Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What we really believe.

"While most of us Christians believe in some kind of hell, we usually just don't bring it up much. It is an unpleasant subject and leads to too many questions about the character of God. Hell is that crazy doctrine that we keep locked in the basement of our belief systems. We all know that it is there, chained to the underbelly of the theology of the holiness of God. We hope that it stays in the shadows and never comes up in conversation. Why? Because if people found out what we really believed they would think we were radicals, extremists, and kooks. If hell isn't real, then maybe we are [radicals, extremists, and kooks].

But if it is real, then why aren't we more intense, more aggressive, more intentional, more urgent? If hell is real (and the Bible says it is) then we should be motivated to keep as many people we can out of it - friends, foes, teachers, classmates, coworkers, teammates, family members, strangers. . . everybody." -Greg Stier in his book Dare2Share

If we could only see the afterlife, we might be less scared of men and their opinions. Why are we scared in the first place?

Here is a quote from a Christian Universalist website called The Tentmaker:

"Many of us who have been subjected to the terrorism of Hell do not respond as emotionally as some of the people represented in the above testimonials. We are more hard-hearted. We have learned to "back-file" the teaching of Hell. We suppress it in our subconscience because if we did allow it to be on our minds daily, we would go crazy. It is those who are unable to bury the teaching in their subconscience whose lives are most severely destroyed by the teaching of Hell. The fact that most Christians believe unbelievers are going to Hell but they do little to no evangelizing proves they are really very heartless people or that they have buried the belief deep in the back of their minds. If average Christians REALLY believed in Hell fully, they would spend much more of their time trying to save the lost. The fact is, only a few percentage points of Christians ever share their faith with anyone."

Do we really believe?


Mike Jones said...

Good post. Glad to see you back.

sandytrif said...

Big ouchie on this one. I really don't know why I don't share the gospel more. Really what do I have to be afraid of? I am concerned with those lost around me who are destined for hell~like my unsaved family members. So great question~why don't I share?

JimmyBob said...

Maybe we're afraid of invading someone else's privacy. We have this built in idea that religion is a very personal and private thing.

To just strike up a conversation about Jesus is awkward. Especially with people you don't know very well or at all.

This is why the reality of hell is such a powerful motivation to share. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and gives us a sense of urgency to share. Or at least it causes us to think more about sharing and therefore we remain open for the Holy Spirit to lead us in opportunities.