Does Our Assumed Heaven Exist?
Most believers — and even nonbelievers — see heaven as a place of joy and love, where “ever tear is wiped away.”
But how can heaven exist if we are eternally separated from some of our relatives and friends?
For the truly loving person, will heaven be a kind of hell as we eternally remember the anguish and punishment of our unsaved loved ones?
Let’s look at a couple of assumptions within Christian community.
1.) Eternal life is for those who benevolently love Jesus and love others.
2.) Eternal hell is for those who don’t.
3.) People who love others suffer with those who suffer. (Assuming that compassion is a characteristic of love).
Let’s make a couple conclusions based on the previous assumptions:
1.) The benevolent people who will be in heaven will suffer for those who are not in heaven.
2.) Heaven for the benevolent will be a form of hell. Those in heaven will eternally suffer with those in hell.
How can you enjoy heaven knowing that billions of sinners are suffering an eternity in hell?
Both the assumptions and conclusions have been questioned by many within and without the church. Which assumption/conclusion do you question?
If you agree with all the assumptions, how does or doesn’t this “problem” change your perspective of heaven?
Here’s how different Christians attempt to solve this problem:
1. We nix the “love others” part by distancing ourselves in a type of isolationism that denigrates the “other.”
2. In consideration of God’s great, offended glory, we realize that the sinner deserves eternal hell for their transgressions against God’s glory.
3. We make salvation from a hell a simple commodity that is obtained by an easy, “I’m a sinner” prayer.
4. We emphasize free will and culpability to such a degree that it makes it seem as though the sinner has CHOSEN hell … and is in the place he or she WANTS to be.
5. We propose a type of annihilationism that sees hell as less than eternal.
7. We engage in missions, working tirelessly to see every soul save.
Which one of the above seven responses most resonate with you?