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Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by MMurphy, Jun 26, 2014.


What is your belief about Hell?

  1. Eternal Torment

    12 vote(s)
  2. Annihilation

    3 vote(s)
  3. Universal Salvation/Reconciliation

    1 vote(s)
  4. Other

    8 vote(s)
  1. Hello everyone, this is my first post, so I hope it is engaging.

    Of late, I have been on a pretty extensive investigation about the afterlife in Christianity. As of now, the theory that I've most come to appreciate comes from the Eastern Orthodox Church. As it is, their essential teaching is perhaps the exact opposite of what many Western traditions teach, that is that Hell is not eternal separation from God, but rather eternal company with God which in an unrepentant state would be Hellish. I feel this aligns well with the description of God as an "all-consuming fire" and also mitigates the problems associated with our current idea of Hell.

    Having said this, I would also consider myself a very hopeful universalist.

    I am wondering what everyone else here has come to believe about the afterlife and, in particular, hell--universalism, eternal torment, annihilationism, etc.
  2. What is their belief based on? It is not what the bible teaches.

    2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 (NLT)
    in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.

    Univesalism is heresy.
  3. First, To teach Universalism dogmatically--that there is assurance that all are saved--I would agree that it boarders on heresy, but to pray for it, and to recognize that the judgment of souls is a divine prerogative which permits its possibility I don't see anything heretical about that.

    Second, I find it very troubling that you would accuse people who have a different theory about Hell of being empty headed. On the contrary many have very strong faiths and investigate it very thoroughly, and come to these conclusions on very logical and scripturally sound bases. And I wonder, is it empty-headed to think of, instead of what you "get" from God (salvation or damnation) to rather think about what you can "give" to God (charity, faith, etc.)?

    Thirdly, it is odd that you call the Orthodox teaching unscriptural in such a pretentious manner, when it was the Orthodox Church that canonized the scripture in the first place.

    Revelation speaks of the wicked being punished in the presence of the Lamb of God, and furthermore, you supposition creates a serious paradox and I would ask whether or not you believe God is omnipresent, and if so, where exactly is this place where God is absent?

    Their interpretation of this passage is a separation from man's side, but not Gods.
    Huntingteckel likes this.
  4. Why would you pray for it, knowing that it isn't the truth? I am interested in knowing the answer to that.

    LOL! That is my forum signature!

    There is nothing pretentious in declaring something unbiblical that is unbiblical.
  5. That would be an erroneous interpretation, as it says that the unbeliever will be "forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power."
  6. Ah, my apologies, I thought I was being slammed in my first Post! haha

    To answer your question about my prayers for Universal reconciliation, these will also provide a basis for why many people have trouble with the doctrine of hell:

    (1) I recognize that if I had been born in a place devoid of Christian tradition (for instance North Korea) I would not be Christian, and thus I believe that by mere chance it is that I have been exposed to the faith, and therefore I don't believe I deserve it, so if I have grace, it strikes me as unfair that many born without the same opportunities would not have it. This leave me to pray for one of two choices, eternal reconciliation, or eternal damnation, which for obvious reasons I pray for the former. (2) God desires everyone to be saved, and so I do also.

    Now, as you say, it is an erroneous interpretation, I will ask (1) what qualifies you to declare a 2,000 year old apostolic tradition to be erroneous and (2) Do you believe in annihilationism, because says they'll be punished with "destruction" not eternal conscious torment? And if not, why are you able to make that deviant interpretation? (3) How do you reconcile your beliefs with : "...And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb." (4) Once again, I ask, if God is everywhere, then where is it that Hell is that God is not?
  7. I don't believe it is wise to pray for something that is unbiblical. Rather, pray the Lord send in workers for the harvest!

    Matthew 9:36-38 (NLT)
    When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

    1. There is no such apostolic tradition of universalism.

    2. I do not believe the bible teaches annihilationism.

    3. Revelation 14:10 (NLT)
    must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb.

    This by no means signifies that the Lord Jesus Christ and the angels of God will all be bystanders forever at the goings-on of hell. it means that they are the witnesses (as is the Body of Christ) of final punishment.

    4. God has created the place that is called the Lake of Fire, and once opened and utilized, will be forever outside of His presence, which makes it hellish to begin with---no spirit of God present, and a perpetual state of sin and unforgiveness is the lot of all the wicked. Don't forget that this is a place not meant for people, but for Satan and his angels. Do you think God would be present forever at Satan's demise?
  8. The Afterlife For the Lost
    After death, they go to a place where our loving G-d is.
    There, He brings up the issues He's had with them and advises them regarding what they should have done.
    He understands that they just erred, gives them a big sorrowful hug, and sends them off to where their misery is being out of His presence.
    It is a place with 99% humidity, and it's 110 degrees. Pretty miserable, but they're only there a day or two, depending.
    Then they just don't exist anymore. Gone. Poof. Deleted.

    Then I think about this: I, personally, have a wonderful son. I love him. He's wonderful. He's a productive man in society who is a great husband and father. He is everything I hoped he would be, but he's not perfect. So what if I, personally, sent him to rescue you from a life or death situation and you ridiculed him, tortured him, then killed him. And he's not even G-d. Sure makes ME think.

    Good thing I'm not G-d.

    Also, I don't have omniscience . . . .
  9. Well, I wasn't speaking of Universalism, I was speaking of Orthodox doctrine of Hell.

    In any case, the author of the Nicene Creed, Athanasius of Alexandria, was a universalist of sorts, and many ordained ministers, including in the Catholic church, say they hope for the reconciliation of all--not to mention the Pope himself who has said that even Atheists can be forgiven if they live morally. In this case, I think it might be important to remember that while the New Covenant was established by God for man's salvation, God's sovereignty is not limited to it only, and the judgment of souls is a divine prerogative which none of us are qualified to make. Which is why I believe, though it is good to have a healthy fear of Hell--knowing that our actions can have eternal consequences--no one should say with any degree of certainty that they "know" who is going to Hell and who is not, as it is delineated in Romans 2.

    I don't either, but you don't say why you choose to interpret "Destruction" as "Eternal Torment". It seems to me that the scripture you quote is on the face of it, would teach annihilation, so why do you choose to interpret it the one way and not the other, but also criticize those who interpret other scriptures in a way contrary to your beliefs?

    Say what you will, but you are choosing to interpret it in a way to confirm your own beliefs and in a way that stands contrary to the second largest and oldest Christian denomination. I see no reason, therefore, why your interpretation is valid and there's is not. In any case, if the scripture reads "presence" and you say no, it means "witness" I just don't see how that is any better than for an Orthodox ordinary to say that "forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power." Means that the man is separated from his own side.

    What you are saying, though, is that God is not omnipresent (meaning all-present) because there is this place where God is not, and it is Hell.

    Just out of curiosity, do you believe that Hell is literally located under the Earth?

    And as a final point, I cannot conjure a punishment myself for Satan that would be more tormenting than to have to submit for all eternity in the sovereign presence of the Lord. As John Milton personified Satan in Paradise Lost, "It would be better to be Lord of Hell than a servant in Heaven." In that case, Hell, for Satan would not be punishment but relief! And, let's be honest, if you put a bunch of wicked people in a room totally cut away from righteousness, what makes you think they will not do more wicked things?
  10. Even moral atheists will not see the kingdom of God, much to the dismay of the Pope.
  11. "Even moral atheists will not see the kingdom of God, much to the dismay of the Pope."

    How is it that you know who goes to Heaven and who doesn't?
  12. Denominations of the Christian faith and what they hold to be true means nothing to God. It is what we believe about His word that is important.

    There will be a huge witness to the final Judgment. After that begins the business of reigning eternally. Hellfire will not figure in any way from that point on. god's presence will be with His people in His Kingdom and in the universe. The Lake of Fire will effectually be removed from all of that, which is what makes hell---hell.

    God is not present in the Lake of Fire---which is the one place He denies His presence, for it is total darkness, and where all wickedness and death will be confined away from Him forever. Right now His presence is everywhere----but then, it will be withdrawn.

    No. No one really knows, however, where it is in this universe or outside of it.

    Satan's punishment is the loss of his own hopes for himself as a victor over God! Being held by God's sovereign power in a place such as the Lake of Fire, final manifestation of his being stripped of all his power (although this was done at the cross) forever is just and fitting. He will not be lord of hell by any means. No power, no standing, no rank---he will be nothing, eternally. There will be no opportunity to do wicked things except to one another, to cause more and more pain.
  13. How is it that you think that someone who denies Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, and the existence of God---no faith---will see the blessing of reward for faith?

    John 3:16 (NLT)
    For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
  14. I voted for destruction.
  15. I vote OTHER.

    It doesn't come down to what one believes, but what does the source say about hell, the word of God... well, after giving up its dead, it is thrown into the lake of fire... yes, Hell is thrown into the lake of fire...

    Revelation 20:13-15 (KJV)
    And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    So the question is: since hell isn't eternal, what is the lake of fire? It cannot be answered because the word of God doesn't explain it except that it's eternal, and it torments for ever and ever...

    Revelation 20:10 (KJV)
    And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
  16. "How is it that you think that someone who denies Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, and the existence of God---no faith---will see the blessing of reward for faith?"

    I don't think that, I think that I don't know and its not my place to make judgment about who is damned and who isn't. I believe in Christ and have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior as per the New Covenant, but I have no knowledge, nor claim to have any about who else has truly accepted Him and who hasn't, nor what constitutes acceptance. That is, I know I have a log in my eye, so I won't worry about the speck in anyone else's. What I want to convey is an understanding for those who know God is perfectly just and eternally merciful but who cannot reconcile that with the doctrine of eternal conscious torment in a cosmic torture chamber--like myself.

    "I voted for destruction."

    Why is that you believe this Dave?
  17. I hope I can shed light on this for you. The interpretation you make is actually not unscriptural, but the translation was not done well, which is actually one problem with the KJV. Hell, as it is written here is actually supposed to be Hades, which is the Greek version of the Hebrew word, Sheol. These are known as the grave, or the abode of the dead, and carry a more neutral connotation. In Catholic and Orthodox teaching, and in the early church, Hades was known as the place were the dead resided until the Second Coming and the general judgment, so in this sense, it should be "Death and Hades were cast into Hell".

    Most denominations don't make a distinction, and in truth, I don't believe that the concept of Hades is an important theological construct, because I don't believe that time is necessarily parallel between Heaven and Earth, but that is just my own hypothesis.
    Abdicate likes this.
  18. This is why we need good Holy Spirit filled teachers.
  19. #19 Euphemia, Jun 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
    It is certainly our place to know the way to salvation and to communicate it. We, as kids of the King, can know each other by our love and by the fruit we observe in the lives of other believers. We can know each other and we can know who serves the cause of the enemy as well. God has not left us without such abilities.

    As for the log and the speck, the scripture about that is telling us that we must deal with our log if we are to effectively help anyone with their speck. The point is to do way with that log---which is how we help one another.

    It does seem to rock some people's sensibilities that God will punish the unrighteous, but that is human sensibilities getting in the way. We need to accept that God's mercy is vast, but on Judgment Day, it will not be in effect. God CANNOT allow unrighteousness to enter His Kingdom. It just will not be allowed. so, anyone who has not received salvation or been washed in the blood of the Lamb is unrighteous and will be condemned. It is as simple as that.
  20. So, there is in all of us a sense of justice, and we don't want to see anyone who does wicked things like murder, be left unpunished. But then there are the people who do live content lives and are kind and loving and follow their conscience, but simply don't know the Gospel, either because they have never heard it, or because it was not taught to them correctly and so there just in limbo.

    One of the key characteristics of a mortal sin in Catholic and Orthodox tradition is Full Knowledge and Deliberate Consent. So, yeah if someone did a really heinous thing that they knew was wrong, and they knew there would be eternal consequence in Hell for, I could accept that, but that's not what you believe. You believe even if they don't know, they are still damned.

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