Have been distracted for the past twelve months with family health issues, but I am about to recommence work on the book and will post some ideas here for you to bounce around with me.
I am ready to commence work on Chapter 5, God's Judgement is Good, so the flavour of the posts for next few weeks will be on hell and judgement.
Are you ready to play with me? Please do.
Many in mainstream christianity believe that the penalty for not becoming a follower of Jesus in their lifetime on this planet is eternal torment in a place they call hell.
Others, who don't wish to portray their 'God of love' as being so cruel, suggest that these folk will be annihilated, totally destroyed, rather than suffer the hell torture.
Even if the Bible is not known very well, let me suggest that any rational person would struggle to reach either of these two conclusions.
Let's begin by considering the time Jesus spent in hell (or in death).
Jesus paid the full penalty for the sin of the whole world.
How long was he dead? Three days.
Three days' death paid the full penalty for the sin of the world.
I now have two questions to explore.
1. If Jesus paid for all of the world's sin, how come anyone has anything more to pay?
2. Even if you could find some reason to argue that some payment is still required, how could that payment be longer than three days?
Surely a person only has to pay for his own sin, not for the sin of others, and the maximum penalty for a person's own sin would have to be less than the 3 days Jesus paid for the world's sin.
In either scenario, no payment required or a payment of less than 3 days, where is the possibility of endless torture in hell for unbelievers?
If anyone had to go to hell forever, surely it would have been Jesus, who was paying for the sin for all of us. But He didn't.
Now let's consider what happened to Jesus after he was in hell.
He rose from the dead after 3 days.
He came back to life, was resurrected.
Even better still, He went to heaven soon after His resurrection.
Went to heaven after being in hell?
However we look at it, endless torment or annihilation clearly cannot be the penalty for sin.
(You can find previous posts on hell and judgement by looking through the blog archive in the side panel on the right. A starter on hell was posted on August 4th, 2010, for example.)