Author Topic: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?  (Read 7230 times)

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martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2008, 05:59:19 AM »
I'm starting to look at limited duration afterlife punishment once again 'cause the no afterlife punishment whatsoever is causing too many paradoxes for me.  Perhaps it's both.  Perhaps it's far fewer in afterlife punishments than someone like Andrew Jukes, Elhanan Winchester, and Charles Chauncy would have been inclined towards believing in.  Next to nobody for never having heard, next to nobody whose sins are all traceable to trauma earlier in their life, but the numbers might start growing with the religious and the Hitlers of the world.  Just thinking out loud.  Their suffering accomplishes nothing.  I'm more of a preacher of the Blood of Christ than I've ever been.  But the chronically hard-headed or the chronically hard-hearted.  I think that some have made too much out of certain studies on Brimstone that it just means devoted to the divine or divine purification or something to that effect, because Brimstone is also seldom found away from volcanoes and that's had me doing a lot of thinking recently about an actual "Lake" of execution, this earth in it's molten state if the judgment happens here and the three guys in Daniel that weren't touched with the smell of smoke are a picture of the resurrected righteous as the earth is being transformed into the new earth, but is an inferno for those condemned for their works out of the Books, etc.  Just thinking aloud right now.  What if those not found in the Lamb's book of life that have to go through something so frightening and unbelievably painful were less than one percent of all of those who've lived throughout history because all of the others at their core really were crying out for the real God and the real love in their hearts?  But what if the one or two percent have to literally have the Hell scared out of them to make them cry out to God with something other than the assumption that His last Name is d*mm*t?  Such a judgment if it were involving the whole planet being aflame wouldn't have to last a whole ten seconds.  Sin seems to continue onto the New Earth, but in a less accountable way after the Lake of Fire judgment has occured.  All we're seeing at that time is the ministry of reconciliation though the wicked, unclean, etc., etc. are in their sin "still."  The Spirit and the Bride say "Come!!!!!  Whosoever will let him take of the water of life FREELY!!!!!"

Offline jabcat

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2008, 06:26:15 AM »
Something that goes along with my previous post and now with yours, Martin, may be the passage in Peter about those being held captive that were disobedient in the days of Noah...the ones to whom Jesus proclaimed and "led them out?"....so, where were they, in God, placed somewhere not-so-fun by God [some type of punishment, or more of the punishment being separation from Him and the darkness of that]?  And if He led them out, where are they now, especially if the "dead know nothing" :Chinscratch:?  And......if the spirit returns to God from whence it came, it doesn't sound like theirs did, at least immediately...it seems something was happening in the meantime that He went and got them from?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 06:29:02 AM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2008, 06:28:05 AM »
Another question.


If there is nothing to fear and be concerned about, what does it matter how I live my life?  


martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2008, 07:37:48 AM »
If there is nothing to fear and be concerned about, what does it matter how I live my life?
If fear is what people are building their lives on, then it's definitely not on Christ.
Something that goes along with my previous post and now with yours, Martin, may be the passage in Peter about those being held captive that were disobedient in the days of Noah...the ones to whom Jesus proclaimed and "led them out?"....so, where were they, in God, placed somewhere not-so-fun by God [some type of punishment, or more of the punishment being separation from Him and the darkness of that]?  And if He led them out, where are they now, especially if the "dead know nothing" :Chinscratch:?  And......if the spirit returns to God from whence it came, it doesn't sound like theirs did, at least immediately...it seems something was happening in the meantime that He went and got them from?
I'm not as big on the "know nothing" passage in Ecclesiastes as many other UR folks are because that was in the context of Solomon having sought the dead for instruction 'cause he admits that he dabbled with everything under the sun and he definitely had plenty of pagan wives and concubines to have indoctrinated him into the occult.  And the dead were as useless to him for counsel as tea leaves at the bottom of a cup, palm reading, or throwing salt over his shoulder.  The context of Ecclesiastes isn't the preacher sharing his God-given wisdom, but him sharing about everything he'd gotten his stupid self into and the futility he'd found in anything outside of the commandments and promises of God. 

Ecclesiastes is "wisdom under the sun" and though a true reflection of the mind of Solomon at the time, just like Job's friends in the book of Job, it should be taken with a grain of salt.  In the case of Job's friends they're severely rebuked by God for not having spoken correctly concerning Him as Job had.  There's a difference between statements of truth in the Bible and things that are truly stated, that that's what somebody said.  Case in point: "Ye shall not surely die.  God knows that in the day ye eat thereof your eyes shall be open and you shall be as God, knowing the difference between good and evil."  Guess what!  Truly stated, but not a statement of truth, meaning that the serpent did say it, but he lied.  Adam and Eve died that day, although it took a millenium for their bodies to rot. 

And I'm aware of the doctrinal play on words that some build off of "dying thou shalt die."  To me, that just means that they "died daily" as the curse worked it's way further into their lives and the atmosphere around them became more corrupt, and their souls cried out for the spiritual knowledge that they once had access to, and they were stuck with finding limited sufficiency in one another because they couldn't find AS MUCH satisfaction from the Presence of God. 

I'm not big on proving anything by the cliche of the rich man and lazarus, but it's not the only passage that indicates conscious existence after death.  This passage from Peter that you've just quoted is one, the dead in the book of Revelation that have washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb that were evidently conscious when John and the Angel were talking about them, a few things in St. Paul about being absent from the body and present with the Lord, people having rest from their works because their works follow them in Isaiah, etc.  I've never had rest from my works when I was totally blacked out which is the closest approximation that I can come to in this life of the annihilation of consciousness taught be A.E. Knoch, L. Ray Smith, Martin Zender, and others. 

My rest from my works is when I'm wide awake with a glass of ice tea or a hot chocolate and in a recliner able to appreciate some fruitful works that I've done.  Plus, what do you do with the great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 11 if the dead know absolutely nothing and they're all croaked deader than a smashed roach?  I could annihilate that doctrine, Scripturally, if I were inclined, but I genuinely don't care to argue a point that could get me into one of those where some people have made up their minds so much that they wouldn't recognize an honest refutation if they heard one.

Their bodies know nothing, because the bodies were animated by their spirits.  Read James's epistle sometime: "As the body without the spirit is dead," so faith without works is dead.  That's all that the Bible's ever said from cover to cover that death was, with the few exceptions like in Ephesians and elsewhere that can be taken as a spiritual death: when you were dead in your trespasses, He raised you up to sit together by grace through faith, etc. 

Death is separation of the person from God or the separation of spirit and soul from the body, but it's never oblivion of consciousness.  This comes from the error that the soul is solely the combination of the human spirit with the blood of the human being.  Then why is the Word of God the only thing that can divide between spirit and soul?  Seems like three or four 357 caliber gun blasts to the head would do the same thing!  In Priscilla's day, when she wrote Hebrews while she was pastoring Philippi, there were plenty of Roman soldiers and thugs with swords and knives that could do as effective of a job, even if it would have been more messy. :dontknow:

I believe the Scriptures that Jesus preached to the dead after His death and that neither He nor the dead that He preached to were completely annihilated in consciousness.  My question has been whether there's still been a "Hell" since Jesus emptied it.

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2008, 08:10:34 AM »
If there is nothing to fear and be concerned about, what does it matter how I live my life?

If fear is what people are building their lives on, then it's definitely not on Christ.



This is mainly for those who think this is the lake of fire and that there is no punishment.

We can soft sell this by saying "Chastisement" but thats avoiding the issue, really.  A loving Parent often does things for the good of their child that the child severely objects to.   Why would it really be different for the children of God?

Is there no merit in the warnings in the bible to do good?   Is there no merit in the promise of rewards?

If I had died in the middle of my drug using years, man, this lake of fire life would have been a picnic.  Seriously,  I had a lot of fun whether it was destroying my physical body or not, so what?  If,  when I died I'd be in bliss,  then no one could argue that I paid any price for the life I led. 

SORRY FOR THE ADAMANT EMPHASIS, BUT THAT IDEA CONTRADICTS SCRIPTURE.  I have a friend who died just in that manner.  So I am not making any of this questioning up as some kind of hypothetical trick bag. 

So here is the line of reasoning I am trying to get to the root of.

If you die having led a life that believed that it matters to live a Godly life  and I die living a life believing that it doesn't matter to live a Godly life; WHAT difference does that make?   

What meaning does it have one way or the other?


martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2008, 08:16:00 AM »
One thing that I wanted to clarify is that I don't believe and repent if I made anybody think that I believed that the book of Ecclesiastes is therefore rubbish based on anything that I said.  I'll fight absolutely anyone tooth and nail over the integrity of every verse in that Bible even if I can't adequately answer to their satisfaction the meaning of each passage.  Because of the way that Ecclesiastes ends, I personally believe that the whole book is Solomon working through his own repentance and return to God with weeping as he's writing it, perhaps with glasses of wine being poured for him as he's writing or collecting his diary entries into this composition's present form.   

He was seeing more and more of the desperation of his own soul's condition [having tried literally everything and perhaps some things he wouldn't mention for fear of being stoned or vilified by posterity] and he was remembering the justice, purity, and what he knew, remembered, and had experienced of the Love of God as he was writing it or putting the finishing touches on it in it's present form.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, but not all Scripture at face value is doctrine.  You've got to dig, or as the tired old joke says you'll flip here and see that Judas hung himself and close the Bible and open it again with closed eyes and put your finger on the passage that'll say to go thou and do likewise!

Offline jabcat

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2008, 08:37:57 AM »
I personally understood what you were saying Martin.  We have to read within context, with discernment, and with Spirit revelation.  I agree Paul.  God may show me different later, but IMO scripture teaches some will overcome and "be counted worthy" to reign with Jesus, while others will have to face judgment and corrective punishment.  I also think there's a third category...those who never heard, that I believe will basically be presented with Jesus as their Savior, and most if not all of them will instantly believe and be converted.  My 1.5 cents.  James.

P.S.  I also think the direct answer to your direct question is 'both'.  IMO, as I understand it, scripture teaches that we reap what we sow in this life, and that we are chastened as a child...God's way of shaping us into His will for our lives.  In fact, Paul states for us to not despise the chastening of the Lord.

I still have that Q of if our spirits return to God who gave it, then what's happening in the meantime prior to judgment?  Are some then kicked out later for an eon of discipline, or is perhaps the eon of discipline so quick but totally intense and effective as to punish and cleanse us in a nano-second as our spirits are basically "on their way to God who gave them"?  Somewhere there's an answer to this process, but I'm afraid many have scattererd bits and pieces of the answer and it doesn't come together in that one "OK, this is it, guys...here's how it works".  And of course, that would be by God's design wouldn't it?  Maybe for right now, in His HUGE divine purpose and plan for the ages, we're not supposed to have it figured out. :search:.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 08:46:36 AM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2008, 08:49:05 AM »
I'm tempted to do a commentary on Ecclesiastes 9 because it is a very very abused chapter in UR circles.  The chapter is simply saying that Houdini's not escaping the grave by himself, and that plans made in the grave by the dead remain as though dead because they have ZERO input into this life.  The one exception that I would give to Solomon's rule here, as one greater than Solomon in Christ, is that you can leave writings and various other forms of impact for future generations.  But from the grave, aside from Christ raising you from the dead either Personally or via a member of His Body, apart from that you're not going to have anything to offer this life of knowledge, insight, etc. 

I would also take this chapter of Ecclesiastes to be saying that were such a person to arise from the grave the people who hadn't died yet would find all that they'd say to be gibberish and there would be reason to question the accuracy of anything that a formerly dead person were trying to convey in their native language because experiences gained in another world aren't necessarily translatable into coherent, intelligible words and thoughts for this world because of the lack of a frame of reference, and the lack of the human brain's ability to translate what they've seen or heard.  I believe that this is the passage that Jesus based his comment for his rich man and lazarus parable that the rich man's brothers wouldn't be persuaded though one were to rise from the dead. 

The knowledge you gain in another world stays there while the knowledge you gain while here stays here when you leave with the exception of highlights that are in your spirit.  That's all that that chapter is saying.  It's not the only thing that the chapter is saying, but that's what the passage is saying that many UR folks take to mean an obliteration of consciousness upon death when too many other passages minimally make such an interpretation as problematic when you try to make that into a universal rule.  Andrew Jukes has a wonderful series of comments at the back of his book "The Restitution of all things" where he completely obliterates annihilationist theology.  If you re-examine his comments carefully with the proverbial fine-toothed comb, he's likewise annihilated this doctrine of obliteration of consciousness at the time of death.

This chapter of Ecclesiastes, properly understood, would refute the near death experience and anything intelligible about out of body experiences, but it wouldn't follow that you've disproven consciousness after death with it.

Speaking further of a post that I left a post or two ago on this thread, some would say that I was denying the Scripture that says that Jesus Christ alone has immortality.  No, Jesus Christ alone is physically unkillable because death no longer has dominion over him.  Anything approximating immortality of the soul isn't a contradiction to immortality of the flesh.  That's horrible confusion to hold to that idea.  Having a consciousness that escapes the death of the body doesn't automatically imply that it's within the category of immortal, or that it's in the category of the immortality that Jesus Christ possesses.  Again, there's a difference between the life of the spirit, the soul, and of the body.  People can be vegetables in the hospital and yet be fully conscious.  So that proves that just about obliterating their bodies doesn't rub out their consciousness.  In many cases those people prove to have been much more conscious because their spirit and soul weren't animating their bodies and could only pay attention to every sound, every variation of light and sometimes [on rare occasions] every variation of temperature.

How does death have a sting that's only taken away by the resurrection in 1Corinthians 15 if death is the turning off of the consciousness of the individual?  Some people die in their sleep either from illness or from foul play.  Are we to assume that if they were poisoned that death had no sting for them though they never felt pain and simply "slipped away?"  That's not what the Scriptures teach.  They assert that though the sting of death is sin and that the power of sin is the law, yet that the Scripture about death losing it's sting is only fulfilled in our resurrection -- yet, when you've been washed in the Blood of Christ upon your reconciliation to God by faith in Christ according to 2Corinthians 5, you're the righteousness of God in Christ according to 2Corinthians 5:21 and Romans 5 that says that through the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness you're to reign and overcome in life through Jesus Christ.  Sin for a Blood washed Christian is a non-issue.  Yet, death has a sting that's removed only in the resurrection.  Impossible upon the plan of annihilation of consciousness.

I'm leaving this subject alone because I'm violating my own personal rules about not writing to refute or to persuade, but only to encourage and edify.  I just slipped into a tangent on this that I didn't intend to keep going on and on about.

Offline jabcat

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2008, 11:10:54 AM »
Excerpt from L. Ray Smith that I think addresses very well several issues related to this topic....
"It is true, that homosexuality is a sin. A lust and a perversion of the flesh. But it is in the same company as being greedy and extortioners if you noticed. These sins are very common among those who condemn homosexuality. That is what makes for a HYPOCRITE! Jesus Christ DIED FOR ALL SINS AND ALL SINNERS!  It is a done deal. It is finished. It has been accomplished. ALL HUMANITY WHO HAS EVER LIVED WILL BE SAVED AND ENTER INTO GOD'S KINGDOM. Most will not, however, "inherit" the Kingdom of God during the oncoming ages. That is a special privilege allotted to only those called and chosen in this era.

All unbelievers and all unrepentant sinners will be judged in the White Throne Judgment.   Their salvation is SECURE! That was accomplished on the cross two thousand years ago. However, experiencing repentance and forsaking our carnal sinful nature is something we all must go through. Either now or later.  So your homosexual friends will either see the error of their ways now and repent and turn to God and forsake their lifestyle, or they will do it later in the resurrection of judgment.  Either way, THEY WILL BE SAVED!".  L. Ray Smith, bibletruths.com.
James.
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

laren

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2008, 03:24:22 PM »
If there is nothing to fear and be concerned about, what does it matter how I live my life?

If fear is what people are building their lives on, then it's definitely not on Christ.



This is mainly for those who think this is the lake of fire and that there is no punishment.

We can soft sell this by saying "Chastisement" but thats avoiding the issue, really.  A loving Parent often does things for the good of their child that the child severely objects to.   Why would it really be different for the children of God?

Is there no merit in the warnings in the bible to do good?   Is there no merit in the promise of rewards?

If I had died in the middle of my drug using years, man, this lake of fire life would have been a picnic.  Seriously,  I had a lot of fun whether it was destroying my physical body or not, so what?  If,  when I died I'd be in bliss,  then no one could argue that I paid any price for the life I led. 

SORRY FOR THE ADAMANT EMPHASIS, BUT THAT IDEA CONTRADICTS SCRIPTURE.  I have a friend who died just in that manner.  So I am not making any of this questioning up as some kind of hypothetical trick bag. 

So here is the line of reasoning I am trying to get to the root of.

If you die having led a life that believed that it matters to live a Godly life  and I die living a life believing that it doesn't matter to live a Godly life; WHAT difference does that make?   

What meaning does it have one way or the other?



If you're telling me you would have died in peace, with joy in your heart; and that all in your life was fulfilled while doing drugs etc; you're fooling yourself.  There was a reason you were doing drugs.  A "hole" in your heart with a temporary solution. 

Don't sell short the joy of relationship with HIM. 
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 03:28:38 PM by laren »

laren

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2008, 03:33:46 PM »
Then God's peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus.

Offline Tony N

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2008, 04:41:38 PM »
So here is the line of reasoning I am trying to get to the root of.

If you die having led a life that believed that it matters to live a Godly life  and I die living a life believing that it doesn't matter to live a Godly life; WHAT difference does that make?   

What meaning does it have one way or the other?

The difference is that one went about trying to please God by their life and the other did not.

The difference, if both are believers, would be if one reigns with Christ in the oncoming eons or is denied the reign. If one denies Christ by the life they lived then they will be denied the right to reign with Christ. If a believer lives a life in which Christ is not denied, then they will reign with Christ

Tit 1:16 They are avowing an acquaintance with God, yet by their acts are denying it, being abominable and stubborn, and disqualified for every good act."

2Ti 2:12 if we are enduring, we shall be reigning together also; if we are disowning, He also will be disowning us;" By, "disowning us" it is meant "disowning us reigning with Christ."
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2008, 01:39:03 AM »
Excerpt from L. Ray Smith that I think addresses very well several issues related to this topic....
"It is true, that homosexuality is a sin. A lust and a perversion of the flesh. But it is in the same company as being greedy and extortioners if you noticed. These sins are very common among those who condemn homosexuality. That is what makes for a HYPOCRITE! Jesus Christ DIED FOR ALL SINS AND ALL SINNERS!  It is a done deal. It is finished. It has been accomplished. ALL HUMANITY WHO HAS EVER LIVED WILL BE SAVED AND ENTER INTO GOD'S KINGDOM. Most will not, however, "inherit" the Kingdom of God during the oncoming ages. That is a special privilege allotted to only those called and chosen in this era.

All unbelievers and all unrepentant sinners will be judged in the White Throne Judgment.   Their salvation is SECURE! That was accomplished on the cross two thousand years ago. However, experiencing repentance and forsaking our carnal sinful nature is something we all must go through. Either now or later.  So your homosexual friends will either see the error of their ways now and repent and turn to God and forsake their lifestyle, or they will do it later in the resurrection of judgment.  Either way, THEY WILL BE SAVED!".  L. Ray Smith, bibletruths.com.
James.
My only question mark on L. Ray's comment here, or my one qualifier on this statement is that some sins are worse than others.  I'm not sure if L. Ray believes that.  I'm not saying that he's ambiguous about anything.  I'm saying that I haven't read enough of his stuff yet to know his stand on this particular point.  Elhanan Winchester in his book "The Universal Restoration" is the one that pointed out to me the Biblical differences between the degrees of sin and the degrees of punishment and restitution prescribed by the Mosaic Law and implied by other relevant passages.  Sins of omission, sins of malice, lesser and greater sins being implied by Jesus when He was with Pilate, being recompensed double for one's sins in the writings of one of the prophets, etc.  One of the staples of ET is the assumption that a child stealing a five cent piece of candy is no different from the deeds of Adolf Hitler, though many of them will seldom be explicit with an illustration like that. 

ET is not only unScriptural, it isn't intellectually sound.  Let a kid be imprisoned for life by a judge for stealing a bicycle and outside of Church the same Christians that believe that the kid deserves ET for stealing will start all kinds of petitions for his case to be retried by a different judge, etc., trying to get him out in a more reasonable amount of time.  But let the kid be three years older and if he does the same thing, then according to the sermons and many of the Gospel tracts, he's deserving of the deepest, hottest, eternal Lake of Fire!  I'm surprised that until I saw UR that I didn't find ET problematic with getting people into hypocrisy in areas like that. 

People think that their emotions legitimize their doctrine along those lines!  When Lorena Bobbit cut her husband's whatchamacallit off, there wasn't a man on the planet that didn't sleep on their stomach for a month after that and hope that God had an eternal Hell for a woman like that.  As much as every man might have wanted God to snuff her out when that story was hitting the news, that didn't legitimize ET just because emotions were running high and men were in fetal positions across the country every night on the remote chance that she'd come through their window with a butcher knife and freaky eyes that were looking for only one thing!  Some men were probably wearing a dozen pairs of underwear every night and kevlar jock straps for protection from knives if they didn't quite trust their wives for whatever reason.  Guess what!  God didn't look down the time vortex and suddenly rewrite the Bible in antiquity to include ET provisions for women that totally snap and do unspeakable things to a man.

Emotions have zero to do with the chastenings of the Lord, their timing and duration, and whether they happen in the body or out of the body.  And there is a difference between different kinds of sin.  Every man on earth acknowledges that a woman slapping his face is a lesser evil than mutilating him in the way that I've just illustrated.  Few men [in the history of the world] wouldn't blow her head off if a gun were immediately handy right after a woman had done that to him.  But if she grabbed his credit card without him knowing about it and threw caution to the wind, inspite of his earnings being less because of the economy or whatever other reason, few men would go that far....though the heart attack might be just as bad for many men.  Few men would think that she deserved the damnation of Hell for all of eternity over it, for more than 5 seconds. 

Using an expletive with the Name of God would be a lesser sin to God than grabbing a high powered rifle and acting like a government sniper against a couple dozen of his best evangelists or Bible teachers on the planet.  So, rationally, the degrees of sin are evident even when you're no longer talking about sins against His image, but against God Himself.  All sins are not the same, whether you're talking about between us as human beings or between us and God.  Some things are just worse and will be dealt with accordingly -- which would be completely impossible if it were ET for the least little wrong thought, and if the least little wrong thought were judged by God on the same level as an Adolf Hitler. 

But what a testimony of Amazing Grace that Adolf Hitler and others like him will have to share in the ages to come!!!!!!  You're NEVER going to be able to shut him up about the tender mercies and lovingkindness of the Redeemer.  His most passionate speeches are ahead of him!  He'll probably be one of our favorite speakers centuries from now as he's testifying to the power in the Blood and singing the song that asks if you've been washed in the Blood.  He'll never stop shouting about the wonder working power in the Blood of the Lamb!

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2008, 03:22:24 AM »

If you're telling me you would have died in peace, with joy in your heart; and that all in your life was fulfilled while doing drugs etc; you're fooling yourself.  There was a reason you were doing drugs.  A "hole" in your heart with a temporary solution. 

Don't sell short the joy of relationship with HIM. 


Whether I am fooling myself or not is not the issue.  If I had died in the midst of my drug use, what then?

My friend did, what of him?   




Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2008, 03:39:38 AM »
Excerpt from L. Ray Smith that I think addresses very well several issues related to this topic....
"It is true, that homosexuality is a sin. A lust and a perversion of the flesh. But it is in the same company as being greedy and extortioners if you noticed. These sins are very common among those who condemn homosexuality. That is what makes for a HYPOCRITE! Jesus Christ DIED FOR ALL SINS AND ALL SINNERS!  It is a done deal. It is finished. It has been accomplished. ALL HUMANITY WHO HAS EVER LIVED WILL BE SAVED AND ENTER INTO GOD'S KINGDOM. Most will not, however, "inherit" the Kingdom of God during the oncoming ages. That is a special privilege allotted to only those called and chosen in this era.

All unbelievers and all unrepentant sinners will be judged in the White Throne Judgment.   Their salvation is SECURE! That was accomplished on the cross two thousand years ago. However, experiencing repentance and forsaking our carnal sinful nature is something we all must go through. Either now or later.  So your homosexual friends will either see the error of their ways now and repent and turn to God and forsake their lifestyle, or they will do it later in the resurrection of judgment.  Either way, THEY WILL BE SAVED!".  L. Ray Smith, bibletruths.com.
James.



Hi James,

I have read many of L Rays articles and he appears to take the view that there is some form of correction that takes place after we die on earth. I tend to see that also in scripture.  It is not enough to just say there is not correction waiting for us after death.

You can establish that some form of correction takes place after death separate from determining what that correction actually is, whether it is akin to torture or otherwise.

I found this e-mail on his site it is appropriatly labeled "live like hell, still go to heaven"


Quote
I stumbled across your site while searching for a Bible verse.   Most of your writings went WAY over my head as I am not very knowledgeable about the Bible as yet. 
My question to you is very simple.   (You need not go into deep detail so as not to confuse me.) 

I want to know if you believe that no matter how one lives their life; no matter how "good" or "evil" they are as a human being on this planet earth, all end up with the same fate?

You got me wondering about all the people who don't even know of God so they cannot make a choice to believe or not believe.  My question, however, speaks of those who are aware of "God", and who choose to live a life apart from what can be called moral and good.   Now, by moral and good I basically mean following the laws of the land, and reaching out to people in need.

Thanks,

Diane

[Ray Replies]

Dear Diane:

A full answer to your question requires many pages to answer, however, I will give you the abbreviated answer.

Will all mankind eventually be saved? YES!  Can they live like hell all of their lives and still go to heaven when they die? NO! There is a process. God has a plan and He is working His plan to perfection.

God does not even call all or most people to salvation in this lifetime. Even some of those who are called turn from God. And billions have never heard of Jesus Christ in the first place.

The answer is that God nowhere says that one must be saved in this life only or he can never be saved. That is a nasty little piece of heresy that is taught by the theologians of Christendom. It is a way to keep people in fear so that they keep "praying and paying."

If you read all of my paper "EXPOSING THOSE WHO CONTRADICT" you will come to the section where God prophesies the resurrection of all the dead Israelites in the book of Ezekiel. Most of Israel never obeyed or loved God. God said that they were WORST than the heathen and pagans in their religious practices. They committed every foul and evil dead and blasphemed the name of God. And yet, God says that He will resurrected them all back to life and put His spirit in them, and they SHALL KNOW Who God is. They will become God's people and God will become their God.

The same is true for ALL UNSAVED AND UNBELIEVING humanity. All humanity will be judged, chastised, and purged of their evil heart and carnal wicked mind. EVERYONE!  Our Apostle Paul teaches us that we can judge ourselves NOW, and then we won't have to be judged LATER. But sooner or later, ALL WILL BE JUDGED AND PURIFIED. You can believe it. You can take it to the bank! No one will escape the judgments and chastisements of God Almighty. Jesus Christ has already paid the PENALTY for our sins, but our deceitful and wicked heart that is at the very seat of all sin, must yet be dealt with. Too bad these simple Bible Truths are not taught in the churches.

I would encourage you to read all the papers on my web site and look up ALL THE SCRIPTURES. God will guide your understanding and you will become wise in things you never thought possible.

God be with you.

Sincerely,

Ray




Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2008, 03:55:48 AM »
So here is the line of reasoning I am trying to get to the root of.

If you die having led a life that believed that it matters to live a Godly life  and I die living a life believing that it doesn't matter to live a Godly life; WHAT difference does that make?   

What meaning does it have one way or the other?

The difference is that one went about trying to please God by their life and the other did not.

The difference, if both are believers, would be if one reigns with Christ in the oncoming eons or is denied the reign. If one denies Christ by the life they lived then they will be denied the right to reign with Christ. If a believer lives a life in which Christ is not denied, then they will reign with Christ

Tit 1:16 They are avowing an acquaintance with God, yet by their acts are denying it, being abominable and stubborn, and disqualified for every good act."

2Ti 2:12 if we are enduring, we shall be reigning together also; if we are disowning, He also will be disowning us;" By, "disowning us" it is meant "disowning us reigning with Christ."


So if I do not care if I reign with Christ, it doesn't matter?   

martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2008, 04:46:43 AM »
So if I do not care if I reign with Christ, it doesn't matter?
If you didn't care if you reigned with Christ, then it would mean that your love wasn't perfected.  Or it would indicate a lack of understanding of what reigning with Christ entailed.  This is something that's easily taken away from people with the dispensational premillenialist view of the Cosmic Rambo scenario of a misinterpretation of Revelation 19.  Military conquest in the Napoleonic sense is absolutely no part of the Gospel.  Jesus Christ isn't the new and improved Alexander the Great.  Otherwise, the Catholic Crusades of the dark ages were 100% holy, righteous, blameless, above and beyond reproach, and according to His Will.  The premillenial view of Megiddo makes Jesus Christ vengeful in the human sense since Megiddo is bordered immediately by Nazareth in Israel, where He was rejected and nearly dumped into the valley of Megiddo by that crowd that complained about knowing His earthly mother, brothers, and sisters, and His step dad.  Reigning with Christ involves the setting of all of Creation free from all generations that have ever lived in every universe that there's ever been or will ever be.  It involves the making of all things new with Jesus Christ.  It involves making everything right.  The possibility of missing out on the New Earth experience of restoring all things isn't worth it.  It's an experience that'll never be repeated again after 1Corinthians 15:28.  St. Paul considered it the tragedy of all tragedies to miss out on being a judge and saviour with Christ Jesus.

martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2008, 05:23:09 AM »
Was anybody around here a fan of Michael Landon's television program "Highway to Heaven?"  I think about that program a lot when I'm thinking about what it means to reign with Christ and to be a joint-heir with Him and a co-deliverer of all of Creation.  I can't help wondering sometimes if the scenario envisioned by that program is a small part of how all of that will work out in history.  Obviously the last verse of Hebrews chapter 1 comes to mind and the situation with the English over messenger/angel in that text.  The only thing problematic with going there, unless there's something in the surrounding Greek text that takes an unexpected departure from the rest of the text is the "to which of the angels said He at any time.....?" unless perhaps we've misread that as well as the 10,000+ other verses that tradition or just present light or even God's timing is keeping us from grasping the full meaning of.

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2008, 05:38:15 AM »
So if I do not care if I reign with Christ, it doesn't matter?
If you didn't care if you reigned with Christ, then it would mean that your love wasn't perfected.  Or it would indicate a lack of understanding of what reigning with Christ entailed.  This is something that's easily taken away from people with the dispensational premillenialist view of the Cosmic Rambo scenario of a misinterpretation of Revelation 19.  Military conquest in the Napoleonic sense is absolutely no part of the Gospel.  Jesus Christ isn't the new and improved Alexander the Great.  Otherwise, the Catholic Crusades of the dark ages were 100% holy, righteous, blameless, above and beyond reproach, and according to His Will.  The premillenial view of Megiddo makes Jesus Christ vengeful in the human sense since Megiddo is bordered immediately by Nazareth in Israel, where He was rejected and nearly dumped into the valley of Megiddo by that crowd that complained about knowing His earthly mother, brothers, and sisters, and His step dad.  Reigning with Christ involves the setting of all of Creation free from all generations that have ever lived in every universe that there's ever been or will ever be.  It involves the making of all things new with Jesus Christ.  It involves making everything right.  The possibility of missing out on the New Earth experience of restoring all things isn't worth it.  It's an experience that'll never be repeated again after 1Corinthians 15:28.  St. Paul considered it the tragedy of all tragedies to miss out on being a judge and saviour with Christ Jesus.


But now we are seeing what you point out in scripture that seems to contradict the warm and fuzzy aspect of our reconciliation and the MEAT at which I want to learn and am tending to believe is that it does matter because after this life things may become very hard for us to be corrected.

Sure, I see something in the scriptures that I try to convey to my friends, but I am road blocked,  because they see the threat of HELL being their only real motivation to care about doing good things at all.  So, they struggle and struggle through their afflictions within that scope of inhibition. 

I point blank asked one of my friends once  "What would you do if it was proved to you that hell was not eternal"  he responded  "It would open the gate to indulging my sinful desires."

I'm almost hesitant to keep trying to minister to them, because my thought is that the knowledge of the good news might free him of many of his struggles, but then I see I might enable his destructive behavior.


If our ultimate reconciliation comes down to total peace and joy being with God as soon as we die from earth, then why would it be a tragedy that I missed out through what I did on this earth?

If all will be equal, no tears, all pain gone, total joy and peace, what tragedy is there?


martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2008, 08:46:49 AM »
If all will be equal.....what tragedy is there?
This is where Christian Universalism differs from other forms of Universalism; where Biblical Universalism makes a sharp departure between social, religious, humanistic, and other forms of Universalism.  All will not be equal:

35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?" 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases (i.e. judgment), and to each seed its own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead..... (i.e. distinctions of judgment)

Jumping back a few verses to what leads into this passage above:

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order... (i.e. timing, yes, but star differing from star in glory as well)

Even in this life, as shocking as it may seem, not all people who become Christians are recreated equal:

14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. (1Corinthians 12:14-25)

Did you notice equality of treatment between us, but the furthest thing from an equality of treatment of each member by God?  God reserves to Himself the right to treat someone that dies in their drunkenness entirely differently from how He treats me.  Perhaps it's the equality issue/plank that won't allow some people to see afterlife punishments, because if He didn't totally cook their hide in bringing them in, then why would He do that to someone else?  The chastenings of the Lord, as well as His blessings, according to the above are not proportioned equally.  There is preferential treatment based upon the end result that God is after, as well as the circumstances that He has to address in the behalf of His Holy Name's sake.  Which means, He can vary His severity as is appropriate to one member without having to treat someone else with any severity whatsoever their whole life- and eternity -long.

Reading further from 1Corinthians 12:

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts...

What's the point of being desirous of the best gifts like a little kid if the best gifts were automatic, or that if you automatically hadn't gotten something that it was His sovereign will for you not to have it?  That is very serious error for which there's liable to be a serious loss of reward on the part of those that entertain it.  People love to abuse verse 30 in this passage "Do all speak with tongues?" as though it was an "out," when in reality He was asking if all were ministering with tongues and interpretation of tongues up until then.  But earnestly desire the best gifts, or obviously the implication being to desire the ones that you don't have.

The more excellent way passage that I refrained from quoting above is the way that'll cause all of the gifts to work.  It's not putting love in distinction to the gifts as though the gifts prove you don't have the more excellent way.  That's perversion, heresy, blasphemy, and twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction on the part of those that believe and teach that.  They're supposed to compliment one another rather than this idea of gifts standing in the gap until love shows up.  No, 1Corinthians 13 says that the gifts don't work [and even cease operations] without love.  I don't have time to go into 1Corinthians 13, but most people try to read contradictions into it as though it contradicted the previous and following chapters to it.  When it comes to the operations of the Holy Spirit and the administration of Jesus' High Priestly ministry of all of those anointings, most Christians are really lousy scholars that are only looking to explain away their powerless lives using God's Sovereignty as their excuse.  Unfortunately, many of them never get out of that and not having known His ways are subject to the wrath of not entering into His rest in this life that He has for this life in the Promised Land that He'd intended for their own personal lives.  But this was a digression that I didn't intend to dwell upon.

4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, (Romans 12:4)

This shows the lack of equality within the Body of Christ.  If the many membered Sun doesn't have equality in it, but Jesus Christ has the preeminence in all things and each is raised up in his own Order, then could it be that the many membered Moon that'll be the reflection of the Sun of Righteousness in the ages to come will likewise not have equality, so that not only is it possible to be the last, but worse yet -- the last of the last because of there being no equality even among the last?

Jesus parable of the talents doesn't teach equality and teaches that a buried talent subjects one to the punishments of the unbeliever.  One's fruitfulness with talents ensures different levels of administrative oversight over varying numbers of cities.  Again, the reign of Christ from first to last isn't totalitarian in nature, and neither is it communist with each receiving an equal share when there was no group participation in the same outreaches, the same building and building up of the Body projects, etc.  Communism would divide the ten talents producer with the one who only had one talent, but in Christ's Kingdom a lack of diligence with the one talent can produce a loss of the talent because Christ isn't impressed with keeping His gifts separated from usage when He gave them to be used.  The guy who buried his talent could have been the holiest of the three individuals and yet Jesus said to throw him into the Lake of Fire.  Yet he could have been the holiest, and by that I'm not talking about self righteous.

If the Old Testament teaches us anything, and St. Paul says that it should, then it's that God will match the punishments of His people to their degrees of unwarranted and self centered presumption about His goodness, their rights, etc.  A lot of people know that I write things related to where the application of the Gospel is towards animals.  I've been holding off on my latest edition along the lines of those heresies because my knees have been knocking over the warning of Him taking the Kingdom away from those that currently have it and giving it into the Hands of those that'll bare it's fruits where that particular issue is concerned.  I want to make sure that I heard Him correctly.  That's not the only issue on the table before the Body of Christ where things are on the chopping block by any means.  People's attitudes about dissing their rightful share in the Holy Spirit are under real scrutiny/evaluation right now.  Lots of other issues are being judged in the Body right now and some sweeping changes are on the horizon.  God's promised me a major increase in the healing anointing and has indicated to me that there will be an incident within the Body of Christ that'll indicate the passing of that anointing that He's promised to me.  I don't know more than that, or what this "new level" will entail.  I haven't really ministered in that particular way in a while for several reasons, but He's indicated to me a season of stepping back into that type of ministry where it's more regular.

(I've been EXTREMELY leery of having anything further to do with that kind of ministry 'cause of too many people that I've prayed for having died, but my Lord is trying to get me behind the wheel of the car as soon as possible after the wreck that I've had in my heart over that.  I don't know specifics, just the general sense of what He's telling me to that effect the closer that I get to Him.)

I wanted to get into much, much more Scripture about this issue of an inequal, but perfectly matched expression of His love, wisdom, and attention towards each of us, but having just mentioned what I mentioned in passing, my hands are starting to burn and the Holy Spirit has said to close with this thought for the time being:  Was it a big deal when God stripped the Kingdom from Israel?  Have the last 2000 years of judgment upon them in that regard been "no big deal" because in the end they'll be restored anyway?  Is there not something fearful in that to be discerned about making sure that we don't end up in the same situation for the next couple of thousand years in our own selves and in our descendants where the loss of the Kingdom is concerned?  When the Kingdom was theirs, Esther, virtually single-handedly was able to deliver her whole nation from a holocaust.  But when the Kingdom was stripped from them, 70AD happened, and a thousand other persecutions with growing intensity -- the likes of which they never saw from 2000B.C. to 33A.D.  And some students of the prophecies have assured us that a bigger holocaust is heading their way either prior to or during the tribulation that they say that the Scriptures speak to them about.  Has not reigning with Christ really not been a big deal for them, because after all, in the end, they'll all be restored to God through Christ Jesus?  Or has the cost over the last couple thousand years been worse than 10,000 eternal Hells of every religion you can think of, including Calvinism??

Does the heart of any compassionate Christian Universalist say "it's not a big deal, all that they've gone through 'cause in the end they'll be in the arms of Father's love anyway!"?  Anyone with a conscience would be aghast at such a person's "Universalism" and would think that they've lost their mind!  Bringing evil upon one's self by setting aside either the claims or the demands of Christ upon one's life is SERIOUS!  His Kingdom cannot be played with in such a flippant manner.

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2008, 02:52:12 PM »
If all will be equal.....what tragedy is there?
This is where Christian Universalism differs from other forms of Universalism; where Biblical Universalism makes a sharp departure between social, religious, humanistic, and other forms of Universalism.  All will not be equal:



And that is what I needed to be brought up.  I think the lake of fire being in this life and the idea that there is "nothing" we are really to wake up to but Gods loving arms all fuzzy wuzzy and care free is a flippant gospel that ignores the bibles warnings.

Love does not just say,  "Go ahead, fall into the hole, it's all good,  Gods going to pull you out eventually anyway, later"


I've come to the conclusion that God is loving and kind and because he is loving and kind he will not allow us to remain lost,  but that does not mean the road to destruction is not a long hard laborious one that will seem to last all eternity before we are able to return home. 

Will love not wish that all avoid that?


martincisneros

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Re: Punishment in this life or the next, or both?
« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2008, 02:44:52 AM »
Love would wish that all would avoid that, but Love is there to get us through all of the learning experiences of life.  A little child that's been spanked for something, 9 times out of 10 exaggerates how bad the spanking was.  Unless the parent, guardian, teacher, or principal hit the child with a sense of rage and revenge, then the parent, guardian, teacher, or principal usually has a sense that they didn't take it as far, and definitely not to the near murder that the child imagines in his/her mind.  For some people, what I've said on this thread is a fierce departure from what I'd normally say.  But there's the human side of the experience, the human side of the Scriptures, the human perspective on what's going on while it's going on, etc. 

I don't really see a contradiction between what I've said on this thread and what I've said elsewhere.  That's why even my own website has a blend between Ultra Universalism (i.e. no hell whatsoever) and the Restorationist Universalism (i.e. God'll fry you to teach you something).  It could even be exactly as WillieH and some others have indicated, from God's perspective, but from the human perspective, a little child 90% of the time exaggerates how bad the spanking was, thinking they have a broken tail bone, etc.  There's no question about human beings that screw around having a really long, dark road/tunnel to get through with every kind of haunting, frightful thing from their own conscience to deal with, plus the manifestations of God getting through their thick skull and how in their double-vision they're interpreting that if they're totally double-vision with their rebellion. 

Anyone that screws around and blows off the wooing of the Spirit of the Lord in favor of the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life, etc., will find the Kingdom of God to be a very Haunted House that they'll have to navigate through.  If Jesus were sitting here at this discussion board, He'd very likely say that for the wicked the Kingdom of God may be compared to a Haunted House that you'd go to at Halloween.  That doesn't mean that it's full of stupidity or that it's frivolous, but that you're going to be going through all of the skeletons in your closet one by one and having to face it if you won't let the Blood of Christ wash all of that away before it's inspection time.  Most of the skeletons will wind up not even being what people have done.  It'll be everything that they've done, but every thought, intent, fear, dread, nightmare, etc., all coming back at once at the point of one's life review. 

Having to deal with everything that's ever given you the heevie-jeevies at any point, at any age, at any state of mind, etc., that you've ever been through, but having to go through absolutely all of that at once.  How is that not a pit of Hell?  But it's not a pit of Hell constructed by God, but one within your own insides that would simply be pulled inside out to be dealt with.  People that don't maintain a tight communion with Jesus Christ have a frightful inside to be dealt with!  The degree of each man's torture, and I do mean torture in every sense including touchstoning, but including torment and torture -- all of it will be produced from his own insides as it all comes out on the virtually simulated operating table.  All of those thoughts that they wouldn't cast down, all of those cares that they wouldn't cast upon the Lord, all of those thoughts of revenge coming back to haunt them as they give an account for having murdered in their heart, etc. 

All of that junk coming out as their conscience is melting in the Brimstone of the Spirit from it's former hardened, seared status.  Being able to look at one's self for what one really is without any way of turning away or spin doctoring it.  All of it in the most brilliant light with no excuse to be made and nowhere to hide.  Ever seen a glimpse of the torments of someone detoxing from substance abuse?  Imagine that taken to the hundred thousandth power with every substance that we abused in this life because we lived intemperate lives in some area of our lives.  For some it was more blatant and noticeable with cigarettes and alcohol, but for others it was chocolate and other things that I won't get into.  Everyone is destined to go through detox in their spirit, soul, body, riches, and in the way that they relate to everyone in existance. 

You can do it in this life with the Word, fasting, faith in the Blood of Jesus, worship, renewing the mind, and learning to tell the mind and the flesh "no" from your new spirit in Christ, or all of the bats are going to come out of your belfry either on the way out of this life or in another world or another age, or at the resurrection.  And what I mean by substance abuse in this context is both in terms of behaviours and in our imaginations.  All of that's got to get cleaned out.  All of the filters have got to be replaced.  Etc.  The process is the same for everyone, though those that get on that path sooner than others are frequently branded as mystics, cultists, new agers, ascetics, extremists, religious nuts, weird, strange, specially gifted or specially called, etc., by the religious, by the world, and by their families.