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Are You Already in Hell?

Raise your hand if you like the biblical teaching on the existence of hell.  My hand is not raised. No, I am not enamored with what the Bible teaches about hell. I take no joy knowing a person I care about may spend eternity in conscious torment, separated from God.  I am not sadistic nor do I enjoy seeing people suffer.

In light of my dislike of this biblical teaching, I have two choices. I can accept what the Scriptures teach about hell or I can revise the doctrine until I feel comfortable with it and share my watered-down version with others to make them less comfortable as well.

Welcome to the wild and wacky world of Rob Bell, author of Love Wins. Bell, a competent writer,  who has a way with words which he employs to weave a tapestry that makes his hearers feel warm and fuzzy about difficult biblical concepts, but his quilt is filled with broken threads and mismatched patterns.

In chapter 7 called,  “The Good News Is Better Than That,” the pastor grapples with the questions, “Why would a compassionate God send good people to hell?  Is He really a good God? Isn’t it unfair for a person to spend  a brief life span of 70-80 years committing sins and then receiving an eternal punishment that lasts forever?

Bell asks good questions. I don’t like his answers.

Throughout his chapter “The Good News Is Better Than That,” Rob Bell leans strongly towards the view the hell the Bible warns us against is experienced during this life not the the afterlife.  The conclusion about hell drawn by the writer of Love Wins, is that hell is our experience of life on earth.  (more…)

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