I read the Luke 8 passage about the "submerged chaos" this morning in the CLV, and came back to this thread.
As well documented and IMO, the word "hell" is a mistranslation, and according to some scholars, the whole concept of an eternal punishment came from various pagan influences - and then was placed (Dark Age Roman Church influence) into much of our translations, interpretations, and thinking and teaching. One of the earliest claimed influences regarding eternal torment came from the Zoroastrian religion, when in 586 BCE, Judah was annexed by Babylonia and the Persian eunuch Nehemiah and the priest Ezra were sent by the Persian kings to Judah supposedly to teach the Jews about their own religion.
However, not all, but many believers in UR also believe in an afterlife accounting and corrective punishment/discipline, bringing the unrepentant to a place of repentance and confession of Jesus as Lord. ("works burned, himself saved so as by fire", "few stripes/many stripes", etc. - many threads about this, no need to rehash it all). Gary recounts after being saved, he was taken to a "very dark, unpleasant place" and if I understand, allowed to experience something he felt to be a taste of being "on the other side (temporarily) without a relationship with Jesus". I believe he said it was something he never wanted to experience again.
So anyway, "eternal hell" aside, reading the Luke passage again caught my attention, that the spirits preferred to stay in this realm, even living in a pig, rather than go to the "submerged chaos". It also reminded me of Jesus going and proclaiming, leading captivity captive, those disobedient in the days of Noah. They were apparently being held somewhere, until Jesus' blood was literally shed.
I have personally come to believe that most if not ALL of God's dealings with people in the OT, prior to the cross, had to do with the temporal - earthly punishments and rewards. They were not warned of "do this or that, or you will spend eternity in heaven or hell". They would not inherit rewards, or see the earthly promised land, etc. They would die. Then again, it seems Jesus went with the keys to the holding place and unlocked the door for those being held up to that time.
OK, any new thoughts on this?
*(I guess "new" could mean, "not what I've always been taught and come to accept as this must be the truth", but rather, through prayer, is there something here AT LEAST worth thinking about and asking God to really show us a deeper layer than tradition may have taught us). I'm coming to believe there are many things below the surface of "our" usual understandings, and only God can show us according to His will, and that it helps to be open TO HIM, seek Him, ask Him to help us see. You know, if that's the case, seems to me that really leaves little room for arguing and debating, but more of sharing, thinking, studying together, digging deeper to see what's there - rather than just trying to prove "I'm right, you're wrong".
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the honor of kings to search out a matter". There is unity in the crucified and risen Christ! Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord WILL BE SAVED!