Much of the discussion of hell has been framed by trying to ask better questions. In this video, Chan asks some questions of his own that are relevant and helpful in shaping our perspective on keeping God in his proper place. We have to let God shape us and not the other way around. Chan says that when we get to difficult passages in the Bible it is important to remember that maybe God knows something that we don’t. I look forward to his new book coming out in July – Erasing Hell.
There are a few things that I find interesting in the current debate about hell.
- No one is questioning heaven. Jesus said he was preparing a place for us but he also said there was a place for those who disbelieve and are in rebellion. He separates sheep and goats, each to their own place. Much of the language about “heaven” also includes language about hell. If you question hell then why not question heaven?
- Revelation 20 is often taken to be so figurative that even the fiery torment forever and ever either is not forever and ever or is just a fire to purify the rebellious into heaven. If all will be saved, what about the devil? That passage mentions his judgment as well. Will the devil be saved too through his fiery judgment?
- I agree with Chan that there are some passages that don’t say what I thought and then other passages that weigh in on hell that I didn’t realize were there…can we honestly and objectively lay all the cards on the table and come to some solid conclusions?
- It seems some have a hard time with free will. Love requires a choice. Something forced is not love. If out of God’s perfect love he gives all a choice of who they will follow is it possible that all will eventually, if given enough time, choose him? That defies the very definition of choice. We either have choice or we don’t. Some are saying that all will eventually turn to God even if it is postmortem (what about Luke 16:26?).
HT Philip C