Wednesday, October 23, 2013

HELL – Does It Really Exist and Why Would a Loving God Send Anyone There?

Continuing Ross Douthat's observations from the NY Times editorial, "One hell of a good idea:"

The writer then goes on to discuss the main character of the HBO series, “The Sopranos.”

            “The HBO hit is a portrait of damnation freely chosen: Chase made audiences
            freely love Tony Soprano, and then made us watch as the mob boss traveled
            so deep into iniquity – refusing every opportunity to turn back – that it was hard
            to imagine him ever coming out.”

            The Sopranos never suggested that Tony was beyond forgiveness, But, by the
            end, it suggested that he was beyond ever genuinely asking for it.”
The thought-provoking editorial ends with the question, “Is Tony Soprano really in heaven?”

Along this same line, how about Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and all of the countless other tyrants and terrorists this world has known?   The editorial implies that many want to make God seem more human or humane, but think about the implication.  Do we want a God who is as bad, guilty, and unjust as the rest of us? 

Actually, there is such a “god” – one who is described in the Bible as “the god of this world,”  but you may know him by the name / title Lucifer, Satan, the devil.   The Apostle Paul reminds believers in Jesus of their former condition before they chose to believe in Jesus:

            Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.  You used
 to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of powers
.in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey
God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of
our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone
else.  Ephesians 2:1-3 New Living Translation

No, we do not need a god who is more human / humane.  We need a God who is able to make humans divine:
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God
reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven
and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.  This includes you who
were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by
your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself
through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought
you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand
before him without a single fault.
            Colossians 1:19-22  New Living Translation

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