The Get Out of Hell Free Theology
Recently this year, popular pastor Rob Bell of Grand Rapids, MI re-introduced and old wine theology in a contemporary wine skin. It is outlined in a book by the title, Love Wins. It captured the imagination of the secular media and others, proposing a form of Universalism. This is a system of theology that applies to people who reject God, that is, do not allow the Lord Jesus to be their Savior and Lord. For them there is a second chance. In other words he argues, since Jesus died for all, we are all saved—eventually. Using conveniently selective passages of scripture, Bell argues after death, it is possible to come to faith, gain God's favor and, thereby, escape Hell.
While the book is completely lacking in scholarship, it captures the imagination of the secular crowd because in the heart of man there is a secret hope that we do not have to yield ourselves to serve God and others. We can live our life as we please, the figure it all out after we pass from this planet. Wishful thinking that centuries ago was developed into an intricate synthesis of escape called Purgatory.
Bell voids and avoids some key passages such as,
Of course, if Rob Bell is correct, the task of bringing some to faith in Jesus is trivial. There is no need to be prepared to give an account of the hope that is within us, as there is another hope. Any chance to share Christ can be blown off.
If there is something else apart from being saved by grace through faith, then we as Christians are most to be pitied, as the Apostle Paul remarks. Martyrs die in vain. All evangelists, pastors and missionaries are fired under the Bell system. We need do nothing to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth; preach the gospel to save some; or make disciples of the nations. Jesus was only trying to confuse us when he reported:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
For all who believe and strive to serve, it is not, Love Wins, but rather Love Leaves No Choice to warn people that "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) As Christ-followers we must be engaged in making disciples of the nations. It is our assignment from on high. We must each consider, what will be my grade on that assignment? We each must determine to obey—or not. Love leaves no choice.