Several years ago a very well-known and highly respected man of God had a significant shift in his ministry. He had seen the suffering of some in other countries and found himself wrestling with a God who would send people apart from Jesus to hell. He came to the conclusion that there was no such thing as hell outside of what is experienced here on earth, whether it was brought on by ourselves or forced upon us, and that when it comes right down to it everyone would end up in heaven for all eternity. To come to such a conclusion this once respected man had to ignore certain scripture, twist or take out of context other passages, and draw from other writings found in the New Age movement and other secular sources. Many, including those closest to him, tried in vain to help him see the error of this thinking but has since had to distance themselves from him. The reason behind this distancing is that the theology he is embracing is spiritually a fatal poison for a believer. He’s not the only one whose been embracing such theologies.
Ever see the bumper stickers that say “coexist” with a bunch of symbols relating to various religions? There is a trend in society that seeks to meld all the religions together in the name of tolerance, believing that everyone is going to end up in heaven one way or another. In a nutshell, many believe that all roads lead to heaven and eternity with God. There are many that believe it doesn’t matter “who” you serve or worship, thinking that we all serve the same god and will end up in the same place. Even if not there are some who believe people will have the opportunity to get out of hell or purgatory only to find their eternal destination in heaven. These are nothing less than poison to the body of Christ, much like cancer or gangrene to the human body.
I just finished reading the book “Tortured for Christ” by Richard Wurmbrand. More than 30 years after it was first written it still packs a powerful punch. One of the things found in this book is the recounting of the price many have paid for the gospel and the name of Jesus. Almost sounds like something we would read about regarding the early church, but this is about people throughout the world who have lived within the past 70+ years. The last part of Hebrews chapter 11 being lived out in the days we live in. These people were largely uneducated especially in the area of the Christian faith, but yet they suffered and paid much for Christ, sometimes even their very lives. Why would people be so willing and committed to suffer and give their lives for something or someone when in the ends it doesn’t really matter? Why be willing to go through all of that if everyone is going to end up in heaven when it’s all said and done? Doesn’t make much since, does it? Think about it, how many of the apostles and members of the early church suffered and gave their lives for Jesus? After all, they knew the truth and the reality of the gospel far better than we do, yet they suffered and died for it. That should only work to discount the beliefs of many that everyone is going to end up in heaven one way or another.
So, what about you? Would you be willing to die for someone or something if you knew it wouldn’t matter in the end? I can’t say that I would go through all that if it didn’t matter, in fact I probably would live as I wanted to since it didn’t matter.
Think about it. Can Jesus count on you when the “rubber meets the road”?