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Atheists and Christians are BOTH correct on death

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posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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Greetings, fine ATS members!

As you can see, the title may seem a bit preposterous.. How can Atheists and Christians have the SAME view on death? After all, Atheists believe you will simply cease to exist, and Christians believe you will suffer for eternity in Hell (if not Saved), right? That is what I've always believed, myself. However, I've recently had a sort of "revelation" if you will. No, nothing mystical, it wasn't God speaking to me, it was just common sense kicking in and slapping me across the face.

I'm here to proclaim that, as it turns out.. Both are right! And here is why, in summary.. Atheists are wrong, in MY belief, in that they assume there is no God; HOWEVER, they are right in saying that with death, you cease to exist. Christians are correct, in my belief etc etc, in saying that there is a God, but wrong in saying that Hell is for eternity. That's right, Hell is NOT for eternity!

First, some foundation - In 1 Timothy 6:15-16, we discover that God is the ONLY being that is immortal;


which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.


So then; God is the only one who is immortal; as of right now. We know that those who believe in the Son, will have eternal life. This is found all throughout scripture, and shouldn't need quoting, but just in case:

John 11:25-26;

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"


Matthew 25:46;

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This also leads onto our main topic.. Those who are lead to eternal punishment; and those to eternal life--
--but before that! Some of you Christian brothers/sisters may be saying, "Lionhearte, it says RIGHT there that it's ETERNAL punishment!" in which I say to you; yes, it does say "eternal punish-MENT", not "eternal punish-ING" Know the difference, it can save you - in so fact, eternal does not mean "for ever", in the Hebrew wording; and yes, there is other scripture (in Revelation), that says you will burn for ever and ever and ever and ever.. but hold the phone! I suggest you do some studies on what "forever" means in the Bible - in Jonah, forever meant three days and nights. You may even quote the book of Mark; in which thrice it says; "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." - mind you, the fires that was called upon Sodom and Gomorrah was unquenchable; but is it still burning today? When Jerusalem was destroyed, it's fire was unquenchable.. is it still on fire today? The answer, is no. The fire, certainly WAS unquenchable; meaning it could not be PUT out, but that does not mean it would not BURN out. That is the case here; as well as with the worms; they will consume, until they can consume no-more..

Now, some may say, "certainly, the body is killed, but the soul lives forever in hell" - to which I quote,
Matthew 10:28;

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


And now, for possibly one of my all-time favorite scriptures..
Romans 6:23;

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The wages of sin.. is death. The gift of God, is eternal life.

Now, let me just summarize, in case I left some details out the first time around-

When someone dies today, or 3,000 years ago, they "sleep". Their next moment of consciousness, is at the resurrection (for those who accepted Christ, and forgiveness), or at the 2nd resurrection (for those who denied Christ, and also forfeited their forgiveness).

At the 1st Resurrection, we receive eternal life. That is because, though we may die - we will live (as quoted earlier). However, at the 2nd Resurrection, those who were and are dead, will rise and face judgment, for their sins.

Hell, in this case, is oftentimes called Hellfire; and some propose it will be when the Devil, who is Satan, gathers up the multitudes to surround the Holy City at the end of the thousand years; and God literally casts HELLFIRE down unto him and all the wicked with him; this is apparent in two scriptures;

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 4:1-3;

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.


This alone is a very significant scripture; it describes them that will receive Judgment are burned up, like stubble.. neither root nor branch is left; all is gone, all of a person CEASES to EXIST. However, the last part.. "they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act," is very interesting, especially when paired with...

Ezekiel 28:17-18;

Your heart became proud
on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings.
18 By your many sins and dishonest trade
you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I made a fire come out from you,
and it consumed you,
and I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.

This scripture, is referring to Satan (in context with the previous passage), yet it states he will be thrown down to the earth.. and a fire will come out from within him, and consume him, and reduce him to ASHES on the ground.. the same thing that will happen in Malachi! Now, when is this day..?

Revelation 20:9;

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.


This is the same day! This is the end of the millennial reign with Christ, as it appears.

"Hell" or Hellfire, is not for eternity; but it's effects, the consequences for it's punishment; ceasing to exist; is FOR eternity; is FOREVER.

Besides - THINK about it! God loves everyone, even the WORST sinner; and so, if Hell is God's wrath being poured out for eternity.. why would God take pleasure in destroying his children? He. Would. Not. That goes against everything the Bible teaches, about a loving and caring God, and is blasphemy - lies, induced by Satan.

After all, what did Satan say, in the very beginning?

"You will not surely die."

Turns out.. You WILL.




posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:17 PM
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The only way Christians and Atheists can both be right is if God truly exists and sends Atheists to eternal death once they die in order to respect the beliefs they had when alive and then proceed to judge the Christians as they expect to be judge when dying.
edit on 16-3-2013 by bismarck because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by Lionhearte
 


Interesting...

To this I say, truly my friend... You must be born again... and again... and again!

What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of spirit is spirit... but who among us is not born of the spirit?




posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:36 PM
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I prefer to believe in a universal reconciliation that ultimately leads to the rebirth of the soul, an eternal cycle of enduring love and learning.

So this opens up the possibility that, if Hell is not an eternal fire and brimstone punishment, then why is it given so much fiery hot imagery?

I believe the choice of how we will leave this world will be up to us. Both fire and water cleanse away impurities. This is why we have both baptism by water, and baptism by fire.

What ultimately matters is not if we, or anybody else, is going to Heaven, Hell, or will be reborn, or even the opinion of no afterlife. What matters is what we do with this life we have now. We can argue theological points all day, but what am I going to do with the life that God has given me?

That, my friend, is the real question.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:43 PM
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reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


Well said...


So this opens up the possibility that, if Hell is not an eternal fire and brimstone punishment, then why is it given so much fiery hot imagery?


The idea of HELL is given such imagery because it plays on our fear of the unknown... Fear being the key word.

Even since the days of stone age man, we have feared nothing more then fire...

The idea of Hell is a fear tactic used as a means of conversion...




posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by bismarck
The only way Christians and Atheists can both be right is if God truly exists and sends Atheists to eternal death once they die in order to respect the beliefs they had when alive and then proceed to judge the Christians as they expect to be judge when dying.

I should say "partially" in agreement then; still, the concept is essentially the same.. in fact I've kinda thought God would have done just that with Atheists; "You don't want anything to do with me? Okay, off you go /shoo" .. but in a more, deity-tone.


Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by Lionhearte
 


Interesting...

To this I say, truly my friend... You must be born again... and again... and again!

What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of spirit is spirit... but who among us is not born of the spirit?


I do agree with you on a few points you made in that thread; for example, "Blasphemy can be defined as an assult on something divine or holy... so logically words and actions that cause harm to another person is blasphemy... " I sort of do agree; after all, if humans were made in the image of God, they mirror him in a sense. And so, speaking foul against a person, is also speaking foul against God. Heck, it even says so in Matthew 25:31-46. A few snippets from there:

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:02 PM
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Further proof that you can make the vague collection of stories about stories that is the bible say pretty much whatever you want it to.

I mean some folk even mutilate their childrens genitals because of this...



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by Lionhearte
 



"Blasphemy can be defined as an assult on something divine or holy... so logically words and actions that cause harm to another person is blasphemy...


If we are body and spirit... then we in fact are also holy/divine... only our actions in life are that which can be considered unholy...

Now, the only sin that is not forgiven is blasphemy against the spirit...

which is not forgiven in this world... or the world to come

Thus... Blasphemy of the spirt is any "assult" on the temple which holds the spirit... which can be verbal or physical




posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
I prefer to believe in a universal reconciliation that ultimately leads to the rebirth of the soul, an eternal cycle of enduring love and learning.

So this opens up the possibility that, if Hell is not an eternal fire and brimstone punishment, then why is it given so much fiery hot imagery?

I can't necessarily debate with you regarding rebirth of the soul, but I do agree that we still have MUCH to learn, and I believe this learning will take place in the "afterlife", if you will; but I do still believe we will be.. us. How else can we continue to grow and mature if we become someone else, if you want, with say, reincarnation?

Although, the reason it IS given so much fiery hot imagery, is because, well frankly it is fire. It's just not, you know, infinite fire. At least to my understanding of the scriptures. So, it has caused Christians to go out and warn everyone and their mothers because they want them to avoid this "eternal suffering". However, the concept is still the same. I would not want anyone to suffer through that, and simply cease to exist.. no, I'd much rather have them live forever, instead of being, well, dead forever.


I believe the choice of how we will leave this world will be up to us. Both fire and water cleanse away impurities. This is why we have both baptism by water, and baptism by fire.

What ultimately matters is not if we, or anybody else, is going to Heaven, Hell, or will be reborn, or even the opinion of no afterlife. What matters is what we do with this life we have now. We can argue theological points all day, but what am I going to do with the life that God has given me?

That, my friend, is the real question.

That is an interesting connection, baptism by flame and water. Also, God destroyed the earth first with water; and at the end, will destroy it with flames.. hellfire.

And I very much so agree with you. The "now" matters most. We can sit and discuss all we want about the "hereafter" but if we forget we're not there yet, we could lose ourselves; our sanity, our humanity, by obsessing over something we just don't know will happen with.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by Lionhearte
 


I like this post. I have always had a problem with the stuck in hell forever thought. This seems to make more sense. Our time here is like a spiritual filtration system. The bad apples are discarded and the rest move forward. It does seem to bind the two sides. God, being either a deity or an ultimate equation, needs to clean house so it periodically runs itself through a filter. Shoot, maybe some consciousnesses go through the filter multiple times so it can link to reincarnation too.
edit on 16-3-2013 by Templeton because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by Lionhearte
 

. . . God is the only one who is immortal; as of right now. We know that those who believe in the Son, will have eternal life. This is found all throughout scripture . . .
Such as in the verse about 4 verses before the one you quoted in 1 Timothy,

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

"Eternal life" means . . what?
There seems to be a dichotomy between these two ideas, one called 'immortality' and the other, 'eternal life'.
Take the verse I quoted, read it like this: take hold of the (eternal) life that you are called to, which is a life lived to holiness, rather than the (eternal) life you were living that you were called from, which was living in sin which leads to a negative outcome.

Your quote says only God has immortality, which is never having to suffer death, which would not happen if God, as this particular book (Timothy) describes Him, is living in unapproachable light.

"Immortality" comes up in the end part of 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul says the kingdom of God is imperishable so we must put on immortality (to live there), then we can say, 'O death, where is your sting?'

So basically you need to be in a state where you can't die in order to live in an undying place (or state of existence), the one where God lives.
We all die, that is apparent by the most casual observation, we are susceptible to it as long as we are in this material plane of existence in the physical world.
This is not to say that there is not some other place, somewhere where your state of existence is a bit irrelevant, since you are going to be 'somewhere', no matter what, just maybe not in the good place, where God is.
edit on 16-3-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 10:47 PM
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reply to post by Lionhearte
 





it was just common sense kicking in and slapping me across the face.


Tell common sense to slap harder.


You refer several times to Jesus. Well, you believe that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Muslims believe that Mohammed flew on a winged creature to heaven. You have three choices:

1. The story of Jesus is true and Mohammed is a lie.
2. The story of Mohammed is true and Jesus is a lie.
3. Both stories are complete nonsense.

What does your ***common*** sense tell you? What would the common sense of a Muslim tell him? What does the common sense of an atheist tell him?

I guess common sense in this case isn't all that common.


edit on 3/16/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 03:44 AM
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Every time the word fire is used, it is not referring to combustion. Spiritual fire is life. In the proud, it radiates out. In the humble, it is well received. For some, the fire will destroy them. For others, the same fire will be bliss.

What is there to be proud of? What have you accomplished that can outshine god? Creation is not supposed to come from you, but come to you. At least, that's what the Bible is saying. Idk, but it makes sense.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by Lionhearte
 



"Blasphemy can be defined as an assult on something divine or holy... so logically words and actions that cause harm to another person is blasphemy...


If we are body and spirit... then we in fact are also holy/divine... only our actions in life are that which can be considered unholy...

Now, the only sin that is not forgiven is blasphemy against the spirit...

which is not forgiven in this world... or the world to come


Thus... Blasphemy of the spirt is any "assult" on the temple which holds the spirit... which can be verbal or physical



I don't think that we can consider ourselves holy on the basis of the fact that our physical bodies have not ceased to function just yet. I do not believe that our actions are the only determining factor when it comes to what is unholy.
Matthew 9:4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts?

I'm not saying that to cause you harm, and Jesus didn't correct people in order to cause them harm either though there were some who were offended by him.
Luke 7:22-23 So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Have you ever heard of Smith Wigglesworth? He wrote a book called 'Ever Increasing Faith', and in that book he describes a personal experience of hearing a man say that he'd comitted the unforgivable sin and he was upset about it because he thought that he was hellbound guaranteed. Mr. Wigglesworth, having spiritual discernment, cast out a lying spirit from him and he was able to move forward with hope and joy.



posted on Mar, 26 2013 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by jiggerj
reply to post by Lionhearte
 





it was just common sense kicking in and slapping me across the face.


Tell common sense to slap harder.


You refer several times to Jesus. Well, you believe that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Muslims believe that Mohammed flew on a winged creature to heaven. You have three choices:

1. The story of Jesus is true and Mohammed is a lie.
2. The story of Mohammed is true and Jesus is a lie.
3. Both stories are complete nonsense.

What does your ***common*** sense tell you? What would the common sense of a Muslim tell him? What does the common sense of an atheist tell him?

I guess common sense in this case isn't all that common.


edit on 3/16/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)


Can I go with option #1 without automagically (with the power of assumption) fall under the category of closed-minded individual who goes to church five times a day and believes everything they tell me and do no thinking for myself whatsoever..?



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 02:25 AM
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very good thread, i feel i learned alot from this and it aligns in scripture. i have always thought those who go to hell are not truly there for eternity. some may say its better to be divinely destroyed and be no more, but i feel the greatest "punishment" will be when non believers realize what heaven is and how it was there for them all along, yet will miss it. you always bring up very good scripturally sound arguments and replies.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by Lionhearte


Can I go with option #1 without automagically (with the power of assumption) fall under the category of closed-minded individual who goes to church five times a day and believes everything they tell me and do no thinking for myself whatsoever..?


Ummm, no.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 05:24 PM
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Hell would be eternal separation from God (in any form). From the NDE's I've examined regarding hell it's quite apparent that God can see into it as he pleases, rip a hole and pull someone out of there but it's always based on their own contrition that the way is made possible.

If their heart is corrupted however, then how can they get out?

Edit: Check out this man's story which I found rather compelling


Ian was night diving off the island of Mauritius when he was stung multiple times by Box Jellyfish, which are among the most venomous creatures in the world. His testimony relates how he clung to life while getting to hospital, was declared clinically dead soon afterwards, and how during this time he had an encounter with Jesus, which radically changed the direction of his life. Link

I think the difficulty that the atheists have, and that God shares, is that the soul or spirit is eternal, and, God's goodness and righteousness and love and mercy, makes and can make NO COMPROMISE with sin and evil, so there's this final duality awaiting us which is unavoidable and which is just part of the nature of the Reality itself.

To teach people, God COULD be just simulating hell as a temporary experience to teach a lesson in absolute goodness since God presumably transcends the duality.. that's my hope, but it's hard to say since some hard lines just may have to be drawn to maintain and uphold a standard of absolute goodness and love.

I just don't know what to make of it, and prefer not to even talk about it since imho, it undermines God's love as a free and open, and non-coercive, invitation..

Fear. It's not the best motivator when it comes to matters of love, let alone absolute love.. oh sigh.

edit on 27-3-2013 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by Lionhearte
However, the concept is still the same. I would not want anyone to suffer through that, and simply cease to exist.. no, I'd much rather have them live forever, instead of being, well, dead forever.

I think the fundamental "problem" is that no one (in spirit) can BE "dead", thus hell would be self aware eternal non-existence or BEING nothing but yet not nothing at all (as awareness), set apart from God's glory and light, life and love, forever, which is the kind of thing no one would want to get used to and at best would have to simply pretend isn't happening as if they are "sleeping" eternally. And what a nightmare that would be. Indeed whenever someone "new" comes along with all their questions (where am I? why am I here?) the tendency would be to tell them to STFU and join "the sleep".

I don't know how I've allowed myself to get dragged into talking about hell - it's that testimony I posted above, which really moved me and has impacted my POV especially when I consider God's goodness and light, life and love as ALL-GOOD ie: cannot make room for compromise with evil and darkness.

Gives head a shake - I just can't fathom God making a soul destined for hell because of freedom. There must be a catch i.e.: does God secretly play the role of the devil to teach lessons in absolute goodness only simulating hell so that souls will learn..? And if people are led into evil by the evil one, why couldn't God break into hell and bust everyone out except the one who can't be trusted..? But if there's still one left in the darkness, then it's the same game again all over again isn't it? Oh man. I can't take this mode of thinking - God save me!

I hope that's the case, that God being God and transcending the duality has actually transcended it.

However, one thing I learned from my own experience with spiritual attack is that there seems to be a grand ego somewhere, and not just within, which, if given the opportunity, would immediately invert the whole damn thing and place the God of love in darkness and that cannot ever be permitted to occur (an inversion), and is impossible, so if the price of God's eternal goodness love and righteousness that informs all creation with God's light from life to life everlasting, is the existence of hell as a possibility, then so be it - and I guess we just simply have to trust in God in his infinite wisdom and knowledge and understanding that he knows what he's doing and why.

Next go 'round (and I mean the Big One) if I have any say at all I vote for a new creation with the possibility of hell precluded and removed altogether and if there was one, to either somehow reintegrate it or leave it on the other side of the singularity but completely and utterly forgotten as absolute nonexistence, for real.

Best Regards,

NAM

edit on 27-3-2013 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 08:52 PM
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I would like to offer this short video compliments of EnochWasRight



As an "antidote" to the ideas I presented in the last two posts, and as the resolution to the fundamental problem presented by the mere possibility of hell, in the form of God's love made manifest and made known through Jesus Christ.





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