The following is a recent quote by Lawrence O’Donnell, the anchor of a weeknight MSNBC opinion and news program entitled: The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
“The book of Revelation is a work of fiction describing how a truly vicious God would bring about the end of the world. Now, no half-smart religious person believes the book of Revelation anymore.”
O’Donnell’s assessment of the Bible is not altogether surprising; however, meet author and Pastor Rob Bell. Bell pastors a large church in Michigan. Bell recently authored the book, ‘Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person…’ This book was on the New York Times best selling list. Pastor Bell appears in Time magazines list of the world’s 100 most influential people. The magazine also ran a feature story entitled, ‘Is Hell Dead’ based on Bell’s book.
Bell’s book surprisingly contends that hell is incompatible with a loving God and that questions about hell are unanswerable. He states:
“Will everybody be saved, or will some perish apart from God forever because of their choices?” He goes on to state, “…We don’t need to resolve them (questions) or answer them because we can’t…”
While Pastor Bell might believe questions about the reality of hell are unanswerable, the Bible has explicit commentary on the subject.
“…it is a righteous thing with God to repay…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven…in flaming fire taking vengeance on those…who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord…” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9
To dismiss the reality of hell is to dismiss Jesus’ own teachings.
“…The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades (hell), he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off…Then he cried out and said… ‘I am tormented in this flame.’” Luke 16:22-24
Much more is said about hell and the everlasting Lake of Fire in the final book in the Bible, i.e. ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ.’ Recall this is the book that MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said no half-smart religious person would believe.
According to the Bible, after the seven year tribulation period, both the anti-Christ and his cohort the false prophet are dealt with.
“Then the beast (anti-Christ) was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast… These two were cast alive into the lake of fire…” Revelation 19:20
Then after the millennial reign of Christ all people from all ages who have rejected God’s free gift of redemption will stand before the Great White Throne of God.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God…and the dead were judged according to their works…Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them, and they were judged each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire…” Revelation 20:12-14
To deny these truths is to take away from the word of God. That has severe consequences according to the final verses of the Bible.
“…everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book…if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life…” Revelation 22:18-19
And the fate of those whose name is not written in the Book of Life?
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
Thus the Bible clearly connects the dots, i.e. those who choose to reject the Biblical teachings relative to hell are said to take away from the word of God. Those who take away from the word of God will not be found in the Book of Life, and those not found in the Book of Life will end in the everlasting Lake of Fire, the very place which they denied.
And we, along with Lawrence O’Donnell and Pastor Bell have the freedom to believe what we will. Ultimately all will know if ‘hell is real’ and if Mr. O’Donnell really had the last word.