Response to Videos
on Hell as Eternal Torment
This post is in response to the videos I posted last week on hell which challenged the wide-spread belief that hell is eternal torment. I scripturally demonstrated the righteous love and mercy of God, which knows no bounds. Romans 8:38-39 God’s love will prevail, nothing less till He fills all, for He is love.
Over the years of seeking to know God in truth and spirit, God has revealed Himself to me to be far more merciful and loving than I ever imagined; a different God from what I learned in the church system. I realized what I previously held was an image of God taught to me by others as I never truly sought with all my heart, soul and mind to know the true living God. God is beyond all religions and mankind’s imaginations. He is life. He is love. He is. Religions, though each holds an aspect of truth thus their appeal, craft false images of God. This is why Christ didn’t establish a religion, but gave us two commandments. Mark 12:30-31 He removed any “system” and gave us Himself.
As I’ve sought to know God as He is, His righteous love and grace have astounded me, and it continues to. We dwell in the shadow of death, when you get glimpses of life, it’s far more beautiful, pure and of righteous love than anything on this earth. The god of eternal torment isn’t God, but the God who gave His very life so that all torment in a deceived mankind would come to an end. 1 Corinthians 15:55
In the videos, I presented some aspects of what God has taught me thus far about His amazing plan of salvation, far bigger and more perfect than mainstream philosophies. What I found exciting in the perfect righteous love it contained, other professing Christians strongly rejected because it didn’t include their understanding of hell as eternal torment. They weren’t willing to consider the scriptural reasons opposing the concept of eternal torment. They held tight to their doctrine rejecting anything contrary, even a message of eternal mercy and love. Some cut me off so that they would no longer “buy and sell” with me, because I didn’t bear the mark (belief) of a god who torments souls forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 It was an eye opening experience, and thus this post.
God has shown us throughout history how easily deceived and misled mankind can be, even His people. He has shown how people are trapped in death and lies and can’t see true life, even when He is standing right in front of them. Luke 23:34 They can’t save themselves. They are blind. They can’t believe in the truth to walk and follow the voice of God that leads them into true eternal life. They’re bound by deception for the world is under the sway of the wicked one. 1 John 5:19
Therefore, in Christ, He will give them a new spirit and a new heart to be able to know and walk in His ways. Joel 2:28, Ezekiel 36:26, Hebrews 8:9-11, John 3:8 Without this new spirit, no one can truly know God. We are all dead in our trespasses. This giving of His spirit is the salvation and grace of God. One day all will believe in Christ, because He will be reigning. (True belief is walking in His ways of truth/righteous love not just acknowledging Him, even the demons believe and tremble James 2:19). Every knee will bow to the One whose love delivered them from the pits of hell; from death. God is love. His righteous love will reign. He will fill all and be in all. 1 Corinthians 15:28 All will be holy, all will be righteous, all will be love. That means there will be no more death; nothing left of death or of sin, except the remembrance that it’s no more. This is an AMAZING plan of love and grace that’s been diminished by the eternal torment doctrine.
My encouragement and warning to you is to seek to know God as He is. I say this over and over for I long to you to know the Living God. Learn from Our Teacher. Matthew 23:8 He will teach you all things, if you TRUST HIM. Don’t put your trust in images of God crafted by mankind. Every truth you hold of God bring into question and seek to be taught by God Himself. He will for this is the new covenant and His desire for you.
For those who trust in the image of God as a God of eternal torment, the shame and condemnation will be so great, for they will realize it was an image crafted and powered by Satan, the ultimate lying spirit. Satan crafts many images to deceive and put us in bondage. But God has given us everything we need to know the truth, His Spirit. Learn to listen and be taught by Him.
God is pouring out His spirit to prepare this earth for His return. This spirit teaches us all things which leads us in the paths of righteousness and life. It’s the still small voice saying walk this way. Isaiah 30:21, Hebrews 12:25 Don’t listen to the roaring lions of the enemy seeking to destroy, seek to hear His voice and pray for courage to follow it for it isn’t of the world because it’s the voice of life.
A Few Concepts to Consider:
- Holiness of God can’t have what isn’t holy existing for eternity; why He destroys wickedness. Yet in His love for us, He delivered us, who had wickedness, from being destroyed by giving us His Spirit; possible in Christ.
- God is love. In Christ, He has forgiven mankind, thus can infuse His righteous love spirit into them, thus righteously saving and redeeming. All will learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:9
- God is doing what we couldn’t; by His Spirit He enables us to believe on Him in a world covered in sin and deception. He truly is the Good Shepherd over a very lost fold.
- God is love and righteous. He isn’t one or the other but always both. We can’t split the two to justify man’s intepetation of doctrine. Why would you want to?
- A hell of eternal torment gives Satan, the deceiver of mankind and murderer, the victory.
- Eternal torment makes Satan more powerful than God; for God was unable to save those He wanted to.
- Christ came to save those who couldn’t save themselves; this eternal torment goes against Him, thus the spirit of the anti-Christ.
- It’s counter to the truth, Christ has victory over death.
- It strips the true God of power in the minds of His people and gives it to an image crafted by mankind, powered by the lying spirit of Satan.
- The image blocks people from knowing the true God, thus worshipping a false image.
- It’s a doctrine of fear, not of love. The goodness of God leads to repentance.
- It proliferates the spirit of judgment of ourselves and others instead of abundant grace and forgiveness.
- The list goes on and on …
Seek God’s understanding in this topic. I know some will question my words. Bring your questions to God; don’t shut your ears or harden your hearts to His voice and the amazing love that He has to give you.
May 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm
Truth really does set us free,..what the majority of people ,my self included have been taught lies about death,eternal death,..in a non Scriptural ‘hell’,..when we study truly in spirit to seek the Truth,The Scriptures become alive,and The Holy Spirit reveals what is actually Written,and gives us a better understanding.
most christian churches teach an even worse non Scriptural doctrine of lies,..and that is an eternity spent in Heaven,..which if you truly study Scripture,..you’ll not find one supporting piece of Scripture of this.
in fact, you find many many passages and Prayers telling a totally different place where eternity will be spent,…with a Chosen Son, for King Eternally ,..and a Loving Father for…..well a Loving Father being just that,what He is, a Loving Father,..Who Never Ever Changes!
read it, discern it,..and Rejoice!
May 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm
I hadn’t gotten to listen to your videos yet , Rachel. So thank you for this post that kind of lets me know what you were discussing. You know what I love about this and you? You don’t say that this is the truth and if we don’t believe it we are wrong. You say, search Him, seek Him out about it . ..this is what I discovered when i did. Thank you and God bless you!
May 22, 2012 at 10:10 am
Hi Debbie – I do know people have to seek to be taught by God .. it is He who opens our eyes. But for many they are so given over to this delusion. It is a sad state that people believe and worship a God who torments souls for eternity. God is so much more loving and powerful. That is Satan’s desire .. not God’s. And thank God that God is who He is .. righteous love and He will redeem us from all this. So many truths of God have been warped by man’s doctrine. What Christ did was powerful to redeem mankind from the wicked one. I do believe the God of eternal torment has been crafted by deceived men, deceived by Satan who powers this image. It is Satan’s image and those worshipping this God are worshipping the image set up by Satan. It’s of fear, torment, death, pain and suffering … this isn’t the true living God who Christ Jesus came and revealed to us through His life. It is part of the image of a false God created by twisting scriptures.
May 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm
Rachel, I think people reject the idea of God saving all (blessed hope, universal reconciliation) because they equate this doctrine with some other, heretical doctrines in which people insist that there are many ways to God and that all religions basically worship the same God.
Unless I’ve been misreading you for a long time, I don’t think that’s what you’re saying. It certainly isn’t what I or other Christian universalists believe. Yes, some do believe that, but I’m pretty sure (correct me if I’m wrong) that you still believe that Jesus is the way, truth and life.
People are so ‘sure’ that the blessed hope is heresy that they metaphorically cover their ears as they rush in to gnash with their teeth to destroy the ‘evil’ in their midst. They can’t hear. They can’t see. They have no idea what is being said. Their filters have kicked in full force and their minds are covered with a veil (or shroud). This idea is just too much for them and it outrages and frightens them.
Of course everyone isn’t this way, but a lot are. They’re fighting against something they don’t understand.
I realize you’re a dedicated and busy lady, and perhaps you don’t have time for this, but if you’re interested in discussing this with like-minded brothers and sisters, you’re welcome to join us at http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/ . I’ve found it helpful both to ask and to answer questions. It helps me to get my ideas organized and also to hear what God’s been saying to others.
Love in Jesus, Cindy
May 22, 2012 at 10:02 am
Hi Cindy — I think that is insightful … addition they don’t understand God’s salvation plan as the scriptures have been twisted by so many. Yes Christ absolutely is the way, truth and life! Check out this video I just put up when you have time … I’ll be posting it tomorrow on my blog. The True Path of Salvation … God’s plan is such a perfection of His holiness, love, power, grace … It is absolutely beautiful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LskqN3wASPo.
Thanks for the link.
June 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm
I appreciate your sincerity, but to dismiss a biblical truth as serious as hell, is a major oversight. One it is something that Jesus taught. It’s not about fear, or misunderstanding God its about the reality of not accepting Him now. If there is no Hell, then we have to dismiss the punishment that God placed upon the angels that disobeyed, the demolishing of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the punishment of Christ on the Cross would have to be re-explained if we are dealing with a God who will not punish people. Please don’t give me a new understanding, give me a sound explanation of the scriptures and the truths found there. I know we can point fingers to easily dismiss people that don’t agree with us, but I’m not pointing a finger, I’m pointing to the scriptures.
I think the points you make are “reasonings”, we can all have our “reasonings”, that’s why scripture, the truth comes in to check our thoughts, and correct our thinking.
God Bless you!
Mat 10:28, Mat 5:30, 2 Pe 2:4, Act 2:27, Acts 2:31, Luk 16:31
June 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm
Rachel’s certainly a lady capable of speaking for herself, but I hope she won’t mind too much if I can’t resist piping in here. Father did invite us to reason with Him.
A large part of that comes of studying scripture, and that includes checking up on the translators — making sure the job they’ve done is consistent and unbiased. Mostly it is, but not always, and the ‘not always’ can make significant differences. I urge you to earnestly study the word to show that she (and I) are wrong. You can easily start here: http://www.hopebeyondhell.net/ by downloading and reading this excellent (and free) study on hell. What do you have to fear or to lose? You’re right, right? And if you’re not right — well, you do want to know that, too, I feel certain. This is an up and coming controversy in the body of Christ, and you could do worse than to become somewhat of an expert on it.
Another part of reasoning together involves using the reasoning capacity Father has given us. I used to discount this as “merely human,” but I believe I was wrong to do so. The Bereans were praised for reasoning from the scriptures (rather than meekly accepting the interpretation handed them from the synagogue pulpit).
I could answer from scripture (without twisting it in the slightest) all the objections you’ve posited, and I’ll bet Rachel could, too — but it would take too much space here. Why not search the scriptures for yourself, discarding your denominational “sunglasses” to see what the truth is on this subject. Just because it’s a long-held tradition doesn’t mean it’s correct.
Love in Jesus, Cindy
June 6, 2012 at 4:49 am
Actually I don’t belong to any denomination, and could you please just send send me some scriptures so that I can study them. We both do not want man’s thoughts on this issue or any of the others, we want the truth. So if you can give me scriptures I’ll be happy to study them.
Cindy dear, you have to know the difference between reasoning from the texts and through the text, and human reasoning that leaves the text and comes up with different endings than the text states.
If you will notice with my first comment I put the scriptures right there, please do the same.
June 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm
Thomas… If all of us were in the time of Noah, how would we respond to him? Yes, he would come to us with the message that God is going to destroy the mankind with flood so that we must repent. Rachel and Cindy would say God is love and Noah is badly mistaken.
Truly, God is love. God’s love toward the mankind is well explained in John 3:16.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The word “whosoever” in the above scripture shows that God’s love is an offer for those who would accept it. Truly God’s love is open to everybody to accept by believing in Jesus Christ. But the choice is ours.
The Scripture says the wicked shall not go unpunished. God is very serious where the sin is concerned. We can understand this truth. by looking at the sufferings that Jesus had to go through when He became sin for us, Roman 2:11 says there is no respect of persons with God.
Jesus took our punishment on Him so that we would go unpunished. But for that we must believe in Him (according to John 3:16). The Scripture has not given any kind of assurance for those who would not accept Christ that they would go unpunished.
You know, Thomas, in my country there are people who use filthy words for Jesus and God. Many hate Christ in my country where the majority worship idols. How come these people are covered under God’s love expressed in John 3:16?
We are right in the period of grace. In this period, many people misunderstand God. The wicked think there is no God to punish them. Some Christians think God is love so that God would not punish the wicked. Both thinking is coming due to misunderstanding of the period of grace.
June 6, 2012 at 1:47 am
we all are living in the end-time ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ and it is as in the days of Noah,…and God Almighty is going to to bring an end to it all and to all those that dont turn to Him Through His Son….
and as Written not everyone will and those humans and disobedient and evil spirits will be removed from existence forever.
what wont happen is what most christians think,..is they will go spend eternity in Heaven…and everyone else an eternity in hell,and thats ‘hell fire continuous torture’ with the devil,..both of which wont happen as its not, Written
what is Written from the beginning to the end of Scripture is The Son of God Almighty will Return to This His World,..raise some of the dead to life at His return,..Renew the world with the raised and redeemed ones,and in a future time,1000 years?, raise all the rest of the dead to life and judgement….. and destroy all those that are unrepentant,..human beings and spiritual beings alike that He, The True Judge will Judge and give just punishment.
3 places they wont be,..1 is Heaven, 2 is hell, and 3 is this World
June 6, 2012 at 5:04 am
You have to understand that what God did in the O.T is an example of His righteousness, and 2nd of His judgment, ultimately for all who come to Christ that judgement has been taken care of through the cross, for all others they will have to face God on their own merit, which isn’t good, because our righteousness is as filthy rags. Jesus is God’s righteousness apart from the law (Rom 3) right now we can all come to God through Jesus.
Please Read the John 3:18.
God’s plan of salvation through Jesus is so wonderful,we as people who are the “ungodly” God who is perfect and righteous decides to justify us, the very people who are wrong. This plan of salvation was promised in the O.T, fulfilled on the cross and now because Jesus took the punishment we who believe can stand be recipients of this great grace. That’s the good, it really is bad news for all who do not come to Jesus, and it’s called Hell as Jesus said.
God Bless you, thank you for taking the time to reply to me.
June 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Hi Thomas, I’m out of town, but wanted to take a moment to respond to just clarify … there is a hell, but I’m making the distinction that it isn’t eternal torment, for that serves no purpose since people can’t repent and turn back to God at that current understanding. If you read the entire scriptures and rightly divide the Word, you see it isn’t God’s character for it is not of love at all. We’ve been very misled in this area by the church system that twisted these scriptures for their purposes.
God most definitely will judge and punish sin — it is throughout the Bible. The Tribulation is going to be a very trying time in the fire of God’s judgment as He destroys the wickedness. But its purpose is grounded in love for God is love. Wickedness and sin destroy us. It creates death. Christ battle isn’t against us .. but against sin and wickedness. He is saving us from ourselves by giving us His spirit. It is an amazing plan of salvation. He is our redeemer and so powerful and extremely loving in perfect righteousness. He destroyed death and sin .. and in the end we will see the fulfillment of what He did. But for those holding onto sin, thus their self-will, will face GREAT tribulation, but the purpose is to break the will, free them and redeem them. Though many will suffer great loss. What that loss is I’m not sure, but I believe it to be on a spiritual level of their soul. How blessed are those to truly trust, die to that self now, and start to walk in righteousness by the power of His Spirit in them. God is love … eternal torment makes that love hypocritical. It is a twisting of scripture to manipulate through fear. When you truly come to know the love of God, you know that it is not of Him, but the anti-Christ for it is anti-love. It denies Christ’s power and the magnitude of what He has done .. Given us His spirit in place of a corrupt one. We all need new spirits .. some of us just recognize that fact sooner than others.
June 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm
You have some dedicated followers, you should be happy. I will go back to this and say that the O.T and the judgment that He showed there was for us to understand His judgment and that there is a judgment to come, one that will be eternal separation from God. Not fear reality, Jesus and all the N.T writers expressed this in their writings.
When we stand on one scripture, or one attribute of God it can lead to a wrong view and understanding of the scriptures, because the scripture says God doesn’t change and has not changed. The same God who dealt out lethal blows in the O.T is the same God over the N.T. The difference for us now is Jesus, He took the punishment so that we can have the grace, but its for those who believe, those who come to know Him as Lord and Savior. As the propitiation, He squelched the wrath of God for those who believe.
I will ad this, the same reasoning your using namely “God’s love” is the same reasoning that the Gay agenda uses, and everyone else that are doing things contrary to scripture. I’m not pointing a finger, or trying to label, but I just wanted to point that out, while God is love and I’m glad He is, He’s a just God, a righteous God, and a Holy God too. Again I bring that up only because of the line of reasoning, please don’t take that as some sort of attack against you personally.
Jesus is our passover lamb, because only in Him can we be passed over from the judgment to come, because His blood covers believers. I can fill this with scripture after scripture to show forth this, but I think your familiar with them all.
If eternal torment makes God’s love hypocritical, then God will have to make a way for Satan and the fallen angels to be redeemed too! Which the scriptures says is not going to happen. God’s not hypocritical and we do not have to fear anyone misunderstanding God or not thinking that He’s love because of Hell and eternal punishment. In fact the reason God is taking His time is so that He can save all those who will come to Him, through Jesus.
Show me a scripture that is being twisted, when it comes to an eternal hell. Plus why can’t it be eternal, it seems more people just don’t it want it to be that way for some reason, not that it is.
June 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm
Iroshan, I completely agree with what Rachel has said. Christian Universalism takes sin more seriously, not less. Too many others look at sin as being unfortunate but not fatal, providing we have prayed the sinners’ prayer and meant it.
I will speak only for myself because I’m not sure how Rachel feels about this particular subject — how she would nuance it — but (like her) I don’t think God takes sinfulness lightly. Sin has been paid for, but sinfulness has to be eradicated (cured), and that can be done now or later, but it WILL be done in each of us, whether “saved” or “un-saved.” And while it will not last forever and ever, it is nevertheless GREATLY to be avoided.
To provide you with a list of texts would be futile, as the dozen or so texts you’re looking at are either badly translated or culturally misunderstood or both. I don’t think this is the translators’ fault, but we have been looking at divine punishment/wrath through the lens of Augustine since the fifth century. Of course they translate according to their filters. How could they do otherwise?
You need to look deeper, into the original languages. The texts need individual exegesis, and I can’t really do that here. That’s why I recommended Gerry’s book, as he does an excellent job of looking at the tough questions. I’m sure you’re stable enough in your faith that you’re not going to be shaken by a liar — anyway, he’s a dentist, not a politician. 😉
Beyond that, I’m sure you know there are hundreds and hundreds of texts that do point to God’s intent to save everything He has created. But we discount or explain them away on the grounds of a handful of NT texts that seem to say otherwise.
It’s important to allow the bible to interpret the bible, and I believe that the consensus of the bible is that God is better than we ever suspected. He is GOOD, and yes, we do know what that means, in our heart of hearts. He is good in the sense of the Sermon on the Mount. We are to follow Jesus’ directives there and in this way, be LIKE our Father. He is like that — like Jesus said. That is something to ponder, my brother.
June 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm
I appreciate the tone of your reply and the time you took in writing that out for me, but I have one problem, if I can’t trust the testimony of thousands before, the exegesis of numerous biblical scholars, and studying that I have done on this subject, then I can’t trust this one guy your trying to suggest to me. It just wouldn’t add up. Plus, when you talk about translating issues, if you own a Greek Hebrew interlinear bible it actually gives you exactly what was said in the original language.
Too many times we try to use bad translations, or bad translators as the reason a certain doctrine is misunderstood or not accepted. You know when they found the dead sea scrolls people were chomping at the bit to prove that the bible we have now was flawed, but what they found there did not prove it wrong, it proved it right.
I’ll just add this, people say a lot of times that mercy triumphs over judgment, but even the mercy seat had to be sprinkled with blood. Every one who comes to God will be saved through the work of Jesus, He is the only way, He took the punishment we could bear so that all who believes on Him could be saved.
God Bless you Sister,
June 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Hi Thomas … Christ died so that His spirit could be resurrected in many. He, as God, destroyed the self-will on the cross and will give us Himself to reign in us so we can live in holiness. He is saving us despite ourselves. He gave up His life to fill us. He is our Savior and the Good Shepherd. People are deceived and misled .. they are lost children. The Father isn’t victim to a foolish deceived child’s will … Christ came to save and save He will. Death/Hades does not have the victory, Christ does.
As you mentioned, when you hold a false doctrine, it affects the others. Because of eternal torment, people don’t understand the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice and what is truly the plan of salvation. They’ve abused grace as an excuse to walk in sin, instead of working out their salvation with fear and trembling. We now can walk with God becuase of grace in Christ, come to Him, so He can make us new creations who can stand in the presence of a holy God. Christ died for all men. All men will be delivered by His power, not themselves. They are deceived.
Yes, God will judge and punish … as people are given over to the works of their own hands, but the purpose is for repentance. The purpose is to destroy wickedness ..not so it will go on forever in hell. To be separated from God is death, for He is life.
June 13, 2012 at 7:44 am
I’ll say the famous, “we’ll have to agree to disagree”, 🙂 While much of what you said is right, there is a place of eternal separation from God. To preach hell as a second chance; you can get it all wrong here, even deny Jesus, blaspheme the Holy Ghost, but in Hell you can repent and receive life, is not scriptural at all. I respect you, but it appears that the one scripture about His mercy enduring forever has really become the main thrust for you theology.
I also would think that a 2nd chance hell, would go against Rom 8:29-30
Remember this the same God who reigned over the Old Testament who showed mercy, and Judgment through His destruction of people, cities kings,and kingdoms, does not change. Mal 3:6. However, through Christ He has changed the situation for people, and we can come to Him now, because salvation is now, and receive the love and grace that is in Christ Jesus.
There’s more that can be said, but again, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.
Blessings to you!
June 13, 2012 at 9:08 am
Hi Thomas .. so we will agree to disagree .. keep seeking to know God as He is in spirit and truth .. to be taught by Him for with Him are the paths of life in which there is no death.
June 7, 2012 at 10:37 pm
Did I give you the wrong name? I’m sorry — I guess I must have gotten confused between comments. This post of Rachel’s has sure stirred up a lot of discussion.
Interlinears are great. I have one which I downloaded for free, so I have to turn you on to the website, in case you haven’t got it yet: it’s at http://www.scripture4all.org . It has a lot of features I haven’t learned to use yet, but it’s easy to read the interlinear without knowing all that. You can also get the AV, YLT, and CLV with it. As far as I know, this isn’t a universalist site.
The thing about interlinears is, of course, that there isn’t necessarily any one way to translate a word. Languages aren’t that simple. Entire scholarly volumes have been written on the proper translation of aionios, for example. I haven’t read any of them because that kind of piece puts me right to sleep, but I’ve read a few of the articles. I only recommended Gerry’s book because it’s easily accessible, free, a great book, and stuffed full of scripture. However there are many, many more on both sides of the issue and also the middle (annihilation), and I have read quite a few of them from all three points of view. This is an important issue for me and I want to get it right.
I don’t want to lead you away from Rachel’s blog, but if you want to discuss exegesis of individual passages and/or issues, you’re welcome to post me at mine and we can e-mail. It’s http://www.journeyintotheson.com . I’ve also got a number of articles up on this subject.
It’s not that I can’t discuss these things with you. It’s just that it really doesn’t work in this format. We’d end up getting too spread out, if you know what I mean. But if you truly do want to discuss at length, drop me a comment at my blog and I’ll e-mail you.
Blessings in Jesus,
June 9, 2012 at 8:42 am
Sure thing, I’ll be sure to make some time and come through your site.
June 8, 2012 at 9:22 am
Cindy… Hell is temporary and not eternal. What is eternal is Lake of Fire where even hell is thrown into.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Human souls should not be tormented eternally based on the actions of them during a small life span on earth. That is why God has fixed a judgement day for hell.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
But the wicked pays for his wickedness in hell if he does not give up his wickedness and accept Jesus while on earth. But this does not mean that he is eternally condemned for the fact that the place where he is paying for his wickedness is temporary. On the day God judge hell, even the wicked can escape the lake of fire, which is eternal. But still, the wicked should repent and accept Jesus Christ.
In other words, there is a hope even for those in hell. That is why Jesus preached the Gospel in hell. According to this arrangement, your reasoning can be a reality. That’s no soul would be eternally tormented. But still, the condition is the same. Every one should accept Jesus Christ while on earth or in hell.
Many people think accepting Jesus Christ can only be done while living on earth. But if that is the case, what about those who lived in the Old Testament Period. Jesus paid for all the souls since Adam. Even Adam should accept Jesus Christ in order to be found in the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus died on the cross, many souls of OT saints woke up from their graves (graves in hell) and came to the surface of the earth with Jesus at the resurrection. What does this mean? Jesus’ sacrifice is valid even for those who had already died in the OT.
I can support all my writing here with scriptures. But I know you are aware of them all. I have addressed this topic on two articles titled “Eternal Judgement” and “The Dead”. I have given a detailed account to prove the fact that human souls would not be eternally tormented. Thus, you would understand that I am not against your reasoning.
But the way you try to show it raises controversy with many scriptures.
June 8, 2012 at 9:53 am
There is only one problem, when Jesus comes back He is coming back to judge, not to preach salvation to people again. His work of providing salvation is for all who would come now, not for Hell in a future time frame. Mat 24:37
My question to you is this, what about the fallen angels? Do they get a another time to get it right? (2 peter 2)
Also Jesus’ going to hell and preaching to them was part of Him dying here on Earth, are you suggesting that He will have to do that again? I would say no, He has the keys, Satan doesn’t , that’s why believers who come to Him now can joyfully shout, O’ death where is your sting!
Blessings and good day to all!
June 9, 2012 at 3:04 am
Hi, Thomas, thank you for your time.
Jesus came to this world to preach the Gospel not only once. He once came from Heaven. Again He came from hell and preached the Gospel for 40 days.
Even I agree that Jesus is coming again to this world to preach the Gospel as He has entrusted this job to us. Neither he would go to hell to do that again as he has already done it there too. However, He has promised in Mat 28:20 that He is with us until the end of this world while we do this great commission on earth.
What is the purpose of preaching the Gospel? Yes, for the unsaved to be saved.
Does this purpose change from place to place where it is preached?
Does the Gospel have one purpose when it is preached on earth and another when it is preached in hell?
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Please let me know the purpose of preaching the Gospel to spirits in hell by Jesus if you think all in hell are eternally condemned.
Further look at the below scripture:
2 Pet 2:4
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
If you say that the fallen angels in the above verse are already judged to be eternally tormented, you have already judged them before God would do it on the day of judgement.
If someone is remanded until he is tried in a court of law, can anyone proclaims the judgement beforehand?
Look at the below passage:
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The saints in the above passage had already died and were sleeping in graves before Jesus died on the cross. In other words, these saints died in the OT. If the sacrifice of Christ does not effect OT people, how come these saints rose from death?
If God has reserved the eternal judgement for the day of judgement, how come we condemn anyone eternally?. In this sense, we even can’t say fallen angles are eternally tormented as God has reserved them for the day of judgement.
However, there are three who are already judged to be tormented eternally. You can find them in the below verse:
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
June 11, 2012 at 10:00 am
Hi, Thomas… I hope you have something to tell me as I have a number of direct questions (mentioned above), awaiting answers from you.
June 11, 2012 at 10:45 am
Actually I do, however, between writing my own blog posts and counseling, I’ve had to put this on the back burner, but Iroshan, I have not forgot you. 🙂
I actually haven’t really read through your response thoroughly, I want to take your thoughts seriously and carefully look them through. How about I respond to you by email or I could post here…
June 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm
Hi, Thomas… Thank you for your response. I love to hear from you by email as no one else here is interested in our ongoing topic. Please email me by email@example.com.
May God Bless You!
June 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm
Hi, Thomas, I hope you have not forgotten my questions for you. This is only a reminder as you have not sent me any emails so far. Please give your direct answers to the above questions just right here as it is easy for you rather than writing emails.
God Bless You!
June 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm
Iroshan,..while your awaiting for Thomas,..perhaps you could reply to my question to you on the ‘Redemption by God’s Hand’ post regarding your use of Rev 21 v1 without taking into consideration Rev 21 v 2-5
June 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm
Hi, when the Scripture says that this earth and heaven would pass away, you don’t seem to believe it. When the Scripture says a new earth and new heaven are coming for the eternal kingdom of God, you don’t seem to believe it.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
When the Scripture says that no sun and no moon for the new earth and the new heaven, you don’t seem to believe.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Although you do not belong to Jehovah Witnesses, the beliefs you have on the teaching of the kingdom of God are exactly the same of Jehovah witnesses.
So Brother, when our beliefs on basic teachings do not fall in line with each other, it is wise to submit the matter to God rather than hanging on arguments.
June 12, 2012 at 6:37 am
peace Iroshan,..my intention is not to argue,..only discuss Scripture as to what is actually Written,..a search for Truth for all of us,..there is only One Truth.
Rev 21 2-5 and Rev 22 1-5,..is talking about The Holy City that will come down from Heaven,.not the whole earth
did you not read Psalms and Isaiah that His Rule would be from sea to sea,….
do you not understand this Earth is His Creation,.the sun and moon and the oceans all work perfectly together to sustain life for every living creature,..and will continue from generation to generation and forever,..how will the crops grow?. ,.. to feed the animals…the grapes ripen?….the vast crops of grain grow that is Written will feed His young men and women and the children they will have?,. in His New World Kingdom on this old earth?
June 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm
“So Brother, when our beliefs on basic teachings do not fall in line with each other, it is wise to submit the matter to God rather than hanging on arguments.” – Wise saying, Iroshan. I think that is what I was trying to drive at with my post as well.
June 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm
I think these verses will reveal that the traditional concept of hell as “eternal” (continual, never ending) punishment is misunderstood. First we know that God is love (1 John 4:8). And we also know what God means by love (1 Cor 13:4-8).
So, all punishment must be done in love, because God is love. Thus punishment must eventually bear the fruit of love (Gal 5:22). This means that punishment is used for correction and instruction (Prov 5:12) in what is good and therefore eventually ends and transforms the one punished into goodness.
Thus if it was the traditional idea of “punishment” that endured forever, the punishment would never end, never lead to good and would never function as God describes it in his Word. This type of eternal punishment would simply be cruelty.
But, there is a punishment that appears to last forever (Mat 25:46). And from the verses I mentioned, it has to be something else. What that is, I am not sure. But as an idea it could be:
A) What Rachel described – a difference in the soul that enters eternity. Could it be the difference between the “elect” and the others that are saved? Could it be the difference in being part of God’s family (and connected to him) and simply living in the Kingdom of God under his perfect care? The idea is that the eternal punishment may be the eternal state of your spirit in salvation as slightly different from the elect – yet fully and perfectly loved by God.
or maybe B) Some people will simply perish/die (John 3:16). This would obviously be eternal – and the punishment would be that in the resurrection of their spirit they would have NO memory of who they used to be. Thus they died eternally – yet live eternally.
Maybe you have other ideas and I’d love to hear them. But the idea of eternal torment is obviously not Biblically sound.
June 13, 2012 at 7:51 am
What about all of God’s other attributes? You can’t use one to explain away everything else. Do you realize what Jesus said on the cross, Father why have you forsaken me, do you understand the punishment and separation He went through because of Sin and to defeat Satan. Yet, somehow you think a person can deny all of Jesus work here, the work God ordained, show up in Hell, to receive a 2nd chance. My friend, God is taking so long now so that all who He’s calling would come now, that is His love, that is His mercy being showed.
It’s not that I want there to be a hell, a place of eternal separation from God, its just that there is.
June 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm
I’ll be blunt.
There is no fear in God. God does not draw people to him by fear. God’s mercy lasts forever – not torment. Fear involves torment – not love and mercy.
Anything eternally separated from God does not exist. To say one would exist in the torment of knowing they are separated from God is to say they exist. And nothing exists apart from God. So this person would not be “separated” from God.
There is coming a great deception. A strong deception. There is only one spirit that leads by fear – that is Satan. That is the “anti-Christ (the opposite of Christ).
The image of a god that draws people to him by fear, presenting himself as the God of love, is the image of the beast.
June 14, 2012 at 5:56 am
I would have to agree with most of what you said, but your conclusion would even omit Jesus words who said don’t fear those who destroy the body, but fear Him who has the power to destroy both the body and soul in hell. Mat 10:28. I don’t believe in a God who draws people by fear, that is Satan. God has not given His people a Spirit of fear, but there exists a people right now apart from God, people who all their lives are in torment by the devil who threatens them with death. Heb 2:14-15.
June 13, 2012 at 9:35 am
Hi Thoughtware, so much agreed … punishment of God serves the purpose of love, for He is love. Whatever the end result, all will be worshipping Him, every knee will bow because it’s His mercy that endures forever not His anger or wrath or judgment.
All the characteristics of God work together in perfect harmony all the time. Christ died to give us His spirit … we all need it, it’s the only way to be truly holy and righteous and stand before God. God’s plan of salvation is the perfect fulfillment of righteousness love. He destroys our wicked self-will and gives us His perfect righteous spirit — this is righteous, just and loving. What an amazing God.
June 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm
After reading articles and comments on this blog, as well as reading some things on ‘universalism’ and the ‘problem of hell’ on Wikipedia, I stand by my comment I made on ‘Series on hell’:
We get ourselves so confused about whether there is or is not a hell, whether there will or will not be eternal torment, whether some will be saved or all will be saved in the end, whether God’s love promotes the idea of hell or whether it makes it repugnant, simply because a Greek philosopher (Plato) told us that the soul cannot be destroyed.
After all, the soul that cannot be destroyed must live on in either heaven or hell.
But then to some people, the idea that a loving God would allow souls to eternally suffer horrible torment is abhorent. So they wonder if perhaps at some point they will be able to turn to God anyway.
While others strongly object to this idea, as they see God as a just God as well as a loving one.
And all because a Greek philosopher told us the soul cannot be destroyed. (Hint: Does the Bible affirm this idea?)
The thing is: None of us know for sure.
All we can do is explore this amazing Christ more and more. We can understand that He is the beginning and the end. That He is the everlasting One. That He is life. That He is love. That in Christ all things consist and have their rightful place, and so on and so on. (Colossians chapter 1 and 2 are a great start for finding out more)
Frank Viola put it like this: “When I’m finished exploring and declaring the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ with my brothers and sisters, I’ll get around to dissecting the anatomy of hell.” (Blog entry can be found here: http://frankviola.org/2012/01/25/robbell/)
June 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm
Good point! Let’s focus on the LIFE that Christ brings us!
June 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Hi David – I too have thought this .. why the belief that souls are eternal? … But just one point, all died through one man, Adam, all will be made alive through one Man, Christ. 1 Corin 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
All are under the sway of the wicked one .. no one sought God, thus He redeemed us by His own hand. Thus His amazing love and perfection demonstrated through the life of Christ and the scriptures.