There’s a new purveyor of false doctrine in town, and they’re using the same argument often used by Atheists to deny God’s justice and punishment of the wicked. The New Covenant Group argues against Hell using a famous but woefully ignorant line of argumentation commonly employed by those who deny God’s existence. Before I address this and show you not only the absurdity of the argument but how to easily dismantle it, I want you to watch the following video from NCG to better understand the problem:
I originally found the above video on The Museum of Idolatry and the following was Chris Rosebrough’s commentary:
Here’s a nifty trick used by almost ALL false teachers. Ignore the clear teaching of the Bible and build a straw man argument based upon a distorted view of the evidence (in this case via suppression of clear Biblical data). Then beat up on the straw man that you’ve constructed (that shouldn’t be because hard [sic] straw men don’t fight back). Once the straw man is good and dead then assert your own position as if it were the truth.
That’s precisely what’s happening in this video put out by the “New Covenant Group” that claims there is no hell. Pay REAL CLOSE attention to the fact that NONE of the passages where Jesus teaches the doctrines of God’s wrath and eternal punishment are discussed. Instead, there is only an appeal to an artificially constructed Jesus that was built using only partial data and warped human reasoning.
Chris certainly hit the nail on the head and now I would like to explore this straw man that the thespian and his pastor in the above video concocted.
First of all I want to make it clear that the sovereign, glorious, majestic, holy God of all creation isn’t a grovelling middle-aged, balding man like the theatrical blasphemer in the above video. Secondly, God begs and grovels for no man! Until you begin to understand the infinite holiness and unparalleled awesomeness of God you won’t begin to understand the fallacy of their argument.
The proposition that God wants us to love Him but if we don’t He will then send us to Hell for all eternity is a misrepresentation of the Gospel and is the product of this very poorly constructed straw man.
It’s not a matter of if we don’t love Him then He’ll cast us into Hell, mankind is already going there. There is no neutrality in the issue of man standing before God. God is not wringing His hands hoping someone, somewhere, will love Him. We are born into iniquity, there is no good in us, we are always doing evil, and we do not seek after God (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:11, 23).
Secondly, we are already in judgment. The Bible is clear that the wrath of God already abides on sinners (John 3:36) and that those who do not believe in the Son of God are already judged (John 3:18). We are not floating around this life in a state of neutrality and after our death we’ll then find out if we are going to receive Heaven or Hell. No, we are drudging around this life with the fetters of sin constantly about us. We are tethered to the abyss of Hell from birth because we are born unregenerate and hostile to God; it is our very nature.
Thirdly, their argument is absolutely fallacious because God knows that unless He calls us, we aren’t going to love Him anyway (John 6:44, John 17:2). And every one of us who are His elect, His chosen, His children were on that same road. It wasn’t until God in His infinite grace, mercy, and love toward us (while we were yet still sinners) rescued us from our rebellious and hostile stance against Him.
The concept that God wants us to love Him or He’ll throw us into Hell is a concept absolutely foreign to Scripture and any serious Bible student should know that. This warped depiction of the holy Triune God of all creation by these mockers in the above video is based solely on their blatant misrepresentation of Scripture (or more specifically a total absence of Scripture). And the furtherance of their lie is wholly dependent upon the biblical illiteracy of their church members.
We are not saved by our act of choosing to love God, and conversely we don’t have to refuse to love God to be found guilty and thus be cast into Hell. Without Christ we already stand condemned!
But the good news is that God loved us so much that He offered His only Son as a propitiation for our sins. Jesus Christ took on human form and willingly gave up His life as a perfect substitute to save us from the wrath of God and from the Hell that we so justly deserve. The condition of escaping Hell is not based on our loving God, it is based on the finished work of Christ at Calvary.