Monday, April 25, 2011

Rob Bell Disapproves of Hell

I don't relish the thought of hell either and hope to avoid it. I did some time ago however decide that the Bible does clearly declare hell's existence. It is apparently hot. Rob Bell has decided the opposite. Here is a discussion by John MacArthur titled Bell's Inferno. I guess all the "fear God" parts of the Bible do not fit into Mr. Bell's theology. But then Mr. Bell believes the Bible has been "changed" often through the years and we can't really trust the details. The true interpretation of God, according to Mr. Bell, resides in human relationships.

I can understand Bell's thinking. It is nothing new. God is love. Hell and eternal punishment is not loving, therefore hell does not exist. But I am reminded of Paul saying something like, what is it to you if God created some for glory and some for destruction. I don't read this as God actually created some people for destruction. But if God had done it, His creation would have no right to question it. This would lead to the whole free will discussion.

Even if one waters down the Scripture with metaphor, "lake of fire" must be quite undesirable and "eternal" must be a very long time.

Luke 16:28
28 for I have five brothers so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Mark 9:43
43 nAnd if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, 8 to the unquenchable fire.

Mark 9:48 It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into shell, 48 where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

Matthew 25:46
46 And these will go away kinto eternal punishment, but the righteous kinto leternal life.

2 Thessalonians 1:7–8
7 and to grant jrelief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when kthe Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those nwho do not know God and on those who odo not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Luke 12:5
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him bwho, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

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