There have been many lessons that our journey with [our church] has taught me. God is not opposed to his children wandering for periods of time. The Children of Israel wandered. Jesus wandered through the desert and on mountains. Even Paul wandered around Arabia in the years after his conversion – his great dark period for which no scholar can account. If you think you know where the Creator of the Universe is leading you, there is a good chance that you will be wrong. And even if you are right about your ultimate destination, you’ll likely be surprise by the wandering route that God has in mind.
— Gordon Atkinson
Lately I’ve been thinking about God’s call to Abraham: “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you…So Abram went, as the LORD had told him…” (Genesis 12:1, 4, TNIV). God just tells him to go. He doesn’t say where, other than “to the land I will show you”, but Genesis does not have Moses receive any specifics. And Moses goes.
Sometimes we need to just go–not anywhere specific, but just go. I guess you might call that stepping out of the boat, but I’m not going to admit to that just yet.
I’m not sure how popular or unpopular Real Live Preacher is among my readers, but I usually find his perspective quite refreshing. He recently did a video series on hell, examining the traditional conservative evangelical view. He first asked his readers to give him all the verses in the New Testament (he argues the OT has little to nothing to say about hell) that have been used to argue for the existence of hell. Then he takes them all and lists them, giving brief context, the word used (i.e. Hades, Gehenna), and who the passage says will go to hell. In the third video, he gives his take on the issue, based on his study of the NT passages. And in the fourth and final video, he makes some suggestions.
His conclusion? 1. Very little specific can be said about hell using scripture; and 2. we spend far too much time sitting around deciding who will go to hell than we do simply loving our neighbours. He suggests, in a nutshell, that we should stop thinking about hell and whether or not our neighbour will go there and just be a loving neighbour.
There are 4 videos in the series: Part 1 (introduction/set up), Part 2 (the cold facts of the NT—the verses listed), Part 3 (RLP’s conclusions) and Part 4 (some further thoughts). I recommend it, even if in the end you disagree with it. (Each video is around 8 minutes long or less.)