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Real Answers™
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Copyright: © 2011 Tom Flannery
810 words

WHY DID JESUS DIE?

By: Tom Flannery

Does hell exist?

That question is being raised in the controversial new book Love Wins by Rob Bell which rejects the biblical doctrine of hell.  The book is garnering a great deal of attention, if only because the media is promoting it so aggressively.

Since the media tend to be disinterested (at best) or hostile (at worst) to Christian theology, the fact they’re suddenly so enthusiastic about this book and so positively effusive in their praise for it should tell you something.

Moreover, they’ve been quite diligent in concealing that Bell is a leading figure in the Emergent Church, a heretical movement of young ministers who reject traditional Christian teaching in favor of modernist philosophy.  They want something more seeker-friendly.

“We’re rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion,” Bell explains.

The last bunch of so-called theologians that the media treated this reverently was The Jesus Seminar, a group of virulently anti-Christian kooks.  Their “scholarship” has been so thoroughly discredited at this point that they can no longer be taken seriously — not that they ever should have been in the first place.

But the media love heretics.  It allows them to reach the masses with a man-centered (as opposed to God-centered) message that appeals to human reasoning (as opposed to God-revealed truth), and in so doing subvert the true gospel under the guise of “Christian” teaching.

Still, we must remember that this was supposed to be the great sign of our age.  So it doesn’t come as a surprise to Christians, because it hasn’t come as a surprise to Christ.  He prophesied it some 2,000 years ago.

When His disciples came to Him on the Mount of Olives and asked what the signs of His Second Coming would be, Jesus responded by describing in extraordinary detail the future generation when this would take place.

The first thing Jesus warned Christians who would be living in this generation to beware of was the spiritual deception that would be rampant during this time.

“Take heed that no one deceives you, for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many,” He stated in Matthew 24, verses 4 and 5.  

Then again in verse 11:  “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

And again in verses 23 to 25:  “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.”

This solemn warning about endtime deception and apostasy, repeated throughout the Olivet Discourse, carries through to the rest of the New Testament as well.

2nd Timothy 4:3 explains:  “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

This ear-tickling theology, founded on fables like “there’s no such place as hell,” is without question enormously popular, but it goes against everything we are told throughout the whole of Scripture.

It also begs this fundamental question:  If the Bible is wrong, and there is no such place as hell, then why did Jesus have to die?

Scripture couldn’t be clearer on this.  It tells us that Jesus died a substitutional death on the cross (in your place and in mine) so that God, by His grace only and through faith alone in Christ’s finished work, could save us by His sacrifice.

But save us from what?

Well, Jesus consistently said He will separate all mankind into two groups at the final judgment — the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares, the saved and the lost, etc.

When it comes to salvation, there is only the true gospel — or there will be eternal wrath for all those who reject that gospel (John 3:36).  Thus, Hebrews 2:3 asks:  “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”  It’s a rhetorical question, for the Scriptural answer is certain:  “We won’t.”

The lost ones will be those who “did not receive the love of the truth” but spurned Christ and the salvation gift He offered them freely (2 Thessalonians 2:10).  Or they are those who will come before Christ and tell Him about all of the “good works” they’ve done in His name to try to merit salvation.  Then Jesus will say to them:  “Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).

Where is Jesus sending these lost people to?

That’s a question the Emergent Church apostates like Rob Bell can’t answer.  Or won’t.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com

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