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An honest question

Discussion in 'Questions by Non-Christians (Archived)' started by Suit of Lights, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. Suit of Lights

    Suit of Lights New Member

    As an atheist, I have been in many debates with people about religion, mainly Christians. I have yet to receive a solid answer to this question: where do atheists go when they die? Most Christians will concede that I will go to Hell, but a good percentage of them will back off when I point out both the ridiculous nature of this assertion and its inherent backwardness. To me, a god that accepts a person due to their good heart and intentions in life would be far more believable than one who selfishly turns down well meaning people simply because they take issue with his existence. Those who back off will usually say that it is my choice to become an atheist, so I am reaping what I sow. This is akin to a politician holding a gun to my head, and threatening to pull the trigger if I don't cast my ballot for him. If I cast my ballot for the opposition, it's my fault?

    And what of those who haven't heard of Christianity?

    So, please, among Christians, what is the general consensus here? Is there one?
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  2. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    Any Christian who won't assert that Christian theology assures atheists a place in the lake of fire needs to ask themselves where their reluctance is coming from.

    If you die as an atheist, your place is in the lake of fire.  Sorry!  (Revelation 21:6-8; the "unbelieving" are amongst those who are tossed in the LoF).

    As to exactly what happens once you get there, that is open to debate.

    Some think that your flesh will burn for the rest of eternity (either being supernaturally maintained or regrown) (this is rather medieval, and was adopted by Islam).

    Others think that you'll be in a sort of solitary confinement for all of eternity. This is a more modern politically correct view of Hell.

    I personally think that you'll cease to exist sometime after the judgment.  I'm a rare breed amongst Christians though.  It takes some careful study to remove eternal torment from the Bible (even if it is sort of obvious).  The truth is, it was never in there.  Only Satan and his angels will be tormented eternally according to the Bible.  Christians just kind of extended that to people as well (since they are thrown in the same lake of fire... however, some inanimate things are also thrown in there and they certainly won't be "tormented" forever).  So I like to think of my view as "scripturally correct".  Though some will argue I'm sure :)

    If God is good (he is), I don't believe you will be tormented for eternity.  However, just because the punishment of the unsaved is finite (assuming I'm right) does not mean that it's not worth the trouble of avoiding.  In fact, I think it makes it even more frighteningly real than ever before.  It's hard for anyone to believe that God could torment them for all of eternity, but not so hard to believe that the wicked will receive punishment in exact measure to their deeds.  Eternal life on the other hand, is not in proportion to good deeds because it is a gift (in other words, it is worth more than any amount of good we can bring out of ourselves).
  3. dnich163

    dnich163 dnich163

    Hello there Oh Enlightened one of Suits !!,

    My understanding is that even the R.C. church; of which I am a member,does not say who is in Hell. This is really Gods area.

    I have stated on another thread about Karl Rahner SJ, one of the most prominet Catholic theologians of the 20th Century who coined the term "anonymous christians" which basically covered those people that have been living to christian values but were unaware of Jesus, scripture or the values.

    I think too that we need to be wary of putting limits on God about judgement.

  4. undead1

    undead1 Member

    That answer is simple. Their spirits depart to await judgment. On the "last day", they will be judged. The bible tells Christians that it is not for Christians to judge pagans, but for God alone. What happens to a pagan is between God and the pagan. But if the pagan has rejected Christ for an illegitimate reason (inferring that Christ was preached truthfully to him), there is about a 0% chance of making it to heaven.

    You will face judgment by your maker. That is not ridiculous at all. Everyone can se that wickedness is not repaid in this life. Look at the huge numbers of women who divorce their husbands. Are they ever punished for their wickedness? Of course not. Their reward is on earth by way of undeserved alimony. As the apostle says:

    Phil 3;19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)   

    That verse applies "equally" to both women and men.

    Yes it is. Christianity is a dictatorship. God is a dictator. And you are the subject. You have no choice, because God is your maker. If you had a choice, you would be greater than God. But God is your God and you have no ballot. You either accept God, or get thrown into the gas chambers. Its that simple. 

    They will be judged. As will all men. But the standard of judgment will be less than those who heard the gospel.
  5. Amy

    Amy Quiet Kitty

    You probably won't understand what Christians are talking about until you realize your need for a Savior, until you see that being a "well-meaning" person is not enough. The idea of "Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell" has been very popular, but the truth is, NO ONE is good enough to meet God's standard. My "good" might be good enough comparing to a junkie mother who beats up her children, but measured up by God's holy standard, I am hopelessly dirty with sin.
  6. Job_38

    Job_38 <font size="1"> In perfect orbit they have circled

    You ask an honest question, I will give you an honest answer. Eternal separation from God.
  7. tacoman528

    tacoman528 Member

    I'm sorry for being frank. You will first attend Hell, the center of the Earth. Once Jesus' thousand year on earth is done, you will then be present for the Great White Throne Judgement where you will be judged for all the bad stuff you did. Unfortunatly, one little sin reserves a place for you in Hell, no matter how many good works you do, there is no chance for anyone to escape going to hell. Then you will later be cast into the lake of burning sulphur. Have you ever seen buring sulphur? Its dark red and burns with a blue flame. Its quite pretty, but I wouldn't like to have to swim in it. The bible does suggest that bad guys like Hitler, Hirohito, Stalin, and other bad guys will be tortured worse than everyone else. ???. Anyway, this is gonna sound cheezy and preachy but...I don't want you to go to hell. Satan does, he's trying right now to tell you to ignore this message. But neither I nor God wants you to go to hell, but you have no choice because no matter how much good stuff you do, you'll never get to heaven. Its like trying to jump to the moon. Every time you do a good thing, its like making a really high jump. kind of inneffective huh? God realized this was a problem, so he sent his son to die in innocence. So that when you pray a special prayer, Jesus comes into your life. Its like someone who has a spaceship to the moon is asking you to get on. Are you going to refuse? If I am right and Jesus was God, and you accept him, then you have gained everything. If I am wrong and you do accept Jesus, Then you've lost nothing, you will become what you now think that you will become, worm food six feet underground. If, however, I am right and you never accept Jesus, you've just lost everything. If I am wrong and you never have accepted Jesus, then you still haven't gained anything. So its kind of a Win win scenario if you accept Jesus. But the not for the alternative. And you never really know when the end will happen and the truth will be revealed, then it will be too late. Accept Jesus Now.
  8. juliet16

    juliet16 Member

    I believe that the Lord gives everyone a chance to hear the gospel...but in case I'm wrong about this, I believe that if someone has died who has never heard, will go to heaven. The Bible says that a person who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will go to hell. The whole point of Jesus' death, was to pay the price for our sin. We owe a price to God because we are sinners. We sin and God is perfect. Sin can NOT come in the prescence of God. So we needed a perfect sacrifice, which was Jesus. Just because you try and live your life the best way you can does not mean you love God. I know athiest's who live their lives the best way they can but don't love Jesus. All God wants is for you to accept what Jesus did for you, pray and asked to be saved and then live your life according to God's commands. God does not want to send anyone to hell. Hell wasent made for humans. It was made for demons and Satan, but because we sin, we are subject to judgement and Hell is the judgement and by that time it is too late. But if you accept the Lord everything's ok and you will dwell forever with Jesus and his Father God in paradise. Most think that Christianity is boring and were all goody goody's. That's NOT the case. We go through the same temptations you all do...we just have a higher power to lean on. And look at all the teasing and picking that Christians take every day...you think that's easy? but it's all worth it in the end. I'm hardly worried about anything, I'm not afraid to die. I know where I'm going when this life is over and I'm in the hands of a greater power and that means everythings ok.
  9. EPHRIAM777


    Suit of Lights asks..

    As an atheist, I have been in many debates with people about religion, mainly Christians. I have yet to receive a solid answer to this question: where do atheists go when they die?

    Eph replies...

    Normally these individuals are buried under the ground in a large rectangular box...although there are other ways to dispose of the body..that might be used...!

    S of L states...!
    Most Christians will concede that I will go to Hell, but a good percentage of them will back off when I point out both the ridiculous nature of this assertion and its inherent backwardness. To me, """a god """ that accepts a person due to their good heart and intentions in life would be far more believable than one who selfishly turns down well meaning people simply because they take issue with his existence.

    Eph writes...

    Well of course THIS issue isn't up to you..OR Christians....or what YOU or Christians may or may not think..nor is it up to "a God"...as you say....!

    The entire issue is decided upon by THE one and ONLY God...since He gets to make ALL the rules and because he's the boss..."Christians" can only direct people to the correct information that HE has given out on the subject...!

    Thus we only "reflect" to others what he has said on the subject...!

    S of L writes..
    Those who back off will usually say that it is my choice to become an atheist, so I am reaping what I sow. This is akin to a politician holding a gun to my head, and threatening to pull the trigger if I don't cast my ballot for him. If I cast my ballot for the opposition, it's my fault?

    And what of those who haven't heard of Christianity?

    So, please, among Christians, what is the general consensus here? Is there one? [/B]

    Eph replies...

    Since the issue isn't based on anyone who "backs off or not"....nor is it based on this type of "logical nonsence"...you used in your political illustration above...I'll just say no one is gonna force you to "faith" God...You either do or you don't...IF you don't I would encourage you to stop wasting your time here on this forum.....go out and ENJOY the "good life"...and live it to your fullest expectations...!


    ...because it's all the "good life" your ever gonna get...!
  10. tacoman528

    tacoman528 Member


    Ya, its true
  11. Job_38

    Job_38 <font size="1"> In perfect orbit they have circled

    To the belief on God will save those who never heard: This is not founded at all in scripture.
  12. forjesus

    forjesus Humble Servant

    My opinion, you will go to hell. Yes I guess a God that accepts people just for their good heart would be better, If you are an atheist. That tells me you want to believe in God but on your terms. If God will accept me because of a good heart then I will believe. SORRY, it dosen't work like that. God dosen't negociate. his plan is laid out in his word, you take it or leave it. You say you are an atheist and don't believe in God then if you die you will go to hell.
  13. crab cruton

    crab cruton New Member

    I agree with Juliet.&nbsp; God gives everyone a fair chance.&nbsp; He won't ask you to believe in something you never heard of.&nbsp; I'll conced that not everyone gets the same chance (i.e chruch), but God reveals himself to all.&nbsp; Most are to consumed in the things of this world to see Him.&nbsp;

    Agreed that a god who judges people by their good works and intensions would be more believeable, but that's not the God we have.&nbsp; God created us in his own image.&nbsp; He created us to be perfect.&nbsp; The original sin of Adam and Eve kinda blew that for all of us.&nbsp; In Romans 3:23, Paul rights&nbsp;&nbsp;[COLOR=orange-red]"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"[/COLOR](NIV).&nbsp; There was no way that anyone could live a perfect life, without sin.&nbsp; That is why good works get you no where.&nbsp; Jesus was born of the Virgin, that he could live without sin.&nbsp; He was the only person to ever life a perfect life.&nbsp; That is why his death on the cross made it possible for our sins to be forgivin.&nbsp; You can try to live your life the best you can, by having the right intensions and doing good works like donating to charity, but it will all be in vain.&nbsp; You will spend all of eternity spearated from God.&nbsp;

    [color=orange-red]"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast."[/color] Ephisians 2:8-9 (NIV).

  14. sbbqb7n16

    sbbqb7n16 Veteran - Blue Bible Dude


    As Job_38 said, you ask an honest question. However, Christian doctrine is not founded on how well Christians can answer questions about it. The Bible teaches all who do not believe in Christ suffer eternal torment for they reject the only Son sent by the Father to save you. John 3:16-18 In other words, God saw you, knew you needed help, and so He gave you a way out. If you don't take that way, you perish, but if you do you are saved.

    The "believability" and characteristics of God are not determined by what man thinks about Him. God is the only God there is, and He loves you. You seem to view God as some criminal forcing you to do what He says. What has harbored in your heart to make you think this way? God is more akin to&nbsp;a man reaching out his hand to a man who just slipped off the edge of a mountain and is hanging by a branch. The man calls to the one in peril "Take my&nbsp;hand and I will pull you out to save you! If you don't take my hand, you will certaintly fall and die. Take my hand and let me pull you out while there is still time!" It's not a force thing to follow Him, but rather&nbsp;a calling to save your life. But that man who is hanging must trust the other man enough to let go of the branch and grab the other man's hand. So it is with you, you must trust Him enough to "let go" and accept His offer.

    God is a fair judge and will judge accordingly with those who haven't heard. BUT you can't fall into that category any more can you?

    Your enternity is not a consensus, but rather a truth. If the man hanging doesn't accept the help from the other man, he will certainly fall. If you don't accept God's help, you will fall. That is the truth regardless of how many want to believe otherwise.
  15. BudJohnson

    BudJohnson There is no spoon

    My thinking on the matter is similar to Juliet's and crab cruton's. I think God gives all people an opportunity. Scripture portrays God as seeking after us and revealing himself to us.

    I'm neither quick to condemn you to hell nor consider those who never hear about Jesus automatically saved. Judgment is God's business. The job of the Christian is to point others to Jesus.

    - Bud

    You may find these pages relevant...

    "Will my loving, giving grandmother burn in hell?"

    "What about those who never hear the gospel of Jesus?"

    "Are we saved by faith or by works?"

  16. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Member

    The book of Romans discusses those who have never heard of Christ.

    You can read it for yourself and see what God has to say through Paul regarding this.............
  17. AgnusDei

    AgnusDei Deh solicitor stalker!


    Romans chapter 1, verse 20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."

    Instead of putting your own opinions in, see what the Bible has to say about all things.
  18. EPHRIAM777


    Job 38 says..

    To the belief on God will save those who never heard: This is not founded at all in scripture. [/B]

    Eph writes...

    Please ponder ROMANS 2:14:16...and what "written in their hearts"....pertains to...!
  19. RevKidd

    RevKidd Simple Mans Theologian


    People seem to look past this scripture whent he question is asked "what if someone never hears the message".&nbsp; We are not put on this earth to live 80 some years then to die.&nbsp; We are put on this earth to make known the Glory of God.&nbsp; And to those who never hear it, they still see it.&nbsp; In your heart, when you look at creation, and see all the wonders of this world.&nbsp; When you explore the human body and how it functions.&nbsp; Don't you think that there is something out there that is greater than all this, something that is greater than science, that there is something that put all of this world and universe together.&nbsp; That is exactly what Paul is saying in Romans.&nbsp; Creation alone is evidence enough of God.&nbsp; Creation is calling to us to look for a God that loves us and cares for us, and when you search out this God you will find him in the infinit God-man of Jesus Christ.&nbsp; Who, left his Celestial home to come to earth so that he can be the propitiation, the sacrifice for our sins....&nbsp;

  20. Zoe Girl

    Zoe Girl Member

    Hey, I just stumbled into this forum a little bit ago.&nbsp; I haven't had a chance to read a lot of what's posted, but this thread caught my eye.

    I've been a Christian most of my life, and I struggled with this issue.&nbsp; If God is a loving God, why would he send anyone to hell, and what exactly is hell?

    First of all, as someone already posted, hell is a place where God is not.&nbsp; It doesn't even matter if there is a lake of fire, or total darkness, or solitary confinement, if you think about this: God is not there.&nbsp; Everything we have in this world that is good (the things we often take for granted), sunny days,&nbsp;beautiful landscapes, kind people..., it is all because God is here (whether you believe in Him or not).&nbsp; Hell is the place where God is not.&nbsp; There can be nothing good if God's presence is not there.

    Also, a couple years ago, I was trying to figure out why God would allow anyone to go to hell.&nbsp; I asked my dad what he thought of it, and he showed me some of C.S. Lewis's writings on the topic.&nbsp; I believe it was in Mere Christianity, but I could be wrong, C.S. Lewis gives a different perspective on this issue.&nbsp; We always say "why would God do this".&nbsp; What we need to do is look at it from a different view.&nbsp; If you reject God, why would you want to spend eternity with Him?&nbsp; That would be like hell for you.&nbsp; If you reject God, then you would want to spend eternity in a place where God does not exist, right?&nbsp; Hell is the place for the people who reject God.&nbsp; They don't want God, so they get there own place.&nbsp; Unfortunately for them, once they get there they'll see what God has been trying to tell us all along.

    Looking at the ballot analogy, I don't know about you, but if I didn't vote for someone, I certainly&nbsp;wouldn't want to spend eternity with them being my ruler.&nbsp; By not voting for God, you are voting for his competition.