Recently I was talking to someone about Jesus and he told me he was no longer on the “Jesus Plan.” He said he used to be so stressed thinking he was going to hell because of a certain sin he was not willing to give up.
So he looked at some other religions, searching for one that won’t rule him and doesn’t threaten him with punishment for things he does. Now, he is “an Ex-Christian with no stress” about going to hell.
You’re probably thinking, “Wow, that guy is crazy,” but, I can actually see where he’s coming from. I don’t agree with his logic, but I think I somewhat understand where his thinking comes from.
The doctrine of hell is so misunderstood. It has been twisted and distorted for centuries making God seem like some tyrant who loves to punish people in the flames. The character of God has been distorted by this teaching.
The bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8). It says He loves us and wants what’s best for us. He wants to be with us but, sin separates us from God because he is holy (Psalm 99:9). When Adam sinned, God had a plan to fix everything. His plan is to someday destroy sin.
Here is where many are confused about the character of God. Many think he is some kind of tyrant just waiting for us to mess up so he can send us to hell, but, that’s not the case at all.
1 John 4:9 says, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, so we might live through him.”
In John 3:16, Jesus said, “For God loved the world so much, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
In Ezekiel 33:11, God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked:”
The fact is, hell fire is designed for Satan, who started the sin problem, and his evil angels. Hell fire is the method God will use to destroy sin from the universe.
The sad thing is many of us humans allow ourselves to be slaves to sin. Sin is attractive and fun for awhile. We get so caught up in it, and the pleasures it offers, that we forget that we are slaves. We hang on to sin and reject Jesus like the guy I mentioned earlier.
God IS going to destroy sin someday and if we are hanging on to sin, then we will be destroyed with it. Not because God is mean or sadistic, but because we have allowed it to become part of us. Many don’t understand that God has put the plan of salvation into motion for that very reason. Look at this analogy carefully.
Imagine you can’t swim. Someone puts you on a huge barge in the middle of a large, deep and wide river. You are going downstream, headed for a huge waterfall. There is nothing you can do to save yourself. A man comes down the river in a speed boat and pulls up beside you. The barge is too big and heavy for the speedboat to pull.
He tells you he came to save you. All you have to do is step off the barge you are on and into his boat, and he will speed you back up the river to safety. What would you do? You may not believe him at first. You may have questions but, if you remain on the barge you will go over the waterfall with it and die.
Jesus came to earth and lived a holy, sinless life. Because of Adam’s sin we are all cursed and condemned to death. Jesus offers us eternal life by substituting his sinless life for our sinful life. All we have to do is accept it. It’s entirely up to us. He won’t force us but, he does keep pleading with us and giving us chance after chance. If we are lost it is nobody’s fault but our own.
The barge represents sin. The one who put you there is Satan. If you choose to stay on the barge (sin) while the man (Jesus) is offering you a free ride to safety (salvation) then you will go over the waterfall (hell) WITH the barge (sin) and you will die. God has said he is going to destroy sin in the lake of fire. If we choose to hang on to sin, we will be destroyed right along with it even though Jesus is trying desperately to save us. Please, get off the barge and let Jesus carry you to safety.
For the truth about hell go to http://www.helltruth.com
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