An Interesting Question – Response
Last week i posted an interesting question i had recieved. On request, this week I am posting the answer i sent to the question.
I am sorry that you have not received an answer to your questions. I am not sure who you asked, but any of our staff should have been able to share that answer with you.
In fact, you will see religious symbols around the building from time to time when they are intended for a purpose. We had a cross hanging in the lobby for years. What you probably wont see is a permanent mount of any religious symbols at Grace. We appreciate symbols for what they are, symbols. We never want to lose sight of the fact that we worship a risen Savior and we never want to be distracted from keeping our eyes on Him. Symbols that are mounted permanently have a tendency to shift peoples’ focus from what is unseen to what is seen. I might suggest that you even evidence this in your frustration with and expectation of us to have a cross or religious symbol permanently established somewhere in the building.
If you have been at Grace for any time, you will be confident that we are not afraid to tell people about hell. Pastor Rex has shared about hell on many occasions from the pulpit where it is appropriate. We have worded our beliefs intentionally for clarity. The simple fact is “hell” means different things to different people. For instance, Seventh day adventists will tell you they believe in hell, but it isn’t a conscious punishment, it is a lack of existence. For this reason, we use specific language to describe our biblical understanding of hell. To answer your question directly, the places in the bible that identify hell as conscious punishment are Matthew 25:41, 46; Mark 9:42–48; 2 Thessalonians 1:5–10; Revelation 14:9– 11; and Revelation 20:10, 14–15.
I would rather not say you are wrong (as you requested), rather that you didn’t have all the information you needed to make a sound judgement and would ask that you consider extending the same graciousness in dealing with others.
I hope that helps.
Would you have answered differently?