Tag Archives: Hell

Are your ready for the trip?

Last week our family – the four kids still at home – packed up and got ready for a fun-filled week in sunny Florida. We were excited about all of it except for the 16 hour drive.

Our oldest (no at home), Eli, is a junior at Anderson University but is participating in an 8-month college internship with Disney World in Orlando.

Yes – it is a real internship and he is taking classes on-line to keep his hard-earned scholarships.

No – I did not take time away from our family vacation to write this last week’s blogs. I did them ahead of time and just kept up with comments.

Yes – it is a tough gig to get off work and run free around Disney World; but someone has to do it so it might as well be Eli.

No – we cannot adopt you and pass along family discounts. But we’ll put you on the waiting list with others who have asked.

Getting ready for a week-long trip is very different now that the kids are older and able to pack for themselves. The last time we visited Disney World was 13 years ago before Brynden was born and we were chased out of Florida by a hurricane.

Packing for a trip gets easier the more you do it. Knowing when you’re leaving allows for a comfortable pace of getting things ready.

There are those occasions when trips are made unexpectedly. A sudden illness or tragic accident can mean an urgent departure. And those who serve in the military sometimes have to leave at a moments notice.

But there is one journey we’ll all have to make and for most it will be unexpected.

Death.

Are you prepared to enter into eternity? Have you received God’s gift of grace and surrendered to Jesus as Savior and Lord?

And still… even if you are ready for eternity in terms of your relationship with God, are you ready in other ways?

What important matters or conversations are you putting off for another day as if you’re sure you’ll be here for tomorrow?

Family vacations in fun-filled locations are one of life’s most treasured experiences. But nothing in this life compares with the glory that awaits us in God’s presence beyond this life.

Are you ready?
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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Glory of God, God, Grace, Heaven, Hell, Relationship with God

Heaven and Hell: what’s the deal?

There has been much debate lately about heaven and hell; and who will go where. The most recent notion is that in the end everyone gets into heaven. The issue itself is as old as mankind but it’s been rekindled because of a recent book by Rob Bell.

Bell raises some important questions and I believe that we all benefit from thoughtful dialogue. And while I respect Rob as a master communicator I have to disagree with his theology. Though I must also admit a part of me would like for everyone to get in to heaven.

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat understands this well. In a recent column Douthat, a devout Catholic, writes that doing away with eternal punishment “is a natural way for pastors and theologians to make their God seem more humane.”

The problem, Douthat reminds us, is that attempts to make God seem more “humane” also “threaten to make human life less fully human.” That’s because, he writes, “to believe in God and not in hell is ultimately to disbelieve in the reality of human choices.” If we can’t say “no” to God’s offer of heaven, none of the other choices we make in life have any real meaning, either.

I agree with and appreciate Bell’s emphasis that some Christians are presumptuous in declaring people they’ve never met to be in either heaven or hell; but to suggest that in the end everyone “gets in” is dangerously misleading.

It may make us feel better to believe that everyone goes to heaven. But what happens to the concept of justice? Is not God a God of justice?

While I wouldn’t tell anyone to avoid reading Bell’s new book I would caution that we must take everything we read and measure it against God’s word. Even some arguments based on Scripture are poorly reasoned and misunderstand the given text.

If you are inclined to explore what God’s word has to say about heaven and hell, and I hope you are, I encourage you to check out a new book by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinke entitled Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up.

We can’t afford to get this issue wrong! Too many lives are at stake!

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Filed under Heaven, Hell, Justice