If you believe God will send people to hell was David lying when he said "For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."? For hell to exist then God's love must expire upon death for the unbeliever and the unconditional love must in fact be conditional.
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Interesting answer. You appear to support ultimate reconciliation which for me is the only course which satisfies the Father's love enduring forever.
Yes, my brother, Disappearing head. I do.
Ultimate reconciliation is a nice idea, but maybe there will be people who are so bitter and resentful, angry and prideful, or whatever else, that they will only grow more so in eternity. Is that possible?
Hence re-incarnation, Christiecue.
The soul is of God and ultimately returns to God. It remains on the 'wheel' again and again until the necessary lessons have been learned. Re-incarnation is the process by which the soul evolves before salvation.
Then what is it that "saves?" If what you're saying is true then there is only one person in all of history who will ever make it to heaven...Jesus. The rest of us would be stuck on an eternal "wheel." Only God can be perfect. Look at Romans 3:23.
You are made in the image of God and are already perfect. The whole of this earthly sojourn is to re-awaken to this reality which we have essentially forgotten. You are the Soul, not body. The Soul is eternal and part and parcel of God.
I have yet to find a Bible verse that talks about the 'soul' apart from the body. I do find, however, that God breathed the breath of life into man, and man became a 'living' soul. Therefore, 'breath' + body = soul.
Yes, we are soul and are made in the image of God. God is perfect and holy, man is not. The process of becoming "God-like" requires an admission that we cannot be God without his help. Would love to discuss more in the forums.
I'll respectfully disagree, manatita. I do not find any evidence in the Bible to support reincarnation. Also there are many issues with the doctrine. Where were all the souls before earth? Also, if it's true, mankind & human conduct wud be improv
Quite so Andy. You are 100% correct. Returning to the Soul. It is an entity in itself. It uses the body as a Temple to glorify or manifest God. The body cannot live without it, and the Soul cannot manifest without the body. They complement each other
But the unbeliever does not actually make themselves perish. Capital punishment is considered absolutely final; would it be just to apply the death penalty for stealing a beer? No. Similarly it is not just to annihilate/perish an unbeliever.
It's not just disbelief. It speaks of God's righteous judgement, and His consideration for what you know. Belief in Jesus makes you a son of God, but there is judgement for others w/o belief. Like bodily defense mechanisms, it's just necessary.
Limited space here Andy. You, like Cc, are good souls. Let us agree to disagree on finer points. Pray, serve, love God, serve mankind. The Universe is as unfolding as it should. Be lofty, sanctified, sublime, adoring, pious .....
I concur, manitita. We can disagree without being disagreeable, amen? God-bless brother!
@AR & MT, You are both very kind. No one but God ultimately knows it all. God honors a humble and willing heart. Let us seek God in all truth. Jesus admonishes us to, "know the truth," and promises that by it we are set free. Jn 8:32, 36; 14:6
@CC: Agreed :)
Andy, can annihilation be backed up by Scripture? Some people find it to be a nice idea, but just believing something doesn't make it true, does it? Also, where does it talk about it as God's strange act? Can you point to the verse?
Hi christicue - thank-you for your comments and questions... Annihilation: Eze. 18:20, Rom. 6:20. 'Eternal punishment' requires an immortal soul but the Bible teaches only God is immortal until we are fitted for heaven. His 'strange act': Isa. 18:21
Thank you, Andy. Ez 18:20 refers to a man not going to hell based on the sin of his father, but being judged according to his own life. How do you get annihilation out of that? Were my father a murderer I would not be judged based on his life.
Thanks CC, but you need only read the first part of the verse for this topic, which states that the soul that sinneth, it shall die. It does not say that the soul that sins shall be punished eternally :) Also note "forever" means as long as he lives
I was going to comment on the other verses too, but it's hard with such a limited amount of space. Consider doing a word study for a comprehensive understanding. Hebrew, nephesh, means soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being.
@CC: Thank-you, but apart from a comprehensive understanding, there is also proper exegesis. We do not use 1 verse to build a doctrine, but the Bible as a whole. I have posted many other verses that say we 'perish' & the Bible does not contradict
Agreed. My next comment....interpreting the verse within the context of chapter, book, and Bible in its entirety is imperative. As I'm sure you know, even the most renowned theologians will disagree. It boils down to interpretation. Not enough room..
Hi CC - "Hebrew, nephesh, means soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being." That is my point exactly - none of these refer to an entity apart from the body. 7 are obvious, does the 1 (soul) mean something opposite of the 7? :)
I cannot accept that annihilation is an expression of the Father's love. What's the point of resurrecting someone just to annihilate them? Better to leave them sleeping in their graves as the effect is the same. Such finality for a temporary life?
With all due respect, DH, our acceptance of a teaching is irrelevant in regards of its truth. 1 basis of the plan of salvation is the eradication of sin. Leaving it in the grave does not fulfill this. Also, the Earth is made anew - graves are gone
@DH: Resurrection requires that death has taken place. We are born into physical bodies, but the Bible says we spiritually dead until we are made new in Christ. A&E were spiritually alive, but since the fall all men are born in darkness/separatn
cf. "Hell and Mr. Fudge" ;) Also, check out Edward Fudge writings on the net. 'Eternal Hell" & "immortal soul" was taught by the Greeks (Plato and company) long before Jesus. http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/ (death & immortality)
CcI believe that you are a loving person. In case you don't, try vocal and interior prayer. Offer gratitude, eat wisely, exercise. Work selflessly. Fill your mind with the lofty, sublime, sanctified, holy, awe and adoration. Love God. Serve mankind.
The Bible is clear that the wicked will be obliterated. It tells us that they suffer death (Romans 6:23), suffer destruction (Job 21:30), shall perish (Psalms 37:20), will burn up (Malachi 4:1), shall be destroyed together (Psalms 37:38), will consum
@manatita44, I love God with everything that is in me. Every good thing in me is a gift from Him. My focus is Him, not myself, not my own improvement. I am in awe of what he did to save me, a sinner. I am found in Him. I am a new creation in Christ.
@MT: Another problem with re-incarnation is that God has very little, if any, involvement. We are essentially responsible for our own 'salvation' as it were. There is no need for Jesus. Very similar to Pantheism - we are gods ourselves ;)
@AR, Jesus talked about outer darkness (Mt. 8:12, 25:30), God is light. Also, 1 Cor. 3:12-15 speaks of being refined by fire. Things not of God will be consumed, while the things of value will be refined; God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29).
Hi CC - that the wicked will be consumed does not indicate an eternal punishment, but quite the opposite. When a fire 'consumes' it literally 'burns up' that which is lit. Light a match, and without putting it out, carefully holding it, what happens?
Yes, but Andy, we are more than just physical bodies. Jesus has a glorified body. There is something beyond what we are able to understand because we are bound in time and space. If we interpret the Bib from a human perspective we miss the Godly one.
CC: God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a 'living soul.' Is there another verse in the Bible that supports that we are more than our physical bodies? I know Jesus tells us to fear Him that 'destroys' body & soul in h
@AR: the soul refers to the body and that which perishes, but there is also the spirit which is eternal...see 1 Thess 5:23, Heb 4:12, Ps 146:4. Finally what about Rev 22, especially verses 14-15. In eternity, there will be ... outside of the city.
CC: Tyvm. Due to lack of space, please consider the 'renowned commentators' on this one. I have, and they do an excellent job. Especially Gill & Henry. Rev. 22 is not eternity, but the destruction of the wicked. Bible does not show immortal soul/
Conditional unconditional love then. Do you believe that Christ's sacrifice covered all sin? I'm sure you would say yes. But if failing to accept him is a sin, why do you think that sin excluded from his blood?
DH, God's love is not conditional. He created us and loves every one of us. Failing to accept Him is not a sin, it is choosing to live eternally separated from Him in spiritual death. That will be hell because God is the prize.
Beautiful, christicue. God still loves those who turn their back on him and refuse to return. Hell is their decision; not God's.
DH: Failing to accept Him is not a sin, it's a choice. All choices have consequences. Through His mercy, He has given us much time to see the consequences of our choices and by His grace, make the choice to accept Him. Salvation is conditional
I think you sum up my position nicely Titen-Sxull.
Hell is the absence of God. Anyone who finds themselves there has no one to blame but themselves...they chose to reject him. He gave us the choice. Without that choice, free will would be violated, we would be robots.
Andy, Your thoughts come from intuition or the voice of Conscience, which is nothing other than the voice of God. Everything begins from within. The bible exists because you do. It is You who is accountable to heaven. Not a book.
The thing here is, that God did 'not' create us to be imperfect. Everything He created was good and perfect until sin entered into the world. Jesus 'commands' us to be perfect (Mat. 5:48) Jesus would not command this if it were impossible ;)
Yes, Andy, you are right...then you believe we need Jesus in order to be saved? If what you are saying is true then there was no point in his death. Apart from God we are spiritually dead. It is not our soul that is dead; rather we live in darkness.
@CC: Maybe I was not clear. I didn't mean that we 'are' perfect, only that we were created perfectly and are expected to return to that perfection. Bible definition of perfect is 'living up to the light that you have been given.' Being complete
@AR, agreed absolutely, but this is not of ourselves, it is the work of God in us which comes when we receive grace and forgiveness from Jesus. The more we realize that He is God and we are not, the more like Hm we become. Eph. 2:8-10 and 2 Cor.12:9
@CC: Agreed :) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me & I can do nothing apart from Christ
"The thing here is, that God did 'not' create us to be imperfect."
Most Christians believe Adam and Eve and all of us are given free will. Free will is an imperfection because it would allo for the possibility and therefore the inevitability of sin.
@TS, I agree, and I think that's the point. A free will is a gift, but it's a dangerous one. If everything worked according to God's will then none of this would be necessary. Free will is worth it, but it makes us destructive as well as creative.
TS, if free-will is an imperfection, what is the alternative? Calvinism? That is not biblical. Create us to be like robots? That is not love. Love demands freedom to choose. Some prefer the sinful life, for a season (Jn. 3:19)
@AR, Agree 100%! @TS and HN, it all goes back to the garden. God created man in a perfect state and A&E enjoyed perfect communion with God. W/out FW, they would have been either robots or slaves. God allowed the fall, and then provided a way back
@CC: "God allowed the fall and provided a way back" - Amen :)
Punishment must fit the crime or justice is not done. It must be temporary as sins are temporary. In civilised societies it is meant to reform character and reconcile. A hell like this would fit God's love, but an eternal one or annihilation don't.
I agree with your last sntence. I think more plausible is the idea that God provides us with every opportunity we need through redemptive history to choose him prior to judgment. This involves the millennial period. He knows our hearts and is just.
DH: Hell is not about 'punishment', it's about the eradication of sin. All choices we make, good or bad, have consequences. We must understand the 'big picture'... https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Bible-Sum