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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: The Nature of Hell
Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Yerevan:
Mudfrog, if a person must conciously turn to Christ before death, what about the millions of people who have never heard the gospel or lack the intellectual or emotional* ability to respond to it in this life?

*I'm thinking here for example of people whose ability to love, trust and maintain relationships of has been horribly damaged by childhood trauma. IME such people can find the idea of trusting a loving, relational God very hard work.

{edited as X-posted with Mudfrog]

This is where grace and mercy are seen.

I'm with CS Lewis on this who said that worship that was given to other belief systems will be ascribed to Christ at the judgment if there was no opportunity to turn to Christ in this life.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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fletcher christian

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Thats a rather odd reading of that parable to be honest. It's more likely that the parable is a swipe at the Jews who have rejected Christ (uncomfortable reading, but makes more sense in that context)

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
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Hawk

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quote:
Originally posted by WearyPilgrim:
With Barth, I would like to think that God's mercy is available to all who repent even after death. There are possible hints of that in Scripture, but I'll concede it's hard to be dogmatic about it.

I'd be interested in reading some examples in scripture about this, know any references offhand?

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“We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

See my blog for 'interesting' thoughts

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Martin60
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Oblivion. Absolute zero. Stasis. Nothing.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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Oh and there is certainly post-mortem evangelism and salvation for the worst of sinners who died unshriven, yes.

Jesus says so.

Twice.

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Love wins

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shamwari
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A different slant

"hell is other people" Satre?

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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by shamwari:
A different slant

"hell is other people" Satre?

I've read Sartre, and my sense is that Hell is having to read Sartre...

--Tom Clune

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This space left blank intentionally.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
quote:
Originally posted by shamwari:
A different slant

"hell is other people" Satre?

I've read Sartre, and my sense is that Hell is having to read Sartre...

--Tom Clune

[Killing me]

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Silver Faux:
I know there are quite a few clergy-types aboard The Ship.
Has anyone else ever had an office visit from someone who has undergone a near-death, hellish expeience?
These experiences appear to be less common than near-death heavenly experiences, or at least, less widely discussed.
But to several people with whom I have met, they are extremely vivid.

Stories of absolute darkness, intensifying, searing heat, and a sense of total isolation and hopelessness are part of what the experiences I have heard about have in common.
One other thing; a sense of being unable to speak, make any sound, or have any control, combined with an extreme desire to call out the name of Jesus Christ, followed by a sudden sense of relief, and a sense of another chance, with an overpowering yearning to seek salvation, followed by a returm to their bodies and a slow regaining of consciousnes.

Now, I suppose that it is possible that each of these people, whom, as far as I am aware, had never met one other, all came into my office to scam me with the same tall tale.
Personally, I don't buy that explanation.
Has anyone else listend to similar stories from visitors?
Has anyone ever had a hellish near-death experience?

I have read quite a lot about NDEs and it seems to me that they all go up the same tunnel to the same place but the ones who resist do so because they cannot cope with unconditional love.

To use a metaphor - imagine that heaven is a concert. If you are tone deaf it'll be hellish - just crashing noises.

To everyone else, it will be 'heavenly'.

As for their being no justice, that is why I believe in Purgatory - there will be punishment but not eternal punishment.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Oh and there is certainly post-mortem evangelism and salvation for the worst of sinners who died unshriven, yes.

Jesus says so.

Twice.

Where?

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Thats a rather odd reading of that parable to be honest. It's more likely that the parable is a swipe at the Jews who have rejected Christ (uncomfortable reading, but makes more sense in that context)

I agree, and the key word here is parable. It's not a prophecy or theological statement on the afterlife, it's a story to make a point, like all the other parables.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
If salvation was won for every soul and automatically applied, where is the free will, where is the possibility of love for Christ?

Let's say I sit ten kids at a table, and in front of them I place a plate. On each plate there are two foods. One is their very favourite food in the world, the other is their least favourite. All the kids choose their favourite food over their least favourite. Does that mean that they don't have free will?

In fact, your question is equally applicable to your theology, because I presume in your theology 'heaven' is where everyone who has chosen Christ will no longer sin and will be made perfect in some way. So we have the same situation, the same question. If they can't sin anymore, where's the free will?

Paul says that now we see dimly, but ultimately we'll see clearly; he says that one day every knee will bow...

Is it possible that for some strange reason one of the kids might pick the disgusting food over the delicious? Of course, but my money's on them making the sensible choice. I believe that God is so awesome, that all of us will one day see it and realise it, and the choice for each of us will be a no-brainer. However, I also believe that the road to that point is a hard one, filled with rebellion, pain, and self-sacrifice, and for some the road is harder than others.

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
Is it possible that for some strange reason one of the kids might pick the disgusting food over the delicious? Of course, but my money's on them making the sensible choice. I believe that God is so awesome, that all of us will one day see it and realise it, and the choice for each of us will be a no-brainer. However, I also believe that the road to that point is a hard one, filled with rebellion, pain, and self-sacrifice, and for some the road is harder than others.

For this (and indeed your whole post): [Overused]

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
I believe that God is so awesome, that all of us will one day see it and realise it, and the choice for each of us will be a no-brainer. However, I also believe that the road to that point is a hard one, filled with rebellion, pain, and self-sacrifice, and for some the road is harder than others.

Very well said.


[Overused]


And those who found it easy would do well to stop gloating imo.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
And those who found it easy would do well to stop gloating imo.

Quite so.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Nicolemr
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I read somewhere, and sadly I don't remember where so I can't provide a reference, that it is possible to interpret the references to the fires of Gehenna and burning in the fires etc. as being akin to a refiners fire... in other words, the dross and evil in a persons life is burnt away, and only the goodness left, however little or much there is. I rather like that idea.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
I read somewhere, and sadly I don't remember where so I can't provide a reference, that it is possible to interpret the references to the fires of Gehenna and burning in the fires etc. as being akin to a refiners fire... in other words, the dross and evil in a persons life is burnt away, and only the goodness left, however little or much there is. I rather like that idea.

Except that Gehenna was a rubbish burning place and not a refinery.

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Trudy Scrumptious

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
I read somewhere, and sadly I don't remember where so I can't provide a reference, that it is possible to interpret the references to the fires of Gehenna and burning in the fires etc. as being akin to a refiners fire... in other words, the dross and evil in a persons life is burnt away, and only the goodness left, however little or much there is. I rather like that idea.

Except that Gehenna was a rubbish burning place and not a refinery.
It also wasn't a place where garbage existed forever in a permanent state of being burned: it was burned up, consumed, to exist no more (well, except as energy, I guess). The idea of "hell" as a place of perpetual torture has scanty Biblical foundation compared to the idea of death as the eternal end of those who are not saved.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
I read somewhere, and sadly I don't remember where so I can't provide a reference, that it is possible to interpret the references to the fires of Gehenna and burning in the fires etc. as being akin to a refiners fire... in other words, the dross and evil in a persons life is burnt away, and only the goodness left, however little or much there is. I rather like that idea.

Except that Gehenna was a rubbish burning place and not a refinery.
It also wasn't a place where garbage existed forever in a permanent state of being burned: it was burned up, consumed, to exist no more (well, except as energy, I guess). The idea of "hell" as a place of perpetual torture has scanty Biblical foundation compared to the idea of death as the eternal end of those who are not saved.
The punishment of the wicked dead in hell is described throughout Scripture as “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41), “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12), “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2), a place where “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44-49), a place of “torment” and “fire” (Luke 16:23-24), “everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place where “the smoke of torment rises forever and ever” (Revelation 14:10-11), and a “lake of burning sulfur” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

The punishment of the wicked in hell is as never ending as the bliss of the righteous in heaven. Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven (Matthew 25:46). The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God. Those in hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Psalm 76:10). Those who are in hell will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (Deuteronomy 32:3-5). Yes, hell is real. Yes, hell is a place of torment and punishment that lasts forever and ever, with no end. Praise God that, through Jesus, we can escape this eternal fate (John 3:16, 18, 36).

Gehenna was in a state of permanent flame. It never went out.

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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quote:
Originally posted by Unitarian1986:
I'm looking for some good discussion on what everyone thinks about what hell will be like. I know obviously no one knows but God but I am just interested in what you guys think.

I was told once that there were four big models people tend to follow.

Eternal Damnation (unending punishment)

Purgatory (punishment with the intention of purifying the person for heaven)

Same place, different attitude (a banquet with ridiculously long silverware; or the experience of God's love as wrath)

Annihilation (the damned simply cease to exist)

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
I read somewhere, and sadly I don't remember where so I can't provide a reference, that it is possible to interpret the references to the fires of Gehenna and burning in the fires etc. as being akin to a refiners fire... in other words, the dross and evil in a persons life is burnt away, and only the goodness left, however little or much there is. I rather like that idea.

Except that Gehenna was a rubbish burning place and not a refinery.
It also wasn't a place where garbage existed forever in a permanent state of being burned: it was burned up, consumed, to exist no more (well, except as energy, I guess). The idea of "hell" as a place of perpetual torture has scanty Biblical foundation compared to the idea of death as the eternal end of those who are not saved.
The punishment of the wicked dead in hell is described throughout Scripture as “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41), “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12), “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2), a place where “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44-49), a place of “torment” and “fire” (Luke 16:23-24), “everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place where “the smoke of torment rises forever and ever” (Revelation 14:10-11), and a “lake of burning sulfur” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

The punishment of the wicked in hell is as never ending as the bliss of the righteous in heaven. Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven (Matthew 25:46). The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God. Those in hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Psalm 76:10). Those who are in hell will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (Deuteronomy 32:3-5). Yes, hell is real. Yes, hell is a place of torment and punishment that lasts forever and ever, with no end. Praise God that, through Jesus, we can escape this eternal fate (John 3:16, 18, 36).

Gehenna was in a state of permanent flame. It never went out.

The wicked, as a collective entity (and Koine loves to talk about collective entities) are continually punished, but the individuals could easily be burnt to a crisp.

The flaming rubbish pit that was the Valley of Hinnom (just to take the whole mumbo jumbo off the word Gehennom) may have burned for as long as there was garbage to burn, but the garbage itself was most likely incinerated to make way for more garbage.

The ones who are bound for the pit, or the ones who are tossed in, are viewed in contempt for as long as the pit remains and as long as they remain, but as individuals they're still bound for destruction, not punishment.

I really don't spend too much time trying to reach a solid conclusion on the exact nature of Hell, but I can see how annihilationism can be grounded in the text. It depends on how you understand the metaphor.

My Church History I professor (who happens to be Roman Catholic) once quipped that Dante and Milton were the Dan Browns of the middle ages.

[ 19. November 2010, 22:06: Message edited by: Bullfrog. ]

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Orlando098
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Oh and there is certainly post-mortem evangelism and salvation for the worst of sinners who died unshriven, yes.

Jesus says so.

Twice.

I asssume that's another veiled reference to your favourite verses about the villages that rejected the preaching of the gospel and Jesus saying it will be worse for them than Sodom and Gomorrah....

You seem a bit obsessed with this theory of yours (that if things could be "worse" for those villages than S&G, then the sinners who were blasted off the face of the Eath at S&G may be able to hope for some kind of post-death forgiveness; assuming there are only two options, hell or heaven, as opposed to degrees of suffering in hell).

I think it was just an angry bit of rhetoric from Jesus, a way of expressing that he was, at that point, really pissed off with the behaviour of those villages. I don't think you have to read so much into it.

Anyway, why should those villages, uniquely, be treated worse than the rest of humanity?

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HughWillRidmee
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quote:
Originally posted by Silver Faux:
quote:
Originally posted by Orlando098:
quote:
Originally posted by Silver Faux:
[QB] I know there are quite a few clergy-types aboard The Ship.
Has anyone else ever had an office visit from someone who has undergone a near-death, hellish expeience?
These experiences appear to be less common than near-death heavenly experiences, or at least, less widely discussed.
But to several people with whom I have met, they are extremely vivid.

From what I have read there are some NDEs that seem to defy scientific explanation as they seem almost certain to have occurred when, to our current knowledge, there was no identifiable brain activity; however this doesn't apply to all of them. Are you convinced the accounts you heard were from people to whom this applied? If not, were they people who are especially afraid of hell, and therefore perhaps more likely to halluncinate about such things if their brains were lacking oxygen?

By the way, I have read some peoople occasinally report negative, frightening NDEs, but I've not heard of anything as explicitly "hell-like" as searing heat etc before.

Of course I had no oportunity to review their medical charts; I lack the expertise, in any case, to interpret such charts had I seen them.
I am interested in finding out if others have met people who claimed experiences similar to these.

Whether these experiences can be considered "real" is something that I probably can not know in this lifetime; however, hearing of similar or even differing experiences from others would at least give me some sort of perspective.

Presumably you've read the Wikipedia entry on NDE.

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The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things.. but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them...
W. K. Clifford, "The Ethics of Belief" (1877)

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Chesterbelloc

Tremendous trifler
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quote:
My Church History I professor (who happens to be Roman Catholic) once quipped that Dante and Milton were the Dan Browns of the middle ages.

Did he also think that Hume and Aquinas were the Agatha Christies of the Victorian age? [Biased]

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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Lou Poulain
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# 1587

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I've been thinking recently about salvation, and it seems to me that:

This is a tragically broken world, filled with broken people.

The incarnation is about God entering this broken world in order to heal broken people.

God's love is gift, pure and simple. Unearned and unearnable. Nobody is "worthy."

That God loves everybody does not diminish the love that God has for me. My salvation is undiminished if all are saved. And I have no stake in the notion that some are punished. Salvation is not about "fair" or "just".

What might hell look like? It might look like a human life devoid of core relationships. OTOH, I have no idea what hell looks like.

Mudfrog, I think that a literal application of a parable to prove a point about what hell is like is a misapplication of parable.

Mousethief: Right on, bro.

Lou

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
# 11014

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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
quote:
My Church History I professor (who happens to be Roman Catholic) once quipped that Dante and Milton were the Dan Browns of the middle ages.

Did he also think that Hume and Aquinas were the Agatha Christies of the Victorian age? [Biased]
I'd have to ask him, though I think he felt persuaded by First Cause.

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Oh and there is certainly post-mortem evangelism and salvation for the worst of sinners who died unshriven, yes.

Jesus says so.

Twice.

Where?
Martin think Matthew 10:15 and 11:24 are relevant. No, I have no idea why either - he has explicitly pointed to those verses in the past, but without further comment.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Hawk

Semi-social raptor
# 14289

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
The punishment of the wicked dead in hell is described throughout Scripture as “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41), “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12),a place where “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44-49),

Referring to the fire itself, and not the people in it.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
“shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2),

Again, someone can be punished with shame and contempt by others after they're dead, they don't need to be conscious and alive for this. This could easily refer to a person's reputation, not their personal continuous experience.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
a place of “torment” and “fire” (Luke 16:23-24),

A parable, dangerous to take parables literally. They are stories to illustrate a spiritual point for the people whose culture Jesus was speaking into, not a literal physical description of things.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
“everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9),

This is my point, not yours. Their destruction is everlasting, they will never live again or experience anything, they will be utterly gone, with no hope of ressurection.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven (Matthew 25:46)

The punishment is an ultimate punishment, that will last for ever and never be overturned. That's eternal destuction. No conscious torment though.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
a “lake of burning sulfur” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Misquote - in this passage it only refers to the specific beast and false prophet who will be tormented for eternity. Whoever these individual symbolic figures represent, they are certainly not the multitude of the unsaved. These are judged seperately in the next verses, 11-15 and the unsaved are thrown into the lake of fire to suffer the second death - not eternal conscious torment - simple, everlasting death.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Those in hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Psalm 76:10)

Don't know what you're referring to here since 76:10 in the NIV doesn't talk about this.


quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Those who are in hell will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (Deuteronomy 32:3-5)

And neither does this. Nothing about the dead knowing anything here. What translation are you using?

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
a place where “the smoke of torment rises forever and ever” (Revelation 14:10-11)

This is the only passage that may support your view somewhat. Can someone help with this? I have no idea what the passage is referring to, it seems to be referring chronologically to be before the judgement of the dead in Ch 20 (though I could be wrong - this is Revelation) and it only refers to those who choose to worship the beast - whoever they are - rather than all the unsaved - but it does refer to eternal torment in the presence of the angels and the lamb. I personally would be loathe to base any theology on such esoteric prophecy especially when it is so far opposed to other passages in scripture. But what on earth is this referring to though?

--------------------
“We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

See my blog for 'interesting' thoughts

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
If salvation was won for every soul and automatically applied, where is the free will, where is the possibility of love for Christ?

A carefuller reader might have noticed I said that I believed in the possibility of repentance beyond the grave and didn't say anything about automatically applied salvation.
I think the teaching of Jesus precludes the possibility of repentance after death:


HERE

That's one interpretation, to be sure. Doesn't mean I said what you said I said, though.

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Golden Key
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God won't rest until everyone and everything is Home, and safe, and well, and whole.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Gurdur
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I don't believe in hell - a God of Love would never create such a place in my view.

All evil comes from humans, not some external place or force

So everyone, regardless of what they've done or believed will be let off and go to heaven?

No justice or consequences in your universe then!

Funny. What you have in your little enclosed universe, Mudfrog, is only your unsubstantiated myths and assertions. You certainly don't have any justice in any meaningful way.

Mudfrog, get a grip. Justice and consequences are what we humans create and implement, if we do so at all. Creating a story is only creating a story, empty assertions are only that; it takes action from people to implement justice and consequences.

This is so old, I'm surprised it's not a Dead Horse.

Although, lemme think for a mo ... how do you KNOW you're not in Hell already? Both a serious question and of course just me prodding with a pitchfork.

[Two face]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gurdur:
Although, lemme think for a mo ... how do you KNOW you're not in Hell already? Both a serious question and of course just me prodding with a pitchfork.

Of course, I can't speak for Mudfrog, but:

caramel ribbon ice cream.

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Martin60
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I don't have to comment IngoB - Jesus has, twice.

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Love wins

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Trudy Scrumptious

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OK, I was going to get up this morning and engage in some proof-texting with Mudfrog, but I see that while I slept, Hawk has done much of the work for me by addressing the texts Mudfrog brought forward.

Most of them, as Hawk has correctly pointed out, refer to a punishment that is eternal -- which would be death -- rather than to a conscious state of eternally being punished. Those that appear to support the "eternal torment" view are quite few in number and often appear in a parable or another context (as in Revelation) where much of what's being discussed is expressed in highly metaphorical terms.

If we are to picture the saved in the New Jerusalem gazing out over the walls of the city to enjoy the sight of smoke curling up from the lake of fire where the wicked are being tormented (IMHO, a pretty grim picture for everyone), should we also assume that the martyred Christian dead are currently lying underneath an altar in heaven's throne room, calling out? (Rev. 6:9-11). Doesn't sound like much of a way to spend eternity or even a couple of hundred years. And that the saved in heaven will consist of 144,000 male virgins attending an endless choir practice of a song which no-one else is allowed to learn? (Rev. 14:1-4). Perhaps we should just accept that much of Revelation is metaphorical, and that texts such as Rev. 14:10-11 are intending to emphasize the justice and certainty of God's punishment of evil, which will someday be clear to all the universe -- remembering that Revelation is addressed to the suffering and persecuted church, whose members were no doubt yearning to know that the injustices against them would someday be vindicated.

Mudfrog, I have looked at both the Psalms and Deuteronomy texts you cited in several translations and share Hawk's confusion -- I can't see anything there that relates to the conscious suffering of the wicked after death in any way. Can you explicate a little?

It's interesting that you chose to end your survey of the subject with John 3:16, the verse that famously tells us that God so loved the world that those who believed in Him should not suffer eternal torment in hell, but enjoy everlasting peace and happiness in heaven.

Oh, wait. It doesn't say that, does it? Although to hear it quoted in many evangelical churches it would seem that's what preachers think Jesus meant to say, if only He'd chosen His words more carefully. In fact, of course, He says that if we believe we will not perish -- i.e. suffer eternal death, the universal fate of mankind without God's intervention -- but rather we will be given the gift of eternal life -- a gift only God can bestow.

The same view is supported in texts such as Romans 6:23 -- "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Death, not eternal torture, is what is due all of us, without God's gift.

Your first statement, Mudfrog, is where we part ways, because before either of us even starts to look at Bible texts you say that you believe in the immortality of the soul, which is the core doctrine supporting (and perhaps even necessitating) a belief in hell. I believe that, as 1 Timothy 6:15 states, "[God] alone is immortal." Eternal life is a gift God can choose to give to some, but it is not the natural state of humanity, thus God does not have to deal with the problem of a bunch of wicked immortal souls hanging around for all eternity, needing to be either punished or converted (a belief which necessitates either hell, or universalism).

"For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6).

This view that the dead are not conscious is supported not only in the rather depressing little book of Ecclesiastes, but throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (e.g. Job 7:1-10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18, among others), as well as in the New Testament, where Jesus refers to death as a sleep and Paul describes the Resurrection as the event that will waken the dead from their sleep (John 11:11-13; Mark 5:39; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). Only then, at the Resurrection, will we mortals put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

Eternal life is not our natural state; it is a gift God gives to those who follow Him and believe. (Who, exactly, this group is made up of, is obviously a much larger and more difficult question). For the rest, eternal death is their fate, not eternal torture.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Orlando098
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# 14930

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Oh and there is certainly post-mortem evangelism and salvation for the worst of sinners who died unshriven, yes.

Jesus says so.

Twice.

Where?
Martin think Matthew 10:15 and 11:24 are relevant. No, I have no idea why either - he has explicitly pointed to those verses in the past, but without further comment.
I posted further up the thread as to what Martin's theory is about those verses - I noticed he makes a lot of cryptic references to them; he seems to place a lot of importance on them
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PaulTH*
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# 320

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quote:
Originaaly posted by Mudfrog:
The only requisite is repentance and faith. Is it fair that Hitler could have gone to heaven had he repented and believed in Christ

So Hitler could be in heaven, but his victims from the Holocaust couldn't because most of them, being Jews, didn't have the right belief system! Dream on!


quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
According to Salvation Army doctrine, all men are 'totally depraved and are justly exposed to the wrath of God'

Same old Calvinist shite! No one is totally depraved, because we are all made in the image of God, who couldn't create total depravity. We are also all placed here in this sinful mileau by God, so we are in no way entitled to His wrath. His wrath is overrated anyway in your system. His lovingkindness, tempered by His justice, blends into mercy. This is the sacred heart of Jesus.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
all humanity is judged unworthy of heaven.

By who? The Lord said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." (Ex 33.19). Do you know better than God who is worthy of heaven. Your religion never fails to nauseate me!

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
A carefuller reader might have noticed I said that I believed in the possibility of repentance beyond the grave and didn't say anything about automatically applied salvation.

This has to be right. While I've always tended to a universalist position, I can see its pitfalls. Yet "the harrowing of hell" (1 Peter 3.19) clearly indicates the possibility of repentance post death. In the end its God's call not ours who is saved. We can just hope in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: "Lord, let me never be parted from you." If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26).

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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MerlintheMad
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# 12279

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quote:
Originally posted by Unitarian1986:
I'm looking for some good discussion on what everyone thinks about what hell will be like. I know obviously no one knows but God but I am just interested in what you guys think.

Right here. Forever. With the added feature that you ALWAYS win and ALWAYS get your own way....
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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
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Posted by Mudfrog
quote:

So everyone, regardless of what they've done or believed will be let off and go to heaven?

No justice or consequences in your universe then!

A lot depends on how you understand justice I guess. I tend to feel that a lot of the time we humans confuse and muddy the waters between justice and punishment, and even when we try and call punishment justice, we confuse matters further by acting in a way that can sometimes look like vengeance.

I think to face the love of God is actually much more difficult than facing a concept of the wrath of God that annihilates. To be annihilated is to be let off the hook in a sense, but to be faced with the irrepressible love of God requires us to change who we are, and that can be much more frightening and much more just. That draws in a concept of justice being a restorative thing. To be annihilated means not having to face the consequences of what you have done - to be alive and to work at change within yourself and to put your own pride to one side and admit wrongdoing is a much more difficult thing, but to my mind seems more just.

If we take the example of Hitler, I guess there are times when my sensibilities are offended. But the reason I find the notion of him being granted a pardon offensive is because in my more base nature I would probably quite like to see him suffer. I am a sort of modified universalist and I find the love of God much more terrifying than what others describe as God's wrath. But I do wonder sometimes if there is the possibility that some people do in fact opt out of God's saving grace through their own actions and choices, but then that might be me safeguarding my warped sense of justice, linked as it is with an all too human desire for punishment and vengeance. I'm quite happy to leave it in God's lap because I know if I were called upon to make a decision one way or another, I'd make the wrong one.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Orlando098
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# 14930

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Posted by Mudfrog
quote:

So everyone, regardless of what they've done or believed will be let off and go to heaven?

No justice or consequences in your universe then!

A lot depends on how you understand justice I guess. I tend to feel that a lot of the time we humans confuse and muddy the waters between justice and punishment, and even when we try and call punishment justice, we confuse matters further by acting in a way that can sometimes look like vengeance.

I think to face the love of God is actually much more difficult than facing a concept of the wrath of God that annihilates. To be annihilated is to be let off the hook in a sense, but to be faced with the irrepressible love of God requires us to change who we are, and that can be much more frightening and much more just. That draws in a concept of justice being a restorative thing. To be annihilated means not having to face the consequences of what you have done - to be alive and to work at change within yourself and to put your own pride to one side and admit wrongdoing is a much more difficult thing, but to my mind seems more just.

It sounds a bit of an exaggeration to me to say staying alive and having to be humble and work on your bad points is worse than being anihilated..
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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
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Well, you're dead for a start. There is nothing that you have to do....or undo. You don't have to face the people you harmed or admit your wrongdoing even or face the pain of change. If you are dead and gone, you aren't going to know about it, your conciousness is dead.

--------------------
'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Orlando098
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# 14930

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Well true but I know which I'd prefer! And personally if I realise I've been wrong about something I said or did, it comes quite naturally to me to want to apoligise and make amends, as I don't think I'm perfect or omniscient and don't want to cause harm, though I suppose for someone very proud and opinionated or very self-centred, it might be harder. I guess trying to fundamentally change certain ingrained character traits and habits is harder, but then even my most negative ones don't include habits like committing genocide...
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Martin60
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# 368

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I can only conclude Orlando098, that something Jesus repeats is worth repeating.

That He places a lot of importance on it.

Way above the false dichotomy of damnationism and universalism from Augustine's pagan children here.

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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

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# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:


Eternal life is not our natural state; it is a gift God gives to those who follow Him and believe. (Who, exactly, this group is made up of, is obviously a much larger and more difficult question). For the rest, eternal death is their fate, not eternal torture.

This makes a lot of sense Trudy.

The question remains as to whether the eternal death begins at physical death - or after having been given the chance to follow God, minus all the things which got in the way in life.

A child who was unloved and cruelly treated (so couldn't find, know or follow God) would, surely, be given the chance to do so after death?

Is this not the meaning of mercy?

[ 21. November 2010, 09:54: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Martin60
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That question is answered twice by Jesus Boogie.

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Love wins

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Orlando098
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# 14930

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
I can only conclude Orlando098, that something Jesus repeats is worth repeating.

That He places a lot of importance on it.

Way above the false dichotomy of damnationism and universalism from Augustine's pagan children here.

But do you conclude that the people from the villages he criticsed ARE damned without hope then? Or not even them?
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Martin60
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? I'm sorry ??? Why do you ask that ?

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Love wins

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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Way above the false dichotomy of damnationism and universalism from Augustine's pagan children here.

Do you really have to go down that path again Martin? Why not tell us what your opinion is and back it up with an argument? On this matter I think it's plainly obvious that I and most others here disagree with Augustine on this, so why bring him into it again?

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Jessie Phillips
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# 13048

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quote:
Originally posted by Silver Faux:
I know there are quite a few clergy-types aboard The Ship.
Has anyone else ever had an office visit from someone who has undergone a near-death, hellish expeience?
These experiences appear to be less common than near-death heavenly experiences, or at least, less widely discussed.

I have never been clergy, however, I have worked as a care assistant in care homes for the elderly.

If that's not a near-death hellish experience, then I don't know what is. It's especially bad for the people who don't have any relatives to visit them, and even worse for people who lose their ability to speak and move about. Feeding tubes! Ugh!

It can be a traumatic experience for care assistants, not least of all because they know that the same thing is likely to happen to them when they get older.

quote:
Originally posted by Orlando098:
Also, when it comes to NDEs, for that matter, I have never read that only people who have strong traditional Christian beliefs in salvation through Jesus are the only ones who have positive ones. I believe people of all kinds of religious belief and none may have them.

Call me a sceptic - but I'm inclined to think that anyone who thought they were imminently about to die - whether it be in a hospital or on a battle-field - and subsequently found that they aren't dead, is likely to be pretty damn pleased about it.

Some might call that a form of "Stockholm syndrome" though. But are we sure that we are not mistaking this sense of being grateful for being alive, for supposedly "positive" near-death experiences? I'm not sure that there's such a fine distinction between the two.

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Jessie Phillips
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# 13048

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quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
Perhaps we should just accept that much of Revelation is metaphorical

Much of Dante's Divine Comedy is also metaphorical - however, it does seem to me that it has been highly influential in forming a basis for popular notions of heaven and hell. I don't think that's necessarily bad thing; that is, taking the Divine Comedy literally is no worse than taking Revelation literally.

I think this idea that there's a distinction between "death" and "eternal torture" is something that has only come about fairly recently. I suspect that at the time that the book of Revelation was written, death and eternal torture were seen as being pretty much one and the same thing.

Having said that, it's significant that Death and Hades are personified, so as to be thrown into the lake of fire themselves. Can Death itself die? According to the book of Revelation, it seems that Death can die, and will die. Once Death has died, how can anyone else die?

I think the idea of Death dying also crops up in one of the tragedies of Euripides, I forget which one; point is, I'm fairly sure that the book of Revelation is not the earliest written instance of the concept in the ancient Greek languages.

quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
The question remains as to whether the eternal death begins at physical death - or after having been given the chance to follow God, minus all the things which got in the way in life.

I think that to try to pin the start of the state of "eternal death" to a specific time is to miss the point. Even when a person's body is physically dead, their name can still be alive to the extent that other people are still talking about that person. For that reason, I think it could be argued that a person's "eternal death" does not start until their name drops off people's lips.

In the same way, we are perpetuating Hitler's afterlife by continuing to talk about him (and whoops, I've just mentioned him again!). So I think there are bloody good reasons why the Catholic church does keep a record of the names of saints, but does not keep a record of the names of sinners.

But what about infant mortality?
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
A child who was unloved and cruelly treated (so couldn't find, know or follow God) would, surely, be given the chance to do so after death?

I admit that that's a difficult one - but then again, that's partly what the legend of the Holy Innocents is about. To me, the legend of the Holy Innocents represents all unloved and cruelly treated children; I don't think the legend suggests that they are barred from finding God (although admittedly I haven't read it for a little while).

The Holy Innocents are normally commemorated on December 28th.

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