Skip to comments.THE FOUR LAST THINGS ---- DEATH, JUDGMENT, HELL and HEAVEN IV. Some Other Torments of Hell.
Posted on 04/26/2009 9:11:06 PM PDT by GonzoII
What is this quote from?
It looks VERY interesting.
Thanks for posting this.
I am a Christian but I do lack understanding. I am not questioning God but I am seeking a better understanding. We are told to seek the Truth. I know that Jesus is Truth.
A few things I don’t understand are:
— We are told of a loving and forgiving God. We are also told to be forgiving.
We are told that sinners will be thrown into this eternal lake of fire. Is God never going to be forgiving of those that are thrown into this lake of fire?
— We are told that we’re all God’s children. I don’t have children but if I did, I would love them enough and do everything I possibly could to keep them going to a place like hell. I know Jesus died on the cross for us over 2000 years ago. I wish things were clearer to all of us (people of different faiths, upbringings, etc.) to help us avoid such a place.
I know God loves all of us. Personally, however, I couldn’t put even a rat in a fire and torture it. I certainly couldn’t imagine doing so to someone I loved.
— You mentioned that God is a jealous God. I have heard this several times and I’ve also heard we are supposed to be more Christ-like (I believe that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are one). I don’t believe God wants us to be jealous.
— We are told that we have “free will.” Therefore, we’re in control of our fate. None of us ever had total free weill because none of us ever asked to be created. There are even some people that wish they were never born.
I hope I don’t come across as questioning God. As I’ve said, I am a Christian. I am only hoping to strengthen my faith with better understanding.
I’ll also mention that I am not Catholic. I am Protestant. If I ever changed from Protestant (which I’ve given some consideration), I believe I would look mostly at becoming a Catholic.
These may be simple questions to you but they’re things that I don’t fully understand. I’ll also accept that there will always things that I don’t fully understand.
Again, I am just trying to better understand to solidify my faith. Any help with that is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
It IS very interesting! A jealously guarded secret :-)
It’s Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book I line 606
Many of the questions posed are common and answers are easily understood by study of His Word, and His immutable nature.
God is perfectly Holy. His Holiness is comprised of His Perfect Righteousness and His Perfect Justice. It is immutable, never changing.
This feature of God is revealed to us in the Tabernacle, in the Holy of Holies, where the Arc of the Covenant is covered with a Mercy Seat, upon which are two guilded Cherubim facing one another, one representing His Perfect Justice, the other His Perfect Righteousness.
Whenever something unrighteous is presented before God, His Perfect Justice demands Perfect Righteousness. In converse, whenever injustice is presented before Perfect Righeousness, Perfect Righteousness demands Perfect Justice. They complement each other in His Perfect Holiness in maintaining His immutable essence.
In your query, “ We are told of a loving and forgiving God. We are also told to be forgiving.—We are told that sinners will be thrown into this eternal lake of fire. Is God never going to be forgiving of those that are thrown into this lake of fire?”; consider His immutable nature.
Now let’s also consider what He has provided for man to resolve the original sin of Adam.
In order to clearly express what has occurred historically, we need to clarify several issues. One is judgment, the other is forgiveness, and another is grace. Many people confuse judgment, forgiveness and grace. Remember that God is omniscient and immutable. He doesn’t overlook anything, but He also provides for us.
On the Cross, the sins of all mankind were imputed to our Lord Christ Jesus. While on the Cross, our Lord Christ Jesus was Judged for all of mankind’s sins. Each and every human personal sin ever committed or to be committed was imputed to Him, while He was on the Cross. (Hebrews and Romans are outstanding studies of these issues.)
The Cross was all about Judgment.
Forgiveness is later, a different issue.
Forgiveness is now available, after the Cross, for every person who is out of fellowship with God.
For the unbeliever, forgiveness occurs instantly at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone. This is because of Rom 3:22, where that same faith is identical to the faith of Christ and was found to be righteous. When God sees something righteous in us, He is free, because of the judgment of all our sins already, to give us eternal life.
There are many things given us at the moment of salvation, upon faith alone in Christ alone, one of which is a regenerated human spirit. Another is the forgiveness of all pre-salvation sins when we return to God and confess our sins to Him. This occurs at the moment of initial faith alone in Christ alone for the unbeliever.
For the believer, anytime we sin, knowingly or unknowingly, we step out of fellowship with God the Holy Spirit, also known as ‘grieving the Spirit’. This doesn’t remove His indwelling, but it does cause us to no longer walk with Him, in fellowship with Him. In order to return into fellowship, a forgiveness must occur for post-salvation sin.
The mechanism for this is given in 1stJohn 1:9, whereby when we return to Him, and confess our sin to Him, He is sure and just to forgive us our sin.
Now let’s return to the original issue of the Lake of Fire and the casting of unbelievers into the Lake of Fire for all eternity future.
God, in His immutable nature is still Perfectly Holy. There is nothing which requires God to remain exposed or allow anything evil in His presence.
In the future, and for every human who suffers the first death, there remains a soul and possibly a spirit which continues to endure. Where that existence is placed is a different issue. The Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are possible places for the righteous to be placed.
If that soul/spirit has anything unrighteous in it, then it is immediately categorized as sinful, missing the mark, not righteous. This is the same category as Adam was first placed upon the His sin in the Garden of Eden. That sin immediately implied a spiritual death, a state of existence involving separation, a separation from God the Holy Spirit.
After the Cross, all sins have been judged, not yet forgiven, but when a soul/spirit is now judged and found to have anything whatsoever righteous in it, God by His Perfect Holiness will also recognize that righteousness. When He sees in our hearts, faith in Christ, by Rom 3:22, we know He also has found something righteous in us.
So just as by one sin, all mankind was condemned, likewise by one Perfect Sacrifice on the Cross, all mankind has salvation now made available.
Unlike Adam before the fall, man today is born condemned and is an initial state of condemnation. We require salvation prior to being returned into fellowship with God.
For the unbeliever who never places faith in Him, upon the first death, there no longer is a mechanism to place something righteous in his human soul/spirit. His human soul is still born corrupt from Adam’s original sin. That human soul is then later judged for righteousness.
Good and evil were not judged on the Cross. The sins of humanity were judged on the Cross.
Once it was complete, it was finished in the sense of never having to be performed again.
That is why when an unbeliever, for the first time exhibits simple faith alone in Christ alone, God is free to instantly regenerate that now believer’s human spirit and give him newness of life. It happens in a split second, immediately.
This is not the case of good and evil. Good and Evil were not judged on the Cross. Their resolution occurs overt time.
There will come a point in time, though, when they also will be resolved. When God judges all things, those which are righteous will be sorted out from those which are unrighteous.
That which is found to be wanting in anything righteous by Divine standards (not an Adamic nature, man’s standards), will then be placed in an appropriate place, so as not to cause future evil amongst those that are righteous and as punishment for their evil.
That place is the same place originally designed for the disposition of the fallen angels, namely, the Lake of Fire.
Instead of us asking how a loving God could cast any of His creation in the Lake of Fire, a more probing and powerful question is, “How can a loving God, continually endure the presence of evil, when He has already provided a mechanism for salvation?”
The answer becomes evident when we observe His Holy nature. It is immutable and perfectly righteous and just. He provides the solution and further in His love and grace, provides for His own.
The question makes numerous assumptions, misframing the real question.
Forgiveness is not grace, nor is it judgment. Righteousess is preserved in Divine Judgment and in His very real forgiveness.
1Jn 1:9 (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Since we have been told the second death is identified with the Great White Throne Judgment of those who are unbelievers, one could possibly conclude those in that situation will not be able to confess their sin and turn back to God.
Some more confusion arises here, possibly from the vocabulary being used.
We are not to be covetous, making something other than God an idol of our worship in the devotion of our thinking. God, though, remains immutably Holy. When something is of Him, He doesn't like it being unrighteously removed from Him.
Think about how you feel if a loved one dies.
You might be assured they have gone to a better place, but still you grieve. It is natural, because no matter how righteous things are, we still are removed from having fellowship with that person, by no fault of our own.
That really is the same thing God feels, any time we ever sin. We essentially and very really 'grieve' the Holy Spirit. For God, that is the same feeling as we have whenever we suffer the loss of a loved one. He suffers the same way each and every time we ever sin.
Accordingly, He is indeed a jealous God, because He already has done everything possible to provide for the return of a righteous and just fellowship between God and man. All we have to do is accept it and it happens.
Perhaps we should be more jealous of our remaining in fellowship with Him by resisting any and all forms of temptation.
Another question based upon misplaced assumptions.
It is false to say we never had total free will because none of us asked to be created. This presumes our existence prior to our existence. It begs the question, therefore any will attributed to us at that time doesn't qualify as will or volition, for it has no object on which to rest the volition.
It is correct to say, some people wish they were never born, but such wishing is a consequence of their volition and denial of what God has provided for them.
So when the Bible talks about everlasting life and hell which is emphasized?
That the fires of hell/lake of fire burn forever?
That the result of being thrown into either of the above results in being forever separated from God?
That those who are thrown into hell/lake of fire are tormented forever?
The questions posed are very common.
I encourage one’s search for answers to first reside in finding out what God has done to provide for us.
Those who entertain these questions, frequently have masked their minds to the very large number of worldly and counterfeit suppositions implicit in their being asked. Such is the consequence of sin in our thinking processes.
This is NOT an accusation, but an observation which is offered, because in order to answer such questions, one has to begin with something veritable, truthful, sound, and steady. Such is His Word.
The attention to such questions need not prevail from study of His Word. Note how such questions presume an ability to accuse or lead to an accusatorial position of God Himself. Whenever exposed to such a circumstance, take note for such is the modus operendi of the Adversary as opposed to the righteousness, justice, love and grace of God.
Thank you for the reply. You’ve certainly offered me a different perspective.
I guess one of the issues that I have is that I feel that God demands perfection of us. I know that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. I guess that’s just something within me that I need to better understand. I can assure you that I am a long way from being perfect.
One thing you pointed out is that God not only considers our unrightousness but also our rightousness. I guess that is something I don’t take much into consideration.
I realize that a person cannot make it 95% of the way to Heaven. You either do or you don’t. I don’t believe there’s anywhere in between. I obviously need to take into consideration that God sees not only my unrightousness but also my rightousness. That he does forgive me of my sins when I ask for forgiveness.
I am without a doubt a sinner. I frequently ask God for forgiveness of my sins. Unfortunately for me, I often go back and commit the same sins over and over. Obviously, I am not where I need to be and need to do much better.
I was initially drawn to God out of fear. For the most part, I went to Baptist churches growing up. I went to a Methodist high school. Fear of the lake of fire is what initially drew me toward God.
I haven’t been to any church in a long time. I used to go very regularly but a few things changed that. That’s another subject and I’ll spare you that explaination in this post. Although I haven’t been in a long time, I still believe.
I’ve heard different views on hell. It is obviously something I need to study more. One of the main reasons I’ve continued to believe is because I believe in a loving God. Unfortunately for me, I’ll sometimes use this as my “green light” to sin.
I know that God has always been there. It is not God that sometimes drifts away from our relationship. It is me. I’ve been in failed relationships before and I know that this is one relationship that I would most certainly not want to fail.
Obviously, I have a long way to go in my fellowship with God. I think it’s important that I recognize that I may not have a long time to get there because life is short and eternity is a very long time.
Again, thank you for the insight. I will read over your other replies again to try to get better understanding.
I'd like to make a suggestion if I may:
I just started posting a new series in the Religion column called "Radio Replies" and it's three volumes in length.
Everyday I'll be posting a handful of questions from one of the three books, I think you'll find some answers you've been looking for.
Regarding God being a "jealous God" just think of it like this: God made our hearts for himself, isn't it great to have an eternal lover like that?
Jn:3:16:"For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting."
God can only give the best and that best is Himself.
Both are emphasized for two types of characters, the purpose is the same, to avoid hell and attain heaven.
Thanks. I will certainly review the “Radio Replies.”
I don’t have the time right now because of work but I will certainly come back to review them.
I took a brief look at the links you provided and I like the way it’s laid out. I am confident it will benefit me greatly.
Again, thank you.
I totally understand where you are coming from. Until very recently, I believed Hell was a place of eternal torment, but through careful study, I no longer believe that. In order to be tormented, you need to be alive. The only way to get eternal life is through Jesus.
There are many other reasons, but one that you mentioned (came to God out of fear) is mentioned at this site:
You should check it out. It’s very well reasoned, and easy to read.
That appears to offer a different perspective. I’ll read this material along with the other articles.
I also want to be careful not to just interpret things the way I “wish” them to be.
This and the other articles should provide for some interesting reading.
I find it hard to fathom that Christ would threaten people with hell fire if they were going to be "annihilated" and therefore not feel anything.
Mt:5:22: But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mt:5:29: And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than thy whole body be cast into hell.
Mt:10:28: And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Lk:12:5: But I will shew you whom you shall fear: Fear ye him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you: Fear him.
Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17 - John the Baptist said the Lord will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. This unquenchable fire is the state of eternal separation from God, which the Church has called "hell" for 2,000 years. Some Protestant communities no longer acknowledge the reality of hell.
Matt. 25:41 - Jesus says, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Matt. 25:46 - Jesus says, "they will go away into eternal punishment" which is in reference to this eternal fire.
Mark 9:47-48 - Jesus refers to hell as where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. It lasts forever.
2 Thess. 1:6-9 - the angels will come with flaming fire and the disobedient will suffer punishment of eternal destruction. It is important to note that "destruction" does not mean "annihilation," as some Protestant denominations teach. It means eternal exclusion from the presence of God.
Jude 6-7 - the rebelling angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Rev. 14:11 - the worshipers of the beast suffer and the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever.
Rev. 20:10 - they're tormented in the lake of fire and brimstone day and night forever and ever.
Isaiah 33:14 - "Who of us can dwell in the everlasting fire?" This is a reference to hell which is forever.
Isaiah 66:24 - their worm shall not die and their fire shall not be quenched. We cannot fathom the pain of this eternal separation from God.
Jer. 15:14 - in my anger a fire is kindled which shall burn forever. Hell is the proper compliment to the eternal bliss of heaven.
Judith 16:17 - in the day of judgment the Lord will take vengeance on the wicked and they shall weep in pain forever. Hell is a place that sinners have prepared for themselves by rejecting God, who desires all people to be saved in His Son Jesus Christ. God sends no one to hell.
I am of the same school of thought.
I believe a lot of people “wish” it to be the other way but I believe the Bible to be rather clear.
It’s not a chance worth taking. Accepting God’s love and forgiveness is obviously the better way.
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