Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Love Wins: How do you talk about heaven and hell well?

It is very difficult to talk about hell and it should be.

It's a subject for anguish and tears, and because it's almost impossible to be heard when you mention the word. I spoke on the subject evangelistically a couple of years ago and got a lot of flack for it.
It's hard to speak of, hard but necessary,

I do however think this is by far the best way in:
Kings English: I am a jealous God. Glen writes:
"We are very far here from the popular conception of God as some distant omnibeing indifferent to the plight of his creatures. Neither is he some stern patriarch in the sky unwilling to reveal his feelings lest he lose face. Here is a God with His heart on His sleeve. “I am jealous” He says. In fact a few chapters later He will say “My name is Jealous.” (Exodus 34:14).
God loves with a burning, faithful, marital, rightly possessive, rightly jealous love.
  • First of all the Father loves His Son in the power of His Almighty Spirit. It is a marriage like love, a burning, faithful, rightly possessive, rightly jealous love.
  • And then He loves His people – those who are married to His Son – the bride of Christ, the people of God. He loves us with a burning, faithful, rightly possessive, rightly jealous love.
  • And throughout the bible God’s people, for their part, are called to be “faithful.” Not simply “obedient”, “faithful”! And when we sin we’re not just called “transgressors”, we are called “adulterers.”
To be on the inside of God’s jealous love is a wonderful thing. It is to be rightly possessed and secure and guarded and desired. It’s the sunshine of His love.
To be on the wrong end of His jealousy is a terrible thing. Because for those who demean or threaten or harm the objects of His love (either His Son or His people) they will feel that jealousy as the consuming fire of His judgement."
Whether or not we'd then say what Rob Bell infamously may or may not say in his forthcoming book
I don't know, though I'm a little intrigued.
But in the end it's true Love wins, for us or against us.
The Christian's future is an easier subject but one over which confusion abounds. We're meant to give a reason for the hope that we have. But what is our hope? On Sunday I was preaching on 1 Thess 4:13-18. Sermon can be downloaded here. (You'll be able to read more on this in my article in next Month's UCCF:NB magazine.)

I loved seeing how in 1 Thess 4, our future will be physical and personal, resurrected with Jesus, vindicated with Jesus and living on this liberated world with Jesus. What happens to Jesus happens to us.
We believe in the death of death in the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christians in the resurrection of Christ... in which love wins by catching us up to be with our God in his world

1 comment:

  1. Yeah - that's the way to respond. "Love wins: for us or against us." Whatever critiques we make of Bell let's not disagree that love wins. I'm scared of hearing a whole chorus of evangelical denunciation that effectively says "No Rob, for some love wins, for others this disconnected thing called wrath (or justice) wins."

    But I hear the choir warming up...