2 Timothy 4:3-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
I know I shouldn’t be, because, as I just quoted, God has repeatedly warned us this would be the case, but I am always amazed at how many people claim to love God while trying to push Him off his throne so they can take His seat. Several weeks ago, I found myself dealing with people who want to reject the Apostle Paul. These past two weeks and today, it is people claiming that God’s love will save almost everyone, and that very few will end up in hell. Well, I have read the Scriptures and I am here to tell you, this is a lie! God’s love will not save you from hell. It take something more than God’s love and and here’s why I say this:
First, I want to share just one of the many stories I have encountered where people claim that God loves us too much to condemn us to burn in hell for eternity.
Let me explain what Rob Bell leaves out of his message, then I’ll share what Christ had to say about hell and who will spend eternity there.
Yes, God is love, but He is agape love. When Scripture tells us God is love, it does not mean love in the sense that our society understands the word. We have so perverted the meaning of love that we no longer have any understanding of agape love. If someone were to tell us that agape love means putting yourself last and others first, but that it also means holding them to account for everything they do and correcting them when they do wrong, most of us would be tempted to object out of hand. Yet, this is agape love. So it is understandable that so many would accept the idea that God would not condemn us because He loves us, but believing this lie will end in tragedy for all those who do not learn why this is not true and turn to the only thing that can save them: an acceptance of and total reliance in and on Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God, as Lord and Savior of our lives.
Now, please, read these next paragraphs very carefully. It is absolutely crucial that you understand the concept and their relationship to each other.
God is more than just love! This is where so many people go wrong; they forget, do not know or ignore the other qualities of God’s nature. Above all else, God is Holy. This means He cannot be in the presence of or even look upon sin. God is also perfect justice. This means He will not bend His laws — not in the least little bit. But we are all sinners and the penalty for sin is eternal death:
Romans 6:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is God’s law. We have all broken it. We all deserve death — eternity in hell. God cannot change this: because He is perfect justice, He must condemn every sinner to hell. However, because God loves us, He has made provision to save each and every one of us. In ancient times, you could buy a slaves freedom. This was known as ‘redeeming‘ that person. Since we are all slaves to sin, and condemned to the consequences of sin, and because He loves us, God made provision to ‘redeem’ us; to save us from slavery to sin and from its consequences. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, who died in our place. Jesus died for each of us, so that our sins may be forgiven and we may be acquitted — not found innocent, but acquitted of our sins. But you must accept Christ as your Lord and Savior in order to be covered by His redeeming blood. This means you must trust in Christ, not in yourself or other men. It also means you must make Him the Lord of your life: give yourself over to Him, His commands and His control. You must die to yourself and be re-born in His Spirit. Anything less than this results in a guilty verdict, which will result in eternity in hell.
This is the essence of the Gospel, itself — that Christ died for you, so that your sins may be forgiven — so it is sound doctrine. It is what Scripture actually teaches, in both the Old and New Testament (If you doubt this, read Job. Job deduces all of this before any Scripture had been revealed by God). The problem is with us. We are sinful by nature, so we rebel against God. Rather than humble ourselves and submit to God’s authority, we would rather make up our own laws and pretend that we speak for God in the process. That is what we do when we say that Scripture does not teach that few will enter the Kingdom of God and many will choose hell instead. When we claim God will condemn us, we directly contradict God’s revealed Word where He says that we chose hell. All God does is give us over to our own depravity. Even this is an act of love — agape love. God loves us and wants us all to be saved, but He has also given us free will. So, even though it pains Him, God loves us enough to let us choose our own path — even if that path leads to destruction:
Romans 1:18-32 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Unbelief and Its Consequences
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth [a]in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident [b]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [c]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [d]crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [e]a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [f]forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [g]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [h]indecent acts and receiving in [i]their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit [j]to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, [k]haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Now, I promised you I would share what Christ had to say about this issue. SO let us ignore what men claim and look at what Jesus actually said:
FEW FIND HEAVEN, MANY CHOOSE HELL:
Matthew 7:13-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
THIS EVEN APPLIES TO THOSE WHO CLAIM THE NAME OF CHRIST:
Matthew 7:21-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [a]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
FINALLY, THERE WILL BE NO CHANCE TO REPENT AFTER DEATH:
Luke 13:22-28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Teaching in the Villages
22 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.
Luke 16:19-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And [a]besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
So please, do not listen to people who preach a message of “all love saves.” They teach for themselves. They do not bear true witness for God or His revealed Word. The only hope any of us has is to accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. If we do this, it means we follow His commands. We submit our will to His and we allow Him to re-make us. This is what it means to be ‘born again:’ we die to ourselves and are made new in Christ and the Holy Spirit. But do not wait. Once we die, there will not be another chance to accept Christ and repent for our sins. Scripture is very clear on this. It is why Christ spoke about the need to repent immediately (I didn’t even scratch the surface of Christ’s teachings on the urgency to repent and be saved). And now, time is even more pressing for those who are awake know well the season. Even now, Christ is at the door and ready to return. I pray His return will not catch you unprepared.