Reading Book Reviews, Hell, and TDA


Well I’ve just spent ages – possibly more than an hour – simply reading through book reviews for a single book that might force me to change my views on a very important aspect of Christian relationships. I don’t want to go into too many details just yet, and I don’t want to link to it just yet. At the moment I am not emotionally or spiritually strong enough to read this book, for the same reason I am (still) not yet strong enough to face a certain someone out there! Just as with facing him again, it could potentially be such a lifechanger and I need to feel emotionally and spiritually strong and ready.

On one hand, candidly speaking, I would LOVE to be able to revise my opinion on this topic, that is, the topic discussed in the book. It ranks right up there, along with Hell, as one of the aspects of the Christian faith I so desperately wish was not there. On the other hand candidly speaking, I suspect that I am about as likely to be convinced by the argument as I would be by a similar argument that Hell was not real. But I hope that I will at least have the honesty to approach the subject with a genuinely open mind – and Bible.

Speaking of Hell (I should also post this on the relevant blog) I really feel that the current way I express it is not sufficiently gracious. So I would ask readers to bear with me – while I try to think of a more gentle way to tell people that no matter what they might assume, if the Bible is true, and if they reject the salvation of Christ for themselves, then the ultimate destination for them after death will be the burning flames of eternal damnation. At the very best, we can only hope that this reference to flames is a Biblical metaphor. I am so mindful that so many people whose lives have ended will already be experiencing this, or be inescapably on the route to experiencing it.

For anyone who reads that blog, please, please let me emphasise to you that I wish, pretty much more than any thing on earth, that Hell was not real. As much as I want to be married, I would give up my dreams of an amazing earth-shattering marriage a hundred, a thousand times over for Hell not to be real at all.

And yet the fact that I do not want it to be real will not change the fact that it is. Just as the fact that I wish that people did not die does not change the fact that they do. God is real, the Bible is true, Jesus is real, our sin is also real and also has very heavy consequences. I urge everyone reading this post to honestly think through the message of Christ for themselves and make an honest decision for themselves about the truth of God. If there was ever a single thing on earth to tell yourself the truth about, this would be it. Yes, this could be your eternity at stake. However it is not just about eternity. It is not just about what happens after we die. Jesus taught us that eternal life starts right here on earth. It is about peace and joy and confidence and optimism and self-acceptance right down here on earth. It is the way that those things fill my life right now, in contrast with the pain that I feel after my own sin, that make me absolutely sure that this is all real.

So choose Christ now, and enjoy Him forever! (I’ll refrain from making a witty joke off this for the benefit of a certain someone out there!)

Oh very well, speaking of a certain someone out there, was it really inappropriate of me to describe myself as being liable to explode (er, all over him – and his clothing!)?! I obviously did not mean my own physical self; I meant rather my feelings and yearnings, like a pressure cooker, where so much pressure has built up and built up (and built up and built up) that one day BOOM the whole thing just goes. To be honest it is not even the explosion itself that I am scared of. Rather it is the fear of it happening inappropriately, or in an uncontrolled manner – that is, before marriage! As long as it is controlled etc, I know that there are no other arms I would rather be exploding into, no-one else’s shirts that I would want to contain the mess. And I would be more than happy to welcome your own explosions too.

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