In this video clip, a debate takes place on a radio show between two theologians, who are discussing the concept of God’s judgment and heaven and hell, and one of the pastors gives his opinion, displaying his interpretation of the Gospel as “judgmentless.”
The overall viewpoint of this preacher is that eventually all people will ultimately be saved from God’s wrath and from hell. It is his theological opinion that individuals specifically choose hell, and resist God’s love, and once God’s love is accepted, they can be saved. He further emphasizes (without biblical defense) that God is not a wrathful God, but is a loving one. The current world is explained as being a hell, and when one dies without God in his or her life, hell continues in the spiritual realm. Contrary to orthodox Christianity, he believes even within the confines of hell, a person has the opportunity to repent and be reconciled with God. He further tries to apply a logical argument, claiming that a finite amount of sins does not deserve infinite punishment.
Trevin Wax would say this form of the judgmentless gospel is when people believe, “God doesn’t send anyone to hell, people choose to go there,” and, “God looks at your heart.” The pastor in the video seems to be implying that deep down, if a person is good at heart, God will melt our hearts and God’s love will conquer our will. One big problem with this is that the preacher assumes that people are generally good, when the Bible teaches something completely different.
What is attractive about this gospel to so many people is that it eases their conscience in the matters of hell. People don’t want to consider the possibility of an eternal punishment, and it makes them uneasy, especially when thinking about unsaved friends and family that could be experiencing such everlasting torment. Also, by ignoring the judgment side of the gospel, it allows people to avoid facing their own evil, and they are given the delusion that they are “good” before God.
In order to counter this counterfeit, Christians must remember that God’s Judgment demonstrates His love. The anger and wrath of God is directly related to His love for people; he imposes judgment on people because of “His love for them and his desire for their best.” God must deal with the sin in individual’s lives, and the evil in the world…for the world’s own good. Also, followers should keep in mind the personal nature of sin. It would not be holy of God to ignore one’s rebellion and rejection of him and his rule; in order to be just, He must deal out a punishment, and He cannot arbitrarily wipe away sin without any cause. The cause by which sin can be washed away is through Jesus, and Jesus alone. The true Gospel involves a true response of faith and repentance, during this life, in Jesus who offers to take our punishment through what he has done on the cross.