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Archived => Eternity => Topic started by: mcphee123 on December 04, 2015, 08:14:05 am

Title: The reality of hell
Post by: mcphee123 on December 04, 2015, 08:14:05 am
Hi everyone - I've been a Christian since I was 15 (I'm 30 next year) and it's been an awesome journey - I'm a big thinker, a doubter, a sceptic at times but the undeniability of Christ's prescence in my life is what has brought me through.

I'm sure this will have been asked before but I'm not sure what to search for in order to find it. My question is this;

We live sinful lives, apparently deserving of eternal punishment. We often speak of suffering in the sense that once compared to an eternal life with God, it pales into insignificance, and will actually become easier to deal with, if one has that perspective. Converse to this, couldn't the same be said about sin/hell? Once an unsaved person has spent 10,000 years (and set to endure infinitely longer) being punished for the sins of what is an incredibly short life in comparison, couldn't it be said that the sins committed will pale in comparison to the eternal suffering to which they are condemned? And therefore isn't it unjust?

I've heard arguments about our lack of understanding on the severity of sin, but it just doesn't sit right with me. If I lived a completely sinless life apart from the acknowledgement of Jesus (maybe I only heard of him once in the passing and discarded it), do I deserve to be eternally punished for this?

Yes, only God knows the severity of sin, but do I just have to accept this?
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: Paterfamilia on December 07, 2015, 01:52:53 pm
In my opinion, no.  I believe annihilation has a very strong scriptural basis - much stronger than eternal suffering.

In any case, I have come to fully trust that God is righteous and just in everything He does, given that our sins are vicariously covered (a very UNfair reality).
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: Miles_Donahue on January 03, 2016, 11:45:55 am
The problem here is that the punishment of Hell does not seem to fit the crime of sin; e.g., how could we ever merit eternal punishment for a lifetime of finite sins? It would seem to be the highest injustice. I think a few points suggest otherwise, however.

First, while every sin deserves only a finite punishment, perhaps the totality of our sins deserves infinite punishment. How? If we commit an infinite number of sins, then indeed we are deserving of eternal punishment. In this lifetime, we can only commit a finite number of wrongdoings. But what about in Hell? Perhaps the inhabitants of Hell, as their hearts grow harder and they continue to spurn and reject God, continue to sin and merit further punishment. In this way, Hell in infinitely self-perpetuating. This alternative might seem to leave open the option that Hell's occupants eventually repent and find their way to Heaven, an option not open to the orthodox Christian. However, as C. S. Lewis once said, omniscience knows when a person is too far gone to redeem. It is possible that God has so ordered the world that no one in Hell would repent if they did not repent in their earthly lifetime. Some people never give in.

Second, there is a sin worthy of infinite punishment. Those who willingly reject the gift of God in Christ reject God himself, and given who God is, plausibly commit a sin of infinite gravity. As Craig has pointed out, we should not think of Hell as punishment for finite sins like adultery and theft, but as the just consequence of rejecting God's offer of forgiveness. This isn't to say that "only God knows the severity of sin", but rather that rejecting God himself is a sin of infinite severity.

Now, if you "lived a completely sinless life apart from the acknowledgement of Jesus", you wouldn't need to be forgiven, would you? Therefore, God would not condemn you. But seeing as no one on Earth has ever lived that life, we needn't worry about it.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: Lion IRC on January 04, 2016, 10:11:49 pm
I couldn't have said it any better than Miles_Donahue.
...unless of course I was JP Moreland or WLC.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: jakswan on January 05, 2016, 05:53:47 am
Second, there is a sin worthy of infinite punishment. Those who willingly reject the gift of God in Christ reject God himself, and given who God is, plausibly commit a sin of infinite gravity.

Some say god has more compassion than you credit it with.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: SPF on January 06, 2016, 09:53:19 am
Quote
If I lived a completely sinless life apart from the acknowledgement of Jesus (maybe I only heard of him once in the passing and discarded it), do I deserve to be eternally punished for this?
First off, you haven't done this, nor has any other person alive - so why get caught up in a hypothetical that does not, and will not ever exist in reality?

Another response worth thinking over is that while it may not seem like our finite crimes are worthy of an infinite punishment, we also need to remember that part of the degree of punishment is based upon who the crime is against.

Consider a person who goes out and runs up to a lady walking her dog at night. He proceeds to bludgeon her dog to death.  That person will certainly get in trouble for that, but the punishment will not be the same  if instead of bludgeoning the dog to death, they bludgeoned the lady. Why? Because the crime was against a person and crimes against people are considered worse than crimes against animals. 

Likewise, perhaps crimes against an infinite God are worthy of an infinite punishment. 
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: muonis on April 18, 2016, 03:16:14 pm
Perhaps hell in of itself is not "punishment" for the sake of punishment, but rather eternal separation from God, which would naturally be perceived as unpleasant for a being that was initially designed to be together with God?

So the pain is a consequence of being separated from God, while being separated from God is a consequence of the sinful state of a human not being justified through the sacrifice of Christ. Specific acts of sin and punishment do not come into the picture at all. I wonder if this would be a more accurate understanding of the existence of hell.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: Bill McEnaney on June 16, 2016, 09:52:54 pm
In my opinion, no.  I believe annihilation has a very strong scriptural basis - much stronger than eternal suffering.
Seventh-Day Adventists believe that God annihilates the damned.  So I wonder whether their belief can promote license.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: kravarnik on June 17, 2016, 03:36:38 am
The problem here is that the punishment of Hell does not seem to fit the crime of sin; e.g., how could we ever merit eternal punishment for a lifetime of finite sins? It would seem to be the highest injustice. I think a few points suggest otherwise, however.

First, while every sin deserves only a finite punishment, perhaps the totality of our sins deserves infinite punishment. How? If we commit an infinite number of sins, then indeed we are deserving of eternal punishment. In this lifetime, we can only commit a finite number of wrongdoings. But what about in Hell? Perhaps the inhabitants of Hell, as their hearts grow harder and they continue to spurn and reject God, continue to sin and merit further punishment. In this way, Hell in infinitely self-perpetuating. This alternative might seem to leave open the option that Hell's occupants eventually repent and find their way to Heaven, an option not open to the orthodox Christian. However, as C. S. Lewis once said, omniscience knows when a person is too far gone to redeem. It is possible that God has so ordered the world that no one in Hell would repent if they did not repent in their earthly lifetime. Some people never give in.

Second, there is a sin worthy of infinite punishment. Those who willingly reject the gift of God in Christ reject God himself, and given who God is, plausibly commit a sin of infinite gravity. As Craig has pointed out, we should not think of Hell as punishment for finite sins like adultery and theft, but as the just consequence of rejecting God's offer of forgiveness. This isn't to say that "only God knows the severity of sin", but rather that rejecting God himself is a sin of infinite severity.

Now, if you "lived a completely sinless life apart from the acknowledgement of Jesus", you wouldn't need to be forgiven, would you? Therefore, God would not condemn you. But seeing as no one on Earth has ever lived that life, we needn't worry about it.

Hey, Miles.


The concept of guilt plays a huge role. Concept which we have in human affairs as well. When you steal something, your punishment does not reciprocally follow - that is, you simply return what was stolen, or pay the value of it, and it's all done, - but you also carry "guilt" for trespassing the law, which needs to be redeemed. So, a thief does not only return, or repay, the stolen, but also redeems guilt that is carried for trespassing the law. The guilt increases, or decreases, in accordance to the law that's been trespassed - trespassing the law against murder carries more guilt, than trespassing the law against assault. So, criminals who have trespassed the former - and have murdered someone, - go in jail for longer time, than those who have trespassed the latter - and have attacked someone physically, - and go in jail for shorter time.


Now, with God's Law it's different. Because we trespass the Law of an eternal and infinite being - God. So, the guilt is not of finite consequence, but of infinite such. The offense against such being is irrevocable - there's nothing in one's powers to redeem such guilt, like you pay money to God, or you go for 5 years in jail. What such offense warrants is eternal punishment, for you're trespassing the eternal Law of an eternal being - God. Every sin is ultimately an offense against God, His inteded order, inherent being and revealed Law. So, offenses against other humans play out differently, than offenses against God. In human affairs, the guilt we carry for offending other human beings is finite and contingent, but the guilt we carry against offending God is eternal and infinite, thus if the guilt is of such terms - eternal and infinite, - then it's redemption is such. That's why Lord Christ Jesus had to come and atone for our sins, because Him alone - eternal and infinite being, - can redeem an infinite and eternal guilt.


I mean, even in human affairs, there are crimes that carry guilt warranting to sentence the criminal for a life time! I don't know why it's surprising that offenses against God, an eternal being and being of infinite worth, does warrant such a thing?


Law is based on intrinsic worth, possessing inherent rights, that shouldn't be broken. When you break human law, it means you denote other human beings' intrinsic worth, stripping them off of certain rights - when you murder another, you then declare that you don't acknowledge his right to life and believe them to not be worhty of life. When you break God's Law, it means you denote God of His intrinsic worth, stripping Him of His right to conduct His creation and order it to a desired end of His, an end which He has the prerogative to hold, given He's the creator - thus, when you sin, you denote God's intrinsic worth, beliving Him to not be worthy to conduct His creation. Given God's being, then it means your sin carries an infinite guilt.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: kravarnik on June 17, 2016, 04:04:32 am
Hi everyone - I've been a Christian since I was 15 (I'm 30 next year) and it's been an awesome journey - I'm a big thinker, a doubter, a sceptic at times but the undeniability of Christ's prescence in my life is what has brought me through.

I'm sure this will have been asked before but I'm not sure what to search for in order to find it. My question is this;

We live sinful lives, apparently deserving of eternal punishment. We often speak of suffering in the sense that once compared to an eternal life with God, it pales into insignificance, and will actually become easier to deal with, if one has that perspective. Converse to this, couldn't the same be said about sin/hell? Once an unsaved person has spent 10,000 years (and set to endure infinitely longer) being punished for the sins of what is an incredibly short life in comparison, couldn't it be said that the sins committed will pale in comparison to the eternal suffering to which they are condemned? And therefore isn't it unjust?

I've heard arguments about our lack of understanding on the severity of sin, but it just doesn't sit right with me. If I lived a completely sinless life apart from the acknowledgement of Jesus (maybe I only heard of him once in the passing and discarded it), do I deserve to be eternally punished for this?

Yes, only God knows the severity of sin, but do I just have to accept this?

Hey, mcphee123.


As I said to Miles, I think you're looking at this from the wrong angle. When we introduce the concept of guilt, then the situation has one more dimension to it. Often we break the law over things that are of contingent, finite and revocable nature, but the fundamental implication of breaking the law is that we demean other moral beings' intrinsic worth(the victims of the crime that is). That same thing is done when we sin against God, even if the crime has nothing to do with God - say, we broke into someone's house and stole their possessions, - it is still an offense against God, because it goes against His revealed Law and intended order for creation. So, fundamentally, we don't only carry guilt for demeaning the guy's whose house we broke into and whose possessions we stole, but also for offending God's intrinsic worth, for breaking His intended order and for stripping Him off of His rights to be in that position - to guide His creation.


See, if justice had only to do with revocable loss, and the repayment of it, then God would have simply made Adam and Eve puke the fruit they ate. But, that's not the case. Justice has to do with intrinsic worth, essential being and the legal rights that come with those. And when Adam and Eve sinned against God, God didn't make it a big deal, because He really cared about this fruit, but because they rebelled against Him and didn't acknowledge Him as the rightful being to guide them, and listened to Satan instead.


So, justice does not only deal with loss of certain material - finite and contingent - possession and their eventual recovery at the expense of the criminal. It deals with intrinsic worth, essential being and the legal rights that accompany those. For example, an animal is not a moral agent, or even if one grants that it is, it's not of the same intrinsic worth and essential being, as human beings are. And, then, there are things that aren't OK to do with human beings, but are OK to do with animals - say, it's wrong to murder human beings and then eat them, but it isn't wrong to slay an animal and eat it. If justice was all about recovering material possessions that were unlawfully broken, or damaged, then we would be legally guilty for stepping on an ant and deserving of punishment. However, that's not the case - and justice is not only about these, although they are essential to justice, but more about intrinsic worth and essential being(having God breathed spirit and being a moral agent) and the legal rights that come with them(rights to life, rights to freely choose, rights to speak your mind openly, rights to think for yourself, rights to have things you have produced yourself, through your own effort to belong to you and be your lawful property, etc.), and when these are stepped over, then a crime has been done. And such crime carries guilt - say, a dictator denies the right to his opposition to speak against him in public and instill negative opinions about him, but then, after 30 years of such policy, he changes and lets people speak against him for another 30 years... justice wasn't done, because these 30 years of freely expressing negative opinions of him, do not redeem these 30 years of opression. So, there's a guilt that needs to be redeemed by that dictator, and the mere revocery of free speech, does not erase the guilt for his previous opression of it.


That's how I understand it. Sorry for the long post.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: Paterfamilia on June 26, 2016, 12:57:41 pm
In my opinion, no.  I believe annihilation has a very strong scriptural basis - much stronger than eternal suffering.
Seventh-Day Adventists believe that God annihilates the damned.  So I wonder whether their belief can promote license.


Well I think we should remember that we are separated into goats and sheep based on our heart condition.  God is not fooled or mocked by one who says in his heart that God will ignore his attitude of rebellion.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: JTega6 on December 06, 2018, 06:44:50 pm
It seems as if your argument goes like this:

If a punishment is just, then its severity matches the wrong-doing committed.
Humans’ wrong-doing, sin, is finite.
God’s punishment for humans’ sin, spending eternity in hell, is infinite
If an infinite punishment is more severe than a finite wrong-doing, then God’s punishment for humans does not match the severity of humans’ wrong-doing.
An infinite punishment is much more severe than a finite wrong-doing.
Therefore, God’s punishment for humans does not match the severity of humans’ wrong-doing. (MP 4,5)
Therefore, God’s punishment for humans is unjust. (MT 1,6)

   I would direct an objection to premise 2 in this argument. The problem with this argument is that the first two premises of it support the belief that the only factor that decides the severity of human sin is the actual sin, but this is not true. Just as in every other scenario where someone commits a crime, the actual action that a person commits is not the only factor in the severity of the crime. Who a crime was committed against also plays a role in the severity of the crime. For instance, under United States law being found guilty for threatening someone would result in a five year prison sentence. On the other hand, if someone is found guilty for threatening a United States judge or federal law enforcement officer that is a ten year jail sentence, double even that if one is found guilty of threatening the president. In each of these scenarios the crime is the same, threatening another human being, yet the punishments are different. This is because who one commits a crime against changes the severity of the crime.
   Qualities factor into the severity of a wrong-doing. In the case of the sins that humans commit, if they were just against other humans, then they would be finite, as humans possess finite qualities. Instead though, each sin that a human commits is not only against his fellow man but also God. God is an infinitely good being, therefore any act that is committed against God is not the same severity as an act committed against man. If committing the same act against the president is four times as severe as committing an act against a regular person, and this is because the president is more important, powerful, etc. than the average person, and God is infinitely more important, powerful, good, etc. than the president it would stand to reason that a sin against God is an infinitely severe sin. Therefore, since the punishment one experiences when committing a sin should match the severity of the wrong committed, a just punishment for humans would be an infinite punishment.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: jayceeii on December 10, 2018, 09:25:57 am
...it would stand to reason that a sin against God is an infinitely severe sin. Therefore, since the punishment one experiences when committing a sin should match the severity of the wrong committed, a just punishment for humans would be an infinite punishment.
Your argument has weight, but you may not quite appreciate why. Let us say instead of eternal punishment, a punishment so long it seems like eternity. Then, instead of specific acts, let us speak about propensities, that in a given situation the individual will always make the same evil choices. It then doesn’t matter if God appears, a prophet, or a person who was somehow transported back in time to testify how the problems men are causing today afflict the offspring of their offspring, as they defend their offspring as life’s central value. The sinful man says, “I will not obey, I will do things my way,” offering violence as his only argument. Such a one cannot be reached by any means, so “hell” awaits him.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: bennettmbiggers on September 30, 2019, 08:49:41 am
To properly dialogue about hell, a common understanding and definition of hell must first be established. With that being said, I’m not entirely sure you and I share the same understanding and definition of hell. However, I’d like to reflect on your question nevertheless. From my understanding, it sounds like this might be your argument:

1. If a person lives a sinful life without being saved by Jesus, then he will be infinitely punished.
2. If he will be punished infinitely, he will be punished far longer than the duration of a lifespan.
3. If he will be punished far longer than the duration of a lifespan, then the action pales in comparison to the consequence.
4. If a person lives a sinful life without being saved by Jesus, infinite punishment is unjust. (HS: 1,2,3)

While it is a bit strange to imagine an infinite punishment because of a finite choice, I do not believe it to be unjust. Let me explain. Forget the temporal aspect of the argument, and consider what hell might be. For the sake of the discussion, let’s say that hell is, at minimum, full separation from God. I think that almost any Christian should be able to agree on that point. Now, moving forward, as we explore the justness or unjustness of eternal hell, simply substitute “hell” for “separation from God”. I would argue that he who ends up eternally separated from God is in no way surprised by that reality, rather he has chosen separation and has simply gotten what he asked for. Further, it seems that moving away from God might work the same way that moving toward God works. I am playing off an idea that CS Lewis talks about in Mere Christianity; he writes, “Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse - so gradually that the increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years”.
   
I think Lewis is making a very strong case here. Effectively, he is giving man the option as simply as possible: heaven or hell. “The kingdom of God”, which Jesus speaks of quite often as being here and now, is apparently matched in here-ness and now-ness by “the kingdom of Satan” according to Lewis. Man takes himself to hell, or man takes himself to heaven. Obviously there’s a bit more to the picture, but I think this does give some explanation to the concept of justness, in the way that man takes himself to hell… it is ultimately exactly what he had in mind! Perhaps, my argument would look like this:

1. A man will either end up in Heaven (intimacy with God), or he will end up in Hell (total separation from God)
2. A man that does not want intimacy with God will not find intimacy with God.
3. A man that does not want intimacy with God would rather be separated from God, so he would end up in separation from God, Hell. (DS: 1,2)
4. If a man ends up in Hell, then he must have desired to do so.
5. If a man desires separation from God and ends up in Hell, then he gets what he wanted.
6. If a man gets what he wanted, then his reality is not unjust.
7. If a man ends up in hell, then his reality is not unjust. (HS: 4,5,6)
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: jayceeii on October 01, 2019, 09:15:24 am
To properly dialogue about hell, a common understanding and definition of hell must first be established. With that being said, I’m not entirely sure you and I share the same understanding and definition of hell. However, I’d like to reflect on your question nevertheless. From my understanding, it sounds like this might be your argument:

1. If a person lives a sinful life without being saved by Jesus, then he will be infinitely punished.
2. If he will be punished infinitely, he will be punished far longer than the duration of a lifespan.
3. If he will be punished far longer than the duration of a lifespan, then the action pales in comparison to the consequence.
4. If a person lives a sinful life without being saved by Jesus, infinite punishment is unjust. (HS: 1,2,3)

While it is a bit strange to imagine an infinite punishment because of a finite choice, I do not believe it to be unjust. Let me explain. Forget the temporal aspect of the argument, and consider what hell might be. For the sake of the discussion, let’s say that hell is, at minimum, full separation from God. I think that almost any Christian should be able to agree on that point. Now, moving forward, as we explore the justness or unjustness of eternal hell, simply substitute “hell” for “separation from God”. I would argue that he who ends up eternally separated from God is in no way surprised by that reality, rather he has chosen separation and has simply gotten what he asked for. Further, it seems that moving away from God might work the same way that moving toward God works. I am playing off an idea that CS Lewis talks about in Mere Christianity; he writes, “Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse - so gradually that the increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years”.
   
I think Lewis is making a very strong case here. Effectively, he is giving man the option as simply as possible: heaven or hell. “The kingdom of God”, which Jesus speaks of quite often as being here and now, is apparently matched in here-ness and now-ness by “the kingdom of Satan” according to Lewis. Man takes himself to hell, or man takes himself to heaven. Obviously there’s a bit more to the picture, but I think this does give some explanation to the concept of justness, in the way that man takes himself to hell… it is ultimately exactly what he had in mind! Perhaps, my argument would look like this:

1. A man will either end up in Heaven (intimacy with God), or he will end up in Hell (total separation from God)
2. A man that does not want intimacy with God will not find intimacy with God.
3. A man that does not want intimacy with God would rather be separated from God, so he would end up in separation from God, Hell. (DS: 1,2)
4. If a man ends up in Hell, then he must have desired to do so.
5. If a man desires separation from God and ends up in Hell, then he gets what he wanted.
6. If a man gets what he wanted, then his reality is not unjust.
7. If a man ends up in hell, then his reality is not unjust. (HS: 4,5,6)
Wanting to “be with God” is one of the most utterly meaningless statements found in the world. Nobody knows what that means, and nobody really cares. In general what people mean by this if they mean anything at all, is related to certain low-level experiences that are innate to the souls on their journey. Always when they find out the external God is not like them, and in fact is almost the total reverse in every way, they rebel against Him.

All men are inherently separated from God, and in fact His natural enemies, which is the meaning of the fall. The Bible and other religions presented false stories of reconciliation. As these stories are accepted, nobody is understanding being with God would be found to be extremely unpleasant. This is why Isaiah wrote that the Incarnation is despised and rejected, and “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord.” As Christians imagine “being with God,” they are thinking of endless pleasures while retaining their selfish drives, and such is the primitive concept of heaven.
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: bennettmbiggers on October 30, 2019, 03:09:33 pm
I am curious how you arrive at this statement: "In general what people mean by this if they mean anything at all, is related to certain low-level experiences that are innate to the souls on their journey. Always when they find out the external God is not like them, and in fact is almost the total reverse in every way, they rebel against Him." My question for you is this: how do you know that when someone says "I desire intimacy with God", it's actually just a product of a "low-level experience" innate to that person's soul? Further, what evidence do you have that would back up your statement about rebelling against God? You use the world "always", which certainly sparks my interest. Did Jesus not come to earth, fully man, yet fully God? And if Jesus did come to earth as fully God, did everyone rebel against him? Well, I would agree that a good number of people did rebel, but a good number of people certainly did not rebel. He certainly had disciples. What I mean in saying this is that real people like you and me encountered the real God and did not rebel against him. I definitely agree that human nature is in a strained relationship with God— as in, the fall has separated us from God and as a result we are inclined to rebel against him. With that being said, however, I think to say that “always… they rebel against Him” is to forget that Jesus had disciples who actually followed him. Perhaps there is no one living now who really desires intimacy with God and we are all actually just fooling ourselves with this “low-level experience” innate to our souls, but that is not what I’m concerned with right now in this short note. I’d rather like to call your attention to the vastness of your statement. In response to your use of the world “always”, I responded with the example of the disciples, and how they did not rebel against God. Have I understood your statement correctly? If not, could you please inform me of where I am mistaken?
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: bennettmbiggers on October 30, 2019, 03:14:07 pm
To properly dialogue about hell, a common understanding and definition of hell must first be established. With that being said, I’m not entirely sure you and I share the same understanding and definition of hell. However, I’d like to reflect on your question nevertheless. From my understanding, it sounds like this might be your argument:

1. If a person lives a sinful life without being saved by Jesus, then he will be infinitely punished.
2. If he will be punished infinitely, he will be punished far longer than the duration of a lifespan.
3. If he will be punished far longer than the duration of a lifespan, then the action pales in comparison to the consequence.
4. If a person lives a sinful life without being saved by Jesus, infinite punishment is unjust. (HS: 1,2,3)

While it is a bit strange to imagine an infinite punishment because of a finite choice, I do not believe it to be unjust. Let me explain. Forget the temporal aspect of the argument, and consider what hell might be. For the sake of the discussion, let’s say that hell is, at minimum, full separation from God. I think that almost any Christian should be able to agree on that point. Now, moving forward, as we explore the justness or unjustness of eternal hell, simply substitute “hell” for “separation from God”. I would argue that he who ends up eternally separated from God is in no way surprised by that reality, rather he has chosen separation and has simply gotten what he asked for. Further, it seems that moving away from God might work the same way that moving toward God works. I am playing off an idea that CS Lewis talks about in Mere Christianity; he writes, “Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse - so gradually that the increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years”.
   
I think Lewis is making a very strong case here. Effectively, he is giving man the option as simply as possible: heaven or hell. “The kingdom of God”, which Jesus speaks of quite often as being here and now, is apparently matched in here-ness and now-ness by “the kingdom of Satan” according to Lewis. Man takes himself to hell, or man takes himself to heaven. Obviously there’s a bit more to the picture, but I think this does give some explanation to the concept of justness, in the way that man takes himself to hell… it is ultimately exactly what he had in mind! Perhaps, my argument would look like this:

1. A man will either end up in Heaven (intimacy with God), or he will end up in Hell (total separation from God)
2. A man that does not want intimacy with God will not find intimacy with God.
3. A man that does not want intimacy with God would rather be separated from God, so he would end up in separation from God, Hell. (DS: 1,2)
4. If a man ends up in Hell, then he must have desired to do so.
5. If a man desires separation from God and ends up in Hell, then he gets what he wanted.
6. If a man gets what he wanted, then his reality is not unjust.
7. If a man ends up in hell, then his reality is not unjust. (HS: 4,5,6)
Wanting to “be with God” is one of the most utterly meaningless statements found in the world. Nobody knows what that means, and nobody really cares. In general what people mean by this if they mean anything at all, is related to certain low-level experiences that are innate to the souls on their journey. Always when they find out the external God is not like them, and in fact is almost the total reverse in every way, they rebel against Him.

All men are inherently separated from God, and in fact His natural enemies, which is the meaning of the fall. The Bible and other religions presented false stories of reconciliation. As these stories are accepted, nobody is understanding being with God would be found to be extremely unpleasant. This is why Isaiah wrote that the Incarnation is despised and rejected, and “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord.” As Christians imagine “being with God,” they are thinking of endless pleasures while retaining their selfish drives, and such is the primitive concept of heaven.

I am curious how you arrive at this statement: "In general what people mean by this if they mean anything at all, is related to certain low-level experiences that are innate to the souls on their journey. Always when they find out the external God is not like them, and in fact is almost the total reverse in every way, they rebel against Him." My question for you is this: how do you know that when someone says "I desire intimacy with God", it's actually just a product of a "low-level experience" innate to that person's soul? Further, what evidence do you have that would back up your statement about rebelling against God? You use the world "always", which certainly sparks my interest. Did Jesus not come to earth, fully man, yet fully God? And if Jesus did come to earth as fully God, did everyone rebel against him? Well, I would agree that a good number of people did rebel, but a good number of people certainly did not rebel. He certainly had disciples. What I mean in saying this is that real people like you and me encountered the real God and did not rebel against him. I definitely agree that human nature is in a strained relationship with God— as in, the fall has separated us from God and as a result we are inclined to rebel against him. With that being said, however, I think to say that “always… they rebel against Him” is to forget that Jesus had disciples who actually followed him. Perhaps there is no one living now who really desires intimacy with God and we are all actually just fooling ourselves with this “low-level experience” innate to our souls, but that is not what I’m concerned with right now in this short note. I’d rather like to call your attention to the vastness of your statement. In response to your use of the world “always”, I responded with the example of the disciples, and how they did not rebel against God. Have I understood your statement correctly? If not, could you please inform me of where I am mistaken?
Title: Re: The reality of hell
Post by: jayceeii on November 12, 2019, 07:55:17 am
The good news, in a way, is that the devils are happier in hell. As Blake hinted in some poetry, they find the amusements of the angels like “torments and insanity.” Swedenborg wrote about this too. If devils are happy in their own place, they are only unhappy or “condemned” from the perspective of those who know what greater joys were possible.