Get Out of Hell Free?
Leaders of some renown and entire denominations have drifted from the truth, reintroducing old wine theology in a contemporary wine skin. Their theology is outlined in a book by Rob Bell titled, Love Wins. The book proposes a form of Universalism that has captured the imagination of the secular media and others. This is a system of theology that applies to people who reject God; that is, they do not allow the Lord Jesus to be their Savior. They expect to have a second chance. In other words, since Jesus died for all, we are all saved—eventually. Using conveniently selective passages of scripture, they argue that after death, it is possible to come to faith, gain God’s favor and, thereby, escape Hell.
This thinking captures the imagination of the secular crowd because in the hearts of men there is a consensus that we do not have to yield ourselves to serve God and others. We can live our lives as we please, then figure it all out after we pass from this planet. Wishful thinking that centuries ago was developed into an intricate synthesis of escape called Purgatory.
If we embrace this theology, then the task of bringing people to faith in Jesus is trivial. There is no need to be prepared to give an account of the hope that is within us, as there is another hope. Any thought of sharing Christ can be blown off.
However, there are key passages of scripture that are not convenient for their theology. Scriptures such as:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9] The scholarly meaning is that if we do not settle with our Creator, well … we remain condemned.
“We are saved by grace through faith.” [Eph 2:8] There is no faith after death; those without Christ will clearly see the terror of their mistake in not following Jesus.
“… but as many as received him, to them gave he [the] right to be children of God.” [John 1:12] Those in His family are saved. Others are cast out because Jesus never knew them. It is not how much we know about Him; it is how well He knows us, according to Matt 7:21-23.
“How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” [Heb 2:3] If the offer of salvation is neglected, there is no hope of escape.
The gospel writer says it best in John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already.” We are toast without Christ.
We have no choice but to warn people that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” [Hebrews 9:27]
As Christ-followers we must be engaged in making disciples of the nations. It is our assignment from on high. We must each consider what our grade will be on that assignment. One way to explore your options is to login or register at MissionNext. Blessings on you as you take this next step.
Nelson Malwitz, Founder
Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA and attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext, and serves in program development. Locally he attends a Torah study and is chairman of the sewer commission to serve among unchurched leaders.
Thanks for writing about “Get Out of Hell Free?” MissionNext, I loved it!