"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Jesus in Matthew 7:15).
" . . . so it will be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all lawbreakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." (Jesus in Matthew 13:40b-43).
"The end of God's appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power." Chapter 32:2 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
(Romans 9:22-23; Mathew 25:21, 34; 2 Timothy 4:8; Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:48; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
Though this kind of report in today's post sounds crazy, my best guess is that similar things are happening at a church near you. Thus, people that you are coming into contact with from within the church are becoming a mission-field and may need to be addressed in love, but also in truth. Popular emergent pastor and false teacher Rob Bell has just published a book called Love Wins. Bell is the pastor of one of the fastest growing 'churches' in the nation, Mars Hill Bible Church (ironic name, since Bell clearly does not believe the Bible) in Grand Rapids, MI. Bell is known for his inclusive view of 'Christianity' (e.g. he has had the Dalai Lama speak at Mars Hill and teaches that all faiths point equally to God), but his 'Christianity' is no Christianity at all! In Bell's latest attack on orthodox Christianity, he takes issue with the doctrine of hell and eternal punishment . . . claiming that this doctrine is part of the many absurdities that keep people away from Christianity. In short, Rob Bell is a modern universalist and his teachings are heterodox.
We have a big problem here. Jesus taught us more about hell than He did about heaven. Moreover, His apostles continued Jesus' teaching on eternal punishment in the epistles. The doctrine of eternal punishment is seen throughout the Scriptures. While Bell's teaching sounds great to the unsaved multitudes, he pits himself directly against Christ. It can't be stated any other way . . . though one of the characteristics of post-modern thinking is the fallacy that 2 opposing ideas can both be true! Still trying to figure this illogical thinking out, but maybe it is best not to try.
Covering Rob Bell today is also a good chance to expose you to Chris Rosebrough's ministry, Fighting for the Faith on Pirate Christian Radio. Pastor Kevin DeYoung has also posted today on his blog about Bell and the important doctrine of the wrath of God. Chris Rosebrough is on top of the disturbing evangelical scene and covers the latest events in the church thoroughly, thoughtfully, and with a good sense of humor. For his coverage of Rob Bell's latest deviation from orthodox Christianity see this link on Fighting for the Faith.
Pray that Rob Bell would repent of his false teaching and that others would be spared his ideas . . . these are false doctrines, that if believed, sadly land people in the eternal place that Bell believes does not even exist. This is also the kind of teaching that robs God of being honored for His mercy and grace. The mercy and grace that was especially on display as Jesus bore the wrath of God for sinners at Calvary.