“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” C.S. Lewis
Throughout my life, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to develop my own thinking and sharpen my skills to defend my beliefs. Some of these occurred in classroom setting in various honors English, History and Science classes. Others occurred more naturally between friends and intellectuals with whom I’ve had the pleasure to interact. I’m not certain everyone gets (or takes) this opportunity in life, which sometimes leads to people simply following blind religion, or not having any beliefs at all. In my humble opinion, this is dangerous, and perhaps one reason why the Bible refers to humanity as “sheep” (which truly are not very intelligent creatures who simply follow their shepherd). I much rather believe it important to understand not only what you believe, but why you believe it. By that same token, I respect the fact that intellectuals can search their own beliefs and arrive at difference conclusions yet still respect one another.
To that end, I also believe that those who are still searching and not quite sure what to believe about God and/or the Bible should continue to wrestle with it, to study, and to challenge their thoughts about it. Through critical thinking, God will bring about His truth for your life.
CS Lewis has long been one of my favorite authors. As a child, I was mesmerized by The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and fell in love with the magical kingdom of Narnia. As I grew older, I realized that his writing is much, much deeper, and, in fact, contains much symbolism. Heralded as one of the foremost apologetic’s of our century, the writings of C. S. Lewis make me search deep in my own mind to understand why I believe what I believe.
In my tenth grade honors English class, I sat in front of Sergio. He had a full black beard and crazy hair and resembled Wolfman Jack. He was kind of a “wierd” loner and most students thought he was rather creepy. My friend, Bruce, sat beside me – Bruce would remind you of Hermie, the meek and mild dentist from Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer. (Sergio earned a degree in Physics from Pitt and Bruce went on to Princeton University where he earned degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, so both were rather intelligent). One day our class engaged in discussion of whether or not life existed after death, and whether Heaven and Hell were real places. As the students passionately debated the existence of Heaven and Hell and/or whether or not everyone automatically went to Heaven, Sergio piped up and said matter-of-factly, “If there is no hell and we all go to heaven no matter what, then I’m going to out and start hacking people up because there will be no consequences for my actions.” This was long before schools and other public places became war zones for mass attacks. The whole room fell silent and Bruce and I exchanged glances as if to say, “why do we have to be the ones sitting closest to him?”
Although the way he made his point was frightening to those around, his point was actually valid… if there are no eternal consequences for our actions on earth, why have any law at all?
Although everyone shuddered at his ghoulish statement, his point was actually a valid one. If, in fact, there are no negative consequences of our actions, either in this life or the next, anarchy would reign supreme.
There are some wonderful Christians who believe a loving Creator could never send His beings to hell. While this is certainly a pretty picture, my opinion is that it’s not consistent with scripture. If you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God (which I do), it is impossible to subscribe to some verses and dismiss others.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.
2 Peter 2:4-10a | NIV
5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Luke 12:5 | NIV
For me, I believe the Bible shows us that both Heaven and Hell are real. I’d say, also, that there are plenty of other verses that, for me, indicate Hell is real. I believe too, that for me to fully understand the depravity of my sin, I need to understand Hell.
The good news is that God has created a way for us to be forgiven of our sins to spend eternity with Him. He can take the foulest of the foul and make them clean when we accept Him as our Savior and allow Him to be Lord of our Lives…. no matter how crooked our perspective is. I don’t encourage you to go out and start hacking people up, but I do believe that Gods grace is sufficient to extend to those who have done things they believe are unforgivable… with a broken and contrite heart, He can forgive you and clean up your past to live your future with Him.
Be blessed today, my friends