Does hell contradict God's love?
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.
Once again, I think hell is punishment. I believe that after death there is an eternity that is with Christ if we live in his will.
God's love does endure forever, however he is not going to allow the guilty to be left unpunished.
God will allow us free will and intervene if needed, he will always try/want us to repent always, that is part of his undying love for us. He will always love us and guide us to a brighter future, however if we dont walk the talk we are sinners.
If you are in prison and deserving so there is always peace and love through repentance and God will give you the strength needed to carry out your punishment.
This is where people always seem to have this doubt, however no one ever wants to admit the "wrath of God"
I do not believe that God only carries out punishment on "judgement day" God is angered at the wicked every day. He is justified in all he does, I mean after all its been 2000 years since he showed his anger and is about to again now.
So he has been very patient with us.
I did write a hub entitled "in the hands of an angry God", which I think everyone should know about.
he will always be there for us if we allow him, but he will under no circumstances allow any one of his children to be hurt. He in no way allow sin/sinners to go unpunished.
Anyway good question, it is very interesting to see how people think about this.
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'... http://andyramjohn.hubpages.com/hub/Bible-Summary
This is a topic I'm not totally decided on. I don't read it the same. To me, when it speaks of the 'eternal fire', it's speaking of the fire being eternal, not the torment. John 3 says whoever believes will not 'perish'. I think you have to acknowledge God's authority to participate in the afterlife, but I don't think He damns those who do not to eternally burn. I think perish is perish.
It's like the cells in our bodies. They each only live a short time, and they each behave in accordance to one single code, DNA. In doing so, trillions of cells are able to form one single body and act as a collective whole for the good of the whole. We were given free will. We can choose on our own behalf how to behave. In the body analogy, this would be incredibly dangerous. Any cell able to behave contrary to the DNA code could have disastrous consequences. This is essentially what cancer is. Cells that don't adhere to the DNA code. They don't perform an intended function and they don't die when they're supposed to. And they create more cells just like them that do the same. They influence the cells and tissues around them and rob the body of its resources. Eventually killing themselves along with the rest of the body.
This is why I think it's imperative that those who do move on acknowledge God's authority as the creator. He's like the DNA in the body analogy. Humans work best when we collaborate, as long as we have a clear chain of command and no dissension in the ranks. We can do incredible things. Free will is a true will of our own, but there are consequences for our actions. Consequences that can often have a much further reaching impact on the world around us beyond our comprehension. But we can also do incredible things. Humanity is worth creating, but there's a necessary condition.
As long as we acknowledge the authority of God, we can remain connected to the DNA code. As long as we are, we are not individually minded, but mindful of the whole, and our participation in it. Individual desires are often when we become destructive. Cancerous. I don't see it as cruel that some will perish because there will inevitably be some who will choose of their own will to not acknowledge God. I see it as simply necessary for existence and free will to be possible.
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
I think the phrasing of the question is a bit odd here DH. Does hell contradict God's love? Well not necessarily, as long as all those God loves go to Heaven and he revokes his love from those he damns.
The real question is whether Hell contradicts God's supposed omnibenevolence (goodness) and the answer to that is a resounding yes. A God willing to damn creatures he created to be imperfect to eternal torment or annihilation (depending on your view of Hell) for a finite list of sins is unjust and horrific to say the least. The idea makes God into a monster.
Now that doesn't mean that this god cannot love, after all Hitler may have really loved his wife but that was far from the extent of who and what he truly was.
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
There is a period of 'filtering' as it were. We pour the expensive tea in a kettle, and when it is ready, we again pour it into cups, making sure that it is strained of the leaves. It then becomes drinkable.
The Soul does not come to God voluntarily. It goes through a series of 'experiences' as it seeks to find its way back to God's Kingdom, by utilising its 'limited freedom', so called 'free will.' Some of these sojourns are invaluable life's lessons, and they may come in the form of pain and suffering. This brings me to the question of hell. It is a state of consciousness with a lower form of light and as such painful. The Soul will also experience some of this darkness-pain in the Higher worlds before finally returning to God.
The Soul is essentially divine and will ultimately find its way back. There is no permanent sorrow or hell, only states of experiences, brought about by how one lives one's life. We do not leave a Christless life and wake up in paradise immediately post death. What we are or do here, will determine what we are or do there. Still, Hell does not contractict God's love. The Universe is God's body. There is nothing outside of God, and hell is a complimentary part of the plan. If it was not, then your argument would be very real, as impossible as it is.
Interesting answer. You appear to support ultimate reconciliation which for me is the only course which satisfies the Father's love enduring forever.
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
This answer is so simple a 6th grader can understand it. God so loved the world he sent his only begotten son to be crucified for alls sin if they "Accept" him. Accept and go to Heaven. Turn your back on God as the devil did, receive the same fate.
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
Real love is a choice. God chooses to love us so much so that instead of making us love Him, He gave us the choice. He will never stop loving anyone. That is my opinion & belief & I am sticking to it!
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
First of all, I do not subscribe to the 'eternal punishment' doctrine but rather chose to believe in annihilation as I believe this is what the Bible teaches. Secondly, the Bible teaches that God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Putting these two together, we can see that annihilation is actually a mercy-killing, if you will. No different than putting-down a beloved pet that is suffering. And even this act is so foreign to God's character, that the Bible refers to it as "His strange act." This makes sense, when we think about it. God's mercy gives us a long time to come to Him, but at the end of it all, if we still choose to reject Him, then out of love, He has no choice - for a sinner would not be happy in a heaven where there is no sin. Eternal punishment, IMHO would contradict God's love, but a mercy-killing would not. Sin can be compared to a cancer and therefore, if we are sinning, we are affected by this cancer - our bodies and minds are being ravaged. At the end, He puts us out of this misery. "We" choose - do we want to go to heaven, or would we rather die? God wants that NONE should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Again, He loves the sinner, but hates the sin God-bless!
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)
What is loving? Is it finally giving someone what they are asking for from you even when you've clearly warned them of the pain and heartache it will cause them, or, trying to force them to be with you and accept your love even when they are refusing it and insisting they do not love you back? If God did the second thing he would no longer be a holy, all-loving God. A perfectly holy and all-loving God would give people the freedom to walk away...to reject him because forcing someone to stay with you who hates you is usually something we consider to be a bad thing....anyone who does that whether a human or God is not holy, but sinful. Do you see the predicament? Are you sure you know what love is? God is eternal. He sees things much differently than we do. I would guess that being outside of time and space gives one an entirely different and higher perspective then what our limited experience can fathom. God is love. The Biblical witness testifies to this fact to the point that when we try to reason intellectually (apart from God) we are unable to follow the logic through to a reasonable end. Apart from God there is no good thing. He makes this very clear to us, yet we stubbornly and continually refuse to accept him. The result of a life apart from him is an eternity apart from him. He gives us every day of our lives to make that choice. There is no greater hell than being separated from everything pure, holy, loving, and good for all of eternity and instead being swallowed up in a sea of self-centeredness.
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/
I am purposely not reading other people's responses on this because I don't want my opinion to be swayed here. For me, I have a really really hard time believing in hell. This is what drove me from the Catholic faith I was brought up in. If God is unconditional there is NO sin and NOTHING that would send ANYONE to hell. Purgatory? That's another story....
I would suggest that we keep certain facts in mind when referring to hell and heaven. It depends on which scripture you are using as a reference point when sharing ideas. If we are going to use the Bible then I would suggest that we go back and look at how the book was translated into this modern language.
Certain word like: Love, Hate, Evil, Good, Devil and God invoke many different images and feelings in different individuals. I write this because I am doing my best not to offend anyone who is sincere to the wonderful teachings of the Holy Bible.
Now, I do not know the mind of GOD, what I do know is what I have practiced, researched and experienced. The Good Great and Grand GOD of the Bible is the same God of all other religions and God is Love.
Heaven and hell are in the heart and soul of each individual soul. The reason that they exist is so we could all have a relationship with the Supreme God. "Heaven is to have God in your heart mind and soul" and Hell is to fight with God who is all powerful", we do have a choice. So do not blame God for the choices that we make it is our decision ultimately as to if we go to heaven or hell.
It is written in the Holy Bible that the Kingdom of GOD is in us. We just have to be sincere and responsible to take care of our "kingdom.", GOD is all our parents and will Love us like the children that we are, that is as long as we remember GOD and not let our great egos drive us straight to hell, with lust anger and greed. the three gates to hell.
Dhira Krishna das.
Hi DR, welcome! Question: What proof do you have that what you're saying is true? A thorough examination of the different religious books of the world will reveal that the God of the Bible is unique and cannot be the same God as all the others.
I believe that 'Hell' is a place where God does not dwell. If God is Love, the anywhere we don't feel or connect with Love, can be hell. IMO, chances are, it is our own doing that causes us to feel that way. Whether God is real or not, we still have a choice so long as we are alive to find something positive or worth being grateful for in our experiences.
This isn't my original thought, and I can't remember who the original thinker was, but one idea is that Hell exists to give people exactly what they wanted. Lucifer didn't want to be a part of God's plans the way God planned them so a place was made for him, away from God.
The person who originally thought it put it forward as a form of just mercy.
People who have gone to Hell spent their life either directly fighting God or trying to make the world work without him. What is worse than spending eternity away from a God you hated? Having to spend eternity WITH a God you hated.
It's an interesting thought because it doesn't contradict God's character one way or the other. He is still completely just in the impenitent rebellion against him is punished, while still completely merciful in that he will not force a person to believe in him by the story of the Gospel.
Great question, DH, but you misunderstand God and the purpose of things.
Noah's Flood was an act of love. Can you see how?
It's difficult to understand such things, but I've discovered how. Who am I to discover things that scholars have missed for centuries? All I know is that God gave me talents and a mission. Who am I to refuse?
David was not lying. Hell is a decision by the individual, not a blanket curse dispensed by an indifferent Father.
Why did God need to use the Flood? What crime did man commit? The Flood solved a big problem? What was that problem? Genesis says only "wickedness" and "violence," but hasn't man been violent and wicked since the Flood?
Science says that humanity has been around for at least 200,000 years and the universe for 13.7 billion years. But the literal Bible says something closer to 4004 BC for the beginning of man and the universe.
When reality says one thing and a literal, biblical "interpretation" says something contrary, then the "interpretation" is wrong. You don't achieve "faith" by believing in a lie. You don't walk on water through delusion. Faith is much bigger than that.
I hope you will support my efforts to get my book published this year.
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-b … /x/2790782
God bless you all.
For me no cause hell was created because of the selfish angels. Who used to disobeyed God because they want to be more powerful than God
No, hell is the grave. When mankind fell from what God meant us to be, God felt pity and love for him and didn't want him to live in the sad state of separation from God.
Death came to make sure we did not live forever in that state.
To support your statement you assume Love.... or Gods love alone will vindicate you from all your wrong doings. This is not true. If this was applicable to every day life wouldn't it make sense for every marriage to be successful. Even through infidelities, or verbally abusive relationships. But of course it doesn't work that way. The bible states we are saved by Grace (not Love) thru faith in Jesus Christ. Its not love that stops at death for the unbelievers, its the undeserved favor (Grace) that God gives to each and every one of us. There is a forever. Where will you be. In the presence of His love, or spending an eternity not being able to know how it feels to be saturated by your Heavenly Fathers goodness and Love. For He is willing that none shall perish. Its your choice His Love endures forever.
by heavenbound5511 8 years ago
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