If hell is real?
Why did most of the early church's leading scholars and most revered saints advocate universal salvation? To find the answer, research on the early scholars and saints and their belief of universal reconciliation will be required.
What is the balance between Free will and Gods eternal and living Grace is and will always be a proper question to ask. The wonderful past and present theologians had to address such a matter. And in most work the "advocacy" of differing positions is good structure -- Socratic dialogue if you will.
The problem with your posed question is the "have you stopped beating your wife issue" Damned if you answer yes or no.
Is the concept of a hell real? Yes. Is there a physical address for a place called hell? no.
So especially Pauline literature combined with Gospel, leaves the question open. But I believe all are agreed that man can choose hell for himself. We are given that option.Which brings us to the issue of why would you chose hell? Only out of ignorance. And if this is so, God would not harm a hair on your head.
So the really cool thing is that here we have a question for all eternity, none will know with certainty until it is their time.
Thank you for your theologin style responce, but it doesn't answer how hell can be real if the early believers who worshipped with the sainst and apostels believed in universal reconciliation of all.
SOM that is the point. We cannot know. We are not God. But we can believe and we can hope. The early theologians did not agree. They debated it as we do today. It is a Holy Mystery. How could a benevolent God create Hell? It does not make sense. OK
It's SoM btw, Debate or discussion is good and I have to agrre with you about how hell and God doesn't make sense. When the time is right, I will give my answer.
Mia Culpa on SoM. I do look forward to learning more of you view. ecramer just published a very interesting hub on this issue.
I cant seem to find his hub Eric. What is it called and under what topic is it?
I can think of one other reason why a person would choose hell. Pride. Many pridefully say they'd rather go to hell than [fill in the blank]. Many refuse Christianity because they refuse to be under authority. Again, pride. Thanks.
Would you have Paul in that list (ie. "most revered saints")? Paul certainly did not teach imposed universal salvation where the individual being saved bears no responsibility for the salvation of his own soul. I've seen at least some of the verses you use in your arguments but when I have presented passages that contradict your teaching you refuse to engage in a discussion. You are either unable or unwilling to show how the verses I mentioned from Paul's letters line up with what you say Paul believed. I'm happy to have a rational discussion about it, but it cannot be one sided which appears to be your preference. If you decide you're interested in engaging in an actual discussion let me know. Thanks!
Thats funny. Paul encourages us to be ministers of reconciliation of all with God, but never once did Paul warne or teach about hell to the gentiles. So you have nothing that contradicts my belief. A child knows God better than you do.
Rational as always. Paul didn't need to. Jesus said plenty about it. Regardless, Paul did talk a lot about the exclusive nature of salvation which contradicts your view. Instead of pointless potshots, you could actually discuss verse by verse.
That's where you error. Christ's warnings about Gehenna was meant only for the lost house of Israel, not the gentiles. Acts 20:27 says that Paul taught us all what God wants us to know, and yet, he never warned the gentiles about Gehenna fire or hell
Again SoM I must ask you to account for revelations. How can you reconcile the book of revelations with the view of Universalism and the use of Gehenna if the book was written after the events of 70 AD and talks about future events.
Acts 20:26-27: "I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it's not my fault, for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know." What is "eternal death" in this context?
Caly, If you believe that the book was written after AD70, then I can't help you.
sf, it is not eternal death, it is age death. Death as in sleep until the day they will be judged.
There is very little evidence to support revelations being written before 70AD and plenty to support a later writing. This would be why majority of scholars agree to the later dating.
That still doesn't prove it wasn't written before AD70. I find the proof itself written in the book. The evidence is there.
So Paul is trying to prevent "age death"? Look at the context. He says if we suffer " [fill-in-the-blank] death" it's not his fault because he warned us. And you're saying this is a wait until judgement? Won't we ALL "suffer" this?
Suffer as in not being the first fruits in reserrection. You need to research the three festivals of Israel and understand how they are connected with God's plan for all. Our judgement is not as bad as you think it is.
In ancient times, when someone was accused of a crime, they would be put to the test (which was basically torturing them). They figured the guilty breaks under torture while the innocent denies guilt. So the verb "basanizo" did mean to torture.
So ask yourself this. Is God who is a consuming fire a God of torture or one who tests our works? I for one cannot see how torturing anyone can gloify God. He is corrective, not vindictive.
Biblically, God's nature balances both love and justice. We see justice in the flood and at Sodom. We see love at the cross. If you ignore the cross, you are discarding and disrespecting His love for you and essentially asking for judgment.
If that is how you view His love and judgement, does not judgment triumph over mercy and thus contradict this Scripture? (James 2:13)
That verse says that mercy is dependent on choices we make. Isn't that the opposite of what you're saying? Jesus said there will be a judgment; some will go one way and some another (Matt 25:31-33, 41, 46), calling it "everlasting punishment".
So now you are telling me that God has double standards. I get it, And our justice system is more merciful than the god you worship. Our mercy is more merciful than the god you worship as well. nuts
No U.S. court would free a murderer simply because he repented and said he was sorry. He would pay for his crime; he has earned his punishment. When we repent and turn to God in faith, God wipes the slate clean. More merciful? Of course it is.
True, but know US court would throw any criminal in a burning furnace either. Let alone forever in agony.
Wait. You seem to do a lot of "God must be like this because what kind of God would [fill in the blank]." God would not be a good God if he were other than what you say He is. Scripture doesn't always drive your theology? It's you rationalizing?
Not at all, I am compairing the god you worship to the God I worship. He made us in His image, yet we dont burn our prisoners in a furnace. Would that be justice if we did?
Good. What is Paul saying in Romans 9, esp. 19-22 which ends like this: "...In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction."
He is referring to their deaths. Destruction is a term used to mean killed. It does not mean continual destruction. Continual destruction does not exist.
He is discussing two groups (those "destined for destruction" and those "prepared in advance for glory"). Paul says "we are among those whom he selected", implying that some are not. Everyone dies, so its not that. But then read Mat 25:31-33,41,46?
You need to research the Jewish wars. He was tell His diciples about two groups, the Jewish believers in Christ who saw the signs and fleed Jerusalem and those who hated Christ. Over a million of them were slaughtered at the hands of roman soldiers.
Romans 2:5-8: "He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good"… "But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who … refuse to obey…" Plus John 3:16. "...that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Thoughts?
It is not etenal life, it is life eonion or life of the age. They had the Holy Spirit in them strong and the healed and did many miricles that were good in God's eyes. Perish also means dying.
Oh. Back to Jewish wars for a sec. By your explanation, the believers would have been "destined for destruction" while the non-believers would have been prepared for glory? But Paul counts himself in the "prepped for glory" crowd. It doesn't fit.
I'm going to bale out a bit here and say that I am not currently on either side of this issue in terms of what the Bible says. I do want to point out Romans 2:6-9 where Paul contrasts those who will receive "eternal life" with those who will experience "tribulation and anguish." To be consistent in interpretation, I feel it is correct to consider the latter to be the eternal state of unbelievers since the former is unmistakably stated to be "eternal." There is no mention of hell or lake of fire, but simply that the afterlife of unbelievers is characterized by tribulation and anguish.
Is Paul drawing from Jesus' teaching about "weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth?" Without Paul's own elaboration, this would seem to be the case. So biblical speaking, a case could be made for a reference to "hell" or "lake of fire" by Paul. But I agree this is not conclusive.
I still stick by my conclusion that Jesus and early Christians were influenced by the following statement in the Egyptian myth known as the Am-Tuat. Here are quotes that are but samples of the material which have led me to this conclusion:
“such doomed beings as have their being in their place of destruction which blazeth with fire ...They wail and they lament when this great god hath passed them by.”
Jesus in Matthew 13:49-50
So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Can anyone claim that there is no relevant similarity between the two quoted statements?
I can provide the "chapter and verses" for the Am-Tuat reference, but I'd have to do a little searching, which I am happy to do.
Thanks cam, but I do have to tell you that the word eternal in the Greek or Hebrew does not exist. Nothing is eternal, because there is no time in the spiritual realm of God's love. His realm is timeless. Paul used the word age, not eternal.
That translation is fine, but even then, it means something like "life of ages" although the genitive case is not used with the word for age, which would be required to translate "of ages." It is an adjective in the plural accusative, "ages life."
Actually, it is not plural form it is singular. Eonian means eon, not eons. The more accurate version is "life of the eon".
I hate times like this. I studied koine greek for two years thirty years ago and I pick now to use memory, not books. Singular, very elementary. I do think you are only dealing linguistically. Look at the biblical, idiomatic use of the word.
I cant believe you studied Greek and still miss the mark. Rom2:7 aiOnion = eonian meaning age, aiOnas = eons meaning ages. Another word for age is also eon as found in Matt 24:3 which the word "world" is translated. Or did you over see that too?
If the interpretation of Gospel and more is through language then it is through man. If it is through love then it is through our Lord. (and look at me, I got a degree in linguistic philosophy.) I am really learning a lot here, thank you cam & So
I agree Eric, we need to approach scripture with love, but we cannot escape the fact that some bibles have been translated from latin. The KJV is most highly regarded, yet it is the most currupt and poorly translated version.
Idioms overrule grammar when you are looking for the intended meaning of the speaker. Example proskaira=temporary is contrasted with aionia=the opposite of temporary. 2corinthians 4:18. "Or did you over see that too?" Why stoop to this?
Actually I did over look that. I can admit it, sad you cannot. i will get back to you.
Idioms are contextual. Christ speaking to a child or leper, is different that Paul writing to Romans. I cannot believe that Mathew 13:49-50 is not contextually metaphoric -- Nothing around the writing suggest a physical reality but rather a spiritual
SwordofManticorE, even a person like me who agrees with you on UR can't have a discussion with you that doesn't stoop to striking at the person rather than discussing a topic. I quoted you in my last comment and asked why you said that.
I sensed pride in your words, It came across as if you thought you are smarter than me (it is possible) in the understanding of Greek, but you are not the first one who has studied Greek. So whats up with Matt 24:3?
Yeah SoM, I am a prick and can understand your snide comments, but it is inn-opposite of your spiritual path. I am just saying think twice, live in love and save your insults for me, I appreciate them. But more so, do not stop the great dialogue.
Now you have me confused Eric. I never called you a prick nor thought of you as one, same goes for Cam. So I think we all need to get over it and continue discussion.
I may possibly be smarter than the last slug I stepped on. Mt 24:3-context rules. Age= end of the period Jesus had been discussing. Not all uses of a word are idiomatic, only when used in similar contexts or with accompanying words i.e. zoe/life
Absolutely, I self labeled in a self deprecating way.
But do tell what is your make of this Matthew 24:3-31? I just reread it and had some tea with it. What was your point in citing it?
Matt 24 and 25 is about the end of the age of the OC, and the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple and the Jewish religion. I also believe that Revelations (unvieling) called it the second death.
About "eternal life"- it is used repeatedly and has theological meaning beyond the 2 words. 1. it is a quality of life now 1Jn 5:11-12. 2. aionion can refer to eternal as seen in 2cor4:18. I don't believe in eternal hell or lake of fire for people.
I need time to study this part about eternity, and I agree with you cam. I don't believe in a eternal hell, but as for the LoF and peaple, I think the fire in 1Cor 3:10-15 and the LoF have a connection based on one Greek word in Rev 20:10
1 Cor 3 is about a person's works being tested. Rev 20 specifically says "they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." I don't see how you could reach a conclusion like that. It's quite a reach. It seems like grasping at straws to me.
Whether or not the points are deleted they are valid, and will provoke thought. Always a good thing
Actually the greek word basanisthEsontai also means test. It is the verb to the noun word Basanos. Basanos means touch stone. It tests the qualities of precsious metals. I believe that there is a symbolic connection to the fire in 1Cor3.
Again, context. So he's putting the devil, the beast, and the false prophet there to.... test them? What's the point of that? It seems that they've already failed, haven't they?
Do you even understand what those symbols are symbolic for. Revelations is a book of symbles that require a spiritual understanding that only few today understand.
Well, there is overwhelming evidence of a place for the wicked dead - called "Hell" in English - also known as Hades
There's the story the Jesus told (a true story, by the way - not a teaching parable like He normally told) of the rich man and Lazarus. Read it for yourself in Luke 16 - there are definitely two places in the grave; the place for the righteous and the place for the wicked.
When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He rescued the righteous dead who were imprisoned in the earth - and they are now in Heaven according to Hebrews 12:1 and 13:23. But the place of the wicked dead is still very much full and will be ever-expanding until the events of Revelation 20.
One day, the fires of Hades will be exchanged for the eternal lake of fire - eternal Hell...
Jesus Himself warned about the lake of fire, calling it Gehenna. Mark 9:43 says "It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall NEVER be quenched." 5 times in verses 42-48 Jesus said that Hell fire will NEVER be quenched!
Also look at these passages:
Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 20:10-15 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Then why did the early believers believe in the true Gosple of universal reconciliation of all with God. Why did they not believe in hell?
A: I'm not really sure which "church fathers" you're referring to...there were heretics at the beginning of church history the same as now. Polycarp, Martyr and Tatian are a few who taught of Hell
B: The Bible is THE authority, what does IT say?
I am referring to the apostles and the believers of their time up to around AD500 when the catholic church banned UR and threaten anyone who believed in it would be accused a heritic and burned at the stake.
Haha! The apostle John is the Biblical author who wrote the most about the lake of fire! Jesus (God Himself) confirmed both Hades and eternal hell. Now, do you believe that God's Word is right or wrong?
I believe that scripture inspired by God is right, just not your interpretation of it. The LoF is testing and purifying fire. Paul spoke aboutb this fire in 1Cor3:10-15. You said haha, what do you find so funny about billions roasting forever?
The question remains the question. Why would a benevolent God create a Hell? I gave a schizophrenic a bottle of water, he was a filthy disgusting creature yelling at himself and self injuring. I stood by until paramedics arrived. Hell exists, Why?
The sad answer to why hell exists is it is secretly hidden in the desires of the hearts in hell believers, and I can tell you why.
Who is this prophet that reads the hearts of men and speaks to their truths?
I am all ears lest I pass an angel by the way.
http://sinbadsailorman.hubpages.com/hub … Conditions
This is a a write I did to this question a while back.
Salvation is Universal to all upon the Earth in these flesh bodies born of woman. Hell is an eternal separation from God Because of your own choosing (free will).
Hell is only temporary as a physical place but is eternal because GOD so states that He will not repent from the requesting of this separation.
Make no mistake the torment comes from within the one seeking the separation upon the realization of being duped by the Lies of the destroyer. For there is nowhere that GOD is Not! There is Nowhere that life is sustained with out GOD.
Hell is personal choice it is the decision of the unrepentant. Choose Life our Fathers Tells us for He would choose that none be lost to Satan's Sickness.
Hell is real! Very real Its is but your choice to choose. Do not be deceived it is eternal only because GOD states that He will not repent from this choice made at that time of your Judgment.
You believe it or Not are the one doing the choosing on the last Day.
Lifers cry out to Jesus all others remain silent or hail Satan's choice for them. The Books are to remind you of your earthly choices. Those in the Lambs book have already chosen.
Thank God that every knee will bow and tongue confess that Christ is Lord.
FYI. Maybe you should take another look at what he wrote. I'm pretty sure he wasn't agreeing with you.
You under estimate my understanding of the answers to my questions and failed to see the hint of my condecending responce.
Yup. I definitely missed the condescension. Glad to see you're on top of it.
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