Campbell River, B.C.
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It is never my intention to "swipe at" anyone, and if I have done so I apologize. I do appreciate other viewpoints.
Having said that, I believe removing hell from ones theology is dangerous. The Holy Spirit comes to convince men of "sin, righteousness and judgment to come." If there is no punishment for the wicked, why should men fear God? I know many atheists who assert that when you die, that's it, it's just like going to sleep. Exactly what difference is there in those atheist's beliefs than someone who believes in soul sleep or annihilation?
If you go to a church that teaches hell does not exist, get out as fast as you can. It's error, and it's a grievous misconception of God's character. God is loving, but He is also just.
Todd, I love you. I don't believe you are unsaved, but even believers can wander into error. Some of the Moravians, even Peter Bohler, who John Wesley was converted through, did not believe in hell. Wesley reproved them for it, though he did not separate himself from them because of it. I have to remain firm in my stance that eternal judgment is a vital doctrine.
| 2019/10/11 23:22||Profile|
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Brothers and Sisters.
This is more than a theological debate of preferences. Jesus, Paul and Peter made clear warnings to God’s professing church and to His servants that they be aware that He was coming to judge with vengeance and fire. He told His beloved disciples that they should not neglect
doing the will of the Father, abiding in Him, doing the work He called them to do or fail to employ the “talent(s)” He gave them for good or they would be thrown in the fire with the unbelievers and hypocrits. To deny the consequences of these warnings (eternal punishment ) is to cause everyone to ignore the warnings. This is very serious and a wrong understanding passed along to others would have dramatic impact on Jesus’ very words and intentions with the warnings. I do love my brethren, but we need to not let love diminish the seriousness of the issue. It does have consequence on souls.
| 2019/10/11 23:48||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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I have preached sermons on hell a few times in my christian walk. I have also written on 20 characteristics of hell. Every time I consider its reality it is very sobering and something I even don't desire to dwell upon.
I would have to be honest to say that I cannot dogmatically say I understand what hell is or what exactly will happen, there is a mystery to it but enough of a warning and soberity that we need to warn people and share with them God's love in His Son.
Some have said how could a loving God send people to hell. This quote below speaks on that, that even love (which could be shared with the damned) is a toture for them:
". . . those who find themselves in hell will be chastised by the scourge of love. How cruel and bitter this torment of love will be! For those who understand that they have sinned against love, undergo no greater suffering than those produced by the most fearful tortures. The sorrow which takes hold of the heart, which has sinned against love, is more piercing than any other pain. It is not right to say that the sinners in hell are deprived of the love of God . . . But love acts in two ways, as suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed! (Saint Isaac of Syria"
The presence of God for some is endless delight, the same presence for the wicked is a torture and a consuming fire.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2019/10/12 7:36||Profile|
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These are my thoughts:
Yes, God hates sin.
Ps 5:4-6 –
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
Sin separates man from God and lands man in hell.
Hell is that place of darkness and torment without the Light, Life, Love, Peace and Joy of God.
The EXCEEDINGLY GOOD News is that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).
We must open men’s eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18).
May we have kindness and compassion for lost sinners and pray for all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:1-6).
Matt. 5:43-46 –
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
How great and glorious will be that eternal day when at the name of Jesus EVERY knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER (Phil. 2:10-11).
For ALL things have been created by the Lord Jesus and FOR Him (Col. 1:16)
Fire burns out the dross.
When fire enters darkness, it gives the light that swallows up the darkness
| 2019/10/12 9:14||Profile|
Campbell River, B.C.
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Jade, I absolutely do love sinners; in fact I speak to them much more about God's goodness than I do about hell. (One man I work with said "You care about me more than I care about myself!")
But our message must be balanced. "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God." Romans 11:22
| 2019/10/12 12:20||Profile|
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Maybe I can ask a rhetorical question:
What is the very worst thing that an all-powerful being could do?
| 2019/10/12 12:36||Profile|
| Re: TMK|
| 2019/10/12 12:47||Profile|
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What is the worst thing an all powerful being could do?
Depends on what that being says is the worst thing He could do. Not what we say. The worst thing a perfect being could do is to do that which He abominates according to His own revelation of Himself.........To condemn the righteous and to justify the wicked (Proverbs 17:5). That statement is why the cross is necessary, why Jesus suffered and died, why those who are in Christ do not and why those who do not know God or obey His Gospel are condemned for their own sin and guilt. To become righteous and avoid guilt and condemnation, we must become righteous by being brought into Christ who has been raised for our justification.
Perhaps substitutionary atonement is the issue in all this and not Hell.
| 2019/10/12 16:47||Profile|
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"Maybe I can ask a rhetorical question:"
"What is the very worst thing that an all-powerful being could do?"
Since the truth is that there's only One "all-powerful being", the One and Only True God, the question is not so much of a rhetorical question as it is a question which fits more with it being a non sequitur-ical question.
Please try again Todd.
| 2019/10/12 19:38||Profile|
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If I could, I would love to weigh in with a thought or two on the discussion. I wanted to comment on the OP and how it might be a key to the current discussion.
First, I believe the rich man and Lazarus to be a parable told by Jesus to make a very important point. If you look at the conversation leading up to the parable, you will see Luke 16:15. "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.". Now look at the story and pay close attention to verses 27-31. "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."
He was dealing with the hard and impenitent heart of the Pharisees and showing them that if they did not believe in Him through the law and the prophets, they would also not believe even if He came back from the dead. I don't believe the story has anything to teach us about heaven or hell any more than the parable of the talents has anything to teach us about investing money.
That being said, if this parable is not a teaching about heaven and hell, then we have to look at the other scriptures that weigh in explicitly about the topic. I have spent quite a bit of time doing so. I was raised in a group that taught total destruction of the wicked, or annihilation as most call it. I had to really question that belief when I stepped outside of that group. So, I studied. I found that I am not 100% sure about it, but the weight of scripture seems to lead me to the opinion that destruction of the wicked is probably the most Biblically defensible, even if it flies in the face of what a seeming majority of Christians believe.
Matthew 10:28 says to fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Hell.
The word perish in John 3:16 means to destroy fully or to abolish. So Jesus tells us here that whoever believes on Him will not be destroyed.
Paul uses similar language when he says that God will destroy both the meats and those who eat them (the bellies).
2Thess 2:8 says that the wicked God will, "consume with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."
My point is that it is not Biblically "out there" to believe that the wicked will be annihilated rather than suffer eternal torment. In fact, I have never found any scriptures that explicitly state that they will be tormented eternally without some amount of implication by the interpreter.
I also believe it is more consistent with the nature of God, as Todd has said, to destroy the wicked rather than punish them with pain and torment eternally. Think about this. The Revelation is explicit about Satan and his end, it says that He, along with the demonic host, will be cast into the lake of fire and there be tormented day and night for ever and ever. The reason given is that they deceived man. God created man for fellowship and to bear His image on Earth. Man did not rebel in the sense that Satan rebelled. Man was deceived and sin entered. So I believe it more consistent with God and with His purpose for mankind and the love He has for mankind to believe that those who were deceived and followed the Deceiver will be destroyed.
Just my opinion, and I submit it as, perhaps, another perspective.
| 2019/10/12 22:18||Profile|