An Open Letter to Rob Bell and Richard Mouw

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By Dan Delzell, Special to CP
March 26, 2011|8:14 pm

Dear Rob and Richard,

You have both been given an incredible opportunity to lead many souls into the kingdom of God for eternity! You are both very popular and have a large audience.....and one that is growing everyday. You both obviously love people a lot and you clearly want everyone to go to heaven. That is awesome! Our loving God desires the same thing! (1 Timothy 2:4 & 2 Peter 3:9) You could literally help thousands of people from many different faith backgrounds consider the claims of Christ and His offer of eternal life......you could help them to see that there really is true religion, and false religion......and that Jesus really is what He claimed.....the Truth and the Life and the only Way to heaven! (John 14:6)

Rather than flirting around the issue of who might or might not go to heaven or hell, just come out guys and tell people how they can be born-again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. (John 3:1-21)Tell people why they need to have the Holy Spirit living inside of them before they leave this planet if they expect to go to heaven. (1 John 5:1-12) Tell your people and tell Jews and Mormons and Hindus and atheists that God loves them and that there is one way for a person to be justified, saved, redeemed, forgiven, made alive in Christ, born of the Spirit, and brought into the family of God through the mighty working of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3) Above all the ethical and generous deeds you are currently doing, make the proclamation of this message your first priority for the sake of Christ's kingdom and for lost souls and to the glory of God!

Rob and Richard.....now is the time. Let go of your hang-ups with hell. None of us like to think about that place of eternal punishment. We will work on trying not to obsess on it too much as well. It is such an overwhelming reality.......but please guys....please make it clear to everyone that Jesus didn't die for nothing. Please make it clear to your followers that our efforts and works don't save us. Please state for your listeners that "if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing." (Galatians 2:21) Please make it clear that if anyone could get to heaven and escape punishment in hell by their deeds, then it was foolish for Jesus to come to earth and suffer torture on the cross for sinners like us....we know better......it wasn't foolish for Christ to do that was it......as He took our punishment upon Himself. (Isaiah 53:5)

Speak up about the gospel of Christ. Shrug off any obsession with hell and get obsessed with Jesus......and His love......and His grace.....and His mercy that is available for all people. "Snatch others from the fire and save them." (Jude 23) Be honest with your flock and with Jews and atheists and Muslims and Buddhists about what Jesus said regarding the sheep and the goats. (Matthew 25:31-46) Invite people into God's family to live as disciples of Christ.....as sheep of the Good Shepherd.....to be willing to lay down their life for others......just as Jesus laid down His life for us. (1 John 3:15,16)

Rob and Richard.......please hear us.......your leadership going forward will either point people to the true gospel that saves, or to a different gospel that confuses and loses......Love wins, but a different gospel loses.......I believe that deep down you both want to do the right thing even if it means changing course a bit......it's not too late to make adjustments......all of us are a work in progress.....and we all need one another.....we all need correction and assistance.......let's all love people enough to tell them why Jesus said they must be born-again if they want to make it into heaven. (John 3:3) Repentance and faith in Jesus will get them justified. (Luke 24:47) A life of good fruit and righteous living will be a demonstration of their true spiritual conversion to Christ and their relationship with God. (Matthew 7:18-20) A life of compassion is the life of a Jesus follower. It's simple guys. Lay it out there. With God's help, you can do it.....but the choice is up to you. God designed it that way through this little thing called free will.

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We wait. We pray. We would love to do this with with you......but only with the one true gospel message which our Lord has given us. Without the law, the gospel means nothing. If you throw away His justice, you throw away the God of love you would claim to follow. He is both loving and just. That's what the cross of Calvary is all about guys. God doesn't change His character just because we sometimes struggle to fully grasp or appreciate the ramifications of what the Bible teaches. Thanks for listening and for remaining so approachable and open to both your fans and your peers. We would love to learn with you if you will let us. Please be patient with us. We too have much to learn about how best to carry out God's mission to reach the lost with the gospel.

Rob Bell is the author of the newly released 'Love Wins' and Richard Mouw is president of Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb.
 

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