I got onto the source of the last note (or blog) by thinking about the source of the idea for this note. There are these pious people who say, as you have heard them, “The Lord told me….” and sometimes this strikes us as sounding like they have a hot-line to heaven, versus the rest of us ordinary mortals. But actually, if properly understood, every one of God’s children does. Not that God approves of our “by-passing” such channels as his Good Book, in which we “have it in writing” – which is hard to beat even in human communications – but the fact is, as I said in my previous note, all of us get them from Him (via angels, “directly”, of through some other spirit, including our fellow man) or from the devil via the same mediums. Which is where the struggle or tension comes in, that I have been talking about – deciding the origin of our brainstorms. It’s called the “gift of discernment” in Scripture, which we should covet much more than the gifts of tongues, healing, or even “preaching.” For what can a person preach except that which he has been told, heard?
So I say all that to say, “The Lord told me” what I regard as a real insight, or break-through in my understanding of His will and His ways, and that is something which can be put as simply as this: The only people who go to hell are those who want to. The same applies, of course, to heaven, which might be a better way of putting it, namely, everybody who wants to go to heaven will get there.
I know that such songs as “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus” say all this in such statements as, “Will He refuse us a home in heaven? No not one.” Meaning, of course, those who ask, want to. But I, like so many others, sing such songs thoughtlessly and contradict them in thinking and theology. We “Calvinists” especially, with our corrupted notions of predestination, which make salvation an arbitrary and capricious “enny, menni, mini….” Like Russian elections.
I’m not going to elaborate or argue for the idea. It’s big and wonderful enough to stand just that way, answering a lot of our “blocks” about good people going to hell, heathen who “do their best,” etc. Proof of it all is found in Scripture in such plain statements as, “God is not willing that any should perish.” (2 Pet 3:9) “He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezekial 33:11) Those who are lost have only themselves to blame. Other statements in the Bible say equally clearly, “I wanted…but you didn’t want to!” That sure clears up for me a lot of unnecessary or false sympathy for some people, a sense of injustice on God’s part, the presence of counterfeit Christians in the church, and so forth.