Hell

This article is a quick brain-fart inspired by an article here.

I have often wondered what it means to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. What does it mean to believe, and follow, Jesus? Would it be possible for someone to do so without even knowing it, or more importantly, calling it Christianity?

Jesus placed a lot of emphasis on doing – picking up your cross (Mark 8:34), following (not just believing in) his teachings (Matthew 7: 24-27) etc. For someone who has never heard the name Jesus (which is, after all, just a word; He is also called Yeshua, Jesu, Ihu, in various countries), how does God’s redemptive plan cater for them? Is Jesus simply a name we use to buy our ticket to heaven, or is He more? A way of life, perhaps? A role-model of the ideal relationship with God? All this and more? And what about the people who went to heaven, like Elijah (2 Kings 2:4), before Jesus was born?

Surely the salvation of the souls of the world does not rest solely on the shoulders of Christians? Heaven forbid! Paul tells us that, thanks to Jesus, we now have the privilege of participating in His redemptive work by walking paths already prepared for us by God (Ephesians 2:10). Note, however, it is God’s work, not ours. If the salvation of mankind was the sole responsibility of Christians, that would be a grave situation indeed for those who we fail to reach, are too lazy to reach, or those to whom Christ has been gravely misrepresented.

As Mother Theresa has said, we cannot know how God appears in the hearts of others. Yes, I do believe that as Christians we have an imperative to share the Good News (note, not the Bad News), just as a beggar would tell another beggar where to find bread. But for those millions of beggars who, for one reason or another have never heard of Jesus, or have an erroneous impression of him due to misrepresentation by Christians……what of them?

We must trust that God looks at the hearts of all men (1 samuel 16:1-13) and that He is fair to judge those hearts in His way, not ours. I know one thing – I’ve heard the Good News about Jesus, and I believe it. I am a sinner, but each day I desperately look for Jesus. In all honestly, I have no idea exactly who is going to Heaven or Hell. But neither do any of us. As Desmond Tutu once said, “We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners.” Amen to that.

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~ by humblemonkey on November 27, 2007.

2 Responses to “Hell”

  1. Thanks for the link to “Necessary Therapy”. As you know, it was inspired by the Mother Teresa quote in one of your posts (what goes around comes around). If this is a brain fart, you might say it has, like a prayer, risen up like sweet incense to the heavens.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. nice thoughts.

    Sam harvey pointed my to a great article recently on the “waterfall of souls heading to hell” thinking. Ask him about it when you see him next. The hell discussion on pistolpete’s blog seems to have it’s origins in the evangelical traditions of hell. I wonder what perspectives others in the xtian faith would be able to bring to that discussion.

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