Based on Christian faith, would God send someone to Hell for not believing in Hell?

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posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 06:43 PM
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I think the best way to start out would be to tell you my predicament. Since I've made a thread or two on that predicament already, I'll just give a short watered down version. I've always felt like Hell simply doesn't fit into Christian faith. It's supposed to be our choice, but it's really not. To me, saying that people who don't believe in God are choosing to go to Hell is almost as if I were to go up to someone, point a gun at their head so that they can't run away, and say "Pick a number between 1 and 100. If you pick the wrong number, I'm going to shoot you. If I shoot you, it's your fault, as it was your choice to pick that number".

Because of this, I'm not really sure that I believe in Hell. I mean, I'm a Christian. I believe in Jesus, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died for our sins and I follow his word as close as I can. But I'm just not sure about Hell. I believe in Satan, and I might even believe that there is a Hell, but people don't go for it simply for not believe in God. From someone who does believe in Hell, would I go to Hell for my beliefs?




posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 06:59 PM
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My outlook on it is that "Hell" is not being in the glory of God.
Being with God would then be Heaven.
To my knowledge, there is no edict that requires anyone of the christian faith to believe in Hell or even the devil. The requirement is that you beleive in god, follow his word and teachings which will eventually bring you into enlightenment and thus bring you closer to God.
Hell, as we believe it to be is a creation of the church and has undergone many changes throughout the centuries. It really started to take form with Dante writing his Inferno piece.
There was a show on the history channel reccently (I beleive that it was a rerun) that went over this very subject



posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 05:51 AM
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Think about this:
In the OT, sheol is translated 'hell' but actually means more like 'grave' or 'pit.'
Now--consider that, although born alive in the flesh, when we are still dead in the spirit, we are, in God's reality, actually dead. We are in our 'graves' in this current lifetime, until the HS quickens us with true spiritual life/consciousness.

If the grave is a place where there is separation from God and darkness (according to Ecclesiastes and Psalms) then, essentially, we are already in the closest thing to hell which actually exists. We are also 'tried by fire' through the power of the HS in our human lifetimes.

If this is the worst is gets--well, it's uphill from this point, the way I see it.


D

posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 06:15 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
From someone who does believe in Hell, would I go to Hell for my beliefs?


I don't believe you would. Remember this verse from the Bible:




in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


taken from Romans 8:37-39. What I think you're going through is just a questioning of faith. Your issue is something that I've gone through as well and I believe that to grow as a Christian, you have to be able to question your own faith. Just go back to the Bible and it has the answer you'll be looking for.

Remember that Hell is eternal separation from God. Imagine a place where there is no God, a world made purely of your own doing. I reckon that as a Christian, that is hell enough.



posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 05:20 PM
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People forget that God never sends people to hell, people choose to go to hell by not beliving in God and his plan for slavation. Hell is the place of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" it is being complely sperated by his grace and love. TOo often we think of hell as a burning inferno or litteral Ghenna. We should instead focus on our reward, and what happens to us when we do reciven that salvation taht can only come in beliving in the Christ



posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat
People forget that God never sends people to hell, people choose to go to hell by not beliving in God and his plan for slavation.


Again, in my mind saying that people choose to go to Hell for not believing in God is like going up to a person, and telling them to pick a number between one and a hundred. If they don't pick the right one, you're going to shoot them in the head. But that's their problem, because THEY chose the number; therefore, they chose to get shot in the head.

I mean the Christian faith (And yeah, I'm a Christian) is based on forgiveness and love. How can God, who loves us, let us burn in Hell for not believing in him?



posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 11:13 PM
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First off God does love each and everyone of us, but God does not send one to Hell because one does not believe in Hell--rather, one gets sent to Hell because one does not believe and confess in their heart that Jesus died for our sins, conquered death, Hell, and the grave, and rose again. In Romans 10 it says that if you do this then you shall be saved.

Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Him. One gets sent to Hell for not believing in the only begotten Son of God.

In John 3:17 it says that if you believe in Jesus you are not condemned but if you dont believe you are condemned already because you have not believed in the only begotten son of God.

I just have one question for you Herman. Its ok that you dont believe in Hell, but how can you believe one part of the Bible (be it Jesus dying for our sins or something else, like believing in the Trinity, or the Word of God)
and not believe the rest of it??

If you are going to believe in something such as the Bible it is rather hard to pick and choose what you believe. God's Word is true and never wavering, God cannot lie so he cannot and would not lie about Hell.

It is futile to not believe in something in the Bible because one percieves it to be false because if it is false that would mean God is a liar(which he isnt) and that would mean that John 3:16 is a false and that Heaven is a lie.........



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by TheEmpiricalIdeal
If you are going to believe in something such as the Bible it is rather hard to pick and choose what you believe. God's Word is true and never wavering, God cannot lie so he cannot and would not lie about Hell.

It is futile to not believe in something in the Bible because one percieves it to be false because if it is false that would mean God is a liar(which he isnt) and that would mean that John 3:16 is a false and that Heaven is a lie.........


It's not necessarily that I don't believe in Hell. I might believe in Hell...it's hard to say. I really just think that Hell doesn't fit in with the rest of the concept of Christianity. God's eternal love. God's infinite power. Christian forgiveness. God letting his creations (Who he loves more than anything, and has the power to save, right?) burn and suffer in the eternal agony of Hell for not being able to believe in him. (Even though God would have known that they're going to choose not to believe in him, right? He knows everything.) Do you see what I'm saying?

Maybe you don't have the kinds of friends that I do. I have a friend who's like the coolest person ever. He was/is one of the, if not the best friend I've had. (He's back in Brazil now. He was a foreign exchange student) He really seriously has tried to believe in God. He prayed and everything, but he really seriously just can't bring himself to believe. He's just over-all an extremely nice and caring person. Am I to believe that he's going to suffer for eternity for his in-born trait that keeps him from believing in God? I can't bring myself to believe that. Even I, being a human and not NEARLY as loving as God could NEVER let even my worst enemy go to Hell. If I knew that anybody was going to be banished to a place of eternal suffering, I would do everything in my power to save them regardless of whether or not they liked me, let alone knew I existed. It's just an extremely hard concept to grasp, and I hope you're not thinking I'm anti-God or anything for this. I still try to follow the word of Jesus, and pray every-night, often for guidance. I just...can't accept that a loving God would allow something like that to happen.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 12:35 AM
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Oh, and thanks to everyone else who replied. Your posts are appreciated!!!



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 02:14 AM
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Herman,

Please take to heart the truth that I’m about to give you. I understand the difficulty you are having with coming to grips about the reality of Hell. When I first came to the faith I also struggled with the concept of an eternal Hell with everlasting suffering. From our earthly perspective we can often misjudge the concept of Hell as being overly harsh or simply a punishment not befitting the crime. Remember Herman you are only a man. Your intellect is vastly inferior to God’s and your perspective is coming from that of a sinful person.

I also have friends in my life that grieve my heart terribly. I often find myself praying to God and asking him to prepare their hearts and bring them to salvation. Your concern for your friend is well appointed. If he still walks in his own sin he is like a blind man traversing a steep and narrow mountain path. At any moment he could misstep and find himself a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Like so many who came before him and even walk this earth now he is dead in his sin, his right place is in Hell but for a brief moment in time he is granted a small reprieve. You should be afraid for him. You should keep lifting him up in all of your prayers. Prayer has power and it is in this way that you can now have the greatest impact on him.

You mentioned some things in prior posts that show me that you lack a full understanding of the nature of God. You keep telling yourself that a loving God could never allow someone to go to Hell but you have made a fatal error in judgment. Our Bible plainly tells us that God has several immutable aspects to his nature. To break this down in simple terms let me use some basic mathematical principles.

God is 100% Love
God is 100% Wise
God is 100% Just
God is 100% Holy

And God is all powerful and omniscient.

Many Christians and most non-Christians are aware of God’s love. This is the aspect of God that we as sinful beings are most thankful for. But do not allow yourself to forget the other equally important aspects of our God. He is also holy and just. God by his very nature is incapable of tolerating sin in his presence. And we by our nature are incapable of being in God’s presence without being instantly destroyed. We have another problem when we try to come into God’s presence. God is also a God of justice. He cannot turn a blind eye to sin as this would make him corrupt. If we die in our sins we must be punished by a just God. He cannot do otherwise.

You have tried to convince yourself that a God of love would never condemn someone to Hell and eternal torment forever but you do not realize that our God must do that very thing with all sinners. These aspects of God’s nature are unchangeable even to God. God cannot violate his own nature it’s outside of his power.

Now, as for the punishment you have made another error in judgment. You look at your friend through the lens of a sin filled mind. From your sinful perspective you deem his sins as slight and not worthy of eternal punishment. But stop and see with the eyes of God that same friend and you will begin to have a new perspective. Look at sin from the eyes of a pure and holy God, a God of perfect justice and absolute power and majesty.

Now this same sin that was to you slight becomes unbearable in your presence. You no longer look just at the sin but now have a total awareness of who it is that has been sinned against. In our society the punishments for our crimes often increase when the same crimes are committed against certain authorities. If you were to walk up behind a man in California and shoot him dead you may or may not receive the death penalty. If this man was a uniformed police officer you would most certainly face a 1st degree murder rap with special circumstances.

If you stand in your front yard and say to a friend in casual conversation, “someone should shoot Bob he is an ass!” In most states you haven’t even committed a crime. If you changed the name to George Bush you have just committed a felony. We as human beings have always given special honor and recognition for those in authority. Now measure the authority of a police officer or the President against the authority of God. Even if God’s holiness could be circumvented his justice would fall down hard on the back of the sinner being judged. His sin would be weighed against the one sinned against. The only just punishment befitting someone who sinned against a perfect and eternal God is an eternal one.

Now, let’s take another look at this friend of yours. From your perspective he is kind and caring. From God’s perspective he is wretched and full of wickedness. He has also refused to accept the free gift of eternal pardon paid for by his own blood. In many customs a person who is brought before a King or high ranking official to receive a gift does not dare turn it down. This is seen in many cultures as a tremendous insult with the offender often times losing his head as a result!

How much greater is this insult to a perfect and holy God? God removed himself from eternity and perfect peace to become a man. He bore the weight of a sinful world and yet was without sin. He suffered the humiliation and agony of the cross to make a way for your friend to be pardoned of his sin and your friend’s response to this is to throw it down and refuse it.

The greatest gift ever offered to mankind by the greatest one to ever offer a gift and he refused it.

His condemnation is deserved.

Herman, please continue to read your Bible and ask God to give you a right perspective concerning Hell. Satan wants you to deny the existence of Hell. By denying Hell you deny God’s holiness and justice. When you do this you open yourself up to a great many errors in thinking and understanding. Most importantly, you lose your zeal to reach the lost and become disinterested in the eternal welfare of others. Your friend from Brazil needs a righteous and holy prayer warrior to intercede on his behalf. He doesn’t need a friend who denies a Hell that he will one day find himself in.

Are you really his friend?

Then get your face into the Bible and get down on your knees in prayer for him! You are God’s elect a chosen instrument known before time itself to reflect His light into the world and crush evil.

Your friend is dead and you may very well be the only one who will care enough for him to intercede on his behalf before he himself will be forced to pay for his crimes against a holy and just God.


The choice is yours.


James



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 07:39 AM
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Based on Christian faith would god send you to hell for not believing in {hell}?

Yes.
No.
Maybe.

Christianity is not a single religion, but a collection of dozens (hundreds?) of different sects each with their own beliefs. Even basics such as the divinity of Jesus are disputed among these sects.

Universalists believe all humans go to heaven, whereas it is my understanding that JWs believe only 144,000 will be saved and it's crispy time for everyone else.

Protestants tend to emphasize faith as the ticket to heaven, whereas Catholics tend to emphasize works (althought they pay lip service to the faith business).

From a Biblical perspective, hell is; the grave, a waste dump outside Jerusalem, the Greek Hades complete with the pit of Tartarus.

Some say the lake of fire in Revelation is hell, but that doesn't make any sense since Revelation also says that hell will be cast into the lake of fire.

You will not find the fire and brimstone hell of The Inferno anywhere in the Bible. Nor will you find a single passage about an eternal torturous life after death for those not chosen. All you have are a few mistranslations and passages that although clear when written, have now lost their context and are commonly interpreted as references to conscious eternal torment by modern religious people.

Why? Because it's a fun way of stroking one's own ego to imagine all those poor 'foolish' people burning in hell while they ascend to the clouds to sing praises to god endlessly (as if that wasn't hell also).



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by Machine

God is 100% Love
God is 100% Wise
God is 100% Just
God is 100% Holy

I agree 100%


But how do these 4 100%'s all add up to destruction and wasted time--which will essentially be the reward of those supposed few chosen to be pardoned--a reward given for their faithful adherence to one of the two primary commands for all the world, from the mouth of Messiah?

'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
*'But just look the other way for a minute--he's going to hell in a handbasket--plug your ears, the screams will eventually blend into the background of harp music you'll be hearing.'*



And God is all powerful and omniscient.
True, as well. It is for this reason that we can trust what He spoke through the prophet Isaiah:

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
--Isaiah 45:18 KJV


He did not form the earth in vain--that is, 'to no purpose.' The same applies for every single soul He ever infused with His Living Breath--not one was made for destruction--only the body will meet that end--every body will die and every soul shall live.

Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

--Isaiah 45:21-23 KJV



If we die in our sins we must be punished by a just God. He cannot do otherwise.
In all actuality, we will all die in the same 'state of sinfulness' that we were born in. That's why we've been pardoned of that inevitability--all of us.

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: [color=#CC0000]for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
--Romans 3:22-23 KJV


God cannot violate his own nature it’s outside of his power.
Nothing is outside of God's power--what He does not do is according to His wisdom, not because of any limitations whatsoever.

[color=#3333FF]With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.



You look at your friend through the lens of a sin filled mind. From your sinful perspective you deem his sins as slight and not worthy of eternal punishment.
Please don't take offense, my friend, but it is you who is wearing the lenses in this situation--you are viewing others through the eyes of human judgment--and what you see you deem not worthy of forgiveness and life...
Does this carry over into the time in which you meet your own face in the mirror?
Are you willing to believe that you are no more worthy to live than anyone else--
or would it be more peaceful in your heart to come to the realization that since you and Herman's friend are absolutely no different one from another--
and so if you believe God bestowed an unspeakable gift upon you, then it must also have been bestowed upon Herman's friend, just the same?

Either you are both condemned or you are both rescued. Whether you believe this and/or he can't conceive of it at all--has no bearing on the outcome for either of you.


But stop and see with the eyes of God that same friend and you will begin to have a new perspective. Look at sin from the eyes of a pure and holy God, a God of perfect justice and absolute power and majesty.
There, you see, you've pinned down the essential truth of this issue rather neatly!
I daresay Herman is already looking with eyes more like God's than the typical person--not judging the outside things that man has deemed important and contrived support for by wresting with scripture.


The only just punishment befitting someone who sinned against a perfect and eternal God is an eternal one.
For which cause we have been given a pardon--that curse was taken upon by another--and so there is no more curse, for anyone. What's done is done--no more selection, no more choosing sides.


Now, let’s take another look at this friend of yours. From your perspective he is kind and caring. From God’s perspective he is wretched and full of wickedness.
Surely God is far more forgiving and wise than even Herman, who clearly isn't swayed too much by the illusory perception of selective salvation! Is God the type who sees the glass as half empty? Or does He see it full to overflowing, for each of us?



He has also refused to accept the free gift of eternal pardon paid for by his own blood.
Well, gosh, its not hardly presented fairly in its true light to most 'non christians'--who could blame them for shunning such a hard-to-believe system of injustice at the hands of a God who loves only those who love Him? The very things you are saying in this thread do far more damage than good--you are not spreading the gospel, you are spreading discontent and hurt feelings. You are hurting the feelings of others in the name of God--who would not have you to do so.




How much greater is this insult to a perfect and holy God?
How can God be offended? He is pure spirit and spirit does not get offended.



God removed himself from eternity and perfect peace to become a man. He bore the weight of a sinful world and yet was without sin. He suffered the humiliation and agony of the cross to make a way for your friend to be pardoned of his sin and your friend’s response to this is to throw it down and refuse it.
How can he throw down something which has not been fully shown to him, in the first place? How can he refuse something that has already been given to him, even before he heard of it?



His condemnation is deserved.
Now I know that I didn't just read that--I know you wouldn't be so mean-spirited as that.


Your friend from Brazil needs a righteous and holy prayer warrior to intercede on his behalf. He doesn’t need a friend who denies a Hell that he will one day find himself in.
Hello! It's been taken care of--both the intercessor and the friend. After all,


[color=#993399]Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.




Are you really his friend?
Herman's friend is truly a blessed person, because obviously Herman is more of a friend than you would have him be--he seems to be following in the correct footsteps, the way I see it.



Your friend is dead and you may very well be the only one who will care enough for him to intercede on his behalf before he himself will be forced to pay for his crimes against a holy and just God.

Hello again! Remember Christ? He's got it all taken care of!

Don't forget the beam in your eye, either, because I know you don't wish it to be there at all.

God is about love, not condemnation--unity not division.




[edit on 9/19/2005 by queenannie38]



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 08:39 PM
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God wont send you to hell for not believing in hell, youll send yourself to hell by not believing in Christ as your savior.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 08:46 PM
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Is that in the bible?



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by queenannie38
Is that in the bible?


of course, look at john 3:17-18 "for god did not send his son into the world to condemn the world , but that the world through him might be saved. 18. "he who believes in Him is not condemed but he who does not believe is condemed because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son"



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 10:04 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your posts. I really appreciate them, and I'm really trying to gain some insight to them. Forgive me if I don't get to something you said. I'm pretty busy at the moment.

Machine,

Again, thanks a lot for your post. I really am trying to gain some understanding, and your posts are really helping me out. But its still just so incredibly hard for me to believe that a God who loves everyone equally would let some burn and suffer for an eternity for something that they might not even be able to help.. I mean, to someone who doesn't believe in God, it's not really a choice. It's like how I don't believe in Allah or the Muslim faith. If I died and ended up in a Muslim Hell (I know it won't happen, it's just an example), I most likely wouldn't be saying "Well I deserve this since I chose not to believe in Allah". I would be angry that a loving God is letting this happen for something that is not my fault. God's love and knowlege is far beyond our own as humans, I know, but that seems like more of a reason to not damn some to Hell. I mean we must look so simple to God; so much we don't understand. I don't see how eternal punishment is a just punishment for a lifetime of sins. Then again, as you said, I don't have God's understanding. But it seems like suffering for eternity isn't nearly as bad as whatever sins you could commit here on earth. I mean...maybe if there was a short period of time you were sent to Hell as a punishment.... But I don't think that's the case here
.

And I do pray for my friend. I have other friends in similar situations, and I pray for them as well. I just really hope that God answers my prayers.


Herman, please continue to read your Bible and ask God to give you a right perspective concerning Hell. Satan wants you to deny the existence of Hell. By denying Hell you deny God’s holiness and justice. When you do this you open yourself up to a great many errors in thinking and understanding. Most importantly, you lose your zeal to reach the lost and become disinterested in the eternal welfare of others. Your friend from Brazil needs a righteous and holy prayer warrior to intercede on his behalf.


I most definitely will continue to read my bible, and I do hope that God will help me increase my understanding. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know as much as I should about the bible. I really do want to get down to reading the whole thing, but I just...don't. Part of the reason is that the only bible I have is written in that old-English stuff... I can't even understand most of it haha. I guess I need a newer one.


He doesn’t need a friend who denies a Hell that he will one day find himself in.


Well I would hope I don't find myself there! But like I said, I'll keep praying, and I'll get to reading the whole bible (I've just read various sections so far. I don't really know how much I've actually read, and I know that's pretty bad.) and hopefully I'll increase my understanding. It also seems like...I wouldn't really be able to live with myself, in Heaven, knowing that so many good people are suffering in Hell while I'm living it up in Heaven. People who may have lead better lives than I, but simply didn't believe in Jesus. Thanks again for your reply though, and any future replies, I know it probably seems to you like I'm trying to deny Hell, but I'm really not. I really am taking your posts to heart.

queenannie38,

Thanks a lot for your reply as well. You definitely have some good points too. But there are one or two that I still have questions about.


In all actuality, we will all die in the same 'state of sinfulness' that we were born in. That's why we've been pardoned of that inevitability--all of us.


We are all sinful, even believers. But it's the belief in Christ that forgives us of these sins, right? And without Christ, we can never be forgiven, which is why people who don't believe go to a place of Sin... a place without God. Or at least that's the logic behind it.

But again, I'm still questioning whether or not I even believe in Hell.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
But again, I'm still questioning whether or not I even believe in Hell.


If you are questioning it, then you don't believe it. And you shouldn't. It's patently absurd.

Even for those who think the Bible is more than just the obvious collection of ancient mythological works that it is, you can't reconcile a place of eternal torture with Biblical passages. The modern concept of hell was grafted onto Christianity from Dante's Inferno, which I guess makes that book canonical considering how many people believe it.

In every single instance that you find "hell" in the Bible, it is a mistranslation. The concept of hell is not found anywhere in the Old Testament at all. In the New Testament, Gehenna, a proper name of a place outside Jerusalem, is translated as hell in many translations. Why? If you read those passages straightforward, they make perfect sense with a little historical knowledge about Gehenna.

There is a reference to Hades, and to Tartarus in the New Testament. Are we to believe that the Greek pagan underworld is applicable to the Christian faith?

People often refer to the lake of fire in Revelation as hell, but then conveniently ignore the fact that in Revelation, death and hell are cast into the lake of fire. How do you cast hell into itself? How can death be cast into hell? Fire consumes, it does not just keep things hot. The lake of fire is clearly an alegory for annihilation.

You simply will not find anything in the Bible that says "the unsaved will be eternally tortured". That's just a fun idea people like.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham
You simply will not find anything in the Bible that says "the unsaved will be eternally tortured". That's just a fun idea people like.


Have you ever read the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16?
There is a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus, Lazarus just wants some crumbs from the rich mans table but the rich man doesnt give him any. They both die. Lazarus get taken by angels into Abrahams bosom and the rich man dies and gets buried.
Luke 16:23


And in hell (also translated Hades and Sheol), he (the rich man) lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.


He asks for Lazarus to give him a drop of water in his mouth because he is tormented, when Abraham says no he asks if Lazarus can warn his brothers so they would not have to be with him in that place of torment.

Matthew 16:18


And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it


This is Jesus talking. There is a Hell, an eternal place of torure, people may have distorted versions of this but dont let mistranslations and misconceptions decieve you. There is a Hell and there is a Heaven. Death or Life. You must choose Either-Or, you cant have both, you cant have your cake and eat it too. Hell is Hell, Heaven is Heaven, A is A. Everyone CAN go to Heaven but not everyone WILL.

The Bible says the only way to be saved from eternal damnation is to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, died for our sins, and rose again, and is sitting at the right hand of the father in heavenly places.

Paul said it best in Romans 10:10



For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


In regards to mistranslations and misinterpretations.....
Most of the translations are off and most of them will not be corected ever because of the period the writings were in. Because it was so long ago even the best of scholars can believe it to translate to something in English but due to time period it could have meant something totally different in the original work. You lose something with the translation.

Hell and Ghenna are realated...sort of..
Ghenna is a place outside of Jerusalem far far away from the presence of God (In the Jews' view).
Hell is the same. The Bible says it is a place of unquenchable fire but again I think this is a misinterpretation.

Contrary to popular belief influenced by any means (be it Dante or whatever) Hell is not a place of fire and brimstone but more than likely a dark, dark, place very, very, far away from the presence of God. The unquenchable fire, in my opinion, is one's thought process in Hell of constantly thinking about their sins committed and constantly thinking of all the times they could have made the confession unto salvation so they could be in the presence of the Almighty. This is the eternal suffering, pain, and anguish. Whoever is down there IS in anguish because of the fact that they live through each and every one of their sins and live the fact that they are cut off from the awesome, wonderful, presence of God.

Dante was a very devout Catholic (i think, might have been Christian though), who was extremely frustrated with the immoral and unrighteous people who despite the fact that they were immoral, were still prospering and in general doing as good as he (dante) was or better.....
Knowing that he could not punish them in the physical world, he decieded to create his own reality and punish them in that reality. This fake reality was The Inferno. The Divine Comedy was a comically sick and twisted book aimed at the punishment of the people Dante despised most.

In no way, shold this book ever be looked upon as a basis for the picture of Hell.

There is a Hell, and the people there are eternally tortured (not in the sick and twisted way people like) until the end of time when they get totally destroyed and exist no more.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
I mean...maybe if there was a short period of time you were sent to Hell as a punishment.... But I don't think that's the case here
.
That's closer to the true concept, although I don't think it is 'punishment.' Punishment is not a true biblical concept--it is man's. It is a morality based judgment that is inflicted according to one man's ideas of 'right' and 'wrong' applied to another. It is opinion, and as such, is an inherently injust concept.

The fact that 'the wages of sin are death' is demonstrative of a consequence--an expected and consistent outcome to a certain situation. God doesn't punish us--but He does allow us to suffer the consequences of our present situation--and not in order to be mean or teach us a lesson--but in order to allow us to learn a lasting and valuable lesson that will pay off in far bigger ways than any sort of punitive damage could possibly evince, for all parties involved. It doesn't do God any more good to destroy any soul which He has created than it does to destroy that soul.

What spamandham said above is absolutely true and reliable--regardless of whether a person views the bible as myth or not does not have any real bearing on whether or not they are interpreting it correctly. Many people believe the bible is literal (usually in the wrong sense, though--viewing the allegorical aspects as something else beside what they truly are, which is a material way of explaining spiritual concepts to a physically-oriented consciousness) yet they prohibit themselves from applying the same rational examination to it that they use in every other situation in life which requires analytical thinking. As a result, ideologies have been established and accepted as 'true' which are not logical even within a strict framework of self-validation of the bible with itself. IOW, the things arrived at from such thinking do not even fit in with other things which are all solely based upon what only the bible, itself, says about them.

The best example is the very thing you are wrestling with--the idea of a just and merciful God being, at the same time, unreasonable unjust, petty, and cruel. I say this often: people that preach hell don't ever declare that they, themselves, are going to be going there, themselves. The bible isn't about placing blame (the devil makes us bad) or judging (those who don't see what I see are going to hell). It is about understanding our inherent dual nature as humans (existing as spiritual beings within a material framework of reality) as well as the dual nature of all our choices/decisions in life (do we choose things over people? greed over love? the 'evil' of our fleshly priorities over the spiritual 'good' of loving our neighbor, no matter what?) The ultimate outcome of the biblical lesson is understanding that we are creatures of mixed qualities, and we can be overcome by the 'evil' or we can overcome the evil (of self) with love (for others).

The inherent flaw in typical christian religiosity is the idea that 'the kingdom of God is within us' yet personifying our own natural inclinations toward self-orientation ('evil') outside of ourselves in the person of the 'devil.' This results in a hypocrisy that seems to be the pivotal point of decision for most people--either they can accept this and adopt it without question (which means they are truly unaware of the maladaptive way they are thinking and so aren't 'wrong' for believing it--their error lies in the reluctance to use their cognitive abilities in the area they obviously consider the most important part of their lives) or they cannot accept it, because they do choose to apply rational thinking to the issue, and so then must find their path outside of the worldly 'christian' road. One might become an atheist (like spamandham) or a 'rebel' churchless oddball (like me, LOL).

I came down rather hard on what Machine posted, and I hope I didn't give the impression that I am criticizing or judging--Machine, I apologize if I offended you, in any way--but the sole reason for doing so is that I know Machine said what he did out of his own true heart and love for others. I know he trusts God from what he says in his posts.

But the thing is this: even if 99 people out of 100 believe something altogether about the bible, yet the one who is left over just can't accept it because it doesn't 'sit well' in their mind and heart--doesn't mean that one person is following self and the other 99 are following God. What it means is that the 99 are agreeing amongst themselves about what they think the bible says, and the one is listening to the small silent voice of truth that we all have within us. We all have it, hardly any of us pause long enough to listen for it.


And I do pray for my friend. I have other friends in similar situations, and I pray for them as well. I just really hope that God answers my prayers.
Remember, though, that often our prayers are answered but we don't recognize it due to the fact that we often pray for a specific solution to a problem (asking for God to perform that which we think should be done but are unable to do ourselves) instead of truly trusting God and literally handing the problem over to Him for complete diagnosis and resolution. God doesn't see as we see--our solution may seem good in our eyes, but more than likely it is not for the good of all involved due to our inherent short-sighted human perspective.
God loves your friend just as much as He loves you, Herman--He will no more let your friend fall by the wayside than He will you, me, Machine, or spamandham. It matters not if we believe in Him--He takes care of us regardless.


I most definitely will continue to read my bible, and I do hope that God will help me increase my understanding. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know as much as I should about the bible. I really do want to get down to reading the whole thing, but I just...don't. Part of the reason is that the only bible I have is written in that old-English stuff... I can't even understand most of it haha. I guess I need a newer one.
There is help for that. Go to
e-sword and check out what is there--this is a totally free download and will help you study the bible immensely, if that is what you want to do. It's good software, too--no bugs that I've ever come across.


It also seems like...I wouldn't really be able to live with myself, in Heaven, knowing that so many good people are suffering in Hell while I'm living it up in Heaven. People who may have lead better lives than I, but simply didn't believe in Jesus. Thanks again for your reply though, and any future replies, I know it probably seems to you like I'm trying to deny Hell, but I'm really not.
No, you are obeying Christ's commandments in a very literal sense. You are loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Hold on to that, and hold on to the idea that truth is available to you--and you've got your part pretty much licked. God will show you what's what. Just remember He leads you from within yourself, not from within other people.



In all actuality, we will all die in the same 'state of sinfulness' that we were born in. That's why we've been pardoned of that inevitability--all of us.


We are all sinful, even believers. But it's the belief in Christ that forgives us of these sins, right? And without Christ, we can never be forgiven, which is why people who don't believe go to a place of Sin... a place without God. Or at least that's the logic behind it.


But is that truly logical? When you have experienced, for yourself, that that idea of belief isn't as easy for others as it might be for you or me? Most people are totally convinced they 'believe' and trust in God--but what they are actually putting their faith into is established ideologies formed in the mind of society and presented and accepted as what God is. To truly have 'faith' is to believe, not that God is real, but to take it a step further and trust that He will do as He said--for all of us, not just those who adopt a certain way of thinking. The only way to perceive others as God perceives them is to love them, unconditionally. For God so loved the world....

As far as being sent to a place without God---do you actually feel that God is as pervasive in our present world as man, himself, is? Are we not already, in a practical sense, separated from God in a place overrun with strife, malice, and all sorts of violence and ill-workings manifested by 'man's inhumanity to man?' When Adam and Eve got evicted from the garden, where did they wind up? Right here. 'Hell' means the grave, in most cases in the bible. When you are dead, you are in a grave. Adam and Eve were told 'they would surely die.' And don't let anyone fool you, they did. They wound up in the grave, and that is where we all exist until we see through our delusions of 'life' as dependent upon carbon-based organic function. True life is spiritual---it is a vitality of the mind which is defined as an unrestricted freedom of thought that is never manifested by anything negative. You are closer to being alive than you are dead, because of the love you have that doesn't allow you to relish the thought of a future existence of bliss for yourself while those you have formed lasting bonds of friendship with are relegated to a neverending existence that is anything but blissful.

As far as your question, about our belief being what forgives us of our sins--that is patently false and is a christian ideology that is in direct conflict with what the bible says.

For if you forgive people their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people their offenses, your Father will not forgive your offenses.
--Matthew 6:14-15 ISV

This is not teaching that God still adheres to an 'eye for an eye' (because He never did, that was for us, it is basically karma--a necessary principle for the maintainance of material balance in the universe). Rather, it is saying that we must trust that God's way is the only 'right' way (loving each other, and not holding grudges) and that if we do not follow that path, we are headed the direction opposite of His throne.

But I say to you who are listening:
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.
Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who insult you.
If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one as well, and if someone takes your coat, don't keep back your shirt, either.
Keep on giving to everyone who asks you for something, and if anyone takes what is yours, do not insist on getting it back.
Whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them.
If you love those who love you, what thanks do you deserve? Why, even sinners love those who love them.
If you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you deserve? Even sinners do that.
If you lend to those from whom you expect to get something back, what thanks do you deserve? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back what they lend.
Rather, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return.
Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, for he is kind to ungrateful and evil people.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Stop judging, and you will never be judged.
Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give, and it will be given to you. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your lap.
For with the measure you use, you will be measured.

--Luke 6:27-38 ISV

Note that it specifically says that God is kind to ungrateful and evil people.

Now the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who is touching him and what kind of woman she is. She's a sinner!"
Jesus said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Teacher," he replied, "say it."
"Two men were in debt to a moneylender.
One owed him 500 denarii, and the other fifty. When they couldn't pay it back, he generously canceled the debts for both of them.
Now which of them will love him the most?"
Simon answered, "I suppose the one who had the larger debt canceled."
Jesus said to him, "You have answered correctly."

Then, turning to the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You didn't give me any water for my feet, but this woman has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You didn't give me a kiss, but this woman, from the moment I came in, has not stopped kissing my feet. You didn't anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with perfume. So I'm telling you that her sins, as many as they are, have been forgiven, and that's why she has shown such great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little."
Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven!"
Those who were at the table with them began to say among themselves, "Who is this man who even forgives sins?"
But Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."

--Luke 7:39-50 ISV

Now, it would appear that because the woman believed in Christ--that she was forgiven. But that's not true--if we look at only what this passage is saying, without filtering it through the ideas that we already hold regarding this issue, there is more revealed than we find by assumption:


  • Simon, the Pharisee, invited Jesus to his home, because he believed Jesus was not just an ordinary person--it seems he suspected he might be a prophet
  • Simon obviously did not believe that Jesus was just an ordinary person (sinner), because of his comment regarding the woman being a sinner--obviously Simon would not feel it was proper to consort with sinners
  • We do not have any idea what the woman did or did not believe in regard to Jesus, she doesn't speak and only her actions are given as any kind of character detail
  • Her actions, though, are all of a generous and loving nature--she demonstrated her care and regard for Jesus in what she did
  • Simon did not do any of these things for Jesus
  • Jesus told Simon that the woman's sins had been forgiven, and that was why she was doing as she did
  • After saying that, Jesus then tells her that her sins were forgiven--even before He said it to her, obviously it was already fact
  • He then tells her that her 'faith has saved her.'


Something important to understand here, is what the word translated as 'faith' truly meant, back when these things were written down. The word is 'pistis' and it is a noun which is derived from another Greek word, which is 'pietho,' which is a verb. What that basically means is that 'pistis' is that which results directly from the action of 'peitho.'

Now, 'pistis' has the following meanings: persuasion, that is, credence; conviction of truth, assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

And 'peitho' is defined as: to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): - agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.

To sum it up, peitho is the action of demonstrating to another either the soundness of a particular 'truth' (fact), or to demonstrate loyalty as a friend which persuades another of one's good faith in friendship, or to place faith in another who has demonstrated his fidelity or in a truth that has been shown to be sound and reliable.

And so 'pistis' is the concept which arises from that. A realistic example:

Dick and Jane are strangers to each other, and then meet and begin to develop a friendship. One day, Jane calls Dick and asks him if he can pick her up from work late that evening, since her car is being repaired. Dick says that yes, he will pick her up and says that he will be there at exactly the time that she specifies.
Jane believes what Dick says, because up until then, she has had no evidence that is a liar or speaks empty words. But what she is basing her reliance upon is not 'pistis' faith--it can only be described as hope at this point, because she has nothing to base it on since Dick has not yet had the opportunity to demonstrate that he is a man of his word as well as valuing Jane and her friendship to the point of giving her his word and keeping it.
Dick does keep his word, just as Jane had hoped.
The next time she might have occasion to ask him for a similar favor, she will then be doing it with good faith 'pistis' in Dick, because it has been demonstrated that she can rely on him as a friend.

They both acted in ways that can be described as 'peitho.'

But what got Jane home from work was not her hope, belief, or even her later
deserved trust in Dick to get her there. No matter how hard she believed or how fully she doubted in him to keep his word, the only thing that could possibly get her home with Dick's help is if Dick got himself in his car and got to her job at the appointed time. Jane had no control over that. Dick did it, not Jane.

Now, say that on another occasion, Jane needed a ride, but for whatever reason did not call Dick to ask for his help. But, being the true friend that he was, was aware that she had no car that day, and so took it upon himself to be there at her job at the time he knew she got off work. That way, just in case she needed a ride, she would have one. If she didn't need a ride--well nothing lost and much gained for the friendship. There's not anything at all that Jane could do to influence Dick's decision to be there for her--even if she didn't even consider he might be there, he would still be there when she walked out the door of her work.

Now, it is possible that Jane could have refused Dick's ride, even though there was no other ride available, and it was midnight and she lived 3 miles away from her job. Dick could force her into the car (not cool) or let her walk as she insisted upon doing. (I think we can assume that Dick, being the kind of guy he is, would have driven to her house and waited in order to make sure she made it okay). And so Jane walks home--various dangerous possibilities exist along the way, but in all probability she is going to arrive there in due time.

She still got there, although a bit later, far more exhausted than she was right after getting off work, with perhaps a ripped stocking from tripping into a rut she didn't see in the dark, and sore legs from having to run 2 blocks from a mean-spirited dog she met along the way.

It would have been in her best interests to have accepted that ride from Dick in the first place--and she likely would not refuse in the future--but the outcome is still the same: Dick is still her friend, he has continued to prove himself trustworthy, as well as tolerant, understanding, and forgiving (of her stubborn refusal to allow him to help her), and in the end, Jane arrives at home, sweet, home.

Does that help?



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by TheEmpiricalIdeal
Have you ever read the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16?
There is a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus, Lazarus just wants some crumbs from the rich mans table but the rich man doesnt give him any. They both die. Lazarus get taken by angels into Abrahams bosom and the rich man dies and gets buried.
Luke 16:23


That story is a parable. Jesus often used them. Why do you not take his other parables literally?


Originally posted by TheEmpiricalIdeal
Contrary to popular belief influenced by any means (be it Dante or whatever) Hell is not a place of fire and brimstone but more than likely a dark, dark, place very, very, far away from the presence of God.


You realize your just making things up don't you? Besides, if god is omnipresent, how can there be a place far from the presence of god?


Originally posted by TheEmpiricalIdeal
The unquenchable fire, in my opinion, is one's thought process in Hell of constantly thinking about their sins committed and constantly thinking of all the times they could have made the confession unto salvation so they could be in the presence of the Almighty.


Although this sounds nicer than fire and brimstone, you have no Biblical support for it.

The unquenchable fire refers to Gehenna, a physical location that had purpetual fires in the 1st century. You have no basis for equating Gehenna with a spiritual place. Why do reject the straighforward translation that interprets "Gehenna" to mean "Gehenna"?


Originally posted by TheEmpiricalIdeal
This is the eternal suffering, pain, and anguish. Whoever is down there IS in anguish because of the fact that they live through each and every one of their sins and live the fact that they are cut off from the awesome, wonderful, presence of God.


We do not live in the wonderful presence of god here, and those who are not saved will not experience it after death either. Why would they lament over the loss of that which they have never experienced?


Originally posted by TheEmpiricalIdeal
Knowing that he could not punish them in the physical world, he decieded to create his own reality and punish them in that reality.


This is no different from what all the proponents of hell do. It's a psychological game played to make you not care about the injustices of this world.


Originally posted by TheEmpiricalIdeal
There is a Hell, and the people there are eternally tortured (not in the sick and twisted way people like) until the end of time when they get totally destroyed and exist no more.


You would think such an important point would not be left to interpretation, but when you realize that early Christians were trying to find a way to reconcile annihilation doctrine of Judaism with Helenistic concepts of afterlife, they really couldn't have come up with much other than a wierd hodgepodge that combines the two.





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