The following e-mail came from W. B.:
I was wondering if you could write a detailed section on hell.
I do not believe in the Christian God, despite having gone to church for a period of time. Had I lived in a Muslim country, maybe friends would have asked me to go to a mosque.
I do believe in a higher power, if not a being. But I do not believe in a God of one religion because religions contradict each other.
If the Christian God is true, then 80% of the world’s population is going to hell for not believing. If the Islam’s Allah is true, then it’s the same for the rest of the people.
I really can’t believe that people from different religions pray and meditate and feel the same type of spiritual enlightenment and see miracles as the other groups do. Yet, due to doctrine, five billion other people will be going to hell for all eternity! There are friends of mine who honestly think some of their relatives are burning in hell.
If God was merciful, He wouldn’t have given us free will. Knowing what would happen, He shouldn’t have created man in the first place! Why create mankind and have billions burn in hell? Certainly, even had I believed and this were true and I was in heaven, I honestly could not be happy knowing that most of my friends are in hell burning for all eternity with no hope of getting to heaven, ever.
The theological debate for me is much stronger than the scientific debate. This often bugs me because if it was not for this, I would be a Christian. Does anyone have any input?
Dear W. B., thank you for your e-mail. In this response, which comes in two GodSaidManSaid features, we will deal with two of the major issues of your message. First, the concept of the 80% hell; and second, free will. For answers to the other issues, click onto the following subjects:
W. B., I understand your confusion. This confusion is the result of looking back through the labyrinth that has been spawned by the second voice. Currently in the world, there are thousands of religious cults and sects, which would include all organized denominations as well as creation theories such as evolution. Amazingly, they all look so diverse, one from another, but they all have one well-defined common denominator: their rebellion against the first voice. W. B., the solution to your quandary is found in the beginning.
Looking back through thousands of years of compromise to find truth is a futile exercise. Truly, the answer to this dilemma is found in the beginning, and there was a beginning. Numerous subjects on GodSaidManSaid deal with the topic of the beginning of time. Please click onto the following subjects for starters:
God’s creative chronology is recorded in the book of Genesis. In six days, He created the heaven and the earth and all that is in them. On this earth, He created a garden called Eden and also Paradise, and in it he placed the man and the woman that He created. Adam, the first man, and his wife, Eve, were innocent, perfect, and immortal. God gave them only one commandment, Genesis 2:16- 17:
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
In the Garden, in the beginning, there was only one voice, the Creator’s voice, and it was called Paradise. Adam and Eve and the children that would soon come would all live forever. Then one day, a second voice was heard: Satan’s. Satan, taking on the form of a serpent, contradicted the Word of God. Genesis 3:1-5:
1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
In an act of unbelief, our great-grandmother Eve,—believing the second voice over God’s—disobeyed the commandment of God and ate the fruit of the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam followed her lead. That day, innocence was lost, eternal life was lost, and they were cast out of Paradise. They died to the Spirit of Life that very day and soon their earthly flesh followed suit. All of their progeny, including you and me, entered this life spiritually stillborn. Thus the need to be born-again. We were born spiritually dead under the curse of the law of sin and death. As a result of embracing the second voice, we have wars, murders, rapes, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pedophilia, theft, lies, hatred, sickness, sorrow, and all the evil in the world. These are all the result of yielding to the second voice. Remember, there are only two voices.
The first voice is the creation voice. It is the voice of your molecular structure, and it is the voice of majestic design. It is the truth of our substance and of all we have to do. According to Jesus Christ, God’s Word, the first voice, is truth. In John 17:17, Jesus addresses His Father, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Noah Webster, in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, concurs with Jesus. In Webster’s primary definition of the word truth, he uses John 17:17 as the example of proper usage.
Truth is the unique voice amongst the multitudes of the world’s voices. It is necessarily separate from all other voices. If the truth states that two plus two equals four, no other conclusion will suffice. Truth has zero tolerance for all other conclusions. All other answers are the second voice. Two plus two does not equal five, nor does two plus two equal three, nor seven, nor two—no matter how well intentioned the individual offering it up might be. The remedies offered up by the second voice are doomed to failure because they’re just wrong. It must be shocking to many to know that God does not respect man’s opinions. Truth knows no opinion. Opinion is what you have when you lack the truth. God respects truth alone. Truth is very singular.
Readers of the Scriptures may come to the conclusion that God is a very intolerant God, and that conclusion is true. The Bible records in Genesis that God destroyed everything on the earth that had the breath of life in its nostrils, with the exception of eight people and representatives of the earth’s land creatures. These were preserved inside Noah’s Ark. The global flood in the days of Noah took place 1,656 years after Adam opened his eyes. There would have been millions, if not billions of men, women, and children destroyed in this catastrophic deluge. The entire populations of Sodom and Gomorrah, with the exception of three, were destroyed by God with fire and brimstone out of heaven. At the Great White Throne Judgment, which brings this earth to a final end, all whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire. This will be the vast majority of this world. Jesus said, "few there be that find it."
W. B., how can this be? How can the God who is defined as love be so severe, so intolerant? In the days of Noah, eight escape and millions, if not billions, are destroyed in the flood. In the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, three are spared and the multitudes are destroyed by the fiery judgment of God. At the Great White Throne Judgment, billions are cast unto their eternal doom, but those whose names are recorded in the Book of Life are ushered unto eternal life and blessing in the presence of God and His Christ, and the host of heavenly creatures.
All those who find their eternal doom in the Lake of Fire embraced the second voice, the spirit of lies, which results in ultimate destruction. The second voice is Satan’s rebellious voice. It is a cancer. It is a creeping, all-encompassing death. I Corinthians 5:6 records: "...Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" God is truth. God is "two plus two equals four," and no other answer will work. Truth is God’s Word.
God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, is the only likeness God honors because Jesus Christ is the first voice. John the Baptist said of Jesus in John 3:34:
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Jesus speaks in John 12:49-50:
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Then in Revelation 19:13:
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Jesus Christ is the first voice—the voice of Paradise.
It is God’s will that all men should be saved. II Peter 3:9:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Because it is God’s will that all men should be saved, He made a way of escape from the bondage of the second voice, the voice of sin and death. That way of escape is Jesus Christ. John 3:16- 21:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Jesus Christ proclaimed in John 14:6:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
God only endorses Jesus Christ. Peter and John stood before the rulers and elders of Israel and testified in Acts 4:12:
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
As Christians, meaning, "followers of Christ", we are required to become Christ-like. We are required to put on His mind. Romans 12:2:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
God only endorses Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:13-22:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus Christ is the first voice.
The question often arises of those who have never heard. How will God judge them? Those who have never heard would include children before the age of spiritual understanding as well as those who have never heard the message of redemption. The scriptural truth in this matter is clear.
1. Ezekiel 18:20, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Each individual will be judged according to his own deeds.
2. The downfall of man was an act of knowing disobedience. He ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Knowledge is pivotal.
3. James 4:17: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." What one knows is critical.
4. God will judge them in His perfect knowledge and according to theirs.
W. B., are you prepared to surrender to the first voice? Today is your day of salvation. Click onto "Further With Jesus" for instant entry into the Kingdom of God. May the face of our God shine upon you with Light and Truth.
King James Bible