On the back cover of his book ‘Erasing Hell’, Francis Chan wrote:
With my laptop, I sit in the middle of a crowded Starbucks, surrounded by thirsty customers. They are happy and busy, they enjoy life, they laugh, they chat and are text messaging. Two young mothers let their entire life pass the revue. A clearly enamored couple has just left. The girl, at the end of the row, looks sad. And the staff, do they look happy? Some do, but others do not.
Meanwhile I’m sitting here reading one Bible passage after another that says that some of these people will go to hell. I can’t put into words how much I feel myself to be in a conflicting struggle. Sitting around me are at least fifteen people who likely will end up in that horrible place of suffering, which, momentarily, is my focus. What should I do? Continue writing my book? Or should I drop it and do my best to establish a relationship with them, to warn them? How can I believe what these passages mean and yet very calmly sit here?
How different would have been the second paragraph, if Francis Chan had known the Evangel! Then he could have write the following:
Meanwhile, I sit here reading one Bible passage after another. Some texts speak clearly about judgment and getting lost. Other texts speak no less clearly about the justification, salvation and the making-alive of all. I can’t put into words how grateful I am that GOD will never forsake the works of His hands! Sitting around me are at least fifteen people who likely are lost. But what marvelous peace to know that God will seek the lost, until He finds them all. What a thrill it would be to tell them, even now, that God IS their Savior! If an opportunity arises, I will certainly explain it to them. Anyway, someday, all of them will bend their knees and with their tongue they will heartily testify, to the glory of God the Father, that Jesus is Lord!
You may say it. Which is Evangel (=Good News)?
The first text or the second text?
(this is the fourth blog in response to “Erasing Hell” by Francis Chan)
Translation: Peter Feddema