Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Study: Belief in hell may be waning among young people.

By Gina Adams

More than a decade after Bill Wiese shared his story in the New York Times best-seller, “23 Minutes in Hell,” a recent Pew Research study suggests that the belief in hell may be waning among young people. The study shows that 41% of young adults ages 18 to 29 either do not believe in hell or simply don’t know if hell exists. Only 21% of 18-29 year-olds said they believe in a literal hell.  Now, with the 10th anniversary edition of “23 Minutes in Hell” releasing in May, Wiese expounds on some of the questions that this younger generation is asking.

“This generation is looking for answers,” says Wiese. “Unfortunately, some pastors and church leaders shy away from talking about hell because they cannot reconcile a loving God with a God who would allow many to suffer in torment for all eternity.  Therefore, they ignore the many Bible verses provided and form a god in their minds who doesn’t exist. This is why Universalism and Annihilationism are embraced.  Hell is a basic foundational doctrine of Christ mentioned in Hebrews 6:2, but is seldom taught. Some pastors and church leaders are afraid they will offend someone and are more concerned about their numbers and following than they are about the truth.”

The 10th anniversary edition of “23 Minutes in Hell” features four new chapters, including ten of the most difficult questions people ask in regard to hell, eternity and the afterlife. Wiese also expounds on his experience, sharing more graphic details about what he encountered.  Even after sharing his story for over a decade, Wiese is aware there are those who simply don’t believe his story, but he is unfazed by skeptics.

“It is not important that you believe my experience,” says Wiese, “but that you believe the Word of God regarding hell.  I am simply a sign post to point people to His Word, so that they can understand that there really is a hell and know how to avoid it.”

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