Monday, November 28, 2016

being and nonbeing

Lewis talks about hell today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He says that hell, in his understanding, is not a place where people are punished forever. He (correctly) points out that merciful people find the idea of being in heaven while knowing that there are people suffering forever in hell difficult to accept. That the joy of heaven would be lessened by the knowledge that there are people suffering in hell.

Lewis's solution to this problem is that the damned don't go on suffering forever. They are cast into the lake of fire ... and then, he would say, pretty much cease to exist. That is one possibility.

We are also permitted to hope and pray that no humans actually end up in the lake of fire. That's my hope. I want everyone to eventually be redeemed. Will it happen? We'll see.

Of course, we know that the objection is not valid in the first place. Nothing will diminish our joy in being in the presence of Jesus. No sorrow or pain can touch us there. He wipes away every tear. In the wonderful words of Julian of Norwich, He will make all things well, and all things well, and all manner of things well. He will take all of the tangled strings of history and weave a perfect work of art. He is the master, and I can't wait to see what He makes of all of this.

God, thank You for being so good at what You do.