Awesome discussion on Sunday. We worked hard but it's such a key topic (and I guess there really is no such thing as a free lunch after all!!).
I've added all the slides and clips below. For those who missed it, here's where we got to in a couple of key points....
We've focused the discussion on two key questions:
- What did Jesus come to save us from?
- What did Jesus come to save us for?
- As Rob Bell said, the common Western view of hell actually teaches people that Jesus came to save us from God!
- The bible actually has heaps to say about heaven, but very little to say about hell. The church typically has heaps to say about hell, but very little of substance about heaven. Why?
- Fire is a property of God's in scripture, NOT the devil's.
- Hell is not a spiritual place in scripture - it's a collection of metaphors Jesus and others use to describe the terror of being rejected by God
- Jesus real sacrifice wasn't his death on the cross (horrible as it is, hundreds of people have died that way) - it was being rejected by his Father ("My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?")
- Hell is not the devil's home. He does not have a fiery throne in the underworld. He is not the king of the dead. He is an outcast angel, left to roam the earth until he is finally destroyed in the lake of fire (another possible metaphor but the implied destruction is obvious), along with death, his angels and those who aligned their lives and identities with evil (Matt 25:41, Rev 20:14, Rev 21:8).
- We are being returned to the destiny of Adam and Eve (Gen 1 = Rev 21). They lived in the newly made earthly, we will live in the newly restored earth. Earth is our home - we were made for this place and this place was made for us. The devil and his angels are the imposters here, it's now our job (through the life of the resurrection) to eradicate their influence and kick them out of our home. Let's get to it!!
- There is judgement (without it there would be no justice), but torture (especially eternal torture) is not justice, that's revenge. Revenge is a human, fallen trait. Redemption is always God's focus.
For now, let's pause here. The rest of the slides and video links are all below.
When we get together next (Sun 10 Aug) we'll pick up the passage of the rich man and Lazarus and then move on to look at what is was Jesus actually saved us for...exciting stuff!
- Slides 1&2 - showing how fire is a property of God not Satan
- Slides 3&4 - a couple of photos of Gehenna (essentially a dump outside Jerusalem - whenever you read of Jesus referring to 'hell' this is the actual word he used)
- Slides 5-8 - these slides list every reference Jesus made to hell and judgement.
- Rob Bell - Love Wins advert (introduces the concepts of the book and some of the implications of the common Western view of hell)
- N.T. Wright - Hell (highlights how our understanding of the word hell is uniquely Western. It's not the way it was originally understood).
- Hellbound? - Movie Trailer