Wednesday, June 1, 2016
And what he says is very important, I think. He tells us that we DO know, from the teachings of the Bible and of the church, that no one can come to the Father (which means, among other wonderful things, going to heaven) unless they go through Jesus. Jesus is the only way to heaven. There is no other way.
However, as Lewis points out, we don't know how much a person has to KNOW about Jesus in order to be saved through Him. We do know that God has chosen, out of His amazing mercy and grace, to save us humans from the results of our actions: those results being eternal death. And we know that He is full of infinite mercy and grace. So when it comes to those who never hear the gospel message, or those who hear it but not in a way that they can accept, we can trust God's mercy and grace to give them the best destination that exists.
But one thing is very illuminating. The New Testament tells us that Jesus, after He died, went and preached the good news to those from Noah's day. That gets more and more remarkable, the more you think about it. Because the Bible makes it pretty clear that everyone except Noah, during Noah's time, was "only doing evil continually". And yet. Jesus goes and gives THEM.. the people only doing evil continually... a chance to hear the gospel and be saved.
That's pretty amazing.
So, along with the church, I say that we don't know who goes to hell, if anyone. Some very good, Godly Christians insist that hell will be full of people, and that there will be millions there. I don't argue that they deserve it, as we all do. But I hope that hell is devoid of people.
And I pray daily that those who don't know Him will come to know Him, so that they will make this question moot.
But like Lewis says... it makes no sense to AVOID following Jesus just because some might, by avoiding Him, go to hell. Joining them there won't help anyone.
God, thank You for Your infinite mercy and grace, that saves little sinners like me.