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God Is Love And Hell Is Not Real

  

Category:  Religion & Ethics

Via:  outis  •  3 months ago  •  7 comments

By:   Matthew Distefano

God Is Love And Hell Is Not Real



Hell is not real.

It's also quite real.

Hell is real in that it is an analogy for a certain state of mind or being in this life.



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I consider myself "Christian" in that I would like to be courageous enough to follow Him.

Likewise, I do not consider "Christian" anyone who is obviously not following Him.

He gave us One Commandment: "Love one another". 


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


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Hell is not real.

It's also quite real.

Hell is real in that it is an analogy for a certain state of mind or being in this life. Perhaps that even extends, to some extent, into the part of life that happens after our bodies die. But hell is not a place of torture we go to after we die. Nor is it a state of being that lasts forever and ever. After all, even Gehenna is nice this time of year.

But if were the case that many should suffer in hell, then Paul was wrong when he said that in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). He was wrong when he said that one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all (Romans 5:18). And he was wrong when he said that God will be merciful to all (Romans 11:32).

And look, maybe Paul was wrong. Maybe he overemphasized the grace of God. Maybe he misunderstood the power of Christ. Maybe people are snuffed out of existence or suffer for time everlasting. Maybe some of us are nothing more than "wood, hay, and stubble" and when that is burned away (1 Corinthians 3:12) there is nothing left but ash. No gem. No diamond. No gold. No silver. No precious metal. Dust and ash only. A speck on the chronicles of history.

But I have no reason to believe that.

If God is love then this type of hell that most Christians talk about isn't real. If God is love and has any power whatsoever, then that can't be the plan. If God is love then no amount of wrongs could ever blot out that which God loves. If God is love then wrongs aren't kept on the books anyway (1 Corinthians 13:5).

So why do Christians maintain that hell is very real and that most will go there? Because fear is a trap. And hell is the ultimate fear.

But again, if you know God then you know love, and perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Do the fearful Christians really know God then? That's not up to me to decide. I can only speak for myself. Hear me when I say this, though: I didn't know God when I knew the fear of hell.

Don't get it twisted, though. God knew me. God's always known me. I just didn't know God. I knew a distorted version of God. I knew a theology - of wrath, of hell, of fear, of retribution, of violence, of abuse, of manipulation, of quid pro quo, of death. But none of these characterizations are of God. They are but projections spawned from the pits of hell itself.

Maybe the belief in hell is hell. Maybe we really do reap what we sow. Maybe if we sow fear, we'll get fear. Maybe we get the god we believe in. Does that make these gods real?

No.

And yes.

No in that they are nothing more than theological manifestations of internal fears. And yes in that they fundamentally alter the universe in a very real way. No in that these gods can die like mortal men. And yes in that they can be resurrected whenever we let fear take hold in our hearts and minds.

So, let us kill these gods altogether and banish them to the deepest corner of hell. And let us all together resurrect the God of life in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Selah.


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Outis
Freshman Principal
1  seeder  Outis    3 months ago

As Ghandi said, "I like your Christ, but not your Christians."

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Outis @1    3 months ago

I imagine that he might have had similar thoughts about Muhammad and Muslims.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    3 months ago

I think that's a nice sermon.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3  Ed-NavDoc    3 months ago

I've seen my share of Hell on Earth. They were called Vietnam and the 1st Gulf War. Had a good friend who was a conscientious objector and a Navy Chaplain's assistant in Vietnam who would go out on patrol with the Marines to minister to the wounded and help the Corpsman as needed. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions. Only time I ever saw him wear the award was in his Navy dress blues for inspection. One of the bravest men I ever knew.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
4  Drakkonis    3 months ago

To no one's surprise, here I am. I'd just like to state out front that I am not here to be confrontational, and I will do my best not to respond to confrontational comments. I'm only here to make the argument that what was written cannot be supported by what the Bible actually has to say on the subject. That said...

So why do Christians maintain that hell is very real and that most will go there?

While I don't know how many people will go there, Hell is real. The book of Revelations mentions it quite specifically. Jesus himself mentions it in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. He mentions it in Mark 9:46-48 where he says...

43  If your hand causes you to stumble,   cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell,   where the fire never goes out.   [44]  [ a ]   45  And if your foot causes you to stumble,   cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.   [46]  [ b ]   47  And if your eye causes you to stumble,   pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,   48  where
“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
     and the fire is not quenched.’ [ c ]

Further, much of what Jesus says makes no sense if everyone is saved. For instance, what point to Jesus saying...

13  “Enter through the narrow gate.   For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.   14  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.  Matthew 7:13-14

Why bother? Why would Jesus tell us to repent? In fact, if his message had been "everybody makes it" it pretty much makes the entirety of the Bible pointless. Why would God choose Abraham and  the Jews, give them laws and penalties for the purpose of revealing Himself to the rest of the world, make them go through all that he did, visit the punishments that He did if, in the end, it doesn't matter how anyone lives their life?

Does anyone think Jeffrey Dahmer, Stalin and Hitler are currently in heaven, chillin and surprised as could be that they're there? I mean, I know most who read this blog aren't even believers, but I'm certain that even you would agree there's something wrong with that picture. If everyone makes it, there's no point to morality. No point in resisting the worst of ourselves. Heck, if everyone makes it, the suicide rate would be astronomical, since why hang around this place? 

I'm not trying to harsh on anyone. Really. But the Bible says specific things and it's my duty to tell you the truth. So much depends on the truth. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4    3 months ago

Ultimately, your argument is predicated on the parts you quoted being accurately expressed divine truth.

Does anyone think Jeffrey Dahmer, Stalin and Hitler are currently in heaven, chillin and surprised as could be that they're there? 

I believe they no longer exist in any form.   The remains of their beings are being broken down into constituents elements for redeployment.   They are as inexistent as last year's roadkill.

But if there were a benevolent God, I would not expect this awesome being to engage in mischief with its creatures.   To put them through all sorts of trials and then invoke the worst possible torture on them for eternity.

To me, God (just using the word for consistency) is the underlying forces of existence.   These forces produce all sorts of variations of form and behavior to which we human beings attribute qualities like 'good' or 'bad'.   I can certainly understand why human beings want to have some sentient entity as an all powerful focal point.   But all that I have observed in my life suggests that the more plausible reality is that God is not sentient but the reality we experience is of mind boggling complexity and drives our human brains to find some way of rationalizing this into a familiar order.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
5  Buzz of the Orient    3 months ago

Taking a chance of being deleted for being off topic, I thank my lucky stars that my wife and I are of different religions and cultures that have neither need nor desire to preach or proselytize. 

 
 

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