After Controversy, Baptists Affirm Belief in ETERNAL Hell
Does the Bible Speak of a "literal" Hell?
Southern Baptists on Wednesday called hell an eternal, conscious punishment for those who do not accept Jesus, rebutting a controversial book from Michigan pastor Rob Bell that questions traditional views of hell.
Citing Bells book Love Wins, the resolution urges Southern Baptists to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of hell, and the salvation of sinners by Gods grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
Several leaders during the Baptists two-day meeting in Phoenix coupled warnings about hell with pleas for evangelism especially in areas where there are no churches or missionaries.
Is hell real? Is hell forever? Did God really say sinners would perish in eternal torment forever and ever? asked pastor and author David Platt of Birmingham, Ala. Oh, readers of Rob Bell and others like him, listen very carefully be very cautious, when anyone says, `Did God really say this?
Bells book, released in March, criticizes the misguided view that select Christians will live forever in heaven while the rest of humanity will suffer eternal torment in a punishing hell.
Earlier this year, the Southern Baptist-affiliated Lifeway Christian Stores quietly removed warning labels from certain books including Bells that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.
At the center of the Christian tradition since the first church has been the insistence that hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins, Bell wrote in Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived.
Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright prayed that Southern Baptists would take to heart the statement they passed on hell.
Father, because the reality of hell is so real, the permanent separation from you is so real, and our hours here on this earth are so limited, we pray that you will give us a fresh sense of conviction of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, he prayed right after the resolution was adopted.