Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Glory of Heaven and the Horror of Hell

Several years ago the Teen (who was then 9) and I moved into a small community where there was a baseball program designed to protect the feelings of the young kids. He had previously played on competitive teams, so we were shocked when baseball started and we discovered how different it was.

In this new town there were no strikeouts. The kids were thrown 10 pitches and if they didn't get in hit by the tenth pitch they brought out a tee. The batter just kept swinging until they finally got a hit. They also didn't keep score so there were no losses.

So yes, the kids were spared the disappointment of a strikeout and the sting of defeat. But they also never experienced they thrill of a hit or the excitement of a win. Without the negative there was no positive.

So what does this have to do with heaven and hell? I will explain.

Earlier today Everyday Mommy, in response to another post about Rob Bell's new book posed this question to her readers:

Redeeming everyone would certainly bring Him glory, would it not?

Or…does God’s righteous wrath also bring Him glory?
Please note - she was NOT teaching universalism but rather posing the question in light of our human tendancy to embrace it.

Reading that post brought to mind the baseball story. If everyone was automatically redeemed, would we appreciate God's mercy? If there were no possibility of hell, would we see the glory of heaven?

I think the Apostle Paul answers that question for us in Romans 9:

22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

Without the negative there is no positive. God cannot have mercy if there is no wrath. There is no redemption if there is no damnation. There is no glory of heaven without the horror of hell.

Not sure if you will go to heaven? Please take a few minutes to hear the gospel.

1 comment:

  1. "If everyone was automatically redeemed, would we appreciate God's mercy?"

    I truly don't think we would...


Your comments are such a blessing to me.

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. " Hebrews 10:23-25