As I have been reading lately for some of the posts I have put up, I was reminded of a thought that had troubled me for a long time. As I lead congregations as a solo pastor, I found that most Christians talked about missions and were very adamant about funding missions, all with the hopes of seeing someone rescued from the clutches of hell and brought to the gates of heaven (salvation). The thought that has troubled me is that we don’t see any disciples of Christ today like the first ones during Jesus’ ministry. The apostles gave up there livelihoods, their fortunes, even their families, to go and follow Jesus. Many of the disciples that followed Jesus around gave up much as well. I have not seen that kind of commitment in the traditional church today.
If we understand how horrible hell is, how long people will be there, how could we not give every cent we have, every minute of our lives, every resource we could find, to keep even one person from going there? How can we spend one more minute not sharing the message, the Gospel, with every single person we can? I have had, and seen in others, an attitude that says that we just don’t care that much about the lost. I say that because everyone supposedly “knows” how bad hell is. And if that is the case, and we aren’t spending everything we have, and are to rescue people from going there, how can we say we know what hell will be like, biblically speaking (biblically defined)? How can we say that we are burdened for the lost if we are not willing to give our ALL? Do you share my previous concern?
Well, let me back away from this a bit, since I am no longer of the camp that espouses the concept of eternal conscious torment. Briefly, I believe that hell is a place of punishment geared toward restoration, not retribution/vengeance for all eternity. In later posts, I will explain more fully what I believe the Bible says about heaven and hell, about witnessing, missions, etc. But for now, I will leave things here for you to contemplate, those of you who still hold to the traditional view of hell as described above.
For all the billions of dollars spent every year by Christians for mission work to save souls, I still don’t see much sacrifice going on. Christians still attend their fancy buildings, in fancy clothes, transported there by fancy vehicles. And yet, less and less people are getting saved every year and less and less church attendance is registered, which would seem to say that hell is winning the battle!
What are your thoughts? Is the picture I painted accurate or off-base? Are you giving everything you have and are you burdened for the lost? Do you believe that God/Jesus wants you to give every single thing you have to witness to the lost? Or, do you see something different in the Bible that we need to catch on to? These are difficult questions to answer. Let’s reason together about this topic!