ADDoration Ministries
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

Is there a hell?

IS THERE A HELL?

We prefer that something else be the foremost reason to seek a spiritual walk with Jesus. However the reason I address this question at all is because a vast percentage of our population has been exposed to "fire and brimstone" type of preaching. Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart is an example of this. The problem with excess focus on hell is that people come to believe that the foremost reason to live a Christian life is to avoid going to hell. Also they come to believe that it is the foremost reason to become "saved."

There is this joke. Christians in mainline churches say, "There ain't no hell," while Fundamentalists exclaim, "The hell there ain't!!!"

I believe that there is a hell; however it isn't a literal unquenchable fire down below. In summary, hell is separation from God. It is the absence of experiencing Jesus's love. More accurately, Jesus loves you regardless; however obstacles can interfere with experiencing that love.

The Bible uses figurative language and imagery in describing hell. Something that is in eternity, such as hell, cannot really be described in terms that you and I are familiar with. Consequently scripture writers used imagery, such as John's battle of Armageddon in Revelation, including fire and brimstone. Jesus spoke of gnashing of teeth, along with other images. At any rate, the scripture writers wanted to communicate that hell is a experience that you wouldn't want. Centuries later, Dante's Inferno modified the popular image of hell, including a red devil with horns, tail, and pitchfork, along with the fire down below.

There are obstacles to God's grace, that are more commonly called "sin." These obstacles often separate us from experiencing Jesus's love. Many people have a set of rules for avoiding hell; however the obstacles don't correlate with any set of rules. Sometimes rigidity about a set of rules is a hell in itself.

Instead a Christian's foremost focus ought to be love. God is Love. Jesus is Love. The Holy Spirit is Love. The epistle 1John especially describes God as love. Fortunately for believers in Christ, "Love covers a multitude of sins" (1Peter 4:8). As witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our primary message to the unbelieving world ought to be the love of Jesus.

Most of all, Jesus died on the cross, to buy our pardon. Jesus is fully aware that mortals will fall short and cannot fully comply with all of the rules. God is willing to justify us with grace, as a free gift.

Focusing on hell is a negative approach. In contrast, focusing on Jesus's love is a positive approach. Let us accentuate the positive. Our loving Jesus did not intend for us to live in inner turmoil from fearing eternity.

In case of judgment day -- the real criterion. (click here)

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries

P.S. It did come to mind that I have a red font on the heading of this writing about hell. However red also symbolizes a number of positive spiritual things, such as the first Pentecost and Moses's burning bush. The United Methodist logo has a red flame around the cross. Red can mean the flame of our fervor for Jesus's love. But, my main reason for red font headings is contrast with the other text.