A controversial book has made its way through Christian and non-Christian circles. Its title sounds innocent enough: Love Wins. The basic premise is that since God is love, He couldn't possibly condemn people to an eternal hell, so there must be some escape clause buried within scripture.
Author Rob Bell, a popular mega-church pastor, contends that everyone will eventually gain eternal life in heaven. He argues that it doesn't really matter what a person believes here on earth, as long as he is sincere. Even the insincere get a second chance to think it over after they die. He ends with the satisfied conclusion that love trumps justice and we will all live happily ever after.
Let's look at this idea from another perspective. Let's say your neighbor comes to you convinced he can fly. He has read aviation magazines, studied a bit of aeronautics, and believes with all his heart God has given him the ability to flap his arms and soar. It is a sincerely-held belief.
You try to talk sense to him, but it is pointless. He is firm in his conviction and insists that when the time comes, you will see that he is right.
According to Bell, this belief is just as valid as Newton's idea of gravity. And as long as your neighbor stays away from heights, he may wax eloquent about his beliefs, even convincing others. At times, his arguments could even appear as sound as yours.
However, the day comes when he climbs a steep cliff and leaps off, arms spread wide, victory written on his face. Now, according to Bell, your neighbor will have another chance to reconsider his belief system before he hits the ground.
This much is true. He probably will reconsider--the moment he realizes his arm-flapping is useless. But it's too late by then.
Because, Mr. Bell, love doesn't always win. Truth wins.
No sincerely-held belief, no amount of love, no good intentions will save a person who has chosen to defy the law of gravity. Neither your love for your neighbor nor God's love can save him once he has made his final decision.
And no feel-good theology, no human understanding (or lack of it), and no man-made religion will save a person who has chosen to defy the law of God.
Jesus clearly stated: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No many comes to the Father, except through me." (John 14:6)
And, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
God is not only Love, He is Truth. In the end, Truth wins. Be certain you are on the side of Truth.