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Will God Burn The Wicked Forever? What Does The Bible Say?Walt2-09-16  6:57 pm
Luke 16. The Rich Man & Lazarus; A Teaching About Hell, Or somethin...Taluur2-06-16  9:45 pm
Archive through January 17, 2016Taluur20 1-17-16  7:43 pm
Archive through January 28, 2016Anewman20 1-28-16  1:18 pm
Archive through February 04, 2016Chris20 2-04-16  6:09 am
Archive through February 08, 2016Walt20 2-08-16  6:30 pm
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Lettlander
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Username: Lettlander

Post Number: 43
Registered: 8-2015
Posted on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 6:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Walt, why should you expect evangelicals be persuaded by someone like Benjamin Corey, who practically denies the very authority of the Bible? His five reasons for rejecting the Biblical view of hell could not be more wishful and arrogant than they already are.

Kaspars
Walt
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Username: Walt

Post Number: 49
Registered: 12-2015
Posted on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 8:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kaspers, we have no choice. We must question the entrenched dogma of everlasting torment because it is an invention of man. The totality of scripture simply does not support it.
Taluur
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Username: Taluur

Post Number: 93
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 4:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kaspars, you are quite right.

Annihilationism typically finds its home in religious movements, groups, philosophies, etc., that have abandoned the authority of Scripture and sound Biblical teaching in favor of their own desired theories and opinions.

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
River
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Username: River

Post Number: 8207
Registered: 9-2006


Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 7:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote:Are you saying that if a believer does not hold to the dogma of God burning people forever, that that person is not truly converted and not being saved?

I really don't know what brought that on as it was simply a gentle suggestion to read a book that might help you in a search for truth.
Walt
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Username: Walt

Post Number: 50
Registered: 12-2015
Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 7:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry. I didn't intend to infer anything, Rivers. I am simply a seeker lightly holding these ideas of the traditionally held beliefs about God's justice and mercy. Lightly holding them in a sincere quest for what is true.
Asurprise
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Username: Asurprise

Post Number: 3513
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 8:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Walt;

We can be sure that God is just and that He loves us infinitely. It comforts me that Jesus spoke of varying DEGREES of punishment for the wicked - Luke 12:47-48.
Walt
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Username: Walt

Post Number: 51
Registered: 12-2015
Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 6:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

_________________________________________
Quote from Asurprise:

We can be sure that God is just and that He loves us infinitely. It comforts me that Jesus spoke of varying DEGREES of punishment for the wicked - Luke 12:47-48.
_________________________________________

These are definitely mysterious & unusual words of Jesus. Beaten with "stripes." Perhaps he was speaking in terms that we could grasp/ understand?
Colleentinker
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Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 15337
Registered: 12-2003


Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 11:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Walt, you make sweeping statements that have no basis in scriptural reality. "We must question the entrenched dogma of everlasting torment because it is an invention of man. The totality of Scripture simply does not support it."

Those sentences is an assumption of your own, to use your own words, "gray matter". When we put our minds over Scripture, we can come up with as many different doctrines as there are people.

Believing in Jesus, trusting His blood for our salvation, requires giving up what we love the most to follow Him, no matter the cost (as was the case with the rich young ruler). That "giving up" includes our cherished beliefs. Scripture really does teach eternal punishment of conscious beings, but being unwilling to see that means we have a belief that is more important to us than is submitting everything to Jesus.

I'm not saying you're not saved, Walt. But I'm saying, as Chris Lee has said previously, that your words sound rebellious and stubborn. I wouldn't take the time to counter you further, but there are many people who read the forum who never post. Biblical truth must be taught clearly, and your insistent declarations that the doctrine of eternal punishment is unbiblical is sophistry. I'm sorry to be so blunt. But the truth cannot be a matter of debate.

Coulee
Chris
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Username: Chris

Post Number: 1852
Registered: 7-2003


Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 9:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As Colleen mentioned, many people come here to read without commenting so I too feel some obligation to contextualize my thoughts and comments in this thread. This is going to be long, so just think of it as a mini-article in between issues of Proclamation! :-)

First, letís be clear, I do not think a personís stance on the duration of Hell is a salvation issue. In fact, I personally wouldnít even put the issue of the duration of Hell in the column of ďessentialsĒ of the Christian faith. What I think is essential to Christian faith is the belief that there is a real Heaven to be gained and a real Hell to shun. I do not think we can deny either of those truths and still be within the pale of orthodoxy. However, I personally think it should be possible to lovingly disagree on the duration of Hell without dividing over it. Duration seems like a secondary issue to me, not an essential. I disagree strongly with annihilationists, but as long as they maintain a belief in a literal hell for those who have not received the forgiveness and salvation of Jesus Christ, then I donít feel the need to separate from them just because they believe the experience of Hell is brief or otherwise time limited.

What you see me mainly reacting to in this thread is an attitude that essentially communicates, ďIf the historic Christian doctrine of eternal Hell is correct, then God is not worthy of my worshipĒ. That is the attitude that I consider to be rebellious and offensive. God is God whether or not we understand all His ways. As creatures, we donít get to make the judgment as to whether our Creator is worthy of worship. Heís the Creator, weíre not. If we harbor such a spirit of defiant rebellion, then I think we have to look internally and truly question if weíve experienced the new birth, been indwelt by the Person of the Holy Spirit, and are truly having our mind renewed so that we have the mind of Christ. We cannot have the mind of Christ and a rebellious spirit against the God of the Bible at the same time.

So my concern in this thread has been somewhat more about the way this position is being defended, and the spirit in which it is being presented, than it is about the position itself. If a person presented a careful, line by line, exegetical analysis of key passages where Hell is discussed in the Bible and then came away with an annihilationist conclusion based on those passages, I would still strongly disagree with such an interpretation, but I would at least respect the fact that theyíre grappling with the passages and are truly trying to work through them to the best of their ability. When a person essentially rejects passages because they donít fit with a preconceived notion of how God should be, and essentially comes very close to intimating that they would reject the God revealed in those passages, then I have major concerns.

Secondly, I would like to reject the notion that those presenting the historic Christian view of Hell are acting as if they know everything or are refusing to say, ďI donít knowĒ. Let me say this right now, ďI donít know what Hell isĒ. I really donít. The Bible sometimes describes Hell as a dark pit and at other times describes it as a lake of fire. In some descriptions it is outer darkness and in other descriptions it is flame. All of these descriptions cannot be literally, physically true in the same way at the same time, at least not in this universe. You canít have utter darkness and flames at the same time (at least as we understand things) and you canít have both a lake and a pit at the same time. So all this leads me to suspect that all these descriptions are telling us what Hell is LIKE as opposed to what it literally is. Donít get me wrong, symbolic language points to something greater than itself, so whatever it is, I think the experience of Hell is probably actually much worse than darkness or fire, but I donít think Hell necessarily has to literally be either of these things as we understand them. So, no, I donít know just exactly what Hell is.

This brings me to my final point. Opponents of Hell often seem to mischaracterize the Christian teaching by suggesting that Christians believe Hell is the place where God gets His jollies actively torturing people for all eternity. This is not the Christian perspective, and at least on this point, I can agree that such a notion isnít biblicalÖÖof course itís a straw man argument to begin with because neither side actually believes this.

What Christians believe is that unregenerate, rebellious humans are not only born spiritually dead and separated from a holy God, but continue to choose to live in separation and reject the way of salvation He has provided through His Son. At physical death, that lifelong choice is ratified for all eternity. According to their choice, they are separated from God for all eternity. The difference is that in life they were recipients of Godís common grace which is poured out on the regenerate and unregenerate alike. Every time we experience love or contentment, have a good meal, or feel the sun on our face we are experiencing common grace. In eternity, the wicked are separated from the grace of God, including His common grace. They are forever eternally separated from all love, all relationship, all mercy, all grace, all hope, all purpose, all meaning, all light, all comfort, and all peace.

Thatís Hell and itís almost too awful to contemplate such a miserable existence. Because of that, annihilationists (in effect) argue that God should not allow people to make the choice to exist separately from Him, but should instead overrule their choice by snuffing them out of existence. While we can argue about which option seems personally preferable to us, itís a meaningless argument if itís not firmly grounded in what Scripture actually says about the experience of Hell. It goes back to having a spirit of submission that submits to the Word and to the author of the Word. It comes down to acknowledging that we donít understand it all, but God is God, weíre not, and we trust that He is both Good and Just.

In closing, I would recommend C.S. Lewisí ďThe Great DivorceĒ. Itís very readable. Lewis is careful to say that heís not trying to present a picture of what Hell actually is, rather itís a narrative parable that helps us grasp what the experience of separation from God is like, hence the title. I have found it very helpful in resetting some of my Adventist misconceptions which then allowed me to return to Scripture with a fresh set of eyes and a more open mind. May the Lord grant us all wisdom and understanding, and peace in those times when we have very little of the first two.
Walt
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Username: Walt

Post Number: 53
Registered: 12-2015
Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 10:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for your thoughtful posts, Colleen, and Chris.

I do agree that the wicked will be separated from God. Jesus at one point referred to it as "outer darkness." To those who were never in relationship with He and the Father, He will declare "depart from Me, I never know you."

I think it was the poster, Asurprise who wrote that he/ she did not know what hell is. And I reverberate with that. I think that may be a good standpoint.

Likewise, I can't say whether there is soul sleep, or not. For it is written Moses died and was buried, and yet he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. Before the resurrection at the return of Christ. And, there is a strong probability that in Glory, there is no such thing as time, past, present future. Moses may have appeared from the New Earth.

That's another area of maybe saying "I don't know." I remember a scripture; paraphrased,.. "If anyone says he knows something, he does not yet know it as he ought." "Now I know in part," Paul wrote. "but then I shall know, even as I am known."

And, with many things, spiritual, we are all in that boat, together. No? There is a spaciousness in Christ

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