Archive for April, 2011

This coming Sunday is EASTER! Would you bring a gift for our friends in Haiti this Sunday? I’d like to see a stack to the ceiling of Pop Tarts, Easy Mac, and Children’s toothpaste! Let’s fill up the rest of the bus with these simple gifts!

NOT TOOTHBRUSHES – SORRY I WAS WRONG – EASY MAC!

By the way, early worship @ 9am, breakfast and a play for the children @ 10:20 with breakfast, and our 2nd worship hour will follow! Can’t wait to see you then.

and we will explore… HELL. Is there a literal hell? What is hell all about? Did Jesus speak of hell? What was Jesus’ point in the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus? Evangelicals the world over have been debating the controversial new book by Rob Bell, this Sunday we will look at its claims and discuss the destiny of all mankind.

Love Wins has captured evangelicals everywhere in some serious debate.

I know, I know we’ve heard enough about Love Wins, and I haven’t even had time to finish the book. In fact I’m very busy today (I take Friday’s off from the office as regularly as possible) and I’m listening to a podcast from “The God Journey” as I work… but in the podcast I heard about another blog from Kevin D Young. Kevin wrote a blog called “To Hell with Hell” 8 reasons we need the wrath of God and I’m nearly too broken (sad, angry, disappointed, and at the same time thankful for a GOOD GREAT LOVING GOD) to do anything but announce: DON’T GET STUCK ONLY READING WHAT YOUR RELIGIOUS LEADERS TELL YOU TO!

If you aren’t careful you’ll only read stuff like the piece the sad, depressed, hurting Kevin D Young just wrote. (If you think Kevin isn’t sad and depressed – read the blog… I think I’d rather eat razor blades than live life believing stuff like that.) Kevin, if you ever hear about this small blog from a very non-influential church… you can trust God. He isn’t beating you, judging you, and punishing you for kicks and giggles. God doesn’t need your evangelism… God can reach the world with or without mankind. The heathen don’t need you, God doesn’t need you, you and I get to evangelize. We get to tell the good news! Everyone loves to tell good news! The only kind of people that need “God’s wrath” to force them toward evangelism are those who are convinced that the message they have to tell is really “BAD NEWS” with a catch or a bit of redeeming news. The truth is “God is LOVE and has redeemed mankind!”

On a side note, I too used to be wrapped up in religion to the point that I could have said things very similar to what Kevin wrote. I think I even said those things with a desire to help people and even though I have nearly nothing good to say about “To Hell with Hell,” I’m sure Kevin has some other blogs full of truth… I just don’t think this one is predominately true. So would I recommend reading Kevin D Young’s blog – sure, read everything but ask the Spirit of God to be your filter. Ask God to guide you into all truth. I think God has taught me some amazing truths in response to false teachings that I have read.

Now some are going to mistakenly believe that I am saying that everyone is saved, or that I am an ultimate reconciliationist… I’m NOT! I believe in Hell. I believe in Jesus’ death on the cross. I believe Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s wrath being poured out on His enemy – SIN – not mankind. I believe in evangelism, but if you are evangelizing because you are afraid of the wrath of God – PLEASE STOP. If you are sharing the good news, because knowing the Father is the greatest thing you have ever experienced then tell the world.

Rob Bell isn’t perfect, and Love Wins (There are copies on Amazon for $12 and I paid $19!) certainly isn’t either. When I teach, preach or lead a conversation 30 – 60% of what I say maybe incorrect…. but I’m not sure which 30 – 60%… and I would encourage you to read Love Wins with that same attitude. Anyone who says they only teach truth at their church is either God, confused, or insane…. I used to be really confused and borderline insane due to religion.

Here’s my favorite verse in scripture… I so, so enjoy sharing this good news!

And this is eternal life: to know You, the only true God, and the ONE whom You sent-Jesus the Messiah.

Oh yeah, here is the good news and it is related to that verse – God wants to know you, He gave His only Son so that you could know Him, you don’t have to be ashamed anymore… your sins are all forgiven. Jesus forgave them all on the cross and you do get to choose to accept that forgiveness and live in it! There is no life greater than living in relationship with the ONE AND ONLY TRUE God who died for you. If you are worshiping a god that didn’t die on a cross… you aren’t worshiping the true God.

By the way Rob, I’d say this verse from John 17:3 is a place where scriptures talk about a personal relationship with Jesus. But I’m enjoying your book and I know you’ll probably never read this…. 😉 LOL.

EDITED TO ADD… I just discovered a post from someone, replying to D Young’s blog. He maybe a Ultimate Reconciliationist, or an Annihilationist and that may turn you off… but you may like the blog.

EDITED TO ADD… Ken Brown just replied and he is not convinced of ultimate reconciliationism or annihiliationism, though he would rather hope that one or the other of them is true, than that eternal conscious torment is. Thanks for posting here Ken!