Joshua sent us this hymn performed by his brother, Jeremy–Farther Along. There are echoes of the Psalms in here: makes me think of Psalm 73 in particular. “Surely God is good to Israel… But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped…” Thank you, Swanson brothers.
St. Peter tells us “that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [or origin]. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
We don’t make it up as we go along. Scripture is the authoritative word of God, handed down by God to us through individuals He chose to do so.
One of the reasons I’m cautious about venturing into the theology shop is because of a bad habit that I need to leave outside: that whole business of reading some of the Bible and then adding onto it the magic words, “Well, I think…”
God already knows what I think, and knows it better than I do.
I think (oops!) I once convinced a guy on my chess page that Christian homeschooling is a good thing, but that’s the only evidence I have that I’ve ever changed anyone’s mind about anything. I’m sure most of you can say the same.
Here on this blog, some of us have been discussing Hell, its reality or non-existence, the fate of unrepentant sinners who reject Christ, and the interpretation of various scriptures bearing on those topics.
I was going to write, “Well, I think Hell is…” But what profit would there be in that, to anyone who reads it? Who would say to himself, “Now fancy that! Looks like I’ve got this Hell thing all wrong. Good thing there’s this guy in New Jersey to straighten me out”?
So what I’ll write instead is this.
It is important to know the truth, and God’s word is the truth. The Bible is God’s word. Therefor we arrive at truth by reading the Bible with an open heart and a thirsting mind. The Lord loves those who hunger and thirst for truth and righteousness.
We must believe, as Abraham believed: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Of course He will.
To rail against God because we don’t understand something He’s done, or not done, is even more absurd than a tiny carpet beetle denouncing the homeowner for vacuuming the rug. Maybe we’re mad because we’ve misunderstood entirely. Or understood, but only incompletely.
God puts up with it because He loves us. See Psalm 73: some things never change.
We can’t expect to know all spiritual things while we’re still in the flesh. It isn’t common sense to think we can.
Prayer and trust and Bible-reading will always stand us in good stead–whether we agree about what Hell really is or not.