Heaven or Hell? YOU Choose!

I’ve been reading “thelovemanifesto” for a time now. He is a Christian turned atheist.  We have traded some arguments – and I mean that in the sense of a debate – pro & con regarding Christianity.  He reads and thinks a lot, and has a good mind.  Other Christians visit his site and offer their own answers to the positions he has taken.  While maintaining his own beliefs, he listens fairly.

Earlier this week he had a post about hell. He and at least one other decried Christianity, because a loving God wouldn’t condemn someone to an eternity in hell for a sin that maybe lasted seconds or minutes.  He also stated quite emphatically – and quite correctly – that if Christians really believed in hell, they would spend every waking minute trying to warn people away from that fate.  Instead we go to church on Sunday and forget about it the rest of the week.  A great many Christians do work at spreading the Gospel; you just don’t always hear about them or see them.

The one analogy he used that is really very impactful is this: a loving God wouldn’t send us to hell for eternity due to a temporal disobedience. It would be like a father watching his toddler heading for the street, busy with cars.  That father would run to his child’s rescue, of course!  He wouldn’t stand on the sidewalk and say, “You’re getting what you deserve for not listening to me.”

My answer to that at the time was that I know intuitively that the premises are wrong somehow. He might have come to a completely logical conclusion, but his conclusion was wrong based on faulty premises.  I could only tell him that I knew it was wrong and couldn’t pinpoint it.  Kind of like when your subconscious assures you of something without telling you how it arrived at that conclusion.  Not a terribly satisfactory answer, but all I had at the time.

Driving many hours this week, I’ve had plenty of time to think about this. I suddenly realized what was wrong.  The general situation he composed does not accurately reflect our relationship with God and our situation as regards our eternal destiny.  I offer what I am sure is an accurate analogy.

Hopefully, he and you have seen “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” He and his father, Henry Jones Sr. (Sean Connery) try to find the Holy Grail before the Nazis (“I really hate these guys”).  And yes, Indiana is Henry Jones Jr.  He hated that name and adopted the dog’s name as a nickname – “I loved that dog!”

In the last sequence, the grail has been found, but carrying it past a threshold in the cavern causes the whole place to start falling apart. The floor splits open in huge fissures, swallowing people and equipment.  Ilsa (the bad gal) has the grail but falls, dropping the grail into a fissure.  She goes after it where it landed on a small ledge.  In doing so, she loses her grip and falls to her death.

Indiana tries his luck to grab it before the whole place caves in. He is desperate to save this relic, but he falls in and is hanging by his fingertips when a pair of strong hands grab one of his; it’s his dad.  And here’s where the analogy really starts.

Indy is reaching for the Grail. He even touches it with a fingertip but can’t get a hold on it.  Henry Sr. is losing his grip and calls to Indy to grab ahold with his other hand – “I can’t hold you, son!”

“But Dad, I’m almost there!”

Very quietly his father simply says, “Indy.” That breaks the spell and Indy looks up at his father.

“Let it go, Son.”

Indy grabs hold of his dad with both hands, leaving the grail to be lost forever in that fissure.

Now let me run this in again with my commentary added.

Indiana tries his luck to grab it before the whole place caves in. He is desperate to save this relic, but he falls in and is hanging by his fingertips when a pair of strong hands grab one of his; it’s his dad.

(INDY HAS STOPPED THINKING ABOUT HIS DAD, WHO HAD BEEN SHOT, THEN REVIVED THROUGH THE POWER OF THE GRAIL. HE ONLY HAD EYES FOR THE GRAIL – WHAT HE WANTED.)

James 4:2-4New King James Version (NKJV)

You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and[b] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

 

 

Indy is reaching for the Grail. He even touches it with a fingertip but can’t get a hold on it.  Henry Sr. is losing his grip and calls to Indy to grab ahold with his other hand – “I can’t hold you, son!”

(THE FATHER WANTS TO SAVE HIS SON, HIS CHILD WHOM HE LOVES. BUT SAVING HIM REQUIRES INDY ACCEPTING HIS FATHER’S SALVATION FROM THE FISSURE.  IT CAN BE ARGUED GOD NEEDS OUR HELP SINCE HE HAS GIVEN US FREE WILL ALLOWING US TO REJECT HIM.  PLUS, INDY IS IN THE FISSURE ALREADY.  HIS DAD DIDN’T PUT HIM THERE.  HE ENTERED AND STAYED OF HIS OWN FREE WILL.  IN THE SAME WAY WE ARE ALL IN A STATE OF CONDEMNATION BY REASON OF OUR SINFUL CHOICES.  GOD HASN’T PUT US HERE.  HE CAN LIFT US OUT, IF WE JUST CHOOSE TO ACCEPT HIS SALVATION.)

John 3:18

“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.

 

 

“But Dad, I’m almost there!”

(INDY WAS SO WRAPPED UP IN HIS PERSONAL DESIRES, THE TEMPTATION TO GRAB THE GRAIL AT ANY COST, THAT HE IS IN A STATE OF REJECING HIS DAD’S LIFE-SAVING EFFORTS. IF HE CONTINUES TO REJECT THEM, THERE WILL COME A POINT WHEN HE WILL FALL AWAY.  THEN IT’S TOO LATE.  NOTHING AND NO ONE COULD HELP HIM, BECAUSE HE CHOSE TO STAY IN THE FISSURE AND ACCEPT HIS DOOM – EVEN IF HE WASN’T SEEING IT THAT WAY.)

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

 

 

Very quietly his father simply says, “Indy.” That breaks the spell and Indy looks up at his father.

(THIS WAS AN INCREDIBLE MOMENT IN THE FILM. THE WORLD OF THAT CAVERN WAS IN CHAOS, LITERALLY FALLING TO PIECES AMID THE DIN OF DESCTRUCTION.  BUT THE DAD’S QUIET, LOVING CALLING OF HIS SON’S NAME BROKE THROUGH.)

John 10:3

To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

 

 

“Let it go, Son.”

(IT WAS ENOUGH FOR INDY TO HEAR THAT MESSAGE OF SALVATION IN HIS NAME BEING SPOKEN. HE HEARD THE CALL TO LET GO OF HIS DESIRES AND LISTEN TO THE SIMPLE LOVE OF HIS FATHER.  HE THEN CHOSE TO FORGET HIS SELFISH DESIRES AND HIS ACCEPT HIS FATHER’S SALVATION.)

Deuteronomy 30:19 [Full Chapter]

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

 

 

Indy grabs hold of his dad with both hands, leaving the grail to be lost forever in that fissure.

(BOTH HANDS. LEAVING HIS MATERIAL DESIRE BEHIND.  WE NEED TO LEAVE OUR MATERIAL DESIRES BEHIND AND LISTEN TO GOD CALLING US.  ONE WAY GOD CALLS US IS THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE TALKING TO US.)

Hebrews 12:1-3 [Full Chapter]

[ The Race of Faith ] Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

 

God doesn’t condemn us; we are already condemned by sin. He just wants us to accept His salvation with both hands and let Him pull us out of the trouble we are in.

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