That some of the well-intentioned posts early in this thread arguing that the whole thing is an impossible thought experiment and somehow theologically ruled about by logic, definition, or whatever, are mistaken. The thought experiment is real. The reason we can't go to hell for someone else isn't because of some logical or even theological necessity, but just because God has decreed it so.crochet1949 wrote:Jac 3510 -- what are you trying to say through that Scripture?
Bottom line, Paul would have answered the question in the affirmative. If he could have traded his salvation for that of the Jews, he would have. That he didn't have that option is neither here nor there. That isn't to say that you or I ought to answer in the affirmative. It's just to say that Paul would have, and maybe more interestingly, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write those words. So we should be careful in saying that it is somehow theologically accurate or even pious to say "The answer has to be no!"
I can tell you this, with all honesty: if it came to it and God appeared before me and said, "I'll take your wife and kids to heaven. Right now they're slated for hell. But I'll only do so if you take their place." Do all the theological hemming and hawing you want about how it's an absurd scenario. It is absurd, and it's absurd because God doesn't work that way. But if He decided to let it work that way (and God is free to do whatever He wanted), then yeah, I'd take that. I'd be angry about it for all of eternity and that would probably be the basis of my condemnation, but yeah. I'd absolutely say going to hell would be worth it if it meant my wife and children (or any of them, for that matter) would be saved.