I really don’t know Becky, but one of the members of my church does. I use the title above in order to lay the foundation for sharing truth about God. The motive of all the truth that God reveals to us is His love. He loves all of the “Bills”, “Bens”, and “Beckys” in the world. He also loves the Osamas, the Obamas, and the Dalai Lama. It is can be very hard to understand God’s love in the light of the many fearful warnings in Scripture.
In order to receive truth, you must believe that truth exists. All religions make truth claims. But even a casual examination will reveal that they cannot all be true. Their claims exclude one another. Christianity usually gets labeled as being exclusive, but actually it is no more exclusive than any other world religion. In order to receive truth you must not rely on careless scholarship or urban myths about the issues. There are too many people talking about religion today who have never seriously analyzed the various truth claims or the evidence that supports them. A good example of this would be the Da Vinci Code. The premises behind that book and movie are beyond ridiculous. One hour of serious study by a total novice would reveal that there is no credibility whatsoever to those assertions. They are not only untrue; they constitute poor fiction. Finally, one needs to distinguish between truth and faith. Even when one is reasonably satisfied that something is true, it is not the facts, but our faith that ushers us into a relationship with God.
Now let us suppose that only one billion people out of more than six billion people on the planet are at peace with God. Only God knows for sure what that number is. How could God allow the people who make up the remaining billions to be eternally separated from Him in a place called hell? Sometimes we ask the wrong questions. Try this question instead. What should God do with people who reject him because they either didn’t get adequate information or did not like the message He gave them? If there is a God, and I certainly know that there is, we cannot sit in judgement on Him. Even if God were a tyrant, it would be ridiculous to suggest that we could correct that. Here are some factors to consider when trying to answer the question about what God should do with those who reject Him. The evidence is that all people will spend eternity somewhere. When God creates a life, He creates it in an indestructible way. The body dies, but apparently the spirit or soul does not. Those who would suggest that he let everyone into His eternal kingdom must first admit that they don’t understand the afterlife as well as God does. Imagine that in the afterlife everyone lived under water. Imagine also that being saved meant getting the equipment to breathe under water built into your future spiritual body. The point this strange illustration makes is that those who do not trust the Lord and find the truth are totally unequipped to deal with heaven. It could not and would not be heaven for them. Nothing in their being has been prepared for life in the presence of God. They spent no genuine time with Him in this life and therefore could not be ready to meet Him on the other side. Secondly, what do we really know about hell? The bible gives us several descriptions. Jesus is our primary source of authority. He speaks of outer darkness. He speaks of fire. He speaks of endless bickering. Frankly I know enough about humanity to know that some people are living a lot of that right now. I do not believe hell is a torture chamber. I believe it is a place of endless darkness and endless waste. The word “gehenna” which Jesus used to describe hell was a word that referred to a garbage dump that continually burned with fire. Hell is the place where wasted lives wind up. The bickering could well be the endless frustration and remorse of missed opportunities.
Think about this awhile and meet me later as we talk about things like 1. Who is Jesus? 2. Why should I read the bible? 3. What evidence is there that the bible is reliable? 4. Doesn’t science prove the bible to be untrue? (A side note on that will deal with the exceedingly long lives of some of the key characters in Genesis will be included in this.) I hope you will keep reading.