If you don't know who I am talking about I am talking about Rob Bell. Now I want to make it clear that I have not read his book Love Wins and I am not really interested in reading it. This post has nothing to do with his book.
So for my husband's birthday I got him a subscription to Neue "The magazine for leaders shaping the future of the church." The first one we got I wasn't all excited about seeing Rob Bell in it...but the truth is he is one of the leaders that are shaping the future of the church and that scares me! Anyway...no surprise that this issue was about hell and was actually titled "Repainting Hell." Funny because a painting in my home is titled "Repaint Jesus." Anyway...
They have a Q&A with Francis Chan and Rob Bell. Seems right since they both came out with different books that give different views of Heaven and Hell. Now here is was bothered me...
Q. Do you think you could be wrong that you don't get a second chance to choose heaven or hell?
A. Of course. We are speculating about exactly how it unfolds. That's what we are doing, so the most important thing is to be honest about what we are doing. And we have to begin with humility. Sometimes the question simply is. "Well, if that's true, we're all actually really screwed." We will have far larger problems than some pastor from Grand Rapids saying some stuff, if in the end God turns out to be something other than love or goodness, and love doesn't win, and we don't have choice. And I believe people will; people choose hell now, I assume people, when you die, you can choose hell. So there is no denial of hell here. There is a real awareness that this is a clear and resent reality that extends on into the future.
Anyone see what I have a problem with? Well first he answers the question with a yes and then goes on to talk about how he really can't be wrong. But he says if he is wrong then we are all screwed and we all have far larger problems than him. Mr. Bell let me tell you something. If you are wrong you have far larger problems than others. All those people who you are leading into believe that what they do on earth doesn't really matter. That not only do they have the choice here on earth but they will also get a choice after they die. You are going to be held accountable for all those people. Can you imagine if you are wrong. Just think about it for a second. We don't get a second chance. All these people hear what you are talking about and they think. Awesome! I can just live how I want because after I die I will get to choose Heaven or Hell. What happens if they get there and they don't get the choice? What happens when Jesus says that their name isn't in the book of life? What happens if because they believe you that they ended up in Hell? Just think about that. The reason I don't believe we get a second chance is the same reason I don't believe in the whole "once saved always saved" stuff. I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to peoples salvation.
I would rather go up to my friend and say "You may still be saved by God because he is a loving God. But I don't know because I know that God is a just God too. I am worried for you because you aren't following Jesus anymore."
In Revelations there are so many references to the Book of Life. In Revelations 3 he says about some that He will never blot their names out of the Book of Life. That gives me the idea that hey...maybe peoples names can be blotted out. Revelations 13 mentions that some peoples names are not written in the book. Revelations 20 mentions that the books are open and one of them is the Book of Life. Then it goes on to say that anyone who's name is not written in the Book of Life will be thrown in the Lake of Fire.
Mr. Bell...I start wondering how you study the Bible. Do you think of something you want to say and then you grab the verses you want to that seem to back you up? I think a much better way is to read the Bible, pray and then come to your conclusion.
I don't really know much about Bell. But what I have heard him say in interviews and what I have read about him...I am not impressed. Actually it kind of scares me. I am not just worried about all the people he is getting to believe that they have a second chance. But I am worried for him. Worried about him being wrong when judgement day comes along.