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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Torment...not Pain

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TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5339
NC, USA

 Re:

Your argument is that “eternal fire” and “eternal punishment” suggest everlasting torment. In response, it should be pointed out that “eternal fire” does not directly speak to the consciousness of the being(s) involved. Sodom and Gomorrah are said to be examples (Jude 7) of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Those cities are not still burning, but their judgment was from God and was seemingly absolute. Further, Jesus could have contrasted “eternal life” with “eternal torment” or “eternal punishing.” The word punishment gives us the freedom to interpret the saying about Hell either as everlasting conscious torment (eternal punishing) or as irreversible destruction (eternal punishment). There is a subtle but important difference. The text allows for both interpretations because it only teaches the finality of the judgment, not its exact nature.

I agree that the passage seems to indicate a symmetry between eternal life and eternal punishment, but this symmetry of “eternal” may be overpowered either by the contrast between “life” and "punishment” or neutered by a more careful understanding of the Greek word for “eternal.” (as noted by Chris)

In Mark 9, in addition to images of everlasting fire, we read of worms that do not die. My guess is that you would state that the undying nature of the worms coincides with the undying nature of those being tormented by them. The problem with this is that Jesus, in Mark 9, is obviously quoting Isaiah 66:24. But Isaiah’s text does not even describe everlasting torment. In that passage the dead bodies (real, actual dead bodies) of God’s enemies are eaten by maggots and incinerated. The flames and the worms in this passage are destroying the dead bodies, not tormenting conscious people. When the Isaiah reference is honestly examined, the everlasting torment interpretation of Jesus’ words in Matthew seems questionable at best.


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Todd

 2019/10/18 20:50Profile
CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Re:

Hi Todd. Using the word “eternal” in the same sentence for a critical idea doesn’t “suggest symmetry.” It demands sameness.


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Robert

 2019/10/18 22:26Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5339
NC, USA

 Re:

Not at all.

In I Cor. 15:53 Paul says "this mortal must **put on** immortality." Doesn't this imply that it is something he did not already have? A plain reading would indicate this.

Paul also says in I Tim. 6:16 that God *alone* is immortal.

That is where the term "Conditional Immortality" comes from- the idea being that God must grant immortality to those who repent and believe. In other words, this granting of immortality to certain persons is conditional.

So, the effects or consequences of one's punishment is eternal if they are ultimately consumed like “chaff,” “stubble,” “wax,” “smoke,” etc. (Matthew 3:12; Malachi 4:1; Psalm 68:2; 37:20.). It can't be changed, altered, or redirected. Life eternal also can't be changed, altered, or redirected.

ADD: I forgot about John 3:16.


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Todd

 2019/10/19 9:03Profile
CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Re:

Thanks Todd, I think I have arrived at the end of this never ending circle :). Blessings.


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Robert

 2019/10/19 17:15Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1230
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: quick question

Was anyones mind, (participating or just observing/reading this thread), changed as to what they believed prior to this thread?

Been tryin to keep up with this sort of thing and would be grateful for any help offered 🙏🏻


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Fletcher

 2019/10/20 9:54Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5339
NC, USA

 Re:

I am not sure if it is simply a matter of changing minds.

For a Christian, it’s a moot point because hell in any form is not in the picture.

For a non- Christian, they should be coming to Christ for HIS sake, not their own. Peter preached:

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:36-38

I don’t believe it is possible to be truly converted if the motive is to save one’s own skin. The motive must be because of true faith in a Person who deserves our allegiance regardless of what we do or don’t get out of it.


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Todd

 2019/10/20 15:12Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1230
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Todd

/ I am not sure if it is simply a matter of changing minds. /

Yeah except wasn’t that exactly what you were doing when you initially responded to sister Enid’s OP?.... you essentially derailed (what was her obvious intent in starting) the thread taking in a totally different direction by taking a swipe at her presented position and the effect it had on her in the practice of seeking to share the gospel with the lost- she was just sharing a realization/revelation and commenting on the sobering effect it had on her personally.

Now is it permissible? Yes absolutely
Is it profitable?.... that’s what I’m seeking to find out ?

Honestly, and I mean no disrespect, this seems like a personal issue that you’re wrestling with God on.... everyone agrees this is a seriously big deal and yet it’s clear that when Jesus came and fulfilled EVERYTHING God the Father intended for Him to do, which in large part was correcting the record of who God is and what His plans, feelings, intent, requirements, etc... are for us, it’s interesting to note that He did not only not “change” the OT view of hell but expanded on it 😳 so that tells me (call me simpleminded) that it’s most likely worse than we can imagine,... just as what God has planned for those whom obey Him far exceeds our wildest expectations 😇

(In my experience) when someone responds from a short tempered/testy defensive postured position, it’s usually cause God has already engaged them on this very thing and they’re especially sensitive to it 🤷🏼‍♂️




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Fletcher

 2019/10/20 16:48Profile
KervinM
Member



Joined: 2019/1/15
Posts: 18
South Africa

 Re:

Wonder(ed) you not why salvation had to involve the wounding of another Man rather than a simple resolution to forgive and forget from God, seeing he is all powerful? Here lies another spiritual mystery (that may, as with many scriptures, appear to some to warrant differing takes). But saints (and not liberals) will indeed do wrong to think that we are to always advocate for God even in cases where its clear that he would rather by himself intervene. We are to advocate only so long as clarity and understanding are given but when obscurity arises, we have a reason to ascend his throne, and humbly summon him to come and vindicate his own Word. Elijah did this when he felt people held between two views (1 Kings 18:21-39). So did the 139 Psalmist  understood that a man needed God's intervention to have his steps better directed in the way everlasting (23 and 24) . As brother Marvin said, without God granting the only one meaning of each of his Scriptures, every doctrine can indeed become another mode of attack or means to create strife. 

Yes while the approach of only quoting Scriptures certainly have its place, it has in this particular conversation proven to be ineffective alone - especially since many brethren not only cherry pick as they please but that at times lean decidedly on their own interpretations - leaving the whole to appear indeed like the said 'endless circle'. One may be correct in their position but when understanding is not given to the hearer, no edifying gets be done. Humbly going before God (in as many such cases, especially when both parties are open minded) on the other hand would ensure, if the LORD will grant, that brethren come to see eye to eye - in interpretation, understanding or revelation (where aught was simply not revealed).

I say grant because this does not appear to be always the case. John Wesley and George Whitefield held different views on the subject of Calvinism vs Arminianism and yet held each other's ministry in great honor at the time death separated them - which ministries the LORD appeared to be pleased to work mightily in. Sure they tried to convince each other but without evident success. A case where I would say the LORD was not pleased grant - whether so they could be thorns of humility to each other I cannot tell.

I read this was the case with circumstances surrounding the foundation of the Moravian Revival - that brethren had to overlook denominational differences and stick to what they agreed on. Of cause some differences appears so material that they ideally aught to be taken to throne rather than to be shelved or be given up on. Yes handing it to the LORD and let him (in as any such cases) be the one who chooses to do nothing about the matter. Alas that he may be true, and every man a liar!


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Kervin

 2019/10/21 5:46Profile





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