If you are new… I’m in week 5 of a Bible study based on the book, The Reason For God. I’m working out in my head, in my heart and on this blog weekly with other people. You can get the summary to this chapter here. There are lots of people that I know read this blog. Part of me wants to call you out by name. I wish I could sit you down, hand you this chapter and meet you for a late night meeting over coffee to discuss, plus all the other mess that’s opening up in my head…
So this chapter once again hit home. I think this is a hot button issue whether you are a believer or not. Because of recent books like this.
I think this is something we are all talking about or at the very least wondering about. Or is it just me? (In a moment of full disclosure, a few years ago I found that I started to disagree with some of the tenants that Rob Bell preaches. While I did read Erasing Hell, I never read Love Wins.)
Hell confounds me. I liked Keller’s theory. I found it mildly comforting. In fact, I’m happy Mom is here. I got back from my trip, handed her my book and said, “Read chapter 5. I want to know what you think.”
Here’s what I think. There is a hell. I have always thought that the worst part of hell, even before reading this chapter would be the absence from God. I found that Keller’s description of hell was… compelling for lack of a better word. I’ve never considered it from that perspective. Once again, I just want to sit and talk about this. I’m very anxious to hear what the other study participants say about this chapter. Believe it or not, I’m finding myself at a loss for words.
Stefanie’s question this week…
Question: Has this chapter opened your eyes to any false doctrine you’ve knowingly or unknowingly believed about God’s wrath? About hell?
Honestly, I feel like I’m going to have to process this for weeks. I grew up hearing hell, fire and brimstone sermons. In my old age, I think I’ve mellowed that to open up to God’s love. I can’t say that I’ve never not been aware of God’s capability for wrath. The stories of the Old Testament are full of examples of God’s wrath. Then, I say I’m living by the New Testament. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a healthy fear of God. As I’m typing and thinking, I’m realizing I don’t fear Jesus in the same way that I fear God. Jesus is the perfect example of God’s love. They are one and the same. My brain is turning to mush so you’ll understand why I say that I’m at a loss for words here.
The rub is, I’m concerned. I want to make sure that I know in my heart all of it. I’ve always believed that here was a hell, that my salvation comes only by grace, but I needed to complete a covenant through repentance and baptism. There are so many people right now saying so many things. I really need to stop and read and know what’s false doctrine and what’s not.
Can someone please read this chapter and talk to me!
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