Monday, July 08, 2013
Article: Do you Think I'm Going to Hell? by Melinda Penner
Taken from here:
Let's say I'm discussing spiritual truth with someone who is not following Christ and she comes out of the blue with this question: "Do you think I'm going to hell?"
I can't lie and say "no." But I?d better not waffle around either. Saying "Um, well, um?" will only lead my friend to say, "Just give me a simple yes or no answer." Then my simple "yes" will shut down the dialogue because my friend will feel offended. A simple yes will lead her to believe I think she is going to hell only because she doesn't put her trust in Jesus like I do. Instead, I use a simple sound bite response that captures why the doctrine of hell makes sense and avoids the condescension communicated by the statement "Yes, you're going to hell."
"Do you think I'm going to hell?" My response? "Only if you're as bad as I am."
With this response, I locate myself squarely in the camp of those who deserve hell as a punishment for the seriously wrong things that I've done. This communicates why hell makes sense (we go to hell as a punishment for wrongdoing, not for disbelieving in Jesus). And notice, I've said nothing about whether I am actually going to hell. Instead of shutting down dialogue, this response invites my friend to ask lots of additional questions. And now there's a proper context for making sense of the gospel. I've shown I'm not arrogant and I've prepared my friend to hear about Jesus? unique solution: Jesus took the punishment all of us deserve.
For a more in-depth look at this question, see here.
Courage and Godspeed,