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“You REALLY Believe in HELL?! But WHY?” (Ten Reasons) (Reason 7) The Doctrine of CHRIST

19 Feb

Why in the world would someone believe in hell? And what exactly does it mean to “believe” in hell? These are a couple of the questions we want to answer in this ten-part series of posts. We’ve looked at REASON #1 — I got saved out of a fear of hell. We’ve also thought about REASON #2 – Hell makes sense. We’ve also considered REASON #3 — How does the doctrine of hell relate to the doctrine of God? We also touched on REASON #4 – How does the doctrine of eternal lostness relate to the doctrine of Man? We’ve also thought about REASON #5 – How does hell relate to the doctrine of Sin? We’ve also thought about REASON #6  — How does the doctrine of eternal hell relate to the doctrine of SALVATION (Soteriology)?

Let’s think about REASON #7 – How does the doctrine of hell relate to CHRISTOLOGY (the Person and work of the Lord Jesus)?

What does the doctrine of eternal lostness have to do with the Person of the Lord Jesus? The real question here is: What did HE teach? If He was indeed God the Son, then whatever He taught, we had better believe!

Here’s a challenge for you, my reader. Take a Bible you’re not afraid to mark up (preferably one of your own), and read through the Gospel of Matthew. Underline every reference to hell from the Lord Jesus. Here is what I found when I did this study:

The truth is that Jesus either misunderstood the eternal destiny of lost people (which would contradict His divinity) or He purposely warned people of a hell that doesn’t exist (which would compromise His truthfulness. When the Unitarian minister Theodore Parker once remarked: “I believe that Jesus Christ taught eternal punishment — I do not accept it on his authority!”, he was choosing to disagree with the very Son of God. (to be continued)

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 19, 2020 in hell

 

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5 responses to ““You REALLY Believe in HELL?! But WHY?” (Ten Reasons) (Reason 7) The Doctrine of CHRIST

  1. Jacob

    February 19, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Stopped by the blog to see how the series is going 🙂

    You and I both know that this is a Hermeneutically insensitive and irresponsible way to treat scripture! You can’t just list number of times the English word “hell” comes out of Jesus’ mouth and consider that proof of a particular sort of doctrine, and further, it’s not only a binary option (T-F) as you whether Jesus is giving us a metaphysical dogma or lying/being untruthful. He’s speaking emphatically and in metaphorical terms, which isn’t uncommon in the old or new testaments.

     
    • Dr. Larry Dixon

      February 23, 2020 at 5:47 am

      Jacob:

      I want to make sure I’ve understood what you are saying in your comment. Are you saying that a simple reading of the gospel of Matthew, noticing what Jesus says about eternal lostness, is a “hermeneutically insensitive and irresponsible way to treat Scripture”?

      As I summarized my understanding of what Jesus says in those six texts, which have I misunderstood?

      I’m not sure I understand your comment about whether Jesus is . . . “lying/being untruthful”? Speaking emphatically and using metaphors isn’t lying, is it?

      I see the use of metaphors when simple language isn’t sufficient. But metaphors always refer to some reality, right?

      What do you make of the six references I cited from Jesus, Jacob? Are Jesus’ words (properly understood) authoritative for you?

      Blessings.
      Larry

       
  2. Dr. Larry Dixon

    February 20, 2020 at 6:23 am

    Jacob:
    I’m going to take a couple of days to think about an appropriate response to your recent comment. Blessings. Larry

     
    • Jacob

      February 20, 2020 at 9:08 am

      Sounds good 🙂

       
  3. Gerry T. Neal

    February 20, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Dr. Dixon,

    “The truth is that Jesus either misunderstood the eternal destiny of lost people (which would contradict His divinity) or He purposely warned people of a hell that doesn’t exist (which would compromise His truthfulness.”

    While this is an excellent argument against absolute universalism, i.e., the assertion as positive truth that all beings will ultimately be reconciled to God, it is not so strong against potential universalism, i.e., the assertion of the universal reconciliation of all beings as a possibility. The reason this is so is because the purpose of Jesus’ warnings about hell needs to be taken into consideration. Did Jesus warn people about hell in order to provide them with the information that this will be some people’s eternal destiny? Or did he warn people about hell in order that they would repent of their sins and turn to Him in faith and so avoid that destiny? If the answer is the second – and all, I think, except the most rigid of Calvinists would assert it so to be, then to say that this allows for the possibility that this purpose shall not fail and that all will, so warned, avoid the fate warned of, is not so easily refuted by the mere fact of Jesus’ having given the warning, for it can then be argued that His warnings were true, but spoke of a reality contingent upon their being ignored and therefore cannot be said to be less true should this condition fail to materialize. Obviously we are speaking of an unlikely possibility going by what is observable of the state of the world. It would require a large majority of people having undergone last-minute, death-bed, conversions. However, it could be argued that Arminian theology virtually requires potential universalism. Calvinists would say that this shows how Arminianism is in error, but it could be countered that it is their position, which makes hell a necessity for some based on God’s will alone, that drives people into absolute universalism.

     

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