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Agnes A

The doctrine of Hell and my faith

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Hi, I am new here! I was raised as a Roman Catholic but for many reasons I've practically abandoned the Catholic church. One of these reasons was that when I was a child the teachings about Hell at school scared me so much I just could not bear it. At the age of 12 I had the first of many depressive episodes...and the main symptom of that depression was terror about hell. As an adult I've also had depressive episodes in which I cannot banish from my mind the idea of Hell.

Recently, I have decided, albeit in an undramatic way, to surrender to Jesus, to ask Jesus to plant the tiny mustard seed (of which He spoke in His beautiful parable) in my heart and soul. I've been reading the gospels ...and then I want to put them down, because again, and again, Jesus speaks, or seems to speaking, of 'eternal punishment' for unrepentant sinners. And then I feel so confused, as well as frightened and (it sounds blasphemous, but I trust God will forgive me!) even angry with God, if indeed Hell really is eternal torment for sinners. Why must sinners be condemned to ETERNAL torment? Personally, I wouldn't want any human being condemned to ETERNAL absolute agony, regardless of what they had done. I know I'm just a poor human being and have no right to question God's justice. I don't believe I'm better than God - no way! I've committed many, many sins. But all my life, the doctrine of Hell has sometimes...how I hate to say this .. prevented me from feeling like I can love Jesus with my whole heart. On the other hand, there have been times when I've felt absolute love for Jesus. He has helped me through some dreadful times and is no doubt helping me even now, although I continue to sin.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, I believe, hold that Hades or Hell doesn't mean eternal suffering but simply death, as in dead, not conscious, and that's that. I could embrace this idea with less qualms, although I still hate the idea that God would reject anyone without a second chance, i.e., Purgatory or something like it: I can't recall the exact scripture reference on which the Purgatory doctrine is based, but I believe it's in the gospels where Jesus, in another parable, speaks of "debtors" who will be "imprisoned UNTIL [they] have paid the last penny" - the implication here seems to be that there might be some sort of punishment for sinners that is not eternal, or at least that is how I understand it.

I know what I am about to say may offend some readers, but reason tells me that I am indeed reading an English translation of a Greek text, and furthermore, that Jesus almost certainly would have spoken and taught in Aramaic (although I believe some scholars have suggested that Jesus may have spoken in Greek as well as Aramaic). How I wish I could read the original Greek scripture! Perhaps some of you here can. If so, perhaps you could help me...

Because while I so much want to nurture my mustard seed, the doctrine of Hell is such a stumbling block for me. For example, five years ago my beautiful,loving mother committed suicide. Strict Catholic doctrine would maintain that my mother is certainly in hell, since in the Catholic church suicide is the gravest of sins. After her death I went to confession several times and the priests with whom I spoke reassured me. I don't believe she is in Hell. But if she were ... I am at a loss for words when I contemplate this. Another example: recently my teen-aged daughter told me she is bisexual. I told her I loved her and wished her nothing but happiness, however her "bisexuality" works out in the long term. Privately, I think it might just be a phase: she's so young, and at her schooI it seems "fashionable" to be gay or bi...but even if she did end up living as a gay woman, I wouldn't love her one iota less!). But if it's true that being gay is a sin, then if my daughter were to die suddenly, she'd go straight to Hell, or at least that's what some Christians would hold. How can I live with that? ( by the way, I have no definite opinion myself about whether being gay is a sin. I don't think Jesus ever spoke of homosexuality in the Gospels, but of course St Paul and the other early Christians in the New Testament say, unequivocally, that homosexuality is a sin. So does the Old Testament, of course. My personal view is that any sex that's devoid of love or respect, or any sexual activity in which one person uses or abuses another person, must surely be a sin, whether it's straight or gay people we're talking about).

The other day, I got talking with a fundamentalist Christian in the street. He was distributing leaflets which said things like "How Do I Get to Heaven?" - in other words, How Can I Avoid Hell? I asked him whether it was a good thing for people to become born again Christians just because they were scared of Hell. He replied that there was no getting around the fact that Hell awaited those who were not saved, and that it wasn't our place to question God's will or Jesus's teaching, but to accept it. I asked him if he had ever seriously tried to imagine Hell, and he said no. I asked why not, and again he said that Hell was beyond his imaginings, so he wouldn't attempt to imagine it. I told him I'd imagined it, or tried to, and it had made me feel very frightened and a long way from God. He didn't have much to say to that, but - nice fellow that he was - he said he'd pray for me.

I am not judging him, or people who share his particular views ... but to sum up, how can I live with the doctrine of Hell? Do other posters have any helpful advice for me? And, I hope, prayers! I so want to live and love again, as God would will, not as I would, and I know I can't without Jesus's help and love. But the doctrine of Hell haunts me and makes me just want to give up sometimes.

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Hi, I am new here! I was raised as a Roman Catholic but for many reasons I've practically abandoned the Catholic church. One of these reasons was that when I was a child the teachings about Hell at school scared me so much I just could not bear it. At the age of 12 I had the first of many depressive episodes...and the main symptom of that depression was terror about hell. As an adult I've also had depressive episodes in which I cannot banish from my mind the idea of Hell.

Recently, I have decided, albeit in an undramatic way, to surrender to Jesus, to ask Jesus to plant the tiny mustard seed (of which He spoke in His beautiful parable) in my heart and soul. I've been reading the gospels ...and then I want to put them down, because again, and again, Jesus speaks, or seems to speaking, of 'eternal punishment' for unrepentant sinners. And then I feel so confused, as well as frightened and (it sounds blasphemous, but I trust God will forgive me!) even angry with God, if indeed Hell really is eternal torment for sinners. Why must sinners be condemned to ETERNAL torment? Personally, I wouldn't want any human being condemned to ETERNAL absolute agony, regardless of what they had done. I know I'm just a poor human being and have no right to question God's justice. I don't believe I'm better than God - no way! I've committed many, many sins. But all my life, the doctrine of Hell has sometimes...how I hate to say this .. prevented me from feeling like I can love Jesus with my whole heart. On the other hand, there have been times when I've felt absolute love for Jesus. He has helped me through some dreadful times and is no doubt helping me even now, although I continue to sin.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, I believe, hold that Hades or Hell doesn't mean eternal suffering but simply death, as in dead, not conscious, and that's that. I could embrace this idea with less qualms, although I still hate the idea that God would reject anyone without a second chance, i.e., Purgatory or something like it: I can't recall the exact scripture reference on which the Purgatory doctrine is based, but I believe it's in the gospels where Jesus, in another parable, speaks of "debtors" who will be "imprisoned UNTIL [they] have paid the last penny" - the implication here seems to be that there might be some sort of punishment for sinners that is not eternal, or at least that is how I understand it.

I know what I am about to say may offend some readers, but reason tells me that I am indeed reading an English translation of a Greek text, and furthermore, that Jesus almost certainly would have spoken and taught in Aramaic (although I believe some scholars have suggested that Jesus may have spoken in Greek as well as Aramaic). How I wish I could read the original Greek scripture! Perhaps some of you here can. If so, perhaps you could help me...

Because while I so much want to nurture my mustard seed, the doctrine of Hell is such a stumbling block for me. For example, five years ago my beautiful,loving mother committed suicide. Strict Catholic doctrine would maintain that my mother is certainly in hell, since in the Catholic church suicide is the gravest of sins. After her death I went to confession several times and the priests with whom I spoke reassured me. I don't believe she is in Hell. But if she were ... I am at a loss for words when I contemplate this. Another example: recently my teen-aged daughter told me she is bisexual. I told her I loved her and wished her nothing but happiness, however her "bisexuality" works out in the long term. Privately, I think it might just be a phase: she's so young, and at her schooI it seems "fashionable" to be gay or bi...but even if she did end up living as a gay woman, I wouldn't love her one iota less!). But if it's true that being gay is a sin, then if my daughter were to die suddenly, she'd go straight to Hell, or at least that's what some Christians would hold. How can I live with that? ( by the way, I have no definite opinion myself about whether being gay is a sin. I don't think Jesus ever spoke of homosexuality in the Gospels, but of course St Paul and the other early Christians in the New Testament say, unequivocally, that homosexuality is a sin. So does the Old Testament, of course. My personal view is that any sex that's devoid of love or respect, or any sexual activity in which one person uses or abuses another person, must surely be a sin, whether it's straight or gay people we're talking about).

The other day, I got talking with a fundamentalist Christian in the street. He was distributing leaflets which said things like "How Do I Get to Heaven?" - in other words, How Can I Avoid Hell? I asked him whether it was a good thing for people to become born again Christians just because they were scared of Hell. He replied that there was no getting around the fact that Hell awaited those who were not saved, and that it wasn't our place to question God's will or Jesus's teaching, but to accept it. I asked him if he had ever seriously tried to imagine Hell, and he said no. I asked why not, and again he said that Hell was beyond his imaginings, so he wouldn't attempt to imagine it. I told him I'd imagined it, or tried to, and it had made me feel very frightened and a long way from God. He didn't have much to say to that, but - nice fellow that he was - he said he'd pray for me.

I am not judging him, or people who share his particular views ... but to sum up, how can I live with the doctrine of Hell? Do other posters have any helpful advice for me? And, I hope, prayers! I so want to live and love again, as God would will, not as I would, and I know I can't without Jesus's help and love. But the doctrine of Hell haunts me and makes me just want to give up sometimes.

 

Hi, welcome.. Thank you for joining us,

 

I also have a fear, but it's about the passing over bit more so than just the possibility of going to hell part, although that is a worry. It's a constant battle sometimes isn't it? Thinking whether we have been good enough to go to heaven or if we have sinned one too many times & deserve hellfire.

all you will get here is personal opinions.. Nobody knows our fate on here so you will unlikely find an answer to that.

but my advice would be do the best you can in this life, be the best person you can possibly be and repent when sinned, as we all do sin most certainly. What could you possibly do more than this?.. So the main question would be is our best good enough? There is only one judge of that.. And so be it the outcome is totally out of our hands.

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Welcome to the forum.

 

I believe hell will be destroyed as well as this entire universe. I think that will be the lake of fire and the second death. I believe all the wicked will eventually perish. There is good Scripture to support this. Regarding the destruction of the universe, below is a good article:

 

http://www.wordexplain.com/lastuniverse.html

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by the way, this post will come up as Jeanne D'Arc, but I'm actually Agnes A. There seemed to be a glitch with my original profile so I've had to create a new one.

 

Thank you both for that. I will read the article you recommend, LOJ.Could you tell me precisely what "good scripture" you mean so I might read that as well? I've never actually read the book of Revelations from start to finish. Actually, the only parts of the Bible I am really familiar with are the Gospels. I heard a lot of the rest of the New Testament in church over the years, of course!

 

Any further thoughts about the issues I expressed in my original post would be very welcome.

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by the way, this post will come up as Jeanne D'Arc, but I'm actually Agnes A. There seemed to be a glitch with my original profile so I've had to create a new one.

 

Thank you both for that. I will read the article you recommend, LOJ.Could you tell me precisely what "good scripture" you mean so I might read that as well? I've never actually read the book of Revelations from start to finish. Actually, the only parts of the Bible I am really familiar with are the Gospels. I heard a lot of the rest of the New Testament in church over the years, of course!

 

Any further thoughts about the issues I expressed in my original post would be very welcome.

 

There are many Scriptures about the Lord being able to destroy the soul or of the wicked perishing. Specifically, Revelation 20:14 states, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." There is other information about the second death which the wicked die. This verse states hell is cast into the lake of fire. I believe possibly this could be referring to the destruction of the entire universe, including hell and the wicked. I posted information on the destruction of the universe above based on Scriptures.

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Matthew 25:46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

We go to ETERNAL PUNISHMENT if you are not righteous. You are righteous if you believe in Jesus Christ for Christ's righteous is imputed to you if you believe.

 

Hell, 2nd death, Hades ...whatever you want to call it ... last forever.

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Hi, I am new here! I was raised as a Roman Catholic but for many reasons I've practically abandoned the Catholic church. One of these reasons was that when I was a child the teachings about Hell at school scared me so much I just could not bear it. At the age of 12 I had the first of many depressive episodes...and the main symptom of that depression was terror about hell. As an adult I've also had depressive episodes in which I cannot banish from my mind the idea of Hell.

Recently, I have decided, albeit in an undramatic way, to surrender to Jesus, to ask Jesus to plant the tiny mustard seed (of which He spoke in His beautiful parable) in my heart and soul. I've been reading the gospels ...and then I want to put them down, because again, and again, Jesus speaks, or seems to speaking, of 'eternal punishment' for unrepentant sinners. And then I feel so confused, as well as frightened and (it sounds blasphemous, but I trust God will forgive me!) even angry with God, if indeed Hell really is eternal torment for sinners. Why must sinners be condemned to ETERNAL torment? Personally, I wouldn't want any human being condemned to ETERNAL absolute agony, regardless of what they had done. I know I'm just a poor human being and have no right to question God's justice. I don't believe I'm better than God - no way! I've committed many, many sins. But all my life, the doctrine of Hell has sometimes...how I hate to say this .. prevented me from feeling like I can love Jesus with my whole heart. On the other hand, there have been times when I've felt absolute love for Jesus. He has helped me through some dreadful times and is no doubt helping me even now, although I continue to sin.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, I believe, hold that Hades or Hell doesn't mean eternal suffering but simply death, as in dead, not conscious, and that's that. I could embrace this idea with less qualms, although I still hate the idea that God would reject anyone without a second chance, i.e., Purgatory or something like it: I can't recall the exact scripture reference on which the Purgatory doctrine is based, but I believe it's in the gospels where Jesus, in another parable, speaks of "debtors" who will be "imprisoned UNTIL [they] have paid the last penny" - the implication here seems to be that there might be some sort of punishment for sinners that is not eternal, or at least that is how I understand it.

I know what I am about to say may offend some readers, but reason tells me that I am indeed reading an English translation of a Greek text, and furthermore, that Jesus almost certainly would have spoken and taught in Aramaic (although I believe some scholars have suggested that Jesus may have spoken in Greek as well as Aramaic). How I wish I could read the original Greek scripture! Perhaps some of you here can. If so, perhaps you could help me...

Because while I so much want to nurture my mustard seed, the doctrine of Hell is such a stumbling block for me. For example, five years ago my beautiful,loving mother committed suicide. Strict Catholic doctrine would maintain that my mother is certainly in hell, since in the Catholic church suicide is the gravest of sins. After her death I went to confession several times and the priests with whom I spoke reassured me. I don't believe she is in Hell. But if she were ... I am at a loss for words when I contemplate this. Another example: recently my teen-aged daughter told me she is bisexual. I told her I loved her and wished her nothing but happiness, however her "bisexuality" works out in the long term. Privately, I think it might just be a phase: she's so young, and at her schooI it seems "fashionable" to be gay or bi...but even if she did end up living as a gay woman, I wouldn't love her one iota less!). But if it's true that being gay is a sin, then if my daughter were to die suddenly, she'd go straight to Hell, or at least that's what some Christians would hold. How can I live with that? ( by the way, I have no definite opinion myself about whether being gay is a sin. I don't think Jesus ever spoke of homosexuality in the Gospels, but of course St Paul and the other early Christians in the New Testament say, unequivocally, that homosexuality is a sin. So does the Old Testament, of course. My personal view is that any sex that's devoid of love or respect, or any sexual activity in which one person uses or abuses another person, must surely be a sin, whether it's straight or gay people we're talking about).

The other day, I got talking with a fundamentalist Christian in the street. He was distributing leaflets which said things like "How Do I Get to Heaven?" - in other words, How Can I Avoid Hell? I asked him whether it was a good thing for people to become born again Christians just because they were scared of Hell. He replied that there was no getting around the fact that Hell awaited those who were not saved, and that it wasn't our place to question God's will or Jesus's teaching, but to accept it. I asked him if he had ever seriously tried to imagine Hell, and he said no. I asked why not, and again he said that Hell was beyond his imaginings, so he wouldn't attempt to imagine it. I told him I'd imagined it, or tried to, and it had made me feel very frightened and a long way from God. He didn't have much to say to that, but - nice fellow that he was - he said he'd pray for me.

I am not judging him, or people who share his particular views ... but to sum up, how can I live with the doctrine of Hell? Do other posters have any helpful advice for me? And, I hope, prayers! I so want to live and love again, as God would will, not as I would, and I know I can't without Jesus's help and love. But the doctrine of Hell haunts me and makes me just want to give up sometimes.

 

Hi, welcome.. Thank you for joining us,

 

I also have a fear, but it's about the passing over bit more so than just the possibility of going to hell part, although that is a worry. It's a constant battle sometimes isn't it? Thinking whether we have been good enough to go to heaven or if we have sinned one too many times & deserve hellfire.

all you will get here is personal opinions.. Nobody knows our fate on here so you will unlikely find an answer to that.

but my advice would be do the best you can in this life, be the best person you can possibly be and repent when sinned, as we all do sin most certainly. What could you possibly do more than this?.. So the main question would be is our best good enough? There is only one judge of that.. And so be it the outcome is totally out of our hands.

You CANNOT escape punishment by BEING GOOD.

 

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this [salvation] is not your own doing; it [salvation] is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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Hi, I am new here! I was raised as a Roman Catholic but for many reasons I've practically abandoned the Catholic church. One of these reasons was that when I was a child the teachings about Hell at school scared me so much I just could not bear it. At the age of 12 I had the first of many depressive episodes...and the main symptom of that depression was terror about hell. As an adult I've also had depressive episodes in which I cannot banish from my mind the idea of Hell.

Recently, I have decided, albeit in an undramatic way, to surrender to Jesus, to ask Jesus to plant the tiny mustard seed (of which He spoke in His beautiful parable) in my heart and soul. I've been reading the gospels ...and then I want to put them down, because again, and again, Jesus speaks, or seems to speaking, of 'eternal punishment' for unrepentant sinners. And then I feel so confused, as well as frightened and (it sounds blasphemous, but I trust God will forgive me!) even angry with God, if indeed Hell really is eternal torment for sinners. Why must sinners be condemned to ETERNAL torment? Personally, I wouldn't want any human being condemned to ETERNAL absolute agony, regardless of what they had done. I know I'm just a poor human being and have no right to question God's justice. I don't believe I'm better than God - no way! I've committed many, many sins. But all my life, the doctrine of Hell has sometimes...how I hate to say this .. prevented me from feeling like I can love Jesus with my whole heart. On the other hand, there have been times when I've felt absolute love for Jesus. He has helped me through some dreadful times and is no doubt helping me even now, although I continue to sin.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, I believe, hold that Hades or Hell doesn't mean eternal suffering but simply death, as in dead, not conscious, and that's that. I could embrace this idea with less qualms, although I still hate the idea that God would reject anyone without a second chance, i.e., Purgatory or something like it: I can't recall the exact scripture reference on which the Purgatory doctrine is based, but I believe it's in the gospels where Jesus, in another parable, speaks of "debtors" who will be "imprisoned UNTIL [they] have paid the last penny" - the implication here seems to be that there might be some sort of punishment for sinners that is not eternal, or at least that is how I understand it.

I know what I am about to say may offend some readers, but reason tells me that I am indeed reading an English translation of a Greek text, and furthermore, that Jesus almost certainly would have spoken and taught in Aramaic (although I believe some scholars have suggested that Jesus may have spoken in Greek as well as Aramaic). How I wish I could read the original Greek scripture! Perhaps some of you here can. If so, perhaps you could help me...

Because while I so much want to nurture my mustard seed, the doctrine of Hell is such a stumbling block for me. For example, five years ago my beautiful,loving mother committed suicide. Strict Catholic doctrine would maintain that my mother is certainly in hell, since in the Catholic church suicide is the gravest of sins. After her death I went to confession several times and the priests with whom I spoke reassured me. I don't believe she is in Hell. But if she were ... I am at a loss for words when I contemplate this. Another example: recently my teen-aged daughter told me she is bisexual. I told her I loved her and wished her nothing but happiness, however her "bisexuality" works out in the long term. Privately, I think it might just be a phase: she's so young, and at her schooI it seems "fashionable" to be gay or bi...but even if she did end up living as a gay woman, I wouldn't love her one iota less!). But if it's true that being gay is a sin, then if my daughter were to die suddenly, she'd go straight to Hell, or at least that's what some Christians would hold. How can I live with that? ( by the way, I have no definite opinion myself about whether being gay is a sin. I don't think Jesus ever spoke of homosexuality in the Gospels, but of course St Paul and the other early Christians in the New Testament say, unequivocally, that homosexuality is a sin. So does the Old Testament, of course. My personal view is that any sex that's devoid of love or respect, or any sexual activity in which one person uses or abuses another person, must surely be a sin, whether it's straight or gay people we're talking about).

The other day, I got talking with a fundamentalist Christian in the street. He was distributing leaflets which said things like "How Do I Get to Heaven?" - in other words, How Can I Avoid Hell? I asked him whether it was a good thing for people to become born again Christians just because they were scared of Hell. He replied that there was no getting around the fact that Hell awaited those who were not saved, and that it wasn't our place to question God's will or Jesus's teaching, but to accept it. I asked him if he had ever seriously tried to imagine Hell, and he said no. I asked why not, and again he said that Hell was beyond his imaginings, so he wouldn't attempt to imagine it. I told him I'd imagined it, or tried to, and it had made me feel very frightened and a long way from God. He didn't have much to say to that, but - nice fellow that he was - he said he'd pray for me.

I am not judging him, or people who share his particular views ... but to sum up, how can I live with the doctrine of Hell? Do other posters have any helpful advice for me? And, I hope, prayers! I so want to live and love again, as God would will, not as I would, and I know I can't without Jesus's help and love. But the doctrine of Hell haunts me and makes me just want to give up sometimes.

 

Hi, welcome.. Thank you for joining us,

 

I also have a fear, but it's about the passing over bit more so than just the possibility of going to hell part, although that is a worry. It's a constant battle sometimes isn't it? Thinking whether we have been good enough to go to heaven or if we have sinned one too many times & deserve hellfire.

all you will get here is personal opinions.. Nobody knows our fate on here so you will unlikely find an answer to that.

but my advice would be do the best you can in this life, be the best person you can possibly be and repent when sinned, as we all do sin most certainly. What could you possibly do more than this?.. So the main question would be is our best good enough? There is only one judge of that.. And so be it the outcome is totally out of our hands.

I certainly don't think that's any sort of justifiable reason to become an opposite & live an evil lifestyle..

I suggest that if doing you're utter best in life & being the best person you can be gives you a clearer conscience then that has to be a positive issue.

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I agree with you that eternal punishment seems to be unfair. The reason is that we are so corrupted by sin that we can't see right and wrong in the way God sees them. The Bible not only tells us that the punishment for sin it eternal but it also tells us how our sins can be forgiven so we won't have to bear the punishment we deserve. Christ died to atone for our sins so we can be forgiven. Instead of thinking about Hell perhaps you should focus on what Jesus did to keep you from having to go there. If you have problems understanding what the Bible teaches about this perhaps you will find this helpful: https://carm.org/answers-for-seekers

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I too used to struggle with this idea that God could be love, but also burn people for all eternity in hell. As I prayed for understanding, God led me to the many verses that are consistent to the fact that hell is the second death (Revelation 20:14,15). It's not the burning or torment that lasts forever, it's the consequences. Eternal life is a gift from God (John 3:16) because God alone is immortal (1 Timothy 6:16) and gifts life to those who accept Him, and those who are wicked will not be given eternal life to stay alive forever in their punishment. The devil wants us to believe the lie (Genesis 3:4). The lake of fire is reserved for Satan and his fallen angels (Matthew 25:41), and God is going to destroy all sin eventually. We all have a choice of who we want to follow. We can follow God to eternal life, or follow the enemy to destruction. There are no other alternatives.

 

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance that leads to eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). Listen to God's plea: "As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 33:11.

 

A good example of those who suffered eternal fire were Sodom and Gomorrah, but are they still burning to this day? No, it was the result of the destruction that lasts for eternity. "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 7 & 2 Peter 2:6. We can rest in the truth that God is love and would not burn anyone for eternity. I recommend this website for more info: http://www.helltruth.com

 

I don't believe we should ever want to go to heaven just to escape being destroyed in hell, but we can know that God is just and His justice says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but praise God Jesus took the penalty on our behalf so that we can live in Him and have the blessing of eternal life. If the wages of sin is eternal burning in hell, then Christ did not pay the penalty for us and we are left to suffer it ourselves. The doctrine of eternal burning in hell is straight from paganism and crept into the Roman Catholic Church, but it is not biblical. God bless!

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I agree with you that eternal punishment seems to be unfair. The reason is that we are so corrupted by sin that we can't see right and wrong in the way God sees them. The Bible not only tells us that the punishment for sin it eternal but it also tells us how our sins can be forgiven so we won't have to bear the punishment we deserve. Christ died to atone for our sins so we can be forgiven. Instead of thinking about Hell perhaps you should focus on what Jesus did to keep you from having to go there. If you have problems understanding what the Bible teaches about this perhaps you will find this helpful: https://carm.org/answers-for-seekers

You say Christ died to atone for our sins, but if, according to your interpretation, the wages of sin is eternal burning in hell, then Christ paid nothing. But the Bible says the wages for sin is death (Romans 6:23), which Christ paid in full so that we can live in Him and receive the gift of eternal life. Eternal punishing doesn't *seem* to be unfair, it *is* unfair and unjust, and we cannot expect God to adhere to something that is so beyond unjust, simply because we believe that's what the Bible is teaching. God's justice will be complete in the destruction of sin and those who cling to sin, and the consequences will be eternal. God bless.

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Hi everyone,

 

Deade chiming in here about hell:Now I will bring up the state of the dead. I will probably lose many Christians at this point, but I don’t write to please people. Are our dead forefathers, and other loved ones, dwelling in “heaven” at this time?

 

Jesus said: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). But many say that Christ opened the graves after the crucifixion. I point you to the faith chapter of Hebrews 11. It tells us of how the patriarchs of old have not ascended to heaven. “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39,40). Mind you, this was written after the crucifixion.

 

I urge you to also read the whole chapter of I Corinthians 15, but note especially the following verses: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming(I Corinthians 15:20-23).

 

Also consider the following: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [Gr. precede] them which are asleep. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:13-17).

 

So are our loved ones already with Christ? If they have to be resurrected at His coming—they must not be. I believe our lost loved ones are asleep; they have no awareness of time. Somehow God preserves our spirits for a future resurrection. We don’t know exactly how He does this, but we don’t know many things. Some believe that if we meet the Lord in the air, that we will ever be in the air or heaven. The Bible doesn’t say that, it says we will ever be with the Lord. Remember, heaven is wherever God is. Once we meet the Lord we shall return to the earth: “And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9,10). Even though we are on the earth, we will be in the heavenly realm. We will be spirits, just as God is.

 

Yours,

 

Deade

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Hi everyone,

 

Deade chiming in here about hell:Now I will bring up the state of the dead. I will probably lose many Christians at this point, but I don’t write to please people. Are our dead forefathers, and other loved ones, dwelling in “heaven” at this time?

 

Jesus said: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). But many say that Christ opened the graves after the crucifixion. I point you to the faith chapter of Hebrews 11. It tells us of how the patriarchs of old have not ascended to heaven. “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39,40). Mind you, this was written after the crucifixion.

 

I urge you to also read the whole chapter of I Corinthians 15, but note especially the following verses: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming(I Corinthians 15:20-23).

 

Also consider the following: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [Gr. precede] them which are asleep. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:13-17).

 

So are our loved ones already with Christ? If they have to be resurrected at His coming—they must not be. I believe our lost loved ones are asleep; they have no awareness of time. Somehow God preserves our spirits for a future resurrection. We don’t know exactly how He does this, but we don’t know many things. Some believe that if we meet the Lord in the air, that we will ever be in the air or heaven. The Bible doesn’t say that, it says we will ever be with the Lord. Remember, heaven is wherever God is. Once we meet the Lord we shall return to the earth: “And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9,10). Even though we are on the earth, we will be in the heavenly realm. We will be spirits, just as God is.

 

Yours,

 

Deade

I agree that the Bible is consistent that we sleep in the grave when we die and await the resurrection. I don't believe we will be spirits though, because the Bible says we will be like Jesus (Phil. 3:21, 1 John 3:2), and He said He is not a spirit but has flesh and blood (Luke 24:39). The resurrection will give us new bodies just as Jesus has. And thank God there is no one burning in hell right now because that would be unjust, that many would be burning thousands of years more than others. God bless!

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Hi everyone,

 

Deade chiming in here about hell:Now I will bring up the state of the dead. I will probably lose many Christians at this point, but I don’t write to please people. Are our dead forefathers, and other loved ones, dwelling in “heaven” at this time?

 

Jesus said: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). But many say that Christ opened the graves after the crucifixion. I point you to the faith chapter of Hebrews 11. It tells us of how the patriarchs of old have not ascended to heaven. “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39,40). Mind you, this was written after the crucifixion.

 

I urge you to also read the whole chapter of I Corinthians 15, but note especially the following verses: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming(I Corinthians 15:20-23).

 

Also consider the following: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [Gr. precede] them which are asleep. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:13-17).

 

So are our loved ones already with Christ? If they have to be resurrected at His coming—they must not be. I believe our lost loved ones are asleep; they have no awareness of time. Somehow God preserves our spirits for a future resurrection. We don’t know exactly how He does this, but we don’t know many things. Some believe that if we meet the Lord in the air, that we will ever be in the air or heaven. The Bible doesn’t say that, it says we will ever be with the Lord. Remember, heaven is wherever God is. Once we meet the Lord we shall return to the earth: “And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9,10). Even though we are on the earth, we will be in the heavenly realm. We will be spirits, just as God is.

 

Yours,

 

Deade

I understand completely,.. Although many of us think about what god does and where passed are residing, I would also suggest it's a possibility that god can change his plans and situations accordingly to him. What was the situation what's written in scripture may or may not be the circumstances now. Unless a new revelation comes to us and let's us all know, we won't truly know until it's the time for us to go ourselves, I don't think it's wise to spend too much time thinking about what is.. What if, or what's not, to be trusting and faithful is the priority here.

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Hi, I am new here! I was raised as a Roman Catholic but for many reasons I've practically abandoned the Catholic church. One of these reasons was that when I was a child the teachings about Hell at school scared me so much I just could not bear it. At the age of 12 I had the first of many depressive episodes...and the main symptom of that depression was terror about hell. As an adult I've also had depressive episodes in which I cannot banish from my mind the idea of Hell.

Recently, I have decided, albeit in an undramatic way, to surrender to Jesus, to ask Jesus to plant the tiny mustard seed (of which He spoke in His beautiful parable) in my heart and soul. I've been reading the gospels ...and then I want to put them down, because again, and again, Jesus speaks, or seems to speaking, of 'eternal punishment' for unrepentant sinners. And then I feel so confused, as well as frightened and (it sounds blasphemous, but I trust God will forgive me!) even angry with God, if indeed Hell really is eternal torment for sinners. Why must sinners be condemned to ETERNAL torment? Personally, I wouldn't want any human being condemned to ETERNAL absolute agony, regardless of what they had done. I know I'm just a poor human being and have no right to question God's justice. I don't believe I'm better than God - no way! I've committed many, many sins. But all my life, the doctrine of Hell has sometimes...how I hate to say this .. prevented me from feeling like I can love Jesus with my whole heart. On the other hand, there have been times when I've felt absolute love for Jesus. He has helped me through some dreadful times and is no doubt helping me even now, although I continue to sin.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, I believe, hold that Hades or Hell doesn't mean eternal suffering but simply death, as in dead, not conscious, and that's that. I could embrace this idea with less qualms, although I still hate the idea that God would reject anyone without a second chance, i.e., Purgatory or something like it: I can't recall the exact scripture reference on which the Purgatory doctrine is based, but I believe it's in the gospels where Jesus, in another parable, speaks of "debtors" who will be "imprisoned UNTIL [they] have paid the last penny" - the implication here seems to be that there might be some sort of punishment for sinners that is not eternal, or at least that is how I understand it.

I know what I am about to say may offend some readers, but reason tells me that I am indeed reading an English translation of a Greek text, and furthermore, that Jesus almost certainly would have spoken and taught in Aramaic (although I believe some scholars have suggested that Jesus may have spoken in Greek as well as Aramaic). How I wish I could read the original Greek scripture! Perhaps some of you here can. If so, perhaps you could help me...

Because while I so much want to nurture my mustard seed, the doctrine of Hell is such a stumbling block for me. For example, five years ago my beautiful,loving mother committed suicide. Strict Catholic doctrine would maintain that my mother is certainly in hell, since in the Catholic church suicide is the gravest of sins. After her death I went to confession several times and the priests with whom I spoke reassured me. I don't believe she is in Hell. But if she were ... I am at a loss for words when I contemplate this. Another example: recently my teen-aged daughter told me she is bisexual. I told her I loved her and wished her nothing but happiness, however her "bisexuality" works out in the long term. Privately, I think it might just be a phase: she's so young, and at her schooI it seems "fashionable" to be gay or bi...but even if she did end up living as a gay woman, I wouldn't love her one iota less!). But if it's true that being gay is a sin, then if my daughter were to die suddenly, she'd go straight to Hell, or at least that's what some Christians would hold. How can I live with that? ( by the way, I have no definite opinion myself about whether being gay is a sin. I don't think Jesus ever spoke of homosexuality in the Gospels, but of course St Paul and the other early Christians in the New Testament say, unequivocally, that homosexuality is a sin. So does the Old Testament, of course. My personal view is that any sex that's devoid of love or respect, or any sexual activity in which one person uses or abuses another person, must surely be a sin, whether it's straight or gay people we're talking about).

The other day, I got talking with a fundamentalist Christian in the street. He was distributing leaflets which said things like "How Do I Get to Heaven?" - in other words, How Can I Avoid Hell? I asked him whether it was a good thing for people to become born again Christians just because they were scared of Hell. He replied that there was no getting around the fact that Hell awaited those who were not saved, and that it wasn't our place to question God's will or Jesus's teaching, but to accept it. I asked him if he had ever seriously tried to imagine Hell, and he said no. I asked why not, and again he said that Hell was beyond his imaginings, so he wouldn't attempt to imagine it. I told him I'd imagined it, or tried to, and it had made me feel very frightened and a long way from God. He didn't have much to say to that, but - nice fellow that he was - he said he'd pray for me.

I am not judging him, or people who share his particular views ... but to sum up, how can I live with the doctrine of Hell? Do other posters have any helpful advice for me? And, I hope, prayers! I so want to live and love again, as God would will, not as I would, and I know I can't without Jesus's help and love. But the doctrine of Hell haunts me and makes me just want to give up sometimes.

 

Hi, welcome.. Thank you for joining us,

 

I also have a fear, but it's about the passing over bit more so than just the possibility of going to hell part, although that is a worry. It's a constant battle sometimes isn't it? Thinking whether we have been good enough to go to heaven or if we have sinned one too many times & deserve hellfire.

all you will get here is personal opinions.. Nobody knows our fate on here so you will unlikely find an answer to that.

but my advice would be do the best you can in this life, be the best person you can possibly be and repent when sinned, as we all do sin most certainly. What could you possibly do more than this?.. So the main question would be is our best good enough? There is only one judge of that.. And so be it the outcome is totally out of our hands.

Your statement "So the main question would be is our best good enough? There is only one judge of that" lead me to believe you a proposed salvation by works. Perhaps I misinterpreted. If so, I apologize.

 

Although I believe one should strive to please God by obedience, it is impossible to do so and don't strive for the impossible. For what do we have to offer the King? Can we add to His glory. We are nothing. Perhaps, instead, be thankful that we are justified by His imputed righteousness; adopted sons despite our depravity.

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Welcome, I am also new here to this Christian forum. I am not like many Protestants who would discard the faith of over a billion Catholics just because they follow traditions, rituals and beliefs that are not in the Bible, that is, the Protestant Bible of 66 books. I believe the body of Christ includes all believers, so to date, 2.3 billion and counting. I would also say that the Word of God is perfect, yet sometimes we see variations in translations. For instance, there are dozens of versions available in the English language and if you compare them, you would find differences and sometimes the doctrines themselves are based on only a few words, such as "eternal", "everlasting", "destruction" and "Hell" itself.

First off, the word for eternal comes from the Greek word, aion, aionios, or aionion. When you do a study of the usage of this word you will find that it is used to describe temporal realities, not just God, His domain or our salvation, which would mean forward into a spiritual existence without end. The temporal usages refer to generation(s), lifetime(s), age(s), epoch(s), world. Even words like everlasting, should be translated as age-lasting or age-during. Ever also is temporal. Never would equate to not ever = not in this age

Another word is Hell. Hades is not Hell. Hades is a place where damned souls go after death and await punishment. "Sheol" is deeper than the grave and many scriptures support this. However, the former earth and heavens will be destroyed (those are temporal). So Hades, referred to as the underworld, which is also part of the earth, will also be destroyed, along with Death and thrown into the Lake of Fire (HELL). After the Millennial Kingdom, the former things, earth and heavens will pass away -- all former physical things created. Unbelievers will be resurrected and thrown physically into the Lake of Fire and burned.

Other words, such as destruction and perish should also be examined. It is contradictory to say that when a person is destroyed or perishes in Hell, that it somehow is an existence without end. It removes the meaning of the words, which means to put an end to. Again, death itself will be destroyed. Think of it, these altered meanings imply an indestructible destruction or imperishable perishing. That's a contradiction. Destruction is what it means, equivalent to a piece of paper that is thrown in the fire, it burns and is destroyed - quickly. People burn to death sometimes with only ashes left behind or bones -- how long does that take?

I also have to say that Luther himself had reservations about "eternal Hell" and might have included an argument against it with his 95 Thesis but Calvin discouraged him from doing so. I don't know this for sure, it's something I read. But I would believe it, because that would be too much too swallow. The 95 Thesis was enough to cause division and it did.

Nevertheless, the Protestant church for the most part accepts this traditional doctrine of eternal hell. I don't. I am not a Seventh Day Adventist either and the views of annihilation that are common, I would also disagree with. I do not believe the soul goes to sleep, out of existence, then is recreated at the resurrection. There are too many verses that describe Hades as a place much deeper than 6 feet, a place of darkness and utter gloom or the gates of the deep darkness. And let's not forget "For a fire is kindled in My anger and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains." Deut. 32:22 That is a key verse describing what will happen during the Great Tribulation period. Also, "... her guests are in the depths of Sheol." Prov.9:18 other verses to examine (Is. 38:18; Prov. 23:13, 14; Psalm 9:17; Jonah 2:1-7, 10; Num.16:31-35; Job 38:17; Matt.16:18; Luke 16:23-31; Matt. 23:33; Jude 1:6; Is. 24:17-22; Psalm 140:10; Rev.9:1, 2

So how does Christianity justify God sustaining billions of suffering, tormented souls in a endless fire? They spiritualize it, turn it into some spiritual location. Even the fire itself they reason not to be literal, but spiritual. How do they justify God not having mercy on these souls? Condemn them, punish them -- yes, but for an infinite time forward without end? Some teenagers die without Christ and have sinned for 15 years or so -- should they be punished for an endless time? We need to ask if this is fair justice. Am I questioning God's justice? No, I'm questioning if these words have accurately been translated. If you look at Young's Literal Translation and some others, they us age-lasting and age during. In Matt. 25:46, the KJV differentiates between everlasting punishment and eternal life -- IT'S THE SAME WORD. The translators knew there was a difference, a variation in meaning, otherwise eternal should have been used for both (which the NIV and NASB use)

Honestly, this idea of "eternal punishment" is a stumbling block for many to become believers. Many would use the argument, "I cannot worship a God who would create and eternal torture chamber." And that's a valid argument. You can't get your mind around it. It's like giving a kid life imprisonment for stealing a bar of candy. Even Hitler, who murdered millions, should suffer and be punished for that (even millions of life sentences), but eventually it should come to an end. But why sustain this spiritual place, why not just destroy these souls (put an end to) and move on with eternal heaven? How does this glorify God, what is He getting out of such a place? I've heard this argument also: Sinning against and eternal God requires and eternal punishment." No where in the Bible do we see God's judgment implemented unfairly. Sin was judged according to it's degree of severity, for a time and then it ended, always.

The Jews sinned, rebelled against God, and were punished -- for a time!

I will get heresy notes and such to this effect -- go ahead. I've done my research and have studied all the arguments. The only person who could convince me otherwise will have to be Jesus Himself, when I see Him. He will certainly straighten out much confusion and divisions that divide us all won't He! And if I am wrong, He will have to remove my memories of all those who suffer in this eternal place (if it exists), people I know, and billions of others. How could I enjoy heaven with this knowledge? Then again, maybe that is Jesus wiping away the tears. What would be the point of erasing our memories of sin and judgment? I don't think any of this is the case, since we read in scripture of those in heaven saying: "Worthy is the Lord Who was slain ..."; "How long, O Lord holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Those are souls in heaven who were slain for the word of God and want justice. They are aware of those who have sinned against them - this knowledge wasn't wiped away as He wiped away their tears. We will never forget what Christ did for us and where we came from.

So anyways, try to digest that. I'm comfortable with it. If the rest of you are comfortable with eternal damnation, good for you. We'll see up there won't we?

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Agnes A. welcome to the Forum. I am sorry for the loss of your mother.

 

 

 

 

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Hell isn't just punishment for the unrepted sin in life, it's continual punishment for the continually wicked. Those that perish never come to repentance, they go to hell for what they are for as long as they are, forever.

 

I'm sorry to hear what happened to your mother. I don't think suicide is an unforgivable sin or that one must know and/or ask forgiveness of every sin to have salivation, not to say we shouldn't be sorry for the sin we know we commit. Scripture tells us blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin.

 

Purgatory is a place where people going to heaven go to be cleansed of their sin, Scripture doesn't support any such doctrine. Christ was savagely beaten and nailed to the cross as our substitute, his blood washes us clean. God no longer sees our sin but Christ righteousness.

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I agree with you that eternal punishment seems to be unfair. The reason is that we are so corrupted by sin that we can't see right and wrong in the way God sees them. The Bible not only tells us that the punishment for sin it eternal but it also tells us how our sins can be forgiven so we won't have to bear the punishment we deserve. Christ died to atone for our sins so we can be forgiven. Instead of thinking about Hell perhaps you should focus on what Jesus did to keep you from having to go there. If you have problems understanding what the Bible teaches about this perhaps you will find this helpful: https://carm.org/answers-for-seekers

You said "Christ died to atone for our sins" - correct, but you have not defined "our". "Our" = the elect ... admittedly, this is a reformed position.

 

You said "Eternal punishing doesn't *seem* to be unfair, it *is* unfair and unjust" .... Please provide a verse to back this statement up. Aside: I never thought it fair that I should be held accountable for Adam's sin, but because God says I am accountable, I believe it and believe that it is "good".

 

You said "God's justice will be complete in the destruction of sin " ... I am aware of verses that say God had defeated sin, that he will judge sin but please provide a verse stating "God has (or will) destroy sin".

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Matthew 25:46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

We go to ETERNAL PUNISHMENT if you are not righteous. You are righteous if you believe in Jesus Christ for Christ's righteous is imputed to you if you believe.

 

Hell, 2nd death, Hades ...whatever you want to call it ... last forever.

 

Death is an eternal punishment. It is final and everlasting. The Scripture does not say eternal punishing.

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Welcome, I am also new here to this Christian forum. I am not like many Protestants who would discard the faith of over a billion Catholics just because they follow traditions, rituals and beliefs that are not in the Bible, that is, the Protestant Bible of 66 books. I believe the body of Christ includes all believers, so to date, 2.3 billion and counting. I would also say that the Word of God is perfect, yet sometimes we see variations in translations. For instance, there are dozens of versions available in the English language and if you compare them, you would find differences and sometimes the doctrines themselves are based on only a few words, such as "eternal", "everlasting", "destruction" and "Hell" itself.

First off, the word for eternal comes from the Greek word, aion, aionios, or aionion. When you do a study of the usage of this word you will find that it is used to describe temporal realities, not just God, His domain or our salvation, which would mean forward into a spiritual existence without end. The temporal usages refer to generation(s), lifetime(s), age(s), epoch(s), world. Even words like everlasting, should be translated as age-lasting or age-during. Ever also is temporal. Never would equate to not ever = not in this age

Another word is Hell. Hades is not Hell. Hades is a place where damned souls go after death and await punishment. "Sheol" is deeper than the grave and many scriptures support this. However, the former earth and heavens will be destroyed (those are temporal). So Hades, referred to as the underworld, which is also part of the earth, will also be destroyed, along with Death and thrown into the Lake of Fire (HELL). After the Millennial Kingdom, the former things, earth and heavens will pass away -- all former physical things created. Unbelievers will be resurrected and thrown physically into the Lake of Fire and burned.

Other words, such as destruction and perish should also be examined. It is contradictory to say that when a person is destroyed or perishes in Hell, that it somehow is an existence without end. It removes the meaning of the words, which means to put an end to. Again, death itself will be destroyed. Think of it, these altered meanings imply an indestructible destruction or imperishable perishing. That's a contradiction. Destruction is what it means, equivalent to a piece of paper that is thrown in the fire, it burns and is destroyed - quickly. People burn to death sometimes with only ashes left behind or bones -- how long does that take?

I also have to say that Luther himself had reservations about "eternal Hell" and might have included an argument against it with his 95 Thesis but Calvin discouraged him from doing so. I don't know this for sure, it's something I read. But I would believe it, because that would be too much too swallow. The 95 Thesis was enough to cause division and it did.

Nevertheless, the Protestant church for the most part accepts this traditional doctrine of eternal hell. I don't. I am not a Seventh Day Adventist either and the views of annihilation that are common, I would also disagree with. I do not believe the soul goes to sleep, out of existence, then is recreated at the resurrection. There are too many verses that describe Hades as a place much deeper than 6 feet, a place of darkness and utter gloom or the gates of the deep darkness. And let's not forget "For a fire is kindled in My anger and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains." Deut. 32:22 That is a key verse describing what will happen during the Great Tribulation period. Also, "... her guests are in the depths of Sheol." Prov.9:18 other verses to examine (Is. 38:18; Prov. 23:13, 14; Psalm 9:17; Jonah 2:1-7, 10; Num.16:31-35; Job 38:17; Matt.16:18; Luke 16:23-31; Matt. 23:33; Jude 1:6; Is. 24:17-22; Psalm 140:10; Rev.9:1, 2

So how does Christianity justify God sustaining billions of suffering, tormented souls in a endless fire? They spiritualize it, turn it into some spiritual location. Even the fire itself they reason not to be literal, but spiritual. How do they justify God not having mercy on these souls? Condemn them, punish them -- yes, but for an infinite time forward without end? Some teenagers die without Christ and have sinned for 15 years or so -- should they be punished for an endless time? We need to ask if this is fair justice. Am I questioning God's justice? No, I'm questioning if these words have accurately been translated. If you look at Young's Literal Translation and some others, they us age-lasting and age during. In Matt. 25:46, the KJV differentiates between everlasting punishment and eternal life -- IT'S THE SAME WORD. The translators knew there was a difference, a variation in meaning, otherwise eternal should have been used for both (which the NIV and NASB use)

Honestly, this idea of "eternal punishment" is a stumbling block for many to become believers. Many would use the argument, "I cannot worship a God who would create and eternal torture chamber." And that's a valid argument. You can't get your mind around it. It's like giving a kid life imprisonment for stealing a bar of candy. Even Hitler, who murdered millions, should suffer and be punished for that (even millions of life sentences), but eventually it should come to an end. But why sustain this spiritual place, why not just destroy these souls (put an end to) and move on with eternal heaven? How does this glorify God, what is He getting out of such a place? I've heard this argument also: Sinning against and eternal God requires and eternal punishment." No where in the Bible do we see God's judgment implemented unfairly. Sin was judged according to it's degree of severity, for a time and then it ended, always.

The Jews sinned, rebelled against God, and were punished -- for a time!

I will get heresy notes and such to this effect -- go ahead. I've done my research and have studied all the arguments. The only person who could convince me otherwise will have to be Jesus Himself, when I see Him. He will certainly straighten out much confusion and divisions that divide us all won't He! And if I am wrong, He will have to remove my memories of all those who suffer in this eternal place (if it exists), people I know, and billions of others. How could I enjoy heaven with this knowledge? Then again, maybe that is Jesus wiping away the tears. What would be the point of erasing our memories of sin and judgment? I don't think any of this is the case, since we read in scripture of those in heaven saying: "Worthy is the Lord Who was slain ..."; "How long, O Lord holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Those are souls in heaven who were slain for the word of God and want justice. They are aware of those who have sinned against them - this knowledge wasn't wiped away as He wiped away their tears. We will never forget what Christ did for us and where we came from.

So anyways, try to digest that. I'm comfortable with it. If the rest of you are comfortable with eternal damnation, good for you. We'll see up there won't we?

It makes no difference how will perish, there's only one true Gospel.

 

What you're saying is that you can't be happy knowing of God's perfect judgement, that God's realty laid out in full view would be less than unimaginable bliss if those plans involve eternal punishment. Whatever knowledge God reveals to us will show us that he is beyond amazing, that his truth gives us reason to praise him for all of eternity.

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Welcome, I am also new here to this Christian forum. I am not like many Protestants who would discard the faith of over a billion Catholics just because they follow traditions, rituals and beliefs that are not in the Bible, that is, the Protestant Bible of 66 books. I believe the body of Christ includes all believers, so to date, 2.3 billion and counting. I would also say that the Word of God is perfect, yet sometimes we see variations in translations. For instance, there are dozens of versions available in the English language and if you compare them, you would find differences and sometimes the doctrines themselves are based on only a few words, such as "eternal", "everlasting", "destruction" and "Hell" itself.

First off, the word for eternal comes from the Greek word, aion, aionios, or aionion. When you do a study of the usage of this word you will find that it is used to describe temporal realities, not just God, His domain or our salvation, which would mean forward into a spiritual existence without end. The temporal usages refer to generation(s), lifetime(s), age(s), epoch(s), world. Even words like everlasting, should be translated as age-lasting or age-during. Ever also is temporal. Never would equate to not ever = not in this age

Another word is Hell. Hades is not Hell. Hades is a place where damned souls go after death and await punishment. "Sheol" is deeper than the grave and many scriptures support this. However, the former earth and heavens will be destroyed (those are temporal). So Hades, referred to as the underworld, which is also part of the earth, will also be destroyed, along with Death and thrown into the Lake of Fire (HELL). After the Millennial Kingdom, the former things, earth and heavens will pass away -- all former physical things created. Unbelievers will be resurrected and thrown physically into the Lake of Fire and burned.

Other words, such as destruction and perish should also be examined. It is contradictory to say that when a person is destroyed or perishes in Hell, that it somehow is an existence without end. It removes the meaning of the words, which means to put an end to. Again, death itself will be destroyed. Think of it, these altered meanings imply an indestructible destruction or imperishable perishing. That's a contradiction. Destruction is what it means, equivalent to a piece of paper that is thrown in the fire, it burns and is destroyed - quickly. People burn to death sometimes with only ashes left behind or bones -- how long does that take?

I also have to say that Luther himself had reservations about "eternal Hell" and might have included an argument against it with his 95 Thesis but Calvin discouraged him from doing so. I don't know this for sure, it's something I read. But I would believe it, because that would be too much too swallow. The 95 Thesis was enough to cause division and it did.

Nevertheless, the Protestant church for the most part accepts this traditional doctrine of eternal hell. I don't. I am not a Seventh Day Adventist either and the views of annihilation that are common, I would also disagree with. I do not believe the soul goes to sleep, out of existence, then is recreated at the resurrection. There are too many verses that describe Hades as a place much deeper than 6 feet, a place of darkness and utter gloom or the gates of the deep darkness. And let's not forget "For a fire is kindled in My anger and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains." Deut. 32:22 That is a key verse describing what will happen during the Great Tribulation period. Also, "... her guests are in the depths of Sheol." Prov.9:18 other verses to examine (Is. 38:18; Prov. 23:13, 14; Psalm 9:17; Jonah 2:1-7, 10; Num.16:31-35; Job 38:17; Matt.16:18; Luke 16:23-31; Matt. 23:33; Jude 1:6; Is. 24:17-22; Psalm 140:10; Rev.9:1, 2

So how does Christianity justify God sustaining billions of suffering, tormented souls in a endless fire? They spiritualize it, turn it into some spiritual location. Even the fire itself they reason not to be literal, but spiritual. How do they justify God not having mercy on these souls? Condemn them, punish them -- yes, but for an infinite time forward without end? Some teenagers die without Christ and have sinned for 15 years or so -- should they be punished for an endless time? We need to ask if this is fair justice. Am I questioning God's justice? No, I'm questioning if these words have accurately been translated. If you look at Young's Literal Translation and some others, they us age-lasting and age during. In Matt. 25:46, the KJV differentiates between everlasting punishment and eternal life -- IT'S THE SAME WORD. The translators knew there was a difference, a variation in meaning, otherwise eternal should have been used for both (which the NIV and NASB use)

Honestly, this idea of "eternal punishment" is a stumbling block for many to become believers. Many would use the argument, "I cannot worship a God who would create and eternal torture chamber." And that's a valid argument. You can't get your mind around it. It's like giving a kid life imprisonment for stealing a bar of candy. Even Hitler, who murdered millions, should suffer and be punished for that (even millions of life sentences), but eventually it should come to an end. But why sustain this spiritual place, why not just destroy these souls (put an end to) and move on with eternal heaven? How does this glorify God, what is He getting out of such a place? I've heard this argument also: Sinning against and eternal God requires and eternal punishment." No where in the Bible do we see God's judgment implemented unfairly. Sin was judged according to it's degree of severity, for a time and then it ended, always.

The Jews sinned, rebelled against God, and were punished -- for a time!

I will get heresy notes and such to this effect -- go ahead. I've done my research and have studied all the arguments. The only person who could convince me otherwise will have to be Jesus Himself, when I see Him. He will certainly straighten out much confusion and divisions that divide us all won't He! And if I am wrong, He will have to remove my memories of all those who suffer in this eternal place (if it exists), people I know, and billions of others. How could I enjoy heaven with this knowledge? Then again, maybe that is Jesus wiping away the tears. What would be the point of erasing our memories of sin and judgment? I don't think any of this is the case, since we read in scripture of those in heaven saying: "Worthy is the Lord Who was slain ..."; "How long, O Lord holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Those are souls in heaven who were slain for the word of God and want justice. They are aware of those who have sinned against them - this knowledge wasn't wiped away as He wiped away their tears. We will never forget what Christ did for us and where we came from.

So anyways, try to digest that. I'm comfortable with it. If the rest of you are comfortable with eternal damnation, good for you. We'll see up there won't we?

 

Welcome to the forum. Really good first post.

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Matthew 25:46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

We go to ETERNAL PUNISHMENT if you are not righteous. You are righteous if you believe in Jesus Christ for Christ's righteous is imputed to you if you believe.

 

Hell, 2nd death, Hades ...whatever you want to call it ... last forever.

 

Death is an eternal punishment. It is final and everlasting. The Scripture does not say eternal punishing.

I believe there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for a time but that it will end with the destruction of hell in the lake of fire and the destruction of the universe. Regarding Matthew 25:46, it says "punishment" and death is a final punishment. I also pray to the Lord that the wicked are destroyed rather than suffer eternal punishing. I believe that is the hope of many believers.

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01-12-2018, 12:05 PM

Editing a comment

 

 

It makes no difference how will perish, there's only one true Gospel.

 

What you're saying is that you can't be happy knowing of God's perfect judgement, that God's realty laid out in full view would be less than unimaginable bliss if those plans involve eternal punishment. Whatever knowledge God reveals to us will show us that he is beyond amazing, that his truth gives us reason to praise him for all of eternity.

 

One true Gospel, absolutely!

Please don't misinterpret my post and try to put words in my mouth! God is perfect, man is flawed and sometimes his understanding of scripture is as well. I don't think it's God's injustice, I think it is man's interpretation of God's justice that is flawed. Whatever the truth is, how could anyone be unhappy about it in heaven?

I can give many variations of those words, that have both a temporal and legitimate eternal meaning.

But one question for you: How would feel if you arrived in heaven and your child didn't make it? And then you thought he'll be forever tormented in Hell --- oh well, I'm here, what's for dinner?

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Welcome to the forum. Really good first post.

Thanks.

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