This article really got my attention! It's amazing to me that any Christian - most especially a Christian leader - should have gotten this so WRONG! It only goes to show you that our deep-seated fear of God is alive and well - and unfortunately being promoted in some Christian churches.
Jerry Falwell, I could imagine:
"Jesus said more about Hell than Heaven." — Jerry Falwell, "Heaven and Hell"
but - Rick Warren?
"Obviously I do believe in hell. Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven." — Rick Warren, interview with John Piper
And there are a handful of others...
As unfortunate as those quotes are, the author of the article is far more temperate when assessing Jesus' preaching of the fires of hell vs the joys of heaven, and I applaud him for that.
"Jesus did not, in fact, speak more about hell than heaven. But many people who should know better still seem hell-bent on insisting that He did."
Click to read the entire article.
Urantia Book readers know a very different Jesus, when it comes to this idea of heaven and hell. Even aside from Jesus, The Urantia Book's teachings finally put the end to belief in
1) a vengeful God who would damn an erring child to eternal hell-fire, and
2) the need for such a place as hell in the universe scheme of things
Once we are introduced to the new revelation of the true nature of God, we can never again believe that he would ever create such a place, or ever condemn a soul to such a terrible fate.
This does not mean that there is no recourse or consequence for a person who rejects God and his mercy. But the "punishment" is far more simple and far less vengeful than believing in hell. If someone deliberately and willfully rejects God, that person is "extinguished," as a candle flame might be. The light goes out and is never relit. God has no need to punish that soul for eternity.
The Urantia Book puts much-needed sanity on the subject of hell. We learn how the concept of hell originated here:
"Early man entertained no ideas of hell or future punishment. The savage looked upon the future life as just like this one, minus all ill luck. Later on, a separate destiny for good ghosts and bad ghosts — heaven and hell — was conceived. 86:4.7
"The habitual violation of a taboo became a vice; primitive law made vice a crime; religion made it a sin. Among the early tribes the violation of a taboo was a combined crime and sin. Community calamity was always regarded as punishment for tribal sin. To those who believed that prosperity and righteousness went together, the apparent prosperity of the wicked occasioned so much worry that it was necessary to invent hells for the punishment of taboo violators; the numbers of these places of future punishment have varied from one to five." 89:2.4
Jesus came to our world to reveal the loving heavenly Father. The idea of hell is clearly misguided, a remnant of our primitive past, and our primitive ideas of God.
Once we received God, incarnated as Jesus, all seekers of the truth should be thrilled to know that God does not act that way:
"Mortal man was never the property of the archdeceivers. Jesus did not die to ransom man from the clutch of the apostate rulers and fallen princes of the spheres. The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evil-doing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master's death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.
"Before Jesus lived on earth, you might possibly have been justified in believing in such a God, but not since the Master lived and died among your fellow mortals. Moses taught the dignity and justice of a Creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a heavenly Father." 188:4.3
As for Jesus, he never taught such error as hell. Instead, he taught:
"My Father does not sit in heaven laughing in derision at the heathen. He is not wrathful in his great displeasure...you who have lived with me well know that anger and wrath are not a part of the establishment of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men." 155:1.2
(Remember, Jesus is actually God speaking to us)
"...it is not the will of my Father in heaven that one of these little ones should go astray, much less that they should perish. In your religion God may receive repentant sinners; in the gospel of the kingdom the Father goes forth to find them even before they have seriously thought of repentance." 159:1.2
PART IV of The Urantia Book is itself a revelation of Jesus' life on our world
Click to read more about HELL
Many people have written to us here at TruthBook over the years, asking about the existence of hell. Here is a sampling of those Q+A:
What about hell and judgment day?
Is Hell real?
Is there a hell?
Is there a place called hell?
Enjoy our After You Die video
Also, enjoy our "You Can Live Forever" video