Mainstream Christian theology teaches that hell is eternal conscious torment. I contend that the Bible doesn’t teach that. A few passages in the Bible do seem to refer to eternal conscious torment. One of them is the story about the rich man and Lazarus.
Would you say, “Faith without works goes to heaven”? Might you say, “Faith without works returns to God”? Surely you wouldn’t say, “Faith without works burns in hell forever.” Surely.
Many people — and most Christians — believe that people go to heaven when they die. This belief is not supported by scripture.
If your beliefs are based on scripture, a built-in premise for each of your beliefs is that the scripture is true. Is that a sound premise in your case? I urge you to examine the evidence for and against the validity of the scripture that your beliefs are based on.
We each need a heart that sorrows when others are hurting, a heart that seeks to bless rather than curse, a heart so full of love that there is no room for hate. We need the heart of God.
Perhaps even worse than these tragedies in the news is the cruelty in the hearts of people who make light — and even fun — of other people’s suffering. We need healed relationships and healed bodies. Most of all, though, we need healed hearts.
There was a time when there was only good. Then evil entered the picture. But evil is a companion of good for a limited time only. One of these days, if we choose to trust God, our knowledge of evil will be only a memory.
James wasn’t a blind believer in Jesus. He wasn’t an in-the-bag follower, just because He was his brother or a nice guy. James believed only when he was presented with compelling evidence.
It is important that we know where ideas come from, especially the ideas we embrace or reject. It matters why we believe what we believe. We would be wise to base our beliefs — not on desires or hopes or an attempted explanation of one person’s notion — but on evidence.
Some have the task of governing. The rest of us have the task of discerning whether that governance is to be respected or rejected. May we choose well.
The claim of Jesus’s resurrection deserves investigation because there is evidence for it and because, if it is true, it is of utmost significance to us all. If Jesus rose from the dead, we too can be resurrected to eternal life. Our future just might depend on history.
Jealousy is widely regarded as a negative trait, one that implies a flaw ranging anywhere from insecurity to psychotic possessiveness. Yet, the Bible names jealousy as an attribute of a perfect God.