Jesus, Hell Fire, and Claims of Unfairness

Today I’ve seen some comments on a news website, in which Jesus was being criticised because of his “hell-fire” preaching.

Firstly some might jump to His defence and claim that He wasn’t a hell-fire preacher, that He came and preached love. However the fact is that most references to hell, and people being condemned to hell came from Jesus Himself.
But is that a reason for anyone to condemn Jesus or His teachings?

After that most famous of bible verses (John 3:16) we can read the following:

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And yet, I’ve seen even that kind of statement criticised, with claims that it’s unfair for people to be condemned merely for not believing in Jesus.

There are probably many deep and complex arguments to explain why there’s no unfairness involved, but I think the following very simple analogy is sufficient.

We start with a sinking ship where passengers and crew have no way to survive without outside help.

If a rescue party is sent to save those on the doomed ship, should the rescue party be criticised if some of the ships passengers refuse to leave the vessel?
Should the rescue party be condemned for warning the passengers of their inevitable fate should they choose to remain on the ship?

Is it the rescuers fault if someone on the ship refuses to believe in, or put their trust in them and choose to stay where they are?

As a comparison to the above bible quote:

The rescue team weren’t sent to the sinking ship to condemn those on board to a water grave, but to save them from inevitable death.
Those who believed in the rescuers weren’t condemned to drown, but those who rejected the rescuers had no chance at all, because they rejected their only hope of being saved.


4 thoughts on “Jesus, Hell Fire, and Claims of Unfairness

  1. Just a few days ago, someone was reading the words of Jesus to me in order to say “the kingdom of God is here.” He was looking up the verses because of a book he has, the four agreements (or something like that). This is about thinking positive and having a great life. There are some good things said in the book, but but it’s not the gospel even if bible wording can be used. I told this person that the kingdom was there because Jesus was there. He was present, and the penultimate example of what was meant.

  2. The church has completely “spiritualised” the Kingdom of God, sometimes to the extent of denying any physical reality. The Kingdom’s presence on earth is mostly future – although its present day presence is (should be) demonstrated through its ambassadors: followers of Jesus.

  3. I took a verse you quoted recently and quoted it somewhere else in a different context. I thought about saying there, but didn’t (as it was already touched on), that “power” reminds me of the exhortation that there should be power via the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. Again, not power to be rich or flaunting status.

    FEBRUARY 15, 2018
    Some translations say “kingdom” (of the world) while others say “kingdoms” (in this world), but the overall point is clear enough. I find these two with other nuances to be noteworthy:

    ◄ Revelation 11:15 ►

    Good News Translation
    Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The power to rule over the world belongs now to our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule forever and ever!”

    Jubilee Bible 2000
    And the seventh angel sounded the trumpet, and there were great voices in the heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are reduced unto our Lord and to his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

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