Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ . . . will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. 2 John 3
There is no truth apart from love, yet the hate and exclusion that many who claim to be Christians practice would lead one to think that trust could exist apart from love. If what comes from God and from Jesus is grace, mercy, and peace, where is there room for condemnation?
Jesus said in Matthew 11:25 that it is the childlike who understand this message of truth more clearly than those who are considered wise according to the standards of the world. Would we not do more to fulfill the teaching of Jesus if we extended grace, mercy and peace to each other instead of arguing over whether or not hell exists, and if so, who is going there? How do such arguments strengthen the body of Christ? Sure, they may strengthen a particular individual or group, but at the expense of another, so the whole body actually suffers.
It seems to me that what people are really hungry for is not theological superiority but love and grace and mercy and peace. We may think that resolving the conflict of who's "in" and who's "out" will make us feel whole, but in cutting away any part of Christ's body, we are never whole.
Jesus extended mercy even to those who didn't ask for it. I am called to do likewise.