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Posts Tagged ‘hell’

Mart De Haan of the Radio Bible Class fame has posted an article about his thoughts on Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins” and all I can say is – where had the backbone of the evangelical church gone? Why do we have to feel like we need to make some apologetic sounding remarks in order to “protect” God. We didn’t make up hell, God did! That’s what the Bible teaches, that’s what Jesus taught! So there is no reason to hope on some sentimentality that hell is not a place of eternal torment, nor that God will really judge us forever in that place. I for one place my trust in the truth revealed to us by Christ himself. Anyway, you can read his article by following the link below; and then pray for the man and all who seem to be climbing on the fence when it comes to this extremely clear biblical doctrine.

Been Thinking About » Whether “Love Wins”… or not.

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If you have not yet heard the special bonus edition of the White Horse Inn where the usual cast of characters discuss Rob Bell’s book on hell you can find the audio here:

Heaven & Hell (Monergism).

By the way what are your thoughts on this issue of hell?

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As I stated earlier, the reviews of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins are going to be numerous. And, there is no doubt in my mind that we will have to rehash all the same old arguments that have been given in times past as each new generation of liberals works to repackage the same old and well worn lies of the liberals of previous generations. That being said, Dr. Moore has highlighted a point from Bell’s book that cuts to the heart of the matter in that Bell drains the gospel of the blood of Jesus Christ, the very key and central truth of the gospel itself. You can read his comments by following the link below, and as you read his post think of this – if Rob Bell is teaching a different gospel, then it is no gospel at all and he is cursed and all who believe his gospel remain the objects of God’s wrath and are condemned already.

Moore to the Point by Russell D. Moore.

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Kevin DeYoung is the first out of the gate with a review of Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins,” but probably not the last considering the great disturbance that was created with the announcement of the book all over Twitter, Facebook and the numerous blog posts.

Follow the link below to get the full review:

God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins” – Kevin DeYoung.

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Part 1.  If Christ Suffered Hell for Everyone, Then What Are Those in Hell Doing There?

 John Owen writes:

 … “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6)… it seems strange to me that Christ should undergo the pains of hell in their stead who lay in the pains of hell before he underwent those pains, and shall continue in them to eternity; for “their worm dieth not, neither is their fire quenched.” To which I may add this dilemma to our Universalists:— God imposed his wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the pains of hell for, either all the sins of all men, or all the sins of some men, or some sins of all men. If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved; for if God enter into judgment with us, though it were with all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in his sight: “If the Lord should mark iniquities, who should stand?” (Ps. 130:3). We might all go to cast all that we have “to the moles and to the bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty” (Isa. 2:20-21). If the second, that is it which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the world. If the first, why, then, are not all freed from the punishment of all their sins? You will say, “Because of their unbelief; they will not believe.” But this unbelief, is it a sin or not? If not, why should they be punished for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not. If so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died from partaking of the fruit of his death? If he did not, then did he not die for all their sins. Let them choose which part they will. (Owen, 61-62)

 After quoting Isaiah 53:6, Owen points out that it makes no sense that Christ would die for the sins of those who were already in hell before He died.  Those who are in hell are there forever, and so Christ’s death for them would be meaningless.  Owen then presents three options for what Christ’s death accomplished by way of sin-forgiveness:

  1.  Christ died for all the sins of all people.
  2. Christ died for all the sins of some people.
  3. Christ died for some of the sins of all people.

Starting with Option #3, Owen states that if this is true, then all people will have some sins to answer for.  It is a foregone conclusion with Owen, as it should be for us, that if we were to be held accountable for even one of our most modest, innocuous sins, as our consciences might perceive them, we would be justifiably damned for all eternity.  We cannot bear under the weight of God’s judgment for even one sin (Ps. 130:3).  And so, option 3 must be ruled out.

 Owen then states that he affirms Option #2.  He will spend the remainder of his book defending this position.

 As for Option #1, Owen asks the million dollar question: If this is true, then why are not all freed from the punishment of sin?  The first and most common response might be, “Well, because the gift must be received by faith; a person must believe.”  And this response is true, to a point.  One must receive Christ’s gift of salvation by believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  Faith is an integral part of salvation   Without faith, no one pleases God.  But a critical question must be asked: “But isn’t unbelief a sin as well?  And if it is a sin, then didn’t Christ die for that sin as well?” 

 Again, there are two possible responses.  Either unbelief is a sin for which Christ suffered and died, like all other sins, or unbelief is not a sin for which Christ suffered and died.   

 t might help us first to define the purpose of Christ’s suffering and death. Rom. 3:25 says, “God put Christ forward as a propitiation by His blood to be received by faith.”  A propitiation is a wrath-bearer.  God unleashed all of His wrath upon Christ, punishing our sins in Him on the cross.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake, He made Him to be sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Incidentally, Charles Spurgeon says that this is why we should never say, “God is punishing me for my sins.”  If we are a child of God, He cannot punish us anymore, ever!  There is, in fact, nothing left to punish.  Christ bore it all in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24).  God expended all of His wrath against our sins upon Christ. 

 And so, if Christ died for all sins, including the sin of unbelief, and if Christ died for all people, then what about those who are now in hell?  What are they doing there?  Hell is God’s eternal and inextinguishable wrath against sinners who are not in Christ.  But if all sins have been punished in Christ, including unbelief, then those who are suffering in hell are suffering for nothing.  Their suffering is, in fact, a mockery of Christ’s suffering, since Christ already suffered in their place.  As John Piper says, “What are these flames licking at?”[1]

 Remember that God’s wrath was borne by Christ for all our sins, and were we to be held accountable for even one of our own sins, we would be damned.  Now if unbelief is a sin, and if Christ did not die for that sin, then belief is not an act of grace.  And if it is not an act of grace (that is, an act we are enabled to carry out by grace.  Remember, grace comes through Jesus Christ), then it is a work.  And we must remember that no one can be saved by works.  Ephesians 2:8 makes that clear.

 Owen doesn’t address this point, but what about the unbelief of a Christian prior to belief.  Many of us spent years in unbelief before we believed.  If that sin is unforgivable – unforgivable because Christ did not die for it – then grace does not extend to us for that sin while we were still in it, and we are all condemned for those years we spent in unbelief.  But, as Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  The fact that we believed after we had disbelieved shows that Christ forgives disbelief, and therefore died for it.

 The cross was that place in time and history where Christ underwent “hell” for those of us who would put our trust in Him.  Those who do not believe must undergo that hell for themselves for all eternity. 

 And so Owen makes his first strong case that those who are in hell because of sinful unbelief were not, in fact, those for whom Christ died.  If Christ did die for them, then why are they even there?


[1] From John Piper’s sermon For Whom Did Jesus Taste Death?

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From Lane Chaplin’s YouTube channel – you can find more video’s here.

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From CBC Evangelism

This sermon is so magnificent in its exhalation of Christ and the final judgment that it will move you to repentance, gratitude and ACTION!!

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