The personal scriptorium of Joshua Corlew.
I am in the midst of reading the book The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. It is explicitly simple in its aspiration to present the Gospel without holding back any punches, without dressing it up, and without taking away from the entirety of the message. The first three chapters are titled “God”, “Man”, and “Christ” and I have just finished the chapter on man. The chapter was rather interesting because it was all on hell.
Not a good chapter for anyone who calls themselves a humanist.
At chapter’s end Chandler asks:
“Are you really going to believe we’re not worthy of hell?
Thank God for His response to all this blasphemous nonsense: the wrath-absorbing cross of Christ. ” – Matt Chandler
This is obviously supposed to segue into the following chapter on Christ, which I assume will be a tad bit more joyful, but what struck me about this last sentence was that it was the first time in the entire chapter you got a bit of the good news. Chandler dissects nearly every major passage in the New Testament that describes gehenna (hell) and always shows from the Bible that hell is simply the natural place for those who attempt to belittle the glory of God or to ascribe any glory to themselves. So horrible, so blasphemous, so maddeningly eternal is this sin, that hell is simply the natural end result from misplaced glory. As Piper says: “The horror of hell is an echo of the infinite worth of Christ.”
There is, in this chapter on “Man”, so very little to find joy in. We have fallen so far, we have hardened our hearts so greatly, and we are so cold to the smoldering reality of an all-consuming glory.
And here is my fearful realization. I don’t know the glory of God to be so damningly glorious…yet. That God is glorious beyond comprehension I believe whole-heartedly, but to know God’s glory as so great that one moment of glory ascribed to ourselves deserves an eternity of suffering? I fear that my regard for the glory of God is in desperate need for drastic change.
My earnest prayer is to see and know what David saw and knew when he wrote: “So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory (Psalm 63:2).”