Maybe you have or maybe you haven’t run into the blogs that are ripping on Rob Bell for potential discovery that he is a Universalist from his upcoming book, Love Wins: Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Now I really don’t know what Bell believes about the reality of Hell, frankly because I haven’t asked him personally and the book doesn’t come out until March 29. I guess we will all just have to wait until then to see or if you’re lucky enough to have his cell number, give him a call and ask him.
The buzz about Bell’s new book seems to be centered on the description that a loving God doesn’t send people to Hell. And the truth is, why would a loving God want to send people to Hell? In fact why would anyone want to send someone to Hell? Oh wait, there are some people out there aren’t there that are pretty content saying that they are okay with some people going to Hell, but isn’t that what Bell is addressing in his book? Why is it that we have come to think that God is okay with the whole Hell thing? Yes He did create it, but why?
Now I’m not quite ready or have the room to deal with the problem of evil here in my blog, but what I do know is God is good and we live in a world that once was good, but it went bad. And because of Christ there are some really good things happening in our world today, but the world is not the way it should be. I believe God has done something and is doing something about the state of the world that you and I live in.
Imagine if you just bought a new expensive shirt and the first time that you wear it you spill hot sauce all over the front of it staining it (never happens to me). At that moment you would have two choices: throw it away or wash it out. Hopefully you are on the side that decided to wash it out. It only makes sense since you bought it to enjoy it for a long time. Now to remove the stain you would soak the shirt, then add a cleansing agent and finally work out the stain until it was perfectly clean again. But what would you do with the dirty water? You would throw it out right? Exactly.
God created this world perfectly good, nothing wrong with it at all. And then it got stained by sin. God in His perfect wisdom decided not to destroy the world, but to start a cleansing process that took care of the stain of sin. We are currently in the midst of that cleansing process and the stain is still affecting this world. Eventually the stain will be completely removed from this world and when that happens the stain has to go somewhere. That’s why there is Hell, to contain the stain of sin and keep it from affecting God’s perfect creation anymore. God’s grace allows us to remove the stain of sin from our lives and be made right with Him. He would never force this on us it is our choice to receive this grace and be made right.
So you see Bell is right at least in his statement that God doesn’t send people to Hell, people decide where they want to spend eternity; either in the perfect environment of our Creator or in the cesspool with the rest of the stain.
I’m not into stains and don’t want others to be stained either. How about you?