Thank you to all who either talked with me in person or replied to my previous article online. I appreciate your questions, comments, and concerns. If there has been any confusion, I ask your forgiveness. If you think I am out of line, I ask for your grace. If I have helped you in any way, I praise God. Please feel free to post a comment online at my blog.
I wrote the article, I Don’t Believe in Hell, for two reasons. The first was to bring a redefinition of a theological concept with the point of bringing freedom to the Christian struggling with the difficult truth of the next life outside of the salvation found in Jesus Christ. The second reason was to encourage Christians to live a life of outrageous sacrificial love that testifies to the love of our Lord and Savior, bringing people into relationship with Jesus, which makes “hell” an afterthought.
Why do I say I don’t believe in hell? A prevalent theology on hell claims that the “unsaved” are separated from God in the next life. The philosophical question behind this is, “Can God create a place in which he is not present?” My claim is no. God is omni-present, period. What does this mean in the next life for the “unsaved?” The presence of God for them is not glorious, as it is for the “saved.” The light of his glory, by which there will be no need of sun or moon, is pleasant to those in Christ and anguishing to those outside of Christ. This is truly a hellish condition to those who have not been conditioned to live in God’s presence through the saving work of Jesus Christ. For me, this is difference enough to not call it hell. It is still a regrettable state of anguish that I will communicate when appropriate. I would much rather make Jesus accessible through love than the better side of a “turn or burn” option. As well for me, the next life is not heaven or hell, but God’s unmitigated presence of holiness and glory of which all must be reconciled to in this life through faith in Jesus Christ.
I pray that the love of Jesus be so real in the lives of us, his people, that hell would cease to be a consideration, and people would long to know the God of Jesus’ people.
Grace and peace,