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TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5373
NC, USA

 Re:

sidewalk wrote:

"God offers Salvation out of that profound love, but by His own admission He cannot save those who refuse a free gift. He does not send people to eternal Hell, He saves people from it. In reality, people needlessly send themselves to Hell."

I think most people here have a pretty high view of God's sovereignty, so I want to make sure I get this line of thinking correct.

God created man; man did not create himself. God, being sovereign, created man innocent. But God in his sovereignty allowed Satan to enter Eden to tempt man. God always knew that man would sin (He's sovereign, remember?). He was not surprised. So God in his sovereignty created a place of everlasting, eternal torment in which to cast these sinners who do not avail themselves (or even know) of the plan He has also ordained to keep them out of this infernal place.

Sure, we can say things like "How could a violent and selfish human being ever expect anyone to care about his eternal destiny? God should mind His own business and let them do what they want!"

But that is not helpful, because does man really have a choice in the manner? Can you or I not sin? Of course not. We're hell-bound, my friend.

So God in his sovereignty created a system where everyone sins (and yes He did know this was the system he created) and since the vast majority of mankind will not avail themselves of his redemptive plan(or even know about it), then perhaps 98% of every person who has ever lived will burn in torment for all eternity(that's an awfully long sentence) for committing sins for maybe 70 or 80 years while on this earth. "And God saw that it was good."

Really?


"Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25)


_________________
Todd

 2013/10/7 6:39Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5373
NC, USA

 Re:

1. Eternal Torment (aka “Traditionalism”)

Primary Texts: Matt.25:41, 46 / Mk.9:43-48 / 2 Thess.1:9 / Rev.14:10-11; 19:20; 20:10, 15
Notable advocates: Tertullian, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and the majority of evangelical theologians throughout most (though not all) of church history

Affirmations and Arguments:

A. As a consequence of being made in the image of God (Gen.1:26-27), people, unlike animals, are immortal beings, and must necessarily spend eternity consciously in one state or another (alternatively: immortality is not innate, but will be conferred by God after the resurrection);

B. Though the wages of sin is “death,” this does not preclude continuing conscious existence beyond the grave, as is seen in the story of “Lazarus and the Rich Man” (Luke 16:19ff). The terms “dead” and “death” do not necessarily refer to a cessation of existence, nor of consciousness, in scripture (Eph.2:1; Col.2:13; 1 Tim.5:6);

C. Only those who believe in Christ may dwell in God’s presence for all eternity (John 3:16). All others, must remain forever absent from God, apart from all light, joy, and consolation (2 Thess.1:9);

D. After the final judgment, the souls, as well as the bodies, of the lost will be cast into Gehenna (Matt.10:28; Mark 9:43, 45, 47), which is also called “the lake of fire” (Rev.20:10, 14-15);

E. In Gehenna, the unbeliever will suffer torment, possibly of both body and soul, suggested by terms like “furnace of fire...weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt.13:42, 50) and “cast into outer darkness” (Matt.8:12; 22:13; 25:30);

F. That this torment never ends for the lost in hell is suggested by terms “eternal” and “forever” in phrases like “eternal fire” (Matt.25:41), “eternal punishment” (Matt.25:46), “eternal destruction” (2 Thess.1:9) and “tormented...forever” (Rev.20:10). All this is contrasted with the “eternal life” enjoyed by the redeemed (John 3:16; Matt.26:46);

G. Justice demands eternal punishment. Only a punishment that is eternal is suited to the crime of sinning against the eternal God. Sinning against God is a crime against infinite Majesty, and warrants punishment of infinite duration;

H. There will be no eternal grieving on the part of believers for those who are lost. God will wipe away all tears from their eyes (Rev.21:4). This may involve the erasing of memories about former relationships (Isa.43:18), or it may involve a change in perspective on the part of believers, once they see the matter from God’s point of view (Isa.55:8-9; Job 42:5-6).



2. Conditional Immortality (aka, "Conditionalism," “Annihilationism,” “Extinctionism,” “Terminalism”)

Notable Advocates: John R.W. Stott, Clark Pinnock, Greg Boyd, Roger Forster, John Wenham, Michael Green, Edward William Fudge, Glenn Peoples, Ben Witherington III, F.F. Bruce (open but undecided)

Affirmations and Arguments:

A. Only God is immortal by nature (1 Tim.6:16)

B. Man, not innately possessing immortality, must seek to obtain it (Rom.2:7)

C. God gives eternal life (immortality) to men, on the condition of their believing in Christ (John 3:16; 10:28/ 1 John 5:11-12/ Rom.6:23)

D. In scripture, the lost are never declared to be immortal. Their fate is described using terms such as “destroy,” “consume,” “perish,” and “death” (Matt.10:28/ 1 Thess.5:3/ 2 Thess.1:9; 2:8/ John 3:16/ Rom.2:12);

E. Certain scriptures assert that conscious existence does not continue beyond the grave (Ps.6:5; 146:4; Eccl.9:5);

F. After death, the wicked will be punished proportionately to their guilt (Luke 12:47-48), and not all suffer equally (Matt.11:22, 24), which means that the suffering is not infinite or eternal;

G. The punishment (though not the punishing) of the wicked is eternal, permanent and irrevocable (Matt.25:46);

H. God’s eternal loss of those who will not repent is the terrible cost that He Himself endures out of His determination to honor the creature’s freedom of choice (Isa.5:3-7; 66:3-4; Ezek.33:11; Matt.23:37; Luke 19:41-44). Nonetheless, it brings a just and final solution to the problem of sin in the universe, and does not require God (or us) to eternally endure the grief of knowing that millions of souls who were loved in this life are being tormented endlessly in the next;

I. The lost will be resurrected, along with the righteous, in order to face the judgment (John 5:28-29/ Acts 24:15). Upon being condemned, they will be cast into the lake of fire (hell) where they will either be immediately consumed, and cease to exist, or they will suffer punishment proportionate to their guilt (Luke 12:47-48), after which they will be allowed to pass into natural non-existence (the same condition they were in before they were born). In the end, it will be as if they never existed;

J. Though this view does not have as happy an ending as does Christian Universalism, it nonetheless ends with a tolerable and just resolution to the problem of sin in the world, and it takes seriously the scriptures about the eternal forfeiture of eternal life by those who die in rebellion against Christ.



3. Universal Reconciliation (aka, “Christian Universalism,” “Restorationism”)

Notable Advocates: Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215), Origen (185-254), Gregory of Nyssa (332-398), Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390), William Law, George MacDonald, Hannah Whitall Smith, F.W. Farrar, William Barclay, Jacques Ellul, Thomas Talbott, Rob Bell (apparently, but not certainly).

Affirmations and Arguments:

A. God desires for all people to be saved (1 Tim.2:4/ 2 Peter 3:9/ John 3:16/ Ezek.18:23, 32)

B. Christ died to redeem the whole world (John 1:29/ 1 John 2:2/ 1 Tim.2:6)

C. If all for whom Christ died are not ultimately reconciled, then Christ will never receive all that He died to obtain, and He becomes the cosmic Loser for all eternity, while the devil wins his desired object—which hardly agrees with biblical statements about Christ’s victory over sin, death and Satan (Isa. 42:1-4/Col.2:15/ Heb.2:14/ 1 John 3:8);

D. The Bible often speaks in terms of universal salvation and restoration (1 Tim. 4:10/ Rom.5:18-19/ Col.1:19-20/ Eph.1:9-10/ John 12:32/ Isa.53:11);

E. After death, the wicked will be punished proportionately to their guilt, or until they are brought to repentance (Luke 12:47-48);

F. There is no obvious reason (in scripture or in logic) why the God who desires that all would repent, and who will accept the genuine repentance of a life-long sinner even the moment before death, would arbitrarily declare death to be the cut-off point for any opportunity to repent and be forgiven.

G. Given enough pressure and time, all men will—if not before death, then afterward—turn to Christ and be saved (Phil.2:10-11);

H. There is nothing in this teaching to offend the sentiments of Christians, since it affirms every cardinal doctrine of the evangelical faith—in fact, it is the view that would most satisfy those who share God’s heartfelt desire for the salvation of the lost.


_________________
Todd

 2013/10/7 6:45Profile
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: So God in his sovereignty created a system where everyone sins.

No - God did not create a system where everyone sins.

As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Rom 5:12



_________________
Colin Murray

 2013/10/7 7:06Profile









 Re:

Quote:
God created man; man did not create himself. God, being sovereign, created man innocent. But God in his sovereignty allowed Satan to enter Eden to tempt man. God always knew that man would sin (He's sovereign, remember?). He was not surprised. So God in his sovereignty created a place of everlasting, eternal torment in which to cast these sinners who do not avail themselves (or even know) of the plan He has also ordained to keep them out of this infernal place.



The scriptures says, "Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels", not man. Matt 25:41

Quote:
Sure, we can say things like "How could a violent and selfish human being ever expect anyone to care about his eternal destiny? God should mind His own business and let them do what they want!"

But that is not helpful, because does man really have a choice in the manner? Can you or I not sin? Of course not. We're hell-bound, my friend.



Adam had the capability (being made in God's image and created pure and innocent) of choosing to obey God, otherwise God would not have given Him choices.

Quote:
So God in his sovereignty created a system where everyone sins (and yes He did know this was the system he created) and since the vast majority of mankind will not avail themselves of his redemptive plan(or even know about it), then perhaps 98% of every person who has ever lived will burn in torment for all eternity(that's an awfully long sentence) for committing sins for maybe 70 or 80 years while on this earth. "And God saw that it was good."



Everything God created was good (righeous). He did not create a system where everyone sins. It was the fall of man that brought corruption. Adam was a blameshifter and so was Eve, but God did not let them get away with shifting the responsibility of their sin to someone else and He won't let us get away with it, either.

Man continues to shift the blame, even back onto God. "Let God be true and every man a liar". Rom 3:4

The Garden of Eden was not a system that promoted sin.

 2013/10/7 8:23
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5373
NC, USA

 Re:

In Revelation John describe Jesus as the "lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Why?

Because God knew before he created man that man would sin and would need a savior.

The question you have to ask is: Did God know that Adam and Eve would sin when he created them?

If so, did they really have a choice?

I know this gets pretty deep pretty quick. But I believe that God had the plan of salvation worked out before he even created Adam and Eve.

This means he knew men would be sinners. I agree that in some sense Adam and Eve may have had a choice not to sin, but we don't, in general. Everyone has sinned. And, by the way, Adam and Eve really didn't have a choice. God knew they would sin. I know we can debate this but unless you believe in Open Theism then you can't get around that conclusion.

When I say that this was the system that God set up, I mean it in the sense that none of this took him by surprise. We can say that God didn't set up Eden as an environment for sin. But why then did the plan of salvation pre-date Eden?

The issue on the table is whether it is also God's plan to throw sinners into hell to suffer in agony for all eternity, or whether we have possibly "missed it" big time as to whether the scriptures actually teach this.

It is my belief that perhaps they do not. I listed scripture above that support each of the three views and respected proponents of the three views.

The issue is worthy of serious consideration.

For those of you who strongly hold to a view of eternal torment, do you HOPE that it is not true? Or are you glad about it?

I still believe that it is POSSIBLE that the doctrine of eternal conscious torment is true. But that really raises a lot of questions as to how to square that with the revealed character of God through his Son, Jesus Christ.


_________________
Todd

 2013/10/7 18:02Profile









 Re: The Foundational Attribute if God

Perhaps I should have titled this thread How can a holy God not send sinners.......But deferred to the common questions people ask.

In doing some Google searches on universalism the common premise is God is love. Thus a loving, forgiving God would not send sinners to hell. But one thing is forgotten. God is holy. Indeed this one attribute is echoed by the angels as they fly in the throne room saying holy, holy, holy is the Lord God alwighty. This is the one attribute echoed by the angels 3 times continually. Perhaps the three holy descriptions given to God or to a triune Gid.......Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit.

All the other attributes flow out of God's holiness. His love is s holy love. His justice is a holy justice. His mercy us a holy mercy. His anger is a holy anger. His wrath is a holy wrath. And so on.

If we approach the question of bell from a standpoint of God's holiness. Then the discussion of eternal punusment can make more sense. More sense from God's point. If not from ours.

Blaine

 2013/10/7 18:56
Lordoitagain
Member



Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 600
Monroe, LA - USA

 Re:

One of my FB friends Lisa Moeller posted this on her wall:

"i sat through a documentary called Hellbound??? on netflix last night which was pure propaganda and 90 min of religious heretics twisting Scripture in an attempt to prove there is no hell. In the midst of their psychobabble they stated how unjust it would be for millions of Jews to go from Hitler's furnace to satan's. First of all it is erroneous on many levels to perceive our puny brains could master the infinite wisdom of God. Secondly these "deep thinkers" obviously never contemplated the idea that since He knows all there is to know about a person along with the beginning to the end that He would also know which ones would have accepted Christ had they been given a chance. Hell is a very real place regardless of what the skeptics say and God is a just and righteous God. The world needs to stop trying to pick His brain and be so clever in their own sight and go out and take the world for Jesus which is their only Hope to escape what is coming."

I didn't know anything about the "documentary" (as usual) but it is really sad that Hell's preachers are flooding the media with such perversions of truth!


_________________
Michael Strickland

 2013/10/7 19:00Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5373
NC, USA

 Re:

Bear...

You arent paying attention. Credible proponents of either universal reconciliation or annihilationism do NOT deny the existence of hell. Both groups believe that God sends people there.

The issue is whether hell is an eternal punishment.

When you make the statement that a proponent of UR does not believe that a loving God sends people to hell, you are grossly misrepresenting their position. Once again, they do believe there is a hell and God sends them there. The issue is one of duration, not existence.


_________________
Todd

 2013/10/7 22:35Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5373
NC, USA

 Re:

Lorddoitagain...

Your friend's name calling is not very productive, and that program would seem like propaganda to a person who has only been taught one thing their entire life and has not made any effort to truly look into this issue for themselves.

I can tell you one thing...i would rather be called a heretic for believing in an alternate view of hell, than to be heretic associated with the Westboro Baptist church, who is also featured in that program.

If we cant have this discussion without labelling people who disagree as heretics, then we have serious issues.


_________________
Todd

 2013/10/7 22:43Profile









 Re: TMK

Respectfully brother I never said Universalist denied the reality of hell. But their belief in a God of love prompts them to ask the question how can a loving and forgiving God send people to hell. But yes, the question is also one of duration. Is hell eternal punusment?

My previous post suggested we have to start with the holiness of God. All other attributes will flow out of His holiness.

The holiness of God requires His nature to not tolerate sin. It has been said God would rather extinguish heaven then allow it to be tainted with sin. Thus sin has been punished in the sacrificial work of Christ's death on the cross. Which a person nay choose to accept and believe. Or sin will be punished by the sinner in hell. I believe the scriptures teach that will be an eternal torment. Thus all the need to tell people about Christ and implore them to believe in Him.

One weakness of the Universalist position is there to no need to evagelize. If everybody is going to be saved. Why tell then about Jesus.

Blaine

 2013/10/8 0:00





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