What would that kind of agony feel like if it went on for a minute? For a year?
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For a lifetime? Most people would find the idea horrifying almost beyond imagination. Why, then, are so many willing to accept the idea that the God they worship and hold in highest esteem would willingly inflict such punishment not on just a few, but on a great multitude of people who die every single day? The traditional view of hell as a fiery cauldron of punishment has been taught for centuries. Perhaps one of the earliest to expound this view among Christians was the Catholic theologian Tertullian, who lived around A.
Devouring flames will be their eternal portion. This belief has been officially reiterated over the centuries.
Teachings on the subject of hell have by no means been consistent through the centuries. Some have believed it to be in the sun. The most comprehensive description of hell as a place, as man commonly views it, is found not in the Bible but rather in the 14th-century work The Divine Comedy, written by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. A more modern interpretation rejects the idea of physical torment and asserts that the torture of hell is mental anguish caused by separation from God. A recent survey of modern attitudes revealed that 53 percent of Americans embrace this perspective U.
News and World Report, Jan. Why do we see so much diversity in beliefs about hell? The popular concept of hell is a mixture of small bits of Bible truth combined with pagan ideas and human imagination. This human concept of hell was so terrible that the prospect of such a fate caused great anguish, fear and anxiety for many Puritans.
The Puritans were not the only ones tormented by fear of hell. Many people have been terrorized by the thought of hell ever since this non-biblical concept crept into religious teaching. One of the reasons this concept of hell survived is because theologians believed the teaching deterred people from evil. God is a God of love who does not want any to perish 2 Peter 2 Peter The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. One such example is Charles Darwin.
Other aspects of the traditional teaching of hell simply offend the senses. One such belief is that righteous people, who are saved, will be able to witness the torments of the wicked. This scenario is especially revolting for several reasons.
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According to such twisted reasoning, parents would inevitably witness the suffering of their own children and vice versa, relishing in it. Husbands and wives would feel joy in seeing unbelieving spouses tortured forever. Those who insist that the Bible teaches eternal torment by fire should ask whether such a belief is consistent with what the Bible teaches us about God. For example, how could God justly deal with those who have lived and died without having ever received an opportunity to be saved?
This would include the millions who died as babies as well as the billions of unbelievers or idolaters who lived and died never knowing God or His Son. Some theologians reason around this difficulty by assuming that those who never had the opportunity to know God or hear the name of Jesus Christ will be given a sort of free pass. The rationale is that since their state of ignorance is due to circumstances beyond their control, God will admit them into heaven regardless of their lack of repentance.
Quandaries such as this have painted many theologians and other Christians into a corner.
Accordingly, some have challenged the traditional concept of a hell of eternal torment through the centuries. Nevertheless, as we have seen, church councils through the ages have upheld the doctrine.
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News and World Report poll from not too long ago shows that more Americans believe in hell today than in the s or even the s and early s Jan. The prospect of hell will continue to haunt people. Does it exist? I have encountered this thru teachings from a Catholic school!
That you go to rhis place to cleanse your sin and then eventually go to Heaven. Another one is from a religion that exercises so many things like not cutting hair, women should grow it longer; no makeup, no lipstick, no dyeing of hair, no Christmas decor, no visiting of relatives during All Souls Day, no religious articles like rebultos. Are these should really be followed and your soul will be saved? Thank you for answering because they are convincing me to join their religion. This is needed so much today. Most of America or at least many are now Biblically Illiterate.
No matter what is said today the Lord Jesus spoke about this subject more and more descriptively than anyone else in scripture. Again, spot on the mark sir. When we share the gospel, we can not withhold the truth of the bad news…that the wrath of God is upon all sinners who have not trusted in Christ and repented of their sins and confessed them to God.
The good news is not effective unless we first tell them of the bad news…that dying apart from Christ is not a good choice. Jesus is love yes, but above all things, I believe He is holy. There is no point for Jesus death unless there is an eternal hell. Nor would He have needed to die if there were other ways of salvation. He is the only way, John God is calling every one to repent and believe in His Son.
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Repentance is not to earn but to turn. Christ earned our salvation but we must turn and believe in order to receive it for ourselves. Well said Mr.
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In fact Jesus spoke much more about hell than He ever did heaven. Jesus believes in hell and so we know that Jesus can not lie and so hell is real. Well said. Why did He have to die otherwise if there was no hell. Thank you sir. That there is nothing to fear. Quite the contrary. It is still a place to be shunned. I agree with you on the idea that Christ is not the only way however. Repentance is a grieving over our sins.
Come Hell or High Water, part 2
Some have repentance as an earnest turning from our ways. God bless you my brother. A phrase came out wrong that I wanted to amend. I was not aligning myself with those who are ecumenical. You are absolutely correct in your indignation as to there being multiple ways to the Father. Why does this so difficult to accept? We speak of different degrees of punishment, but how much worse can being separated from God be?
To be separated from life, from love, from hope, from joy, from peace…from anything good…no relief and no possibility of relief.