“You are going to hell.”

Have you ever heard that one? Chances are you have. Maybe not put exactly like that, but more than likely you have been told by some ‘well meaning’ person something similar. Who knows, you may even have told someone that yourself.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father but by me.”

Did He say that if you don’t believe in Him then you will go to hell? Many think that. But He did not say that. He said that He will be the one to decide. He will make the choice. It all depends on Jesus.

There are many “true churches” here on earth. There is the Roman Catholic Church. There are the Mormons. There are the Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are the Seventh Day Adventists. So on and so forth. And of course, even within churches that don’t officially believe that they are the only way, there are people that do believe that if you don’t believe just as they do then you don’t stand a snowballs chance of going to Heaven.

Do you smell a hint of self-righteousness in all of this? I have been guilty of this same attitude from time to time. It’s natural. 

But I think we ought remember Jesus’ words, “Don’t judge others lest you be judged by the same standard.” 

None of us deserves to be saved from the fires of damnation. Not a one.

I pray that Jesus will be merciful to the undeserving and those that do not know Him. I pray that He will send forth His people into the paths of those that have not heard of the great things He has accomplished for them, and that He will fill the poor words of His people wih the power of His Holy Spirit that the unbelieving, by His grace alone, might believe.

For those of you that believe you belong to the only true church, I hope you understand that by excluding and judging others, you are just heaping more judgement upon yourself.

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11 Responses

  1. Steve – I’m not sure I fully understand the post.

    The Bible says ‘all liars will have their part in the lake of fire’. It also says that ‘do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’

    Because all have sinned (transgressed the law 1 John 3:4) against a holy and just God, we will all go to hell unless God the Father draws us to Jesus Christ who can save us from God’s wrath.

    This is not judging any one…this is simply what the Bible teaches.

    I don’t want anyone to go to hell. Thank you for praying that God will continue to raise up laborers to go into the fields. More than 500 of us did just that last Saturday night in Atlanta. We street preached…we witnessed…we had life changing coversations with lost people who are on their way to hell.

    Jesus said repent and trust the Gospel…the Gospel is all about Him. If we repent and trust Him He will by no means let us go. If we do not repent and trust the way, the truth and the life, we will go to hell.

    Maybe I misunderstood the intention of the post.

    Wayne

  2. Steve,
    I always tell people I hold out hope. The love of humanity, the love of the people around me, despite the fact that I don’t always get along with them, wants to see them all go to heaven. I really don’t want to see any one go to hell. But hell is a reality. It is there. Christ says he is the way, the truth, the live, apart from whom no one can come to the Father. Christ is the only hope the Bible offers for salvation. I can hope in a way that people outside of Christ will be saved in some manner, but I can’t trust in that hope, the way I can trust in the hope that is Jesus Christ. The sad fact is, and it is sad, there are people going to hell. God doesn’t want them to go there. He sent his son to die for them to prevent that, but there are people who won’t have that. They won’t listen. They won’t hear. I don’t want them to go to hell any more than Jesus does, but then I might at least warn them of hell, the possibility that they are going there.
    But you are right Christ is the ultimate judge of where one goes. He assures us who believe and have been baptized that we will be going to heaven. We have no such assurance for those who don’t believe. We are actually told something completely different about them, from a man who does not lie. Which really takes the wind out of my hope that maybe he will change his mind.
    So then you have my post today, “Let the Man who Teaches Another Gospel Go to Hell.” of course it doesn’t say send him there, just let him go there if he wants.

  3. Bror, Wayne,

    You guys are certainly right. The Bible speaks of hell and describes it as a place where unblievers go…by their own choice.

    My point is that I think there is no problem pointing this out (it’s the law after all), but to grab a hold of someone by the collar, especially someone you really don’t know, and tell them point blank “you are going to hell” maybe isn’t the best way to witness to the love of Christ. After all, it is the love of Christ for sinners that brings people to faith (we love because he first loved us). Scaring people into Heaven doesn’t get them there.

    Anyway, making people aware of the realities of hell and consequences of unbelief (I believe) is fine. But our emphasis ought be on the love of Christ for those of us (all of us) who deserve to go to hell.

    And since all of us are unbelievers at heart (our daily performance proves that), and certainly not worthy of His grace and mercy, I believe the emphasis therin might be more fruitful than the other way.

    And then there is the little matter that we really do not know where anyone’s eternal destiny is. Hence the admonition to not make judgments along those lines.

  4. Steve,
    Yes, now we are agreed on that.
    Now, for your information, I do believe I belong to the only true church outside of which everyone is going to hell. This church consists of many many woolly white black faced animals, whose breath smells of alfalfa, (Though on Sundays I swear I can smell blood on the breath of these herbivores) The curious thing is they are always listening to this one shepherd. Other sheperds come and try to pull these animals away, they offer them greener pastures and cleaner water, but the sheep just stay, because the voice of this shepherd is so sweet to listen to. Not to mention that this shepherd with the sweet voice, always chanting out there in the field, your sins are forgiven, regularly beats the tar out of these other shepherds, returning with the same wounds time after time, nail holes in his hands, and a nasty deep gash in his side. Maybe that is where the blood I smell on Sunday comes from, must drip out on the alfalfa these woolly white creatures with the black faces eat.
    Anyway that is the church I belong to, do you belong to a different one?

  5. Bror,

    That’s the same church I’m also (I knew that was coming from you…what took you so long?)

  6. You’re slipping, Bror. I expected that response from you yesterday.

  7. Busy day yesterday, translating and so on. You know us pastors have more to do than just blog. like this afternoon I have to go Grouse hunting. I might write a sermon too. Not sure on that last one yet. Takes me a while sometimes.

  8. You pastors have it rough. Grouch hunting, sermon writing…

    Blogging and taking photos(that no one will buy)…now that’s real work.

    And in these parts, we don’t have to hunt for Grouches, they are coming out of the woodwork.

  9. I do hunt grouches every once in a while. normally down in your parts. There is one is see driving around in this funk vehicle that says Sportzart. But this afternoon it is grouse don’t go to jail for shooting those.

  10. It doesn’t sound as exciting as backyard pigeon hunting, but I hope you have a good time and bag a couple of dem (no political connotation) birds.

  11. Steve,
    You should head on over to Cranach. Great discussion going on there.

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