Monday, February 10, 2014
Is Hell for Real?
I just watched the Creation Science versus Evolution debate. Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Science Museum in the Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky area squared off against Bill Nye, longtime PBS television show host known as “Bill Nye, The Science Guy”.
I could expound on my feelings about the pros and cons of the debate, but I feel there is a more important issue at hand. Bill Nye questioned a number of times how could people be so led astray to follow the non-scientific, backward ways of creationism. But toward the end of the debate he brought up crux of the matter. It is the following: How can a loving God condemn well-meaning people to an eternity in hell?
I’ve struggled with that question as well. It seems a paradox that such a good man as Jesus could ever send anyone to hell with fire and eternal torment. Isn’t the mission of Jesus to bring joy and harmony to the universe?
Well, when we read the Bible Jesus didn’t circle around the edges of the topic of hell. He went right to the heart of the matter. I counted eleven times in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke where Jesus mentioned the word “hell”. Several other times he mentioned terms like “eternal punishment”.
Jesus indicated how serious the issue of hell is in Matthew 5:29-30 where he told us to “pluck” out our right eye, or “cut” off our right hand if either of them causes us to sin, “for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
Wow! What a statement! Let’s take a deep breath and actually think about what he said. He meant that our entire life is in the balance, and we have a choice to make. It would be a gruesome sight to see a person pluck out their eyeball or cut off their hand. But it would be much better than ending up in a real hell.
See you next time,