Some time ago the video advertising Rob Bell’s upcoming new book hit the internet (link). In the video he asks a series of questions concerning hell, and as I listened I couldn’t help but think, “Hey, I might know a few answers to those.” So for the benefit of Mr. Bell, his fans, and my readers, I thought I would provide some…but not from my own personal opinion, but from scripture.
Will only a few select people make it to heaven, and will billions of billions of people burn forever in hell?
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” [Matt 22:14]
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED” [Rom 9:27]
In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. [Rom 11:5]
And if that’s the case, how do you become one of the few?
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:37-38]
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” [Acts 3:19]
“And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” [Acts 10:42-43]
Is it what you believe?
“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:18]
“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]
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” [John 11:25]
Or what you say?
“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” [Matt 10:33]
…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved [Rom 10:9]
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. [1 John 2:23]
Or what you do?
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” [Matt 11:29]
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” [John 6:29]
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness [Rom 4:4-5]
Or who you know?
So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” [John 8:19]
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” [John 17:3]
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [1 Cor 2:2]
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. [Col 3:3-4]
…the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power [2 Th 1:7-9]
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. [1 John 5:20]
Or something that happens in your heart?
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” [Jer 31:33]
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” [Eze 36:26]
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matt 6:21]
“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” [Matt 15:18]
But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Rom 2:29]
Or do you need to be initiated or baptized or take a class or converted or been born again?
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:3]
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. [1 Cor 12:3]
How does one become one of these few?
As we’ve seen, scripture gives us clear answers.
Unfortunately, one can only get the feeling that Rob Bell, like conspiracy theorists, is simply asking questions to try to lead the listener to his own intended conclusion.