Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > Judgement and Punishment

Questions on Hell by an inquirer.

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Gary Amirault:
Dear Sir or Madam,
 
I have just finished looking at your website tentmaker.org.  I am interested in some of the assertions made on your website.  I was hoping that  you could answer some of my questions and clarify your perspective.
Am I correct in concluding that your website holds the position that there is no hell?
If there is no hell what is mankind being saved from?
Why do we need faith if people are saved by Jesus whether they know it or not?  Ephesians 2:8- "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God," , Hebrews 11:6- But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. People did not need ambiguous faith, but faith in Christ to be saved.
If the concept of universalism is true and there is no hell, why did Jesus say in Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction , and many there be which go in thereat."?
Why did Christians such as Paul endure suffering in order to evangelize people if they were going to be saved anyway?  Why would Jesus command the disciples to proclaim the good news?
What do you make of the White Throne Judgement seen in Revelation 20:11-15?
I apologize if my questions don't take into account all of your writings as I have just recently discovered your site and have not had the chance to thoroughly examine your opinions.  Truly it is difficult to marry a God of Love with eternal torment.  I will say this however, our sins are worthy of death (Romans 6:23) and Jesus died so that we would not have to perish(John 3:16).  That is love.  If God did not punish, He would not be just.  The fact that He provides ANY way of salvation from sure damnation is gracious and loving. Also, those who do not know God and who have fervently sought not to know Him and not to recognize Him (Romans 1:18-32) will receive their wish and be permanently cut off from Him.  He is Love, Light, Redemption and Goodness.  Cut off from Him, the only true reality would be quite literally, hell.
 
I am not a bible scholar.  I am just a regular Christian so if you could make your points plain and substantiated by scripture, in context, I would greatly appreciate it.
 
God Bless

Kratos:
Poster,

Why do you believe that we need an eternal hell in order to desire to be saved? To me, I am being saved from separation from God and saved unto relationship and restoration to Him. This means that my spirit has been saved from death, my soul is being saved from the carnal mind and unto the mind of Christ and my body is being saved from corruption and mortality to incorruption and immortality.

Certainly plenty of reason to suffer the loss of the things of this world and certainly reason enough to compel others to be saved, also.

If you saw people suffering in malnutrition and you had plenty of food, but you were told that no one will die and all will eventually be fed would you stop trying to tell people that they can eat now? I do believe that there is no eternal Hell and all will eventually be saved so that God can be all in all, but I would still not wish any to spend one more day in separation from God.

I hope this helps,

John

gatheredfragments:
2Sa 22:4  I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
2Sa 22:5  When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
2Sa 22:6  The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
2Sa 22:7  In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.


Gary:  Here you have David, king of Israel, a type of Jesus Christ, who is praying to God, and in his expression he is saying that he is experiencing the sorrow of hell in his 'present tense' situation.  Hell is given to us symbolically to describe the pain and suffering of being apart from God.  David's pain, and our pain, is similar to that same pain Jesus experienced on the cross, when we too realize our soulish wants are crucified. 

          In my opinion, hell is real.  Hell is the outside place from Jerusalem, it is the area outside the literal city, that was where the refuse was burned.  It is the same by symbolism of the experience here David speaks of, the same Jesus suffered for all of our being saved, and the same I experience as I face the pain of my soul fighting my spirit.  For my spirit longs to be like my God, and my soul longs to be satisfied of the world. 

Mat 5:22  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

here Jesus tells us, that our mouths will create our hell, that our words spoken, such as labeling another man a 'fool' will cause us to be in 'danger of hell fire'.  Burning off that 'pride'.  Hell fire, if there is a hell, must certainly be real!  But fire itself is not tangible and has no form, it exists off of air and of a substance that gets burned away.  In the case of humans, that is flesh and what we create by our idle words. 

Mat 12:35  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Mat 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.


the 'day of judgment' is always 'now'.  Jesus isn't talking about the day of the 'great white throne' when all creation will be judged, he is talking about the 'now' experience of being alive on earth.

Heb 10:30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Heb 10:32  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
Heb 10:33  Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

From my understanding, Hell is very real, but the purpose of hell is not to kill life, but to kill what is anti christ in us, right now.  Hell is always associated with fire.  So is the sanctification process

Eze 22:18  Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.
Eze 22:19  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
Eze 22:20  As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.
Eze 22:21  Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
Eze 22:22  As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.

the purpose of Hell is to purify us.  even if the eternal damnation of hell fire were true..then the purpose would remain the same...either way...we end up purified.  Here God tells us we will be gathered into the fiery furance and melted, and what is dross, or vile is destroyed forever, but we are changed not destroyed.  To be melted is to be changed in shape and function, to be made mutable and useful again.



**this is MY understanding as the spirit has shown me regarding hell**

Inquirer:
Hello,

I am still reading the spirited debate concerning the questions that I posed to the moderator.  I would like to clarify some points though.

 1) 1 John 1:9- says that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just  to forgive us our sins.  If one of you, God forbid, had a loved one murdered and the judge of the court said to the murderer that he is forgiven, I don't think that you could hardly call that justice.  You surely wouldn't think that the judge is righteous.  But God is both just, righteous AND gracious and merciful in that He does not overlook sin, but allows for atonement to occur through a sacrifice.  Hell is the choice for those who do not accept the way out. He does not force anyone to accept it, but they must accept it to be saved. God has gone to great lengths to keep people from hell.

2) Hell was made for satan and his demons, not men.  The arguments that alter the reality of hell based upon God's relationship with men seem to not hold water because in 2 Peter 2:4 we see that angels also can go into hell.

3) Antichrist and the false prophet are cast into that same Lake of fire (Revelation 19:20) as those from the White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-15)  Will the Antichrist be saved too?  He and the flase prophet are, of course, men.

4) Using the prophetic psalms speaking of Christ to substantiate claims that unsaved men will not go to a literal hell seems a little, well, off.  I mean we know that Christ is different in that He was supposed to be the first risen from the dead into a glorified state.  I would think that a man would at least need to be in Christ in order to even think about looking at hell from this perspective.  Also the dynamics of what happened on the cross as they are described in Psalm 22 are difficult to understand at the least.  The Lord took the burden of all the sin in all the world for all time in a few hours.  To first claim we understand that and secondly extrapolate it to this argument seems inappropriate.

5) Lastly, many people use very heart wrenching emotional stories to show how the teaching of hell is not merciful or loving.  All of these terrible things that we see in the world were caused by sin.  People are starving because mankind is too selfish to feed everyone.  We have plenty of food to feed all of the people who are starving but don't for political and financial reasons.  Our world is slowly devolving and perishing because, as the Lord said, the wages for sin is death.  Just like a little leaven which works through the whole lump, sin started with one act of disobedience and has grown into what we see today.  The atrocities that we see today have to do with mankind's sin either in wrongdoing, or not doing right to help others.  Trying to alter scripture to remove hell is not the solution.  Jesus spoke about hell and destruction a lot.  There is no way around it.  Instead of focusing our energy on wondering why God would create hell, why not focus our energy on spreading the good news of the gospel?  The same way one, in my opinion, twists the scriptures to remove hell, I could twist to remove our assuredness of salvation.  But that would not be the truth no matter how well I made my argument.

Romans 3:4

God Bless

FineLinen:

--- Quote from: Inquirer on October 08, 2007, 02:44:33 PM ---  But God is both just, righteous AND gracious and merciful in that He does not overlook sin, but allows for atonement to occur through a sacrifice.  Hell is the choice for those who do not accept the way out. He does not force anyone to accept it, but they must accept it to be saved. God has gone to great lengths to keep people from hell.
--- End quote ---

Inquirer: rest assured that the Living One will not "force" anyone to His Presence. In fact, the bowing of every knee in every dimension of the universe, and the confession IN the Name of Jesus by every being in the universe, to the glory of God the Father, is not by rote or perfunctory genuflections but one of unrestrained worship of thanksgiving and praise. That is precisely what exomologeo and homologeo mean in Phil. 2:10 and 11.

And Enquirer, you can also rest assured that the Holy One does not overlook sin by sweeping it into some area of the universe where His Presence is not, which is simply impossible, because our God is everywhere (omnipresent). And rather than overlooking sin by mere forgiveness, His forgiveness is linked with change & transformation. Nor, does our Father punish an innocent man to let the guilty go free. No, no, no. We are accounted righteous (justification by grace) at one stage of the journey, but ultimately we are "made the righteousness of God in Him."

And last, but not least, everything comes from our God: everything. And just as everything comes from Him, so does everything exist by Him. And just as everything comes from Him, and everything exists by Him, so everything ends in Him. That would be the whole enchilada, the ta panvte, the all. He is the Source, the Guide, and the Goal of all that is to whom be glory forevermore.

"From Him everything comes, through Him everything exists, and in Him everything ends. Source, Guide and Goal of all that is...."

Alternate viewpoint =

From Him some things come, through Him some things exist, and in Him some things end. Potential Source, potential Guide, potential Goal of some that is to Whom be potential glory forevermore.


--- Quote ---So wide is His care, and so minute, that a falling sparrow is noted and remembered. Peter gives Him the title of "the faithful Creator," meaning thereby that His responsibilities are fully met in a manner only possible to infinite power and love. If His creatorship yearns over a fallen broken bird, how much more will it reckon with all the forces that have combined to mar the image of Himself in the man He has made. If He employs the discipline of a father, the sacrificial love of a mother, the stern justice of a judge and the passionate affection of a husband and all these are figures chosen by Himself to set forth His attitude towards men and His work for and in them it is to the end that His great designs of love may ultimately triumph. If He turns men to destruction, it is that He may say, "Return ye children of men." (Ps. 90:3). If the vessel is marred in the hand of the Potter, it is that He may make it again another vessel. (Jer. 18:4). If His work is marred, then His own face will be more marred than any man's, that He may buy back those who have sold themselves for nought. Creation is full of mysteries, but the revealed character of the Creator suffices to assure us of a triumphant solution to them all. Only a traitor to His person and character would deny such a God this certainty. -A. E. Saxby-
--- End quote ---

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