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Thread: The Doctrine of Hell

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    The Doctrine of Hell

    So what about the doctrine of hell?

    1. Are the torments of hell without end?
    2. Are the torments of hell without measure (unmitigated with any sense of God's goodness)?
    3. Is there a hell at all for reprobates whom God has destined to go there?
    4. What exactly is the nature of hell anyway?

    What are your thoughts?
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    I’ll take these in reverse order
    4. What exactly is the nature of hell anyway?

    I don’t know exactly but hell is a place for punishment and wrath its purpose is to show the glory of God’s justice. I don’t however see it as a cosmic torture chamber we will be able to look upon it and be convinced of God’s glory. We will know that the punishment is fair.

    3. Is there a hell at all for reprobates whom God has destined to go there?

    Yep, the Bible is plain

    2. Are the torments of hell without measure (unmitigated with any sense of God's goodness)?

    I think reprobates will continue to see his goodness but to a much smaller extent. For the same reason that we will always be conscious of Christ’s sufferings on our behalf.

    1.Are the torments of hell without end?
    Today I lean toward yes but because God chooses to keep the reprobate alive not because there is anything naturally immortal in them.

    I also have some issues I hope this thread will help me with. Will the reprobate ever acknowledge that God is just to them or will they cry “poor me” for eternity? If they will forever be in a state of rebellion how can we say that all his enemies will have been defeated?

    I’m looking forward to having God teach me a lot here.

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    I must admit first I have to be pruned of my ideas of hell that have been shaped by my past arminian, dispensational tradition. So I'm not dogmatic about these things, but I have some thoughts of what they might be. Here goes...

    1.Are the torments of hell without end?

    Yes.
    Rev 14:9-11
    9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
    10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
    11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

    2. Are the torments of hell without measure (unmitigated with any sense of God's goodness)?
    I can't think of any scriptures off hand, but I'm sure since you posted these questions Bob you have some references. I do know Christ said that there would be weeping and nashing of teeth, and He likens hell to a furnace of fire (Matt 13:42 & 50), and outer darkness(Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). But I think that the hardness of the hearts of the reprobate will be as such that their hatered will burn with such intensity that they will not see, or acknowledge God's goodness.

    That is a good question because will they be able to understand that God is Holy and His wrath is a Holy wrath, and therefore what He is doing is good?

    3. Is there a hell at all for reprobates whom God has destined to go there?

    Yes, I agree with tomas1, the Bible is very clear on this issue. But I say that with a sneaky suspicion that there is a catch to this question.

    4. What exactly is the nature of hell anyway?
    All I know is that Rev 14:10 is very descriptive in that there will be some suffering going on forever and ever.


    Originally posted by tomas1
    Will the reprobate ever acknowledge that God is just to them or will they cry “poor me” for eternity?
    Rom 14:10-11 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, "AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD."

    I have heard this scripture used to say that one day everyone that has ever existed will one day "bow the knee." But I don't know if this is a faithful interpritation of this scripture, because in the context Paul is speaking of 'brother judging brother.'


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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    BT:
    So what about the doctrine of hell?

    1. Are the torments of hell without end?
    Absolutely!

    2. Are the torments of hell without measure (unmitigated with any sense of God's goodness)?
    By without measure I assume you mean without limit. Assuming you do, I believe they are not - i.e. they are limited. If they were really unlimited, they would be unbearable. How could someone enduring unbearable torture have a sensible conversation? (Luke 16)

    3. Is there a hell at all for reprobates whom God has destined to go there?Yes. Although it might not be called hell since the word Gehenna, translated as 'hell', was figurative, being the name of a valley in Israel.

    4. What exactly is the nature of hell anyway?
    Tough one. I think the various descriptions used are all symbolic, making it hard to define apart from what these images portray.

    Tomas1:
    Will the reprobate ever acknowledge that God is just to them or will they cry “poor me” for eternity?
    Not sure on this one! Perhaps the answer lies somewhere between the two extremes of continued and complete rebellion on the one hand and regret on the other? Does the "rich man" teach us anything here?

    Luke 16:27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

    One thought I have is that God holds the reprobate accountable for his sins. Yet are not reprobates pretty much ignorant of their sins? Thus I think that in judging them God will show them their sins leading me to think that they will have regrets. Perhaps this gives us a glimpse of the awful nature of their punishment: granted a glimpse of the Holy God whom they have offended and a deep sense of immovable guilt? Yet I think he will still hate God. But then that sounds contradictory so I'm gonna quit now and say I just don't know!

    If they will forever be in a state of rebellion how can we say that all his enemies will have been defeated? Well, perhaps we can say that because God's redemptive plans have been fulfilled? They have certainly been rendered powerless and ineffectual, unable to trouble God's Elect - an uncrossable great gulf has been fixed keeping them away - sounds pretty defeated to me.

    Martin

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    On the subject of the putting down of God's enemies, I believe that 1 Cor. 15:20-28 (a passage I will refer to a lot, since it is one of my favorite) is very enlightening. It is the subjection of his enemies to the Lordship and absolute rule of Christ that will end their rebellion. The perfection and justice of the final order is achieved, not by the end of rebellion in the hearts of the reprobate--but by the end of their ability to wage war against Christ in any successful outward act of rebellion. The kingdom of darkness is finally at an end; it has been absorbed into the kingdom of light. Even wrath and hell shall exalt the light of God's glory and be included in the kingdom subjected to God the Father.

    The four questions have been answered honestly and straight-forward; I have little to argue with. I would like to begin this discussion with the Old Testament. Which OT scriptures focus specifically on the final judgment of God in the conscious punishment of the wicked? Dan. 12:2 is explicit and perhaps we can begin our discussion there. Before we do that, should any other scriptures be included? I'm not referring to the massive number of references to the wicked being destroyed in the end. These are true enough--but might also be used to support a view of annihilation, unless additional evidence exists that the souls of the wicked will be kept conscious.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Hello Bill,

    Strangely enough, three weeks ago I began my own systematic study of Hell.

    For those who haven't, the three doctrinal positions are known as Universalism, Annihilationism, and the historic church teaching called Eternal Torment.

    It sounds Bill, like you're quite aways along in your own study. I should be through shortly, and would like to comment at that time.

    If it's any help, Psalm 11:5-6 appears to offer a view that is quite sweeping in it's indictment, with the advantage of NOT having been inspired by one of the prophets.

    Those verses of fire and brimstone attributed to prophets being disadvantaged in this discussion, in that in many cases fulfillment can be shown to have taken place in either of the destructions of Jerusalem.

    Tim

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    Although it might not be called hell since the word Gehenna, translated as 'hell', was figurative, being the name of a valley in Israel
    but there is also another word translated this way as well--hADHS (hades). the translation goes back to the early english version where neither term was distinguished when translated. from looking at the etymology of the word (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionar...a=hell&x=0&y=0), i can see why they translated hADHS with it, but i cannot understand why they rendered GEENNA (gehenna) that way. perhaps they understood them as synonyms (as the place/state of final judgment for the wicked) and so translated them identically. perhaps someone here knows more about the history here.

    nevertheless, i think it is clear that what we're talking about here is the eternal place/state of judgment for the wicked. whether we call it hell, hades, gehenna, or whatever...it's just a convenient label to refer to something in human terms which we can actually not even fathom. as paul says, we are speaking in human terms (ANQRWPINOS). we must always understand that there is probably a gap (or even a great chasm...pardoning the pun, cf. Lk 16) between our human understanding and the reality of things eternal. anyway, just to put some perspective into the discussion.
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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Tim said:
    For those who haven't, the three doctrinal positions are known as Universalism, Annihilationism, and the historic church teaching called Eternal Torment.

    Those Christians who hold to Conditional Immortality would grimace at your including their view with the Annihilationism of the JWs.


    BT said:
    The perfection and justice of the final order is achieved, not by the end of rebellion in the hearts of the reprobate--but by the end of their ability to wage war against Christ in any successful outward act of rebellion.

    Does this change Hell from a place of punishment to a quarantine area sort of like the way we now store smallpox in a secure area after banishing it from the population? If God must continually put forth effort not only to keep the reprobate alive but also to prevent them from contaminating the rest of creation can we say that they are truly defeated?

    Please understand I am not debate this again I just trying to get my mind around it all.

    The kingdom of darkness is finally at an end; it has been absorbed into the kingdom of light.

    If the kingdom of light exists in our hearts why can’t the kingdom of darkness exist in a reprobate heart?

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    If the kingdom of light exists in our hearts why can’t the kingdom of darkness exist in a reprobate heart?
    It probably does... But their gates won't prevail againts our attacks. :

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Tim: Having studied this intensely for about 25 years, I would also propose that universalism, annihilation, and eternal torment are certainly not the only 3 positions. As 'broad categories' of belief this may be somewhat of a correct evaluation, however, within each of these there are many variances of teaching. A fourth position or broad category is that of 'mystery'--and it has no small number of adherents. These teach that we cannot know the exact nature of the end of the wicked (especially on the matter of UNENDING suffering vs. AGES of suffering)--proposing that the teaching of the Bible, when viewed in its entirety, is not explicit on these details

    Ps. 11:5,6 is not a clear reference to eternal, conscious punishment and is used also by those who teach final extinction (eventual end of conscious punishment).

    I was hoping that someone would bring up Isa. 66:23,24 because that is where we should start this exchange re: the Old Testament (in my opinion). What is Isa. 66:23,24 really teaching? Opinions by scholars are legion and varied. Do the corpses mentioned in the passage feel conscious pain from the fire and worms; is that what Isaiah had in mind when he wrote it? Many, of course, believe that the imagery of Gehenna in the NT comes from these verses.

    Tomas:
    Does this change Hell from a place of punishment to a quarantine area sort of like the way we now store smallpox in a secure area after banishing it from the population?

    No, that is not what I had in mind at all! The idea here is that the wicked are rendered powerless.

    If God must continually put forth effort not only to keep the reprobate alive but also to prevent them from contaminating the rest of creation can we say that they are truly defeated?

    On the 'contamination' part I don't see what you're getting at. The righteous, being made immortal and incorruptible, cannot be contaminated by sin or the presence of reprobate souls. On 'effort', God is not busy and needs to put forth no 'effort' in the human sense to accomplish his will. As far as whether the reprobate are created as eternal souls & kept alive by the will of God, that is a topic for discussion here.

    The kingdom of God/heaven/light is not merely his rule in the hearts of his people. That is a GROSS misconception that so many have today (I'm not saying that Tomas believes this at all but I'm using the occassion to clarify my position). Christ has been exalted as Lord of ALL things (material as well as spiritual).
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    [QUOTE=BillTwisse] Having studied this intensely for about 25 years . . . Twenty five years and still no conclusion, Bill? Perhaps I should call off
    the dogs now . . .

    Tim

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    While keeping in step with God's 'absolute predestination' of all things, I was thinking about how that would apply to the suffering of the reprobate in Hell.

    Let me see if I can make this clear, and you guys can tell me if I'm off here. As far as our perception goes it appears that we have 'free-will', but we know from the word of God that we do not have free-will. Only by special revelation do we now understand that all things--and that includes our sin--has been predestined and are controled by God. Yet we cannot 'feel' God moving us, or sence with some kind of sixth sence that I am being turned by God, but yet we know this is true. Now when the reprobate is suffering in Hell, God would be the source of all of that suffering. Since that is true then it would flow that they would be conscious of that suffering, since they would be a 'living' vessle that God was working out this suffering in. In other words can God make rocks suffer? No, because they are not concious, but humans are; and we know that God is the source of all our actions.

    So it seems simple to me, if all the above is true (if you can understand it that is) , then all we have to establish is if the Bible says Hell is without end. Then conciousness part is then solved, because there isn't suffering without conciousness, and nothing is in existance thats not being controled by God.

    Mike


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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    On the 'contamination' part I don't see what you're getting at. The righteous, being made immortal and incorruptible, cannot be contaminated by sin or the presence of reprobate souls.

    The righteous can’t be contaminated even today we are kept secure by the Spirit. However reprobate souls will without Gods protective providence mess up the creation this is the reason why God confused the languages at Babel. And why God cleansed the earth with the flood.


    On 'effort', God is not busy and needs to put forth no 'effort' in the human sense to accomplish his will.

    Col 1:17He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.

    Although God’s “effort” is not the same as humans if God did nothing the reprobate like every thing else in creation would cease to exist. As much as they would like to deny it they like us have no independent existence. It is very important to remember that our God is not the god of the deist he is actively involved in his creation.
    I’m not saying that you (Bt) would disagree with this I just feel that in light of the hell stories that are told today we need to constantly remind ourselves of this fact.

    As far as whether the reprobate are created as eternal souls & kept alive by the will of God, that is a topic for discussion here.

    Could you define (eternal souls) for me?

    The kingdom of God/heaven/light is not merely his rule in the hearts of his people. That is a GROSS misconception that so many have today

    I whole-heartedly agree. This is exactly what I was trying to get at in the amill thread. I asked the question because I think that this is something Amills need to deal with

    Peace and thanks

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Reformed SSgt says:
    then all we have to establish is if the Bible says Hell is without end. Then conciousness part is then solved, because there isn't suffering without conciousness, and nothing is in existance thats not being controled by God.
    The question that might be asked is does eternal punishment require eternal suffering. It might be said that the death penalty is an eternal punishment its forever it cant be revoked except by resurrection but it does not involve eternal suffering. And Jesus’ crucifixion although lasting only a short time removed our sin for all eternity

    Once again forgive me if it seems I am debating. I agree with you guys I just want to vanquish all my doubts and I know this is the crew to do it.

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    The question that might be asked is does eternal punishment require eternal suffering. It might be said that the death penalty is an eternal punishment its forever it cant be revoked except by resurrection but it does not involve eternal suffering.
    Mark 9:44 (NKJV) where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'

    Mark 9:46 (NKJV) where Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'

    Mark 9:48 (NKJV) where Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.'

    Job 33:29 30, (NKJV) "Behold, God works all these things, Twice, in fact, three times with a man, To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life."

    I think the bible is clear on the reality of eternal suffering, rather than an everlasting punishment of being "snuffed out" into nothingness.

    I cannot recall the verses off hand, but I know scriptures speaks of God being the one to torment the unbeliever in Hell... Give me some time to see if I can find it.

    Scott

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    I knew it would not take long before the undying worm and fire came up. These are a references to Isaiah 66. Does the worm refer to the reprobate’s soul or to the unending nature of the disgrace? in Is 66:24 the worm and fire feed on corpses something unconscious by definition.

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Revelation 14;11, ``and the smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day and night, they that worship the beast and his image, and whoso receiveth the mark of his name.'' These words obviously refer to the punishment of the lost. The smoke of the torment of these lost ones is said to go up for ever and ever. Though we must not think of literal smoke here, the expression is meaningless if it is not intended to picture, in a vivid way, punishment which will never end. If the lost where reduced to non- existence, how could the smoke of their torment go up endlessly?.We are further told here revelation 14;11 that the individuals here described have no rest day and night. Annihilation can not be pictured here, for annihilation would mean a kind of rest. Ivor Thomas.

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    I firmly oppose annihilationism... I am curious - how can one make a stand for everlasting life in Christ without also making a case for everlasting death outside of Him?
    This is my signature.

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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    I firmly oppose annihilationism... I am curious - how can one make a stand for everlasting life in Christ without also making a case for everlasting death outside of Him?
    is anyone here advocating annihilationism? if so, speak up! let's talk
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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    Re: The Doctrine of Hell

    is anyone here advocating annihilationism? if so, speak up! let's talk

    not me

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