Famous scholar, pastor and international affairs expert, Femi Aribisala explores the issue of ‘hell fire’ and all the controversies around the topic.
“His anger is but for a moment, his favour is for life.” (Psalm 30:5).When some Samaritans refused to allow Jesus free passage to Jerusalem, the Zebedee brothers asked him to call down fire from heaven on them, just as Elijah did. But Jesus rebuked them strongly. He said to them: “You do not know of what spirit you are.” (Luke 9:55).
In the same manner, most Christians today don’t seem to know of what spirit they are. As a result, they buy the lie, long promoted by those inclined to scare people into churches in order to get their money; that God is going to burn sinners in a fiery furnace for eternity.
This is preposterous. “God is love.” (1 John 4:8). He is not hate. “His anger is but for a moment, his favour is for life.” (Psalm 30:5). “Though he causes grief, yet he will show compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:31-33). “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:9-10).
We are told 41 times in scripture: “(God’s) mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1). Nevertheless, some Christians are so racked with evil and hate, they fail to realise there is a fundamental contradiction between a God whose mercy endures forever, and one who would burn sinners in a fiery furnace not for an hour, or a day, but for eternity.
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