Bin Laden on his way to Heaven? Gandhi is in Hell? Love Wins

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Theology, Uncategorized
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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: People celebrate in the...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

So this morning I wake up at 5:00 am to do my P90X workout to then have my wife tell me that she just heard on the news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed by the US. She said that there were videos and pictures of people gathered at Ground Zero in New York City, as well as countless other places around the US, celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden. As soon as I heard this, I had no idea what to think, feel, or do. My heart sank. As a Christian I felt that it would be wrong to celebrate the death of someone created in God‘s image. But I also began to think of some deep thoughts, questions, and observations that I would like to share with you.

Here are some pictures of people celebrating over Bin Laden’s death.

Why was everyone celebrating? I understand that if he really did orchestrate the attacks on 9/11 then he must be punished for them. But why do I understand this to be so? It is part of our deepest desire to have the wrongs righted in our lives. 9/11 was a terrible event that saw many people lose their lives. We wanted justice. If Bin Laden died this week, which I think it is terrible that we just assume at face value that this is true because President Obama said so even though there is absolutely no evidence for this, then my question is where is he now?

Think over that question long and hard. Is Bin Laden in hell or heaven? Or is he in a temporary hell being offered the chance to still work through his 9/11 garbage, as well as other sins, and come on through the open doors of heaven? This is what Rob bell has written about lately. He suggests that it does not matter if you actually cognitively understand the gospel and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior who alone saves from sin, death, and hell. He goes on to say that God wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and God has to get what He wants in order to actually be worthy of praise so then the natural assumption is that all men will be saved, even through the temporary correction of hell’s flames.

Rob Bell recently did an interview with NPR news. Hear it here. He says in his interview that he leaves the door open for people from other faiths to be getting to heaven through Jesus. He also says in the interview that he cannot trust a God who sends people to hell to be punished for eternity. What about Osama Bin Laden? Is he in a place of eternal flames right now without ever getting the chance or offer of escaping it? It is ridiculous for a Christian to assume that a Buddhist man who rejected Christ is not in heaven, but I do understand that it is not easy to admit this because he may have been seen as a good man. We don’t like to think of “good” people being in hell. I put “good” in quotes because the Bible is clear that there is none good or righteous (Romans 3).

But is it easy to go along with Rob Bell’s ideas and say Bin Laden is in Heaven? Or at least Bin Laden will be in Heaven… someday?

We want justice. That is why these people celebrate over the death of Osama Bin Laden. If we are all going to be in Heaven someday then who cares about 9/11? There would be no justice. While Bin Laden was alive, Christians should have been praying for his soul to come to know Jesus, but now his time is up.

And this isn’t even touching on the fact that all of our sin is actually first and foremost against God. That is the real matter. That is what brings out the discussion about Gandhi, or anyone else who rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being in Hell, no matter how “good” they seem to be.

I leave you with this thought. Heaven is eternal. Hell is eternal. The way to God is through the atoning work of Christ’s blood. The grace of God through faith in Christ. The forgiveness of sins that is only found in Jesus. There is no other salvation outside of Christ. If both Gandhi and Bin Laden rejected Christ, they are both in hell. Their sin is equal in the eyes of God because they both trampled on the blood of God’s one and only Son Jesus Christ.

“If Rob Bell is right then the Bible is wrong.” – Sean Harris

  1. Tommy says:

    “Today I do not celebrate the man’s death, for neither by his life or death did he merit celebration. But I do celebrate the satisfaction of justice, for which there is always cause for honor.”- Lee Rogers

    Rob Bell didn’t say that Ghandi is in Heaven. He was making a point against a judgmental person who declared that Ghandi is burning in hell. I believe making a point that we do not know what happens in a person’s heart before he meets God.

    Here’s another thought, and maybe even more troubling than the thought of Ghandi being in hell . . . what if bin Laden or even some like Hitler is actually in Heaven? What!?!?!?!??! Who knows the state of their heart before they died. Just like the thief on the cross.
    Considered you mind blown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks for entering the conversation Tom. If I can redirect you to the last couple of sentences in my post you can see that I don’t know the condition of either of their hearts before they died. I simply was stating that IF they never repented of ther sins and believed in Jesus Christ and His substitutionary atonement for them, then they are in ETERNAL hell. Rob Bell strongly teaches that Hell is not eternal and if God really does punish people in hell for eternity then that is not the God he serves. People need to know of the dangers of this teaching. It is clear from interviews and his books that he has left biblical teaching and the bible is clear that they need to be identified and refuted, not ignored.

      As for your last thought, Hitler or Bin Laden COULD be in heaven, you’re right. But they are only there if the Holy Spirit changed their heart, made them born again, and gave them the gifts of faith and repentance BEFORE they died, not after like Rob Bell teaches. God has the right to show mercy and compassion to whom He chooses (Romans 9) so if He chose to do that right before they died then I will see them there someday and praise God because of His mercy. Again thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  2. […] Bin Laden on his way to Heaven? Gandhi is in Hell? Love Wins ( […]

  3. love2reason says:

    If God is sovereign, hence omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient (which all Christians believe), then there IS no “free will” or own choice. God can never be surprised by His creatures and that includes us. The moment we say we have free will, that moment we have the ‘right’ to point fingers, to judge, to condemn, to hate and to compare. The focus is then immediately upon man and not upon God. It is our carnal nature to want to be in control of our lives and it is this weakness that leads to the misery in this world. We have to go on our knees every hour saying “thank you Lord” for knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior! It is pure grace and nothing to boast about.

    God wants to reconcile the WORLD with Him (2 Cor.5:19) and He will do so. He has a plan and He intends to become ALL in all His creatures (1 Cor.15:28). The word “hell” is mistranslated in most Bibles as in the original Greek three words are used “sheol”, “hades” and “gehenna” of which none of them means an eternal hell of brimstone and fire. Another mistranslation which has gigantic implications is the “forever” and “forever and ever” that are currently used. The original Greek text uses “eon” or “eonian”, which has an ending.

    So, YES, the Bin Ladens and the Hitlers are all going to make it. They all are going to bow before Jesus Christ (Isaiah 45:23 and Rom. 14:11) and sit at God’s banquet eventually. We are all role players in this unfathomable drama of God. They just got lousy roles. They were just as much wonderfully and fearfully made as everybody else. Think carefully about the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt.20:1-16). The ones who worked the least, got the SAME wage. From every parable there is a parallel to draw.

    • Interesting thoughts. I disagree with most of what you said, but to keep it short, the english word hell is described the way you said, but in the context of many of the verses with these words does not give any suggestions that it is only a time period, especially with words like “forever and ever” in the context.

      Now I see that you want to say that these words sometimes speak of having an ending. The problem is that if you make “forever and ever” have an ending then I guess other places where it clearly means forever are now changed too? Like these two verses for example:

      1. Revelation 22:5 “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for… a period of time? No. it says, “forever and ever.”

      2. Mark 3:29 “29 but whoever pblasphemes against the Holy Spirit NEVER has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—

      Never is the same greek root word as forever. It is clear that these verses mean that it will happen forever. Thanks for reading. Also, Bin Laden or Hitler are only in heaven if they repented of their sins and believed in Jesus before they died.

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