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Is Hell eternal?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by lilithu, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Playing devils advocate here. If at any point one can repent/turn back to God and be given a second chance after death (thats assuming they had no chances in the terrestrial world) then what purpose would this world serve?

    ~Victor
     
  2. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Yes, there is a "point of no return." It is the Final Judgment. (The words "Final Judgment" sort of indicate that the point of no return has been reached. ;) ) This event will not take place until the Second Coming of Christ. By that time, virtually every person who has ever lived will have had an opportunity to hear the Gospel and either accept it or reject it. Everyone will have had his turn to exercise his free agency (free will, freedom of choice) on a level playing field, one where political and cultural factors do not come into play, and where many of the temptations he experienced during mortality will be eliminated. Jesus said that in His house there are "many mansions." Some will undoubtedly be more glorious than others. (Obviously, I am not speaking literally, but comparing these "mansions" to some kind of heavenly reward.) He also said that we will be "rewarded according to our works." I believe in a Heaven that is big enough for almost everybody who has ever lived, but I don't believe that everyone who ends up there will receive exactly the same reward. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 15:40-42, "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead." Stephen also mentioned a "third heaven," which would obviously imply the existence of a first and second heaven, as well.

    I believe in three distinct heavenly glories or kingdoms: The Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom and the Telestial Kingdom. Within each of these are further gradations, although the scriptures do not mention them by name. Exaltation is the highest glory attainable by mankind. Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom is probably what the Savior was referring to (in Matthew 7:14) when He said, "Because strait is the gate, andnarrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Eternal Life and Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom have little in common with salvation in the lowest degree of glory within the Telestial Kingdom. It's really anybody's guess where someone like Hitler will end up. I guess God will have to make that decision without our help.
     
  3. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I see this life as a testing ground. Experiencing mortality is absolutely essential to our eternal progress. However, just because this life is not the end of our learning experience, we can't assume that the opportunities we've been given while we are here will be disregarded once we reach the Spirit World. God knows who has had a legitimate opportunity to accept the fullness of His Son's Gospel and who hasn't.

    Yes, maybe a kid growing up today in Iraq could choose to learn about Christianity and become a devout Christian (until he was put to death for his beliefs). But given the circumstances of his birth, it's probably not terribly likely that that will happen. Many people living today in places where Christianity is the predominant religion have been baptized as Christians, but are raised in families where religion is seldom mentioned and less seldom practiced. They may die before having ever really had their faith tested. They are Christians in name only. They have a long way to go before becoming the kind of Christians Jesus expects them to be.

    On the other hand, I believe that God will keep in mind the decisions of the individual who did have every opportunity to learn the truth during this life and willfully rejected that opportunity. He may allow that person a second chance in the Spirit World, but his ultimate progression will be influenced by the choices he made during mortality. When we die, we go to the Spirit World with the knowledge we gained in this life. If we choose to reject the truths made available to us during our lifetimes, we may limit our chances to progress as far as the individual who embraced the truth during mortality.
     
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  4. Searcher of Light

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    As I read the NT, I always got the impression that hell was/is/will be (since its outside of time) forever. I also got the impression that hell is just God giving the "false" christians and other false religious people (although how/if someone could be punished for what they do not know I will leave up to Him. I also leave the idea of "false" religion or christianity to Him) what they wanted: a place where He doesnt impact them at all. Although, the fact that God created Hell in this idea means He already did impact them, but the course of their "future" (for lack of a better word) would be left entirely in their hands, forever. My last impression from the OT and the NT is Hell is more of a mental second guessing. Every missed opportunity to do good would be remembered. Hell could be thought of as eternal 2nd guessing. Hell could be thought of as an eternal place where people will live exactly as they wished without God's morality encroaching on their self reliance and decisions.
     
  5. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Namaste Searcher,

    You state that Hell exists outside of time (afterall, that's what eternal means). And you state that Hell is forever. Can you tell us how these two relate to each other?

    When you say that Hell is what the non/false Christians wanted, does that mean that there is no firey pit? If so, how does one explain:


    Matthew 13:42, Jesus said: "And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

    Matthew 25:41, Jesus said: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting FIRE,. . ."

    Luke 16:23-24, Jesus said: "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this FLAME.

    Revelations 20:15, " And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE."


    In Mark, Jesus also refers to everlasting fire, and it sure sound like Hell is permanent.

    Mark 9:43-48
    Jesus said: "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the FIRE that NEVER shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

    And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the FIRE that NEVER shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

    And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell FIRE: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
     
  6. Searcher of Light

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    lilithu,

    The problem with language and discussing eternity is every word, even the word 'eternity,' has time attacted to it.
    As for the fire, I am not certain yet to read it literal or not. As of now, I am taking it as a metaphor to help us in our limited understanding of what it would be like. Metaphors, parables, and other related methods of teaching were all employed by Jesus and the Apostles. Fire creates the most painful type of wound possible on the body. Since we will all be resurrected in spiritual and not physical bodies (1 Corinthians 15:43-45,1 Corinthians 15:52) fire wouldnt have any effect because it is a part of the physical realm that will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:2). Therefore, the fire the NT refers to could likely be just a metaphor to help us understand the unrelenting spiritual anguish all of the "could haves" and "should haves" that could possibly compose hell. Fire is also a chaotic element. Fire could also represent the chaos that hell would consist of if it is a realm where everyone gets what they want: away from God (note that in my viewpoint God=Law. As in supreme moral law).
    As I stated, I am not entirely sure of this current view. I was raised in the literal intrepretation but found it a strange idea in light of the spiritual elements of it. Most likely hell is a medium between the extreme opposite views. Most things in the end work out as a medium and rarely an extreme.
     
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  7. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Hi Lil,



    If we are to use the Bible for this discussion then it is important to decide just what the Bible says about Hell. What seems like a contradiction is actually a dualistic representation of Hell. That being that 1. Hell is another place, like heaven is considered to be another place, and 2. Hell is what you live on earth. There fore, You can live in heaven or hell on earth, or go to heaven or hell after you die. I’m keeping this short as possible.



    An example of hell on earth.



    They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

    For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

    Deuteronomy 32:21-22



    An example of hell on earth.



    The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

    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.

    2Samuel 22:6-7


    An example of hell on earth.



    The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.



    An example of hell on earth, or being in a place called hell.



    For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.



    An earthly representation of living towards heaven while on earth.



    The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.



    An example of transcending from hell, saying hell is not eternal.



    Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.



    An example of hell on earth, albeit representing hell as another place.



    Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:



    An example of hell being another place and being ruled by Satan even though not directly named.



    I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.

    They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.



    An example of transcending from Hell, with some being prevented.



    Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:



    An example of saying that Hell is eternal.



    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.



    An example of hell on earth.



    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.



    The possibility of transcending. Sorry Katz, but his seems to contradict interpreting prison as hell in 1Peter.



    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;

    Peter II 2:4


    An example of hell on earth.



    And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.



    Hell being a place after you die.



    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.



    The Bible tells us that there is a heaven and hell on earth as well as being places where you go when you die. It is also clear that one can transcend from Hell by either believing in God or Jesus and having good moral actions. The Bible does not present the possibility of one transcending by good deeds alone. The belief in God or Jesus is a prerequisite.



    I have pondered the possibility of transcending for those who either don’t believe in God or those of other religions, While I still think this is a possibility, it is most evident that once meeting the judgement by God or Jesus, how could one refuse to believe? This of course is dependent upon whether is all true or not.



     
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  8. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Hi searcher,

    I agree with this analogy. A literal reading of the Bible can lead one off in all kinds of misdirections. I too believe that fire is used metaphorically. The concept of an actual place where you are down in a pit of fire is highly unlikely. Is speaks of the appeal that these kinds of visions have for the superstitious and those who obsess with the supernatural expectations of religion.
     
  9. defense of truth

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    Yes, hell is eternal. Because As God put in the Bible. THe hell is the place of the condemened it means they are the condemend ones they shall suffer for eternity
     
  10. SPLogan

    SPLogan Member

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    We must think in economic terms about this issue...

    How much is sin worth?

    Perhaps the cumulative value of sin that one is liable for equals the length and severity of punishment. If there's any such thing as perfect justice, it is God's justice.

    "The wages of sin is death." Death is forever. A criminal can receive many death sentences theoretically. However that criminal is only capable of serving one of them. So... I don't know, just a thought.

    It seems like in God's economy, if one is not atoned for by the death and resurrection of Jesus, it'll take an eternity to pay the debt yourself. Start saving. Otherwise, believe in Jesus, repent of your sin, and get yourself baptized. I think that's a better approach.
     
  11. blood-lord14

    blood-lord14 Member

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    life is limited,sin is limited,why endless pain
    there's something wrong with the following picture that you christians didnt notice
    -1+-1=-1
    is that really GOOD of your god to do such EVIL mathmatics on your poor little
    STUPID souls.
     
  12. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

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    a few simple points.

    1. God is described as a God of Justice..so why would someone have to suffer in hell forever for an average life of 70 years..

    2. The Scriptures state: "The wages sin pays is death." (Romans 6:23)

    3. What happens to the spirit when a person dies? Psalm 146:4 says: "His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish." his thoughts..PERISH

    4.The condition of the dead is made clear at Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, where we read: "The dead know nothing . . . In the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."

    5. Since the dead have no conscious existence, hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where the wicked suffer after death.

    6. Consider also the case of the righteous man Job, who suffered much. Wishing to escape his plight, he pleaded: "Who will grant me this, that thou mayest protect me in hell [Sheol], and hide me till thy wrath pass?"[size=-1]#[/size] (Job 14:13, Douay Version) How unreasonable to think that Job desired to go to a fiery-hot place for protection. To Job, "hell" was simply the grave, where his suffering would end. The Bible hell, then, is the common grave of mankind where good people as well as bad ones go

    7 Could it be that the fire of hell is symbolic of all-consuming, or thorough, destruction? Separating fire from Hades, or hell, the Scriptures say: "Death and Hades were hurled into the lake of fire." "The lake" mentioned here is symbolic, since death and hell (Hades) that are thrown into it cannot literally be burned. "This [lake of fire] means the second death"—death from which there is no hope of coming back to life.—Revelation 20:14

    The lake of fire has a meaning similar to that of "the fiery Gehenna [hell fire, King James Version]" that Jesus spoke of. (Matthew 5:22; Mark 9:47, 48) Gehenna occurs 12 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, and it refers to the valley of Hinnom, outside the walls of Jerusalem. When Jesus was on earth, this valley was used as a garbage dump, "where the dead bodies of criminals, and the carcasses of animals, and every other kind of filth was cast." (Smith's Dictionary of the Bible) The fires were kept burning by adding sulfur to burn up the refuse. Jesus used that valley as a proper symbol of everlasting destruction.


    this information was gained from my fellow false prophesying friends watchtower.org.
     
  13. Bangbang

    Bangbang Active Member

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    No crap especially living with MY wife. Ughhhhh! When I was a nurse in ICU I remember a man in his 90's. His heart and breathing stopped several times. Each time theman was revived with the paddles and manual CPR. I had tolaugh when the man finally screamed STOP IT! LET ME GO! This was a very memorable moment in my life.
     
  14. blood-lord14

    blood-lord14 Member

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    life is like cheese
    you live,you learn,have a little taste,then die.....
     
  15. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    There is an end to Hell.
     
  16. blood-lord14

    blood-lord14 Member

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    yah it started long ago
    when people lost their memories
    of atlantis
    then the fear was spread through the DNA
    leading us to the conclusion:
    we should be more worthy to our land
    and more respectful to our people
    then nature will gift us with a "new jerusalem"...
    i know
    there's a link to this topic
    in there somewhere.
     
  17. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    A Young Women's President told me once that she was always scared to go to hell because of the hellfire, etc. Then she was reading once and the verse she was reading it said something to the effect of, "it was AS IS hellfire and burning." Remember I'm paraphrasing. So she explained to me that it's not fire, burning ,etc, it will be as you are suffering, but you won't really be burning.

    I truly believe this though, hellfire, devils, etc, just doesn't make sense to me. :) Hope it made sense.
     
  18. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    I don't believe that the absence of God is possible.
     
  19. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Well, that's too simplistic. I think atheism is just as plausible as theism, and just as good a way of speaking of the Great Mystery. But a theism that supposes the absence of God is possible seems to make God not so much the Ultimate Reality as a sort of mythical being.
     
  20. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    hell is mankinds common grave
     
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