A Successful God...
Of all the dubious thoughts raised by Michigan pastor-writer Rob Bell, I will now mention one.
A quick scan through the chapters of the controversial book Love Wins highlights Bell's perception of a successful God. He is love, and must be able to maximize the number of targets for that love. Bell highlights a verse in 2 Peter 3:
9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
There must be some way, he says, for most if not all created beings to enter into that love, if not in this life, then perhaps in some other.
The story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16) affirms that each individual has up to his final mortal breath to repent and to receive mercy. Better to receive early however; better to receive under the sense of present need than when surrounded by comforts, distraction and applause.
Paul in Ephesians and in Colossians speaks of the wrath of God coming upon the "children of disobedience".
Jesus said, "Fear not little flock, it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." He also said "straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." What is this "few"? Apparently enough for unconditional Love "to see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied". (Isaiah 53:11)
For one to have a present assurance of salvation because of grace is a humbling thing and not a smug, self-congratulating thing as Bell has elsewhere attempted to illustrate. God will surround Himself with the meek, the humble, the thankful, those who have profited from the strange mercy of brokenness and contrition.
Take a look at Psalm 145.
Note: In my estimation the cover of Bell's book is dark for a reason.