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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Question For Those Who Believe In Eternal Conscious Punishment

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TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5235
NC, USA

 Re:

Hi Oracio---

You know where I stand on this issue as I seem to be the lone dissenter on this topic.

It is my sincere belief that the scriptural support of hell being a place of eternal punishment is actually WEAKER than the case for annihilation or universal reconciliation. The reason it SEEMS in evangelical circles that there is such strong support for eternal torment is because of presuppositions imported into the various texts and the fact that we have been conditioned as this being the only viable alternative.

There is a new book out by Steve Gregg titled Everything You Wanted to Know about Hell that lays out the biblical case for each of the 3 primary views and the strengths and weaknesses of each. He reaches no conclusion in the book. He actually didnt like that title but the publisher chose it. He wrote a similar book a few years back called Revelation: 4 Views.

I have previously indicated that hell MIGHT be a place of eternal conscious torment. But I am far less convinced of this than I used to be.


_________________
Todd

 2014/4/21 20:08Profile









 Re: Question For Those Who Believe In Eternal Conscious Punishment

I think what is most essential is the understanding of the extreme horror of being forsaken by God.

 2014/4/21 20:14
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1994
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Heydave wrote:

Quote:
Depends on what you mean by essential. Essential to salvation? No.
Essentials for savation would be things like Jesus is the only way to eternal life, Accepting I am a sinner, etc. But you can have your theology wrong on eternal punishment and still be saved.

Everthing that the bible teaches as truth is 'essential' for us to agree with, because to do otherwise would be rejecting God's word. So the question should be, is this clearly taught in the bible. If so it is essential we believe it. I think it is and therefore it is essential for me to accept it and not try and reason it away.



Good points. I guess what I meant was two-fold. First, I was asking if it is essential to salvation once someone sees it taught clearly in Scripture. For example, let's say someone says they just recently became born again. And let's say they believe Jesus is the Son of God but they don't realize yet that He is also God in the flesh. But eventually they will see it clearly in the Bible. For them to deny it once they see it, their salvation would be in question, right?

Secondly, I was asking if it is essential to fellowship or ministry together. For example, we know that we cannot fellowship with JWs or Mormons because they deny certain key doctrines we deem to be essential to fellowship or ministry together.


_________________
Oracio

 2014/4/21 20:15Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re: Question For Those Who Believe In Eternal Conscious Punishment

Yes, I believe hell is eternal, not that is what I want to believe but because I understand the WORD to teach it. I think if we understand it to be eternal - where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched - we can perhaps understand a tad bit why Jesus was willing to suffer so terribly in order to save people from that awful place.

I have come to the conclusion that people who choose to go there have earned that reward. People choose to disobey God, they choose to rebel, so if folks do that - spitting at God in his face - why should he not let them have hell?

I have also concluded God works hard to convict folks, to save them from hell and if they spurn it, they deserve what they get. Hard saying when it involves your loved ones, I know.

Perhaps it may be easier to understand hell if we look at wickedness and holiness from God's perspective - doing so will cause us to understand the justice of God, I think.

My understanding.

EDITED


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Sandra Miller

 2014/4/21 21:43Profile
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 702
San Diego

 Re: Hell

Hell is the best a loving God can do for those who do not want Him.


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2014/4/22 0:20Profile
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1934


 Re: "My[Ginnyrose]understanding."


Such comments must be addressed from the bottom up!

Reason being,simply stated,"My[Ginnyrose]understanding" can only be arrived at, and one can only come to such conclusions,not by the wisdom which is from above,but from that which is beneath.

I say so,so sternly,due to the diabolical nature of what is clearly being implied. Such could not be much more antithetical to God's Gospel of Grace,in so few words.

The poster states, "Perhaps it may be easier to understand hell if we look at wickedness and holiness from God's perspective - doing so will cause us to understand the justice of God, I think."

Think upon these things:

Romans 3:9-28 What, then? are we better? not at all! for we did before charge both Jews and Greeks with being all under sin, according as it hath been written--`There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who is understanding, there is none who is seeking after God. All did go out of the way, together they became unprofitable, there is none doing good, there is not even one.
"THEIR THROATS RESEMBLE AN OPENED GRAVE; WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY HAVE BEEN TALKING DECEITFULLY." "THE VENOM OF VIPERS LIES HIDDEN BEHIND THEIR LIPS."
"THEIR MOUTHS ARE FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS."
"THEIR FEET MOVE SWIFTLY TO SHED BLOOD.
RUIN AND MISERY MARK THEIR PATH;
AND THE WAY TO PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN."
"THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES."
But it cannot be denied that all that the Law says is addressed to those who are living under the Law, in order that every mouth may be stopped, and that the whole world may await sentence from God. For on the ground of obedience to Law no man living will be declared righteous before Him. Law simply brings a sure knowledge of sin.

And now apart from law hath the righteousness of God been manifested, testified to by the law and the prophets,
and the righteousness of God is through the faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing, --for there is no difference, for all did sin, and are come short of the glory of God being declared righteous freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God did set forth a mercy seat, through the faith in his blood, for the shewing forth of His righteousness, because of the passing over of the bygone sins in the forbearance of God for the shewing forth of His righteousness in the present time, for His being righteous, and declaring him righteous who is of the faith of Jesus.

Where then is the boasting? it was excluded; by what law? of works? no, but by a law of faith: therefore do we reckon a man to be declared righteous by faith, apart from works of law.

Meditate on His Word which is His Wisdom from above...God's perspective is revealed to us by His Word and Spirit!

The poster says,"I have also concluded God works hard to convict folks, to save them from hell and if they spurn it, they deserve what they get. Hard saying when it involves your loved ones, I know."

Jeremiah 32:26,27 Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and out-stretched arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. Jeremiah 32:17

And do not think to say within yourselves, We have a father, Abraham. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Matthew 3:9

Titus 3:3-7 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior towards man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; Which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

YOU & I deserve Hell...

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us, through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not by works, lest any man should boast.Ephesians 2:4-9

Be not such an one...

Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. Isaiah 65:5

"Hypocrites disdainfully and fiercely repel faithful advisers, because they either make false claims to holiness, or, on account of pride, do not suffer themselves to be reproved; for hypocrisy is never free from supercilious disdain and haughtiness. Let us not wonder, therefore, that those who are infected by this vice swell with insolent pretensions, and boast of their virtue and holiness, and value themselves more highly than all others; for Satan has blinded them to make an idle and ostentatious boast of what they call their devotions, and to despise the word of God."

The poster says,"I have come to the conclusion that people who choose to go there have earned that reward. People choose to disobey God, they choose to rebel, so if folks do that - spitting at God in his face - why should he not let them have hell?

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and expired. John 19:30

Tetelestai - It is finished
to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt): - accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform.

It is finished, that is, the work of man's redemption and salvation is now completed, at least the hardest part of the undertaking is over; a full satisfaction is made to the justice of God, a fatal blow given to the power of Satan, a fountain of grace opened that shall ever flow, a foundation of peace and happiness laid that shall never fail. Christ had now gone through with his work, and finished it, John 17:4. For, as for God, his work is perfect; when I begin, saith he, I will also make an end. And, as in the purchase, so in the application of the redemption, he that has begun a good work will perform it; the mystery of God shall be finished. Matthew Henry

What reward have YOU earned?
Why should He not let You have Hell?

 2014/4/22 0:31Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5235
NC, USA

 Re:

Hi Savannah-

The construct of your post makes it difficult, at least for me, to determine what point you are trying to make.

It would be helpful, at least to me, if you would simply state what you are trying to say plainly. Based on what you posted, I can't tell if I agree of disagree.


_________________
Todd

 2014/4/22 6:16Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

When we read 2 Thess. 1:9, if someone can definitively explain when "everlasting" ends, I will consider whether the Bible teaches annihilation. But, taking the plain text speaking for itself, I am going to stay with everlasting means everlasting.

Rev. 14:10-11 speaks of humans, not only Satan and fallen angels, as being tormented forever.

Matthew 25:46 speaks of eternal punishment, not temporary or somewhere-ending punishment.

Many other references leave no room to entertain any other understanding, and I truly do not see any other way. If people who find annihilation in the Bible are convinced, I agree to disagree and pray that your eyes and mine are enlightened to the truth. It matters.

If I am a sinner who believes along the way that sin is serious and that God has to judge sin righteously, I am probably going to assign to him somewhere along the way an attribute of "let it slide" if I accept annihilationism. I am probably going to calculate in favor of continuing in my sin. After all, if Hell is annihilation, I can safely say "to hell with it". The only thing for me to fear is the temporary judgment of God. I just don't see that in Scripture. I do see, though, where superimposing over the clear text a gloss of God's love outweighing eternal punishment and torment in spite of the text can give a person a false sense of hope in just being made non-existent.

It also invites the inevitable comparison of Christianity to Hinduism and its journey to nothingness as the GOAL. If I am skeptical of Christianity and a defender explains God's judgment of my unrepentant wickedness as annihilation, I am going to start quickly wondering if the gospel is just a power play and if the Hindus are really onto something since Christianity's selling point is to leverage Hinduism's reward as a punishment. If I can do whatever pleases me and then just go, eventually, into nothingness I will probably politely shake my head at the Cross and say "no, thanks."

So, yes, it matters. Is it an essential? In my view, yes.


_________________
Tim

 2014/4/22 8:07Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings

I do believe the WORD clearly teaches that hell is eternal.
I have no doubts in my heart or mind that this is what JESUS taught and so as with all things HE said and taught I believe it is important.

A quote from another thread: A wise man once said, “The sign on the doorpost of Hell reads this way: ‘Those who enter this door leave all hope behind.’” There is no hope once we enter those gates. Hebrews 10:31 says, not without reason, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, a terrible and hideous thing to fall into His hands. There isn’t any nightmare you could have that would come close to the terror of living in Hell for one minute, let alone eternity.


God bless
maryjane

 2014/4/22 8:07Profile
Lordoitagain
Member



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

 Re:


Quote:
by narrowpath on 2014/4/21 17:24:33

Jesus talked a lot about Hell.

Only a conscious act of wilful ignorance towards scripture can lead to the view that hell is not eternal.

If hell is not eternal, salvation is no longer of ultimate importance,
sin is not so serious anymore, God's love no longer boundless and his wrath no longer that dreadful, the cross and resurrection no longer the ultimate redemptive act towards man and the rest of creation, but a mere "highlight" in Jesus life.
Evangelisation and discipleship is no longer a great commission but a mere noble act.

As Jesus is the word of God, any attempted alteration to the word of God challenges in fact God's character.



THANKS for posting this very well-worded reality, Narrowpath.

For the sake of this discussion, for every place where Narrowpath uses the word "hell", you could insert the words "Eternal Conscious Punishment" or "Conscious Punishment" and it would still be everlastingly true!

***************************************
Jesus talked a lot about Eternal Conscious Punishment.

Only a conscious act of wilful ignorance towards scripture can lead to the view that Conscious Punishment is not eternal.

If Conscious Punishment is not eternal, salvation is no longer of ultimate importance,
sin is not so serious anymore, God's love no longer boundless and his wrath no longer that dreadful, the cross and resurrection no longer the ultimate redemptive act towards man and the rest of creation, but a mere "highlight" in Jesus life.
Evangelisation and discipleship is no longer a great commission but a mere noble act.

As Jesus is the word of God, any attempted alteration to the word of God challenges in fact God's character.
******************************************

Really ... what is the point of all of our sermons, discussions and efforts if we are going to reject this clearly taught concept in God's Word?

"is essential to the Christian faith just like other essentials of the faith?"

It depends on what your definition of "the Christian faith" is. Within the definition of "the Christian faith" there are now homosexual churches, nude churches, and a host of other variations of what is accepted as "the Christian faith"

Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

These last day deceivers will be saying that Jesus is the Christ ... yet be altering The Word of God (Jesus).


_________________
Michael Strickland

 2014/4/22 10:06Profile





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