Nature of God

Eternity

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Re: The reality of hell
« Reply #15 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?

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Re: The reality of hell
« Reply #16 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?

2

jayceeii

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Re: The reality of hell
« Reply #17 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.