Updated: Nov 17, 2019
“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 1 Corinthians 11:14-15 NKJV
“For Jesus, heaven and hell were present realities. Ways of living we can enter into here and now. He talked very little of the life beyond this one” Rob Bell (Rob Bell (2006). “Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith”, p.147, Harper Collins).
Rob Bell is a proponent of deceptive doctrine.
Rob Bell is a universalist (someone who believes that all will be saved) and he is a dangerous vessel being used by the kingdom of darkness. He is perceived by multitudes as an angel of light, when in reality, he is a proponent of deceptive doctrine. The quote above is completely misguided when it comes to the Word of God. It deserves critical feedback, for if people think that there is no Hell and that Jesus talked “very little of the life beyond this one”, they will live like devils.
The foolishness of a "Christian" Universalist.
Rob Bell indirectly (or maybe even directly) is feeding the ego and needs of the people. I am astounded at the amount of people who claim to be Christians and deny that Hell is a real place. This fallacious ideology is damning to the soul! What Rob Bell is basically saying is, “Live however you want! There are no eternal consequences. Be a rapist, be a drunk, be a Hitler; in the end, everyone is still making it to Heaven because God is love.” How damning of a mindset this is - this false doctrine gives people the view that they can do whatever they want and God will always love them - That somehow, someway, God is going to bring everyone into Heaven eventually, despite many wanting nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. "Feel free to be a Satanist who blasphemes God your whole life and never repent and believe in Jesus Christ, and it's okay. God will let you into Heaven." A foolish thought to even presume; yet, Rob Bell and many others who are universalists believe that you don't actually have to follow and obey God's Word. You can do whatever you want and disobey your entire life and God will "still let you into His Kingdom".
The discussion on Hell is Christianity 101. If people don’t understand that Jesus Christ did in fact talk about the life beyond extensively, then they will be grass in the wind. They will go to and fro with any sort of deceptive doctrine that feeds their flesh and carnal desires. Let us look strictly at what Christ has to say about the afterlife, for the Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest preacher on Hell in all the Scriptures:
The Atheist, Stalin, will not be "off the hook".
““Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’” (Matthew 25:41-43 NKJV). Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, until man sinned. When man made the free-will decision of choosing to know the difference between good and evil, the root of sin flowed into the seed of Adam (Genesis 3). Since then, Hell is now for those who do not repent and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. This is a very easy-to-understand message. If Stalin (who shook his fists up at the Heavens on his last breath) chose to live such a wretched life; if he did not want to live for God, then surely God will put him in a place that is away from God’s presence. Stalin is not going to get “off the hook” and eventually make it into Heaven. There are eternal consequences for what he has done. There are eternal consequences for all of what we do and neglect to do in this life; especially if we are not found in Jesus Christ.
Christ further down in Matthew states: ““And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”” (Matthew 25:46 NKJV). Who are “these”? It is those who neglected to live Christ-like. It is those who negated the power of the Holy Spirit to come in and rule that person’s life. Those who wanted to play “god” and chose to live how they wanted will stand before a Holy God come the Final Judgment Day (Revelation 20:12) and receive what is rightfully owed to them.
Hell is not a torturous place like Dante’s Inferno, it is a tormenting place.
““Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth”” (Matthew 13:48-50 NKJV). Jesus Christ talks about the wicked being separated from the just and being cast into the furnace of fire (The Lake of Fire). This is the second death of eternal punishment. Hell is not a torturous place like Dante’s Inferno, it is a tormenting place.
Those in Hell will rage for an eternity that God put them there; when, in reality, their free-will decision of choosing to be dependent upon themselves put them there. God not only does what is needed, but in His wrath He respects the wicked person’s decision of denying Him. Heaven for those who refused to follow the Lord Jesus Christ will be Hell. Those in Hell only want the benefits of Heaven (peace, joy, love), but they don’t want anything to do with Jesus. They would rather live their own way, then to take up their cross and follow Christ. Rob Bell denies the simplicity of understanding why there is a Hell. He is a man that feeds egos rather than souls. He cares about giving his congregations comfortability, rather than convictions. He is an apostate that is a deadly weapon being used by Lucifer. He is a man who preaches errancy at the expense of his reputation.
“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’ And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’ And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark 9:43-48 NKJV).
Deceptive philosophies from "Christians"
Rob Bell states: “At the center of the Christian tradition since the first church have been a number who insist that history is not tragic, hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins and all will be reconciled to God” ("Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived". Book by Rob Bell, June 7, 2011). Yet again we see another misguided, devious quote from Rob himself. Colossians 2:8 (NKJV) warns us of such foolishness: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Of course there have been men throughout history in Christianity who claimed to be Christians and added their own philosophies. They were men who did not believe God’s Word to be inerrant. They were men who constructed the Bible to fit their own ideology, rather than allowing the Bible to transform them. Those who lived such lives are a devastation to the true faith. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15), and they know nothing about God.
Rob Bell must believe that those in Sodom and Gomorrah are in Heaven. He must believe that the most ruthless, vile men to live (who denied that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross for their sins) are all in Heaven. If that were the case, then why would God need to reveal to us what happens to those who persist in evil and sin? Why should the Bible include it if “everyone is to come out okay”? Why would Christ need to die for man’s sins in the first place, if “everyone goes to Heaven”? This is the foolishness of man that contradicts God’s Word and serves no merit. Rob’s ideology is not sound nor found on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.
Men are easily deceived when they don't spend time with God.
This is a strong statement, but one I believe to be true: those following Rob Bell are simply lost sheep. They have not taken time to pray to God and ask Him to reveal to them what He has to say. They base their Christianity upon what they want to hear and on a person, rather than Thee Person: The Lord Jesus Christ. Ask those who follow Rob Bell how much time they spend in the Word and pray each day - let alone in a week, and see what they say. I believe it would be nothing compared to the Prophets of the days of old. It would be very little compared to those who are truly doing the Lord’s work in this day and age. This is not a hit on the people. It is simply to help us understand how easily men are deceived when they do not take time to pray and seek the face of God.
““And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”” (Matthew 10:28 NKJV). Rob must not understand what a soul is. If God can destroy (not temporarily destroy); but if God can DESTROY both body and soul in Hell, this is another clear sign that there is a Hell. For those in Heaven will have new bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-10) and will dwell in the presence of the King of kings: ““They shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”” (Revelation 21:3-4 NKJV). It is clear that a destroyed body and soul will cease from dwelling in the presence of God.
Hell is for those who choose their sin over God.
Rob clearly undermines the reality that there is a Hell. Hell is for those who choose their sin over God. Hell is for those who would rather go their own path, than to follow God. Hell is specifically designed for those who deny and defy God and refuse to accept that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. I take this extremely serious because if people do not understand why there is a Hell and the reality that there is one, they will simply be deceived until they pass into the afterlife, shocked.
Men such as Rob Bell are dangerous, and it is important to expose these terribly false doctrines being preached. There are souls on the line. This is not an hour to play. We must have boldness in the pulpit and pews. We must have genuine, true faith that pleases our Heavenly Father. God means what He says. Whoever thinks they can interpret Scripture their own way will be completely misguided when they stand before an Almighty, Holy God. As His voice thunders, what will they have to say? “God, this is what I took it as.” Oh no, dear friend. What a dangerous, damnable approach that is.
Trust God’s Word and take it for what it says; because God means exactly what He says.
Those who neglect His Word either don’t like conviction, aren’t willing to lay down their sin or don’t take time to study the Scriptures. Christianity is based upon One Person, and that One Person is found in God's Word. In God's Word, Hell is explicitly spoken of. We have only scratched the surface when it comes to the verses on Hell, but may the verses presented give us a clear indication that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke and warned about Hell. May the verses reviewed give us a clear understanding of why there is a Hell and that we need to be willing to repent and have a desire to turn from our sin, if we are ever going to be truly covered by the Blood of Christ.
The Christian life is a call to be set apart.
The Christian life is not a set of rules, but rather a determination to seek after that which is holy. It is a call to be set apart. It is a soul-saving, life-redeeming religion that is based upon a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. May all of us begin to take God’s Word serious and tremble at it. If we neglect to do so, all we will have when we stand before Thee Omnipotent God is our word. How terrifying that would be to have nothing but our own human wisdom to combat the God of Life Itself.
Let us remember, therefore, that “it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 NKJV).
Heavenly Father, open our eyes and heart to the reality of Hell. Lord, we know from 2 Peter 3:9 that You don’t want anyone to perish, but all to come to genuine repentance. Lord, we know that You are a God of love; but Lord, You do not allow the wicked to go unpunished. You desire reverence and obedience. Lord, we know that You are long-suffering and patient with us. Without the Blood of Christ covering us through a genuine proclamation of faith in Him, we would be in Hell. Thank You for giving all men equal opportunity to come and know You. Give us humility, O God, to believe that Your Word is Truth. Give us the courage to speak against and expose heresies. Lord, we pray that You would bring apostates down to their knees. Bring a heavy conviction upon them, that they may be saved as well. Give us the heart of a courageous evangelist, and give us the wisdom to go and make disciples. Move mightily within our day, O God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.