That Time I Was Asked About Ultimate Reconciliation
Recently I shared about the ultimate nature of reconciling love on a Zoom Call with a group of young radicals in Australia. During a question and response time at the end of the call, I was asked about my thoughts on hell. They inquired, “Can we be saved after we die?”
I smiled and hesitated. In that brief pause, the lady who was leading, graciously said, “Jason, this is a safe place.”
It caught me funny, and I laughed in a way that was cathartic and healing.
Then, while wiping the humor from my eyes, I said, “Thanks for letting me know it’s a safe place. I believe you. But I laughed because the last time I responded to this question in what I thought was a safe place, my family and I were kicked out.”
* * *
There’s nothing safe about a retributive view of God; there’s nothing safe about a God who uses a gun.
I’ve learned first-hand that if you step on the toes of a gun-carrying God culture, even if they’re family, you’re likely to get shot. A church that believes in a God of retribution will participate in punishment—often cruelly, and blindly—even with those they love. Anyone who questions the nature of authority-by-way-of-a-gun will quickly realize they are only as safe as their conformity. And if they can’t comply, they will, at some point, find themselves on the wrong end of the gun. And that’s the opposite of a safe place.
I answered the question, “Can we be saved after we die” this way.
• Hell exists here and now, and we have been invited to discover and establish eternal life, heaven on earth, here and now.
• Family is the long game; it transcends dimensions of time and space, and God is our infinitely good and eternal Father.
• If my hope isn’t placed in reconciling love, I will find myself, in one way or another, aligned with the older brother at odds with my Dad’s reconciling heart.
• I can’t afford to undermine my faith by entertaining any certainty that conflicts with Greater Love.
I want to be fully engaged in the reconciliation party because everything our Heavenly Father has He has given to us, it’s ours! But only in love can we access it.
So, when someone asks, “Can you be saved after you die?” my best response is, “I think God is like Jesus, so…
“Yes, I sure hope so.”
This article is excerpted from my book, Leaving and Finding Jesus
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