separated from God, I have to remember that God is still God.
He is a mighty God, full of both compassion and justice and whose ways are higher than my ways. He means what he said, and His patience with mankind is expressed in 2 Peter 3:9-10: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
And though Jesus warned us about false teaching in these end times, it’s still an astonishment to me, the depth of penetration they have reached within the church. Thus, let us not forget the Apostle Paul’s words when he preached to the Galatians that “…even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” Gal 1:8
Harsh words from the scriptures for harsh times because the stakes are high for the souls of men.
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