“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What If God Didn't Let Anyone Go To Hell?

The first poppy I ever planted... what a beauty!

I was at the ALPHA course at our church last night.  We are encouraged to bring the "tough" questions of Christianity.  The questions that those who do not yet know or believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior might ask.  And truth be told... the questions that even mature Christians wonder to themselves but are afraid to ask for fear that they might be judged as not having enough Bible knowledge... or faith.

My question?  Why the cross?  Why did Jesus die on a cross?  Why the resurrection?  Wasn't there another way?  And even as I thought more about it... I wondered to myself... Well, what would I have chosen to save sinners from hell?  And you know that I didn't have a good answer... at all.

And then someone else humbly asked the question, "If God is such a loving God who went to such great detail to send His Son to Earth and that Son died (and ultimately raised from the dead) to save people from their sins... If that God is so loving, how could He let anyone go to hell?

I have been wrestling with this question all night.  Why wouldn't God want everyone to be in heaven with Him? 

This morning as I lay awake in bed, I thought, What if God didn't let anyone go to hell?  What would that look like?  Ultimately?  If we knew we weren't at risk of hell, would we long for a relationship with Him?  We would do what we wanted.  We wouldn't need God.  We would not yearn for a relationship with Him.  Would we?

And then I started wondering... Why would God let us sin at all?  But then I guess we wouldn't have a free will or a choice.  And I guess we wouldn't be very interesting would we?  We would all be perfect essentially.  If we didn't have free will and we were perfect.  And I guess in the end... we wouldn't need God at all either... would we?

Whew!  Sometimes we are afraid to even think about these "tough" questions.  Afraid to think that we might look stupid.  Afraid to think that we might not like the answer to the "tough" question.  Afraid to think that if we ask these types of questions that we don't have "enough" faith.  But we need to know that we can talk about these questions... and encourage one another... and dig deeper into the Word of God.  And it is good to have a place to discuss these questions like the ALPHA course.

Do you have a "tough" question?  Would you share it with me?  You can leave your comment via my blog as an anonymous comment.

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said,  
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life
—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.  

For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.  
Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest 
or store food in barns, for God feeds them. 
And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  
And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, 
what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. 
They don’t work or make their clothing, 
yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed 
as beautifully as they are.  

And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers 
that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, 
he will certainly care for you. 
Why do you have so little faith?

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. 
Don’t worry about such things. 
 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers 
all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.  

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, 
and he will give you everything you need. 

Luke 12:22-31 NLT


Krystle said...

Francis Chan just came out with a great book called Erasing Hell, which refutes some recent claims of hell that aren't biblical.
My hubby read it and it was a bit dry he said, but it was more informational and it got the job done!

rooney said...

just yesterday, a very very close friend of mine confessed to me that she'd been having an affair for the last 4 years. she was my mentor in many ways though we have drifted apart the last few years. now i know why. the deep sorrow over her sin was painful to watch. excrutiating, actually. but there ya have it. free will at work. the exact reason we need a savior. sin has consequences, no matter if forgiven by God. there is always a price to pay. i'm just thankful Christ paid the ultimate price. no hard questions from me. i'm just eternally thankful He saved my scrawny neck. Interesting post, though, Sheri. i would love to be able to sit in a class like you are and hear the answers to these tough questions.

Laura said...

I think it is important to admit thatfrom time to time, we all have questions about God that we can't answer. Sometimes they are those big questions like you mentioned and other times they are little thoughts that bother me simply because I don't have a good answer. I'm so grateful that God never turns away from us just because we question. He is always there to pull us deeper into knowledge and fellowship with Him.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

I borrowed an image from your blog to illustrate my post today, and decided to look at your blog a little. I'm leaving a comment on this recent post even though it is probably not appropriate, as I have nothing to add or comment on this topic. I am Orthodox, and we don't think exactly in these categories. But I noticed you too are in Portland, and I just wanted to thank you, sister, for your good testimonies in Jesus. Go with God.

elizabeth embracing life said...

Two weeks ago I had two young girls wanting to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They said they had more questions for me, before they could make any decision. I chose to not to answer any more of their questions. After answering the next 20 there would be 20 more and I went on to explain that even after walking with Jesus for the better part of 30 years I still wake up with questions. That following Christ is truly an act of faith. That when you feel that pressing in on your heart, God is pursuing you and you must decided for yourself. That night two young girls made a commitment to follow Christ and now the explore all the questions while walking with Him.

When we have made that choice to be in an active relationship with our Lord Jesus, we know, we hear that small voice, we experience His presence in our lives, and that right there answers all the questions for now, for me. He is real, He is alive, and He is working in the lives of many.

reapwhatshesews said...

While we may love the sweet idea of everybody joining together in paradise it is not what God said would happen. I could anguish over it but choose to work for Christ while there is time. Thanks Sheri for causing us to think it through.

lioneagle said...

Hi -

Glad you asked.

I posted a request for viewpoints on my blog today, Sunday July 24, 2011. It is posted on my MAIN blog www.lioneaglesoar.blogspot.com.

Perhaps you will visit and comment.

I certainly need the help with the subject Bible issue.

Thank you for your consideration.