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Who's Going to Hell, and for How Long?

Updated on April 14, 2013
PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.

Disclaimer: Many people are not reading this HUB before commenting. They are simply reading the title and then commenting without any reference to anything actually written here. That's a disservice to me, to my readers, and to you. If you're going to comment, please read the article so I don't have to repeat the same points over and over again. As the writer of this HUB, I reserve to right to deny and/or report as spam any inappropriate comments. If you read my comments, you will see I have opinions from all over the spectrum and welcome any and all beliefs here. I will not allow, however, people who only want to spout platitudes without reading the article or understanding my point. Anyone not adhering to this common courtesy will have their comment denied and will be banned from future comments. Likewise, if you respond with a thoughtful comment that is on topic, you will get a thoughtful comment in return. Just show respect and love to any and all viewpoints while visiting.

My goal here is not to preach at anyone or discourage or insult anyone's faith, but rather, just to simply ask questions I think most people, if they're honest with themselves, have. I don't claim to know the answers, but I do have my opinions. You are entitled to yours and I respect them. I understand that religious discussions can get heated and I will ask that everyone be respectful and clean. Any rude/insulting, mean or otherwise inappropriate and unhelpful comments will be removed and will possibly be reported to HUBPages in accordance with their Terms of Service.



The Islamic religion has not only gifted us with great moral teachers, but also wth beautiful architecture and advancements in science, mathematics, and health.
The Islamic religion has not only gifted us with great moral teachers, but also wth beautiful architecture and advancements in science, mathematics, and health. | Source
Jews, Muslims and Christians all have the same forefather, Abraham, yet have interpreted the teachings of the Bible in different ways.
Jews, Muslims and Christians all have the same forefather, Abraham, yet have interpreted the teachings of the Bible in different ways. | Source
I have many mormons friends and family. Their devotiona nd love of God and family cannot be denied.
I have many mormons friends and family. Their devotiona nd love of God and family cannot be denied. | Source
Artistic rendering of hell, based on "eyewitness" accounts
Artistic rendering of hell, based on "eyewitness" accounts | Source

The sad tales of Abdul, Samuel and Joseph

My name is Abdul. I was born in Tehran. I have fourteen wives and sixty seven children, and I love them all. I have gained great wealth and, while I live comfortably (okay, very comfortably) I have also given large chunks of my wealth to the poor in my country, of which there are many. Like everyone else I know, I believe in the one true god, Allah and that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is his final prophet. I pray five times a day and observe all our holidays. I am a son of Abraham. I have memorized the holy scriptures and have absorbed the wisdom of the prophets. I especially admire Jesus, as he is perhaps the greatest prophet next to Muhammad, peace be upon him. I can learn much from the moral teachings of Jesus, but I do not believe the blasphemous teachings of his followers that he is a god. Allah is the one true god.

When I die at age eighty seven, I will go to hell where I will be tortured and separated from God for eternity.

***

My name is Samuel. I was born in Jerusalem. I have one wife and four children and I honor and love them all. I am poor in material things but rich in love and wisdom. What little I do have, I share with my neighbors and with my synagogue. Like most of the people I know, I believe in Yahweh, the God of Abraham and I am eagerly awaiting the Messiah promised by the prophets in the Torah, which I have memorized. I pray three times a day and honor all of the holy days, especially the Passover, where Merciful Yahweh showed his love by sparing my ancestors. I have absorbed the wisdom of a great Rabbi named Jesus, though I do not believe he was the promised Messiah. My people have been accused of killing him and have been persecuted throughout the world and the centuries since them. I have scoured the Torah and am eagerly anticipating the coming Messiah.

When I die at age seventy four, I will go to hell where I will be tortured and separated from God for eternity.

***

My name is Joseph. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have one wife and six children, and I am a good provider in both love and material things. One night a week is a dedicated family game and fellowship night. I give ten percent of the first portion of my income to my church, which goes primarily to ministries which help the poor. I am a descendent of Abraham. Like most of the people I know, I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. I believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers and that when I die, I will become a God myself. I have daily prayer times and devotions, having many portions of the Book of Mormon and the Bible, which are both equally the Word of God. I am a good neighbor and a good citizen. I am a patriot and I vote in every election. At Christmas time, I offer my services to the local soup kitchen and I spent two years right after high school on a mission in a strange place and shared the love of Jesus, who can forgive every sin except for the shedding of blood. I have never smoked or drank, I don’t use foul language and I have only made love with one woman, my wife. I follow all the commandments of God.

When I die at age eighty nine, I will go to hell where I will be tortured and separated from God for eternity.

the KKK  which preaches hate in the name of Jesus
the KKK which preaches hate in the name of Jesus
Jesus, the center of it all
Jesus, the center of it all | Source

The interesting tales of Kyle and Scott

My name is Kyle. I was born in Kansas City, Kansas. I have one wife, but I’ve been married twice before, and I have five kids, by three different women, two of whom were born out of wedlock. I don’t make a lot of money and I’m on the government dime for things like milk and cheese. What little I do have, I spend on guns and alcohol and my two pack a day cigarette habit. Every Sunday, I go to the local Baptist Church where we talk about Jesus. I don’t really pray or read my Bible much, but I believe that Jesus is the son of God and that I am saved by grace and that my works don’t matter because Jesus loves me. I’m pretty selfish and I’m not a big fan of the Christ killing Jews. I spend a lot of time wearing a white robe and burning crosses.

When I die in a bar fight at age fifty six, I will go to Heaven where I will live in peace and prosperity with Jesus for all eternity.

***

My name is Scott. I was born in Sacramento, California. I am the husband of only one woman and we have two beautiful children. We’re comfortable, never lacking in the things we need, though we occasionally have to go without things we want. I am a descendent of Abraham I am a regular and active attendee of a non-denominational church. I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost, and that they are one God with three personalities. I believe that Jesus is the Savior of my soul and, even though I don’t have to do good works to be saved, I choose to do them because I love Him and the please Him. I’m careful to give the church the first ten percent of my income and I pray and have daily devotions with regularity. As a human being, I do bad things sometimes, sometime willfully and sometimes not, but I’m always quick to repent and try not to make a habit of these things.

When I die at seventy one, I will go to Heaven where I will live in peace and prosperity with Jesus for all eternity.

Pastor and author FRob Bell, who's book "Love Wins" has been lambasted by many in the Christian community for his conclusions about hell. Agree with his conclusions or not, he has sparked the debate and opened up a discussion most people are afraid o
Pastor and author FRob Bell, who's book "Love Wins" has been lambasted by many in the Christian community for his conclusions about hell. Agree with his conclusions or not, he has sparked the debate and opened up a discussion most people are afraid o | Source
athiesm's logo
athiesm's logo | Source

The questions that need to be asked (but maybe not answered)

Do these scenarios bother you like they bother me? A devout muslim, a devout Jew, a devout Mormon; men who love God and their families who, according to the Judeo- Christian church, will die and spend eternity being tortured in hell. An eternity! For a finite period of time on earth for believing in the “wrong” orthodoxy, tortured for eternity? A member of the Ku Klux Klan and a devout Christian, and these men will go to Heaven because they believe in the “right” orthodoxy?

This is how I grew up. In a Christian church where, as Jesus Himself said, the path is narrow that leads to Heaven.

But what does this mean?

I’ve always had questions. I’ve always had doubts and, as I’ve hit my thirties, those doubts have only gotten stronger and the questions more urgent.

Quite frankly, I’m scared.

If what I’ve been taught is true, then the questions I’m asking could border on blasphemy. If what I’ve been taught is true, then my devout Mormon, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, nonreligious and, (gasp!) democrat friends and neighbors are destined to hell for all eternity.

But is this what the Bible teaches? Is this what God teaches? Is this just?

I’ve done a lot of research and prayer on this subject lately and I’m going to spare you most of the theology but I encourage you to do your own research. I have provided source material in this hub, but, here’s a few of my own thoughts.

First, if God is love (1 John 4:8), as he himself claims to be, and if God is omniscient (Psalm 147:5), as He Himself claims He is, and if God and the angels weep when a soul goes to hell, as the Bible claims, then why would God keep creating humans destined for an eternal separation from Him? This doesn’t seem loving or kind. I believe God is loving and kind, but, if I believe that, can I believe that he creates human beings who's destination upon death is an eternity in hell?

This is a complicated question, but, one thing I’ve discovered in my studies is that the word translated as “eternal” in the Bible in reference to hell has been mistranslated. It doesn’t mean unending, but, rather, is much closer to the word for indefinite. God is eternal, but the same word used to describe God as eternal is not the same word used to describe hell as eternal (Rob Bell, Love Wins). There is hope in this.

Second, if God claims that all things are reconciled to Him (Colossians 1:20), as the Bible says and if God is glorified by this restoration, as the Bible claims, are human souls not a part of all things? Is God glorified by souls being tortured and punished, without hope, forever and ever? If these souls are not reconciled to God, how can the Bible make this claim? How do we reconcile the idea of eternal damnation with the idea of God reconciling all things?

These are just two of the most pressing issues on my mind lately. I’m being careful not to simply look for things which tickle my ears, but I do seek the Truth. The old testament speaks very little of an afterlife and many of the references to hell in the New Testament, and many things in the Bible itself, could be metaphoric (after all, Jesus did speak of Hell, and hell was a literal place outside of the city of Jerusalem where trash was burned and the fire never went out). I don’t want to be irreverent of blasphemous and I hope I’m not. It’s certainly not in my heart to be so. I do believe in God as creator and in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I do believe when Jesus said that NO ONE comes to the father except through Him, but I’m not sure about the deadline or the method. Jesus never said “You have to have a personal relationship with me in order to go to Heaven.” Go ahead. That phrase, oft recited in church, is NOWHERE in the Bible. I’m also not sure that the moment before physical death is the last moment one has to “accept Jesus” and avoid damnation. The idea of purgatory intrigues me and seems to be the most just way of handling sin in the afterlife: temporary punishment with a goal of cleansing and repentance and reconciliation to Jesus. Sin has to be punished, but who says it has to be punished eternally?

I’m enjoying this journey and I’m writing this to not only get my thoughts out, but also to open a discussion on this issue, because I believe it’s very important. I obviously hope and pray that there is no hell or eternal punishment, so that's my bias going in. but I'm aware of this bias and the potential pitfalls of it and I'm trying not to allow it to cloud my judgment. I hope, regardless of your beliefs, that you will respect and understand mine. I will seek to do the same with yours and in all things, seek the mind and will of God!






all rights reserved. copyright Justin W Price, 2011

My poetry collection

Thanks for Reading.

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION,DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, SEE SPOT RUN AND THE BELLWETHER REVIEW. HE CURRENTLY SERVES AS MANAGING EDITOR OF EPOETRY MAGAZINE AND THE BRIDGE ONLINE NEWSPAPER.

HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOSTWRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.

PLEASE VISIT HIS PROFILE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!

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    • profile image

      mkfaruk 3 years ago

      http://pytheya.blogspot.com/2014/09/hereafter.html

      The above article describes details on life after death according to bible & Quran. (written in Bengali language).

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      DG and Tebo, thanks for your comments. I read them and enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by and reading and contributing to the discussion.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I did read your whole hub, but did not read all the comments as there were too many. I haven't read the bible yet, but do intend to. Unfortunately I want to read it front start to finish and reading Genesis made me really angry, so I flagged it for the time being. I couldn't believe that a God who is supposed to be loving and forgiving would do such things as kill everyone and everything off as in the Noah's Ark senario. I do not believe there is a hell in the afterlife as why would a God who represents LOVE condemn anyone to such a horrific eternity. Your hub has made me want to start reading the bible again. I can not for the life of me accept that a loving God would make people or their souls suffer for ever. Does not make any sense at all to me. I believe the people who suggest that hell is in fact life here on planet earth are right. We have to contend with many things here ranging from losing our loved ones to trying to rescue our drug addled children. I think once we leave planet earth it is onwards and upwards!I agree with the people who say we create our own reality, and I do believe we keep reincarnating until we get to where we need to be. Thanks for a thought provoking hub.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      A very though provoking and well researched hub. I am a Hindu though I love reading and knowing about other religion. I hope you do not mind me commenting here.

      The various examples of different people here made the hub a very interesting read for a non- christian like me. The life after death with the ever speculated option of heaven and hell is always a very mysterious and appealing topic for many here. I really loved the questions you have put forward here. Heaven and hell ......can it be experienced before death here in this life through pain and happiness is what was a question i always used to wonder about. Why always heaven or hell has to be after death? Your hub i have enjoyed reading but these questions always come to my mind. Thank you and sorry for mentioning my own questions here.

      Votes up way and shared as well.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Garang,

      The interesting thing, specifically about hell is that 1.) Jews, who wrote the old testament, had no concept of an afterlife. and 2.) gehenna was a real garbage dump outside the city where trash was burned and the fire never went out.

      Bottom line is, all we can do is follow our hearts. God knows our hearts and He knows what to do with us.

      There's a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible. Maybe to God or the writer's of the Bible they were not inconsistent but I don't know how you could logically look at the bIble and say there are none. I encourage you to read Love Wins. Bell points out all the different ways in the Bible that it's claimed we are "saved". It's a short read and Bell is highly entertaining, as a writer and an orator.

    • Garangwyn profile image

      Garangwyn 5 years ago from Fresno, California

      PDX, I am quite familiar with the Bible's contradictions, although most Christians will deny to their death that the Bible contradicts itself. I was once one of those. It wasn't until I took a step back and really looked at the Bible from a truly objective standpoint, throwing out all preconceived ideas and opinions (including the idea that the Bible was the ultimate authority and God's inspired Word) that it became clear to me what the truth of the matter really was. Others might find a different answer, but my research told me that there was no way we could really know because of the inaccuracies contained within it. So I had to throw it out as an ultimate authority, and therefore all the absolute beliefs I had based upon it.

      It was devastating, and at the same time, the most mind-blowing, liberating event in my entire life. Talk about being born again! At 50 years old, I had to start from scratch, reconstructing everything I believed. My entire world view had been turned upside down. But it was wonderful at the same time, because it freed me from all the things I struggled with as a Christian. I really can say that for me, the Truth set me free -- it just wasn't the Truth that Christians have promoted. I'm not sure they got it right anyway; I don't think that it has come down from Jesus the way that he had intended. Leave it to mankind to screw it up.

      But your hub certainly rattled some cages, and got some people thinking...I applaud you for that. People need to question what they believe and not just accept it hook, line and sinker. Good job -- keep up the good work.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Garang... thanks for sharing your story. I do believe the Bible as the ultimate authority, but, the problem is, the Bible isn't even clear on the subject of hell. Check out the book "Love Wins" by Rob Bell, and you'll see what i mean! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this long hub

    • Garangwyn profile image

      Garangwyn 5 years ago from Fresno, California

      Woah! Well, I did read you article, and started to read the comments, but really, I have run out of time! Nice article (although I don't understand how the Mormon guy can believe he will become a God when he dies and also burn in hell forever...but then again, there is a lot I don't understand about the Mormon faith...) Voted up.

      I believe it was alluded to or even directly stated in some of the comments, but I will just say this: You were born and raised in a primarily Christian country, where Christianity is programmed into almost all children. Your questions will probably continue to haunt you in a circular manner until you decide on the very basis of Christian beliefs and dogma: The Bible. If you accept the Bible as the ultimate authority, the unquestionable inspired Word of God, you must find a way to reconcile your questions within that framework. Good luck with that.

      After 50 years a Christian, I left the Christian faith to follow a nature-based path. I may tell my own story someday.

      I fully believe now that while the Bible and Christianity has much to teach us (as does every great spiritual tradition and their sacred writings), God speaks to us all through nature and through our own hearts, that quiet voice within. God is all-loving; there is no eternal judgment and damnation. Period. We are here to learn, no matter how long that takes us. We are given all opportunities and all the time we need. We are eternal beings, learning to perfect the loving qualities of our Creator. The only "sin" is in forgetting who we are.

      Bendithion disglair i chi (brightest blessings to you),

      Garangwyn

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Myminds eye and DMop, thanks so much for contributing this conversation with thoughtful and well considered comments. I appreciate that very much and appreciate your continued prayers, thoughts and readership.

      God bless you both.

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      I don't claim to have any answers, but I sure do have a lot of questions. I read my Bible and I pray; and I ask a lot of questions and go in search of the answers, but I never lose faith in God. I always keep prayer, faith, and God close at hand during my quest for understanding. It would seem that most of those commenting here have done the same. As has been commented already, God knows our heart and our intention and will judge us accordingly.

    • My Minds Eye53 profile image

      My Minds Eye53 5 years ago from Tennessee

      My mom once told me that hell was the absence of God and knowing you will never know him again.

    • My Minds Eye53 profile image

      My Minds Eye53 5 years ago from Tennessee

      I found your hub to be most interesting. I think how we believe or not believe in God is supposed to be a personal experience and journey for each of us. Otherwise I think God would have not given us free will and give us the right to find our own way to him.

      I also believe the only absolute laws he gave us was the ten commandments. The bible or other books of God are guidelines. In our hearts we all know what is good and what is evil and there are grey lines making it hard sometimes. A Priest told me once that you have to want to go to hell to go there. Makes sense to me, after all don't we often make a hell for ourselves woven out of guilt? I was taught that even the most heinous crime is forgiven if the sinner truly asks for forgiveness.

      Like what North Wind said, God said he would pull the weeds, that it was not our place to condemn others. Not being able to look into another's soul, I would not want that job anyway. You just have to be the best you, you can be, because you are the only one you can control. Everyone has to take responsibility for their own soul.

      God Bless PDX, I am in the same struggle for truth as you, never stop searching.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      something blue

      thanks for reading and commenting. I don't generally write or read hubs this long, so i appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

      I wrote this with the assumption that the Bible is the Word of God, so, when I say "GOd says" that's my point of reference. I also believe a close reading of the bIble will show that the the standard church teachings about Hell are false.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Do you have direct access to the Creator of All . . . "Second, if God claims" perhaps some editing would clarify things for me, BTW I read the whole thing . . . a little lengthy my attention span being what it is!

      Personally I don't believe in Hell per se and suspect that we are currently living it in one form or another, I do believe in Heaven just various levels of it, sort of like a Jacob's Ladder.

      However I reserve the right to change my mind at anytime, yes, it is a convenient belief system.

      The Hell concept is for those unwilling to do their own thinking and fail to learn to trust their God given instinct and heart, a way of controlling the masses, keep them guessing, and allows them to let others do their thinking for them!

      Of course I don't own a TV set, so I don't have the luxury of allowing the Discovery Channel to do my thinking for me.

      Interesting article . . . I voted it up, perhaps you could put your main point at the end so as to force those to read the whole thing, of course if you do that make it much shorter!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Good points Kitane, and you touch on some interesting points. I read your hub about what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and I appreciated that viewpoint very well. however, for reasons I don't want to get into, I have problems with the WatchTower translation of the Bible... as much as I'd like to believe that annihilation is the destiny for the unsaved, I'm just not sure that's the proper translation of the word. I don't want to discuss that any further on this hub, but, I'd be happy to read a retort from you if you write a hub about it!

      I fully agree with you on Gehenna. You should read Rob Bell's Love Wins (if you haven't). Very interesting.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks for your comment, KM. you make good points. That being said, there are some who view Pascal's Wager as flawed (I don't)and i can see their argument. I can also see how the concept of hell can be used to control people and promote fear and expanded church coffers. I try to understand that i am not God and my ways are not His, but, it's not always easy!

    • Kitaine profile image

      Michelle Smith 5 years ago from Pennsboro, West Virginia

      Wow, this is a very deep post and it sounds like you are indeed searching for the truth. Your answers lie in the bible that you hold so dear.

      Although you say that the old testament speaks very little on the subject of hell and after life - that is not true there are many scriptures. I will try to list some for you. But first lets make try to make this short and simple. God created man (Adam and Eve). He created them to live on earth. For how long? Forever. They were supposed to live on earth in paradise forever and fill the earth. Gen 1:28...ok next then what happens...enter Satan...Gen 3:3,4 - he lies to Eve and because of this death enters the world. (We all know the rest of the story...) So here we are now what happens to us... well the Jew's believed that when we died our bodies went to a place that was written Sheol, Hades in the original scriptures - it was translated hell in most bibles today. You have to look up interlinear translations to see that is was changed. Sheol meant the common grave of mankind. This can be found in the old testament at places like: Eccl 9:5,10, Ps 146:4, Ezek 18:4, Ps 9:17, Job 14:13 In New Testament Places like: Acts 2:25-27, Rev 20:13,14

      Another word that was also translated hell was Gehenna - this was the word for eternal destruction and was the word given to the place where criminals where 'thrown' away because they did not deserve to be buried - it was kept burning with 'fire and brimstone' (sound familiar?)

      What does the bible really teach is the punishment for sin? Rom 6:23 "The wages sin pays is death." Rom 6:7 "He who has died has been acquitted from his sin." So that's it if you do not live a christian life and do not find the truth you will simply die, like Satan said.

      What happens if you do? Well that's another post all together :) Because Matt 5:3 says some of us go to heaven and Matt 5:5 says some of us inherit the earth...and John 3:16 says that God loved the world so much that he gave his only son in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life."....hmmmmmm (amazing!)

    • profile image

      km360 5 years ago

      I agree and disagree somewhat with Digitskyes. Religion is a way of spiritual living here on earth. No one has the experience of saying what heaven or hell is like, so every opinion is just an opinion. But for reason far above and beyond our understanding, God has a set in place rules to guide us that we should follow for our own good, again far above and far beyond our limited earthly human brains can understand. I was just thinking, there's 1) earthly wisdom and 2) heavenly wisdom. Since we're not God, we can't see around the corner or into the future, like a baby infant can't understand what's going in the next room. The fact that God still has us breathing, is another moment He's extending patience to us because He does not want a single soul to be lost. He sent "the only way" He's endorsed, complete with witnesses and written history. But if you choose not to believe because that's your right not to, (and there were some who witnessed with their own eyes Jesus die and then live again; who touched Him; who witnessed His miracles and heard him say what was prophesized), you can believe or not believe, trust or not trust, accept or not accept. Jesus fulfilled every prophesy. God gave Man a free will to exercise. One day we will all see clearly, but for now it has to be trusting in the truth by faith and not on our limited understanding. For all those who chose to not believe and think hell/ heaven and God are nothing, I pray for your soul you're right because if you're wrong...there won't be a second chance for you. On the other hand, for those who believe if we're wrong, well, we won't have to worry about any hell in the first place. Let me conclude this comment with this- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight or understanding,,and be not wise in your own eyes... this is from Proverbs 3:5-6.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Digit, I agree with what you're saying. The concept of hell wasn't even widely taught until the middle ages, when the catholic church used the fear of hell to get folks to buy indulgences to avoid this fiery hell. The fact of the matter is, things must be taken on faith since no one can really know for sure what lies beyond. I don't think it matters what religion or church you belong to because, ultimately, God knows your heart... thanks for reading and commenting

    • Digitskyes profile image

      Digitskyes 5 years ago from Highlands, Scotland

      Hmm interesting subject and great hub.

      For me I've always found the concept of Heaven or Hell just not going far enough, it's like a human trying to find a way to describe something it has no words, concepts or any other system of understanding.

      The fact is that when we die it is such a fundamental change that nothing that we have EVER experienced before can even come close to helping us understand it.

      Perhaps it's nothingness perhaps it's something, but until it happens the most important thing is how we are living now, and what thoughts we are living with.

      The religious views that give us fear and hatred by creating systems of punishment and reward are far too easily corrupted or misused by our own minds.

      Far better to always be questioning and understand that we really don't know, so no hard and solid line can be taken until we do.

      But while I think i am spiritual, I'm entirely un-religious so my views might be a bit biased too.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image
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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Km, that's a great comment, excellent point and good thought. Take care!

    • km360 profile image

      Katrina 5 years ago from Central Alabama

      To Davesworld...no need to struggle with the 'one-size fits all damnation' and punishment. God knows the very nature and intentions of the heart behind every action. Our creator's judgement WILL be fair and just. Just be grateful it's not up to 'us' to make that final ruling.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Grace, thank you for commenting

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      grace explosion 5 years ago

      Hi PDX... :)... it is challenging to realize we are spiritual persons in earth suits... and our spiritual personhood did not "come from" a material plane but outside the material plane but into the material plane from a spiritual plane. This dimension incorporates both Heaven and hell as we all know. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was in the center of the Garden with the Tree of Life. Consider this, Genesis 4:1

      And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

      Knowledge has power of conception. That is all I will say for now. But, my hub will go through sequentially to show forth the reality that those who "go to Heaven" came from Heaven. Those who "go to hell" came from hell. However, the plan of God is the cross of Calvary. Jesus came into this dimension to destroy flesh -- and destroy Satan. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. (John 3). The devil and his angels born in human flesh appearing have been caused by God to become a physical property that is destroyed when this first creation of earth is destroyed. The bodies of the damned are made of this earth that is destroyed. The cross is full power of destruction of all evil - and full power of recreation anew. It's not a "back door" into Heaven to be destroyed and recreated anew -- because God doesn't make "lacking plans". Rather, the plan of the destruction of the wicked and their recreation was the plan all along. Spiritual physics requires the devil and his angels to come into a material plane whereby they can be destroyed with the material plane according to evil. It's challenging, but quite reasonable... and so intelligent. (God is smarter than Einstein. ;) I'll write more blog posts and generate the case sequentially. God bless you, PDX.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      This is a lot to take in in just a comment on a hub and I am very skeptical. However, if you write a hub on this subject, I'd be happy to read it. Please provide more scripture references to back up your point.

      Thanks for stopping by Grace Explosion.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Dave, thanks for your comment. I may be mistaken, but I do think the bible talks about different levels of punishment with hell, but, again, I'm not sure...Thanks for taking the time to read and comment

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      grace explosion 5 years ago

      Hello. I am beginning to write on this subject. What I have to say is going to be a "shocker" to the body of Christ. Bit, it is the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It goes far and wide beyond what I hear anyone else teaching. So please be patient as I begin to write. When the fallen angels fell -- Jesus Christ immediately entered hell. This was the first day. The darkness on the face of the deep was the face of Satan and the fallen angels. The void and darkness was hell. Jesus Christ followed them straight into hell saying, "Let there be light and there was light." When God said, "Let us make man in our image..." God was speaking to the holy angels. This Mediator Dimension is a dimension of the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ and the Son of God - the Light from Heaven come in human flesh appearing. This Mediator Dimension is a dimension of the incarnation of the elect angels as the elect saints. This Mediator Dimension is a dimension of the fallen angels as the reprobate damned. This is why there is election and reprobation. This is a realm into which the populations of hell and Heaven are being born as men appearing in human flesh. God could not "save" the fallen angels in their spiritual bodies. Thus, He created this dimension. There is much to write - and if you are truly sincerely seeking Truth and will hear a scriptural case, I will tell you what I see of the 3rd Heaven and hell and this dimension as well as the reconciliation of all things. Those on the left of Jesus on Judgment Day who Jesus sends into the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels truly are the devil and his angels in human flesh appearing. While it seems "cold" to those who do not see the grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ that God would "send men to hell" -- the heart of God is known by realizing that it was by God's own grace that they were born as men in the first place. They are the fallen angels in human flesh appearing. They needed to be born in human flesh in order to be destroyed and recreated. They could not be saved in spiritual bodies. So, God created this Mediator Dimension of incarnation of the populations of Heaven and hell and sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross so that evil could be destroyed on the Last Day... and the fallen angels (who appear as men) could be restored. God concluded all under sin in that even the bodies into which the holy angels would be born from above were fallen in Adam. Thus, Jesus Christ died to save the world. But, the devil and his angels are in a spiritually blasphemous state in their spirits and in their true unseen "personhood". They only "appear" to be men in this world. Read Jude. 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (These are wandering stars - the fallen angels -- pre-existent and before of old ordained to this condemnation. Not because God is cruel. But because God in love who causes the sun to shine on the wicked and the just in His perfect love, raised them up out of hell to be born as men to restore them through the fires of destruction that can only apply to men in human bodies. Fallen angels in spiritual bodies cannot be destroyed according to evil.) Those who "go to hell" -- actually came from hell and are the devil and fallen angels in human flesh appearing. God has been gracious to allow them to be born as men -- not cruel. And, though He will punish them for their sins and they will literally rot in hell with worms covering them for the 1000 years, God will resurrect them in human flesh appearing to be gathered for Final Armageddon. And, when Jesus returns, they will be annihilated according to evil and come through the fire saved. 1 Corinthians 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

      You asked the question who goes to hell and for how long. But, I'm sure you did not realize -- that those who go to hell came from hell and are the devil and his angels in human flesh appearing and this dimension was created and generated to restore them as well as reveal God's grace in the Lord Jesus Christ to all. For even the bodies of the elect angels according to Adam are fallen and in the body of death, our souls are as the children of wrath like unto the rest. We are all concluded under sin that the manifestation of the sons of God in liberty might be revealed at the appearing of our Savior.

      We the elect saints are the elect angels in human flesh appearing -- Jesus the firstborn of many brethren.

      It's a "mindbender".

      It's... the mystery of grace revealed, I believe. I'll write more hubs and lay it out more and more sequentially. But, if someone really wants to know the answer to the question... it's like water pouring out to meet thirst, seems to me. God bless you.

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      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Eternal damnation is an area that I personally struggle with. My major difficulty is the one size fits all punishment. It's as if we were to judge people here like this: kill some one, off with your head; rape a woman, off with your head; steal a million bucks, off with your head; steal a loaf of bread because you're starving, off with your head; run a red light, off with your head; jaywalk, off with your head.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Nikki, it is sad. Thanks for your comment

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      nikki 5 years ago

      it's sad that people are going to hell. They need to have jesus in there heart and stop lying.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Greetings, friends. I recently blogged about this issue from a new perspective. http://pdxjpricefirstblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/jos...

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      U make very good points. especially your last one. Thank you for contributing!

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      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Well, don't you think that the account of the thief on the cross demonstrates that doing good according the our assessment has nothing to do with getting into heaven. God defines what is good and it begins with what's going on in the human heart. That's something we're not privy to. So from our point of view it will often look as though the bad go to heaven and the good go to hell. Having said that, I'm very reluctant to say any particular person is in hell, not even the most heineous of criminals. That's not ours to know.

      As for how long I just don't know. Whatever eternity means, that's how long hell will last for those who are there.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I appreciate your comment and the poetic way you recounted this story, though I'm not sure it relates to this HUB, it's very beautiful. Blessings to you

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      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      My name is Julius. I've lived a life of thievery and crime. I was hanged on a cross. On the next cross over there was a very unusual man who seemed to be suffering far more than physical pain and agony. I was drawn to exclaim, "Please remember me when you come to your kingdom." I was stunned when he answered, "Today, we'll be together in Paradise."

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Cindy, that's a wonderful point, By the same token, knowing that God is unchanging, it's also important that we don't misrepresent Him.

      Thanks for reading and contributing!

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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      This is a really great hub! I wish I had time to read all the comments. You have obviously stirred the pot. I have been raised to believe the same as you, and find myself wondering some of the same things. But I generally take a step back and try not worry about this issue too much. No amount of worry, concern or fear is going to change God. I have to trust that He is a loving and compassionate God, and He will do what is right and just. Just my thoughts.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      thank you, alcosin. I think it's a fine question to ask. most people can ahnd;e a question or challeneg in their faith, but it's also amazing how mny folks can't... Thanks for treading and commenting

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      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Quite sensible question, PDX, and your hub is a thoughtful exploration of the question. Unfortunately, you talk religion like this, you'll ruffle some feathers, especially when they don't read the article. Voting this Up and Interesting.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Anonymous, I don't know if you read the HUB or not but I think your comment is appropriate. It's on point with the discussion and is respectful and fairly objective. Much appreciated. Thank you!

      I was speaking with a friend on this subject the other day and he also brought up the term "childlike faith" and I'm trying to have that. The long and short of it is, God is the ultimate judge and decider of who is saved or not. I just do have some issues and concerns that some of the meaning of words have been lost in translation. I'm trying to maintain that childlike faith and trust in God. I appreciate your continued prayers and kind discussion on the matter!

      Who's Going to Heaven and for How long? Interesting. I'll have to think of that!

      if you didn't read this HUB, I encourage you to read it so you can understand more about me and my journey!

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to this every important discussion!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Such and interesting read, this hub and all the comments. The topic grabs strongly to the core. I hope my comment here be granted posting if it's deemed relative and helpful for this hub. I'll make my points brief.

      !. Hell, as told in the Bible, is for souls who rejected and rebelled against the gift God sent to redeem souls back to Himself. Heaven is not a place for unforgiven sin. How long you'll be in hell depends on the time between your last breath and Judgement Day. After that is even a worse place, the Lake of Fire, or the "second death".

      2. I can't believe anyone in their 'right mind' would even joke or kid about choosing Hell over Heaven. But it really is your choice. God will never force anyone to accept 'His gift' sent from heaven. Jesus took all Man's sins upon Himself. SIN requires a death penalty for God to forgive the sin. It takes FAITH to believe this 'unbelievable but true thing' God did for us, not intellect or logic. God operates not of the physical world, though the effects are felt in the physical, so all the searching the world for things pertaining to God can't be found in a lab or proven by a scientific experiment....only by the power of faith- this is the manner we gain access to things Spiritual, things we can't see. FAITH eludes and confounds the intellect, because it can't be explained logically or scientifically or described or accessed by any other method. The mysteries of God and answers to His ways can only be opened to your eyes by FAITH. It's easier for a child to have faith than a college professor with a brilliant I.Q. Without FAITH, no one can see or believe the ways of the Lord Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the mysteries in God's Holy Word and grow your faith and open your eyes to see and open your ears to hear.

      3. While we're limited in our physical, earthly bodies, this is why we need to exercise FAITH. Souls who get to be in the presence of the Lord in heaven, won't need faith. In heaven, there won't be a need for faith

      The general message of the Bible is this....God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to die for your sins while we were still sinners. With Jesus, you bypass hell. If you're human, you're a sinner. By faith, believe Jesus, who was no sin, and did no sin, was the Lamb that was sacrificed in your place. Receive Jesus by FAITH. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Hell is not where God desires any one to choose. Reject Jesus and you are choosing Hell by default. Just have FAITH to believe and receive. No acts to perform but FAITH in God and His Son.

      I DON'T MAKE ANY CLAIM TO KNOW EVERY THING and I never will. My comments are based on my studying, and listening to hundreds of messages by well-known Bible teachers over the past 20+ years since willing giving my life and heart to my good Lord, since He was and is so merciful to my 'dirty soul'. And, much prayer for wisdom of what I've learned for growing in more maturity in God's Word.

      I was thinking, a future hub could prove to be just as interesting, "Who's going to God's heaven, and for how long?

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Gilberto, I am not going to approve your comments. They are long and convoluted and they are taking over my HUB. I encourage you to organize them into a HUB of your own which I'd be happy to link too.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Gilberto- thank you for stopping by. I'm not sure if I understand your comment, but I appreciate you leaving it!

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      the lion of judea 5 years ago

      PDXKaraokeguy

      My name is Gilberto and I here send you a post which I sent to a brother who would accuse me of being a j.w. a mormon osha etc… on his site.

      Reason iam sending it to you is so to share things I have learned during my journey alone with GOD.

      A little bit about me;

      I was a cocaine addict for 21 years.

      January 28 will be 5 years since GOD released me from my bondage and I have been serving HIM ever since.

      Pray this post helps.

      GOD BLESS

      Gilberto.

      P.S. also I would like to see if you can give me some pointers, I just started a my own HUB and brother! I have no clue what a’ heck im doing. ?

      I have some things I would like to post but my old age does not help me figure it out ?

      Ok, hope you can give a brother a hand, my hub gives me a warning of big “substandard” no clue what this means.

      Here is the post brother P.

      Peter, you continue to falsely accuse me about UNIVERSAL SALVATION.

      I TOLD YOU FROM THE BEGINNING THAT IS NOT MY BELIEF AND I SEE YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME.

      YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT ONE THING IN YOUR POST TO ME. ABOUT UNIVERSAL SALVATION BEING DEMONIC.

      TO PUT IT SIMPLY UNIVERSAL SALVATION IS ---NOT--- IN THE SCRIPTURES SO THEREFORE I DO NOT BELIEVE IN IT, MUCH LESS PRACTICE IT.

      HERE IS THE SCRIPTURE I BELIEVE IN;

      Philippians 2:1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, ALTHOUGH HE EXISTED IN THE ---FORM--- OF GOD DID NOT REGARD ---EQUALITY--- WITH GOD A THING TO BE ‘GRASPED’… 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of JESUS EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, OF THOSE WHO ARE IN HEAVEN(GOOD & EVIL SPIRITUAL HOSTS) AND ON EARTH (US IF JESUS CAME TODAY) AND UNDER THE EARTH, (THOSE NO LONGER WITH US) 11and that every tongue WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father.

      As far as the universe goes, it would be arrogant of me to say, yes the universe going to be saved.

      I don’t know if Martians aliens what have you live UP in the skies.

      I base my beliefs on Scriptures so please stop putting a logo on me IAM NOT A J.W. MORMON OSAS---NOT ANY DENOMINATION.

      You know, now I know what you meant when you said in one of your posts about, ‘the cat is out of the bag’ shame on you Brother Pete but I forgive you.

      Second of all;

      TWO RESURRECTIONS

      1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. 2He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. 3The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while.

      4Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those (THE FEW CHOSEN) who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They all came to life again, AND they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

      5THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION (The RESTOF THE DEAD did not come BACK TO LIFE UNTIL the thousand years had ENDED.) 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, BUT they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.

      Do you believe ADAM EVE ABRAHAM MOSES ISAIAH DANIEL JOB ETC… WILL BE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION OR THE SECOND RESURRECTION?

      HERE IS THE ANSWER ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE, HERE IS WHAT JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES BEFORE HE LEFT;

      Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient (ADVENTAGEOUS) for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

      AND CHRIST DID GO AND DID SEND THE COMFORTER AND IS WHY PAUL SAID;

      Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have -----NOT--- the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NONE OF HIS.

      ALL THE OLD PATRIARCHS WERE LONG GONE WHEN THESE WORDS WERE SPOKEN.

      SO NO THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY THAT THESE HAD THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. THEREFORE THEY WILL NOT BE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION, THEY WILL BE WITH; ….(The RESTOF THE DEAD did not come BACK TO LIFE –UNTIL-- the thousand years had ENDED.)

      AND HOW WILL THEY COME BACK TO LIFE?

      1 CORINTHIANS 15;42 That is how it will be when the dead come back to life. When the body is planted, it decays. When it comes back to life, it cannot decay.

      There fore;

      1 Corinthians 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. IF THERE IS A NATURAL BODY, there is also a spiritual body.

      “IF THERE IS A NATURAL BODY” AND THERE IS, LOOK AROUND YOU PETE, EVERY ONE YOU SEE WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE A SPIRITUAL BODY.

      BUT HOW ARE THEY GOING TO BE RAISED

      WELL WE KNOW THAT THE DEAD, “When it comes back to life, it cannot decay.” [BECAUSE] “it is raised a spiritual body.”

      SO IN THE SECOND RESURRECTION ONCE THE DEAD ARE RAISED IN SPIRITUAL BODIES THEREFORE CANNOT DIE NO MORE.

      SO WHAT THEN GETS THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE…?

      2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, SO YOUR MINDS SHOULD BE CORRUPTED FROM ---THE SIMPLICITY--- THAT IS IN CHRIST.

      “YOUR CORRUPTED MINDS!!”

      JUST LIKE THE FEW CHOSEN WHO WILL BE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION, AND THEIR CORRUPTED MINDS ARE BEING PURIFIED ---NOW--- WHILE ALIVE BUT DYING DAILY, SO WILL THE REST OF THE DEAD.

      AND YES…. satan INCLUDED (BECAUSE satan HAS A CORRUPTED MIND just like us IS WHY he CAN COMMUNICATE WITH OUR CORRUPTED MINDS)

      YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT ? YOU DON'T HAVE TO IS IN YOUR BIBLE MY BIBLE EVERYONES BIBLE;

      Revelation 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, WAS THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

      HERE IS A BETTER TRANSLATION BECAUSE I KNOW YOU LEARNED SCHOLARS KNOW THAT --FOREVER AND FOREVER IS NOT IN THE ORIGINAL BUT AGES OF AGES IS, AND THAT’S BECAUSE GOD WORKS IN AGES UNTIL WE ALL GO TO ETERNITY. ONLY THEN THERE WILL BE NO MORE NEED FOR THE AGES.

      HERE IT IS IN (THE CONCORDANT LITERAL VERSION)

      REVELATION 20:10 And the devil who is deceiving them was cast into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the wild beast and where the false prophet are also. And they shall be tormented day and night for the eons (AGES) of the eons (AGES)."

      So ALL THE SPIRITUAL HOST (the devil, the evil spirits, the false ministers – evil angels--) are automatically cast into the LAKE OF FIRE. NO WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT FOR THEM BECAUSE ALL THESE EVIL HOSTS WERE ALL USED FOR GODS PURPOSE AND PLAN TO BRING ---US--- TO HIM.

      YET THOUGH THEY WERE USED BY GOD, THEIR THINKING STILL MUST BE MADE UNCORRUPT.

      NOW HERE IS WHERE THE WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT, FOR EVERY HUMAN THAT EVER LIVED SINCE ADAM AND EVE, AND WERE NOT IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION, TAKES PLACE;

      Revelation 20:11 And I perceived a great white throne, and Him Who is sitting upon it, from Whose face earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them." 12 And I perceived the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. And the scrolls were opened. And another scroll was opened which is the scroll of life. And the dead

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks for stopping by again, Artist. This is a really fun HUB and discussion to read!

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      anartiststyle 5 years ago from FL

      My Esoteric:

      You are so right what a great point, a hell here on earth that they must be living in, seems true if we are not living in a heaven on earth through our own creativity and actions. To think you started your journey at such an early age such as ten is stunning in itself. I go back and forth and for reasons unknown to me struggle with inner questions, I understand the basics in myself and what I believe is a moral fulfilling way to live my life, however I seem drawn so many times to aspects that are known for lack of better wording, unreal or supernatural. I suppose I do not view them in that way, I still believe I just have not met the right person or as a human race we have not learned to tap into ourselves fully, I guess personally I am trying to do this within and that is the stem of most my research on religion and things unknown. :)

      "The initial statement KMS made is that " (1) The written Word of God can't be compared to any other book. (2) It's penned by human hands but (3) those hands were inspired by the Holy Spirit. (4) The Bible is a spiritual, living book." I inserted the numbers to talk about the important parts. (1) and (4) are statements of opinion but can easily be accepted as reasonable. (2) is fact. The rest of what KMS has to say, however, rests on the factualness of (3). For the rest of what is proposed to be believed, you need to prove (3) to be true, and that simply cannot be done; that is why religion is called a "faith". You have "faith" that it is true, but "faith" alone does not make it universally true, it only makes it true for the faithful."

      OH I had to direct quote you on this My Esoteric, only because as I read the words I was smiling, not in a disrespectful way but in a circular way of comments about myself being a lady after your own heart, for I was thinking the exact same thing as I read that response from KMS!! :)

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      This HUB is getting so many comments that it's going to be very hard to keep up. From here out, I may or may not respond to each comment, but I will read them all. Thanks in advance for the comments.

      JOnathan, I always had a problem with the theology of pre destination. If God is all loving, why would he DESTINE people to an eternal hell? Certainly he KNOWS who's going, but that in itself raises issues... why would a loving God create people he knew were going to hell? If God doesn't want anyone to go to hell, doesn't God get what he wants? I understand the concept of free will, but, ultimately, god is our Creator and our Father and He knows what's best for us. It's certainly a conundrum.

      Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful comments.

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      Jonathan-u13 5 years ago

      I believe that who ever does not accept Christ as Savior is going to die and then go to Hell for all of eternity. I agree with the writer when he stated that God is love and God is all powerful. But God is also a just and righteous and has to punish sin that is why He sends the non-believers to Hell. God does not pre-destinate humans to go to Heaven or Hell, because God gave all men a free will so if God gave pre-destinated all men that would be unjust and supression of our "free will". It does not please God to send a person too Hell, "God is not willing that any should perish.." but God is just and has to punish sin.

      Thank you for this Hub it was very exciting too read and discuss.

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      Mike Pugh 5 years ago from New York City

      I actually caught a great deal of humor through the reading of this wonderfully written hub here. The funny thing is @ PDX, everything you've pointed out has already surfaced through my cerebral many years ago, and even as a child. I am a firm believer in the fact that something indeed created us all, but I've lost my belief in hell long long ago, just like I don't believe in Santa Claus.

      Our beautiful Earth, definitely didn't just arrive into its positional placement in the cosmos on its own, it surely took a great deal of observed knowledge and wisdom to put such a power into existence.

      I try using the scientific method myself though in examining many things that religious folklore have obviously claimed to be a truth, but have been disproved countless times.

      Being a devout believer of any faith is quite fine to me, I think the problem arises when one belief system takes a stab at the other, this I don't agree with and is the reason why I chose to follow God without reference to any beliefs or structured form of follower ship.

      I worship our creator as a spiritually aware person who accepts all beliefs, I pretty much have learned about all the religions of the world in great detail, and use from each one all the great good they have to offer, to formulate a true pathway of least resistance towards enlightenment and understanding about them all, which opposes any suggestions of falling into some burning lake such as hell is described to be.

      To me it just seems to much like a fairy tale rather than common sense. The hell that I know of in reality appears to be the core of this planet earth, and maybe even the surface of the sun.

      Has humanity ever thought that in the ancient times, maybe the reference to such things and ideas on what hell is, have simply stemmed from the very existence of such realities as the sun, the fiery temperatures of lava and the likes. I also a person who practices unity between peoples so when it comes to separatism, I tend to steer away from such things, because that is what these sort of religious divides have been doing for centuries. Why keep making the same mistakes over and over again, isn't that the purest definition of insanity.

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      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      you must have a very interesting hub here Justin, the way i ran at all those comments...well, i only have one stand "To walk my talk," it's very easy to profess ones Faith, but Faith without work is Dead...

      thank you for creating a wonderful hub...

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      TJG, don't worry about popularity. Nothing in the Bible offends me, but many things purported to be taught in the Bible and exploited and/or misinterpreted by the church do. I believe the Bible, at least in it's original form, is the Word of God, but I also believe many parts of the modern English BIble are no longer the original language. It also does seem a bit circular to use the Bible to prove that the BIble is the Word of God. The Qu-ran also claims to be the Word of God, as does the Book or Mormon.

      Anyway, i appreciate the visit and your input, though I'm not sure where you get the idea that I'm offended of upset by the Truth. I am never offended by Truth, only by applications and misuses of the truth. I love God and Jesus very much... I just dislike most Christians.

      My Esoteric, thanks again for your input. This Hub has gotten a wee bit out of hand, but, it's fun and interesting to see all the different viewpoints and, most people have been able to be clean and respectful.

      Blessings to all of You.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Anartiststyle, you are a lady after my own heart, in an earlier comment, I was where you are now back in 70s, such a long, long time ago.

      As to a part of one of your last comments about "... but I guess they will find out when they die, personally I wouldn't want to be there when that is discussed ..." That got me to thinking about one of the philophers I follow, Baruch Spinoza. In his book, The Ethics, he sort of talks about that, but from the point of view of the living. In trying to argue why one should lead an ethical and moral life, he points out that the less of those you are, the more painful and miserable your life actually is. So, my conclusion from that is, if true, the really bad people must already be living in a personal "Hell on Earth"; one I couldn't even begin to fathom.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      My word, what a hub you have going here, PDX! I was going to respond to KMS360 a few days ago, but got sidetracked by New Hampshire; now that I came back, I found it again in the depths of many other comments.

      Nevertheless, here goes. First, certainly what KMS chooses to believe in, to have faith in, is fine by me, I make no judgement, so long as none is made in return and no attempt is made via direct or indirect government action to conform my actions to those beliefs. Beyond that, it is a live-and-let-live world. What KMS offers, however, is a prime example of a circular argument.

      The initial statement KMS made is that " (1) The written Word of God can't be compared to any other book. (2) It's penned by human hands but (3) those hands were inspired by the Holy Spirit. (4) The Bible is a spiritual, living book." I inserted the numbers to talk about the important parts. (1) and (4) are statements of opinion but can easily be accepted as reasonable. (2) is fact. The rest of what KMS has to say, however, rests on the factualness of (3). For the rest of what is proposed to be believed, you need to prove (3) to be true, and that simply cannot be done; that is why religion is called a "faith". You have "faith" that it is true, but "faith" alone does not make it universally true, it only makes it true for the faithful.

      KMS also wrote "(1) God sent his precious Son as man's sacrificial Lamb ... (2) You are free to worship anyone you choose, (3) but if there is no payment for your sins, then your worship to that god or prophet will not get your sins forgiven by God? Only Jesus solved your sin debt to save your soul from death of eternal separation from God." Here again, for (1) one must assume that is factual as well. There two problems with that as well, 1) you have two major faiths coming from Abraham who disagree with Peter's version and 2) the historical records show that Jesus himself didn't think of himself in those terms; Jesus, as the son of God only came about some 30 or so years after his death, promulgated by Peter and Paul to advance the Christian faith. Therefore, once again, you only have "faith" on which to base your belief in (1), and without (1), (3) doesn't follow.

      I think PDX has it right, you take from the Good Books the good out of them and search for truth everywhere for it exists everywhere.

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      tjg777 5 years ago

      At the risk of proving very unpopular I believe that the Bible is one hundred percent Gods word to us .

      2Tim3:16 Talks about all scripture being God Breathed and inspired by Him . The books of revelation and Deuteronomy both give warnings to those who would take away or add to the word of God . I write this not as one having all the answers but in the Spirit of humility .

      Many people in the time when Jesus walked the on earth stopped following Him because what He said offended them and nothing has changed today . Without Jesus Christ no one can even approach God , so stop getting offended and upset at the truth and embrace Him fully . SELAH

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Zain, I'm glad this HUB has encouraged you to ask questions. I think any group or religion that doesn't allow one to ask questions is a red flag. If you can't ask, then why did God give you such abilities? All the best in your quest, brother.

      peace be upon you as you seek God and truth!

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      Zainnisar 5 years ago from Little Island, Heart.

      Great Hub but I will comment on one of your comment,

      "I cannot tell you how many times I've been to church and heard pastors say that Muslims are going to hell, or Jews. I'm not sure I believe this".

      I have heard statements like that as well not only in mosques or Mandirs and as a supporter of inter-religion Dialogue I personally feel that we need to talk about it, Now about the hub I a Muslim by birth and by the time some questions are raised but cannot find answers and have to face responses like "Investigating matters of God is a sin" but your hub encouraged me to raise those question again and have a constructive debate,

      Thanks for a great Hub.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      no need to apologize. always nice to see you :-)

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      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      Me . . . forever . . . if I don't apologize. My bad. My closed head injury must have been acting out.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      no problem. let me know how you like it. Thanks again for your repeat visits and thoughtful comments!

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      anartiststyle 5 years ago from FL

      Ahh yes all good points :) I also liked when you hit upon that earlier about the mistranslation. I will look into this book, thank you for sharing that! I always like your hubs and where the convos go :)

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      artist, I agree. The Bible has taken many forms and translations over the years with many books and authors not even allowed into it. The Catholic Bible has more books then the Christian Bible. Words like "Fornication" and "eternal" have been misinterpreted (or taught incorrectly) for many years. As stated in my Hub, the same word we use to describe God as eternal ids not the same word used in the original language to describe hell as eternal. The concepts of sex as being reserved for married couples only and of hell as a dwelling place are very new to church history. I recommend a book called "The Faith" by Daniel Moynahan.It really shares the whole story of the Christian church, beginning with the ascension of Jesus into Heaven.

      Yes, when I was comparing the rapist with the serial killer, I was being satirical. Morality varies from person to person and from religion to religion. For example, polygamy is considered moral and proper in Islamic cultures, but is considered sinful in the Christian church (despite the fact that polygamy is actually taught in the Bible). I believe sin is sin, evil is evil. if you steal a candy from the drugstore or if you kill someone, you're still doing something wrong. Yes, those are extreme examples, but, hopefully you see my point.

      I'm enjoying this discussion. Thanks for sharing.

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      anartiststyle 5 years ago from FL

      First the Bible says a lot of things and varies greatly from old testament to new. For me personally 'spiritually guided by God or not 'it is written by man, and man errors by nature, this does not even take into account how many times it has been translated. I take it as a great guide with great moral teachings and values.

      Yes 'being good' is relative and I agree, that is what I meant by internal feelings. Without knowing we each have to live with ourselves and our choices and live with what is right for us personally. Since everyone is so different, well this is sounding a lot like an analogy of religion.

      I do not agree with comparing two evils and saying the lesser of the evil is 'good'. I don't see how harming another being, robbing them of their life feels good or right, in any sense of the word. It might to another which might be your point, but I guess they will find out when they die, personally I wouldn't want to be there when that is discussed or if you believe in reincarnation when they come back as something worse. ha ha.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      sunnieDay and Artist, thanks for your thoughtful comments and for sharing your stories. One thing I've liked about doing this HUB and reading such a variety of comments is it's lead me to pray more and ask God for wisdom. I certainly don't want to go to hell, and I don't think anyone does, but I also don't think you can know 100% what happens when you die until you die. A devout Christian and a devout Muslim are just as sure in their faith as the other and yet one of them is wrong(?)? All I can do is enjoy the quest.

      Artist, the idea of people having to be good to go to Heaven was kind of tongue in cheek because, isn't good relative? The serial rapist migt find himself morally superior to the serial killer because he lets his victims live, yet, int he eyes of the law, they are both felons. The BIble clearly says "All have sinned and fallen short." The Bible also says Jesus paid the debt for all mankind and offered his grace as a free GIFT. Gifts, at least genuine ones, don't have to and cannot be earned. It's a puzzling contradiction.

      SunnieDay, I really liked this line from your comments: "Man has made religion but God has made relationship" very powerful and true. Thank you both for taking the time to read and comment. God bless you.

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      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      Hello PDX,

      I have passed your hub many times and thought,”Oh, I don’t know if I can read this because then I would feel I need to comment and what do I know?” This morning it was calling my name. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about the scenario’s you wrote about. I have been on more spiritual quests than I can count, searching for truth. I was raised exactly as you write about. I have been in hand raising, free, dancing services to quiet, strict, cold services. I have studied, prayed, and studied some more trying to find the truth... How does a loving God send many to hell if they do not believe a certain way or has not come to that truth. I have come to one and only conclusion. I do not know!

      We are all given a measure of faith and understanding and it varies greatly. Truth comes to us at different times and many may be different. The relationship with the Father is the most important. I do not want to oversimplify but for me, I have given up on things that I cannot find the answers to. I know that may seem slightly aloof and I do not mean it to sound that way. All I can do is love my God with all my heart, and love my fellowman, no matter what he believes or where he comes from. I leave the rest to God and his wisdom. I am sure many will be shocked one day at the teachings they have given, and the truth ends up being nothing as they thoughtit to be. So many think they have it all figured out. The scriptures are deep, and many have drawn different ideas and thoughts from them. Man has made religion but God has made relationship. As our deep relationship grows, I do believe we are given deep spiritual truths and understanding. With that comes a responsibility. Why would God throw his precious truth around to someone who may just use it for their own vanity? Just think how frustrating it is for someone to comment and not read your work. Many talk about the Bible without the relationship, thinking they know things, and in reality, not knowing the author. Thanks PDX...great article... just my thoughts and still do not have concrete answers but that is okay...

      Sunnie

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      anartiststyle 5 years ago from FL

      OOOOHHHH another great hub.. PDX I feel as if I can just virtually camp out on your hub page and constantly be drawn into conversations that actually mean something, how nice, kudos to you and thanks :)

      In reading your hub you ask questions that I think everyone might twinge a little when being taught at a younger age. "What do you mean someone is a good person and they still go to hell?" Personally those were my thoughts around the age of 13. I started in Catholic schools and then went to Christian. In high school I was part of my youth group and it was great for someone so young in the world we live in today, but some of its members as anywhere else in society are some of the biggest hypocrites of all, worse part age 13-18 you see it clear as day. :( When I went to college, I was very interested in the way I was guided and of other religions. I took a world religion course in college and well it was my favorite class. I can not agree with ALL of any one religion and this is a little disconcerting. I also struggle with Religious War, it is as if its the biggest scam of all. NO ONE no matter how much you feel inside, how much faith* you have, it is still FAITH and no one KNOWS* 100% for fact what happens when we die. Yes that is a very hard sentence to read or accept, scary even, especially depending on your religion. I am not saying personally inside you don't feel what's right and personally within yourself know what happens, I mean that in a bigger scale, as a human race. That being said, why do I feel almost forced to *name* God? Can't I not look out into this beautiful world and solar system understand that there is something far greater than myself, can I not love (him,her,it,them) they being so powerful, know that I live my life well and as a good person and understand me internally and externally. See I think they do and when you take out the human need to name (him,her,it,them) you are left with a peaceful feeling of acceptance, of no religious wars where so many loved ones from all faiths die. I don't know these are ramblings of a 26 year old girl who is just starting to enjoy being in this world and researching its massiveness. That is just my take, honestly if anyone after wants to tell me I am going to hell, then I accept that in their faith, but it really is not the God that I love and know, internally, it is not my destiny to be determined by another. I respect other religions though, Buddhism and Hinduism has some of the greatest morals and values I have studied, I just know how I feel inside, the love, the power to help things grow, the ability to accept and create life... I am in heaven and trying to make it an even better one here on earth. Maybe this is all the artist in me taking over, but my greater being made me as an artist, creator, and woman with this feeling of life inside. Sorry if I got off topic PDX, but that's what I love about your hubs, so many different paths it leads me down..

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      TJG, thanks for stopping by. Those are excellent points. I obviously wrote this with a bias wanting it to be true, i still don't know the answers here but I've really been trying to find the truth of the matter and not merely seek something which tickles my ears. I appreciate your prayers and comments!

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      tjg777 5 years ago

      As much as I would like to believe this is correct I am afraid it isn't . I too have studied the bible and have a diploma in theology . One only has to read the last chapters in the Book of Revalation to see that Satan along with Death & Hades and all those whose names are not written in the Lambs book of life are thrown into the lake of fire where their torment goes up for ever and ever (Rev 20 : 10 - 15 ) . In our typical hunanistic way and our wish to be totally inclusive it is easy to water down Gods word if it upsets our concept of God .

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I appreciate your comment. I'm not in disagreement with you on much of what you said. I read my Bible everyday and get much wisdom from it and I feel peace and spiritual fulfillment when I read it. i believe it to be the Words of God and, to me, it doesn't matter if things in it actually happened or if they were just legends, because wisdom can still be derived from it. I do think, however, there are things taught by the church that aren't talked about in the Bible or are misinterpreted. This doesn't come from a desire to have my ears tickled, but rather from a desire to really understand the Word and what it says to me and the world. It troubles me that things taught as fact now int he church were not taught at all in the church centuries ago despite access to the same text. Reading about church and Bible history really makes you question what the Bible means and how God meant it. I've decided to boil it down to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit being real and taking it from there. That's what I'm doing.

      My Esoteric, thanks again for stopping by. your comment speaks for itself.

      I appreciate your thoughtful comments!

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      kms360 5 years ago

      I hope you don't mind that I leave one more comment. The written Word of God can't be compared to any other book. It's penned by human hands but those hands were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is a spiritual, living book. Throughout each book, is something foretold of the coming Messiah, and stories of what pleases and displeases God, the lineage of Jesus through the Jewish people, and how sins were dealt with. The New Testament is the story of Jesus' arrival, His ministry, His apostles, His crucifiction, resurrection, the spread of the church despite persecution, and what still is to come. The Bible is a 'spiritual' book-full of wisdom, and if you read it over and over your entire life, you would still only touch a fraction of the wisdom within it's pages. The Psalms, Job, Proverbs,and all the Books I continually receive a fresh message each time I study them. My spiritual eyes are opened wider each time. The Bible can't be read like any written novel. As for hell, since we can't speak to any one how's been there to tell about it, my opinion is just as good as another's. What I have learned about hell is from my study of it in the Bible-it's only a holding place for those who rejected Jesus as their Savior. Places like heaven and hell are unlike physical places we can understand now. Remember, God is Spirit and these places will be for our spirits to reside. All I know is hell won't be any pleasant holding place. Sort of like jail before prison, therefore I'd rather obey what I know to do to avoid it altogether. If someone does not have the Holy Spirit, there is no way they can understand things of God, for God is Spirit. They can only base their opinion on humanly thoughts, and not spiritually-minded thoughts. God's Word teaches sin separates man from a Holy God. God sent his precious Son as man's sacrificial Lamb, to be your Lord and Savior. You are free to worship anyone you choose, but if there is no payment for your sins, then your worship to that god or prophet will not get your sins forgiven by God? Only Jesus solved your sin debt to save your soul from death of eternal separation from God. God Bless.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks PDX, and you hit on two key points 1)whatever the approach is that gives YOU the most fulling spiritual experience, THAT is the right approach for you and 2) it is what the Bible teaches, and what Jesus teaches, and what all of the other spiritual thinkers teach that is important; listen and distill out of all those messages those things that lead you to a Happy Life (in the Aristotilian sense), and discard the rest; that is the ticket for me.

      Had to look up "Thanks PDX, and you hit on two key points 1)whatever the approach is that gives YOU the most fulling spiritual experience, THAT is the right approach for you and 2) it is what the Bible teaches, and what Jesus teaches, and what all of the other spiritual thinkers teach that is important; listen and distill out of all those messages those things that lead you to a Happy Life (in the Aristotilian sense), and discard the rest; that is the ticket for me.

      Had to look up "Thanks PDX, and you hit on two key points 1)whatever the approach is that gives YOU the most fulling spiritual experience, THAT is the right approach for you and 2) it is what the Bible teaches, and what Jesus teaches, and what all of the other spiritual thinkers teach that is important; listen and distill out of all those messages those things that lead you to a Happy Life (in the Aristotilian sense), and discard the rest; that is the ticket for me.

      Had to look up "UtnaPishtium" and found out that was a character in the epic poem Gilgamesh, circa 2150 B.C.E. My way to the same story you relate was via a book on the formation of the Black Sea around 5600 B.C.E. One theory has it that was the result of a "great flood" when, because of the retreating ice age and the rising sea level, the Mediterainian Sea suddenly broke through a sill in the Bosporous straights and poured into the Black Sea basin for 300 days. There was a substantial civilization that was living along the shoreline North, East, and South; they had to move out in a BIG hurry, or so the story goes; put their animals on boats to float them on the rising water maybe. If true, such are the events that great tales are made of. I suspect similar events might have happened around the world because, I believe the sea level rose many feet in a very short, relatively speaking, period of time 5600 years ago.

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      Katrina 5 years ago from Central Alabama

      Really, the only thing I need to remember is it's all about Jesus. Jesus, nothing more, nothing less. If I remember that, then I don't have or need to sweat or worry about the little stuff. Nuff said. Very good hub.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Esoteric, thanks for sharing your story. I'm not really going to respond to anything specifically because I don't want to take away form your comment. I'm sure I will figure things out. I still go to top chur4ch and when i go to church, I feel lead to worhip and feel content happy and fulfilled when I do, and that makes me happy. That's more important to me then all the evidence in the world.

      as far as the Bible, I've had many of the same questions you've raised. it is interesting that ancient cultures like the mayans and the Mesopotamian have very similar creation and flood myths to the none's found int he Hebrew Bible. if you haven't read the UtnaPishtium (i think that's how you spell it) it's a flood myth that is identical to the NOah one and pre dates it. I'm not out to prove or disprove the Bible but, rather, to figure out what the BIBLE teaches. The validity of the Bible is a different issue altogether.

      Thanks for stopping by, Esoteric!

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      BTW, one of the most troublesome questions that I have failed to come to terms with over the last 40 years is the Bible itself. Several commenters have sort of addressed it already but it really is a fundamental issue, the origins of content in the Bible.

      From my perspective, you can cite all of the verses from the Bible you want and it doesn't amount to a hill of beans unless you establish these verses are truly the words of God.

      For starters, we know for certain that none of the New Testament can be proven to be the actual words of Jesus, just what somebody said they were 30 to 70 years later, words that often disagree with one another. No doubt, some of the statements attributed to Jesus were probably uttered by him, but you can't be certain which ones.

      As to the Old Testament, there is now substantial archialogical evidence to show that it is 100% written by the hand of man. So that leaves us with whether that hand was directed by the Hand of God or not. There is no surviving record as to the authenticity of this event either.

      From where I sit, that means the only option left is to believe the verbal tales that God directed the words seen today in the Bible are the same words given to the authors and then verbally handed down by man over a period a couple of thousand years and from there translated into the written word by man over a thousand more years to be true; and this just brings us to the first surviving copies of the Torah in the original Hebrew.

      I, for one, simply can't accept this to be reasonable; there are other, more rational, in my mind anyway, explanations for the existence of God and what God is.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      PDX, wonderful hub!! You are on the same trail I began back in 1957, when I was 10; I ended up going down a different path however. Before expanding a bit, I need to make a snide remark about Camo Girl and Mira, after reading their comments, one must wonder if they aren't already living in their own personal Hell and just want some company?

      For largely the same reasons you present, PDX, I left Christianity and Jesus, but not God back in 1957. I was asked to read the Bible by my teachers in the Methodist church my mother took me to, and I did; I didn't like what I read in either the Old or New Testaments.

      The only question I remember from back then that turned me away from the church which my pastors couldn't anwser was, "how could a loving God murder, or direct to be murdered, so many people? My God wouldn't do that!", I told my friends. Another observation from around that period, although it may have been a year or so later, was something similar to what you raised, "how can so many different Christian demoninations have so many different ways of getting to heaven through Jesus with only one of them being right?" My young mind concluded that I would have to wait until they all fought it out and only the right one was left standing. My older mind now tells me that none of them are correct and never will be.

      Since then, I have been on a quest for the meaning of life and what God really is; I am almost there and it boils down to something like this - a foundation in Baruch Spinoza for the proof of God, filled out with a little Krishna to account for Free Will and a better explanation of how man, God, and Nature are one in the same, with a touch of Sacrates, Plato, and Aristotle for ethics and morales for good measure. All of this is wrapped up in science to tie it all together.

      There is no heaven or hell in this vision, but that is not to say there isn't a before or after-life, but it isn't reincarnation in the Hindu or Buddhist sense either. In fact, I just had an epiphany about how this might work a couple of weeks ago and it all starts with the Big Bang; the moment when God snapped Its fingers and the Universe was born.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Ruchira, I will head on over to your hub. I don’t have the same viewpoint you do but unlike many of the Christians on in this comment thread, I’m not afraid to read something I might disagree with. Thanks for reading!

      Lily, I agree with your viewpoint. God does love us and God is just and God looks ta the heart and God does get to decide where our souls go when we die—if they go anywhere. Thanks for reading, lily.

      Trimar, thanks for the kind words. I think that’s a pretty sound philosophy. The bible refers to salivation as a gift of grace. If it’s a gift, we3 can’t earn it and if it’s grace, we don’t deserve it. If it’s a gift and I can’t earn it, then why is there so much stress on what I need to do (ie, ask Jesus into my heart) to be saved? It seems like a contradiction to me.

      Mira, thanks for your comment. Since you didn’t read my hub and only the comment thread, your context is off, and it also seems like you’re implying that I’m a liar. What I am is a person who loves Jesus (I’m not a Christian. Jesus was not a Christian, Jesus was a Jew.1) and has qwuestiosn about what He was taught growing up and is examining what the Bible actually says. As a church goer and son of a pastor, I’ve read all those verses you’ve cited more times than I can count and they pose interesting questions. I have no doubt that Jesus is the way to heaven, he says so Himself, but, what does it mean to believe in Him? Muslims, Jews, Mormons, atheists, historians, they all believe in Jesus. He’s a historical person. Do you have to believe He’s the son of God, or simply that he is the way to Heaven If you look at the original language in the Bible for words like “hell” and “fornication”, they didn’t mean then what the church has made them mean now. The concept of hell, wasn’t even taught in its current form until the middle ages, when the church used the fear of hell to fill it’s coffers. I appreciate those verses you sent, but, I always ask, do we have to believe or is it a gift? Furthermore, if you’d read my Hub, you’d know my point. In a nutshell, how is it just to condemn someone to hell forever because they grew up in a Muslim country or a Jewish city or in the Mormon church? People who are devout and love God? Doesn’t seem just to me , while faith is good, frankly, none of us will know what happens for sure after death until, well, after death.

      I appreciate your comment, but I will not respond to any further comments from you, or anyone, if they have not actually read the article. A lot of what you accuse me of saying would not be said if you’d actually read my words.

      These are sincere questions. I’m not trying to lead anyone astray. I'm not afraid to ask questions or challenge my faith and, quite frankly, God is not afraid of my questions.

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      Mira 5 years ago

      I think camo girl is right. I'm a Christian. And yes i have not read all of your article because most people lie about what is and isn't in the Bible. There is ONE God. Jesus Christ died for everyones sins, he died on the cross, his hands and feet were NAILED to the cross. And i don't know what Bible you read but i read the King James Holy Bible, and in there it does say you have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior to be saved and go to Heaven. Try reading John 3, and Rom, 3:23, 6:23, 10:9. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion and this is mine, if you don't like it then don't read it.

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      trimar7 5 years ago from New York

      PDX - Just remember all books have been written by man and many years ago. Just live by the philosophy that God loves ALL His children. Do your best to be a good person each day and become an even better person the next. We have been given Grace. If you make a mistake, repent with a true heart, learn, try not to repeat the same mistakes, and live in His image. See you in heaven.

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      lily 5 years ago

      hell is not a specific place where souls are toss into to surfer. the image of "the lake of fire" and others things are only use to help listeners have a vivid concept of how hell is. since God is the creator, he has the power to decide what to do with his creations. he has the power to play with us human and toss all of the soul in fire if he want to. but remember, he loves us. God does love human and if you believe that he comes down as human and die for us human, you should also believe that he will do what is just and right to you!

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      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Hi PDX,

      You have an interesting topic of hub and your examples were interesting but dunno how you categorized them wheather they go to hell or heaven..

      Anyway, I feel the GOD is one and whatever we do in this lifetime, we will have to face it as a karma in our next lifetime. There is no hell or heaven. As soon as the soul reaches the Almighty, it is faced with a log book and then birth takes place according to their previous deeds.

      btw..the above is my hypothesis :) you could check out my hub...

      https://hubpages.com/education/What-happens-to-our...

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Veronica, I know a lot of people who grew up in strict catholic homes who later became atheists and agnostics. any religion or group that teaches unquestionable absolutes is in danger of losing adherents. I'm glad you chose to ask questions and I hope you're on the way to finding those answers.

      Aevans, I have to agree with you. I'll check out that article!

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      Julianna 5 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Being a Christian as many on HP, I believe Hell is right here on Earth. I do not believe that anyone goes to a fiery pit and their souls burn for an eternity. There are 3 Hells which are spoken of in the Holy Bible. The Bible has been re-written so many times that churches interpret the word of God to fit their churches needs. Sadly many do not wish to pay attention to the truth and they adjust it accordingly to their lifestyles. I found a link that may better explain it.

      http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/TH...

      William Pomeroy really explains it and based on my History of Religions that I had taken while in College this time I have to agree. But this is only my own personal opinion.

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      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Very true and well-said.

      I was agnostic for a few years... mainly because I started questioning the beliefs upon which I was raised (strictly Catholic). I have since found that by questioning (and researching) what I didn't exactly understand or agree with, I have found a true faith in God.

      We could probably talk for hours about the topic of religion and God. That's something that I find particularly captivating about it... that there are so many different religions & sects, beliefs, stories, doctrines, and histories, and that it sparks so much debate and conversation.

      I agree: you can follow and believe in God without following a specific doctrine. The main aspect of religion that I'm still questioning is the organization. That followed by religion historically instilling fear in people. Telling someone that he/she "will go to Hell if..." is a cowardly approach at sharing God and His word. Just my opinion.

      Anyway, off of my soap box... =]

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Mar,

      when I was 17, I too thought like this young lady. My way of belief was right, everyone else was wrong. God was only big enough to save people through the doctrine I adhered too. Then I went out in the world and realized that my belief was a minority and that my faith came from a rather new religion. Then I really studied the Bible and what the Bible taught. Turns out, the church likes to add things to the Bible that aren't in there. The church teaches things about sex about salvation and even about eternal judgement that aren't actually taught in the Bible. (remember, Jesus Himself came from a Jewish background and, as such, the concept of the afterlife was foreign to His peers)

      I find it astounding that people can be so insecure in their faith that they're not even willing to ask questions or conduct research on their faith. That seems like common sense to me. It is scary to realize that many of the things you were taught might not actually be true, but it's also liberating.

      I need to remind people that Jesus saved his harshest critiques for the judgmental and the religious. He also taught us to "speak the truth in love". Telling me I will go to hell for not "accepting Jesus into my heart" (neither of which is in the Bible) is not only ignorant, it's also not loving. It's judgmental.

      God knows the hearts of man. God is big enough to save anyone He wants to save and man does not know the heart of God. Furthermore, God says it is by GRACE you been saved, not by works, so that no man can boast. Grace is an undeserved gift that you cannot earn, and you certainly cannot boast about. God alone decides who spends eternity with him and I have no way of knowing if that's a small number of people or the bulk of humanity. All I can do is observe the commandments of Jesus to love God and love my neighbor.

      God wouldn't give us intellect and the ability to reason if He didn't want us to use those abilities. People like Camo Girl frustrate me because they can't be reasoned with to even look at an opposing viewpoint. I pray that with age that changes. I know hitting thirty for me was life changing. it showed me I can ask questions and figure things out without being a bad guy or making God angry.

      Thanks for reading Mar, and I'm pleased I could give you something different to read. Thanks for the comments and the votes!

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Veronica, it's interesting to me that the church has been teaching that in order to be saved you need to have a "personal relationship with Jesus" and you need to "accept Jesus into your heart.". None of those phrases are in the bIble, they are an invention of the church. It's odd that people who believe that God is all powerful think that God can only save people under the umbrella of Christianity. Jesus said He was the Way,t eh Truthy and the Life and that non one comes to Heaven unless they go through Him, but who's to say the only way to Jesus is through Christianity (also, not a term int he BIble). Can you follow Jesus and believe in H

      im without adhering to a specific doctrine? I think you can. It's sad some people don't and are afraid to to even consider it. The Bible applauds those who investigate what they believe. It never condemns asking questions.

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      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Justin,

      What a pure departure from what I usually read in your corner. You have displayed an amazing range and a wonderful ability known as critical thinking.

      I am always saddened when I see comments that I can only describe as judgmental. Each and every one of us are born with a free will and the ability to think for ourselves. We deserve for this to occur in a safe and supportive and respectful environment, which what HubPages is all about. I think disagreement can always be expressed in a courteous manner. Just like when we pick up a book 'to actually read it' and it may not appeal to us... put it down. That's OK, not ranting.

      I will continue to believe that my God is one of understanding, compassion and forgiveness. I know many people that go to my Church who 'practice' their faith for one hour a week. I also know some very spiritual people who emulate Christ in their devotion to helping others. I believe that God (whatever name one believes) can see the difference all too well.

      I will give this a resounding UP & UI and bravo to you for your respectful way of addressing this most controversial issue. Hugs, Maria

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      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Justin, I LOVE this hub.

      Funny, it seems as though the people that are most judgmental are those that preach the most about religion and faith (and ironically, judgement). Hmm...

      Well, that's the beauty of freedom of religion, I suppose!

      Again, fantastic hub. I applaud you for digging deep on this one, asking questions, and putting it all "out there", and doing so in a tactful manner.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      well, in the future, if you're going to leave comments, i recommend you at least read the article you're commenting on, because it's clear you didn't and that's a waste of everyone's time. This article sites actual scriptural, linguistic and historical evidence, and raises only questions, no answers. You would know this if you'd read it. I encourage everyone to be a Berean believer. That's in the Bible too. I admire your faith, I really do, but I am concerned by your fear to read something that might force you to ask questions.

      Please do not leave another comment without reading this article and actually citing from it. I don't have the time for platitudes.

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      Camo Girl!! 5 years ago

      No I Will Not Read Books From This That Is Ok I Am Good Where I Am At and just Remember I Told You You Will Meet God One Day And Get Judged!!!

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I appreciate your visit. I used to feel the exact same way you do! I encourage you to actually read this HUb and maybe some of the books linked to it. It's good to read and view different opinions. Take care!

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      Camo Girl!! 5 years ago

      Yes We are and i will just say this if you are not saved you will go to hell and if you do not think that is what you don't know!!!

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I admire your passion, Camo Girl, I could argue with some of your terminology, but I will not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Thanks for stopping by

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      Camo Girl!! 5 years ago

      People who are not saved will go to hell i don't care if your read your bible or go to chruch that don't save you from going to hell you have to trust in god and know that he did die on the cross for all of us to live and if you have not asked god to come in to your heart and forgive you and live like god wants you to then you will go to hell because you are not saved just read your bible and it says how god want us to live and if we are not saved do it now i am saved and i am 17 i got saved when i was 12 god don't hold kid for what they do because they don't know right from wrong but when you do you better get saved!!!

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Tony, I'm glad we can agree.

      James, you raise interesting points. My only concern with your comments about agnostics an atheists rejecting God is thew motive. agnostics are people who simply aren't sure if God is real or not. Atheists don't believe in God, though There's reasons can be quite varied. I still appreciate your take very much and thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for publishing an obviously thought-provoking Hub. I enjoyed reading the journey of your thoughts as you struggled with this issue—which is THE most important subject we could possibly explore.

      You wrote: "Do these scenarios bother you like they bother me? A devout muslim, a devout Jew, a devout Mormon; men who love God and their families who, according to the Judeo- Christian church, will die and spend eternity being tortured in hell. An eternity!

      If what I’ve been taught is true, then my devout Mormon, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, nonreligious and, (gasp!) democrat friends and neighbors are destined to hell for all eternity."

      Firstly I must say that I am an annihilationist. Meaning that I do not believe that our Creator has any interest in making anyone suffer forever. I think that those people who reject God will be burned up by an eternal fire—but not burned eternally.

      As far as Jews, Muslims, and Mormons go I believe God when He says He is a reader of hearts (not of doctrines). Those who are Atheists or Agnostics are those who consciously reject God and therefore why should He not reject them?

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      Tony Fischer 5 years ago from Southeastern Michigan

      PDX, good point about illustrating the simularities. Your Hub does that as well. Too many people look at religion as a source of confrontation when it should be a place to find common ground.

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Debby, I get a lot of my hub ideas from books and tv shows and conversations I have. I really try not to worry about it, but, you know, it's part of life too. I guess we 'll see what happens. Thanks for stopping by!

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      Debby Bruck 5 years ago

      Dear dear Justin ~ I can't believe I missed another of your major works here at Hubpages from 2 months ago. Anyway, I'm wondering where you get all of your ideas? Please do not worry about hell at all. Just continue on as the wonderful loving and helpful person that you are. Enjoy your life and your wife and doggies. Write, sing and pray. Let joy into your life each day. You are blessed and need not worry at all. Debby

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      gconey, I think you and I are on the same page. I'm just asking questions many people are afraid to ask. there's nothing worse to me then not understand what your faith teaches and you learn that by investigating and asking questions and seeking answers. That's what I'm attempting to do here. Thanks for reading!

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      gconeyhiden 5 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      I really thought your title funny. i thought it was satire at first but i see your serious. i respect peoples faith when they truly believe and live their lifes accordngly. but a large percentage are just religion mimics using religion as a form of cover and disguise. it becomes a survival strategy of misinformation and disrespect of the original intention. it becomes corrupted and they are lost w little to learn.

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      mkfaruk 5 years ago

      Interesting. This site seems interesting to me. But there are no answer? I have a blog (faruquez.blogspot.com) & i am trying to answer all question about religion. My goal is to find out actually what will happen after death. I wish to write about this & before starting I want to write nearly 100 articles on religion. of which 35 is completed. My blog for readers not for any religion. You can have a visit if you wish to.

      -thanks