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Recently I have been reading articles where people believe hell, as eternal torment, was not mentioned in the bible. Some believe that all people will be saved through God’s love and no person will be left apart from our Father even though they do not choose him or believe he exists.

Love is the main theme of God. God is love. I am not sure I am ready to say that hell does not exist or that God saves everyone apart from their choice but I do know that no matter what, God loves us all.

LovelikeJesus1

True love is how Christians should be known. God loves everyone and has made a way for everyone to receive the gift of salvation. Yet I personally do not believe God will force this gift on anyone and those who choose not to take it may one day have to accept the consequences whether it be eternal torment, temporary punishment or a complete act of forgiveness.

Now, is hell a real place of eternal torment or was it a dumping ground near Jerusalem that has nothing to do with punishment? There is a very real debate over this issue and I certainly do not have the answer. The thing is, trying to get people saved with the threat of spending eternity in hell is not the way to do it. People are truly changed by God’s love and by God’s people living out that love to everyone they meet.

God does not want anyone to spend eternity in a place of torment. He has provided the way of escape if there is a hell. But we want to focus on the fact the God loves us all and we want to accept and enjoy his love, not just escape the thought of eternal punishment.

When we love someone, we want to do things that please that person and make them happy. Same with God, we want to be pleasing to Him and do things for Him. We do not do these things out of obligation or because of rules and regulations. That is law. We do them out of love and that is the way we should help lead others to Christ, through love.

As it mentions in Colossians 3:12-14 as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

Rather than being so quick to judge and condemn people for what they do, who they are, and what they believe we need to stop and re-read what God has said on the matter.

We are not called to be God, we are to be people who allow God to live in and through us. We are in Christ. Our lives should be in the process of being transformed into the life of Christ. Basically, we are to be Christ’s body on earth today. We are The Church, not a building we go to once a week but His body living in love day by day.

Remember, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. God is the judge, we are called to love others.

LoveOthers

Romans 13:8-10 spells it out pretty clear, owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

To love others is to fulfill the law, wow, seems so simple yet so hard to do.

The Old Testament law was given as a guide to show people that they could not measure up to pleasing God. If anyone could keep all of the law then they were perfect. Unfortunately, we humans cannot live a perfect life. The law showed us that we could not do it.

When Christ came in bodily form and lived on earth he lived a perfect life. He became the perfect sacrifice that would once and for all make a way for us to be considered perfect in God’s eyes and to be restored to fellowship with him.

When we live in love we are fulfilling the law. We no longer do things out of obligation or out of a need to earn God’s love and favor. We no longer have to keep the ten commandments to earn our salvation. Salvation is now a gift given to us. When we love others with the love of God our lifestyle will be one that actually fulfills the law by the way we live and love.

Am I saying that we should not try to live by the 10 commandments? In a way yes. We cannot do so. When we live in love we will be living a life that is pleasing to God without trying to live by laws and regulations. If we are depending on the law, regulations or doing things to earn God’s love we are wasting our time. Only by living in love for Christ and our fellow human beings will any difference be made.

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Love is the main theme when we think of God. God is love. Yet many ‘churches’ focus more on the wrath of God and eternal damnation for those who don’t repent and turn to God.

God loves everyone and has made a way for everyone to receive the gift of salvation by His grace. God does not force this gift on anyone. He has given us free will to make our own decisions.

Christians should be known by the love they have for others. Yet it seems many of us are known more by our condemning spirits.

Hell and the thought of eternal torment is a major scare tactic to some. There are also many thoughts and interpretations on an actual hell. Is it real, is it eternal. None of us can prove or disprove whether hell is a real place or not, but why is it we tend to use this to draw people to Christ?

God does not want anyone to spend eternity in a place of torment. He has provided the way to live with Him forever. It is much better to focus on the fact the God loves us all, and wants us to live as one with Him, not just escape the thought of eternal punishment. What father would want his child to love him out of fear of punishment? We want our children to love us out of pure love and because we love them.

When we love someone, we want to do things that please that person and make them happy. Same with God, we want to be pleasing to Him and do things for Him. We don’t do these things out of obligation, or because of rules and regulations. That’s law. We do them out of love and the power of the Spirit within us. That is the same way we should help lead others to Christ, through love.

This article was published on the May 2014 Synchroblog “What The Hell?” Following are the other Synchroblog contributors.

Jeremy Myers – Does Jesus Talk About Hell More Than Heaven?
Wesley Rostoll – Hell, thoughts on annihilationism
K. W. Leslie – Dark Christians
Angie Benjamin – Hell Is For Real
Paul Meier – Hell Is For Real – I’ve Been There and Came Back
Glenn Hager – Abusing Hell
The Virtual Abbess – What The Hell?
Kimbery Klein – Hell, if I know.
Liz Dyer – Hell? No!
Loveday Anyim – Why the hell do you believe in hell?
Linda – If you died today, where would you go?
Edwin Aldrich – What the Hell do we really know.

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Hell…No?

Rob Bell, the pastor who enraged Bible-believing Christians with his book ‘Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived’, has resigned from Mars Hill Bible Church. Bell, who argues that hell does not exist, says God is calling him to pursue a “growing number of strategic opportunities.”

Love is the main theme of God. God is love. I’m not sure I am ready to say that God saves everyone and that hell doesn’t exist, but I do know that no matter what, God loves us all.

True, love is how Christians should be known. God loves everyone and has made a way for everyone to receive the gift of salvation. But God doesn’t force this gift on anyone and those who choose not to take it may one day have to take the consequences for it.

Now, is hell a real place of eternal torment or was it a dumping ground near Jerusalem that has nothing to do with punishment? There is a very real debate over this issue and I certainly don’t have the answer. The thing is, trying to get people ‘saved’ with the threat of spending eternity in hell is not the way to do it. People are truly changed by God’s love, and by God’s people living out that love to everyone they meet.

God does not want anyone to spend eternity in a place of torment. He has provided the way of escape if there is a hell. But we want to focus on the fact the God loves us all, and we want to accept and enjoy his love, not just escape the thought of eternal punishment.

When we love someone, we want to do things that please that person and make them happy. Same with God, we want to be pleasing to Him and do things for Him. We don’t do these things out of obligation, or because of rules and regulations. That’s law. We do them out of love and that is the way we should help lead others to Christ, through love.

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