Sunday, March 11, 2012

The 'H' word

One subject that keeps on coming back and back and back and back again to the forefront of my mind is the subject of Final Judgment.

The question of Hell.

I don't know why.

I wonder if I'm unhealthily obsessed with it and like an addiction I think I've got it mastered but it rears its head again and again.

Is it wrong to think of hell? Is it unhealthy to want to read lots about it and try and get a more 'biblical' understanding of it?

I've read lots and lots on this subject and I've come to a point where I simply have to say 'I just don't know'.

Will all be saved? I don't know. Are some damned for all eternity? I don't know.

I trust in the grace and love and healing power of God.
I believe in the power (although I don't claim to understand) of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
I believe that salvation is far more than simply saving individuals and contains the whole cosmic scope of God's creation being put back together.

But still, nagging away. The 'H' word.

As far as judgment goes I realise that it is absolutely necessary in order for evil to be rooted out of God's good world. I believe that judgment and wrath is the only action against evil that a loving God could and would perform. He judges because he loves.

I came across this short quote from a theologian called Richard Beck which really clarifies this well for me:

The more you love, the angrier you get. The more you love the more upsetting this world will be. The more outraged you'll be with injustice, senseless violence, exploitation, meanness, and cruelty. The more love, the more wrath.

This at least I am convinced of: God judges because he loves.

Whether that equals everlasting conscious torment is another question.

On that question I remain unconvinced...