Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our Finial Scene

In the video below we see Don Giovanni going to hell.

Distraught, Elvira enters and begs Giovanni to repent, but he dismisses her contemptuously. As she leaves, she screams in terror — the stone guest has arrived. Leporello hides. The statue speaks: "Don Giovanni, you have invited me to supper." The statue invites Giovanni to supper in return, which Giovanni accepts by giving his hand to the statue. The moment the statue seizes his hand, Don Giovanni feels pain and terror, and eventually is dragged down to hell. The other principals appear and sing the moral of the story: As you live, so shall you die.

I’ve heard several Christians say that they don’t believe in hell that God just wouldn’t do that to his children.

I’ve read several passages that make me believe that there is a hell and it ain’t a place that I ever want to be.

Do you believe in hell?

Do you think that those who don’t believe in hell are tender hearted or afraid?


codepoke said...

I'm not surprised you have so few comments here. It's a tough subject. Nobody can really swallow the thought of eternal torment for those they love, but nobody can reject it either. Hence silence.

Of course, KB has been stirring up a bunch of universalists. Their theory is that God eventually saves everyone somehow. They take a couple verses that present the future as optimistically as they can, and ignore a couple hands full of the realistic words of our Lord.

My father died in rebellion against God. I loved him. I really did, so I really have to think about this.

It is made clear that my father will answer to God for the rebellion he he lived in, and his answer will result in a judgement of guilty. This is just. My father attended church, confessed Christ, and then rejected Him. He was baptized, and rejected his own baptism and the God Who required it. There was no ignorance here.

At the end of time, our final scene, as you say, these will be sent away to be burned. They will be cast into the lake of fire along with the devil and his angels. And there, I tend to believe, my father will be consumed and pass from existence.

Rev 20:10 says that the beast and the false prophet are in the lake of fire, and that the devil is going to join them there. Then it says that someone is to be tormented day and night forever and ever, whether the devil or the beast and false prophet, or everyone is not clear. So far as I know, that is the only verse in scripture that says that anyone is tormented forever and ever. Every other verse says that the lake of fire lasts forever and ever, but does not explicitly say that the dead will exist as long as the lake.

The second death is the casting into the lake of fire, and then death itself and hell itself are both cast into the lake of fire - where they pass from existence. Christ talks about people being burned up like so much discarded yard waste. I don't torment my yard waste forever. I burn it up, and toss the ashes.

My father was never alive to God. He was a false Christian, and left the faith at the first persecution. I believe that when the great judgement is over, we will find that only those people who were alive to God were ever truly alive. The rest enjoyed a half-life, suffered their just punishment, and passed forever away.

In witnessing, I never emphasize hell, but the judgement of God. That they will stand before God and answer for the decision they are making right now. That strikes me as truer, more like Christ's own preaching, and more effective than emphasizing hell.

laymond said...

It is not a difficult subject for me at all, there is no place in the bible where it is said that the non-believer is going to be thrown into a lake of fire and remain there for eternity. as codepoke said they will be destroyed as if they never existed. we only get this discription of "Hell" in books written by man and evil men at that. it is laid out plain in scripture what the reward of the non-believer is destruction.
this idea of eternal fire and brimstone was preached in the early days to scare people into the church, it has failed, you can't scare or beat people into loving God. If we just tell the truth and give the true options eternal life with God, or eternal death with Satan which would most choose. these crazy notions have villified God and turned more people to their distruction than most anything I can name right off hand. No God did not intend that any one would go to hell much less go to eternal pain and suffering.

laymond said...

BTW Milly, I have debated this subject many times with the ultra-conservatice branch of the CoC. and when you pull out the scriptures on them they turn and run, will not discuss it futher, I will put my understanding of the scripture up against anyone who wishes to debate this subject. May God bless

byevad said...

I believe that hell is real. I also believe that it's not my goal! Thirdly, the empirical evidence shows that fear is a motivator that may work at first but will ultimately fail. Hence, those who are motivated to love God in order to avoid the destination of hell... well, it's only a matter of time before that motivation falls apart.

Love is a longer lasting motivator!

Kansas Bob said...

As codepoke referenced I have had many discussions on this with some very passionate and dogmatic universalists ... see my Divine Pets post.

My take on Hell is that Jesus talked about it ... the story in Luke 16:19-31 of the Rich Man and Lazarus is nothing short of frightening ... it says that the rich man in torment was a "certain man" ... I guess I am just not willing to blow that one off.

All of that said, I think that many many many more will escape Hell than we think. I am glad that God is the judge.

karen said...

I believe that there is punishment for those who have chosen to turn away from God.. for a time.
Hell in the Bible is mistranslated; Gehenna, Tartarus, and Hades. Gehenna was the trash pit outside Jerusalem...you can go there today, lovely valley. Tartarus is a place that naughty messengers (angels)were sent, and Hades was the dark unseen place separate from God. Punishment, yes. For eternity? I don't know. Matt. 25:46 has aionios translated as eternal in most works, but it means eonian, or for a set period of time. Eon, not eternity.
Don't know. Still searching. "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; but the glory of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2

Smith said...

For God, we all are Children.
It is we, whose activities a nd action select if we will go to Heaven or Hell. Balance sheet of our activities decide this, God just implements it.