“Whatever you’ve been told about the end…Jesus passionately urges us to live like the end is here,
Rob Bell ends his book with a call to remember the love of God instead of any hellish doctrine that smacks of a god with multiple personality disorder. The god usually gets described as being different from the First Testament to the Jesus Testament. (I don’t like saying “Old” Testament but “Second” Testament doesn’t seem to do justice to Jesus.) The First Testament’s God gets all biblical on enemies. A lot. The Jesus Testament’s God gets all lovey dovey on everybody. In between the two extremes is the true character of God, revealed in Christ Jesus.
So…yeah. Jesus sure does refer to Hell a lot. I think it’s because it does exist and people do wind up there. He is wanting to warn us about it. But I think, as Bell states time and time again in Love Wins, people lay a foundation of life choices that reject Jesus’ invitation to unconditional love. That is what gets them there, not a schizophrenic god maniacal plans. I don’t think this takes away from God’s omniscience or plan. He wasn’t interested in a globe full of robots void of any capacity to love or reject.
As Bell chose to describe Jesus falling over Himself to restore humanity:
“…the indestructible love of God is an unfolding, dynamic reality…that everyone of us is endlessly being invited to trust, accept, believe, embrace, and experience it. Whatever words you find helpful for describing this act of trust, Jesus invites us to say yes to this love of God, again and again and again.”
I think I’ll leave you with the last words Bell writes in the book. He’s infamous for serving up incredible benedictions. I think he’s the grand artist of all benedictioners around. And this is a good ’un.
“May you experience this vast, expansive, infinite, indestructible love that has been yours all along. May you discover that this love is as wide as the sky and as small as the cracks in your heart no one else knows about. And may you know, deep in your bones, that loves wins.”*
*Yes, there’s speculation that there is a typo in the second-to-last word of the book. That’s gotta be killing him, huh?!?