Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hell for eternity

So right after I blogged my Cat 5 Hurricane Warning post, I returned to the story I was reading and, lo and behold, the same verse appeared before me:
‘And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying , Tell us , when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. All these things are the beginnings of sorrows.’ It’s from the book of Matthew, chapter 24.
- Excerpt from No Man an Island
I was completely taken aback, and the first thought that jumped to my brain was "Is this coincidence? Or is the end of the world (as we know it) nearing?"

The strangest part is, I don't even know how I'd stumbled upon this story. I started reading it several days back when i was searching for some original fiction to feed my lethargy, then left it aside when my spare time ran out. But this verse snagged my attention, having blogged about it so recently, and I kept reading.

So here's a quick review. If you're looking for a fluid, experienced and captivating writing, this probably isn't it. The writer isn't extremely mature, the English is a little broken at places, and some of the sentences don't flow as well as they could. The story also does not stick purely to the Bible, and some parts could even be misleading for young Christians. But there's an intriguing side to it. G.S. Williams somehow manages to weave a myriad of well-known bedtime stories together with Bible history, forming a relatively complete, complex jigsaw puzzle. It's quite a feat.

I'd say read it, if you have the time, because that storyline is worth the tiresome, draggy and incomprehensible bits.

But No Man an Island also gives an interesting perspective to Christianity, one that I've been contemplating for some time. One of my first posts, God is a cruel God, brought up my grouse where I felt God was cruel because He created millions of people to condemn them to death. G.S. Williams writes about what happens after the Lord's second coming, and has a view that echoes Julie Ferwerda's opinion:

“What about the others (the rest of the world that has been banished to hell)?”

“I will go to them, cousin,” He said. “To see if they can ever accept my love. Real love means always having faith, always hoping. I will not give up on them.”
- Chapter 35: Clarity, No Man an Island

Is our view of Hell as we know it completely misguided? Could it be that the lost sheep are not banished forever, but instead serve their term in hell until their eyes are open and they turn to God? Is that how 'real love' works?

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