Monday, 02 May 2011
Why is it that a majority of the population seems to believe that God is "sending" us to hell? When did this switch in thinking happen? For some strange reason that I've tried for years to understand, people have made God out to be this condemning, judgmental, bully that forces us to believe and serve him or else. I don't know what preacher they were listening to or what bible they were reading, but last time I checked, that's not how the story goes.
God doesn't "send" us to hell. Hell was created for the devil, not for people. In the book of Genesis, we are presented with the story of Adam and Eve and what is called the Fall of Man. As we take a look into the story, you find that God has created man (and woman) in his own image and all that jazz, pretty much because he wants kids, folks to love on him, make him happy, you know, like any good father would want. So he creates them, puts them in this flippin' awesome garden with everything you could ever want or need, and tells Adam, "So, just take care of things around here, make it look nice, watch over the animals, and I'll stop by every so often to see how you're doing. Oh, and see that tree over there? The one right by the Tree of Life? It's the Tree of Knowledge. Don't eat the fruit on that one." That was the only rule. He could look at it, touch it, have a picnic under it, heck, probably do the deed with Eve under it, but he just couldn't eat the fruit. Consider it like the "Tithe tree" that was dedicated to God. That was His, and Adam could have the other 90% of the garden. Pretty simple, right?
Now let's recap back to Satan, or Lucifer as he was going by at the time, up in heaven. This dude had it made. He was hangin' with God in his pad, making music. He was the ultimate choir director. I've even heard it said that he could make any musical sound from his body. It just emanated from him as if he was the instrument. I don't know if that was correct or not, but either the dude knew his music and his job in heaven was to make it for the Lord. So he's doing his thing, making music, and get's this idea his head. He begins to think that he's better than God and should be on top, the head honcho, the Big Guy. God hears his thought (yes, as in his actual thoughts, before he spoke it out loud), and casts him out of heaven along with 1/3 of the angels that "rallied to the devil's cause". The devil is pretty much exiled to earth with the sentence of eternity in the Lake of Fire when God brings the New Heaven and New Earth (check out Revelations for that story). So, it's pretty safe to say the Devil is pissed off. He just got out shot out from heaven like a comet along with his groupies and now has to roam to and fro about the earth until God pulls his tab and sends him to Hell. So he gets this plan.
Satan, being the sly devil he is (pun intended), devises a plan to take what God loves the most and corrupt it. Flash back to the Garden. In comes the snake and you know the rest of the story. He tricks Eve, who then gives the fruit to Adam, and the rest is history. (I'd like to point out that the bible never says the fruit is an apple. Also, that Sin was committed until Adam ate a piece. Just clearing some air there). So in comes God, coming to hang with Adam like he promised, and finds them hiding and wearing the latest fashion. There's a WTF? moment, Adam confesses, God already knows but appreciates the honesty, and he's forced to remove himself from the close personal relationship he had with them since he can't associate himself with sin. Also, I'd like to point out that before the eating of the fruit, it was pretty much assumed that Adam and Eve would live forever (especially seeing as how there was a "Tree of Life" in the garden. Duh.) and that there would be no pain and suffering, etc. But now, men was work hard for their money, deal with colds, broken bones, and women have labor pains... I think the men got the better end of the deal. And to top it all off, since Devil, and his groupies, and anything to do with death and sin must be sent to hell at the end of all this, now man is subject to the same fate.
But God doesn't like this. He loves us and doesn't want us to go to hell. So God, being God and all-knowing and stuff, has a back-up plan.
God: "Alright angels, so I'm gonna make man, but I don't want them to be robots.... I'm gonna give them Free Will."
Angels: "Um, are you sure that's a good idea? What if they decide not to love you? That's kinda risky."
God: "Yeah, I know. But I have faith in them. They know my voice and can feel my love for them. I believe they'll follow me."
Angels: "Alright. You know best..."
God: *turns to Jesus sitting at his right hand* "Okay Son. So this is what I'm going to do..."
Flash forward to the New Testament. Jesus lives a sinless life, takes on our sins, dies. Death, only seeing our sins plastered all over him, snatches him up and takes him to the Grave. But the Jesus whoops up on him, cause Death over-stepped it's bounds. It took a sinless man which is a no-no. So Jesus takes the keys of Death, Hell, and the Grave, and resurrects himself, reclaiming our souls.
He has a chat with the disciples, tells the to spread the word, get people Saved, and bring 'em back to God. Because he misses us. He misses loving us and blessing us and communing with us. So really, God isn't sending us to hell. We were already going there regardless, thanks to Adam's little incident. And God didn't like that. So he gave us an escape plan. "Believe in Me and receive eternal life." Why do you think it's called Salvation? Cause it sounds good? No. It's because that's what it is. A way out of a really sucky end. If the Devil is afraid of Hell's fires, why do you think God, who loves us , would be willing send us there? He wouldn't. And he Died on a Cross to prove it. That's the real story.
Do you think God sends people to hell? Where in scripture does is say whether or not God plays any part in the act of someone going to hell?