Monday, July 10, 2017
A CONVERSATION ABOUT HELL
“I believe Hell is an eternal place of suffering,” my friend said. “If it wasn’t, I think it would make everything Jesus did for us on the cross pointless. I mean, if everyone makes it in the end, why would we need to share the Gospel?”
I’ve heard this sort of thing before. But for some reason this analogy sprang to my mind.
“What if you saw a house burning and there was a little girl crying for help inside?” I asked my friend.
“Well, I would go and save her if I could,” she said.
“But, what I could promise you that the little girl would be ok in a few months; after a few surgeries all her burns will be healed, and all of her medical bills would be paid in full?”
My friend looked at me with a puzzled look on her face. “What difference would that make?” She said.
“Well, you’re saying that there’s no point in sharing the Gospel with people if everyone ends up redeemed in the end. My analogy is the same: The little girl who is burning in the house fire will end up ok in the end. Her burns will be healed and she might even be more beautiful than she was before, and her family won’t have any huge medical bills to pay for all those expensive plastic surgeries to heal her scars. So, why would you bother saving that little girl from the fire?”
My friend paused a few moments and then nodded silently, unsure of what to say next.
I broke the silence: “I think we should share the Gospel because we want people to know Jesus the way we do, and because we don’t want them to have to suffer – even a little – for rejecting His offer of reconciliation.”
My friend stayed quiet, so I continued; “What if the little girl in that fire was your own daughter? Wouldn’t you want someone to save her life? Can you imagine anyone standing there, watching the fire burn and listening to her screams for help and saying, ‘What’s the point? She’ll be ok after a few years.’ Would that be ok with you?”
“Why would anyone allow their child to be burned alive?” she asked.
What a great question.
Food for thought: What if punishment in the afterlife isn’t just pointless, eternal suffering? What if there’s a point or a purpose?
“God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” [Hebrews 12:10-11]
Share your thoughts in the comments below.