I don’t know that there is a more divisive topic out there than the topic of Heaven and Eternal Life vs. Hell and Eternal Damnation. Typically it begins with the question- “What do you mean I might not go to Heaven, I’m a good person!!!!” I know that this has caused more than one conversation to go sideways around here.
Before we begin, let me make this perfectly clear – I am NOT a theologian. What I am writing here is a culmination of information gained while studying and researching some of the finest Christian minds and writers.
In this age of free and easy access to answers to our most inane questions and our deepest philosophical quandary’s, the internet, for all its faults and failings is on the forefront providing the answers. For thousands of years, lay people relied on the learned few to share their knowledge and provide us with the answers to our deepest questions. Then one day a few decades ago, the information that we relied on others to provide became readily available to all of us. Sacred texts were now available, holy texts, literary classics, rare – if ever seen manuscripts and scrolls were now ready to be accessed by anyone anywhere that wanted to see them.
It seemed as though all the answers to every question in the universe could now be found. Every question we could ever think to ask could now be answered. Today I can search and find the answer to anything I want to know. Whether I trust the “answer-er” or not, is a topic for another time.
There are several major internet search engines; Google and Bing are the two largest and most accessed. In 2018, there were 5.6 billion searches per day on Google alone. That’s a bunch of people asking a bunch of questions! So it begs the question, what are they looking for. When it comes to faith, what are the big questions that are in need of an answer? I took a look at the results from my own little blog search results to see some of what folks were asking; the results are clear. This is just a brief list of the taken from this year’s statistics.
Let’s say that you live in a fine house with your charming family. Let’s say that your house is adjacent to some train tracks. For many years, you and your charming family have been living life – working, playing, loving each other, enjoying the fruits of your hard work and the love of your family, friends and neighbors. You have had some ups and downs, but for the most part life has been pretty good.
Now let’s say that I hear there is trouble headed your way. A runaway train careening down the tracks at a hundred plus miles per hour is definitely going to derail and crash right through your happy home and life. It is going to obliterate you, your family and your home. Everything you know and love will come to an end. You may survive… or not. Your spouse may survive… or not. Your children may survive… or not. If you do, you will be left devastated and alone.
My question to you is – should I warn you that death and total destruction are headed your way? Your answer is of course… YES! Why would I keep that information to myself? Why would I not warn someone that I love and treasure that certain death is upon them? Of course I would. I would move heaven and earth if it would help in order to get you to hear me that total eradication is on your life.
Yet many would tell me, “I’ve lived here like this for years and years and nothing like that has ever happened. I don’t believe what you are saying. We are perfectly safe in our little home.” But it is going to happen, and you don’t or can’t or won’t see it.
In an instant, the warnings were real. Your final breath is upon you. Everything you have known, done, owned or worked for… nothing… none of it can save you from the train that is going to end your life.
Did you hear the warnings? Did you heed the warnings? Did you choose to ignore the warnings? Death and eternity are forever.
If I told you that your life, all life, as we know it today is going to end would you believe me? Yes, I know that we are all going to die someday, that is not what I am here to tell you about. I am here speaking about the “End of the Age”.
This article is reprinted in it’s entirety with the permission of the Author – Ethan Renoe
The other day I was in a coffee shop in the mountains, seated near the counter. A guy in his early 20s walked in wearing a TOOL shirt and a long ponytail. I could overhear his conversation as he approached the barista and they began chatting. Somehow it came up that she attends a Christian university and he clearly didn’t approve.
“Do they incorporate religion into all the classes there?” he asked. “Even the science classes? How does that work?”
She valiantly began explaining how they pray before every class and teach from a Christian worldview, but it soon became evident that she was being crushed in this conversation. He was well-schooled in the writings of Dawkins, Hitchens and Nye, and began doling out the punishment.
I use the word punishment because this poor barista has herself been punished by a church system which, for the past 200 years, has begun discarding intelligence in favor of emotion, conversion experiences and passion. Ask most American Christians today any question deeper than “Does God love everyone?” and you’re bound to get some sort of response suggesting that that sort of discourse should be reserved for theological universities.
The other day, a friend of mine said he sees no merit in understanding Calvinism or Arminianism because he just wants to love God and love people. And it seems that the ball stops there for most Christians today. No need to know any more than that.