“I can’t believe in a God that would send someone to a place like Hell.”
“What kind of loving God would send people to Hell?”
“Who gets to decide who gets into Heaven and who has to go to Hell?”
Rob Bell addresses these common questions in his upcoming book, Love Wins, which has already stirred massive controversy by his implications that no one will go to Hell. Below is the video trailer that he himself has released, which is largely responsible for the widespread controversy. I’ll attempt to address the questions he raises as concisely as possible…
- “Gandhi’s in Hell? He is?!? And someone knows this for sure?” My Answer: I don’t know. And no human could possibly know for sure.
- “Will only a few select people make it to Heaven?” My Answer: As far as the Bible is concerned, yes. Matthew 7:13,14
- “And will billions, and billions of people burn forever in Hell?” My Answer: I have no idea how many it will be, but yes, many, many people will go to a real place called Hell. Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:15
- “And if that is the case, how do you become one of the few?” My Answer: Turn away from your man-made attempts at pleasing God and pleasing yourself, and give your life to God by placing your faith in Jesus, who lived a sinless life, died as a substitution for humanity, and rose again on the third day proving to be God. John 3:16-19, Romans 3:23-28, Romans 10:9-13
- “And then there is the question behind the question. Like: What is God like?” My Answer: This a great question. A loaded question, but a great one. I’ll answer this in a separate blog post this week.
- “So what gets subtly caught and taught is that Jesus rescues you from God.” My Answer: Jesus is God. Jesus dying for humanity is God taking upon Himself His own righteous judgment for man’s rebellion. His holiness demands that wickedness be eliminated. His love demands that mankind be pardoned. The cross is the greatest evidence of God’s holiness and love.
- “How can that God ever be good?” My Answer: Bell is defining “good” based on getting what we want (Heaven) without the consequences (Hell). The real question would be, “How could a pure, perfect and holy God allow wicked humanity into His heaven?” But to answer the question, God is good in every sense by virtue of His willingness to die for sinful man, allowing us the opportunity to experience both His love and holiness. Romans 5:6-11, 1 John 4:7-12
I sense that we are no where near done talking about this, and that I a likely to hear from many of you in emails and through the comments. I welcome your interaction, but let’s keep it civil, please. More posts WILL follow about these issues…
Hey man, I’m trying to watch the videos you posted but they won’t load on my browser for some reason. Is there another way of getting around this and being able to watch?
By the way, I really enjoyed your description of the tension between god’s holiness and love and the only way for us to get both is through Jesus Christ. I think you said it right when highlighting the fact that we percieve love as getting what we want. But this is simply not true and a gross perversion of what love really means. Certainly all of us can attest to that moment as kids when daddy stood over us, belt in hand, and said “I’m doing this because I love you.” And then came the pain. What would the consequences be if good ole dad neglected parenting us and just gave us what we wanted, whatever we wanted. I Imagine we would not be the same people we are today with nearly none of the same principles we hold today if we had gotten our way. Love is not giving someone whatever they want, it is doing what is best for them. Sometimes these two coincide, but this doesn’t mean they must always do so to consider something a loving act. In fact I might go so far as to claim that giving someone whatever they want for that reason alone (that they want it) would be an act of hate, not love. but I think I’ve said too much.
here is my question..in the video rob bell keeps using the rhetoric “how do you become one of the few” (referring to those that make it to heaven), but who says it’s only a few? Everything I know and have experienced grants me to believe otherwise, that there are billions upon billions of brothers and sisters in christ waiting to greet me on that day. Personally, I’m anxious to sit down and chill with people like peter, paul the apostle, King david, C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien, John Locke, etc. (Assuming of course these folks all made it to heaven through the saving work of Jesus Christ).