As much as we would like to believe that, at the end of life as we know, love will conquer all, it’s a little more complicated than just saying love will win.
The word “love” has been tossed around so much, over time, that it has simply lost its meaning. We interchange the word “love” with its polar opposite cousin, “like”, but try to pawn it off with the intensity of, perhaps, agape.
It’s simply not enough to tell someone that you love them without going to great lengths to show them that you do. And loving someone goes far beyond just tolerating someone with a touchy good feel embrace that tends to cover up the person’s actions that end up being detrimental to their lives and to the lives of others.
Love, in its holistic sense, encompasses the godly, brotherly and erotic expressions, yet, at the same time, boldly confronts others when wrong has occurred.
In other words, in order for “love” to “win”, love must be expressed in its entirety. It must be embracive, yet willing to rebuke when necessary.
And, in the context of spirituality, the washed out version of love that we’ve come to know isn’t enough to simply erase the realities of hell.
In Francis Chan’s newest book, Erasing Hell, he and co-author Preston Sprinkle dive head first into theologically uprooting, from Scripture, this horrible reality. And, yes, there’s no doubt that the book is a direct response to Rob Bell’s recent release of Love Wins. Yet, at the same time, the co-authors intent isn’t to bash Bell’s book.
With that said, be prepared for an amazing journey through Scripture within the folds of their writings.
Now, for the sake of this blog, I wanted to point out what seems to be the backbone of Erasing Hell and get your thoughts.
Francis Chan says, “It forces me back to a sobering reality: This is not just about doctrine; it’s about destinies…you cannot let this be a mere academic exercise. You must let Jesus’ very real teaching on hell sober you up. You must let Jesus’ words reconfigure the way you live, the way you talk, and the way you see the world and the people around you.”
Meaning to say, many of the world’s Christians have arrogantly condemned people to hell because of a lifestyle choice, an unbreakable addiction, religious preference, and so on. And, rather than share God’s truth in love, many Christians have resolved to either, continue with damnation-like attitudes or go silent about the issue of hell altogether.
I agree with Francis Chan, in that the reality of hell should change the way we interact with people everyday. Hell is definitely not a place I want to end up in, nor do I want my family to end up there either. Now, if I truly loved people, holistically, then the reality of hell should compel me to engage the world with God’s truths.
After all, that would be the most loving thing to do.
How about you?