Does our Loving God REALLY have ZERO alternative but to torment forever in Hell?

Does our Loving God REALLY have ZERO alternative but to torment forever in Hell?

There is an important on-going debate as apologists for atheism and apologists for the faith struggle to address the question whether a loving Creator would REALLY allow his creatures to be tormented forever in Hell. The atheist’s accusation is that God does not exists because a loving God would not have created such a perpetual Hell of Torment. The Free Will defense is that you basically choose your destiny and refuse God’s help, and therefore God basically has no alternative but to allow people to be tormented for the rest of eternity because love has to be freely chosen. But does God have a better, logical, and scriptural alternative? I believe so. I REALLY DO!

Please bear with me as we briefly consider Mt 25:46 – the #1 verses used to support “Eternal Conscious Torment” or ECT – where it is stated as a matter of rather obvious fact that the length of the “eternal punishment” has to be of the same length as “eternal life”. This is perfectly logical and in fact we agree that they are the same duration. However in what follows we will briefly confirm that this issue has been important for numerous souls, and then we will help you unpack this verse with a short quiz, and finally we will logically conclude that God does have an awesome alternative where He can respect free will and be perfectly just and loving in the judgment.

 

We all agree that Hell/eternal torment is a critical issue that needs explanation. In fact, think of renowned people other than Darwin for whom Hell was a huge factor alongside Evolution and suffering (in one direction Charles Templeton –Farewell to God and Brian Baker –From Faith to Reason, and in the opposite direction ex-atheist Anthony Flew –There IS a God and Greg Boyd’s ex-skeptic father – Letters to a skeptic). Note that although the logic of Creation eventually convinced Flew, he could not believe in Jesus because of eternal conscious torment. As we can see, Hell is therefore a life and death very important subject assome leave the faith and many can’t embrace it because of it. Although an oversimplification, please consider what is the Eternal Punishment by answering 6 questions:

1-How long do you believe the judging goes on in the “eternal judgment”? Heb 6:2

A- Basically Judged & Re-Judged each & every day every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity

B- Or finally judged just once…but last judgment is permanent, eternal, for the rest of eternity

2-How long do you believe the saving goes on in the “eternal salvation”? Heb 5:9

A- Basically Saved & Re-saved each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity

B- Or fully/finally saved once…but it is permanent/irreversible, for the rest of eternity

3-How long do you believe the redeeming goes on in the “eternal redemption”? Heb 9:12

A – Basically Redeemed/re-redeemed each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity

B- Or fully Redeemed once… but it is permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity

4- How long do you believe the destructing of Hell goes on in “eternal destruction”?1Th1:9

A – Basically Destroyed/Re-destroyed each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?

B- Or finally DESTROYED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity

5- How long do you believe the condemnation goes on in “eternal condemnation”? Mk3:29

A – Basically Condemned/Re-Condemned each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity

B- Or finally CONDEMNED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity

6- How long do you believe the punishing of Hell goes on in the “eternal punishment”? Matt 25:46

A – Basically Punished/Re-punished each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?

B- Or finally PUNISHED ONCE… (could be a state of complete death/destruction) but it is permanent/irreversible/eternal/for the rest of eternity

 

Were you consistent? Think! Unless you can answer A to #1-3 (for the just), you are inconsistent to answer A to #4-6 (for unjust) because these sentences with word “eternal” are exactly the same. So, if B to #1-3, then you should at least consider B for #4-6. If not, why not? The point of 6 questions is to show that our view and understanding of eternal comes from outside ideas/texts – not the word itself.

 

Now, note powerfully that the DURATION can be exactly the same – i.e. all 6 are imparted ONCE (saved, redeemed/ destroyed/punished once) but all are permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity, hence all ETERNAL. WOW! It would appear that “eternal punishment” does not necessarily imply endless on-going torment as it can be a permanent irreversible punishment/destruction imparted once for the rest of eternity. Do you see why I think that the typical cruel monster torturer arguments against God and the free will arguments for God both try to explain a misinterpretation of the word eternal.

 

Now could I prove this? Could this understanding be the plain consistent meaning for “eternal” in entire scriptures including all texts with “eternal life”, such as Mt 25:46? I`d have to say an emphatic YES! Although we have a measure of life now, Scripture indicates that eternal life is fully GIVEN ONCE at the applicable resurrection/ judgment… when mortality is swallowed up, when we will be MADE ALIVE (finally/fully ONCE but only) at His coming (1Cor 15:22-23), when we receive (once)… in the AGE TO COME, ETERNAL LIFE (Luke 18:30). Notice that in Lk 18:30, Jesus was asked “what” to do to inherit eternal life and Jesus answered “when” – in the age to come. So let’s spell out eternal in Mt 25:46 in a more consistent manner (i.e. the same for both just/unjust).

 

“And these shall go away into eternal punishment (a state of complete permanent horrific destruction (Second Death) imparted once at the just judgment of God – as per examples of judgment of wicked at flood and at Sodom), but the righteous into eternal life” (a permanent life also imparted once at His coming, in the age to come).

 

Again, WOW! Once it is understood that the gift of eternal life is basically imparted ONCE in the age to come (per John 6:40 at last day when raised to life from the dead), we can REALLY understand that the eternal punishment is also per 1 Thes 1:9 a last day everlasting (permanent & irreversible) destruction FROM GOD’s CONSUMING APPEARING IN GLORY (per KJV), a second but permanent/eternal death. God truly is a consuming fire…

With the above I have shown that eternal conscious torment is not necessarily found in Mt 25:46 (#1 verse quoted in support of eternal torment), unless we want the meaning of eternal to be inconsistent between the just and unjust, based on outside inputs, or verses, most of which are quite figurative, with worms and beasts. For example the typical understanding of Rev 20:10 seems to contradict 7 verses about devil and anti-christ beasts (Rev 20:9, 2Thes 2:8, Heb 2:14, Dan 2, Dan 7:11,26, and figuratively Ezek 28 and Is 14).

 

Finally, let’s think about God’s loving justice and God’s REAL ALTERNATIVE: Just like before Flood, evil and injustice is now everywhere (downtown, ISIS, Boca Haram, Paris), and our Creator will have once again to restrain evil by finally cleansing this earth via His wrath & judgment and make it completely new, where there will be no more pain, suffering, evil, death, sin, and NO SINNERS WRITHING IN PAIN IN HELL. Think of it! Earth will be re-created “very good”, just like it was in Eden, with no traces of evil, death, sufferings, or Hell (once punishment is completed and Death/Hades thrown into Hellfire lake). Just like the ark of Noah, there is again only one way to live on. The wages of every sin (big or small) is death. The choice is ours: turn, repent & live in Christ or die a permanent Second Death without Christ. Choose to live – it’s pretty simple – love your neighbor (created in His image) and love Jesus Christ the Creator and Savior.

 

Note: Evangelical authors Francis Chan and Peter Sprinkle studied Hell for a full year and started leaning to this view (Erasing Hell). Another evangelical author Mr Fudge has written a very comprehensive book (The Fire that consumes). See also jewishnotgreek.com, amazingdiscoveries.org, helltruth.com, rethinkinghell.com.

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TSOC BLOG #3 INTERVIEWS – DOES GOD EXIST?

 I interviewed 4 friends about their beliefs in God or a higher power. I was a bit surprised, as Mr Steiger mentioned, that everyone basically believe in something.

While one believed there is something, a cause (a force, energy, even aliens or a god), two believed in a Creator God, and one grew up with it but was now more agnostic unsure. One did not believe in any organized religion as it is all personal interpretations hijacked for power (what is taught to the poor illiterate may not even be in the “books”), two believed the three monotheistic religions probably point to the same Creator God. However, not surprisingly, all believed that religion was used for power and money, citing RC with crusades, priest celibacy, control and extravagant popery, RC and Anglican residential schools, tele-evangelists, JW, Mormons, popular charismatic you-can-have-it-all-just-send-us-money preachers. Basically, even if there is truth, it is all messed-up by humans.

One grew up with a measure of right and wrong apart from religion as family rejected RC, of normal behavior that you then try to pass on; one was raised with basic family belief in God, a jist of faith grounded in basic 10 commandments as a rule of life but religion is more inside you; one now thinks all one-God religions kind of point to same God, as in different views of the same thing, with Christianity probably closer; and one is thinking about it to make his own mind leaning to one-God (not many), but be the best you can.

One can’t believe the Bible is true, while others believe that some things were probably edited, and that not everything in it was true.

Somewhat surprisingly, one add doubts about Evolution while three rejected Evolution and only believed in some kind of minor adaptation/selection.

All-in-all, these interviews were very instructive and confirmed to some extent the innate tendency to believe in something, although that something is really blurred and seriously damaged by either true or perceived religious abuses which are in my opinion never representative of Christ.

 

God interviews beliefs evolution true Bible TSOC existance

TSOC BLOG #2 – MEANING – TO LOVE OR NOT!

TSOC Course – Meaning of Life Blog #2.

To LOVE or NOT! What’s should you do?

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s; and give to God what is God’s.

The Lord is One – Love Him with your whole self, & Love neighbor as self.

Most religions can support loving neighbor as a general rule of conduct, and loving some god is why you are part of a religion. However, by virtue of being our Creator (and author), God who created us through Jesus Christ His Son, as God, is the only one that knows us and what’s best for us. And He knows we are made to find our meaning in Him. As per the example of Daniel, no king has complete authority over us – in matters of worship we should only bow to our Creator – anyone or anything else, whether devil or humans or thing, is not worthy of our worship.

Unfortunately, in the big war between Christ and Satan for Humans, the devil is using all the tricks to deceive us in worshipping anything other than Jesus Christ our Creator, by somehow reducing His divinity, such as a great prophet or moral teacher, or interposing another avenue to God, such as Mary or a god-king. Christ who is truth on the other hand is simply girded with truth and love, such that with time, having seen the cross, we can see where following the devil leads.

Love God – but who is He? All religions are not equal, because to love God is defined briefly in the first 4 commandments, where we are restricted in our worship every seventh day, in memory of Creation, to the one Creator of Heaven and Earth alone, not any idols made of stone or wood. In addition, the fourth commandment also requires us to love our neighbor by allowing them one day in seven to rest in God with family and worship God the Creator only. To love our neighbor start therefore simply by allowing others to seek and worship God. To love neighbors is also strictly defined also to mean one spouse (not many), and to honor both father and mother, not father and father. As our creator who created us male and female, God knows what’s best for humanity. In fact the biggest problems of government are sin related, such as murder and hate, lies in business and relationships, deceptions, coveting, family break-up, health… If everyone looked to the Creator alone, and loved their neighbors, our government, justice and law enforcement system would be extremely small as well as our health would be much better, unaffected by stress and anxiety.

As a result, it seems rather obvious that the meaning of life is linked exclusively to the Creator, and since we are all created equal, by a just and loving God, we should love our neighbors because in the end, it is what is best for us.

TSOC BLOG#1 – MEANING OF LIFE

TSOC Blog#1 – The meaning of Life

My search for truth!

I grew up as a nominal Catholic but like most around me was active in sports and not overly interested, but I liked Christmas songs. However, from a young age I was already interested in science and the universe, and even read a bit about supposedly aliens building pyramids and Easter Island.[i] While at college for aerospace engineering, my dad passed away rather suddenly and for a short season I wondered about life after death and searched for the meaning of life in spirituality, and even tried without success astral travel. Although confused, I still believed there was something spiritual out there but soon reverted back to the old self which may have been fortunate. A few years later I was challenged about being more than just a good guy, and attended a bible study with a Baptist co-worker and eventually asked Jesus into my life. I later started a family but unfortunately remained very active at work and at soccer, such that I wasn’t much of a dad or much of a Christian. The teams at work and at soccer needed me more than my very capable wife and children – so I thought.

A few years down the road, we went for a couple years to the U.S. Bible belt where believing in Jesus is something everyone did and eventually started going back to church and got very involved with Promise Keepers. Recommitted to my Lord and family, I started growing and helping others grow under good leadership. However, back in Alberta into a multi-denominational military church, this time not me but the church kind of slowly fell apart after liberal pastors basically attacked the foundations of Christianity. Fortunately, I was eventually exposed to some clear arguments for a recent creation[ii] (interesting to me as a test engineer/scientist), and for the non-endless nature of Hell[iii] (see amazingdiscoveries.org and creation.com/young-age-of-the-earth-universe-qa). That’s when I fully realized that there is a spiritual war of compromise, misunderstanding and distortions, as well as religious systems, which tend to attack the character of God, as well as His Word. So more than ever, let’s be sober and watch!

[i] http://creation.com/alien-life-ufo-questions-and-answers

[ii] http://creation.com/young-age-of-the-earth-universe-qa

[iii] http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception_death_soul_immortality_Christ

Hell & Mr Fudge Movie

When Mr Fudge set out to study scriptures about hell, like Francis Chan and Peter Sprinkle when they studied the subject for their book “Erasing Hell?”, he found out that what we believe about hell does not exactly come from the whole of scriptures. Set out to watch this excellent drama movie that uplifts the Word of God and the searching of scriptures or just be entertained by Mr Fudge story…

God’s love vs Hell

God’s love vs Hell/eternal torment is a critical issue that needs explanation. In fact, think of renowned people for whom Hell was a big factor alongside Evolution and suffering (in one direction Charles Templeton -Farewell to God and Brian Baker -From Faith to Reason, and in the opposite direction ex-atheist Anthony Flew -There IS a God and Greg Boyd’s ex-skeptic father – Letters to a skeptic). Note that although the logic of Creation eventually convinced Flew, he could not believe in Jesus because of eternal conscious torment. As we can see, Hell is therefore a life and death very important subject. Although an oversimplification, please consider what is the Eternal Punishment by answering 6 questions:
1-How long do you believe the judging goes on in the “eternal judgment”? Heb 6:2
A- Basically Judged & Re-Judged each & every day every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
B- Or finally judged just once…but last judgment is permanent, eternal, for the rest of eternity
2-How long do you believe the saving goes on in the “eternal salvation”? Heb 5:9
A- Basically Saved & Re-saved each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
B- Or fully/finally saved once…but it is permanent/irreversible, for the rest of eternity
3-How long do you believe the redeeming goes on in the “eternal redemption”? Heb 9:12
A – Basically Redeemed/re-redeemed each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
B- Or fully Redeemed once… but it is permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity
4- How long do you believe the destructing of Hell goes on in “eternal destruction”?2Th1:9
A – Basically Destroyed/Re-destroyed each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
B- Or finally DESTROYED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity
5- How long do you believe the condemnation goes on in “eternal condemnation”? Mk3:29
A – Basically Condemned/Re-Condemned each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
B- Or finally CONDEMNED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity
6- How long do you believe the punishing of Hell goes on in the “eternal punishment”? Matt 25:46
A – Basically Punished/Re-punished each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
B- Or finally PUNISHED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/eternal/for the rest of eternity

Were you consistent? Think! Unless you can answer A to #1-3 (for the just), you are inconsistent to answer A to #4-6 (for unjust) because these sentences with word “eternal” are exactly the same. So, if B to #1-3, then you should at least consider B for #4-6. If not, why not? The point of 6 questions is to show that our view and understanding of eternal comes from outside ideas/texts – not the word itself.

Now, note powerfully that the DURATION can be exactly the same – i.e. all 6 imparted ONCE (redeemed/ destroyed/punished once) but all permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity, hence all ETERNAL. WOW! It would appear that the eternal punishment is not necessarily equal to eternal torment, when looked at consistently for both just & unjust. Now I think that both JRB’s cruel monster arguments and the free will arguments both try to explain a misinterpretation of the word eternal.

Could I prove this? Could this be the plain consistent meaning for eternal in entire scriptures including Mt 25:46 and especially for all “eternal life“ texts. I`d have to say Yes! Although we have a measure of life now, Scripture indicates that eternal life is fully GIVEN ONCE at the applicable resurrection/ judgment… when mortality is swallowed up, when we will be MADE ALIVE (finally/fully ONCE but only) at His coming (1Cor 15:22-23), when we receive (once)… in the AGE TO COME, ETERNAL LIFE (Luke 18:30). Notice that in Lk 18:30, Jesus was asked “what” to do to inherit eternal life and Jesus answered “when” – in the age to come. So let’s spell out eternal in Mt 25:46 in a more consistent manner (i.e. the same for both just/unjust).

“And these shall go away into eternal punishment (a just complete permanent horrific destruction imparted once at the just judgment – as per example of judgment of wicked at flood and at Sodom), but the righteous into eternal life” (a permanent life also imparted once at His coming, in the age to come).

Again, WOW! Once it is understood that the gift of eternal life is basically imparted ONCE in the age to come (per John 6:40 at last day when raised to life from the dead), we can see that the eternal punishment is also a last day everlasting destruction FROM GOD’s CONSUMING APPEARING IN GLORY, a second but permanent/eternal death. After second death – gone, nothing, nada. No longer conscious.
With the above I have shown that eternal conscious torment is not necessarily found in Mt 25:46 (#1 verse quoted in support of eternal torment), unless we want the meaning of eternal to be inconsistent between the just and unjust, based on outside inputs, or verses, most of which are quite figurative.

In closing, since Hell is such a big issue for many people like Flew, I think we Christians should make sure it is fully re-studied with a proper understanding of the word eternal, starting with studying the 6 questions above to see our inconsistencies.

Finally, let’s think about justice: Just like before Flood, evil and injustice is now everywhere (downtown, ISIS, Boca Haram), and our Creator will have once again to restrain us by cleansing this earth and make it completely new, where there will be no more pain, suffering, evil, death, sin, and no sinners writing in pain in Hell. Earth will be re-created “very good”, just like it was in Eden with no traces of evil, death or sufferings, or Hell once the punishment is imparted. Just like the ark, there is again only one way to live on. The wages of every sin (big or small) is death. The choice is ours: repent & life in Christ or permanent death. Choose to live – it’s pretty simple – love your neighbor (created in His image) and love Jesus Christ the Creator and Savior.

First Blog

Having trouble setting up this blog, but we will help others find hope and find truth, in subjects related to Creation & Science, Heaven and Hell, and general meaning of life apologetics.