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When does God stop loving you?

Discussion in 'Denomination-specific Theology' started by nt11, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    To any and all (I would like a multi-denominational view on this):

    I've pondered over this question a lot. God initially loves you unconditionally, right? So when does God say to a creation that he loves unconditionally, "I no longer love you because of what you've done," and send you to hell? At what point does God abandon you?

    Because if hell exists, this must happen at some point.
     
  2. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    God loves us always
    He loves us so much that He will let us leave Him, if we die in such a state, a state of seperation from God, we become fixed, growing and changing is for the living, once we are dead the dye is set, we are either friends of God or we have set ourself agianst Him, if we have set ourself agianst Him we would not want to spend forever with Him. The options are heaven or hell, if we set ourselves agianst God we have chosen a horrible eternity of pain
     
  3. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    But have you ever met a person who wants to go to hell as opposed to heaven? Who would rather suffer eternal damnation as opposed to eternal paradise?
     
  4. lenpettis74

    lenpettis74 Junior Member

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    I belong to the EFCA, here are some of our views from our statement of faith:

    The Human Condition:
    We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.

    Christian Living: We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.



    In our view, we are naturally separated from God, and he loves us unconditionally when we choose to accept His son Jesus Christ. The way your post is written, I think you may have it backwards, though I cede that I may be misunderstanding.



    The above are just 2 of the 10 points of our statement of faith, I chose these two because they are most relevant to the question. You can see the entire statement of faith on the EFCA website.


    God bless
     
  5. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    So basically, God hates me when I’m born? If I were born into a Buddhist household in Rural China and died when I was 6, before I discovered anything about Jesus, God would cast me into hell?
     
  6. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    do you know anyone who hates God?
    I am sure very few people would say they would want hell and not heaven, but the reality is, they do not understand their own hearts, God is love, how many people do you know who hate God, hate other people and hate themselves?
    the number might be few, but I would assume you know atleast one or two
    you can pick hate or love, love is not easy, it is not about feeling good all the time, it is about real love for God, other people and yourself
     
  7. lenpettis74

    lenpettis74 Junior Member

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    We can summize from some scriptural text, though not stated specifically, that there is an 'age of accountability' that before which, we can trust God in His goodness to do the right thing with children when they die. This age is likely different from child to child, however; based on Jewish tradition it has commonly been thought to be 13, although at 6 my daughter has made a fairly well reasoned case for her faith (at least to the ability of a 6 year old intellect). The scripture I can refer you to is 2 Samuel 12:21-23. Here David has lost a child, and he says "I shall go to him, but he will not return to me" indicating that he will be with his child in Heaven.

    You confuse sin with hatred here. God doesn't "hate" us from our birth, but if we allow scripture to be our guide, we know that we are born into sin (Psalm 51:5 "I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.") and that salvation comes by faith alone in Christ (John 14:6 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." and Acts 4:12 "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.")

    Again, let scripture be your guide in answering tough questions, you do yourself no favors leaning on the intellect of people, or human rationalization.
     
  8. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    To Rhamiel:

    Okay, so you attain heaven through love. But say you were born into a dysfunctional family in a gang-infested urban neighborhood, and your life was horrible. Your parents could not support themselves, and in fact were spiteful towards you because they viewed you as a burden. They did not love you. You were undernourished, and were improperly educated early on in life. You knew no outside influence that tangibly expressed love towards you. Many of your friends died in gang violence, and you yourself were killed by a stray bullet at age 15, knowing only cynicism and spite towards the world. In this situation, you did not love God or others. So God would send you to hell?

    Are these not the ones toward whom Jesus preached mercy? The poor, the unfortunate, the outcasts?
     
  9. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    to Lenpettis:

    So for the sake of argument, let's say this Buddhist boy died at age 14. He knew nothing about Christ. God sends him to hell for eternity?
     
  10. lenpettis74

    lenpettis74 Junior Member

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    What does scripture say? If you don't like tough answers, stop asking tough questions.

    As for your boy in the hood, again, let scripture be your guide.

    Did he ever tell a lie?
    Did he ever steal?
    Did he ever take the Lords name in vain?
    Did he murder?
    Did he commit adultery? (see Matt 5 for real definitions of the previous 2)
    Did he covet anything?
    Did he love the Lord God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength?

    If he did any of the above (except 7)what is he? Where will God send him as a result?
    -or-
    Did he accept Jesus as his savior and repent? There isn't an american teenager that hasn't heard of Him, so stop putting up strawman arguments to make a weak case.

    Now answer your own question...:thumbsup:
     
  11. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    In case anyone missed it, I have posed the question within two frameworks. The poor, urban boy, for Rhamiel's doctrine, and the rural, Buddhist boy, for lenpettis's doctrine.

    I'm not talking about an American teenager. I'm talking about a teenager in rural, communist China who has never left the area in which he grew up. He does not know anything about Jesus Christ, but his situation is just as valid as an American teenager's, because he is a child of God. For instance, he told white lies as a child, as most kids do, but he did not take the Lord's name in vain (he didn't even know a Christian God existed), never stole anything, never murdered, never committed adultery of any kind, never coveted anything. He was a kind, loving boy who worked hard and gave freely to his neighbors. but he did not repent to Jesus, because he knew nothing of him. I do not know if God, according to your denomination's doctrine, would condemn him him to hell or allow him into heaven. That's why I'm asking...I genuinely do not know, and I'm curious to find out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  12. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    that is not my place to judge
     
  13. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  14. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    I agree that it is not your place to judge, but what does your doctrine dictate? According to your denomination's theory of salvation, does he go to heaven or hell?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  15. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    In case anyone missed it, I have posed the question within two frameworks. The poor, urban boy, for Rhamiel's doctrine, and the rural, Buddhist boy, for lenpettis's doctrine.
     
  16. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    Rhamiel answered lenpettis's question, and lenpettis answered Rhamiel's question. If you could answer your respective questions, or if ANYONE could answer these questions, the would be great.
     
  17. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

    I imported this quote from the other thread of the same title in CP&E.

    To answer this question, this sounds to me like an incorrect, or more accurately, incomplete, understanding of what the choices are for eternity. It would be more accurate to say that the choices are to spend eternity in voluntary submission to God's will or to spend eternity apart from God's will. When the choice is understood like this, it is not difficult to understand why some people might choose the latter. In fact, for many people, for those who do not like God or are unwilling to surrender their own will to Him, an eternity spent worshipping and submitting to him would be its own form of eternal suffering.

    If you have never done so, I strongly recommend that you read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, as I think it makes clearer the point I am trying to make.

    Submission is a difficult and painful thing, and it does not get any easier when we pass into eternity.
     
  18. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

    I believe that God judges our heart, not our theology. If a person's heart is to willing and submissive to God's authority, then I don't believe that God is going to fault them for having never been taught "proper Christian" theology. If a heart is unwilling to submit to God's authority, then it won't matter how much he or she hears the gospel; they will not choose eternity with God.
     
  19. nt11

    nt11 Junior Member

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    I'm trying to get my head around this concept. So you're saying that for everyone who goes to hell, they would actually LIKE eternal damnation and suffering better than eternal paradise? That they actually enjoy hell more than they would heaven? God is actually, in essence, doing them a favor by sending them to the place that they would enjoy more, a place where they suffer unspeakable horrors outside the realms of human understanding? If this is the case, more or less, everyone I know would go to heaven.
     
  20. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

    I don't fully agree with the notion that God "sends" us one place or another, but he allows us to choose, having warned us of the consequences.

    I doubt that hell is a terribly enjoyable existance for anyone except masochists. But, I do believe that when people consider all that is involved in each of the choices, hell is more appealing than the alternative. "Heaven" is an eternity spent in the presence of God as part of the "New Earth" that he will create in which His will prevails at all times. In order for this to happen, those who live with Him, will necessarily have to submit and surrender their will entirely to Him.

    In other words, to spend eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven is to choose submission and surrender over selfishness. When we choose selfishness over surrender, we are inherently rejecting God. If we do this enough, inevitably our rejection of Him will be eternal in nature, such that, even if we were given the choice to reconsider from time to time, we would always choose selfishness, even with all of its consequences, over submission.

    If you really want to explore this idea, I wholeheartedly recommend that you read The Great Divorce.
     
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