Saturday, May 9, 2015

Because Of Love . . . Hell.

Here's something I would urge you to consider, keep in mind . . . going forward. . . .

This is something I will claim to know to be true--not just believe to be true.  The Holy Spirit Who guides to and through truth reveals it to me.

One of the highest matters of "work" we should be about--and all those born again ARE about whether they consciously realize it or not . . . is in learning how to discern what is discerned by and through the Spirit . . . versus what is taken by mere emotion, sentiment and programmed thought.

I've touched on it before, ie., as it relates to "spiritual" experiences in a church setting, whether what is being experienced is primarily fleeting emotion or actual Spirit.  We are prone to mistake emotion for Spirit.  Spirit can and does affect emotion, but I dare say it is something OTHER.  As I have realized it--as it has been revealed to me . . . genuine Spiritual experience (of Godly Spirit) is something very refined and transcendent to usual human experience.  It is subtle, distinct . . . and is received as something coming from afar--from what seems like a completely other kind of reality than what we generally interact with.  Describing it (which is actually a Him, a Person) can indeed be roughly described as a "still small voice" . . . a "gentle whisper".

Usually, when a provocative proposition is made to you, you will have a quick, knee-jerk reaction to it.  This will be your programming--the "tradition" you harbor . . . the emotional attachments you have engrained from your own particular biases--which biases come from, ie., how you were raised, what you have decided to follow and believe, peer pressure etc.  This instant response may be, in fact, in line with the truth of the challenge presented to you--as in, the emotions and thoughts that rise forth might actually be Godly in the sense that you are reacting in a way that conforms to how God sees it (for in this case you are indeed within His will on the thing) but many times all that is happening is that you have a set of beliefs and ideas that disagree for one subjective, relative reason or another.

I have found that it is a good practice to let that initial rise of ire or enthusiasm pass . . . like so much smoke from a quickly set fire . . . and then to re-approach the matter with a fresh eye, looking past the smoke and heat for the actual SPIRITUAL truth . . . which lies beyond the merely material and so-called "natural".  And all must be checked against the standard of truth found in His holy Word.

Here is an example to test the method. . . .

I suggest that Hell exists (at least for one major reason) because of God's immense, profound, holy love.

Now, at first, the "natural" reaction is to usually to recoil and run from the premise because of the immediate confusion and a knee-jerk rejection based in solidly held (personal) beliefs and sentiment.

But this is because we don't really understand what Godly love is.  We have our own idea of what love is and what a so-called "loving" God ought to be like.

Spiritually, however, I will assert that I perceive (as it is revealed to me) that we have a tawdry, small, narrow and pathetic understanding of just how profound and critical is this aspect of God which we call "love".  In reality, His love for holiness, for perfection, truth, goodness and for us . . . is so deep and so important . . . that something as awful as Hell is necessary to set it in such stark relief as a testament to His love for His chosen children.  

When you realize that you are one of His . . . and the stakes and example are so high--so critical to be made in the display of His glory . . . you are moved to the kind of devastated humility and gratitude that is the kind, for instance, that is grateful for martyrdom and considers it a minuscule sacrifice toward a debt that you could never remotely hope to allay.

We are ridiculously inconsiderate and uncomprehending of the magnitude of God's glory and goodness and majesty and woefully shy of realizing the gift He gives us in being created to share in it.    Those who would deny or minimalize His aspect of justness--as it is seen in the existence of Hell and the damned who are put there--simply do not comprehend the awe-full magnitude of just how precious is the fact of our very life and existence . . . within His creation, let alone being made in His image.

The proposition here is . . .  that Hell exists because of God's love . . . of His Son . . . and of those who He has created to give to His Son . . . for eternity. 

A crude analogy would be like this:  Your sweet, little toddler boy . . . is targeted . . . taken . . . and viciously tortured and abused by a criminal who hates YOU.  To get at you, he torments your precious child for weeks on end.  In the midst of the torture and abuse the criminal all the while tries to convince the toddler that it is YOUR fault this is happening and that it is because you actually hate your child that this occurred.  Finally the criminal is caught and to be punished.  The criminal is unrepentant.  He still hates you and your child and swears that he always will . . . and it is the fact that he always will.  There is nothing in him that will ever allow him to change.  Are you going to slap him on the wrist and turn him loose?  What kind of love would this show your child who was so brutally tormented?  No, because you love and cherish your precious child so much . . . you will have this evil being put away . . . for good.  For the good of all, including of course, your little boy.  Because of your love . . . the criminal must be put away and left to stand as an example of your care and protection and LOVE for what is good.  The severity of the punishment inversely corresponds to length of your love for your little one.  The more dire the condemnation of the one . . . shows the actuality and depth of your love for the other.

Analogies by definition always fall short of the thing actually alluded to.  But I say it again . . . Hell exists because of God's perfect love (for us) and His character of perfect justice and holiness . . . the profundity and reality of . . . we can only perceive in the Spirit . . . as it is wholly beyond our natural, human, creaturely comprehension and experience.  His mercy is shown by the fact that some of WERE that criminal and He chose to save and transform us into the very image of His one, perfect Son.

1 comment:

Linda R said...

God is loving, not selfish. God cares, and is not cruel. God is reasonable, and not tyrannical, and that is precisely why hell is a reality for those who continue to sin and who refuse to repent and obey God (Luke 13:3; Romans 6:23; 1Corinthians 6:9-10; Hebrews 5:9; Revelation 21:8). Hell is not an unreasonable place of punishment to which an evil God sends good men, but hell is a just place of punishment to which our good God sends evil men.

All have voluntarily chosen to sin against themselves, to sin against their neighbor, and to sin against God (Romans 3:10-23). All have done what they knew was wrong (Romans 2:15), and thereby justly deserve punishment!

Brother Thomas ©2015

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