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Thread: Why do people believe in hell?

  1. Top | #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    There are contradictions. There are verses that clearly describe hell as eternal punishment, while others suggest annihilation or separation from God, hence confusion that has endured for two thousand years. Many or even most early Christians believed in eternal torment. Gnostics relegated the god of the bible to the status of 'evil demiurge.'
    I think Fudge's book looks into arguments for eternal hell as well and isn't completely dogmatic about his conclusion.
    For a free resource see:

    https://www.jewishnotgreek.com/
    The adjectives "many" and "few" in Luke 12 could not be used if eternal conscious torment were what He was teaching here. He would have used "heavier" and "lighter" if the duration of conscience sufferings were eternal. So according to Yeshua's (Jesus") own words, some will have "many stripes" (Hitler types) and some will have "few stripes" (only God knows).

    ....

    Again, it is eternal punishment, not eternal punishing. (Matthew 25:46) Death is the punishment; and it lasts forever. That is why it is called eternal punishment. It is a punishment with everlasting effects. Remember, Jesus Himself tells us that the fire was never made for humans, it was "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). Humans, however, will be destroyed there-cremated according to Isaiah 66:24.

    ....

    But what is the meaning of the word "destroy"? Perhaps it means eternal torment? You certainly have to import an alien meaning to the definition of the word "destroy" (Gk: apollumi) if it means eternal torture. It is never directly translated this way in any New Testament writings. Never.

    .....

    "it would seem strange...if people who are said to suffer destruction are in fact not destroyed...it is difficult to imagine a perpetually inconclusive process of perishing."

    ......

    But what about the word "forever"; doesn't the text say torment will go on forever? No. Read it very carefully. It clearly says "the smoke" will rise forever. Smoke rising forever is much different than torment going on forever.


    Note this is a very small excerpt on that website, and that site is a very small version of that 420 page book.

    If you are truly open-minded you should read that website rather than assuming that the traditional view of the church is correct. At the most there are 1 or 2 passages that seem to suggest eternal torment but when you look into it deeply they can seem to be resolved. Also that website has a different author to the book and the website is trying to prove "conditional immortality".
    Why talk about an 'open mind' while dismissing not only what I point out but what the early Christians themselves believed about hell?

    I'm aware of the rationales and 'what would seem strange' - yet even destruction is eternal punishment, only without the torment, a death sentence imposed for what may be a trivial reason, not having 'believed in Jesus.'

    Then we are still left with the contradiction of verses that undeniably state and describe eternal torment.

    Which leaves a contradiction and a source of dispute spanning thousands of years.

  2. Top | #162
    Senior Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Why talk about an 'open mind' while dismissing not only what I point out but what the early Christians themselves believed about hell?
    Yes it is the traditional church view... but I'm concerned with what the Bible says (and history like what Greek philosophers believed, etc). And not checking out the site I recommended makes me question how open minded you are. And I believe that those that hold the traditional church view and refusing to look at the counter-arguments are also not very open-minded. And again, some of those Christians read that book and ended up changing their minds.

    I'm aware of the rationales and 'what would seem strange' - yet even destruction is eternal punishment, only without the torment, a death sentence imposed for what may be a trivial reason, not having 'believed in Jesus.'
    That is the point they're trying to make - "destruction is eternal punishment, only without the torment" (though there initially is some suffering too)

    Then we are still left with the contradiction of verses that undeniably state and describe eternal torment.
    Well that sites addresses all of the relevant verses. If you are interested you could read it for yourself. It is far too long to quote here.

    Which leaves a contradiction and a source of dispute spanning thousands of years.
    It would be good if you looked through that website to see what it says. Note the arguments become very in-depth, not just things like "what would seem strange".

  3. Top | #163
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    ''Well that sites addresses all of the relevant verses. If you are interested you could read it for yourself. It is far too long to quote here.''
    I'm aware of the arguments, but they fail for the given reasons. The bible (NT) presents us with a set of contradictory statements that are incompatible, that cannot be reconciled, so we are left with contradictions.

    Nor is a death sentence for a finite, even trivial offense an instance of mercy or justice, which also contradicts verses describing a God of love and infinite mercy, and another set of contradictions.


    Eternal torment for the devil, beast, false prophet and all the accursed :

    And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. - Revelation 20:10

    "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; - Matthew 25:41

  4. Top | #164
    Senior Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    .....Eternal torment for the devil, beast, false prophet and all the accursed :
    The site agrees that the devil and his angels are tormented forever. It seems like you still haven't checked out the site, so I will quote from it:

    And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. - Revelation 20:10
    • What about Revelation 20:10 which says the devil and the beast and the false prophet will be tormented forever?

      They will indeed be tormented forever; however they are not humans. Jesus says Gehenna (hell) was specifically made for Satan and demons (Matthew 25:41), however fire does not affect angelic beings like humans. (see Ezekiel 10:7).
      Additionally, the word "tormented" here is the same Greek word that speaks of Lot being tormented in 2 Peter 2:8 watching the bad behavior of the Sodomites. The same Greek word is used for both Lot and Satan being tormented.
      Also, John himself tells us where the beast comes from "the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" (Rev. 11:7) This "beast" is not a human being. Humans do not come out of this pit. The apostle John wants us to know this beast is a demon by telling us his origins.
      NOTE: When the devil or the beast and the false prophet were thrown in the lake of fire, we read no word about a second death. However, when human beings are thrown in there, it says second death.
      Dirk Warren has some keen insight on this verse:
      Adherents of eternal conscious torture often cite the above text, Revelation 20:10, to support their view by suggesting that "the beast and the false prophet" are human beings...The antichrist is indeed a human being...However, "the beast" from Revelation 19:20 and 20:10 is not referring to this man, but to the evil spirit that possessed him. This is clear because the bible plainly states that the beast originated from the Abyss (Revelation 11:7 and 17:8). "The Abyss," according to scripture, is the furnace-like pit where evil spirits are imprisoned, not human beings (see Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:1-2 and 20:1-3)...Likewise, the false prophet is referred to as "another beast" (13:11-17, 16:13 and19:20). The Greek for "another" here is allos (al'-los), which means "another of the same kind." Therefore, the false prophet is an evil spirit that originated from the Abyss as well.
      For further proof that the beast and the false prophet are evil spirits and not human beings, consider Revelation 16:13: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet." First of all, notice that the beast and the false prophet are spoken of on a par with the devil himself here; this signifies that they are evil spirits...
      Source: Hell Know, Dispelling the eternal torture myth, http://www.hellhadesafterlife.com/hell.
      Again, I even heard Dr. Tony Evans (who holds to the Traditional position) describe the final home of the devil as an island in a lake of fire. This will be Satan's home forever...his jail cell.
      However, humans are destroyed there (Matthew 10:28).


    "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; - Matthew 25:41
    That says the fire is eternal and that it was intended for immortal angels. That verse doesn't say that humans necessarily survive there eternally.

    Also remember Genesis 3:22
    And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

    i.e. humans don't have an immortal soul even though Greek philsophers believed that.

    For those two passages it only says explicitly that the devil and his angels will suffer eternally but remember they are originally immortal.

  5. Top | #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    The site agrees that the devil and his angels are tormented forever. It seems like you still haven't checked out the site, so I will quote from it:
    The issue is not what the site agrees with but what the verses say about punishment not only for 'the devil and his minions' but those who are judged.


    And those who are judged are represented by those 'on His left' - with their fate being described as:


    "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; - Matthew 25:41

    Now you can bring in what the Greeks thought about soul or what it says in the OT or what other verses in the Gospel may say, but this does not alter what these verses say and what they mean.

    ''And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” - Mark 9:


    This clearly refers to humans and evil spirits.

  6. Top | #166
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    The parable of the rich man and Lazarus; Luke 16:19 - 31

    The Rich Man and Lazarus

    “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

    But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

    But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

  7. Top | #167
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Note that there are three reviews which are from Christians who have actually read the book and they all give 5 star reviews - some of them even originally believed in eternal hell... so you're assuming you're more knowledgeable about the book than they are?
    The first problem there is that, as we all surely would agree, christians are, almost by definition, highly suggestible people*, so it's moot as to how much weight we should give to three of them being easily persuaded to change aspects of their superstitious beliefs.

    But second, I don't need to read a whole book to spot quite quickly that its analysis is based on dubious methodology, particularly cherry-picking. The numerous references to eternal suffering in the bible do not just go away, despite the, er, tortured efforts of those uncomfortable with them to make them into something they clearly are not, by any reasonable analysis. Though it is interesting to watch them try.

    To add to which, the views of numerous early church leaders on the subject supports the view that hell as eternal torment for those who dare not to worship a supposedly loving god was pretty much standard Christian doctrine, and it still mainly is, albeit there were and are dissenters. It didn't necessarily start out that way, but seems to have morphed into it quite early on after the cult got going.


    * Ok that was a bit unnecessarily cheeky.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-17-2020 at 11:33 AM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  8. Top | #168
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    Hey Ex, Considering getting Fudges book. Still much to read but nice one(off to work).


    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The parable of the rich man and Lazarus; Luke 16:19 - 31

    The Rich Man and Lazarus

    “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

    But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

    But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
    Its a parable ... Both men are still dead in Hades, underworld if you will. A place BEFORE the Judgement and not the final punishment Lake of fire. Its a parable.

    Revelation 20:14

    And death and hell/Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.


    Chris Date explains:

    http://rethinkinghell.com/2012/06/23...al-punishment/

  9. Top | #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Hey Ex, Considering getting Fudges book.


    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The parable of the rich man and Lazarus; Luke 16:19 - 31

    The Rich Man and Lazarus

    “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

    But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

    But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
    Its a parable ... Both men are still dead in Hades, underworld if you will. A place BEFORE the Judgement and not the final punishment Lake of fire. Its a parable.

    Revelation 20:14

    And death and hell/Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.


    Chris Date explains:

    http://rethinkinghell.com/2012/06/23...al-punishment/
    Chris Date gives his explanation, that does not mean he actually resolves the issue. And yes, Abraham and the rich man is a parable but the terms of parable do not entail annihilation but eternal torment, the rich man is not described in terms of dead in the grave, he is suffering for his sins. The dead do not suffer, the dead do not regret.

    Plus the parable supports the other verses describing eternal torment for the devil and his minions, ncluding those standing on the left - the goats - stated to meet the same fate....so we are still left with a contradiction. To add, death as in annihilation is not eternal punishment. The dead, once dead, suffer no further punishment.

  10. Top | #170
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    Whatever way you slice it, the key underlying element in all of this, every bit of it, is retribution. That, as a basic rationale, is arguably a big part of what's sitting at the bottom of whatever flavour of everlasting punishment you choose to convince yourself is involved here. It's probably other things too, but whatever it is, it's not love, and it's arguably perverse to call it that. It's abuse (or would be if it actually happened, which thankfully is extremely unlikely indeed). Seriously, if anyone as much as even hinted they might be going to act anything like this, they'd be quite rightly reported to Social Services.

    And yet Christians worship this guy and suggest we all should. The word doublethink doesn't even begin to start explaining it.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-17-2020 at 11:42 AM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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