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If hell exists then everyone is going there
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Posted 8/19/08 , edited 8/19/08
A few days ago, I had an online conversation with my sister, who is an evangelical Christian. I too was an evangelical Christian once, as is my entire family.You see, I love my sister dearly and she loves me. In her eyes, I have rejected "the Word of God", although she and my mother place some hope in the doctrine of "eternal security" (i.e., "eternal security" is the belief that once you are saved, you will always be saved, even if you eventually choose to reject the evangelical perception of Jesus dying for your sins).

Can evangelical Christians experience a feeling like "the love of God"? Of course they can. I know that. I was one of you once. But at the same time, I know that deep in the hearts of many Christians is a lingering doubt, a lingering fear that perhaps your belief in Jesus is not quite strong enough to absolutely guarantee that you will be delivered from hell. And also that lingering fundamental doubt as to why a loving God would create hell to begin with (yes, I know, no doubt this has been the topic of many sermons, explaining why hell exists, I have heard all the arguments, believe me). I struggled with this for many years, and I know others have struggled with it as well. Of course, I can't speak for all evangelical Christians, and I wouldn't presume to do so, but all I can say is that I know that this fear can be very, very real. And I know my sister has it too, despite an entire lifetime in the evangelical Christian church. And I also know that her heart is filled with dismay because she greatly fears some of her loved ones are going to hell.

And so we had a conversation. It was about hell. Because I believe that despite what the Bible says, hell cannot possibly exist.

I'm sure all of you have heard the argument that a truly loving God would NEVER allow a place like hell to exist. It is a "traditional" argument regarding hell and has often been discussed in many a sermon. Generally, the evangelical Christian response to that argument is that God loves us so much that he has given us free will, so that we can choose whether to be with Him or not. And besides, he loved us enough to send his son to die for us so we could be delivered from hell if we only repent and believe, etc....These arguments do not ring true for me, but they do for some. As for me, I ....feel deep in my heart that a truly loving God would NEVER allow a place like hell to exist. A truly loving God would not even send THE DEVIL to hell, for do you think for one moment (assuming for now that the devil exists) that God does not love the devil too? Is not the devil indeed like God's prodigal son? But I digress...And let's assume we are using the "traditional" Biblical definition of hell, where people burn in agony in a lake of fire, apart from God for eternity. (Some evangelicals "soften" the definition of hell, saying that perhaps there isn't an eternal fire, perhaps you are just apart from God, or maybe you just cease to exist altogether - we'll leave those "kinder, gentler" definitions of hell alone for the time being).

My fundamental theory is that if hell exists, we ALL will go there, even "true" Christians. How can that be, you say? Belief in Jesus GUARANTEES us a place in heaven, does it not? But let's talk about my sister for a moment. Let's talk about my mother. My mother, assuming she doesn't have enough doubt in her heart to keep her out of heaven, believes Christ has saved her from her sins and she is going to heaven. Same with my sister. OK, let's assume some day indeed heaven is where they go, as promised in the Scriptures. And let's assume that my belief in Jesus was never quite strong enough to guarantee me a place in heaven. Let's just assume I'm going to hell.

My fundamental premise is simply this. How could my mother and sister be happy in heaven if they know their dear loved one is suffering eternally in hell? Indeed, knowing this, how could they truly be in heaven at all, for in their hearts, they would be suffering in hell along with me. They might not be in the fire, but they would feel it in their hearts, and after a while, heaven would no longer be heaven for them anymore.

Well, God will "fix" them, you may say. God will ensure they don't worry about their dear bother or son. God will ENSURE they are HAPPY in heaven. It's heaven after all, right? And we are PROMISED eternal bliss in heaven.

Will God then take away their compassion? Will God then erase their empathy for another? Worse yet, will God erase their very knowledge of their brother or son, thus changing them into some empty being that isn't TRULY my mother or my sister??? If I earned a place in heaven and my child was in hell, and God somehow erased my memory of my child or my compassion for my child, that would not be a God who TRULY cared about who I am. That God would be an imposter.

Indeed, my mother loves me so much that she might even try to make a trade. She might even try to take my place in hell so that my suffering could come to an end. Indeed, my parents might even want to do a "two for one" trade, they love me so much. So great is the love of a parent for a child. We digress again, for yes, I know, you might say..."That's silly. God would never allow such a thing." etc....

But the truth of the matter is that if I end up in hell, all of my loved ones end up there with me. Indeed, the more you think about it, EVERYONE ends up in hell this way, at least EVERYONE who has compassion in their hearts. Is this what a loving God would allow? I think not.

And let's talk about a loving God, a truly loving God. Remember, we are all God's children. Even the angels are God's children, and yes, that even means the devil (assuming the devil exists) is God's child too. Does not God love his children? Do I believe my own mother and father could send me, their child, to a hell of eternal fire and torment? Not for an instant. They could NEVER do that. I don't even thing they could do that to their WORST ENEMY, let alone their child. So if they couldn't do it, how indeed could God do so, because the love and compassion of God is supposed to be greater than that of any human being. Indeed, how could my parents, mere "sinful" human beings, be more compassionate and loving than God himself? That is a contradiction.

So Hell simply CANNOT exist or we ALL go there. (A corollary by the way is that there is no place in creation where God does not exist, so God would be in hell too.)

Some thoughts to mull over......
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Posted 8/19/08

zendude wrote:

Wow. You really love your family, and I see (with your description) that your family loves you too. That is so sweet.

Here is my thing about the afterlife that I have used before:
I have thought on the same points of your ideas about afterlife from time to time. Afterlife is questionable, so it could be pointless, maybe the main point, or something totally different. No one really knows, as we don't see much people these days running around from the grave and telling their story.

I know where you are coming from, but the answer to the "Afterlife" would be more like "We don't really know," rather than such a "dogmatic" comment. We "might" know once we die.

Your assumptions seem to point at a more human concepts of the afterlife, looking at the ideas and concepts that one experienced in this life. One doesn't know what the other side holds, so one uses precedents to compare something unknown to something known, to either try to understand or conceptualize what is what. Your way of thinking is totally normal and very logical, and maybe more sensible than any heaven idea.
If I am altered in such a way that I no longer care about my family I will not be me any longer. It does not matter if heaven is a Platonic ideal, a state of mind, a physcial place, or whatever you wish to say it is. The view of heaven matters little to this argument.




I fear what will be on the other side, as most people, due to the fact that we will all eventually die; unless, something crazy happens, like a "Rapture." We don't know if it is nothingness, hell, heaven, reincarnation, purgatory, or something totally different (think something like Scientology or Mormon) that lies around. We just don't know, so we should just humble ourselves to the unknown because we may never figure it out with our human perception.

I see that you already have made your decision on this subject, so I respect that.

But as for me, I will stay with what the Bible says.
I hold this passage from the Bible as truth about the afterlife:
9 However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (New International Version)

My mind is open if you want to try to change it.
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Posted 8/19/08
Interesting...

Your theory is actually quite credible...
Credible to the extent that I'm stealing it...
Mwhahaha

It could be further proof that God doesn't exist
in the Christian/Jewish/Islamic sense...

Notch one up for the A-Team (Agnostics/Atheists)
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Posted 8/19/08

rememberme wrote:

Interesting...

Your theory is actually quite credible...
Credible to the extent that I'm stealing it...
Mwhahaha

It could be further proof that God doesn't exist
in the Christian/Jewish/Islamic sense...

Notch one up for the A-Team (Agnostics/Atheists)

Well, we are so far ahead this point it does not really matter anymore.
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Posted 8/19/08
tl:dr

anyway i dont believe it exists but if by some chance it Does.. well.. all i can say is i hope the girls are as hot as the flames.
Posted 8/19/08
wow. now that's definitely something. I'm sorry, but I haven't read your whole post as it's too long (impatience) and I know it never is true anyway. For hell to exist, there has to be a Heaven. Satan was once from Heaven, an angel. But apparently he wanted to exceed God so He sent Him away, together with his troop. Then Satan created Hell. sure, God can stop it, but He chose not to. remember, He created all of us with a free will.

one more thing, when you go to Heaven, you will forget you ever had a family.for you, everyone in Heaven is your family, and there are no favoritism. everyone is equal, no strangers. and that means you will forget about your loved ones in Hell too. There is no sorrow in Heaven. It's always good.
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Posted 8/20/08
does it really matter if it exists or not?
ultimately we are gng to die.
and what happens after that we dont know.
why? b'cos no one comes back to life after that and tell someone "hey, just to let you know, i'm now at xxx. "
it's ridiculous.
if hell exist then everyone is gng there? you so sure?
i wonder...
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Posted 8/20/08
In the Islamic point of view, you should be ready to accept God even before your immediate family, so if your loved ones go to hell, it must be understood that it wasn't your fault and you should accept God's judgment as it is.
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Posted 8/20/08

h4x0rz wrote:

In the Islamic point of view, you should be ready to accept God even before your immediate family, so if your loved ones go to hell, it must be understood that it wasn't your fault and you should accept God's judgment as it is.


Christianity is similar in this sense. God tells us that we need to love Him first, even above family and friends.

On another note, God is not only a God of love as the OP so readily mentioned. He is also righteousness. Being righteous, God must cast judgment upon the unrighteous regardless of how much He loves them. That is why we needed Jesus to pay for our sins and effectively take away the punishment God had planned for humanity. However, if you haven't believed into Him, then you haven't accepted His payment for you yet and will still be punished.
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Posted 8/20/08

sorenku wrote:



Christianity is similar in this sense. God tells us that we need to love Him first, even above family and friends.
Love is not a choice. I did not choose to love my family. I just do.




On another note, God is not only a God of love as the OP so readily mentioned. He is also righteousness. Being righteous, God must cast judgment upon the unrighteous regardless of how much He loves them.
As far as I am concerned that is a direct contradiction. That is why we needed Jesus to pay for our sins and effectively take away the punishment God had planned for humanity. However, if you haven't believed into Him, then you haven't accepted His payment for you yet and will still be punished.You're a Calvinist and we both know you think that no one can choose god freely. So don't like god is somehow extending his courtesy to everyone because you believe he is not doing so. Do not be facetious.

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Posted 8/20/08

h4x0rz wrote:

In the Islamic point of view, you should be ready to accept God even before your immediate family, so if your loved ones go to hell, it must be understood that it wasn't your fault and you should accept God's judgment as it is.


You do not understand. If I did so heaven itself would be a hell to me because of the love I have for them. It is inconceivable I could be happy if they were in hell.
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Posted 8/20/08

YouAreDumb wrote:
You do not understand. If I did so heaven itself would be a hell to me because of the love I have for them. It is inconceivable I could be happy if they were in hell.


well, life's harsh. shit happens. they had a chance to live clean, they didn't take it.
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digs 
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Posted 8/20/08
There will be no tears in heaven. You will be with God and experience perfect peace and perfect love from the Father.
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Posted 8/20/08

digs wrote:

There will be no tears in heaven. You will be with God and experience perfect peace and perfect love from the Father.


Then I will exist no longer. If god changes me to make me forget those I love then YouareDumb ceases to exist and a simulacrum stands where he once was.
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Posted 8/20/08

YouAreDumb wrote:


digs wrote:

There will be no tears in heaven. You will be with God and experience perfect peace and perfect love from the Father.


Then I will exist no longer. If god changes me to make me forget those I love then YouareDumb ceases to exist and a simulacrum stands where he once was.


I know you are a Calvinist but what does predestination mean to you?or what is predestination because I often read that Calvinists believe in predestination.
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