22 April 2011

John MacArthur on "Bell's Inferno"

Pastor John MacArthur wrapped up his series about Rob Bell yesterday. My assessment of this last article? I believe the proper terms are: Whoa, and, Amen. As usual, MacArthur uses strong words to address this incredibly serious situation. What he is saying absolutely needed to be declared loudly and boldly. Similar words should be said about multiple other false teachers as well, and I pray that Christian leaders will begin to stand up and warn their flocks about these dangerous men and women rather than keeping silent in the name of "peace" and "unity." Peace and unity among the brethren, yes, but never at the expense of the truth.
No one in all the Scriptures had more to say about hell than Jesus. No stern messenger of doom from the era of the Judges, no fiery Old Testament prophet, no writer of imprecatory psalms, and no impassioned apostle (including the Boanerges brothers)—not even all of them combined—mentioned hell more frequently or described it in more terrifying terms than Jesus.
And the hell Jesus spoke of was not merely some earthly ordeal, some sour state of mind, or some temporary purgatorial prison. Jesus described hell as a “place of torment” in the afterlife (Luke 16:28)—a place of “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43), “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (v. 48). It is a “place [where] there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30)—a place of “eternal punishment” (v. 46).
Rob Bell is clearly unhappy with Jesus’ teaching about hell. He finds the very idea of hell morally repugnant and believes it is one of the main reasons “why lots of people want nothing to do with the Christian faith.” He scoffs at the idea that divine justice requires endless punishment for unrepentant sinners. In direct opposition to what Jesus Himself taught in Matthew 25:46, Bell insinuates that it would be a gross, cosmic atrocity if the doom of the reprobate is everlasting in the same sense that heaven’s blessings for the redeemed are everlasting.
Bell’s notion of sin seems to be that its main evil consists in the hurt it causes to the sinner rather than the offense it causes to a righteous and almighty God. His concept of “justice” makes the punishment of sin wholly optional. His idea of mercy falsely holds forth a false promise of automatic leniency and a second chance after death to people already inclined to take divine clemency for granted anyway.
Rob Bell’s god is clearly no one to be feared.
[...]
The sad reality is that if Rob Bell does not confess the truth in this life, one day he will realize how wrong his understanding of hell really is. His view of hell will be painfully altered forever when he receives the more severe punishment reserved for those who with a Bible in their hands mock God and trample the blood of Christ underfoot (Hebrews 10:29; cf. 2 Peter 2:21).
Continue reading here.
We must be praying for Rob Bell to come to repentance and faith in the true Jesus Christ, not the one that he has fabricated in his own mind. And we must pray for the thousands, if not millions, who have been deceived by this man. Finally, we must be praying for the true Church, that her members would be bold to speak Truth, and unashamed to stand upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
SEE ALSO:
Rob Bell's Universalism
More Thoughts on Rob Bell's Thoughts on Hell
Obligatory Rob Bell Update
Kevin DeYoung Reviews "Love Wins"
John MacArthur Speaks Out Against Rob Bell
Is Rob Bell "Evangelical and Orthodox to the Bone?" Hardly.
Rob Bell's Unbelief in His Own Words
A Conversation with Rob Bell

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