3/20 – Hell

Speaker: Chris Seay       Scripture: Luke 16:19-31

listen to sermon podcast

Chris started off the sermon with this video by N.T. Wright…

There’s a lot to cover on this subject and i would recommend looking through the N.T. Wright videos that are linked with this one above and to listen to the sermon Chris spoke.

As for the paintings….

I always put it to prayer and paint what I feel like I’m supposed. This image I got 2 minutes before the 9am service started. A lot of it is inspired by the statement Chris makes that hell is like a dormitory full of narcissists…. everyone caught up in themselves never seeing the other. (Whereas life in “heaven” reflects the new church in Acts 2 & 4 – where everyone is taking care of each others needs and living in community).

The image was inspired by a couple things.

One was an image I have on a Juxtapose magazine cover by Herbert Baglione – a Brazilian street artist out of Sao Paulo. I love his stylized human forms and his minimal palette. It’s very sacred and haunting. This image below just speaks to confusion and blindness….

The other thing that the discussion on hell triggered was a book that I just read that I can’t stop thinking about called Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

This book, soon to be made a movie, is about a zombie named “R” who is dead and yet falls for an alive girl named Julie when he eats the brains of her former boyfriend and experiences all his memories about their love. R saves Julie from being eaten by other zombies and ends up protecting her. The story continues on and it’s an amazing read, even though I don’t like genres like this. The point I’m getting to is that time with Julie (time with the living) starts to regenerate things inside of R. In fact he begins to change the more he spends time with the living. This actually starts a revolution with many of the other zombies who are curious about R’s changes and are drawn to it. I hope this isn’t a spoiler, but what you come to find in the book is that it wasn’t some disease or chemical mutation that made people into the flesh eating dead. It was the progressive de-evolving evil actions that human beings have been doing to each other over many millennium. This went on so long and finally reached the bottom of life that the evil manifested itself into making the living dead.

The story goes on into a war between the living, the dead, and the dead that want to be living…. and it’s one of the most genius things i’ve read in a long time.

As we talked about heaven, and i heard the words of N.T. Wright saying that at some point people would say to God “i don’t want to be an image bearer”, i thought about this story about those who were existing in the world but are dead inside. Dead to life. Dead to each other. Dead to themselves.

That idea with the Herbert artwork influenced the gray shapes lost in the cloud of confusion, numbness, and narcissism.

There will always be a debate about hell and if these passages in scripture are literal or metaphorical. It’s all speculation until we die and move onto the next reality. But Jesus talks about it so we know its a real reality that we must consider in this life.

Many people ask why Jesus doesn’t just remove hell from the equation? Well, He did. That’s what the whole “good news” of the gospel is. Hell is no longer in the equation through Jesus. And it’s for all.

But you can’t give something to someone if they don’t want it, even if it’s free. My question then is why don’t you want it?

Is is the hatred of a religion you think you would have to take on?

Is it the distrust of a Deity that you don’t really know?

Or is it like the response a friend said to me last time we talked…. “I don’t need God.”

I don’t need the Image. I can make my own. This is what I think it comes down to. I don’t want to be an image bearer, please leave me alone.

Anyway, hope this adds to the discussion. Let’s keep talking.



About scotterickson

curator of awesomeness scottericksonart.com
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