As promised in my tweet the other day, I have listened to the unbelievable podcast and I will now reveal to you whether or not there is a Hell.
Actually that's slightly inaccurate, the existence of Hell wasn't in question; it was whether or not it was conscious eternal punishment, Steve Jeffery's view, or permanent annihilation of the body and soul, Chris Date's view.
Before you read on I feel I must refer you to my tag-line above; I'm not theologically trained, I just have opinions I'm happy to offer.
So this post really isn't going to be based on exegesis, it's simply going to come from the heart of the way I feel about eternity.
Matthew 25:46 ESV
"And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Surely Hell has to be an eternal conscious punishment? I can't say in what form the punishment will take. I understand the reference of Hell as Gehenna to be the sacrificial fire, so I don't know if it's a big burning place in eternity or not, but essentially whatever it is, I believe it will be for eternity and it won't be pretty.
Why would it be so imperative as Christians to be evangelical with the message of God's love? Why would God desperately want no-one to experience Hell and for us all to come to Him and accept His son died in our places so we could avoid it? Because it is eternal, there is no getting away from it.
I do not believe in the tactic of Hell-fire vs Heaven, but it's gotta be more urgent to flee Hell-fire than to flee annihilation.
Matthew 10:28 ESV
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
I'm not a Christian because I'm frightened of Hell, but I certainly don't want to go there! But annihilation holds no fear for me.
Some people would say I know nothing anyway, so to be clueless for eternity isn't going to make much difference. Sure, we may be missing out on Heaven and maybe that is deemed to be the real punishment, but really, will that bother anyone if they are unaware of it?
I've missed hundreds of fantastic parties I knew nothing about; actually I can't really say I missed them because I didn't know anything about them, ergo, it doesn't bother me, I just get on with my life......... or not.......... in the case of the annihilation theory.
Whatever your thoughts that Hell may or may not be, I think as believing Christians, we all know that most importantly we have an eternal place in Heaven; and that is open to everyone.
Romans 10:13 ESV
"For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”