UnderGround Forums
 

HolyGround >> Am I going to hell?


6/4/09 11:49 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Einar
49 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/27/02
Posts: 1219
 
I dont really believe I am, but if anyone more bible savvy than me cares to offer some input, I'd love to hear it.

I'm an agnostic, leaning heavily towards atheism, but I cant, and dont want to, rule out the existance of God, nor have I ever felt the need to be principally against religion. Lets say I think the existance of a higher beeing is extremely unlikely, but on the other hand, I know I'm not all knowing and have been wrong before. I do pray on rare occasions, but I cant say I feel any belief that I am heard.

So, what say ye? Doomed? Yay or nay?
6/5/09 12:24 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
martial_shadow
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8767
according to a traditional Jewish approach, no. Non-Jews get an almost free ride into Heaven.

according to many of the newer forms of Christianity yes.

but really- this presupposes a hell, a soul and a judger.
6/5/09 12:26 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 06/05/09 12:29 AM
Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 10728
Einar
 If you read Mathew 25 the real nature of the Last Judgment is revealed, and the basis for damnation or salvation is not the direct confession of a creed, but rather what a person did in terms of love towards "the least of these."  So the way I would answer your question is that if you absolutely can't believe, you can still do the things laid out in Mathew 25.  I will also link an essay you might consider reading, which I think presents the most accurate and biblical description of the after life and the nature of heaven and hell.

Mathew 25 - The Last Judgement

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[
c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him,[
d] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
 

Heaven and Hell -  Bet you have never read this version of this subject. 
6/5/09 12:36 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 06/05/09 12:38 AM
Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 10729
jamesp777 - We are all the same, just shaped differently by experiences and genes, a God that would punish a person for eternity for any reason is a evil God, a God than would punish a person for eternity for thinking rationally is sadistic.

Your at the same stage I was in before, where my rational side said, religion is total bs and the creation of the universe is likely much more complicated that some super being creating it, while my other side didn't want to give up on the idea of heaven. It takes time, just keep doing research on it, look at youtube videos, do whatever you need to figure out what you believe in.


The chances of a creator while unlikely, nobody can say it's impossible. But the chances of a "loving God" that listens to prayers and cares about each single person out of billions on this planet, out of billions and billions of different planets, and billions and billions of different galaxies, within potentially billions and billions of different universes is pretty... insane.
Not to turn this particular  thread into an argument about theism vs. deism, but you are essentially making the mediocracy argument for the existence of God.  You look at the size of the universe and our relative smallness and make a judgment about important.  Of course size as a measure of importance is logically flawed.  I can just as easily argue that the universe was made vast by a good God so we could understand just how beyond us he is (the heavens declare his glory).  I could also argue that the size of the universe is actually a sign of our relative importance in the eyes of God he makes this vast universe just for our sake.  A theological argument might be that since the Bible teaches that the end of everything will result in the remaking of the cosmos, the current size of the universe is what will lend to the infinity of the "new heavens and new earth."  Finally, if you look at the anthropic principle the odds of all the proper balances being in place for life like us to exist actually dwarf the relative size of the universe.  The "potentially" billions of other universes part is pure speculation on the part of physicists to actually explain away the anthropic principle and shift the argument back to the mediocracy principle.  But of course there is zero evidence for that whereas the fine tuning or balancing that was present at the beginning is well established. So all of that to say that you can make those arguments go either way according to what you want to be true.  I don't find either side compelling for theism or atheism.
  
By the way, I appreciate your calm tone and lack of vitriol that is sometimes present among atheists.  You don't seem to be bitter anyway.  I also agree with you about the nature of any God that would punish a person for eternity for anything he did in this life because it would be a permanent torture for a temporal offense.  I don't think the nature of hell is like that at all and I generally tend towards universalist belief with the caveat that if a person chooses not to live in communion with God and others he will never be forced to do so.  The option will be eternally open to him though.
6/5/09 12:40 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Robert Wynne
87 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 4663
 according to my beliefs...yes...you do not honor God.
6/6/09 12:11 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
VC Viking
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/3/06
Posts: 1076
Yes, you are guilty of breaking God's law, His Commandments. We all are. If you have even broken one Law, then you have sinned against God and therefore will "surely die," for the "wages of sin is death." We are not perfect as we are commanded to be (Matthew 5:48), neither is our heart pure. On Judgment Day our transgressions will be evidence of our shame. Think of it: God has seen every sin we have ever committed. We share our thought-life with Him. We are guilty of violating His Law a multitude of times. God will be forced to give you justice, and His judgment is going to be so thorough, every idle word a man speaks he’ll give account thereof on the day of judgment for all liars will have there part inthe lake of fire. The Bible warns that if you are guilty, God's wrath will be upon you and you will end up in Hell and then be cast into the Lake of Fire forever and ever because of your rebellion and sin.

God sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. Jesus took your punishment upon Himself. Jesus bore your sin. The sin of God's people and all the fierce wrath of God that should fall upon you, fell on His only begotten Son, Jesus. Then He rose from the dead and defeated death.

Your only hope is to Repent and Believe the Gospel. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

It is not automatic, you have to repent and trust in Jesus. Choose this day who you will serve.
6/6/09 2:37 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 10792
 VC Viking,

Why would anybody in their right mind even want to spend eternity with the God you described? 
6/6/09 6:21 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5148
Ridgeback -  VC Viking,

Why would anybody in their right mind even want to spend eternity with the God you described? 



Hey Ridgeback,

Please explain more. I know you are very far to the east so I am trying to understand your perspectives. I understand Christ to be the last passover lamb and that God sent his son as substitutionary atonement for our sin (I know you do not believe in original sin).

I know you were raised fundamentalist and now have a much different perspective, but I would really like to understand your view on hell.
6/6/09 7:58 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5150
Hey Ridgeback. I have been a part of a Catholic forum for a while now. learning as much as I can about Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, The Catholic Church, Protestants, and The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East.

All of these churches are separate and not in communion with each other and each have many claims that find much unity and also find many differences.

This is a great thread I started in a Catholic Forum and many views are presented, you may find it interesting:




Who goes to Hell? (All Religions Please Answer)

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=337325
6/6/09 8:17 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5151
Who goes to Hell? (All Religions Please Answer)
Hey Guys!

I thought this would be an interesting topic, Who Goes to Hell?

Now, Your answers should not be judgmental and the purpose of asking this is not to judge people, but to study our religious texts on the subject of a "Place where the bad people go after death"


My stance is that some people do go to hell and it seems to be eternal:

Revelation 20:

10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


It seems to me that the Lake of Fire = Eternal Punishment and that Satan, the Beast, the False Profit, the Fallen Angels, and some People on this earth will definitely be going there and that the punishment does not end. I think Jesus reiterates this point:



Mark 9:47-49

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48where
" 'their worm does not die,
and the fire is not quenched.'[a] 49Everyone will be salted with fire.

It seems that Jesus is talking about regular people who are sinners that can go to hell and the statements he uses are Eternal statements. It also seems to match the Eternal Punishment that is described in Revelations where "They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever" is talking about the Beast, the False Proffit, and Lucifer/Satan/Belial and
"Everyone will be salted with fire." is describing the evil trinity above + All People thrown into the lake.
6/6/09 6:37 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 10800
Juijitsuboxer - 
Ridgeback -  VC Viking,

Why would anybody in their right mind even want to spend eternity with the God you described? 



Hey Ridgeback,

Please explain more. I know you are very far to the east so I am trying to understand your perspectives. I understand Christ to be the last passover lamb and that God sent his son as substitutionary atonement for our sin (I know you do not believe in original sin).

I know you were raised fundamentalist and now have a much different perspective, but I would really like to understand your view on hell.

 Well a lot of it comes down to our theories of atonement and what they say about God the Father.  But let's face it, the description above makes God the Father out to be the enemy because he is the main person to be avoided.  Sure, he wants to help you so he sends his son, but the main problem is still that he has to punish someone and you are going to get it if you don't let Jesus take your punishment for you.  This way of seeing things just isn't representative of most of Christianity.  It seems to slowly creep in in the West through Anselm, but I don't even think Anselm believed in it like that. 

It makes far more sense to see what Jesus did both in terms of a rescue mission for us, but also in terms of how God intended to redeem the whole of creation.  If God is uncreated and immortal he is of one type of thing.  If we are created and mortal then we are something else altogether.  We are of the dust and to the dust we return.  The incarnation means that Jesus brings the divine life of the Trinity right into the middle of creation and puts his life into every nook and cranny of creation.  He even follows us down into death itself, so he can put his life into dead men and bring them back from existential oblivion. 

If you want my views on hell I can provide you with a couple of essays that would sum them up.  Yes I believe hell is real.  Yes I believe that no one is "saved" apart from Christ, but how that is understood can vary greatly.  In the parable of the last judgment in Mathew 25, those who are saved didn't even know they were and those who are damned assumed they were saved.  The key is to find a way of looking at salvation that can make sense of all the verses in the NT, and not simply the select verses that are usually used in salvation tracts.
6/7/09 2:26 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
martial_shadow
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8773
hey, in my personal belief system when you die your individuality dies with you but your electromagentic field is preserved (energy can be neither created nor destroyed). I would assume (but do not know) that it is absorbed into the Earth's magentosphere which protects us from cosmic radiation. No afterlife to speak of- you just die, no heaven/hell, no sheol, no Val Halla, none of that stuff. And if any of it is true, we basically can't know about it. Beyond the general description of a white light and the feeling of love, survivors of Near-Death have not reported much else consistantly. Simple white light and the elation can be chalked up to wiring in the brain (sigh). It would be nice if Heaven were real though. None the less, this does not give one free reign to go around doing whatever you want.

MS
6/8/09 1:28 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 10841
 As far as I can tell, there are three distinct theories on the nature of Christian Gehenna (hell is supposed to be a reference of the place of the dead in Christian theology and not the same thing as Gehenna). 

1.  God consciously sends people to a created place called "the lake of fire" "outer darkness" "Gehenna" etc. where people are basically tortured forever and are conscious.  They wind up here either through.
a. God's decision as in double predestination
b. The willfull rejection of God
c. failing to accept Jesus as their savior whether they hear of him or not

2.  Gehenna describes a state rather than a distinct place.  Every human who ever lived is resurrected and joined with an incorruptible body and lives in a new creation where Jesus glorified is the sun and the city of Jerusalem is made of real people living in some kind of harmony.  Thos who experience this reality as torture and darkness are the ones who refuse to open their hearts to agape love.  The whole world is "saved' by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, but not every person personally accepts it.

3. Satan and his angels are thrown into the Lake of Fire to be permanently destroyed.  This is called annihilationism.  Basically those who, in this life, refuse to grow spiritually and accept Jesus are still born in the next world and are destroyed by God for failing to do anything with their potential as humans. 

Most people in the US have only ever heard of the first description.   The problem with the first description is that is raises a lot questions about the nature of God himself and his mercy.  The other two options don't suffer from the same criticism because they both, in their own unique ways, preserve God as a merciful being.  On the other hand, the second concept of Gehenna can be terrifying in the sense that it is totally up to the individual and not God that they are suffering. 
6/9/09 6:06 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5193
Ridgeback -  As far as I can tell, there are three distinct theories on the nature of Christian Gehenna (hell is supposed to be a reference of the place of the dead in Christian theology and not the same thing as Gehenna). 

1.  God consciously sends people to a created place called "the lake of fire" "outer darkness" "Gehenna" etc. where people are basically tortured forever and are conscious.  They wind up here either through.
a. God's decision as in double predestination
b. The willfull rejection of God
c. failing to accept Jesus as their savior whether they hear of him or not

2.  Gehenna describes a state rather than a distinct place.  Every human who ever lived is resurrected and joined with an incorruptible body and lives in a new creation where Jesus glorified is the sun and the city of Jerusalem is made of real people living in some kind of harmony.  Thos who experience this reality as torture and darkness are the ones who refuse to open their hearts to agape love.  The whole world is "saved' by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, but not every person personally accepts it.

3. Satan and his angels are thrown into the Lake of Fire to be permanently destroyed.  This is called annihilationism.  Basically those who, in this life, refuse to grow spiritually and accept Jesus are still born in the next world and are destroyed by God for failing to do anything with their potential as humans. 

Most people in the US have only ever heard of the first description.   The problem with the first description is that is raises a lot questions about the nature of God himself and his mercy.  The other two options don't suffer from the same criticism because they both, in their own unique ways, preserve God as a merciful being.  On the other hand, the second concept of Gehenna can be terrifying in the sense that it is totally up to the individual and not God that they are suffering. 



Hey ridge, what do you think of these verses?:

Revelation 20:

10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


I am just wondering, as the first one says "They will be tormented day and night forever and ever"
6/9/09 9:34 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
770mdm
14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/24/08
Posts: 637
If you think your going to hell then regardless if its true or not religious life can set you back on track.  Its there to keep us from going down the wrong paths but also there to put us on the right paths if we were never lucky enough to be there in the first place.  Your fear is a motivator in changing your life for the better.     
Your alive now which means you can change your path.  Scriptually speaking Angels can't change their paths they're missions are fixed.  The fact your concerned here means doubt about your future.  If you want to be secure in your future then fix it.  If it's seemingly unfixable do your best with what you can.  You're going to have to let G-d decide in the end anyway so this could be a good exorcize in 'acceptance', which is a major tennent here.   
6/10/09 5:36 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5201
770mdm - If you think your going to hell then regardless if its true or not religious life can set you back on track.  Its there to keep us from going down the wrong paths but also there to put us on the right paths if we were never lucky enough to be there in the first place.  Your fear is a motivator in changing your life for the better.     
Your alive now which means you can change your path.  Scriptually speaking Angels can't change their paths they're missions are fixed.  The fact your concerned here means doubt about your future.  If you want to be secure in your future then fix it.  If it's seemingly unfixable do your best with what you can.  You're going to have to let G-d decide in the end anyway so this could be a good exorcize in 'acceptance', which is a major tennent here.   
6/11/09 12:56 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 06/11/09 12:56 AM
Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 10867
Juijitsuboxer - 
Ridgeback -  As far as I can tell, there are three distinct theories on the nature of Christian Gehenna (hell is supposed to be a reference of the place of the dead in Christian theology and not the same thing as Gehenna). 

1.  God consciously sends people to a created place called "the lake of fire" "outer darkness" "Gehenna" etc. where people are basically tortured forever and are conscious.  They wind up here either through.
a. God's decision as in double predestination
b. The willfull rejection of God
c. failing to accept Jesus as their savior whether they hear of him or not

2.  Gehenna describes a state rather than a distinct place.  Every human who ever lived is resurrected and joined with an incorruptible body and lives in a new creation where Jesus glorified is the sun and the city of Jerusalem is made of real people living in some kind of harmony.  Thos who experience this reality as torture and darkness are the ones who refuse to open their hearts to agape love.  The whole world is "saved' by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, but not every person personally accepts it.

3. Satan and his angels are thrown into the Lake of Fire to be permanently destroyed.  This is called annihilationism.  Basically those who, in this life, refuse to grow spiritually and accept Jesus are still born in the next world and are destroyed by God for failing to do anything with their potential as humans. 

Most people in the US have only ever heard of the first description.   The problem with the first description is that is raises a lot questions about the nature of God himself and his mercy.  The other two options don't suffer from the same criticism because they both, in their own unique ways, preserve God as a merciful being.  On the other hand, the second concept of Gehenna can be terrifying in the sense that it is totally up to the individual and not God that they are suffering. 



Hey ridge, what do you think of these verses?:

Revelation 20:

10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


I am just wondering, as the first one says "They will be tormented day and night forever and ever"
I don't have a Greek Bible handy at the moment, but I am pretty sure the Greek in that verse is aionios, which is a controversial word in the sense that it may mean something that is truly everlasting in nature, but it can also be interpreted to mean "age long" and that would point to the notion that Gehenna is really the experience of rebellious creatures suffering outside of communion until they finally learn how to love.  The notion that it might be permanent, however, does not contradict the common Orthodox view that they are the same reality experienced differently.

On the meaning of the adjective ainios, the word rendered “eternal” in Matt. 25:46:

First assertion: The meaning of aionios is flexible with regard to duration:

"Schleusner, whose exact learning makes his authority of great weight, defines aion, thus: 'Any space of time, whether longer or shorter, past, present, or future, to be determined by the persons or things spoken of, and the scope of the subject — the life or age of a man; any space in which we measure human life, from birth to death.'" Thayer, Thomas B., The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment (James M. Usher: Boston), 1855, p. 155.

Second assertion: The use of the word in ancient universalist writings supports the above interpretation:

“The Sibylline Oracles, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, and others of the Christian Fathers, who are acknowledged believers and teachers of the final restoration, often use the phrases 'everlasting fire,' 'everlasting punishment,' &c., in regard to the wicked Nothing can more conclusively show that the expressions are not to be taken in the sense of endless; for though they believed in everlasting punishment, they also believed it would end in the restoration of those who suffered.” Ibid., p. 157-158

Third assertion: The words not used by biblical authors to describe punishment strengthens this view:

"... when the Scripture writers set forth the future state of happiness, they employ other terms than aionios, rendered in the text everlasting and eternal! Different terms, we find employed for this purpose, which are never connected with punishment. Aphthartos is a Greek word, which occurs several times in the New Testament, and means incorruptible, immortal, but is never applied to punishment! We read of 'the glory of the incorruptible God,' Rom. i. 23; and that 'the dead shall be raised incorruptible,' I Cor. xv. 52; and of an incorruptible inheritance, 1 Peter i. 4; and of the 'King eternal and immortal,' 1 Tim. i. 17; but we never read of incorruptible punishment, nor of an immortal hell!

"Aphtharsia is another Greek word which was employed by the sacred writers in a similar sense, to signify immortal and incorruption. Hence, the 'dead are raised in incorruption,' 1 Cor. xv. 42; and 'inherit incorruption,' verse 50; and 'that Christ hath brought life and immortality to light,' 2 Tim. i. 10. This term, all admit, is never applied to punishment. It describes an endless life, but not an endless death!" Livermore, Daniel Parker, Proof-texts of endless punishment, examined and explained (S&A Emerson: Chicago) 1862, p. 12.

Fourth assertion: The subject of ainios determines its duration:

"The true meaning of aionios is age-lasting, or an indefinite period of time. It is applied to things that are endless, but more frequently to things of limited duration. It is the subject to which it is applied that indicates its meaning. If the nature of that subject is endless in duration, that qualifies the meaning of the word and indicates the sense in which we use the term, everlasting. But if the subject to which this term is applied, is of a limited nature, the word has a limited signification. The subject always determines the meaning of the word. We read of the everlasting hills, and the everlasting God, and it is the nature of each subject which determines the meaning of the word. It must, therefore, first be shown that punishment is necessarily endless in duration, before we can determine that the word everlasting when applied to it, has any such signification." Ibid., p. 15.
  
6/11/09 6:32 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5217
Ridgeback - 
Juijitsuboxer - 
Ridgeback -  As far as I can tell, there are three distinct theories on the nature of Christian Gehenna (hell is supposed to be a reference of the place of the dead in Christian theology and not the same thing as Gehenna). 

1.  God consciously sends people to a created place called "the lake of fire" "outer darkness" "Gehenna" etc. where people are basically tortured forever and are conscious.  They wind up here either through.
a. God's decision as in double predestination
b. The willfull rejection of God
c. failing to accept Jesus as their savior whether they hear of him or not

2.  Gehenna describes a state rather than a distinct place.  Every human who ever lived is resurrected and joined with an incorruptible body and lives in a new creation where Jesus glorified is the sun and the city of Jerusalem is made of real people living in some kind of harmony.  Thos who experience this reality as torture and darkness are the ones who refuse to open their hearts to agape love.  The whole world is "saved' by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, but not every person personally accepts it.

3. Satan and his angels are thrown into the Lake of Fire to be permanently destroyed.  This is called annihilationism.  Basically those who, in this life, refuse to grow spiritually and accept Jesus are still born in the next world and are destroyed by God for failing to do anything with their potential as humans. 

Most people in the US have only ever heard of the first description.   The problem with the first description is that is raises a lot questions about the nature of God himself and his mercy.  The other two options don't suffer from the same criticism because they both, in their own unique ways, preserve God as a merciful being.  On the other hand, the second concept of Gehenna can be terrifying in the sense that it is totally up to the individual and not God that they are suffering. 



Hey ridge, what do you think of these verses?:

Revelation 20:

10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


I am just wondering, as the first one says "They will be tormented day and night forever and ever"
I don't have a Greek Bible handy at the moment, but I am pretty sure the Greek in that verse is aionios, which is a controversial word in the sense that it may mean something that is truly everlasting in nature, but it can also be interpreted to mean "age long" and that would point to the notion that Gehenna is really the experience of rebellious creatures suffering outside of communion until they finally learn how to love.  The notion that it might be permanent, however, does not contradict the common Orthodox view that they are the same reality experienced differently.

On the meaning of the adjective ainios, the word rendered “eternal” in Matt. 25:46:

First assertion: The meaning of aionios is flexible with regard to duration:

"Schleusner, whose exact learning makes his authority of great weight, defines aion, thus: 'Any space of time, whether longer or shorter, past, present, or future, to be determined by the persons or things spoken of, and the scope of the subject — the life or age of a man; any space in which we measure human life, from birth to death.'" Thayer, Thomas B., The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment (James M. Usher: Boston), 1855, p. 155.

Second assertion: The use of the word in ancient universalist writings supports the above interpretation:

“The Sibylline Oracles, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, and others of the Christian Fathers, who are acknowledged believers and teachers of the final restoration, often use the phrases 'everlasting fire,' 'everlasting punishment,' &c., in regard to the wicked Nothing can more conclusively show that the expressions are not to be taken in the sense of endless; for though they believed in everlasting punishment, they also believed it would end in the restoration of those who suffered.” Ibid., p. 157-158

Third assertion: The words not used by biblical authors to describe punishment strengthens this view:

"... when the Scripture writers set forth the future state of happiness, they employ other terms than aionios, rendered in the text everlasting and eternal! Different terms, we find employed for this purpose, which are never connected with punishment. Aphthartos is a Greek word, which occurs several times in the New Testament, and means incorruptible, immortal, but is never applied to punishment! We read of 'the glory of the incorruptible God,' Rom. i. 23; and that 'the dead shall be raised incorruptible,' I Cor. xv. 52; and of an incorruptible inheritance, 1 Peter i. 4; and of the 'King eternal and immortal,' 1 Tim. i. 17; but we never read of incorruptible punishment, nor of an immortal hell!

"Aphtharsia is another Greek word which was employed by the sacred writers in a similar sense, to signify immortal and incorruption. Hence, the 'dead are raised in incorruption,' 1 Cor. xv. 42; and 'inherit incorruption,' verse 50; and 'that Christ hath brought life and immortality to light,' 2 Tim. i. 10. This term, all admit, is never applied to punishment. It describes an endless life, but not an endless death!" Livermore, Daniel Parker, Proof-texts of endless punishment, examined and explained (S&A Emerson: Chicago) 1862, p. 12.

Fourth assertion: The subject of ainios determines its duration:

"The true meaning of aionios is age-lasting, or an indefinite period of time. It is applied to things that are endless, but more frequently to things of limited duration. It is the subject to which it is applied that indicates its meaning. If the nature of that subject is endless in duration, that qualifies the meaning of the word and indicates the sense in which we use the term, everlasting. But if the subject to which this term is applied, is of a limited nature, the word has a limited signification. The subject always determines the meaning of the word. We read of the everlasting hills, and the everlasting God, and it is the nature of each subject which determines the meaning of the word. It must, therefore, first be shown that punishment is necessarily endless in duration, before we can determine that the word everlasting when applied to it, has any such signification." Ibid., p. 15.
  



Thank you for the response, it was very interesting.

"I don't have a Greek Bible handy at the moment, but I am pretty sure the Greek in that verse is aionios, which is a controversial word in the sense that it may mean something that is truly everlasting in nature, but it can also be interpreted to mean "age long" and that would point to the notion that Gehenna is really the experience of rebellious creatures suffering outside of communion until they finally learn how to love."

Do you believe that Lucifer will learn to love again? I see him as a being that has experienced God first hand, many say his verses point him out as the originator of music and the leader of worship for God, yet he tried to be a god himself.
6/11/09 6:32 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5218
Isaiah 14:12-15 (New International Version)

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!

13 You said in your heart,
"I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. [a]

14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."

15 But you are brought down to the grave,
to the depths of the pit.
6/11/09 1:28 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Lahi
9 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 6089
"Do you believe that Lucifer will learn to love again? I see him as a being that has experienced God first hand, many say his verses point him out as the originator of music and the leader of worship for God, yet he tried to be a god himself."

I wonder what Universalism teaches about Satan, and his fallen Angels? Will they eventually be redeemed as well?
6/11/09 4:58 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
zealot66
12 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 10604
 Dude, just suicide yourself, you are headed directly for hell..........:)
6/11/09 7:52 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 10870
 JiuJitsuBoxer,
I have no idea about that.  The main thing I would uphold is that on God's end of things there is always the chance of repentance and reconciliation.  Otherwise, he would be less forgiving than he demands of us, and he would be into some kind or requital on some level. 

Lahi,
There are different schools of thought on that subject.  I would say it is less common to believe that fallen angels and Satan will repent than the belief that all people will do so.  There are a few different schools of Universalism and then there is a lot of individual opinion.
6/12/09 5:16 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5227
Ridgeback -  JiuJitsuBoxer,
I have no idea about that.  The main thing I would uphold is that on God's end of things there is always the chance of repentance and reconciliation.  Otherwise, he would be less forgiving than he demands of us, and he would be into some kind or requital on some level. 

Lahi,
There are different schools of thought on that subject.  I would say it is less common to believe that fallen angels and Satan will repent than the belief that all people will do so.  There are a few different schools of Universalism and then there is a lot of individual opinion.



Hey Ridgeback, I kinda feel that Satan and his fallen angels at this point have "Blasphemed The Holy Spirit" and will never find forgiveness. I mean, they fight against God's natural order, they are not a bitter human with wrong ideas about God, they are celestial beings that know God and choose to go against him. That is pretty bad and fits Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in my book.
6/12/09 10:52 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
770mdm
14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/24/08
Posts: 639
 1.  God consciously sends people to a created place called "the lake of fire" "outer darkness" "Gehenna" etc. where people are basically tortured forever and are conscious.  They wind up here either through.
a. God's decision as in double predestination
b. The willfull rejection of God
c. failing to accept Jesus as their savior whether they hear of him or not

2.  Gehenna describes a state rather than a distinct place.  Every human who ever lived is resurrected and joined with an incorruptible body and lives in a new creation where Jesus glorified is the sun and the city of Jerusalem is made of real people living in some kind of harmony.  Thos who experience this reality as torture and darkness are the ones who refuse to open their hearts to agape love.  The whole world is "saved' by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, but not every person personally accepts it.

3. Satan and his angels are thrown into the Lake of Fire to be permanently destroyed.  This is called annihilationism.  Basically those who, in this life, refuse to grow spiritually and accept Jesus are still born in the next world and are destroyed by God for failing to do anything with their potential as humans. 

Most people in the US have only ever heard of the first description.   The problem with the first description is that is raises a lot questions about the nature of God himself and his mercy.  The other two options don't suffer from the same criticism because they both, in their own unique ways, preserve God as a merciful being.  On the other hand, the second concept of Gehenna can be terrifying in the sense that it is totally up to the individual and not God that they are suffering. 
6/12/09 10:53 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
770mdm
14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/24/08
Posts: 640
 My question didn't post above..

Where are these ideas coming from?  Can you list some references?

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.