Book: Erasing Hell by Francis Chan

Description from Amazon:

How could a loving God send people to hell? Will people have a chance after they die to believe in Jesus and go to heaven?

With a humble respect for God’s Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They’ve asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don’t want to believe in hell. But as they write, “We cannot afford to be wrong on this issue.” This is not a book about who is saying what. It’s a book about what God says. It’s not a book about impersonal theological issues. It’s a book about people who God loves. It’s not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It’s a book about the character of God.

Erasing Hell will immerse you in the truth of Scripture as, together with the authors, you find not only the truth but the courage to live it out.

Just finished reading this book on my new Kindle (another new love).  I must say it was a pretty interesting read.  I’ve always found Francis Chan (author of Crazy Love and Forgotten God) to be an excellent writer.  He makes great points and explains them in a way anyone can understand, so I jumped on the opportunity to read another book by him.  This book is quite obviously a response to Rob Bell‘s “Love Wins” which makes it a unique work by Chan.

It’s definitely informative and a must-read for those who are or have read “Love Wins.”  I haven’t read it yet, but plan to merely out of curiosity.

‘Erasing Hell’ basically is a journey through how American Christians tend to try to avoid talking about the real possibility that many people we know will end up in hell.  It discusses the response we should consider having to hell as well as the history behind other people groups’ views on hell.  I would recommend it to anyone.  Just keep in mind it is not necessarily Chan’s typical writing style; it’s obviously a response.

Here’s an informational video from the publisher: 

Instead of a Show

wow. it’s crazy when a song pops up on Spotify with lyrics that match perfectly with your heart at the moment…had to share

I hate all your show and pretense
the hypocrisy of your praise
the hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show

Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stop up my ears when your
singing ‘em
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood
of justice
An endless procession of righteous
living, living
Instead let there be a flood
of justice
Instead of a show

your eyes are closed when you’re praying
you sing right along with the band
you shine up your shoes for services
but there’s blood on your hands

you turned your back on the homeless
and the ones that don’t fit in your plans
quit playing religion games
there’s blood on your hands

Ah! let’s argue this out
if your sins are blood red
let’s argue this out
you’ll be white as the clouds
let’s argue this out
quit fooling around

give love to the ones who can’t love at all
give hope to the ones who got no hope at all
stand up for the ones who can’t stand up at all
instead of a show
I hate all your show

Know.Love.Act Resolution – Blood Water Mission

Know.Love.Act Resolution – Blood Water Mission.

Every New Year, we make resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, give up caffeine, have a cleaner house (or room), and on and on. These are all fantastic goals that help us live healthier, more organized lives. I suggest that we continue to set these goals, but I also find one area that these resolutions could use improvement in; they don’t engage the people around us.

What if, on top of these personal goals, we also set New Year’s resolutions that affect the lives of our friends, family, our local communities, and even people on the other side of the globe?
I would like to propose a guide that will help you create such a New Year’s resolution. Like all good (and earth-shattering 😉 ) guides, this is a three step process to help you create a resolution that can better your life and the lives of the people around you. Are you up for the task?
Here it is: Ask yourself (and answer) these three questions:
1) What (or who) do I want to KNOW this year?
2) What can I do to show LOVE to the people in my life?
3) What can I do to ACT in a way that betters the lives of the people around me?
My own resolution looks like this:
1) I would like to KNOW more about the developments in the prevention of the HIV/AIDS virus by reading more newsletters and case studies 
2) Love those around me by being more connected and involved in the lives of the people around me
3) I want to ACT to better the lives of those around me by volunteering at the free clinic in my neighborhood.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for mattclark.jpg Blog post written by: Matt Clark – US Programs Asst.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Needtobreathe – Keep Your Eyes Open – YouTube.

Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You’ll never make it to the great unknown till you
Keep your eyes open, my love
So tell me you’re strong, tell me you see
I need to hear it, can you promise me to
Keep your eyes open, my love

Using some of my Christmas iTunes cards, I stumbled across this new album from NeedtoBreathe (a band you should all check out).  As cliche/cheesy as it may seem, this is a great “New Year Resolution” song.  The song is about going out to explore the world, keeping your eyes open, stepping out of your comfort zone….something so many of us never do.   I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone more over the past 2 years than in the rest of my life combined and God has done AMAZING things!

I encourage you to find a new way each month this year to step out of your comfort zone, open your eyes to something once unseen, do something that scares you but your gut tells you you need to.  You won’t regret it!  Better yet (and stronger), do something you feel God urging you to do.

Lean into your faith.  Or seek out to develop your faith in a deeper manner. In my life, I’ve found that really digging deep into my faith was hands down the scariest thing I ever did, but (this is true, not some lame cliche) it was also the best thing I ever did.  Giving up control.  Surrendering it all into the hands of my Father, our Creator, the Lord of all.  When you look at it from the perspective of who God really is, it makes no sense not to surrender to Him, but there’s a step there, a leap, if you will, that has to be made, and that’s hard.

Find a support system.  Join (or start!) a small group in your church, school, dorm, community, on Google+’s cool new features, find a way to get an accountability support system for your faith and others who are willing to go on that journey with you.  You’ll be surprised/shocked/amazed at what He can do through you and those around you.  How He can open your eyes (cue Brandon Heath song) to the world around you.

Never limit yourself, your world view, or your potential.  Or that of those around you.

This year I, once again, encourage you to step out.  Make it to the great unknown!

Since I stepped out for real, I have…..gotten back together and married my best friend and love of my life, made some great new friends, traveled to Nicaragua and learned so much about the true lack of barriers on God’s love, mentored, co-lead mission trips, served as a “work project” coordinator for 12 weeks in Minnesota with hundreds of people I had never met before on a Native American Reservation, moved 8 hours from everything I’d ever known, and countless other little things…. it’s been a great ride!  I want you to join me!