Reply to Janney at “The Hell with Christianity” « Evangelical Realism

My reply to Janney who challenged me on my claim that everyone is going to heaven:


If you’d never been to earth and I told you that you were going to earth, you probably wouldn’t have a very clear perception of what the experience would be like. Not only that, if I gave you ten pictures of ten diverse places you could go on earth once you got here, you still wouldn’t have a clear picture of just how diverse and large the planet is. There’s every reason to expect that heaven is far more vast and diverse than earth. Therefore, your view of the accommodations in heaven is quite limited.

If you call shame and regret forms of suffering, then, yes, those experiences await those who deserve them to the degree that they are deserved. The apostle Peter was thrilled to see Jesus risen from the dead, but his joy was mitigated by the shame he felt for having denied His teacher at a critical time. Fortunately for him, it was a momentary lapse in an otherwise courageous life that certainly puts me to shame.

James 2:13 is where we find the principle “mercy triumphs over judgment.” You don’t have to think about this principle very long with respect to the afterlife to realize that a heaven for all with specific placement according to moral merit is the only outcome that is a fitting expression of this principle. As Jesus said, many who are first here will be last there, and vice versa. The traditional heaven-or-hell scenario is a complete violation of mercy triumphs over judgment. Jesus Christ is not one to preach something He does not practice.

via The Hell with Christianity « Evangelical Realism.

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