Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

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Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#1

Post by Frogsterking » Fri May 18, 2012 5:25 pm

Hello, recently I've been struggling with the concept of hell and how it reflects a loving God. Here are a few of my issues:

1) Eternal punishment for limited sins. Is it fair to punish people eternally for sins they may commit during their short lifetime?

2) Is hell reasonable? Why create a place to torture people who reject him? Some of God's children may reject him, but why send them to hell? If they're still his children he still loves them. Why not send them away to places that aren't filled with suffering?

3) Do people really deserve hell? I know a lot of great people who do not believe in God, and it hardly seems like they deserve everlasting torment. Some people are very scientific in nature and have trouble accepting religious or spiritual ideas. They can do a lot of great things for other people but aren't particularly predisposed to believe in something they can't see. Do they deserve hell?

Also a couple things to clarify on hell:

1) Are people given new bodies for hell or not? I've always thought people were not given new bodies and the torture would be psychological or spiritual in nature.

2) Does the punishment in hell vary on crimes on earth? I've read a couple Bible verses to this effect but never read any detailed analysis on this.

3) Abolitionism. Is it a reasonable theory? I've always leaned toward this belief myself. In a debate on the nature of hell, WLC fell back on this heavily. http://www.reasonablefaith.org/can-a-lo ... ley-debate It seems necessary in order to defend the concept of hell.

4) Can someone go to heaven through another religion such as Islam? If someone loves God and devotes themselves to him, does it matter what name they worship him by?

Thanks for the help

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#2

Post by narnia4 » Fri May 18, 2012 5:38 pm

I'll let someone else address the bulk of this, I just want to comment on the first one quick. Someone else used the term in the past, I pointed out then and I'll point out now that there's no such thing as a "finite" sin (except that they take place in time). Even in this world, the time it takes to commit a crime doesn't necessarily correlate the length of the punishment. A murder may take all of 10 seconds, you aren't punished for 10 seconds just because it might take that long.
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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#3

Post by Gman » Fri May 18, 2012 5:48 pm

Frogsterking wrote:Hello, recently I've been struggling with the concept of hell and how it reflects a loving God. Here are a few of my issues:
I haven't spent the time to read all your questions... But in a nutshell.. G-d doesn't send anyone to hell... We send ourselves to hell as our freedom of choice. :eugeek:
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#4

Post by B. W. » Fri May 18, 2012 6:08 pm

Frogsterking wrote:Hello, recently I've been struggling with the concept of hell and how it reflects a loving God. Here are a few of my issues:

1) Eternal punishment for limited sins. Is it fair to punish people eternally for sins they may commit during their short lifetime?

2) Is hell reasonable? Why create a place to torture people who reject him? Some of God's children may reject him, but why send them to hell? If they're still his children he still loves them. Why not send them away to places that aren't filled with suffering?

3) Do people really deserve hell? I know a lot of great people who do not believe in God, and it hardly seems like they deserve everlasting torment. Some people are very scientific in nature and have trouble accepting religious or spiritual ideas. They can do a lot of great things for other people but aren't particularly predisposed to believe in something they can't see. Do they deserve hell?

Also a couple things to clarify on hell:

1) Are people given new bodies for hell or not? I've always thought people were not given new bodies and the torture would be psychological or spiritual in nature.

2) Does the punishment in hell vary on crimes on earth? I've read a couple Bible verses to this effect but never read any detailed analysis on this.

3) Abolitionism. Is it a reasonable theory? I've always leaned toward this belief myself. In a debate on the nature of hell, WLC fell back on this heavily. http://www.reasonablefaith.org/can-a-lo ... ley-debate It seems necessary in order to defend the concept of hell.

4) Can someone go to heaven through another religion such as Islam? If someone loves God and devotes themselves to him, does it matter what name they worship him by?

Thanks for the help
I just returned from a short vacation and will get back with you on these points a bit later. These questions have been answered on this forum before. To start things off -let's look at question one:

1) Eternal punishment for limited sins. Is it fair to punish people eternally for sins they may commit during their short lifetime?

Is sin really limited and finite? How can that be true for those created as an eternal being?

How do you define sin?

The word translated sin in the bible contains the meaning of missing the mark or to twist away from or deviate away from. Therefore, it is the ability to try one’s best to avoid consequences for ones actions by twisting and distorting love, justice, mercy, truth, etc and etc. Sin is an attitude of the heart that corrupts due to its manipulating, conniving, devious manners that twist and distorts in order to get away with not being held accountable for one’s own actions. Much like how the first question attempts to do.

Others can add more here if they like - AMG word Studies defines it as follows:
From AMG Word Studies defines Sin from Greek as wrote:ἁμαρτάνω 264 Strongs

hamartánō; fut. hamartēsō, aor. hēmártēsa; 2d aor. hēmarton. To sin, to miss a mark on the way, not to hit the mark. One who keeps missing the mark in his relationship to God is hamartōlós (268), sinner.

(I) To err, swerve from the truth, go wrong, used in an absolute sense in 1Co 15:34, meaning to beware lest one be drawn into errors pertaining to faith, of which the Apostle is speaking (Tit3:11).

(II) To err in action, in respect to a prescribed law, i.e., to commit errors, to do wrong, sin.

(A) Generally, to sin, spoken of any sin, used in an absolute sense (Mat27:4; Joh5:14; Joh8:11; Joh9:2-3; Rom2:12; Rom3:23; Rom5:12, Rom5:14, Rom5:16; Rom6:15; 1Co 7:28, 1Co= 7:36; Eph 4:26; 1Tim 5:20; Heb 3:17; Heb 10:26; 1Pe 2:20; 2Pe 2:4; 1Jn1:10; 1Jn2:1; 1Jn3:6, 1Jn3:8-9; 1Jn5:16, 1Jn5:18. In 1Jn5:16, to sin a sin. Sept.: Exo 32:30; Lev 4:14, Lev 4:23, Lev 4:28).

(B) With eis (1519), unto, with the acc. to sin against anyone, to offend, wrong (Mat 18:15, Mat 18:21; Luke15:18, Luk 15:21; Luk 17:3-4; Acts 25:8; 1Co 6:18; 1Co 8:12; Sept.: Gen 20:6, Gen 20:9; Gen 43:9; 1Sam 2:25).

(C) To "sin before someone" means to do evil in the sight of anyone, to sin against, to wrong (Luke 15:21; Sept.: Gen 39:9; Deut 1:41; Deut 20:18; 1Sam7:6; 1Sam12:23; 1Sam 14:33-34). See hamartía ( 266), sin, which has many syn. listed; hamártēma (265), an individual deed or sin; anamártētos (361), without sin; proamartánō (G4258), to sin previously.
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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#5

Post by Frogsterking » Sat May 19, 2012 9:15 am

B. W. wrote:
I just returned from a short vacation and will get back with you on these points a bit later. These questions have been answered on this forum before. To start things off -let's look at question one:

1) Eternal punishment for limited sins. Is it fair to punish people eternally for sins they may commit during their short lifetime?

Is sin really limited and finite? How can that be true for those created as an eternal being?

How do you define sin?

The word translated sin in the bible contains the meaning of missing the mark or to twist away from or deviate away from. Therefore, it is the ability to try one’s best to avoid consequences for ones actions by twisting and distorting love, justice, mercy, truth, etc and etc. Sin is an attitude of the heart that corrupts due to its manipulating, conniving, devious manners that twist and distorts in order to get away with not being held accountable for one’s own actions. Much like how the first question attempts to do.

Others can add more here if they like - AMG word Studies defines it as follows:
From AMG Word Studies defines Sin from Greek as wrote:ἁμαρτάνω 264 Strongs

hamartánō; fut. hamartēsō, aor. hēmártēsa; 2d aor. hēmarton. To sin, to miss a mark on the way, not to hit the mark. One who keeps missing the mark in his relationship to God is hamartōlós (268), sinner.

(I) To err, swerve from the truth, go wrong, used in an absolute sense in 1Co 15:34, meaning to beware lest one be drawn into errors pertaining to faith, of which the Apostle is speaking (Tit3:11).

(II) To err in action, in respect to a prescribed law, i.e., to commit errors, to do wrong, sin.

(A) Generally, to sin, spoken of any sin, used in an absolute sense (Mat27:4; Joh5:14; Joh8:11; Joh9:2-3; Rom2:12; Rom3:23; Rom5:12, Rom5:14, Rom5:16; Rom6:15; 1Co 7:28, 1Co= 7:36; Eph 4:26; 1Tim 5:20; Heb 3:17; Heb 10:26; 1Pe 2:20; 2Pe 2:4; 1Jn1:10; 1Jn2:1; 1Jn3:6, 1Jn3:8-9; 1Jn5:16, 1Jn5:18. In 1Jn5:16, to sin a sin. Sept.: Exo 32:30; Lev 4:14, Lev 4:23, Lev 4:28).

(B) With eis (1519), unto, with the acc. to sin against anyone, to offend, wrong (Mat 18:15, Mat 18:21; Luke15:18, Luk 15:21; Luk 17:3-4; Acts 25:8; 1Co 6:18; 1Co 8:12; Sept.: Gen 20:6, Gen 20:9; Gen 43:9; 1Sam 2:25).

(C) To "sin before someone" means to do evil in the sight of anyone, to sin against, to wrong (Luke 15:21; Sept.: Gen 39:9; Deut 1:41; Deut 20:18; 1Sam7:6; 1Sam12:23; 1Sam 14:33-34). See hamartía ( 266), sin, which has many syn. listed; hamártēma (265), an individual deed or sin; anamártētos (361), without sin; proamartánō (G4258), to sin previously.

So, sin is a twisting away from Godliness and not necessarily an act. I can definitely understand that.

But that leads me to a more important question--atheists act in non-sinful ways all the time. There are many atheists who "sin" less than Christians. Does an atheist who acts in manners like God but doesn't believe in God deserve to go to hell over a Christian who pursues God but very much twists away from his will?

Maybe it's fair the atheist doesn't get to join God, but should he be sentenced to hell? Wouldn't it make more sense if there were a middle ground?

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#6

Post by Frogsterking » Sat May 19, 2012 9:18 am

Gman wrote:
Frogsterking wrote:Hello, recently I've been struggling with the concept of hell and how it reflects a loving God. Here are a few of my issues:
I haven't spent the time to read all your questions... But in a nutshell.. G-d doesn't send anyone to hell... We send ourselves to hell as our freedom of choice. :eugeek:

I don't believe people who reject God "choose" to go to hell. There are other religions with their own versions of hell, and I'm not choosing to go there by not believing in them, I just don't think they are a correct path to God. When someone rejects Christianity, they don't say "I'm going to hell instead of heaven," they're saying "I don't think this is the correct path to God."

My issue is that apparently people who try to do the right thing and ultimately act in a Godly manner can be sentenced to hell because they don't believe God is the path to truth. Many people are unlikely to follow God do to how they're raised, how inclined they are to follow faith-based systems, etc. I don't see why God would sentence his children to hell.

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#7

Post by dayage » Sun May 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Frogsterking,

Humans are not children of God until they recieve Christ and are adopted into His family (Romans 8:14-16; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). Until that time we are just his creations.

Humans are created as eternal beings, therefore we will exist somewhere eternally. God is completely Holy. So, unless we have our sins paid for, we will not spend eternity will God. The unsaved will be removed from God and His influence. This means no restraints on sin and therefore it will be Hell, one way or another.

The Bible is very clear on this, so your real issue is with the Word of God.

You might benefit from "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics" by Norman Geisler
But that leads me to a more important question--atheists act in non-sinful ways all the time. There are many atheists who "sin" less than Christians. Does an atheist who acts in manners like God but doesn't believe in God deserve to go to hell over a Christian who pursues God but very much twists away from his will?
Maybe the person you are refering to is not really a Christian (2 Cor. 13:5; 1 John 2:19). Also, being a christian does not mean your sinfulness is removed (Romans 7:14-25; 8:10; I Cor. 3:1-3; Galatians 5:17). We still have our flesh. We will not be completely free until our adoption is completed at our resurrection (Romans 8:14-16, 23).

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#8

Post by B. W. » Mon May 21, 2012 6:42 am

Frogsterking wrote:...So, sin is a twisting away from Godliness and not necessarily an act. I can definitely understand that.

But that leads me to a more important question--atheists act in non-sinful ways all the time. There are many atheists who "sin" less than Christians. Does an atheist who acts in manners like God but doesn't believe in God deserve to go to hell over a Christian who pursues God but very much twists away from his will?

Maybe it's fair the atheist doesn't get to join God, but should he be sentenced to hell? Wouldn't it make more sense if there were a middle ground?

An atheist in heaven is contradictory...
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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#9

Post by Frogsterking » Mon May 21, 2012 5:43 pm

dayage wrote:Frogsterking,

Humans are not children of God until they recieve Christ and are adopted into His family (Romans 8:14-16; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). Until that time we are just his creations.

Humans are created as eternal beings, therefore we will exist somewhere eternally. God is completely Holy. So, unless we have our sins paid for, we will not spend eternity will God. The unsaved will be removed from God and His influence. This means no restraints on sin and therefore it will be Hell, one way or another.

The Bible is very clear on this, so your real issue is with the Word of God.

You might benefit from "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics" by Norman Geisler
But that leads me to a more important question--atheists act in non-sinful ways all the time. There are many atheists who "sin" less than Christians. Does an atheist who acts in manners like God but doesn't believe in God deserve to go to hell over a Christian who pursues God but very much twists away from his will?
Maybe the person you are refering to is not really a Christian (2 Cor. 13:5; 1 John 2:19). Also, being a christian does not mean your sinfulness is removed (Romans 7:14-25; 8:10; I Cor. 3:1-3; Galatians 5:17). We still have our flesh. We will not be completely free until our adoption is completed at our resurrection (Romans 8:14-16, 23).
This makes a lot of sense and it helps a lot.

However, one of my main problems still stands, some atheists are benevolent and display many God-like traits Christians strive for. The benevolent atheists might reject God, but they still resemble him in their actions. I don't see how hell is a suiting place for them.

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#10

Post by Gman » Mon May 21, 2012 6:14 pm

Frogsterking wrote:I don't believe people who reject God "choose" to go to hell. There are other religions with their own versions of hell, and I'm not choosing to go there by not believing in them, I just don't think they are a correct path to God. When someone rejects Christianity, they don't say "I'm going to hell instead of heaven," they're saying "I don't think this is the correct path to God."
No one in their right mind would ever "choose" hell.. But they would choose to go against against God's principles either directly or non-directly. Ultimately it is God who see's who is going where.
Frogsterking wrote:My issue is that apparently people who try to do the right thing and ultimately act in a Godly manner can be sentenced to hell because they don't believe God is the path to truth. Many people are unlikely to follow God do to how they're raised, how inclined they are to follow faith-based systems, etc. I don't see why God would sentence his children to hell.
According to scripture God doesn't send children to hell..

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/b ... o_die.html

This article addresses those who never heard the Gospel before also...

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetic ... heard.html

Good luck
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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#11

Post by B. W. » Tue May 22, 2012 9:41 am

I'll try to deal with the questions posed - one by one. Others can add his or her two cents worth too:
Frogsterking wrote: 2) Is hell reasonable? Why create a place to torture people who reject him? Some of God's children may reject him, but why send them to hell? If they're still his children he still loves them. Why not send them away to places that aren't filled with suffering?
Frogsterking, is your family perfect?

Are you without fault?

Why would God desire imperfection into his heavenly realm brought on by those who do not want his free gift of reconciliation wrought by Christ?

It would be unfair to them and God as well to have heaven turned into what it is like here on earth currently. Think about it...

People will stand in super extra long lines for hours to enter a store for some sale. Offer free 20 dollar bills, and people the line grows for miles. Purchase some item, and then send in a coupon for a cheap rebate – people amass on that offer.

Yet, God offers free salvation, did the work of atonement for us, and where is the line? Where are the masses of people standing in line for free salvation if only they but believe in Christ? Its that simple.

I guess some of them are saying, God is so unfair for designing such a place like hell that I will not accept him unless he changes, for me!

Do you realize how selfish that sounds?

How ungrateful and condescending that is to one who bled and died crucifixion in order to reconcile and save us from ourselves?

People do not desire God and do everything to run from him. Even make their-own gods or religions to avoid the Great Creator’s offer of free salvation thru Jesus Christ. He made it so simple – just simply believe. Yet, such expect automatic entrance into heaven and treat their fellow family members they way they do, neighbors, friends, groups, nations in the manner they do and demand grace be shown or else they will not accept or believe in the one who actually did show grace.

What do you call that?

Who is really at fault here?

The torment in Hell is not a medieval torture chamber. God is not a happy torturer either, the bible does not teach this. The metaphors used to describe torment such as fire and deep darkness express imagery of symbolism. How can hell be both deep darkness and yet flames of fire which give light? Next, as people mature into adulthood, people twist things, judgments, life itself, and even God’s grace and love to justify our own actions of moral wrongness into moral goodness. If allowed into heaven, heaven would become what?

Torment comes from recognizing three basic things: Recompense, Banishment, and One’s own Sin (warping) Nature

Eternal punishment i.e. recompense:

First
, Torment belongs to the person – it is their own torment that torments as the principle cites in Revelation 14:11, so notice it states it is their torment - not God tormenting them. God is not doing any torture or tormenting. The person’s own conscience does just that. The real person is being exposed for what they are really like, do, how they really think, and desire.

Next, the principle of sowing and reaping (Gal 6:7 – Isaiah 3:11 – Psalms 62:12 – Job 34:11 – Jeremiah 32:19) God renders to each accord to his ways. What one sows they reap; therefore, torment involves reaping. What God does regarding judgment last forever (Ecclesiastes 3:17 and Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” NKJV and note Revelation 20:12c) Such recompense is set in just degrees, and not a one size fits all Dante's inferno torture chamber version. This means, personal torment varies per person (more on this next below under banishment). Also, Jesus stated in Matthew 25:41 that hell was originally designed for the devil and his angels, they too are there, willing to provide their own brand of torment as well…

Secondly:

Torment involves Banishment from God and his love based on what the person desires. Torment is personal for each person arising from a realization that one has blown it and excluded themselves from God’s life, purpose, love, etc. They did not desire any of this in this mortal life, so they will not in the next either. God’s judgment is just, righteous, and fair. He grants banishment away from his presence for those who lives on earth have proven that they reject God, want nothing to do with him, and/or abuse and twist his good character and nature for their own ends. So is it unjust to grant such what they desire – separation from God who exercises perfect justice in all matters?

Isaiah 26:10 is true regarding heaven and letting those who reject God into heaven. As for all people being God’s children, that is not a biblical idea or concept. Bible mentions one is either a child of darkness (devil/rebellion) or child of light (God): two groups – not one group. He adopts children of darkness when they believe in him and what he did to reconcile them and transforms them into his adopted children. He made it simple – just believe in what He accomplished for us.

Guess, it depends what line you want to stand in, the long lines or the one that has no line?

One’s own Sin (warping) Nature

So become aware of how sin seeks to twist and justify warping God’s character, His nature, and all the things that God has granted us in this mortal life for owns own selfish ends. How selfish does it sound to God who himself came to earth, paid the ultimate price of love, to redeem/reconcile you, to say, I will not believe or accept a God who deigned an eternal hell unless hell is erased to my liking, then I’ll believe?

Again - it all depends on what line you want to stand in, the long lines or the one that has no line?
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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#12

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue May 22, 2012 9:59 am

I really think that in regards to "hell", CS Lewis out it best:
Either we say to God "Thy will be done" or God says to us "thy will be done".

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#13

Post by RickD » Tue May 22, 2012 10:28 am

Thanks in no small part to B.W.'s book, the glaring image I get of hell, is

1) the complete, absolute finality of it.

2) the complete loneliness, and separation from God.

and

3) the realization that those that are there, are there by their own accord, not God's choosing.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#14

Post by Frogsterking » Tue May 22, 2012 9:15 pm

Thanks for the response B.W. It'll definitely take me a while to digest all of that because it gives me a lot to think about, but it seems to clear up all of my concerns regarding hell.

Thanks a bunch!

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Re: Issues and clarifications with hell, please take a look?

#15

Post by B. W. » Thu May 24, 2012 6:37 pm

Frogsterking wrote:Thanks for the response B.W. It'll definitely take me a while to digest all of that because it gives me a lot to think about, but it seems to clear up all of my concerns regarding hell.

Thanks a bunch!
Thank you for your questions and honesty - I know it is a bit to digest in one sitting but the Lord will help you and keep asking away :D
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