So is it Heaven for Christians and Hell for everybody else ?

via GSK Menon published on July 1, 2011

I invite readers to go through the TIME magazine April 25th 2011, wherein, an article, titled “Is Hell Dead”by Jon Meacham, has reported, about, the ripples created by a Pastor named Rob Bell. He has written a book called  “Love Wins:A Book About Heaven,Hell,and the fate of every person who ever lived.”

I reproduce some extracts below:

“The standard Christian view of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is summed up in the Gospel of John, which promises eternal life to “whosoever believeth in Him”. Traditionally, the key is the acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God, who, in the words of the ancient creed, “for us and for our salvation came down from heaven..and was made man.”In the Evangelical ethos, one either accepts this and goes to heaven or refuses and goes to hell.

Bell suggests that “every person who ever lived could have a place in Heaven”. This simple premise has ignited a holy war, for, R.Albert Mohler Jr,President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says,”then you don’t need the church, and you don’t need Christ,and you don’t need the cross.”

Many traditional Evangelists are worried about Bell’s book. Bell says he is just unclear on whether the redemption promised in Christian tradition is limited to those who meet the tests of the Church. To take away Hell, is to leave the Church without its most powerful sanction. If Heaven is everyone’s ultimate destination, then what has Jesus got to do ? Why bother with accepting Christ ?

Says Bell, “when we get to what happens when we die, we don’t have any video footage, so let’s at least be honest that we are speculating, because we are”.

The dominant view of the righteous in heaven and the damned in Hell owes more to the artistic legacy of the West, from Michelangelo to Dante to Blake, than it does to history or to unambiguous biblical teaching.

There is however, no escaping the fact that Jesus speaks in the Bible of a hell for the “condemned”. He sometimes uses the word Gehenna, which was a valley near Jerusalem associated with the sacrifice of children by fire to the Phoenician God Moloch.
So is it Heaven for Christians and Hell for everybody else ?…..One thing, Heaven is not an exclusive place removed from Earth.

If Bell is right about Hell, then why do people need ecclesiastical traditions at all ?…..Why not close up the Churches ?

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