I have seriously studied the scriptures for over 40 years with an over 5000 book searchable digital library now; which I can use to do word studies of various languages, checking all the possible variables in translation. Now, listening to traditional religious preaching and teaching It’s remarkable when you have seen that most of the scriptures concerning what Christ came to accomplish is so muddled with eternal torment rhetoric regurgitated in many churches the “GOOD NEWS” is completely lost or weakened to the point of Jesus seeming to be the loser; at last failing in his mission to save the world.
Why did Jesus Christ come?
A good friend of mine, Thomas Kinssinger, once said “we are saved from a condition not a location” that really cuts it down to where the rubber meets the road. Christ’s mission was to deliver His creation from the sin realm of destruction, defeat, disorder, despair, disease and death. He came to be “THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!” To right the wrongs, bless the cursed, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, physically and spiritually, prosper the poor. You don’t hear that much in the churches; unless they throw in a disclaimer saying all doesn’t mean all and the world doesn’t mean the world… rather, they speak of needing to escape some sort of eternal hellish punishment – “before you leave this building!” I guess if I believed that I would be even more expletive and forceful.
Does that make sense?
Although I don’t and from a child in church it never really made sense to me. As a child I would ask questions that the church leaders did not like me asking and tell me “don’t worry about it, you’re ok, you’ll understand someday” You’re ok? What about the rest of the world? Besides they’re supposed to be preaching the Bible, right? I didn’t now then; it just didn’t seem to add up or make sense. Why would God make such a place? Why isn’t Jesus in hell for eternity if that is the punishment he took? What is the purpose of hell if all God’s purposes are good? What about people who never heard or didn’t understand? On and on… Well now I know it’s not in there… and those that have been well educated know it… Why they reject such wonderful truth is beyond me.
Punishment with Purpose.
I realize a place of correction, restitution and purging could be probable in the equation if one were an unyieldingly mulish obstinate fool; and there are a few… Nevertheless the main point is not to be saved from some sort of hell for most; and there is no hint of an eternal torture pit that is shouted from the pulpits; not in the original language anyway.
Jesus came to enable us to live a good life, abundant life, real life; in relationship with God in the Kingdom of our Lord in the here and now and eternity! (Speaking of NOW, see the next article I’m writing) When you put it all together, the work of Christ is very seldom associated with deliverance from a hell much less the eternal torture pit of their imagination.
What about the hell on earth many suffer?
Besides is not living with a debilitating disease or disability, or living in poverty, living in ignorance of how to live a good life or having the opportunity to have a good life beyond ones reach, living in spiritual blindness, or in pain, physical and mental, depression, or oppression; are these not hell enough? Then leaving this painful life only to wake up in a worse state!? Many would find themselves in this situation who have never even heard of Jesus Christ or seen a bible. Oh yes, hell could be right here right now for some. Furthermore, who knows the rewards awaiting some of these once they get their “first chance” to see the LORD and believe on him! I can’t imagine any of these turning away in unbelief while standing in the presence of our Loving LORD, with arms stretched out in Loving acceptance. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” Hebrews 13:8
Don’t believe me.
Check out the word “hell” in the Bible. Check several versions. Use original language tools; they are easy as touch and read definitions. By the way you will discover that the word hell has completely disappeared from the Old Testament in many newer translation and rightly so; I cant wait till they follow suit in their honesty in the New Testament. Don’t believe me? Look it up – in the original languages. There are plenty of free resources on the internet to use for this, do some study on your own, think for yourself for once. Quit demanding to be spoon fed. In the end you’ll get a good scriptural meal that really satisfies like never before.
Dennis D. Caldwell