I believe that we openly welcome deception when we are more enamored by our own wisdom and ability to think and reason than by the wisdom of God. It’s similar to how the Israelites were more fascinated by the works of their own hands when they created idols to worship. Idols were something they can see, touch, and understand. Can we unknowingly idol worship our own intellect and the construct of our minds because we don’t fully understand God?
Many times the wisdom of God seems like foolishness to men, and we are more attracted to the wisdom of men and human reasoning. I believe this is why we entertain beliefs like there is no hell, universalism, homosexuality is not a sin, or anything goes type of Christianity. We chalk it up to our own definition of what love should look like and paint a picture of God that we can understand and is acceptable to our palate. We take the position of rightful judge and jury away from God into our own hands, the direct consequence of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
In this day and age where there is so much confusion, especially around gender and identity, I believe it is crucial to not elevate our freedom to think and question above the nature and wisdom of God.
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor 1:20-25)
I want to make one thing clear: I believe that the church needs to be able to question and think, and there is value to intellectual understanding of how God and His Kingdom works. I am more concerned about the heart behind our freedom to think. As with everything we do in life, heart position is everything. The works we do don’t matter as much as the heart behind what we do.
Regarding the message of ‘Hell Doesn’t Exist’
As of recent, I’ve seen more Christians arguing that hell doesn’t exist and that hell was interpreted into the Bible by the church. I’m not going to attempt to prove them wrong in this blog, but I did want to give some of my own thoughts. This is by no means a comprehensive rebuttal of this message. I know that even what I say, proponents of this view will find a way to combat what I say. One thing I’ve learned is that if you’re heart is already set on argument, you will find a reason to argue.
First off, it hurts my heart that there are ones on social media adamantly preaching that hell doesn’t exist as if they know it as fact. And anyone who disagrees tends to get shot down aggressively and belittled as to not knowing the context of the Bible, being ignorant, or being unloving. The overall feel of the nature of these posts is a battle of wits with who can intellectually overpower the other until someone gives up.
One of the arguments I heard supporting this message was a proposition of a certain scenario. One proposed a scenario where he asked, if you were God would you let the Jews who were tortured and died in the Holocaust burn forever in hell? If you answer with ‘no,’ then he will retort with, “Are you saying that you are more merciful than God?” Obviously, who will admit that they are more merciful than God? I believe that the premise of this question is flawed and manipulative.
If you go down this line of reasoning, then why is the question even about hell? You are basically questioning the goodness and love of God. Would a God of perfect love allow ones to burn in hell forever? Well, let’s take it even further. Would a loving God let a person burn in hell even for a moment? And why not even further? Would a loving God allow suffering in the world? If you were God, would you allow suffering in the world? If not, are you saying that you’re more loving and merciful than God? Obviously this type of human reasoning doesn’t work because there is suffering in the world. This is what happens when you elevate human reasoning over the wisdom of God. If your heart is set to rely on your intellectual reasoning and be enamored by that over the wisdom of God, then you will continue to come up with philosophies and reasonings that are molded after your own image of God.
On a sadder note, if proponents of the ‘no hell’ message are wrong, I would hate to be in heaven having to give an account to God with that blood on my hands. If they are ultimately right, I would be happy to be wrong. But if they are wrong, I guess it’s good for them because they are in heaven but it sucks for everyone else that they have convinced and also for the ones they could have reached out to.
One thing about this message that I don’t understand is what’s the point? What’s the end game? What is the fruit of this message? What’s the heart behind it? It does not do one bit to encourage Christians to share Jesus with people. In fact, I think it does the opposite. I believe that at some level it can make people feel better and less guilty about their inactivity in sharing the gospel. Do proponents of this message even believe that it’s important to lead people to Jesus?
Now, someone might counter with, “Well, if you believe there is a hell, then shouldn’t you be spending all your time and energy telling everyone you possibly can about the gospel?” I think this is also a flawed question. This is why the whole body of Christ needs to take part. It wasn’t meant for only a select few to do the work. We need all hands on deck! That question also suggests that we should strive and be in panic mode in telling people about Jesus. Often times this is not a fruitful way of sharing Jesus. Yes, there is an urgency to it, but also a rest in it.
Furthermore, why did Paul face death daily and go through suffering and persecution to preach the gospel? What was he saving people from? Why the urgency? What’s the point of having evangelists and what are evangelists equipping the saints to do? If there is no hell and if everyone is saved, then what’s the point?
I would love to see someone who adamantly trumpets this message of ‘no hell,’ to tell Reinhard Bonnke in person that hell doesn’t exist. I think it would be a pretty humorous conversation. I leave you with this video of Reinhard Bonnke leading millions to Jesus. I encourage you to watch this video and experience the glory and beauty of salvation. There is more at stake then just having right doctrine. Peoples’ eternity is at stake. I know I wouldn’t want to take a gamble on someone’s eternity just so that I can express my need to be right.