Hell

It used to be hard for me to imagine that anyone would want to go to hell, but looking around me these days, I can see it. So many are eager to create hell on earth, and work hard at it. For them heaven would be some kind of punishment, they are so vexed by God.

100% agree. I think the presence of God will be the same in both heaven and hell. Hell is a separation from God in one sense. At the same time, the unrepentant will "be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb, ... And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name" (Revelation 14).

The difference as you said, is those in hell will feel intense torment at the presence of God while those in heaven will feel intense joy and blessedness in His presence.

This is my own reading based on the Bible and my own thoughts... what is the Orthodox point of view on this? Is God present in hell? And, what is the direct cause of their torments, as in, who inflicts the punishment? By what we are saying, it seems they inflict the punishment on themselves by their own hatred and willful rebellion, which becomes a permanent and extremely painful state.
 
100% agree. I think the presence of God will be the same in both heaven and hell. Hell is a separation from God in one sense. At the same time, the unrepentant will "be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb, ... And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name" (Revelation 14).

The difference as you said, is those in hell will feel intense torment at the presence of God while those in heaven will feel intense joy and blessedness in His presence.

This is my own reading based on the Bible and my own thoughts... what is the Orthodox point of view on this? Is God present in hell? And, what is the direct cause of their torments, as in, who inflicts the punishment? By what we are saying, it seems they inflict the punishment on themselves by their own hatred and willful rebellion, which becomes a permanent and extremely painful state.

I seem to remember reading verses that suggest the angels are only present for the deliverance of souls to Hell. Think of them as prison guards who can go home permanently after locking the inmate away. I am not disagreeing, I'm just saying I am not sure about it.
 
Its one doctrine in which I hope eventual annihilation is true. Because I think its utterly horrific for there to be torment for all eternity that though sinners deserve punishment I would want them to cease to exist at some point after paying their dues.

Its this doctrine that gives rise to secular notions of God being a Sadistic monster in their view. I hope I am not blaspheming.
 
Its one doctrine in which I hope eventual annihilation is true. Because I think its utterly horrific for there to be torment for all eternity that though sinners deserve punishment I would want them to cease to exist at some point after paying their dues.

Its this doctrine that gives rise to secular notions of God being a Sadistic monster in their view. I hope I am not blaspheming.

Definitely not blasphemy. I'm sure God is simply pleased that we are thinking about Him and talking about his Word. Hell is the most terrifying thing imaginable. If Jesus hadn't talked about it so much I might skew toward some "soul sleep" or "purgatory" idea. But Christ definitely wanted us to know two things 1) you must believe on me, it is an imperative, and if you do there is a kingdom of paradise, and I have a mansion awaiting you. And 2) if you don't believe on me, there is a Hell, and that is where you are going.
 
Definitely not blasphemy. I'm sure God is simply pleased that we are thinking about Him and talking about his Word. Hell is the most terrifying thing imaginable. If Jesus hadn't talked about it so much I might skew toward some "soul sleep" or "purgatory" idea. But Christ definitely wanted us to know two things 1) you must believe on me, it is an imperative, and if you do there is a kingdom of paradise, and I have a mansion awaiting you. And 2) if you don't believe on me, there is a Hell, and that is where you are going.

When put that way. To minimize the torment of hell and the maximization of the reward of the righteous. I Pray for quick ends for the unrepentant sinner who God foreknows will never repent. And for the long life of the righteous.

The more people live the more sins they accumulate and the worse their punishment in hell.
 

Jive Turkey

Woodpecker
When put that way. To minimize the torment of hell and the maximization of the reward of the righteous. I Pray for quick ends for the unrepentant sinner who God foreknows will never repent. And for the long life of the righteous.

The more people live the more sins they accumulate and the worse their punishment in hell.
The wheat from chaff verse gives me hope. I hope that after the general resurrection the eternal fire is a fire of destruction. We can hope that sinners will be put to rest.

I can't remember the source, but it was I believe Orthodox or Catholic and there was some eschatological theory that Mother Mary will put herself in Hell as a sacrifice to "make" God want to end Hell, essentially holding herself for the damned. I don't know what theological foundation that theory has, or even if it isn't blasphemous, but I heard that. Hope it doesn't come to that though. I suppose we will all have our answer one day.
 
When put that way. To minimize the torment of hell and the maximization of the reward of the righteous. I Pray for quick ends for the unrepentant sinner who God foreknows will never repent. And for the long life of the righteous.

The more people live the more sins they accumulate and the worse their punishment in hell.

For sure. I also have heard that although Hell is permanent, that maybe there are "levels." Some worse than others. I do 100% believe in its permanence and that it really sucks, but just as there are individual rewards for those in Heaven, maybe Hell is similarly not the same experience for everyone.

Also, Satan himself is actually not in Hell yet. He moves about freely. He won't be banished to Hell until the end of Christ's millenial reign. And you have to assume Satan is worse than any human ever, right? So if there's levels, oh boy would Satan's individual level suck.
 
For sure. I also have heard that although Hell is permanent, that maybe there are "levels." Some worse than others. I do 100% believe in its permanence and that it really sucks, but just as there are individual rewards for those in Heaven, maybe Hell is similarly not the same experience for everyone.

Also, Satan himself is actually not in Hell yet. He moves about freely. He won't be banished to Hell until the end of Christ's millenial reign. And you have to assume Satan is worse than any human ever, right? So if there's levels, oh boy would Satan's individual level suck.

Indeed. One of the dumbest reversals of reality in pop culture is when you see the devil in hell, with his laughing evil minions, gleefully tormenting sinners.

In reality of course it is God who created the fire and Satan who burns there, likely suffering worse than anyone else as justice demands.

The false pop culture reversal, which I've even seen in innocent-looking kid's cartoons from the pre-1950's, makes Satan look cool and powerful, and makes it seem like hell could be a fun place to go if you somehow get on Satan's side. Pure deception.
 
We can hope that sinners will be put to rest.

Yes, if they accept the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. Otherwise the Bible is very clear about their fate, which is eternal torment, never being put to rest.

I agree it's hard to imagine how this can be. But, God does not require my approval, and God does not have to bend to my idea of what is morally acceptable. It's the other way around.

I think failure to understand how God can allow eternal punishment in hell, is failure to grasp at least one of these:
- The perfection of His law
- How bad sin is, and how much the natural man loves it
- The requirements of perfect justice
- The sacrificial atonement that makes it possible to escape hell and be transformed to become like God, leaving no excuse for anyone who chooses to continue in sin
 

brotherjimbob

Woodpecker
Is there anything that backs up the Jordan Peterson idea that if you keep doing whatever [badness] you're doing you'll end up in your own personal hell?

My personal hell would be Bill Gates has been demonically possessed and is on a mission to vax the planet with a toxic vaccine...

Ta-daaaaaaa!
 
Is there anything that backs up the Jordan Peterson idea that if you keep doing whatever [badness] you're doing you'll end up in your own personal hell?

I assume you mean on Earth, instead of after death. I disagree... often, unrepentant sinners prosper in the world, and receive their punishment only in the hereafter:

For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches...

But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.

Psalm 73:1-12, 18-20

I see many verses in the Bible seem to show unrepentant sinners are destroyed outright, while other verses indicate eternal, continuous punishment. I am not wise enough to know exactly what God will do to each of them. One thing is for sure, they will be punished beyond anything we can imagine.

Along with me too, if I am self-deceived and actually one of them.

We must fear God, not try to reason our way out of eternal damnation. The way out has already been provided: faith in Jesus Christ, and the saving power of His atonement on the cross. I cannot reason my way out of hell, instead I must accept the salvation from hell which God already made available by unimaginable suffering in His own body, because of His great love for us.

Proverbs 1:7a The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge

Proverbs 14;27
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.

Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.

2 Samuel 23:3-7 (King David's last words)
“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
‘He who rules over men must be just,
Ruling in the fear of God.
And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
Like the tender grass springing out of the earth,
By clear shining after rain.’

“Although my house is not so with God,
Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant,
Ordered in all things and secure.
For this is all my salvation and all my desire;
Will He not make it increase?
But the sons of rebellion shall all be as thorns thrust away,
Because they cannot be taken with hands.
But the man who touches them
Must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear,
And they shall be utterly burned with fire in their place.”

At the same time, there is 1 John 4:18-19: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us."

This is one of many topics where, to my limited mind, the Bible seems to contradict itself. It cannot, so both sides of this coin must be true at the same time. That might not hold up in a philosophical discourse, but God is higher than philosophers. Whatever the Bible says, including apparent contradictions, all of it is true, and all of it should be preached. That is my firm belief. All will be made clear in the end, for those of us who have faith and persevere.
 
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I assume you mean on Earth, instead of after death. I disagree... often, unrepentant sinners prosper in the world, and receive their punishment only in the hereafter:



I see many verses in the Bible seem to show unrepentant sinners are destroyed outright, while other verses indicate eternal, continuous punishment. I am not wise enough to know exactly what God will do to each of them. One thing is for sure, they will be punished beyond anything we can imagine.

Along with me too, if I am self-deceived and actually one of them.

We must fear God, not try to reason our way out of eternal damnation. The way out has already been provided: faith in Jesus Christ, and the saving power of His atonement on the cross. I cannot reason my way out of hell, instead I must accept the salvation from hell which God already made available by unimaginable suffering in His own body, because of His great love for us.



At the same time, there is 1 John 4:18-19: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us."

This is one of many topics where, to my limited mind, the Bible seems to contradict itself. It cannot, so both sides of this coin must be true at the same time. That might not hold up in a philosophical discourse, but God is higher than philosophers. Whatever the Bible says, including apparent contradictions, all of it is true, and all of it should be preached. That is my firm belief. All will be made clear in the end, for those of us who have faith and persevere.

It may be that Eternal torment without end is reserved for certain special groups of people. Like those who received the Mark of the Beast:
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,


10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall 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 ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.


Satan, The Beast, False Prophet and his Angels definitely will receive eternal punishment according to Scripture.

The nature of Angels is that they cannot be killed. Maybe they are indestructible therefore everlasting dying without actual oblivion is what happens to them as the 2nd Death.
 
Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." According to this verse, the wages of sin is death, and the gift of God is eternal life. This means that only the ones saved will be given the gift of eternal life. Eternally burning in hell is still eternal life. If the wages of sin is death, then do sinners really die if they live forever?

We can also look at Psalm 37:10 (“For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more”) as well as Psalm 68:2 (“As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish at the presence of God). These verses make clear that the purpose of hellfire is to eradicate sin, not simply punish it.

I hope I'm not blaspheming, but I just wanted to logically argue the point of hell not being eternal. I do believe that only God's faithful will receive eternal life. I would love to hear some counter-arguments and guidance on this issue.
 

Jive Turkey

Woodpecker
Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." According to this verse, the wages of sin is death, and the gift of God is eternal life. This means that only the ones saved will be given the gift of eternal life. Eternally burning in hell is still eternal life. If the wages of sin is death, then do sinners really die if they live forever?

We can also look at Psalm 37:10 (“For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more”) as well as Psalm 68:2 (“As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish at the presence of God). These verses make clear that the purpose of hellfire is to eradicate sin, not simply punish it.

I hope I'm not blaspheming, but I just wanted to logically argue the point of hell not being eternal. I do believe that only God's faithful will receive eternal life. I would love to hear some counter-arguments and guidance on this issue.
That is a really good interpretation of Romans 6:23. So maybe the unsaved will be suffering until the general resurrection and then be destroyed by the holy flame. Which also makes sense if the resurrection is to be physical. How can a body which has not undergone theosis survive an eternal flame? Another thing to consider is that the lake of fire and the flame is often referred to as eternal, but this does not necessarily imply that the people in the flame will burn forever, just that the fire will never go out.
 

Elipe

Pelican
No I totally feel you. It's extremely sad, and we should use that sadness to warn people. I also very much appreciate your words about the people who were abused. I feel that way about homosexuals. I know it is a grave sin, a capital offense punishable by death according to God's word. But I am also of the understanding that most homosexuals were sexually abused as children. Like, they didn't deserve that. It can be very just sad, very sad, when we take off the blinders and try to see through God's eyes. I know that these answers are best found in scripture, but no doubt we do have to trust his judgment. I know I deserve Hell, and I thank Jesus every day for saving me from my rightful place in Hell. I believe if we come to that simple understanding, that we all deserve Hell but Jesus saved us from that unbelievably grim fate, we can all dwell with him in Heaven.
My answer to this is: God does not grade us on a curve. Grading on a curve is what imperfect, fallen people do because perfection is impossible for us. So instead of striving toward the highest standard possible, we simply just curve the grade so that the highest standard is lower and more within our reach. The universities today demonstrate the weakness of that system, as it has become a race to the bottom as grades get curved lower and lower so that more people can pass, graduate, and get their degrees.

That is the human concept of hell. We want it to be like the university system. "Well, you didn't score a 90 for an A, but since you were in the top 10th percentile of the class, you get an A."

"Well, you didn't pass God's standard to be in heaven, but since you were in the top 10th percentile of sinners by not raping (you only had consensual sex), not murdering (you only hated), not telling big lies (you only told little white lies), and so on forth, you don't deserve to fail (go to hell)."

But God doesn't work that way. To God, an A is still an A, and anything else is a F. There are no grades. You simply, straight up pass or you fail. No extra credit, no retakes to make up for your bad grade. It's unfair in the same way that students today would scream "unfair" about a professor who refuses to grade on a curve. You're just mad because you suck and the system doesn't coddle you for sucking.

And humanity sucks. Which is why we need someone to take the exam on our behalf. Jesus Christ. He did. And He passed it with flying colors.

As for homosexuals being made that way by being molested as a child, to this I answer: a professor at an university who refuses to grade on a curve is not going to make an exception just because you suffered brain damage as a child. You are not eligible. Period. End of story. Yes, it's unfortunate that you can't get to be a rocket scientist if you're carrying around mush in your skull, but there's a reason we don't let those types of people become rocket scientists. Likewise, God has a reason for not permitting someone who engages freely in homosexuality into heaven just because he was "made that way" as a child.
 
I just wanted to logically argue the point of hell not being eternal. I do believe that only God's faithful will receive eternal life. I would love to hear some counter-arguments and guidance on this issue.

Your logical argument fails because you are verse-picking. This is one of those Biblical topics that has verses on both sides of the argument. Therefore, if you believe all scripture is true as I do, then both sides must be true: hell is eternal, and hell is also immediate destruction.

There have been a few points on this thread already shedding light on how that could be the case. Possibly some, like angels who exist eternally, will also be punished eternally, while mortal sinners are simply snuffed out? I don't know. But I do know it's not as simple as cherry-picking a few verses from only one side of the argument, ignoring the others, and calling it a day.

You need to consider the many, many references to eternal hell, such as those below, before claiming you "logically" proved eternal hell is not real.

Also I would err on the side of caution, being very hesitant to assume hell is not as bad as the Bible says it is, thinking "it's not eternal." I think that is one of Satan's favorite tricks: fooling people into denying God's word by failing to believe in the terrible reality of eternal hell, thus not being as afraid of sin as we should be.

Matthew 25:41,46. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels... And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Jude 1:7,13. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire...
Wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

2 Thessalonians 1:9. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might

Mark 9:43. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

Daniel 12:2. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 3:12. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

Luke 3:17. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

Isaiah 66:24. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Revelation 14:9b-11. If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.

Isaiah 33:14. The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?
 
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