If there is no Hell, then I’m not going to Africa

I have not read Rob Bell’s book. However, it seems as if his notion that life on earth is as bad as it gets is really just an echo of where our culture has been moving. I counsel at a pregnancy center and more and more often it seems as if girls come in determined to reason away Hell based on their false notion of a how a “loving” God ought to conduct himself.

If we make God into our own image – a God who is apathetic towards abortion, sexual immorality, un-thankful hearts, towards worship of other gods, and so on – then certainly this God is not angry enough to send anyone to Hell.If I am not angry about sin, then certainly God should not be angry about sin because God is (or should be) like me after all.

So, if the wrath of God is not “revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom 1:18)…

If it is not “appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb 9:27)…

If God would never dare to “destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28)…

If in fact, God does not have “authority to cast into hell” (Luke 12:5)…

If the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all the liars will not be thrown into “the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8)…

If those who neglected the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, and imprisoned will not “go away into eternal punishment” (Matt 25:41-46)…

If vengeance does not belong to the Lord, if he will not repay (Rom 12:19)…

Then why would we go into missions? Why would we bother telling people about how God himself became a man and took the full wrath of his Father so that we might escape Hell? Why would we offer a solution if there is no problem?

The fact that there are people who are born into poverty and sickness, live a life of hunger and disease and then die and go into an eternity of everlasting pain and punishment is why we are going into missions. We simply cannot bear the thought of not offering them the solution to sin and suffering.

Contrary to modern thought, meditating on Hell, about how it is ETERNAL punishment, actually does a service to our fellow man. When I embrace all that Scripture says about Hell, I am far more compelled to open my mouth and talk about Jesus or even leave my country so that others may have the chance to escape the wrath of God through faith in Christ.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20

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Author: David M. Hare

Dave is currently still engaged in language learning and analysis of the Kwakúm language. His focus is grammar and discourse analysis. The Kwakúm language committee is planning to begin translating the Bible in the summer of 2019. At that point Dave will focus on translation.

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