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April 02, 2011

Comments

Igor Pashchuk

The awesome reality is that God ultimately gives us what we want. If I want Him, I get Him. If I want something else, then I don't want to be in heaven -- after all, heaven is all about Him, and why would I want to spend eternity worshipping Him -- a very boring prospect at best and likely a highly offensive one. God, in His mercy and grace, would not force me into heaven but give me what I want instead (plus, there are no rebels in heaven, so it works out for everyone). It is then that the agony will consummate: knowing that what I've sought after all my life indeed are empty cisterns and the One I hated is the Fountain of Life.

Alan Cross

Absolutely, Igor. I hope that you and your family are doing well! You just explained the gist of what I have considered Lewis view on this to be - we will get exactly what we desire. If we want to go our own way apart from God, we will get that.
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tonya

Having not read Rob's book either (and really not caring to), I may be missing the point entirely... But what I want to hear more people talk about is not what Rob Bell says nor even what CS Lewis says (though I love Lewis!), but what does God's Word say about those who perish apart from Him? That's really the only opinion that truly counts. And really it doesn't matter if God chooses us or we choose Him (if it did, He would have plainly told us); the most important thing is what one does at the crossroad. Those that hear and believe are saved, and those who have heard must be diligent about sharing the good news with others. What more do we need to know? I love how Paul says that he knew was determined to "know" nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Love it!

Alan Cross

Tonya, I brought this up because many are using CS Lewis (who is respected by many Evangelicals) to support Bell, who is being condemned for his book. My point is just that Lewis, whatever else he says on the subject, is at least saying that how we respond to Jesus in this life really matters. In that, he is agreeing with what you are saying here. We all end up conversing with other believers, either living or dead, on Biblical issues, and none of us reads Scripture in a vacuum. But, I agree wholeheartedly with you that we need to look at what the Scriptures say and you give a good word there. I am actually thinking of doing a summer sermon series on heaven, hell, and how eternity affects us now. So, I am working through some of this.
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Tom Hicks

Thanks for the thoughts Alan! Question. When you said, "that God gives us a chance in this life to respond to His gracious offer of salvation in Christ," do you mean that He has given everyone who has ever lived a chance to choose Christ and be saved?

Alan Cross

Thanks for the clarifying question, Tom. No, I am talking about through the gospel. God has been gracious to provide a way through Christ and he calls us to proclaim the Good News and for people everywhere to repent.
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Tom Hicks

I was pretty sure you wouldn't have said yes. I only asked since Lewis wasn't always so clear. From The Last Battle:

"But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thaou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true... that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which that hast done to him, for I and he ar of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. . . . But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yes I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek."

Summer Whatley

As I read this blog, I am struck with a sobering reality: Life just isn't about me and my life. As a 21st century American, I've never bowed to a king. I don't know what it is to serve and worship someone to the extent that I would plan my future around their pleasure. As wonderful as our God is, I wish I had an excuse from serving Him, simply because He is so holy and demanding--gently demanding--but demanding, still.

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