I’ve written a few pieces on Hell recently, as I’ve tried to understand and explain why a loving God would create such a place so contrary to His character. As I’ve written these posts, and gained understanding by God’s Spirit, I have been amused. God has a marvelous sense of humour…and though He often uses stories and parables with insightful and amusing lessons to teach us, there’s nothing funny about Hell.
In my post, “You Don’t Love Me? Your Funeral!“, I explained that one would have to REALLY hate God to choose Hell over Heaven, because He has made the choice unbelievably easy and convenient. The love you have for yourself will not let you settle for Hell, because you think that a God who creates Hell is unlovable or unloving. With even a little wisdom, everyone knows that you’re the only one who will lose out if you decide to pull out your eye to spite your face, by rebelling and choosing Hell instead!
In my second post on the topic, “Heaven and Hell: An Idiot-Proof Design“, I explained just how idiot-proof the choice is, such that even a fool (by the world’s definition) can make the right choice. God has not left a stone unturned, in His effort to make sure that EVERYONE makes Heaven! That is truly His will for us: “…[God is] not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). We also read the same sentiment expressed by Paul to Timothy: “…[God] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).
My third post was a story about “The Two Theologians”, who despite their disagreements, where both about to find themselves in Heaven. The fact is we will be very surprised who we meet in Heaven! As much as we think we know where people are going based on their lifestyle or theology, we really don’t have an ultimate insight into their soul, or their relationship with God. God is still working on them, just as He is still working on you…
Jesus said, there are many who are first that shall be last, and many who are last, that will be first (Matt 19:30). He also said: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16). So, don’t think only those whom you fellowship with will be saved. It is God who will build His Church, by His Spirit…we are simply to be lively stones.
This doesn’t stop us from teaching what is true and warning people who are evidently living contrary to the truth. The Spirit of God doesn’t seek to condemn men, but to deliver them from condemnation with the truth. Without the truth, they are already condemned, and if they reject the truth, they stay condemned (John 3:16-18). As we have received and believed the truth and been delivered by it, we ought to teach others, so that they too may be free from condemnation (Rom 8:1, John 8:32).
If we do not warn people in error, we do not show that we have the truth or that we love them and desire for them to be reconciled to God. There is however a difference between contending with someone who is misguided, and arguing to be proven right. One is motivated by the Spirit of God, and another is motivated by a devilish spirit, that is concerned only about causing division and stealing our joy. The comical twist to the story was that their argumentative spirit is what secured their eternal destiny, even at the point of their deliverance! Don’t be so foolish!
We all know where it is written that “the fool says in his heart that there is no God” (Psa 14:1). But do you also know that it is foolish to deny the existence of Hell? When you live carelessly, not considering your eternal destiny, you are just like the fool who says that there is no God! How much would your life change right now if you knew without a doubt that Hell is real, and that your neighbour, your sister, your friend or even your child could be heading there if you don’t persuade them to accept the truth and repent? Do you actually believe that Jesus is the ONLY Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)?
The world challenges us to deny the existence of Hell because they think it doesn’t fit in with what we teach about God loving them. They argue that it is unloving to threaten people or to tell people that they will end up being tortured for all eternity. “How can you sleep at night believing people who don’t believe what you believe will burn in Hell?” they ask with contempt. But even if the choice was simply between Heaven and Earth, they would still tell you to leave well enough alone, because if God was so loving, He wouldn’t withhold Heaven from them! In any case, God can’t win.
The problem here is their understanding of love…and they seek to impose their perverse understanding and expectations of love on God. If it doesn’t feel like love, it isn’t love, they say. But their idea of love is what has caused all the sexual perversions and problems with sexual identity, homosexuality, abortion, prostitution and all sorts of things that get a free pass in the name of love! They don’t know real love, and they don’t want real love! They just want what they want, when and HOW they want it. That is just rebellion! They, who are the ‘Loved’ have become the dictators, as they use God’s love against Him, the way a naughty child seeks to manipulate his parents.
Jesus tell us for good reason to “…fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28). Hell is part of God’s perfect will; in that though they may not love Him, the fear of Him is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10)! And wisdom will lead them to His feet, where they will come to know Him and love ALL His ways… Hell is intentionally fearsome! You should be afraid to go to Hell! You should be very afraid about all the people you love going to Hell because you never bother to tell them about your faith in Jesus – if indeed you have faith in Jesus!
Maybe you don’t believe in Hell. Maybe you’re one of those who have constructed a more loving Hell in your mind that is not so scary, and doesn’t make God look like a monster to the world, and present that as the alternative from Heaven. No, the only alternative God has prepared is a terrifying destiny that should frighten every careless soul, with a blast of wisdom into His arms! There is no other acceptable place to be for all eternity. Don’t try to prove yourself wiser or even more loving than God!
I charge you to retain the fear of God in your heart. Retain the knowledge of Hell. Warn the people that Hell is real, and let them receive wisdom! And those, who will continue to profess and practice foolishness and counterfeit love, who through their actions show that they despise God and real Love, will get the place their hearts have craved. In fact, they will not be satisfied with anything more. By the time they hit the flames of Hell, their souls will already be tempered to the conditions of Hell…as their hearts have been hardened by their own rebellion and hatred of God.
“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart” (Heb 3:15).
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