'Religiously speaking' it's dry around here where I live.
I have a super bright son, in his twenties, who has rejected God. He wasn't raised that way, but he's gotten too intellectual. In desperation, I gifted him a stay on the Wheaton College campus for a week several summers ago to hear Ravi Zacharias, but that probably made things worse. My husband and I are church-less at present because there doesn't seem to be a church around which is just plain interested in God's word. They're all into big productions, large family activities, carnivals, giveaways and gimmicks. So it's lonely to say the least.
I received an email from my son yesterday stating that since I was always sending him articles I deemed interesting, he decided to reciprocate with an article on what Jesus really meant by Hell. But the article came from a 'progressive' Christian site and hosted by a former fundamentalist.
I get too emotional at the thought of never seeing my son in eternity (he's an only child), and I couldn't put words together to give him an answer worthy of his intellect. I can no longer just say to him, 'well, I believe it because God's word says it'. While searching key words, your Q&A page on 'Is ''hell'' a proper translation of "Gehenna"?' came up at the top.
Thank you, thank you, thank you ... !!!!
I just looked to see that you're located way out in Nebraska, wow! Too bad there isn't a Bible teaching church like you near me.
I know I'm not your parishioner, but if you have time or you have a small group who would pray for my son, that the Holy Spirit would break the bonds of secular university teaching and bring him back to the Lord; I'd sure be appreciative. Although I may never see you here on earth, I will thank you when we meet in Heaven.
"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God -- and righteousness and sanctification and redemption -- that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD" (I Corinthians 1:17-31).
People have a strong tendency to see intellectualism as coming up with ideas that are different from what others think. Its very nature is to discount the wisdom of God as recorded in the Bible because it is old and well-known; therefore, to the intellectual it cannot be useful to modern "progressive" thinking.
Hopefully, as your son gets a dose of reality as he moves into the real world, he will come to realize that the Scriptures are valuable in making life better. But don't worry about matching him on his intellectual plain. Quote the Bible when it applies and let him come up to God's level. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11).