March 18, 2011

Debating Hell

The issue currently being debated in the blogosphere is whether an eternal heaven and hell exist. What is viscerally real is that in our very midst – in the wake of tsunamis and earthquakes, meltdowns and trash heaps, we've got a whole lot of hell on our hands already.

When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God, it often sounded like the in-breaking of a whole new world"heaven come to earth," as so many poets and songwriters have said.

Could it be that we hold the potential of heaven within ourselves – and that through our efforts, we might charge in and make a heaven of hell? Is it possible to pray, to campaign, to fight for those who walk through hell simply because of their social location? Is it possible for the love of God to so transform a heart that it can ransom that which it once capriciously exploited?

And perhaps more than all of that – beyond the words and debates of a million well-intentioned people – could the in-breaking of God be happening, and we missed the chance to help put out the fire?

Trey Lyon is associate pastor for faith development at Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, Ga.