A conversation I had this morning has prompted me to bump this older post.
Call it lazy blogging if you want, I’m OK with that 🙂
“And any ‘god’ that demanded subservience – love me or else – is not worth my spit.
And the Yeshua of the bible is not who you follow or revere, but the church’s version of this character as revealed in Pauline doctrine , you sanctimonious ignorant half wit.
Go and do some serious study.”
A skeptical friend of mine recently told me he believes that Jesus offers the world an immoral “love me or die” ultimatum regarding Hell, a scripturally inaccurate claim that misrepresents both the true nature of God and the love God showed for us.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8
Since the God of the Bible is all about love, I would reword “love me or die” to the more accurate “chose to love me as I love you, chose to honor me, worship me, and receive my free gift of salvation, or chose to live out your eternity forever separated from all that is good”.
Anyway, denying Hell, not liking the idea of Hell, or objecting to Hell because you believe you are more loving and moral than God doesn’t mean that Hell isn’t real and real people don’t end up there in accordance with God’s perfect justice.
Jesus himself spoke often of Hell (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 16:19-31), and warned us so we would not have go there.
I wonder if people like my friend believe their idea of Hell is more accurate than Jesus’.
I wonder if they believe their words have more value than His. Do they think that the Son of Man was lying or that He didn’t know what He was talking about regarding the reality of Hell?
A real Hell that exists regardless of what anyone thinks.
Hell was originally created for Satan and his angels and will one day be the permanent eternal residence of those who chose to join Satan because of their willful rejection of God.
Think about that for a second.
Are your views similar to those of my friend?
If so, you do know that if you chose to reject God’s provision for the forgiveness of your sins, then you chose to spend eternity with a fallen angel who has been rejecting God from the beginning, right?
Is that what you want? Is redefining scriptural truths about Hell, sin, judgement so they better fit your version of morality worth it?
If eternal torment isn’t what you want and you still chose to see the free gift of salvation as a “love me or die” ultimatum you can’t live with, it might help to look at it in a different, and more accurate, way.
If you can’t accept the God of “love me or die” ultimatums, why dont you give the real God a try?
Could you accept, have faith in, have trust in, and worship a God who wanted so desperately for people to avoid Hell He became a human, suffered at the hands of humans, and allowed himself to be murdered by humans, all so that His death could pay for the debt of your sins?
Would you agree that a God who would do that is extremely loving and worthy of praise?
Fact is, God is saving people who deserve to go to Hell every day as long as they don’t wilfully reject His free offer of salvation.
But, if they do reject it, what is God supposed to do? Does the almighty, who can do no wrong, have any choice other than to judge?
If you believe that it is unjust or immoral for God to send people to Hell, how do you maintain that it would be just or moral for God to give people who are guilty of sin a free pass when they fail to repent in accordance with His plan?
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 6:23
But death is a pretty harsh penalty for committing a few small sins, right? Eternal torment is over the top, right?
Sins are not only wrong, they are crimes committed against an infinite and holy being that require infinite and eternal punishment that is levied against all, uniformly, justly, and without fail.
If you disagree with that, what would you like God do to those who chose to oppose Him and do evil?
Do you want Him to ignore that which is wrong?
Do you want Him to say “oops, my bad, that whole Hell thing was crazy, I can’t believe I was so wrong?”
Do you want Him to turn His head and not be holy and righteous?
If you understand the “love me or die” ultimatum as it actually is, it becomes much easier to accept the fact that people, not God, are the ones who chose their eternal destiny.
The Bible says “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17).”
If God is the author of all that is good, and you choose to live a life separate from Him, you have also chosen to separate yourself from the provider of all that is good. This might seem like a good plan while you are on Earth living in a reality of your own making.
Bad news is that when you leave your earthly life of choosing to separate yourself from God behind, He will not violate your free will and will, just as you wish, allow you to live out your eternity in the state, and place, YOU CHOSE.
The only men who will suffer in eternal torment are those who chose to reject God and all His goodness.
In other words, “love your version of truth more than God’s objective truth and die.”