For most of us who have come to the firm conclusion that God, like any loving parent, would never destroy or punish most of His own children forever, there is somewhat of a similar “formula” that we have gone through to arrive at this place. I have seen this formula emerge by the literally hundreds of people I have interviewed from around the globe about their journey to a fuller and truer understanding of the character of their loving heavenly Father. It goes something like this (not necessarily in any order)…
There is usually a level dissatisfaction with the Institutional Church. The reasons vary, but they all have common threads. Here are a few: a sense of disconnectedness—even for those in ministry; inability to be real or honest about struggles; hypocrisy of leadership; power struggles for authority (usually not in the best interest of others); irrelevance of message and church atmosphere to the world; lack of love or ability to love unconditionally; the realization that this supposed “all-powerful gospel” is not working in the lives of most individuals.
There is a sudden noticing or realization of inconsistencies and even contradictions in the Bible—especially between popular Bible versions. Like the fact that KJV uses the word hell over 50 times whereas the NAS only uses it 13 times. Like the fact that KJV uses hell over 30 times in the Old Testament, and the NAS doesn’t even feature the word hell in the OT. Like the fact that the Young’s Literal Bible doesn’t have any references to hell in the Old or New Testament.
Uh wait! Isn’t there a line in every church statement of faith that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God? Which Bible? Why the inconsistencies between them if the Bible is inerrant?
“Oh,” says the pastor or ministry leader when questioned about this and other
difficult unreasonable concepts, “God’s ways are above our ways and we just have to take by faith that we won’t understand everything now. There has to be a good explanation for these things and we will just have to wait for heaven to understand.”
After that, the disillusioned or frustrated person usually gets online and begins researching their questions, since they aren’t getting straight answers from their pastor or seminary-trained teachers, and they begin discovering sensical, Scriptural articles, books, and websites that turn their theological world on its head—all with FACTS from both history and Scriptures that they can verify for themselves. Suddenly the questions begin flooding in. I hope you will think about these as you pursue a greater and truer understanding of the character and plan of God for ALL His precious, beloved children.
WHY doesn’t the apostle Paul ever mention hell when he is the one chosen to represent the gospel to the Gentiles—those who did not have a history with God?
WHY does the gospel, though mentioned over one hundred times, never once mention hell or punishment? Why is it not “the good news or else” like presented by modern Christianity?
WHY is the good news announced by the angel at Christ’s birth, “good news for all the people,” if most people will not benefit from it? Why did Jesus Himself say, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, WILL DRAW ALL MEN TO MYSELF” (John 12:32)?
DOES it ever bother you that you may be one of only 2% of people for all time that “makes it out alive,” primarily due to the country and family you were born into?
DOES Satan/evil win and God lose the battle for most of His own creation? (Rom. 8:19-21; Col. 1:15-20; Acts 3:21)
CAN love ultimately fail for anyone? (1 Cor. 13:8)
WHY did Jesus hide truth from the crowds if He cared about their eternity? (Matthew 13:11, 34; Luke 8:10)
WHY would God purposely blind people if it ultimately meant they would be sent to hell for eternity? (Exodus 4:11; John 12:39–40)
CAN death truly be done away with if billions of people are “spiritually dead” forever? (Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14)
WHO are the “all men” distinguished from “especially believers” in Galatians 6:10 and 1 Timothy 4:10 that God is the Savior of?
CAN you (parents) say that God truly loves His children more than you love your children if He gives up on most of them and tortures them forever? Would (or could) any loving parent do that?
WHY did God say it NEVER ENTERED HIS MIND to command people to throw their babies into fire, like the Israelites were doing to the god, Molech, if He intends to do it to His own children (Jer. 32:35)?
IF you really believe in a literal hell, a place of unending conscious torment, why are you not out winning all your lost friends and relatives to Christ 24/7? Why are you going about life as usual shopping, traveling, entertaining, and enjoying the good life, knowing that people are one step from eternal fire?
DID you realize that God states it is His will that all are saved, and that WHAT GOD WANTS, GOD GETS! (Deut. 32:39; Job 23:13; Job 42:2; Isaiah 14:24, 26-27; Matt. 6:10)
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, “My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure”… I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance” (Is. 46:10; 45:23).