The Lord reminded me this morning that He is in charge of justice, not me. I am to present the aletheia truth, to seek it no matter where it takes me, and to stand on it. As for the false teachers, the Bible lays out a very unpleasant future. The Apostle Peter reminds us of this in 2 Peter 2:4-11, particularly in verse 4:
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…”
He goes on to list that God spared only Noah and his family during the Flood and Lot at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He then assures us that if we have a God who will do what He did, we can count on our God to deal with present-day false teachers:
“…then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” (2 Peter 2:9)
One question I would ask of Rob Bell is if there is no hell, no fear of eternal punishment on Judgment Day, what does he imagine is going to happen? The future of the wicked is sure, at least according to Scripture:
“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek…” (Romans 2:5-9)
Beloved, we can be sure of God’s righteous judgment. And should we not? Are we not a people who want justice? Are not our senses greatly offended when criminals get away with their crimes because some liberal judge wanted to show compassion? Should we not have the same response to Mr. Bell’s teaching of a God who withholds His righteous judgment? A personal note to Mr. Bell: no matter how many books you write, sermons you preach, or interviews you give to the contrary, Scripture is clear about God’s final judgment:
“…in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
I would be curious to hear Mr. Bell and others who preach the nonsense of no literal hell how they imagine God will punish nonbelievers “with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” Beloved, feelgood preaching may feel good, but it is heresy.
My dear friends, if there is no literal hell, then the gospel is not true and Jesus is a liar; ditto for the New Testament writers. There are so many verses in the Bible contrary to Mr. Bell’s teaching that you would either have to black out or cut out them, to the point that you may just as well burn it.
Salvation is an exclusive thing; Jesus meant it to be so let’s stop preaching an all-inclusive gospel! The writer of Hebrews warned us against neglecting salvation through Christ:
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” (Hebrews 2:1-4)
How shall we escape indeed!
I would be curious to get Mr. Bell’s commentary on this passage in the Bible:
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)
And if “Love Wins” then clearly there can be no second death as is written in the passage above and the verse below:
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
Dear ones, let us embrace of what the writer of Hebrews warns us. Let us not drift away from the true gospel of salvation for there is no escape, regardless of what any human being would teach. Commenting on 2 Peter 2 our old friend Matthew Henry puts it clearly and succinctly:
Believers are cautioned against false teachers, and the certainty of their punishment.
Let us trust the Word as true.
Let us believe in a Righteous Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us believe in a literal hell.
Let us forsake the depravity of all false teachers.
More on that tomorrow…
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please click here and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject.”
Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers