Ultimate Reconciliation? The Hell With It!
Wayne and Brad plow through a potpourri of topics that listeners have recently asked about. They start with a delightful story about how God's gifts can frustrate us in the early stages, but only because God is preparing for the growth he is working in us. They talk about spiritual warfare and why they don't seem to talk a lot about the devil. Then they climb on the third rail of Christianity today by probing the reality of hell and the possibility of ultimate reconciliation. In doing so they discover once again that God wants to invite us into his reality, not answer all of our questions about things we cannot see from our current vantage point.
Wow I really liked the bike analogy. I loved the still doing the Sunday thing but living outside the box.
Helps me answer that question both directions, those who have stopped going to church and think they are better than… and those that think I am in the desert and that is why I am not going to church.
The rest of the podcast was exhausting. Honestly, where I am today, I feel like if the “body” expended the energy that is spent on arguing about heaven and hell, on actually “being” the church life on this side would be very different.
My former Ind. Baptist pastor said more than once, that if he didn’t believe that Hell really existed, then he wouldn’t be preaching. I think that is really sad.
I enjoyed this podcast. The voice of reason.
Dear Wayne and Brad,
I listened to your broadcast on ‘Ultimate Recociliation’ and although I was a bit disappointed in your rather jovial and carefree attitude toward the the subject ( have you really given much thought to the unbearable anguish the subject of ‘eternal torment’ has brought to so many people?), I, at least, have to commend you both for being as open to the subject as you are (most of mainstream Christianity are totally closed to it).
I have no doubt that are both sincerely open to Truth. That being said, I believe you’d both be greatly benefitted by taking a closer look at this subject. If you’re really willing, as you say, to think ‘outside the box’ I really feel it would be well worth your time to reexamine the subject of Univeral Reconcilliation more closely.
There are all of the ‘rational’ arguments, of course, such as “If Jesus came to be the “Savior of the world” and He failed to do just that, then He ‘missed the mark’ I.E. He SINNED! He failed in his goal to save the world!
Or how about this one… If Jesus suffered the penalty for our sin, and that penalty was ‘eternal torment’, then why isn’t He presently being tormented in hell?
Then there are the arguments of history…the early post apostolic Church Fathers (I. E. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and many, many others…all believed in and taught Universalism) It wasn’t until the Roman church was in full blown apostasy in 523 A. D. that it finally pronounced the teaching of Universalism anathema. It’s obvious they needed a “FEAR” element to keep the masses of unregenerate peoples ‘In check’.
Finally, there’s the argument of scripture itself… an objective study of the original Greek and Hebrew languages will bear out the real meanings behind some of the questionable words,(such as ‘hell’ ‘eternal’ and ‘everlasting’ and ‘torment’.
Guys, there are many good books available on the subject, I would encourage you to pursue the subject further:
“THE INESCAPABLE LOVE OF GOD” by thomas Talbott
“HOPE BEYOND HELL” by Gerry Beaucemen
“CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM” by Eric Stetson
These are just a few of the good books available. If you are truly ‘Thinking outside the box’ you owe it to yourslves to at least examine the subject further.
Lastly, just some food for thought… once you insert a ‘FEAR’ element into the Gospel (TURN OR BURN), it ceases to be ‘Good News’. For God to solicit our affection with the threat of eternal damnation, if we refuse is… shall I say it?…RAPE!!!
I love you guys! I praise God for your ministry! I know you have hearts for Him. AMEN!
I was hoping for more on this podcast, but appreciate you at least tackling the issue. One thing that does not sit well with me is you mention that hell is a place for those who don’t want to be with God. Now if God truly reveals himself to a person, who in their right mind would choose the alternative, whatever it may be. And that begs the question,how does one make that choice, ?
Stop going to church and reading your bible ? or perhaps you are a “sinner in the world” that hears the message and just is not sure, so does nothing with it ? Does that qualify for as such a choice..
These are difficult questions..
Thanks for linking this from ‘Slap a Calvinist’. I’ve been transitioning for some years toward “a life lived loved” and away from being a pharisee. The podcasts over the last year have been great for me!
I’ve been questioning the stuff around spiritual warfare and all the stuff that comes with it. I know it was just a small part of the podcast. It’s funny, as I set here listening, a friend of mine called to ask if I’d be coming tonight to pray for the city. 🙂 I know he would tell me, “but just think how bad things would be if we weren’t praying.” I don’t know…I continue to search the scriptures to validate the need for this type of deal, and I’m just not finding it…but our gatherings together over the last few years have become much more of a relational gathering to work on a friendship with one another, praying for friends and situations (real, individual people), and getting to know Father better, rather than sweating out the night yelling about some abstract thing or binding this and declaring that…
Thanks for the conversation, Wayne and Brad!
Brad / Wayne, I love the God Journey but I wonder have you swung the pendulum too far on this one. The greek mindset speaks of either/or while the Hebrew mindset speaks of on the one hand this/ on the other hand that. It is in this context that we can begin to understand the reconciliation between the Love of God (which suggests all go to heaven) and the Holiness of God (which suggests hell for all). The cross brings sense to all this (while being an offense to the universalists). Jesus went to hell, like all who died before him (though some were kept safe in Abraham’s bosom) and the hope of escape is in Him alone. When you raise children you seek to lovingly encourage and coax them to do good but there are times of severe warnings also. Such warnings do not deny our love for them but recognizes the grave consequences of ongoing defiance. We live in an unredeemed humanistic world where God is simply seen as a means to an end (happiness and heaven) and not an end in HImself (to be worshipped). The average unredeemed person has no desire for an eternity of worship. SIn brings punishment to people on this earth and many call it their hell yet the truth is that this is their heaven while for those who follow Jesus in the new life this beautiful but fallen planet is their hell (relatively speaking). I understand where you are coming from but would respectfully suggest that we should not only warn of hell while speaking of the wonders of our saviour but do so with love in our heart and tears in our eyes. God takes no pleasure in seeing any person ending up in a Christless place which was not even created for them, a place of no grace. I met Jesus at aged 23 and I know that I deserve hell and would have gone there had I died before my new birth (“perished’ as referred to in John 3:16) I was drawn in by God’s love but stepped into HIs kingdom over the threshold of a godly repentance from sin (all by His grace). Let me know your thoughts. Keep up the good work. Your brother in Jesus from Ireland Anthony
Rob makes a good comment: many suffer with this subject and need light. The word of not caring whether there is a hell or not seems like trying to ignore the words of scripture. It is there. It won’t go away by ignoring it. It is a good perspective for some for sure, the one you brothers are espousing. And i found some encouragement in your podcast. Thanks. Studying out the words “hell” etc with word studies does show that Jesus was serious about the subject. To take it like a “good old boy” and giggle away about it like little girls is immaturity in the extreme. It’s there brother, in the words of our Lord. Do we make light of it only because we do not want to take it soberly ? He siad his words are spirit and life. So his words on hell are also life and good for us to hear and study. Knowing these things enables us to help people. It’s part of the knowing God you so proudly and rightly proclaim. We will not all know these in depth—nor need to. The subject is old. And it is a fighting thing to many. We cannot avoid it and maintain integrity with people who need help here. Your help is valuable–for sure– a little more respect for the Lord’s words migjt be necessary. Jesus talked of the subject soberly, why don’t we ? No one is really helped by your flippnat attitude. In a job interview it’s said, ” you can get bye on charm for five minutes—after that, you better know something” . Paul the apostle could move in any culture partly because he did have such extensive wisdom on this and many other subjects. we need every part of the body, yours too, it is appreciated. I heard brother lawrence’s wisdom in your words however, he said, ” even if i thought i’d go to hell, God is so great, i’d still serve him all of this life anyway. ” When we see we really do deserve hell , then we become candidates to see the Lord’s greater revelation on this subject . He does have a plan to save all people. And scriptures declare it. How it is worked out we can know some of now, and later we will see. I did like that about your conclusion.