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posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 11:08 PM
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Ok, I posted something in a previous forum a while back about something very similar to this. While I still believe in God and Jesus, I'm at a stand-still. I think it might just be one of those things I'll never know. I've argued in my head and realized there is no answer to this. Rev_godslapper touched on this. I revised it... There are 3 things that could be possible.

1.) God's not all powerful.
2.) God isn't really, "All-loving"
3.) There is no hell WHAT-SO-EVER.

I KNOW people say it's their choice. But like I said, it's not a "Choice" to go to hell if you don't believe in God. It's not knowing that God exists. We're punished for not knowing, being mis-directed even though he knowingly created us flawed!? He makes it so hard to believe, gives us free will, then punishes us if we can't accept him? (And yes, if he's all powerful then it means he could save us. If he can save us but doesn't, we're being punished) I have a friend, she always says, "But (insert my name)....how horrible that would be for him to just..take away our free choice!!!! Would you like to live like a robot!?!?!" He wouldn't have to take away all of our choice, just lead us all into believing him. Besides, if you truley love something, you have to restrict some of it's choices. A parent doesn't let their child play with a loaded gun. Why? It's not to restrict the childs freedom, it's because the child may not know better, make the wrong choice, and kill or hurt themself! You can't give something that you're infinitely more intelligent than complete free-will with something as dangerous as the eternal damnation of your soul!!! Hopefully, I'll go to heaven and know the answer to this someday. Or maybe there is no answer




posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
Or maybe there is no answer


You are correct, there is no answer. You can spend your whole life trying to make sense of this stuff only to realize you just wasted your time. Nobody and nothing in this world has the answers. At best, people or teachings only have partial truth. It's impossible to find the truth in this world because we have noone or nothing in this world to turn to and ask whether what we believe at the moment is actually true or not. All we can do is trust and have faith.

So in the end just believe what makes you feel good. Believe in whatever helps you live a happy life. Get rid of the rest.

A belief to one man is a delusion to another. Who is right? They both are.



posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 02:15 AM
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I do not yet understand the nature of hell, but there is understanding I can share.


Originally posted by Herman
Besides, if you truley love something, you have to restrict some of it's choices.


If you love something, set it free. If it loves you, it will return.

When I was young, I knew a man who raised falcons. He was training a very beautiful bird. I came to visit after he had been gone for a week, the bird was not there. I asked where was it? He explained he let it fly free from its tether. He waited for it to return, but it did not. I didn't understand why he would do that.

This is roughly what he explained to me:

When a falcon lives in chains it will never be anything more than a servant or a slave. I would always be worrying if he would try to escape. There comes a time in the training of a falcon that the trainer must allow the bird to fly freely. If you love your bird, you must do this. It is only after you allow it to fly free and it returns that a true relationship can begin. Not one as servant and master, but one of partners. If he returned, I would never again have to worry if he would try to escape. I would know he respected and loved me as I respected and loved him.


Or maybe there is no answer


The answer is there. One must simply seek to understand.

I had never had cause to consider the nature of hell. Recently, I have been considering this nature. The bible seems to contradict itself concerning the nature of hell. If you have not seen these contradictions, the rest of my post will not make much sense to you.

However, I believe understanding can be found in understanding the timelessness of God and the spirit/soul, as well as understanding the nature of perception.

The nature of perception, as it applies here, is best summarized in this story of 2 people who witnessed a shooting.

The first could say "I saw a guy walk up, and the next thing I know there was a gunshot and this other guy fell to the ground. It happened so fast, I didn't get a good look at him.

The second could say "I saw a guy pull a gun out of his pocket and it was like time slowed down. He took two steps, raised the gun, and shot this other guy in the back of the head." This second guy may be able to give a detailed description of the man or even the direction the blood splattered.

The same event lasted the same amount of time. The difference was knowledge that the event was about to happen.

I believe it is the combination of this perception based on knowledge and the timelessness of God and the spirit, which is key to understanding the nature of hell and how it applies to those choose not to belief and those who never knew there was a choice. I simply haven't had the time to look at every verse in the bible that applies to see if this hypothesis holds up under scrutiny.

.



posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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If you love something, set it free. If it loves you, it will return.


Thanks. I understand, but he makes it so hard to believe, and if we don't return then the alternative is going to hell. We don't know better, thus he should stop us from going to hell. One always contradicts the other. If he wasn't all-powerfull, then it would make sense. The problem is that if he was all powerful, he still wouldn't let us go to hell. If the farmer who let the falcon go knew that when he let it go, it would be shot down or tortured, he probably wouldn't have let it go. If he had control over what happens to the bird when he lets it go, and if he loved it...he still wouldn't allow it to be tortured. If there was no hell, or if God had no control over us being in hell, this would all make sense to me. But he could easily save those people, being tortured. But he doesn't save them because they don't know he exists? Thanks for you input, I will keep searching for answers to the Hell thing. Iif you have anymore answers, plase post


[Edited on 19-8-2004 by Herman]



posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by Herman
I KNOW people say it's their choice. But like I said, it's not a "Choice" to go to hell if you don't believe in God. It's not knowing that God exists. We're punished for not knowing, being mis-directed even though he knowingly created us flawed!? He makes it so hard to believe, gives us free will, then punishes us if we can't accept him? (And yes, if he's all powerful then it means he could save us. If he can save us but doesn't, we're being punished)



Everyday in various ways God is calling out to people. But that is not your responsibility. Don't worry about the other 6 billion people on the planet and whether or not they believe in God(Jesus). Your first responsibility is yourself. Pay attention to God's Call for YOU. Don't fluff things off. When you feel God tugging on your heartstrings through circumstances and events, wake up and listen. Investigate God through the Bible. Go to a church that teaches the truth. Talk to a real christian. Ask them about the God they know. And when you hear the gospel. I mean really hear it, and at that moment, realize that you have a choice to make, it's up to you. Either reject or accept. But if you reject Him, don't say He can't save me or He doesn't save me. It was your choice. He's done everything needed for an individual's salvation. He left heaven to come down to our level.

You can have assurance of salvation. Don't worry that we are flawed. You are no more acceptable to Him than you are right now. You don't have to perform to be saved. Your good deeds doesn't have to outweigh your bad. You don't have to worry, "did I do enough to enter heaven". He has offered heaven freely to any one who will trust Christ.



posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:56 PM
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Herman,

In order to understand the concept of God you have to stay away from religious beliefs and that include hell.

Then you research in history about how God became to be, from a single entity when ancients believe in more than one God, and again stay in historical facts and not the bible.

Once you understand how man had created God then you will see the truth.

I am nobody to tell you how to come to your own results, but I will tell you this it is a force out there bigger than all of us and It may not be the god of the bible or perhaps is more than just one force it could be many and we belong to it, but hell is not part of it.

I hope you find what you seek be by religious beliefs or other sources.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 12:02 AM
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Thanks for your reply's, I appreciate them
. I still think, though, if he seriously loved us that much...he'd save us regardless of weather or not we knew he was up there or not. But yeah, I do need to start concentrating on myself, thanks.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:07 AM
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I tried explaining my hypothesis earlier today, but it was overly complicated. So I never posted it.

Imagine taking a small pinch of gun powder and tossing it into a fire. In a flash and puff of smoke it is gone.

Now consider the "perception created by foreknowledge". If that pinch of gun powder knew it was heading toward the fire, how long would the flash last? If the pinch did not, how long would the flash last?

Now consider the timelessness of God, how long did that flash last?
A fraction of a second. A thousand years. A million years. All eternity. These are all correct answers.

Now consider all three together.

This is as simple as I can explain my hypothesis.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 08:56 AM
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Wow, that's complicated. I'll try to understand it, but right now I have to go to school
.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
Wow, that's complicated.


You definately picked a complicated subject.

Your question "How can this be?" is an question that should be answered. Unanswered questions lead to confusion. Confusion leads to doubt. Doubt leads to rejection. This path is not the will of God. God requires us to think.

Psalm 32:9 (KJV)
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (KJV)
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.


Sometimes the answers are not easy to understand. But I believe there is an answer to all such questions, it is only a matter of finding the aspects that put the verses into perspective.

This hypothesis was based on the a few apparent "contradictions". It satisfies each of those verses. Determining if it satisfies every verse is something I have not had the time to do.

That analogy was a result of a day worth of trying to simplify the explanation of my hypothesis. It was much worse.


This is sort of off topic, but dbrandt gave you some advice with which I do not entirely agree. Part of my disagreement I already addressed when I said your question should be answered.

Matthew 22:35-40 tells us the greatest commandment of God.

When one seeks to "love thy neighbour as thyself", it is a natural thing to be just as concerned with their souls as you would your own. Indeed it is this commandment that makes it your responsibility to worry not only about yourself, but the other 6 billion people on the planet. But do not allow this worry to detract from your own love of God. Everyone is given a choice, just as you were given a choice, to place their feet on the path to God.

Because you seek understanding with an desire to learn, I do not doubt your feet are already on this path.

The advice I give to you, is to seek the understanding of Love, and how Humility and Pride interact with Love. Beware of pride. It is subtle. It can easily corrupt your views in the most subtle of ways. Pride is not on the path to God.

When you have a deep understanding of these things you will see there are no "real Christians" but rather people who think they understand this path of God and those who need a hand to guide them.

Take Care.


[Edited on 20-8-2004 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:26 PM
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Much thanks, Raphael. You seem to have alot of knowlege on this type of thing, and your posts are always very insightful (sp?) I definately will seek answers to this; I don't want to just give up and call it quits. That verse helped me to understand that God does want us to question, and it says so in the bible. The fact that God tells us to prove things makes me have more faith that he must exist.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by Herman
Much thanks, Raphael. You seem to have alot of knowlege on this type of thing, and your posts are always very insightful (sp?) I definately will seek answers to this; I don't want to just give up and call it quits. That verse helped me to understand that God does want us to question, and it says so in the bible. The fact that God tells us to prove things makes me have more faith that he must exist.


I do have understanding of many things, however I too need a hand to guide me. Without the guidance of God, I would be lost. I extend to you my understanding as a hand to help guide you. It is your choice to take my hand and accept my understanding. Ultimately I have no understanding of my own, I share with you that which was shared with me by the One who guides me.

Like a class of children hand in hand walking on a field trip. They hold onto the hand of child in front of them, lest they and those behind them get lost. Ultimately all the children are being led by the teacher.

One must be certain that the hand one takes is being led to the correct destination. This is why it is important to prove all things, even the advice I give to you.

I am certain you agree that "Love God" is very very important. I warn you that the the emotion of Pride feels very much like the emotion of Love. It is only by understanding humility that one can learn to tell the difference.

As I said, Pride is never on the path to God. Pride is the nature of "the Adversary". If you take a hand full of pride, it can lead you away from the path you choose in subtle ways. Learning to recognize Pride and removing it from that which you are taught will guide you to the Truth.

I was once like you. I had no answers to questions I thought were important. Those unanswered questions led to confusion. My confusion led to doubt. My doubt led to rejection.

When I finally chose to place my feet back on this path. I was an atheist who knew God exists beyond any doubt. But beyond that, I knew nothing else.

The path to understanding was difficult. I had to prove to myself the bible taught of the God I knew existed. The foundation of this proof was the teachings of Jesus. The greatest among these teachings is love and humility.

Take Care.



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by Raphael_UO

This is sort of off topic, but dbrandt gave you some advice with which I do not entirely agree. Part of my disagreement I already addressed when I said your question should be answered.


[Edited on 20-8-2004 by Raphael_UO]



I knew what I wrote when I wrote it would bring about someone questioning, but I decided to wait until it was questioned to reply to it.

What I mean is this. Herman still has questions himself about God and Christ and salvation. He mentioned why God just didn't save "US". I want Herman to personalize it. I want him to think about God and himself only right now. Read the Bible, talk to christians, etc.... Find out why God came to earth to save him. When Jesus was on the cross He didn't generically think about mankind. He thought about Herman, and that there was no other way for him to be saved. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus on the cross, it was His love for Herman and dbrandt and Raphael_UO and marg6043. He needs to develope his faith and believe upon Jesus before he adds the world. Then when that light comes on and he knows that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and salvation is found in no other, his family, friends, co-workers, classmates will come into a new light. He will realize that God placed Herman on earth for such a time as this. Just like Esther. To be a light and witness to those he knows and to do what God will enable him to do..



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 04:04 PM
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Dbrandt,

The path to God does not begin when one accepts God.
The path begins when one first asks the question "Does God exist?"

Questions are road blocks on this path. While it is possible to go around the road block, the easier course is to simply travel in the other direction.

If one does not remove the road block, that road block will reappear further along the path.

If one is able to remove the road block. Then they are free to choose the direction they wish to take as both directions are equally "easy".

I have walked the path he is walking right now. Because of unanswered questions, I followed that path in the wrong direction.

The question of Hell is not something that was a road block for me. I did not need to consider it's nature for myself. It was not until I realized that it was a road block for others that I sought to understand its nature.

Because I know God exists, I have no doubt that the truth can be explained. He on the other hand does not have this firm belief while he is searching for the truth. While the answer to this question is not needed to develop a firm belief that God exists, this unanswered question will make his journey to this Truth that much more difficult.

Take Care.



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 11:52 PM
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I don't know how Hell can't be a roadblock for you. It just seems to contradict everything else in the bible. God loves us soooo much, and is all powerful. So why does he let people suffer for all eternity? It just seems like if you love something THAT much, you would still save it even if it didn't know that you existed. I understand if someone directly rejects God. Says "I know he's there, but I don't want anything to do with him." That makes sense, but what about people who just can't believe? I know some of them...they want to believe but just can't find it possible. Or people who have heard of him, but just never put too much thought about it because they didn't really have a big christian influence in their life.. Also, I wouldn't be able to bear knowing that I'm up there in heaven living the good life, then good people are at the same time being tortured, and that torture just never ending. I'll keep trying to understand. I heard one thing about Satan trying to get people for his "Army" just as God is. Maybe God doesn't have controll of us unless we believe in him? But then that would mean he's not all-powerful. Aggghhhh


[Edited on 21-8-2004 by Herman]



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 01:34 AM
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I understand where you are coming from Herman. Eternal hell seems to contradict the vast majority of teachings taught by Jesus. If the bible is to be believed then God is on a ego trip. He punishes good people for all of ETERNITY just for not believing in him or his son.

Another explanation is as you said is that God is not all powerfull. Well the bible says he is. So if we assume that God is not all powerfull then that means the bible contains errors so that means there is no reason to believe that eternal hell is not also an error.

The only other logical conclusions is to assume eternal hell is a load of crap. Personally I believe this to be true. Just imagine here, could you sentence good people who don't believe in you, or even just mildly bad people, to an eternal hell? Of course not. Personally I couldn't even subject bad people to an eternal hell... everyone is capable of change. If God created me and I can feel this way then surely God can as well. Surely a being with vast knowledge and a greater understanding of all of creation would be incredibly tolerant, right?

Look, I'm going to be straight with you here. You're not going to find a true answer to your question. A true answer would require speaking directly with God. Since noone can do that you're stuck with the rationalizings of ordinary mortals.

No matter how many heart-warming metaphors people respond with or no matter how much logical sense something makes, its not the truth because you can't verify it with God. All you can do is find an answer that makes sense to you and then be happy with that answer.

So my advice is to just think this contradiction through for yourself. The answer you come up with is just as plausible an answer that you get from anyone else in this thread.


[Edited on 22-8-2004 by dusran]



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 02:13 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
I don't know how Hell can't be a roadblock for you. It just seems to contradict everything else in the bible. God loves us soooo much, and is all powerful. So why does he let people suffer for all eternity? It just seems like if you love something THAT much, you would still save it even if it didn't know that you existed. I understand if someone directly rejects God. Says "I know he's there, but I don't want anything to do with him." That makes sense, but what about people who just can't believe? I know some of them...they want to believe but just can't find it possible. Or people who have heard of him, but just never put too much thought about it because they didn't really have a big christian influence in their life.. Also, I wouldn't be able to bear knowing that I'm up there in heaven living the good life, then good people are at the same time being tortured, and that torture just never ending. I'll keep trying to understand. I heard one thing about Satan trying to get people for his "Army" just as God is. Maybe God doesn't have controll of us unless we believe in him? But then that would mean he's not all-powerful. Aggghhhh


[Edited on 21-8-2004 by Herman]


Hell was not a roadblock, because the question never came up while I was struggling with the truth of the existance of God. Once I knew God existed, I never had to ponder it for myself, as I had no desire to do anything which God did not wish.

God does not need to control us, if He did, he would have made us without free will.

These are the verses which I used to develop my hyposthesis.

Luke 12: 47-48 (KJV)
And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes]. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Psa 37:20 (KJV)
But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD [shall be] as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Matthew 25:46 (KJV)
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Rev 20:15 (KJV)
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


The first: varying levels of punishment. (consider the nature of perception)
The second: Destruction of the soul. (Gun powder tossed into fire)
The third: Everlasting punishment. (consider the timelessness of God)
The fourth: Fire! Brimstone! All that crazy stuff! (the fire into which the gunpowder was tossed)



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 10:25 AM
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Hmmm, this is looking to me like God is saying people that know God exists, and still choose to not follow him get punished "Which knew lord's will, and prepared not himself" Also, the more wicked people are, the worse they get punished. He's also talking about the enemies of lord are the one's who parish. Again, people who really choose to go against him. This is making a little more sense to me
. But then, there's that "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life..." Interesting, thanks raphael.


Originally posted by dusran
Just imagine here, could you sentence good people who don't believe in you, or even just mildly bad people, to an eternal hell? Of course not.


Yeah, this is mainly where I have problems. I mean....I couldn't even do that to people. Even if someone did the worst thing possible to me, I couldn't sentence them to Hell. I, as well as most people, don't even love most of the people I see, or come in contact to-but don't really know that well-and I couldn't even do that. But God loves them more than anything, and he can do it. Of course, those verses kinda explained it to me. I mean, if someone actually believes in God, and wants to go against them...I guess to each his own, huh?

[Edited on 22-8-2004 by Herman]



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
Hmmm, this is looking to me like God is saying people that know God exists, and still choose to not follow him get punished "Which knew lord's will, and prepared not himself" Also, the more wicked people are, the worse they get punished. He's also talking about the enemies of lord are the one's who parish. Again, people who really choose to go against him. This is making a little more sense to me
. But then, there's that "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life..." Interesting, thanks raphael.


I do have another hypothesis that I would occur at the time a soul appears before the Lord for judgment. Unfortunately, I cannot prove in scripture this step occurs. But it has to do with the story that begins in Luke 7:37, Jesus' reaction, the timelessness of God and the fact that I cannot imagine Jesus' reaction being any different during his life than it is in Heaven. Call it "one last chance to avoid destruction."

The story has an emotional outpouring of guilt and love and then forgiveness. When you consider the timelessness of God, you could ask yourself how long the emotional outpouring would last.

While this would not be heaven, it does describe the Catholic doctrine of purgatory fairly well. And it does allow for all souls knowing and choosing the truth of Jesus before they are tossed to the lake of fire.

Also note, that the woman never asked to be forgiven.



[Edited on 22-8-2004 by Raphael_UO]

[Edited on 22-8-2004 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 02:05 PM
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The woman never asked to be forgiven....huh?





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