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    Who Goes to Hell?

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    Chelsea
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    Who Goes to Hell?

    Post  Chelsea on Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:07 pm

    So, I wouldn't be surprised to see this topic coming up a lot in the near future. Rob Bell, someone fairly well-known in the evangelically community, is coming out with this book, Love Wins. From the books trailer (which you can view by clicking on his name in the article linked below), it appears that this book is going to be extremely controversial. Wesleyan Life did a nice (in my opinion) summary of what major Christian denominations have to say on the topic.

    Who Goes to Hell?


    Now, I'll admit, hell isn't something I have really thought out. I don't generally find it useful to give the whole "you're going to hell if you don't turn to Jesus" speech to people. People don't tend to respond to that. However, that isn't really an excuse for not studying the topic for myself.

    With Rob Bell's book coming out, I feel it's important to arm myself with actual Biblical foundations on this topic. Skyline's own Pastor Garlow wrote a book (I think it was last year) called Heaven and the Afterlife, so I'm thinking of buying a copy and doing a little Biblical research on the topic.

    Anyway, anyone have opinions on this? Whether it be the article itself, the theology, Rob Bell's book, or just the general idea of heaven and hell...


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    Obijuan

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    Re: Who Goes to Hell?

    Post  Obijuan on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:27 am

    Well to start off with I do very much believe in heaven and with that I have always felt that there is a hell. Today I think a majority of people use hell just to scare people into going to church or using it in a joke like manner. This was kind of interesting because I have never really thought of hell as being somewhere I might end up, I just assumed that I would go to heaven for going to church, asking forgiveness, etc... this isn't to say that I think there is a good chance I will go to hell but in reality to me there is always a chance. So I feel like from what I have seen from people, it doesn't seem like a common topic people really deeply talk about, I think most church goers just assume that they will end up in heaven.


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    Re: Who Goes to Hell?

    Post  Chelsea on Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:37 am

    So I feel like from what I have seen from people, it doesn't seem like a common topic people really deeply talk about, I think most church goers just assume that they will end up in heaven.

    Right before his book came out, Pastor Garlow did a brief sermon series on the topic. He gave some statistics that I couldn't remember the numbers to if I tried, but the results were basically as follows. In your average church congregation, almost all believe in heaven. Maybe a majority believe there is a hell, but generally not a single person believes that they are going there.

    For myself, I'm not so worried about it. I mean, there is always the chance that I'm going to lose my way, I guess, but at this moment I know my soul is secured because of what Jesus did for me. (I'd prefer to focus on what I can do for Jesus now) However, I know several people who say you cannot be confident in your salvation until you die. Someone even told me that Paul himself doubted whether or not he'd make it to heaven. Now, I haven't searched Paul's writings for evidence of that, but to me, if the man could say, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord," how could he be doubtful of his own salvation? (That was Romans 8:38-39 btw)

    So I think there is a level of certainty you can have in your own salvation. My problem is, what about those who walk the line? Those people that you struggle to get to come to church. When are they "in the clear" so to speak?

    One of the things I found interesting about the article was where the author was talking about the survey he made his class take. The second question was to name three people you knew were going to hell if they didn't repent. I could name three people that I know aren't saved. They have flat out said they don't believe in God. Okay. It's not something I like to think about, but I could do it. However, the question itself concerns me. It's assuming the person giving the response knows where that salvation line is and where each person is in their walk. I mean Paul lays it out fairly clearly when he says, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." And we have and an example that the criminals that died on the crosses next to Jesus were saved when they declared their faith at literally the last second. But you don't know where a person is in their walk, and who but God is to judge who knows Him. Because that's what it's about right. Jesus says he will take with him to the Father those that he knows.

    This is why it's a topic I want to look into more. I really know nothing about it.


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    Re: Who Goes to Hell?

    Post  Chelsea on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:54 pm

    So, Rob Bell's book came out. If anyone was curious, here are some people's reactions to it.

    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.weigh.up.rob.bells.concept.of.god/27698.htm


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    Re: Who Goes to Hell?

    Post  Chelsea on Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:23 pm



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    Re: Who Goes to Hell?

    Post  Obijuan on Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:53 pm

    This is really interesting, I never really thought of the people who have never even heard of Jesus being saved. This was kinda of eye opening, I have been used to if you follow God and his teachings you will go to heaven and if you constantly sin and turn away from God then you will go to Hell. I'm still not sure on Bell saying that we will all be saved because to me that kinda defeats the purpose of hell and following God, unless I am just misunderstanding what Bell is trying to say. But then he kind of contradicts himself in saying that he does believe in Hell when he later says that all people will be saved. Maybe its just me but I feel like I am missing something here.


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    Re: Who Goes to Hell?

    Post  Chelsea on Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:34 pm

    I'm hoping to read Bell's book at some point, just so I can see for myself what he is saying. According to a lot of theologians, he's very unclear - almost like Bell himself doesn't know what he's saying - and he poses a lot of questions but dodges answering them.

    Right now I'm reading Heaven and the Afterlife by Pastor Garlow (I'm sorry, *ehem* Dr. James L. Garlow with Keith Wall). It's really interesting and has got me thinking about these things. I haven't made it to this part yet, but from reading reviews of the book and listening to Pastor Garlow preach on this topic in person, Pastor Garlow's vision of hell is ever so slightly different from mainstream theology.

    Pastor Garlow has claimed that hell was not made for humans. That when God created hell, it was not for the purpose of throwing people in there. Hell was for the enemies of God. It's for demons and for Satan. And when you think about this in the context of treason (as Jason was talking about) it makes a lot of sense. It wasn't intended for us, but by committing treason, we have made ourselves the enemies of God.

    However, it does say in Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." and in 2 Peter 3:9 it says "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

    So God's ultimate goal is to work for the good of those who love Him and to keep as many from perishing as possible. Those who have not heard the Word is a tricky subject. A lot of speculation can be made, but in the end you have to just trust that God (who is the measure for good) will do what is right.

    However, some words of comfort may lie in what Jesus says in Luke 12:47-48, "The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."


    I've been thinking a lot about it recently and there seems logical ways that God would work it out for those that do not know Christ (which I won't go into, since it's all complete speculation). I mean, the Bible makes it clear that creation itself testifies to the existence of God (Romans 1:19 and some Psalm that I can't remember, for example) so that is something. Until modern times, atheism was quite the rarity. However, Jesus makes a point of telling his disciples that it is *their* job (our job) to spread the Good News of salvation. Soooo, that brings us back to those that haven't heard that part.

    I'm not very well versed in theology (I think there is a pun there) regarding Judgment Day and the end of the world, but I know Pastor Garlow was saying something about in a seven year rapture period after all the dead are raised - where the earth will be nothing but pure suffering - there will be the opportunity for those people to turn to God for forgiveness. However, it also seemed clear that most people would use that opportunity to curse God even more - which suggests those who would have chosen God had already been saved in their life on the earth. But that would give hope to those who had not heard of salvation. And I have absolutely no Scripture to back any of that up (I was pretty much ready to be done reading Revelation right after John got done scolding all the churches, so I didn't actually try and dissect it...at all).

    But again, we can only do what God has put us here for and trust that He will do what is just and right. I'm inclined to fully believe in hell and the possibility of people actually going there, especially when Jude uses language like "They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire" (Jude 1:7) and "save others by snatching them from the fire." (Jude 1:23)


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