Kim Phelps has come out with a new book entitled, God Loves You, Now Go to Hell.
I interviewed Kip about the book.
Check it out.
Instead of asking, “what is your book about,” I’m going to ask the question that’s behind that question. And that unspoken question is, “how are readers going to benefit from reading your book?”
Hell isn’t on our radar, but it should be. In previous centuries, the idea of a place of eternal torment aroused fear, but it doesn’t anymore. The concept of hell is unreasonable to the modern mind, and words like sin, condemnation, repentance, and redemption are losing their impact. Evidence tells us, however, that hell is very real, its torments are ferocious, and its population is huge.
It’s enormously ironic that many people think hell isn’t real when, as the book explains, it’s actually reality on steroids. When nonbelievers are presented with the awful truth about hell, they’re given the chance to recognize their plight and to take the corrective action needed to avoid the dreadful place. When believers gain an understanding of the mind-blowing horrors of hell, they should feel an urgency to reach others for Christ.
Can you explain the title? “God Loves You, Now Go to Hell?”
When I talk with people about the afterlife, most of them say that a loving God would never let people go to a place like hell. The title of the book implies that—in spite of God’s immense love for every person—many unsuspecting people are, in fact, headed toward hell.
What motivated you to write this book?
In 2007, I attended five funerals within a span of three weeks. This woke me up to the fact that our time on earth is limited, and I wondered what happened to those five people after their time ran out. I started digging into the subjects of heaven and hell, and what I learned about hell was shocking.
I began warning people about the horrible place, but almost nobody believed what I was saying. I communicated face-to-face, through emails, and with a video I made—but my message wasn’t getting through. I felt that a more thorough treatment of the subject was needed; this led me to write the book.Who is your target audience for this book? In other words, what sorts of people will benefit the most from reading it?
The target audience is primarily nonbelievers, many of whom think they qualify for heaven because they’re good people. The book builds the case that getting into heaven is not a function of being good back on earth, and it explains that allowing Jesus to invade one’s life is the only way to avoid hell and to achieve heaven.Because it targets mainly nonbelievers, the beginning of the book is weighted toward psychology; theology plays a bigger role as the book progresses.
Share with us some of the experiences that shaped the insights in the book.
The Bible is my ultimate authority when it comes to spiritual matters; I hear God’s voice figuratively when I read Scripture. But, as I explain in the book, I’ve also heard his voice literally—twice. When God spoke to me audibly, he was reinforcing messages that are already in the Bible.
Because I’ve heard God’s actual voice, it helps me believe people who describe their dramatic encounters with the spiritual realm. The book presents the testimonies of these witnesses as one strand of evidence for the reality of God, heaven and hell.
How is this book different from other books on God’s love, heaven, and hell?
The book draws from multiple sources to provide evidence of God’s love, heaven, and hell. These sources include the Bible, science, eyewitness accounts, and my own spiritual experiences.
Give us two or three insights from your new book that would be helpful to most Christians.
The Bible should not take a back seat to science. Impressive gains have been made recently in integrating faith and science.
When they understand in detail how horrible hell is, Christians will gain a greater appreciation for what they’ve been saved from.
Hell’s excruciating, unending torments show the grim fate of those who won’t surrender to Christ. When they begin to grasp the extent of hell’s hideous and grueling assaults, Christians will be motivated, with greater urgency, to reach others for Christ.
What has the response been to the book so far?
I’ve written three versions of the book. I keep trying to improve it based on input I receive from readers. This latest version has received the most positive response so far.
What else would you like readers to know about your book?
It’s okay to be wrong about some things, but we can’t afford to be wrong about hell. In spite of God’s immense love for every person, countless unsuspecting people will undergo excruciating, non-stop torment in hell after they die. The book gives evidence for the existence of God, heaven, and hell, describes in detail what they are like, and explains how hell can be avoided.