"Jesus and Hell" surveys the understandings of hell during Jesus' time, and a brief history of Jewish understandings. The emphasis for McLaren, is how Jesus used the understanding of an afterlife, to redefine who God cares about. The afterlife is not simply a transfer of the elite, rich, and powerful (as exemplified by the Pharaohs of Egypt). Instead, the God of Jesus embraces those looked down upon as the citizens of heaven. This was quite a different way of understanding heaven. Status on earth did not matter at all, but rather the "heart" is the heart of the matter. If you do not live a life inspired by God, then why would you want to live another existence with God? By describing who gets into heaven, people are describing what they value in life, and how they view and understand God. So... who do we think gets into heaven?
This chapter connects to our Easter lessons in March for the Venture Club, K-2nd and Pre-K classes, as well as the ongoing reading of Matthew for the MYF and ongoing reading of Revelation with the JYF.
Contact Pastor Theda to participate in a theme based small group this year.