Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Hell Is a Bummer, Dude. (But Hell Is All Too Real.)

Popular author and Director of Eternal Perspective Ministries Randy Alcorn asked Julia Stager, a young student at Western Seminary, to address the subject of universalism, a very old heresy that has gained new traction in religious circles the last couple of decades.

Julia does a good job.

Here are a few excerpts:

...The Bible taken as a whole presents a much stronger case against Universalism than for it.

A partial truth is no truth at all. Universalism promotes its partial truths at the expense of the complete biblical truth. Christ himself refutes Universalism every time he speaks of Hell, and he spoke about it more than anyone in Scripture. Since Christ clearly taught that not everyone will go to Heaven, and that some will go to Hell, it is logically inconsistent to claim to follow Christ and also be a Universalist...

The Scriptures do say God is love, but our understanding of love is easily perverted. It’s popular today to tolerate and accept various heresies that claim to be true love. Love is exalted (rightly) while holiness is glossed over (wrongly). Ignoring the problem of sin and its consequences in the name of “love” does not actually solve anything. Theological discussions are frowned upon as divisive. People resist a faith they have to defend because, after all, who could argue against love? Why should we debate doctrine when we could just love each other instead? Doesn’t God win when love wins?

Yes, he does – just differently than how the Universalists think of it. God wins when truth wins. God is love and truth. Love does not and cannot exist apart from truth. By truth and love we are to encourage each other in the way of righteousness (Hebrews 10:24), save people as out of the fire (Jude 12-13), warn them against apostasy that leads to death (Hebrews 6:4-6), explain the consequences of not obeying the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8), and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)…

Read the whole column here.