Recently, one of the most popular false teachers of our current day, Rob Bell, published a book entitled, Love Wins. I have not read the book and have no intention of it. I have listened to his video, and acquainted myself with his general premises. When reading what I did read, and listening to what I did hear, my heart breaks, my stomach turns, and my blood pressure rises, as I see that the lie he is telling is receiving a listening ear, and a wonderful welcome from his followers. Everything within me cries out to God that his message be silenced, and God’s truth be shouted from the mountain tops. Man is not saved by God’s Love, but by Jesus’ Blood!
There are a couple of facts that Mr. Bell, and those like him dismiss, deny, ignore, reject, or merely pretend them away into the fog of “let’s act like their not here.”
The first, is the Righteousness of God. One of the fundamental parts of who God is, is not merely His love for humanity, but His hatred for sin. Sin must be punished! Period. Love does not ignore sin, it is because of Love that sin is punished. The Bible makes it as plain as it can, that God is a God of Love AND of Righteousness, AND of Judgment. Psalm 33:4-5 – “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”
To dismiss the blood of Jesus is to deny God’s holy hatred for sin. What Mr. Bell would have people believe is that God’s forgiveness of sin, is really nothing more than God ignoring sin, and pretending that it doesn’t exist; showing that he neither understands forgiveness, or sin. The reality is that God’s forgiveness of me is only possible because of Christ’s substitute for me. Because Jesus received my punishment, God could give me His righteousness. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.”
What Mr. Bell has done is to make God out to be an evil, malevolent, and unloving God. Think about it. If God could just ignore sin, or forgive it without the blood, then what He put Jesus through on the cross was absolutely futile. If God merely overlooks sin, then He tortured, abused, and murdered His son, for no good reason. If Mr. Bell were correct about his concept of God’s forgiveness, then he would be incorrect about his concept of God being a Loving God. A Loving God who tortures His Son for sin, that doesn’t really matter? Not quite.
The fact is that it is because of God’s Love that sin must be punished. The fundamental illustration that makes this clear is the old addage that says, “When a guilty man goes free, the Judge is condemned.” If you were to be victimized by a criminal, and the judge were to merely overlook the wrong, the last thing that you would be willing to say is that the Judge is a righteous judge.
The Bible prints in dark black ink, on bright white paper, for all the world to see, “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: Nahum 1:2-3
Never let the devil trade the scriptural for the sentimental. We never have to wonder what God is like, because His Word has told us, and His Son has shown us. To deny the doctrine of hell, is to deny the deity of Jesus. As C.S. Lewis said, Jesus cannot be Lord, and liar at the same time, and Jesus Himself specifically warned us of the literal hell, on more than one occasion. In fact, most of what we know of hell, came from the lips of our Savior Himself. If He is lying, He is not Lord. If His Word is no good, then He is no God.
My hope and prayer is that this new book will be a smashing failure. The Bible says, that God so loved the world that He gave His Son. It does not say that God so loved the world that He merely ignored their sin. The Love of the Father without the Blood of the Son, does not redeem any man. It is because of God’s Love, that Jesus shed His own blood, that we might be saved. For all men to come to the knowledge of that is really the Only Change there is that is worth making.