Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bell's hell

I listened with real dismay to Rob Bell speaking on the Unbelievable? radio show.

He tries to prise open a door that the Lord Himself shuts.  He expresses his desire and belief that there will be an open door and a way back for the lost throughout all eternity, and eventually the last lost soul will find his way out and come back to God.  The hope will never be realised, and his dream will never be a reality.

He seems to find it unbelievable that people would knock on the door and the Lord would refuse to open it, yet that's exactly what the Lord said would happen (Matthew 7 v 21-23; Luke 13 v 24-28).

Bell's hell is corrective rather than punitive, but that's not the hell of the Bible.  The Bible's hell is not for correction, it is the sentence passed upon the guilty for the crimes they have committed.  The language of Scripture simply offers no hope of early release (Mark 9 v 42-49; Matthew 25 v 41, 46; 2 Thessalonians 1 v 7-9; Revelation 14 v 10-11).

But what about those Scriptures that talk about all things being reconciled?  This does his view no favours.  Look at Colossians 1 v 20, it speaks about all things on earth and in heaven being reconciled unto Himself; Ephesians 1 v 10 is similar in speaking about all things in Christ in heaven and on earth being gathered together in one.  Note that in these passages there are two categories, on earth and in heaven, and the "all things" are connected to, and in relationship with, Christ.  But what we have in Philippians 2 v 10 is significantly different - a third category is introduced which will bow the knee and acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord - those under the earth.  The point is clear, celestial, terrestrial and infernal regions will acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord, but for those in infernal regions there is no reconciliation.  The unrepentant will not be in heaven and are banished from earth, and then there will be perfect harmony between heaven and earth.

The Lord said He was the one who shuts and no one opens (Revelation 3 v 7).  The Lord has shut the door and turned the key upon the unrepentant, and no one, not even Rob Bell can open it.  The good news is the door of salvation is open now, little wonder the Lord urged people to make it their first priority to enter in.  There will be those who for all eternity will be on the outside of a closed door (Matthew 25 v 10-12), and the wrong side of a fixed gulf (Luke 16 v 26).  The door will never be opened, and the gulf will never be bridged.  Enter the door while you can - now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6 v 2). 

Once you enter salvation's door, you can never be lost, but once you enter hell's door, no matter what Rob Bell says, you can never be saved.