Jake wrote my conception of hell is not in conflict with Scriptures
What is hell like? I'll add one or two comments in the next few posts. I have quoted Jake above because I believe the scriptures are designed to give us a 'conception of hell'. If we try to integrate every detail of the scripture revelation we may well lose the big picture. Not that I am saying we should't discuss the details, but if we can get the right overview the details will not distract us.
So I repeat my question, 'what is hell like?' I am presuming that most people who ask that question do not have carefully defined answers for sheol, gehenna or tartarus. We may come to that later, but in general terms what is this 'ultimate state' like?. The way the Bible speaks of the other 'ultimate state' may help us here.
Some while ago I wrote a very simple little tract called 'What is heaven like?'. It asks seven questions about heaven and tries to give some answers. It may help some to get a feel for the way the Bible speaks of these 'ultimate states', then we can return some of those details.
I hope its simplicity will not offend the more sophisticated members of our forum. :-P
| 2004/1/24 23:38||Profile|
| Re: my two cents|
Jesus told us to love our enemies. This is where I get the dissonance from. If Jesus (God's Son and the One who will judge us all) commands us to love those who hate us, how can He send anybody to an everlasting burning in Hell? This is contradictory.
I don't think that this is true...
if someone has spent their entire life saying basically "God I don't need you, and don't want anything to do with you." then to violate their free will by forcing them into his presence and service for all eternity would be cruel.
| 2004/1/25 6:37||Profile|
Man was never intended for hell. It was specifically prepared for 'the devil and his angels'.
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
But if a man will not leave Satan's cause he must share Satan's destiny.
| 2004/1/25 9:28||Profile|
Ron (philologos) said,
Quote:I completely agree -- we were created for fellowship with God, to glorify Him.
Man was never intended for hell.
But if a man will not leave Satan's cause he must share Satan's destiny.
| 2004/1/25 10:02||Profile|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I think you are right when you used the terminology consisting "ultimate state." The conventional idea of "heaven" and "hell" certainly are referring to the two possible ultimate destinies that humankind must face.
I think the terminology of "heaven" and "hell" is not that precise though; it impedes further understanding of these concepts. The idea that we will be up in heaven floating around in the air with a harp in hand is certainly wrong!
Recently, I heard Dr. Paul Stevens from Regent College said, "You will not find Paul Stevens in heaven. You will find Paul Stevens in the new heaven and new earth." That sounds shocking, but is probably the more biblical way to put it.
| 2004/1/26 5:10||Profile|
this is my own quote but it makes a good start for this post. But if a man will not leave Satan's cause he must share Satan's destiny.
In developing a concept of 'what hell is like' and seeing that the rebels must share the Rebels's destiny, we can begin to get a feel for things. The title of this thread is perfect. Satan and hell; they are inextricably connected.
In Isaiah 14 we have a prophecy which begins on the earthly level but moves to other levels. Some of this certainly applied to the King of Babylon, but most of it applies to the power behind the throne. We can see that in the way it begins to speak of one who has 'fallen from heavens' v12.
The picture behind this passage is of a prison. We should never think of hell as a kingdom. Hell is a prison and Satan is the 'Ace of Spades'; he will be its chief prisoner. The passage speaks of other prisoners watching with amazement as the origin of all their woes is brought down to their level "art thou become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?"
We are then given a glimpse into the heart of Satan; I presume that the thought came before the deed. God knew what was in his heart and it is revealed here as a fivefold manifesto of rebellion of Satan's heart decision.
1. I will ascend into the heavens.
2. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God
3. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north
4. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
and finally the ultimate blasphemy
5. I will be like the most high.
The last goal was one he fed into the human race later; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Let me paraphrase the list in language which will make my point; not Thy will, but mine be done. and it is followed by the judgment that must await all who rebel and set their intention to be equal with God in defiance of His truth; Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
"I will go up, up, up, up, up,"
"Thou shalt be brought down."
We see here an archetype of the ancient sin that has affected all our race; I will not have anyone telling me how to live my life. In the final analysis there are just two options; crown Him or crucify Him. Bow to Him or fight Him. Yield or defy. There is never a third option. Those who set themselves to defy Him and who will not respond to His loving cure are re-enacting that moment in history when the world said 'no' to God and expressed it in the words 'crucify him'.
If they persist in that and do not take advantage of his gracious amnesty, they must share Satan's destiny.
Thou shalt be brought down to hell.
If they choose to remain on his side they must inevitably receive his sentence. This sentence was never intended for human beings but if they will not leave Satan's cause they must share Satan's destiny.
| 2004/1/26 5:12||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Excellent tract! So much easier to understand than the rules of 'cricket' ;-)
Loved this line [i]"Don't try to paint this picture, feel it"[/i]
I do feel it, in my bones.
That longing, longing to go home.
| 2004/1/26 5:33||Profile|
you wrote Recently, I heard Dr. Paul Stevens from Regent College said, "You will not find Paul Stevens in heaven. You will find Paul Stevens in the new heaven and new earth." That sounds shocking, but is probably the more biblical way to put it.
As well as 'ultimate states' we have something called the 'intermediate state' which is why I used that kind of language. The intermediate has to do with what happens when we leave this life but prior to the 'ultimate state'. We've had a couple of threads on that line from time to time.
If I were pedantic.. who me? Even when John has seen the new heaven and the new earth he sees a city coming 'down' from heaven, and then this city which seems to be established on the new earth becomes the setting for the river and the throne of God, and God is with His people. This is pretty much 'heaven on earth'. Reading the last chapter of Revelation makes the separation between heaven and earth a very slender thing.
What can all this mean? I think it means that everything becomes integrated again. With the physical and the spiritual no longer separated in either/or. I think John is beginning to see the mystery that Paul referred to in 1 Cor 15:28 when God becomes all in all.
It all links with our theme of Satan and hell. Once, in the entire universe, there was one will, then Satan opposed it and there were two. His rebellion was fed into the human race and then there were many, but God sent His Son to bring it back to the original. The theme of his sacrifice was not two wills but one; and when He has completed His task all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
You understand? me neither. Wonderful isn't it?
Salvation is being restored to harmony with the will of God, everything else is a by-product.
| 2004/1/26 6:39||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
On this earth there is some mixture of darkness and light, even for the vilest sinner - some peace with trouble, some pleasure with pain, some hope of pardon. But in eternity there is darkness to the utmost. There the fire of wrath will burn without slacking, and sin keep pace with utter torment.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2004/1/26 8:31||Profile|
Valley of Decision
um... im suprised this hasn't come up yet... but God doesn't want anyone to go to hell. (maybe i just didn't see it) Christ doesn't want anyone to go to hell. Why would Christ do what He did? so that people would still go to hell? no.
Why has He given us a passion to serve Him and reach the lost?
| 2004/1/28 19:12||Profile|