Yes, Virginia, There Is A Hell

Mar 23

So now what?

I find it funny that so much effort is being utilized to convince other Christians that there is indeed a hell. I’ve devoted several blog posts on the issue since leaving my former church. At times, I’ve grown frustrated in this endeavor, since Jesus and Scripture talk very clearly about its existence. I feel like I’ve written more about it than ought to be necessary. I wish we could stop debating its existence and move on to the implications. It’s like continually debating with someone whether there’s a God or not. There is, so let’s move on to what that means for our lives.

This morning, I woke up to discover that David Platt (author of the book Radical) gave his take on the Rob Bell / Robbed Hell controversy. (Man, there are so many plays on words to make regarding this controversy, LOL.)

Check out his video response here.

His response reminded me of the same conclusion I came to myself when faced with people who laughed at me for my convictions regarding the Gospel and the reality of hell. Read it here.

Like I said at the conclusion of that post, Christians have three options when it comes to the reality of hell:

  1. Reject the idea of hell, because it is too intolerable to believe any longer
  2. Somehow convince ourselves that everyone around us going to hell is tolerable
  3. Find it intolerable that everyone around us is going to hell, and do something about it

Today, I’ll add a fourth option that is very similar to #1: Believe that there is a hell but that very few people are going there (just the “really, really bad” people throughout history that we don’t want to see in heaven).

Sadly, that’s the opposite belief that Jesus taught (few are on the narrow road, and many are on the road to destruction). The lack of evangelization in my life is as disconcerting as those who reject the idea of hell.

3 comments

  1. LOL, I think you got me pegged. I’m in the OK, it’s real, can we just get on with it crowd. As in, can we talk about how to witness, how to evangelize, how to make disciples.

    Don’t forget the option that goes something like this: “God, this is awful. What must I do? Oh, pray for laborers, good. Lord, please send laborers. What, I’m a laborer? OK, here I am, Lord, Send me.”

    That’s sort of covered in #3, except it bypasses the whole let’s contemplate how bad this is and sends you straight to God to ask Him what to do (and of course He provides much of the answer in Sacred Scripture).

  2. I got to wondering if people in Haiti and other very poor and oppressed countries have as much of a problem with the concept of hell as we do.

    We live in such a sanitized society and we really don’t often see the evil for what it is, nor how truly horrendous it can get. You know how when some random person kills his parents or children or someone else and they interview all the neighbors who are so shocked: “but he was such a nice guy!”

    Well, that guy was in the grip of sin and look what happened. How might the story have turned out differently if someone had shared the Gospel with him, and then modeled it through his life (you know, being a witness)?

    I think Christians in America may need to broaden their understanding of the magnitude of evil. I think one of the things that’s come back to bite us is we tend to view whatever our own worst crime is as the pinnacle of evil. Tim, one time you were sharing from the pulpit about what an awful sinner you were and I remember thinking “what could he have possibly done?”

    I don’t mean to minimize our own capability to do great evil (and I wrote a long comment about that in the post you linked to), but I do think we have a very sanitized view of evil because we really don’t see it on a day to day basis, and that sanitized view can make us think it’s not really real (and as an extension, hell can’t be real either) when in fact it is real.

    Even more importantly, then we need to be willing to confront that evil, walk right in the middle of it as Jesus leads like sheep among wolves.

    • Sometimes I feel that our American society makes us indifferent to the idea of heaven, as well. For those of us who live comfortable lives, with freedom, basic needs provided for, etc.–we may not focus much on heaven. We feel we have it pretty good right now. Those who live in oppressed conditions probably have a better appreciation for the eternal life/reward awaiting those who trust in Jesus.

      I also agree that our culture is more “sanitized” view of evil than many other parts of the world–although with all the 24/7 worldwide news channels, I find I hear more disturbing stories than I care to know about. But either way, I think that overall, our society minimizes the importance of the concept in general of “eternity.” There is MORE to life than just the 70 or so years we spend here on earth!!

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