Afterlife

What is your belief about Hell?

  • Eternal Torment

    Votes: 12 50.0%
  • Annihilation

    Votes: 3 12.5%
  • Universal Salvation/Reconciliation

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 33.3%

  • Total voters
    24
May 6, 2014
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So, there is in all of us a sense of justice, and we don't want to see anyone who does wicked things like murder, be left unpunished. But then there are the people who do live content lives and are kind and loving and follow their conscience, but simply don't know the Gospel, either because they have never heard it, or because it was not taught to them correctly and so there just in limbo.

One of the key characteristics of a mortal sin in Catholic and Orthodox tradition is Full Knowledge and Deliberate Consent. So, yeah if someone did a really heinous thing that they knew was wrong, and they knew there would be eternal consequence in Hell for, I could accept that, but that's not what you believe. You believe even if they don't know, they are still damned.
In the natural, our consciences are seared as with a hot iron by sin. There is no virtue in following the conscience that is not governed by the presence of Holy Spirit in that life.

God's word tells us that He makes provision for those who have never heard the way of salvation---Jesus.
 
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Hello everyone, this is my first post, so I hope it is engaging.

Of late, I have been on a pretty extensive investigation about the afterlife in Christianity. As of now, the theory that I've most come to appreciate comes from the Eastern Orthodox Church. As it is, their essential teaching is perhaps the exact opposite of what many Western traditions teach, that is that Hell is not eternal separation from God, but rather eternal company with God which in an unrepentant state would be Hellish. I feel this aligns well with the description of God as an "all-consuming fire" and also mitigates the problems associated with our current idea of Hell.

Having said this, I would also consider myself a very hopeful universalist.

I am wondering what everyone else here has come to believe about the afterlife and, in particular, hell--universalism, eternal torment, annihilationism, etc.
Hello and good question. I haven't had time to read all the comments so apologies if I'm parroting what's already been said. The Word would teach that there are two distinct realms the dead souls arrive, paradise for the believer and hell for the unbeliever. On the day of judgement for the unbelieving - The Great White Throne, all unrighteous souls will be cast into the Lake of Fire including The False Prophet, The Anti-Christ and Hell itself so does Hell exist, very much so and each and every soul which have died in unrighteousness are there burning as we speak. The sharp edge of Christianity!
 
Jun 26, 2014
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@MMurphy

The concept of hades did become accepted by Jews until the time of Ezekiel. As The King predates this heretical inclusion, I see the use of hades as the correct context of damnation and not interchangable with sheol the grave.

So death and damnation is destroyed and ended. Leaving no traces of the horrors that man faced in this world. Tereby fulfilling the return to righteousness as originally created by God. Allowing for all tears to be wiped away and for only Life to be made abundant.
 
May 10, 2014
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"How is it that you think that someone who denies Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, and the existence of God---no faith---will see the blessing of reward for faith?"

I don't think that, I think that I don't know and its not my place to make judgment about who is damned and who isn't. I believe in Christ and have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior as per the New Covenant, but I have no knowledge, nor claim to have any about who else has truly accepted Him and who hasn't, nor what constitutes acceptance. That is, I know I have a log in my eye, so I won't worry about the speck in anyone else's. What I want to convey is an understanding for those who know God is perfectly just and eternally merciful but who cannot reconcile that with the doctrine of eternal conscious torment in a cosmic torture chamber--like myself.

"I voted for destruction."

Why is that you believe this Dave?
1Jn_3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1Jn 4:6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
 
May 6, 2014
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1Jn_3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1Jn 4:6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
How interesting! In response to that same post, I immediately went to those scriptures! Thanks for posting them!

Amazing!
 

MMurphy

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"In the natural, our consciences are seared as with a hot iron by sin. There is no virtue in following the conscience that is not governed by the presence of Holy Spirit in that life."

If that were the case, then the moral teachings of other religions--Hinduism for instance--would not be similar to that of the Judeo-Christian tradition. But, in fact, the concept of things like Karma and Kama do in fact parallel some teachings of Christianity. However, what they lack is Christ. So, in a sense you can look at the world in terms of us versus them, but I don't believe that such a mentality will get you far. But rather, you can look at it as, here are your teachings, and this is what completes it (i.e. the Word).

The Bible a perfect source of wisdom and truth, but it is not the only source of truth, which I believe is evident in the inclusion of Solomon's proverbs.

In the book Huckleberry Finn, Huck is troubled by his upbringing about slaves being considered property. Finally, he decides to cosign himself to Hell in order to free the slave. What I think is the lesson in that, is the heart trumps the conscience, because the heart is made from God, but the conscience is shaped by man. But, I don't think anyone would believe Huck is damned to Hell because he freed a slave, because he had a deeper sense of right and wrong. As we all do.

"I see the use of hades as the correct context of damnation and not interchangable with sheol the grave."

If you think that, you are going against the majority of scholarship on the subject. Most denominations consider the New Testament word "Hades" as the Greek equivalent of the Old Testament word "Sheol". Hell is known as the "lake of fire", the "everlasting fire" and perhaps most accurately as the Greek word "Gehenna".

Most don't make the distinction between Hell and Hades, however, because death was the punishment for original Sin, and Christ saved us from that, much like Hell.
 

MMurphy

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1Jn_3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1Jn 4:6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
It is possible to do good things even if one is not of the Christian faith. It is also possible for one who is of the Christian faith to do evil. To me, these scriptures are more indicative of a belief that anyone (regardless of faithful tradition) who is good is from God, while the inverse is also true.

All of these speak about works not faith.
 
May 6, 2014
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"In the natural, our consciences are seared as with a hot iron by sin. There is no virtue in following the conscience that is not governed by the presence of Holy Spirit in that life."

If that were the case,
It is the case.

The Bible a perfect source of wisdom and truth, but it is not the only source of truth, which I believe is evident in the inclusion of Solomon's proverbs.
The bible is the source of truth to the world that we have, beside the Person of the Holy Spirit.

"I see the use of hades as the correct context of damnation and not interchangable with sheol the grave."

If you think that, you are going against the majority of scholarship on the subject. Most denominations consider the New Testament word "Hades" as the Greek equivalent of the Old Testament word "Sheol". Hell is known as the "lake of fire", the "everlasting fire" and perhaps most accurately as the Greek word "Gehenna".

Most don't make the distinction between Hell and Hades, however, because death was the punishment for original Sin, and Christ saved us from that, much like Hell.
I agree with this. We need to be apprised of the different meanings of Hades and how it is used in scriptural context to determine whether the meaning is "grave" or the place of eternal punishment.
 

MMurphy

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It is the case.



The bible is the source of truth to the world that we have, beside the Person of the Holy Spirit.



I agree with this. We need to be apprised of the different meanings of Hades and how it is used in scriptural context to determine whether the meaning is "grave" or the place of eternal punishment.
I'm sorry, but to say "It is the case." is not only not valid argument, it is also not theological. You are not omniscient so you don't get to make absolute statements like that without providing evidence to support your conclusion. If that is your belief, tell us why it is that pagan religions, like Hinduism, teach some moral concepts similar to those found in the Bible, and why all cultures outside of Christianity are not completely consumed with debauchery.

"The bible is the source of truth to the world that we have, beside the Person of the Holy Spirit."

What about the Ecumenical Councils? Or the Declaration of Independence? Did the founders of the USA speak some truths about God, like that He has endowed us with unalienable rights, even though they were all avowed deists?

Or for that case, did Gandhi speak truths, like "An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind?" Not unlike the teachings of Christ to turn the other cheek?
 
May 10, 2014
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It is possible to do good things even if one is not of the Christian faith. It is also possible for one who is of the Christian faith to do evil. To me, these scriptures are more indicative of a belief that anyone (regardless of faithful tradition) who is good is from God, while the inverse is also true.

All of these speak about works not faith.
That is why we should not know anyone after the flesh, but after the spirit. If you only know how to walk after the flesh you can be very easily deceived in your ability to to discern those who are of the faith, and those who are not.

2Co 5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.
 

MMurphy

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Would this be a satisfying conclusion?

Listen to scripture with an attentive mind.
Listen to a pastor with an open (or humble) mind.
Listen to everyone else with a critical mind.

What I mean to say is not to disparage Holy Scripture, but to recognize that its texts are deep and rich with wisdom that is acquired through spiritual growth. One of the things that bothers me about those who read the scripture literally or fundamentally is that they loose the importance of sacred tradition and instead treat the Bible like the Koran. I don't like to pretend like the messages held in Revelation are obvious (like those in the Koran are), and one should remember that the Gospels were originally an oral tradition.
 

MMurphy

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The Bible teaches Annihilation.
As I said to Euphemia, that is not an argument. Particularly when you make a statement that is wholly heterodoxical. The only Church I know of that teach annihilation is Jehovah's Witnesses, which is hardly even Christian. What is the scriptural, apostolic, or traditional evidence for Annihilation?
 
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Would this be a satisfying conclusion?

Listen to scripture with an attentive mind.
Listen to a pastor with an open (or humble) mind.
Listen to everyone else with a critical mind.

What I mean to say is not to disparage Holy Scripture, but to recognize that its texts are deep and rich with wisdom that is acquired through spiritual growth. One of the things that bothers me about those who read the scripture literally or fundamentally is that they loose the importance of sacred tradition and instead treat the Bible like the Koran. I don't like to pretend like the messages held in Revelation are obvious (like those in the Koran are), and one should remember that the Gospels were originally an oral tradition.
As for me I never listen to preaching, or teaching with my mind, but with my heart. I refuse to use my eyes and ears to receive from God because the natural man can not receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them for they are spiritually understood.
 
May 6, 2014
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I'm sorry, but to say "It is the case." is not only not valid argument, it is also not theological. You are not omniscient so you don't get to make absolute statements like that without providing evidence to support your conclusion. If that is your belief, tell us why it is that pagan religions, like Hinduism, teach some moral concepts similar to those found in the Bible, and why all cultures outside of Christianity are not completely consumed with debauchery.

"The bible is the source of truth to the world that we have, beside the Person of the Holy Spirit."

What about the Ecumenical Councils? Or the Declaration of Independence? Did the founders of the USA speak some truths about God, like that He has endowed us with unalienable rights, even though they were all avowed deists?

Or for that case, did Gandhi speak truths, like "An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind?" Not unlike the teachings of Christ to turn the other cheek?
What was said here: "There is no virtue in following the conscience that is not governed by the presence of Holy Spirit in that life." is the truth. Morality is from God in the first place, but relying on one's own sense of what is right and wrong is a delusional way of living, as our consciences are affected by sin. We need Jesus Christ living in and through us to be able to live the kind of life He desires us to live. The power and ability to do so comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.


The source of truth we have is the holy scriptures, and Holy Spirit Himself. Period. Nothing else.
 

MMurphy

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So, what troubles me is how do you figure the Ecumenical Councils' teachings about Christ's full and unconfused and inseparable humanity and divinity were true, in that case? Because there were Christians back in the day that did not believe in the Trinity, or had some heretical belief about how Jesus was human and divine, and indeed some Christians have this even today. But, all were reading the same scripture.

I also think that your logic here would lead to a belief that the Westburo Baptist Church speaks with the Holy Spirit, because they to believe the same things you do.

I believe, though, that whether or not wisdom is truth, that it comes from the Holy Spirit, is what fruits it bears.
 
May 31, 2014
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What is the scriptural, apostolic, or traditional evidence for Annihilation?
Almost all scripture speaks of Annihilation.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Key word is perish.

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

Key word is death.

It goes on and on and is self evident but the heretics cry foul because of some worm thing.
 

MMurphy

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Humanity was cursed with death because of Sin, that is the whole point of Genesis! Christ gave himself to save us from death with everlasting life, but for the wicked that everlasting life is torment (and Orthodox Christianity holds that torment to be in the eternal presence of God).

By the way, don't shout heretic when your own teachings are so absolute and also against 90% of the Christian world.
 

MMurphy

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90% are wrong.
Do you mean to say that your own interpretations are infallible?

I mean, I think that there are scriptures that indicate annihilation, but there are just as many that indicate eternal torment and universal reconciliation. Its just rather bold for you to say that you "know" this when it is not well accepted by the Christian community at large.