The bible says this about people living in the end times, our time – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4.
That day, foreseen by the Lord and given to Paul to teach as a prophecy of the future apostasy of the church, has arrived. Who needs “sound teaching” anyway? You get a whole lot more people to fill the pews when you tell them what they want to hear, rather than what the revealed word of God clearly teaches. Pastors like Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church in Texas have built up a weekly audience of over 15,000 people by telling them that God “wants you to be rich.”
Similiarly, Pastor Rob Bell of the Mars Hill church has gained an audience of over 7,000 a week by teaching them “another gospel”. He has just written a book called “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.” The theme of this runaway bestseller? That maybe there is no actual Hell, maybe the bible was only using it to scare us, and that in the end everyone, including Hitler, and pedophiles and Al Capone, all get “reconciled to God”, and no one actually spends eternity in Hell. SPOILER ALERT: If Rod Bell is correct then Jesus is a liar and the bible is a useless book not fit for much of anything.
The rich man didn’t think there was a real Hell, either
The bible is a funny Book, God gives you all the space you want to BELIEVE what He wrote, or to reinterpret His words to suit your own level of disbelief. It’s up to you. But the bible also says that because people refused to believe the Truth, that God would send them a “stong delusion” so that they might “believe a lie”. Jesus taught about the reality of Hell, and warned against it greatly. Listen to the fate of the rich man in Luke 16 who died believing in what Rob Bell teaches.
“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” Luke 16.
Ok, so someone is lying about Hell then. Either the bible is deceiving you, or Rob Bell is. Which is it?
The traditionalist reaction is understandable, for Bell’s arguments about heaven and hell raise doubts about the core of the Evangelical worldview, changing the common understanding of salvation so much that Christianity becomes more of an ethical habit of mind than a faith based on divine revelation.
“When you adopt universalism and erase the distinction between the church and the world,” says Mohler, “then you don’t need the church, and you don’t need Christ, and you don’t need the cross. This is the tragedy of nonjudgmental mainline liberalism, and it’s Rob Bell’s tragedy in this book too.”
Particularly galling to conservative Christian critics is that Love Wins is not an attack from outside the walls of the Evangelical city but a mutiny from within — a rebellion led by a charismatic, popular and savvy pastor with a following.
Is Bell’s Christianity — less judgmental, more fluid, open to questioning the most ancient of assumptions — on an inexorable rise? “I have long wondered if there is a massive shift coming in what it means to be a Christian,” Bell says. “Something new is in the air.” source – Time
The Time magazine article ends with Pastor Bell, having dismissed the bible doctrine of Hell, smugly retorts that “something new is in the air”. Actually, Mr. Bell, it’s not something new, it’s something as old as the Devil himself. And you do his work when you teach lies and false doctrine, such as you have done with your book, “Love Wins”.
As we said at the start of this article, if Hell is not real, then Jesus is a bald-faced liar. Period. End of story. Now granted, you may not like the idea of a literal, burning Hell, Mr Bell. But your dislike of it does not remove it’s presence.
Indeed, there will be many in your church who, taught there is no Hell, will then rightly conclude on that basis that perhaps there is no literal Heaven, either. And having done that, Jesus Himself becomes a fairy tale. Why would a person like that ever feel the need to get saved? So they can be washed clean of their figurative sins?