The Sinner: Eschatological Rapture, Hell & Heaven


The Sinner, a fictional Christian character in search of answers on the nature of the last things in 20th and 21st century I created, seeks the nature of the rapture and the final state of righteous and unrighteous. This article concisely presented two different answers the Sinner will get from N. T. Wright in Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, The Resurrection, and The Mission of the Church (2008) with Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave in Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (1983).

On Rapture

Interpreting 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 and 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3, Duffield and Van Cleave adopted a face-value literal approach. They would inform the Sinner that on Christ Jesus’ second coming, she will raptured (1983: 527- 30), transported from earth to heaven, to be with Christ Jesus.  Wright would strongly disagreed with Duffield and Van Cleave’s reading. Wright argued that there is no rapture because heaven is going to come here on earth. It is not the Sinner who is going to be with Christ, but Christ  “com[ing] back to us” (2008: 124). Wright argued,

“When Paul speaks of ‘meeting the Lord in the air,’ the point is precisely not—as in the popular rapture theology that the saved believers would then stay up in the air somewhere, away from earth. The point is that, having gone out to meet their returning Lord, they will escort him royally into his domain, that is, back to the place they have come from” (2008: 133) Continue reading

Hell, Not Fair?

Rob Bell

Some of modern Christians shelter a delusion that the God’s anger, wrath and judgement is inconsistent with His love and goodness, and they have set to banish “these undesired attributes” from their thoughts and sadly also to their listeners, who can not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears as they accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions(2 Tim 4:3).

Coming to the second page of “What About the Flat Tire?” in Rob Bell’s Love Wins, A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell pose a rhetoric questions:

Does God punish people for thousands of years with infinite, eternal torment for things they did in their few finite years of life?(emphases added)

A sinful, unregenerated and itching ears would want to hear “No, because it would not be fair for a loving God to punish finite sin with infinite judgement”. It is the answer that suits a sinful fallen person’s passion.

Is Hell Fair? How is God’s love and wrath describe in the Bible? How does it work? Were are we to begin?

Continue reading

When Bell Robs Bells of Hell

Plurium Interrogationum, Latin, meaning many questions also known in Critical Thinking as Loaded Question.

Times: Rob Bell

A loaded question is a question that carries a false or questionable presupposition, posed to trick a person into implying something which was not intended.

In the book, Love Wins, A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, one encounters many rhetoric questions loaded with emotional and false presuppositions. I will address only few important questions:

Emotional Loaded:

Does a loving God really send people to hell for all eternity?

Emotional words in this question are: “love” and “really”. Undressing these words from the question helps a reader to ponder the question without the authors presumptions namely God cannot be loving if he sent people to hell for all eternity.

Removing the emotional wording, the unloaded question appear as


Does God send people to hell for all eternity? Continue reading

Speaking Of The Wrath of God

What is the wrath of God and why we ought to speak of it?

The wrath of God[wrote A. W. Pick] is a perfection of the Divine character on which we need to mediate frequently. First, that our hearts may be duly impressed by God’s detestation of sin. We are ever orine to regarrd sin lightly, to glorss over its hideousness, to make excuses for it. But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realise its heinousness. Second, to beget a true fear in our souls for God. “Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for  our God is a consuming fire”(Heb. 12:28,29). We cannot serve Him “acceptably” unless there is due “reverence” for His awful Majesty and “godly fear” of His righteous anger, and these are best promoted by frequently calling to mind that “our God is a consuming fire”. Third, to draw out our soul n fervent praise[to Jesus Christ] for having delivered us from “the wrath to come”(1 Thess. 1:10). Our readiness or our reluctance to meditate upon the wrath of God becomes a sure test of how our hearts really stand affected towards Him(J.I Packer, Knowing God p. 177 cites A.W. Pink’s The Attributes of God p.77)

What is that mantle that turns mere talkers into preacher?

God did not ordain the cross of Christ or create the lake of fire in order to communicate the insignificance of belittling his glory. The death of the Son of God and the damnation of unrepentant human beings are the loudest shouts under heaven that God is infinitely holy, and sin is infinitely offensive, and wrath is infinitely just, and grace is infinitely precious, and our brief life — and the life of every person in you church and in your community — leads to everlasting joy or everlasting suffering. If our preaching does not carry the weight of these things to our people, what will? Veggie Tales? Radio? Television? Discussion groups? Emergent conversations?

God planned for his Son to be crucified (Rev. 13:8; 2 Tim. 1:9) and for hell to be terrible (Matt. 25:41) so that we would have the clearest vision possible to what is at stake when we preach. What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of the preacher is soaked with the blood of Jesus and singed with the fire of hell. (Preaching the Cross John Piper, p 105-6 )

“That’s” Piper answers “the mantle that turns a mere talkers into preachers. Yet tragically some of the most prominent evangelicals voices today diminish the horror of the cross and the horror of hell – the one stripped of its power to bear our punishment, and the other demythologized into self-dehumanization and the social miseries of this world”. Continue reading

A Review of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”

By Kevin DeYoung

God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins”

Note: This post is long. You can go here for a PDF version of the 20-page review.

Love Wins, by megachurch pastor Rob Bell, is, as the subtitle suggests, “a book about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived.” Here’s the gist: Hell is what we create for ourselves when we reject God’s love. Hell is both a present reality for those who resist God and a future reality for those who die unready for God’s love. Hell is what we make of heaven when we cannot accept the good news of God’s forgiveness and mercy. But hell is not forever. God will have his way. How can his good purposes fail? Every sinner will turn to God and realize he has already been reconciled to God, in this life or in the next. There will be no eternal conscious torment. God says no to injustice in the age to come, but he does not pour out wrath (we bring the temporary suffering upon ourselves), and he certainly does not punish for eternity. In the end, love wins.

Bell correctly notes (many times) that God is love. He also observes that Jesus is Jewish, the resurrection is important, and the phrase “personal relationship with God” is not in the Bible. He usually makes his argument by referencing Scripture. He is easy to read and obviously feels very deeply for those who have been wronged or seem to be on the outside looking in.

Unfortunately, beyond this, there are dozens of problems with Love Wins. The theology is heterodox. The history is inaccurate. The impact on souls is devastating. And the use of Scripture is indefensible. Worst of all, Love Wins demeans the cross and misrepresents God’s character.

A Few Preliminaries

Before going any further with a critique, a number of preliminary comments are in order. A few opening remarks may help put this critical review in context and encourage productive responses.

One, although Bell asks a lot of questions (350 by one count), we should not write off the provocative theology as mere question-raising. Bell did not write an entire book because he was looking for some good resources on heaven and hell. This isn’t the thirteen-year-old in your youth group asking her teacher, “How can a good God send people to hell?” Any pastor worth his covenant salt will welcome sincere questions like this. (“Good question, Jenny, let’s see what the Bible says about that.”) But Bell is a popular teacher of a huge church with a huge following. This book is not an invitation to talk. It’s him telling us what he thinks (nothing wrong with that). As Bell himself writes, “But this isn’t a book of questions. It’s a book of responses to these questions” (19).

Two, we should notice the obvious: this is a book. It is a book with lots of Scripture references. It is a book that draws from history and personal experience. It makes a case for something. It purports one story of Christianity to be better than another. Bell means to persuade. He wants to convince us of something. He is a teacher teaching. This book is not a poem. It is not a piece of art. This is a theological book by a pastor trying to impart a different way of looking at heaven and hell. Whether Bell is creative or a provocateur is beside the point. If Bell is inconsistent, unclear, or inaccurate, claiming the “artist” mantle is no help. Continue reading

A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism

By Prayson Daniel

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

A growing list of signatures signed by world wide scientists with Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or other natural sciences; or  holding  M.D. and serve as professor of medicine refusing Darwinian theory.

Dissent From Darwin: What is it about:

During recent decades, new scientific evidence from many scientific disciplines such as cosmology, physics, biology, “artificial intelligence” research, and others have caused scientists to begin questioning Darwinism’s central tenet of natural selection and studying the evidence supporting it in greater detail.

Yet public TV programs, educational policy statements, and science textbooks have asserted that Darwin’s theory of evolution fully explains the complexity of living things. The public has been assured that all known evidence supports Darwinism and that virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.

The scientists on this list dispute the first claim and stand as living testimony in contradiction to the second. Since Discovery Institute launched this list in 2001, hundreds of scientists have courageously stepped forward to sign their names. Continue reading