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How could we survive the horrors of heaven?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by InterestedAtheist, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    You say I don't understand, but then you continue at great length to prove my point.
    Right. Jesus is in heaven and trying to help people who are on their way to hell. Apparently he doesn't care in the slightest about the people who are suffering in hell.
    Yes, but only while they are alive on Earth. The corollary of this is that heaven does not care in the slightest about people once they have left the Earth and are suffering eternally in hell. Which is just what I said you said.

    Apparently, when you get to heaven you will be transformed in such a manner as to love all of those who are in heaven, all of those who are on Earth, and none of those who are in hell.

    You have, I think, got it backwards. Loving people is caring about them. If you love somebody, you feel sorry for them when they are hurting. Don't you agree?

    Yes. And to forget all about the people who are in hell. I'm not quite sure whether you don't love them any more, or whether you love them, but just don't care that they are suffering (which doesn't sound much like love at all). Both seem heartless and appaling, but I'm not sure which one is worse.

    What makes you think that people in hell become evil? Why would your wife, or child, or best friend suddenly want to destroy you? It sounds very much as if you're (almost literally) demonising them to excuse yourself for not caring about their suffering any more.

    Instead of which, they are burning and suffering in hell.
    And, just to be absolutely clear about this - while they are burning and suffering in hell for eternity, you in heaven are feeling...perfect bliss?

    Okay. Maybe you can't help them. So instead, you just go on your merry way, enjoying the pure happiness of eternity in heaven, while the flesh is being friend off their bones.
    I'm just confused as to how you manage to maintain that they are in hell and you are in heaven and you are happy and you love and care about them at the same time. At least one of these is incompatible with the others.

    That doesn't sound like love at all.
    Let's look at how love works in the real world.
    A mother, who loves her son, sees that he has a terrible illness and is suffering in terrible pain, and is probably going to die. According to you, she should care for him, but not feel the slightest upset or sadness herself. She's already doing everything she can for him, and how can feeling bad herself help? So she doesn't.
    This is either a ridiculous image or a horrifying one, but it's what you're describing.

    But it's very relevant. It's the whole point of this thread.
    I get why you are trying very hard to avoid answering it. Either you say that you do care and feel pain when those you love are suffering (in which case heaven isn't perfect) or you say that you don't care in the slightest when those you love are suffering (in which case you can hardly call it love).

    Either way, heaven seems to be a pretty horrible place.

    According to what you say, it is populated by people who do not care in the slightest about the people suffering in hell. So I think you've actually just proved my point for me.
  2. Eight Foot Manchild

    Eight Foot Manchild His Supreme Holy Correctfulness

    United States
    I don't believe for one second that any of my Christian family or friends - once they get to heaven, with the knowledge that I and other non-Christian family and friends are burning in hell - will just smile their way through it and say "oh well, it's what they wanted....la dee da, isn't heaven wonderful?". I think it would be torture for them actually, because I know them to be morally minded and empathetic people.

    I guess I must have a much higher opinion of Christians than Christians do.

    It also goes to the point I've made in the past,

    If you are in heaven, and are tortured by the knowledge that your non-Christian loved ones are burning in hell, then it's not actually heaven.

    If you don't have that knowledge, or aren't bothered by it, because you've been "made anew", then it's not actually you that goes to heaven.

    So, no matter what, no one goes to heaven.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  3. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

    United Kingdom
    I dont dwell or worry about it. Why? Because i trust in God and firmly believe in 'Let His will be done'.

    Just pray for those that need our prayers. Thats everybody!
  4. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Well, in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Abraham talked with the rich man in hell. So, if he was willing to talk with him, this could mean he somehow did care about him.

    I care about them, now. So, I do what I can . . . now. But this, as far as I know, won't help the ones already in hell, though I care about them.

    This is why Jesus came here . . . from Heaven . . . including so He could go through things of this life, so now as our High Priest He can feel for us and help us with the grace which made Him able to do well in spite of all the evil in this world > Hebrews 4:15. So, like Jesus, we have this priesthood of going through things so we can feel for and understand what others are going through. This is from how Heaven does care about us, here on earth.

    But while we know we are doing all we can, we have reason to be happy that we do what we can.

    Do you object to how certain humanitarian people have great joy while helping people?

    I said I don't know all the details. I just thought of how Abraham did give attention to the guy in hell. But the guy in hell did not talk truthfully with Abraham.

    I am going by Galatians 6:7-8 which says people reap what we sow. We reap so much more than our little seeds of this life . . . once we are no longer in our physical bodies. We become how we have been becoming, but so much multiplied once we are spiritual only.

    "But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13)

    The character of a selfish person, in the resurrection, becomes spiritual only. So, the person becomes all the way he or she has been becoming . . . much more than how he or she experienced in this life.

    not because they are suffering

    There is all the good to be happy about. And if you are really doing all you can to bless people, you should be happy about this . . . though we feel for suffering people.

    It's not wrong to be happy in Heaven. Happiness is not wrong.

    In this life, people can be happy while they help miserable people. There is nothing wrong with this.

    If I am with Jesus, this is a reason to be happy. I can care about wrong people who are suffering, but still be happy because of Jesus. And with God I can do what He has me do to help suffering people.

    But Satan considered Heaven to be horrible, because in his pride he was not happy about Heaven. So, he got thrown out, so his evil would go elsewhere. And Hell is God's holding place for evil, including selfish character. So, Hell is practical, though there is conscious suffering there. The selfish nature makes a person able to suffer in Hell. But love can not be burned by God who is "a consuming fire." (in Hebrews 12:29)

    Love can burn away from us what is selfish. So, it is wise for people to become the way God's love can have us become. Or else, a person's selfish stuff and one's selfish nature will go somewhere . . . elsewhere. And if God's love has me caring about people like this, I guess it is reasonable that His love will have me caring about wrong people, later, in Heaven. And I might thank God and be glad . . . that I care. It is good to care; so it is a reason to be happy, if now I can care about any and all evil people.

    So . . . why would you not be glad and happy, that you care about wrong people?
  5. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    I think you've missed the point of the story. What in Abraham's speech gives you the idea that he cared about the man in hell? He refused point blank to do anything at all to help him, and offered him not the slightest sympathy. On the contrary, his message for the man suffering in hell was, "You are suffering for your sins. It's what you deserve!"

    It's interesting that you keep insisting that you care about the people suffering in hell now, when we're talking about whether or not you will care about them when you're in heaven. You seem determined to avoid the question.

    Not at all. Indeed, helping people can be a very joyous act. But again, that's not what we're talking about. In heaven, you are not going to help the people in hell; not even try to help them.

    Certainly he did. What makes you think he lied when he said he was in agony and was begging for relief?

    How do you know any of that? What do you know of what life is like after death? You just plucked a Bible verse that suited you, and then elaborated on it.
    But that's exactly the point. In heaven, you don't feel for suffering people. If you did, then you would be sad. But if you were sad, you wouldn't be blissfully happy, and heaven wouldn't be heaven.
    That actually sounds pretty horrible. Dress it up anyway you like, it's still "people I love will be suffering unendurable agony, but I will be happy."
    That's not what love means. If you love a person, you can't be happy while they are unhappy. That's simply not how it works. Try to imagine it - a mother whose son is terribly sick and in danger of death, smiling and laughing while he wastes away in hospital. A father whose daughter has been raped humming merrily as her life is ruined. A pair of best friends - one of them gets run over by a car, and the other has a happy smile.
    That's just not how love works in real life. Any of those people above would be considered to acting very horribly indeed.
    This has nothing to do with what we are talking about.
    Reminds me of a piece from a Douglas Adams novel. A driver sees someone hitch-hiking on a wet night. So he steers to the side of the road, hits a puddle square on, and drenches him. He looks back and sees the hitch-hiker, soaked to the skin, and thinks it's funny.
    "At first, he felt good about it. Then he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and, satisfied, drove on into the night."
    Of course, that's not a good thing to do at all! And what you're saying is just about as appalling. "I'll be able to feel good because I'll be able to feel bad about people in pain. Not that I'll do anything to help them, you understand. But I will, at least, be sorry for them. Not that it will spoil my perfect happiness."
    That sounds terrible.
    Because you can't help them. That's how loving people feel. It hurts when you can't help someone you care about.

    It's still clear that in heaven, you do not expect to be sorry for other people at all. The more you try to defend this, the more you show how horrible it is.
  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    I am not sure he exactly said this. Let me check >

    "'But Abraham said, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented."'" (Luke 16:25)

    Yeah, I see how this indicates the guy deserves to be there. But, even so, I do not think ones in hell deserve to suffer as much as ones will . . . though they might deserve to be there.

    But I do note, now, how Abraham calls the guy in hell "Son". To me, this could show he is caring about the person . . . though he himself is comforted.
  7. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    But . . . if I remember right . . . I have said I don't really know for sure, about later.

    What I consider, though, is that, if I care about them now, possibly I also will care about them, later.

    I thought the main issue was whether I could care about suffering people but also be happy while they are suffering.

    So . . . in my opinion . . . it would be fine to know about people suffering in hell, and to care about them, while I am in Heaven. But God does not want people in Heaven to suffer. So, yes we will be comforted and enjoy the good of Heaven.

    The message to me appears to mean that once people die, it's over. They will have one destiny or the other, no changing from it. Ones will reap, then, so much more of how they have become > Galatians 6:7-8. And their character then will stay that way . . . either to be able to suffer or to love. And yes that will be horrible for ones in hell . . . because of their own character making them how can they suffer.

    But I find this motivating to do all I can now to help people so they do not go to hell. It would be horrible for me to just ignore or criticize the good we have with God, and leave people to go to hell. But their character needs to be changed so they are capable of living in God's love and enjoying this. So, what happens now is what matters.
  8. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    But now we are doing what we can. Now is the time.

    Like I have offered, God's word says now is our time. After judgment, it is over. So, then would not be when to try to help people.

    Actually, right now I see how I try the way I do; but even now how well does this work? And if ones don't want Jesus, now, while they are less evil, how much can they be helped once they reap how their character has been becoming??

    So, I try, now, even knowing all our trying often does not work. But in Heaven, I can see, trying would do nothing . . . if trying now has not worked. But we keep trying, now, anyway > love "hopes all things" (in 1 Corinthians 13:7). Plus, Jesus already has done more than we can, while He was on this earth and on the cross and then rose from the dead; but ones consider Jesus Himself to be not good enough for them. So, why should I glorify my trying now or, theoretically, in Heaven as being any better?? Like I think I have offered . . . now already Heaven has been trying, by sending Jesus and now God blesses us to be His example to reach people . . . now.

    So, now I consider . . . trying in Heaven would not be practical. So, what in reality is horrible, is how now people are refusing how Heaven is reaching to people here. And therefore calling Heaven horrible could be like a kettle calling a drinking glass black . . . or something like this.

    So, I say it is practical to be good examples, now, of how we can become in God's love curing our nature. And this good example can now be spread by God to whomever will receive this. Then, in Heaven, after ones have reaped from their investing in one way or the other, it is over; so it will no longer be practical to keep trying.

    And Abraham in the parable says there is a gulf fixed between the two. So, it might be that if we were all looking down on the ones in hell and "trying" to rescue them, they might take this to be mocking them, since we would not be able to rescue them, anyway. Trying, then, might be taken by them in a way making it harder for them. Even now there are people who mock the ones who try to reach them for Jesus, now while our trying can help people > they can be annoyed and even react violently; so in hell . . . once their character for this has totally developed, they then could be much worse against any trying to help them, which is happening in Heaven.

    Even in this life, those anti-Jesus parents were so annoyed at Jesus who was trying to reach them and save them > Matthew 27:25. They became "worse and worse" (2 Timothy 3:13), after then. So, now if ones of them are in hell, there is no telling what they could try to do to Jesus . . . or to Lazarus if Lazarus had gone to hell to the rich guy.

    That rich guy could be so clever . . . playing the poor suffering victim. This is what tyrants can do, when they get beat. But they say, if you rescue a rattlesnake from the cold to thaw out at your fireplace's hearth . . . watch out!!

    So, even if we do care about ones in hell or on their way, we need to be practical and careful . . . considering what humans in sin became capable of doing to Jesus and to our Apostle Paul and others.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  9. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    I don't mean how he said he was in torment.

    I mean how he indicated that Lazarus could come to him, when Abraham knew that was not true. Plus, he claimed that his brothers would listen to Lazarus, when God and Abraham knew that was not true.

    By the way . . . a point to consider, I think, is there are places where the Bible quotes what an anti-God person says, but what the person says is not true. So, even if the Bible quote is accurate, it is wise not to assume someone has said what is true :)
  10. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

    The whole point of the command to come out from among them and touch not their uncleanness is that the sinful elect must learn to accept holiness ie obedience to GOD's righteousness and to accept the non-elect as enemies, not loved ones, in their own home: Matt 10:35 For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me

    Why were the reprobate not judged at the moment they sinned? Matt 13:27...
    Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

    So the servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 ‘NO!’ he said, ‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest.
    The judgement was postponed due to the sinfulness of the good, ie elect though sinful, seed. Only a sinner is liable to be pulled up by the judgment.

    Now let's consider the doctrine of the ultimate disvalue of evil:
    Psalm 5:4
    English Standard Version
    For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.

    Berean Study Bible
    For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; no evil can dwell with You.

    Evil cannot dwell with, where, GOD dwells. Period. So when Satan rebelled against GOD, GOD would have judged him on the spot except HE must have known some of HIS elect were also sinful.

    This verse implies that the sinful good seed forced the postponement of the judgement from the earliest moments of his choosing sin. Every moment of the existence of the reprobate in this reality is full of pain, suffering and death. Even perfect love says 'enough is enough, harvest them for the fire now!'

    There another doctrine that fills in the harmony of this pov:
    Gal 5:9
    Berean Literal Bible
    A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

    King James Bible
    A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

    This verse assures us that if a speck of evil is left to abide in heaven with HIS people it will contaminate and destroy that goodness. This means it must be removed totally by holy active hatred for evil or by banishment to the outer darkness for those who cannot repent.

    So no one will be grieving the lost ones but will be glad to be free of them and the suffering they brought to this creation.
  11. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    Okay. I'm happy to accept that you believe this.
    So, when you are in heaven and your little baby, or your son or daughter, or your spouse, or mother, or father, or best friend - when these people that you loved while alive, if they are in hell, suffering, while you are in heaven, you will not feel sorry for them in the slightest.

    You will simply know that they are horrible, evil people, and that is why they are in hell. Not the slightest pity for them or sadness about them will interrupt the blissfulness of you being in heaven.

    Got it.
  12. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    Pretty thin, I'm afraid. All we can tell from the story is that the a person in hell asked for help, and a person in heaven refused it.
  13. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    But that doesn't mean he was lying. It means he was incorrect.
    And also - is this what you mean by caring about those who are suffering? Your attitude seems callous in the extreme. Here we have a guy who is basically being tortured, and he asks for help, and the help is refused. And then he asks for help on behalf of those he loves. You know, the ones who are still alive, and who you've been telling me it's okay to help. And that help is refused too.
    And apparently your sympathies are all for the non-tortured ones, and you accuse the tortured one of being evil.
    That doesn't sound like caring at all.
    I think you want him to be in the wrong. It means that you are not really being uncaring for, well, not caring about him.
    But will this spoil your happiness in heaven? An interesting question, isn't it?
    Quite a range of answers we have in this thread, I must say.
    But what does it mean to care about someone?
    If someone is in pain, and you care about them, how can you feel happy?
    You're trying to square the circle by saying you do care about them, but God makes it feel alright. But that's not really caring.
    If you see someone you love in pain and you don't feel any pain on their behalf, then you don't really love them.
    That's how it works. And anyone who has ever loved anyone knows that.
  14. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    So if you go to heaven, and find that some of the ones you loved on Earth are in hell - your mother or father, your little child, your best friend, your spouse, and so on - you will be happy, because they are obviously evil. You won't feel sorry for them, you will be completely joyful.
    Got it. Thank you for answering.
  15. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

    Ahhh, the virtue signal is strong in this one but you are suggesting that pity of demons who would toast you on a fork is superior to being glad they are gone...

    Only demons end in hell: Matt 25:41 Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels... That they are restrained by GOD while human is immaterial, they are real demons who can't be saved. Any sinner who can be saved will be saved...there is no one in hell who did not willingly rebel against YHWH KNOWING that if this belief about HIM was wrong and YHWH was not a false god and a liar but our actual creator GOD then they would end in hell but they still made that choice! They had rather end in hell than live in HIS heaven and be married to HIM. Hell was a better choice for them than anything YHWH had to offer. This incredible decision led to them being perfectly demonized, eternally unfit and dangerous to any polite company. And you call for pity for them?

    Then there is the prophecy:
    Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and leap like calves from the stall. 3 Then you will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the LORD of Hosts.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  16. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    There's a difference between someone who is innocent and in pain, and someone who has been evil and is suffering as a consequence.

    Loved ones, if they are innocent and suffering, are not the same as people who have made a project of hurting other people and now are themselves suffering.

    And ones wrong can sympathize with one another's pain which has come with living in an evil way, while they do nothing that could really help to stop it.

    And I think ones of us know how a person can seem so charming and lovable, but really is otherwise. So, the fact you love someone is not automatic evidence that that person is suffering innocently.

    So, of course, if that rich guy asked for help . . . God knew if he was being honest or trying to get to where he could try to take down what is good in Heaven, like Satan tried to do. There are ones who act like they want help, so they can get into positions where they can take advantage of people; I think ones of us know this, too.

    So . . . at this point, after considering things you have said > in Heaven I first need to give my attention to God. And He can guide my attention according to how He knows each person in Heaven and in Hell . . . but mainly guiding me according to His purpose.

    God knows better than you or I do, what is good to do with each person. So, I would need to depend on God to guide me. And, like I mean, He knows each one in Hell or on the way there, and what really each one has for motivation for any so-called request for help.

    Hell has a purpose, and it is not only to make evil people suffer. That suffering is a consequence of their own nature making them able to suffer even in the presence of Jesus Himself. You might consider how those demons possessing people acted like they were tormented to meet Jesus. Plus, supposedly civil moms and dads cursed their own kids with the blood of Jesus . . . after Jesus had proven Himself by starting to do people good on this earth. Their own character made them able to even curse their own children. God's knows what each human's character is really capable of, no matter how ones cover up and blend in.

    Jesus started to do His good here, but this evil world rejected Him. This world is a holding place for Satan and his, before evil is processed to the flaming sewer. A sewer has a purpose, for holding nasty and toxic stuff. So, people need to get rid of the stuff which is going there, and become strong in love which makes us immune to abusive and cruel anger and disabling worry and the torment of fear and unforgiveness . . . and, yes, how I can self-righteously criticize people and be morally wrong inside myself instead of deeply loving other people. But only Jesus can give us the character to stay immune to this stuff, in His almighty peace > He does say He will give "rest for your souls" (in Matthew 11:28-30), if we learn from Him and obey Him.
  17. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    I'm late to the party, and this isn't addressed to me. But thought I'd sneak in to offer my own response to this.

    And my answer would be no. No I wouldn't.

    And it is an example of why I think the modern, western popular conceptions of "heaven" and "hell" are quite off the mark.

  18. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    Fair enough! Thanks!
  19. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    That's a complicated issue that we'd do well not to gloss over.
    First of all, there's the issue of whether people suffering in hell are actually demons. We'll examine that in a moment. But first, you seem to imply that feeling pity for someone and feeling glad you are in no danger from them are mutually exclusive. Why would that be, though? If you're in no danger from someone, then you are all the more free to feel pity for someone. And why would you feel pity for these "demons" in hell? Because they're suffering in agony, and I understood that people in heaven become morally perfect. If you're definition of morally perfect, is "I don't care in the slightest when other people are in pain and I'm perfectly safe," then I think there's something wrong with it.
    It sounds like you've misinterpreted it. Just because the fire was prepared for the devil and his fellow lost angels, that doesn't make the human souls sent there into demons themselves. That would be a very strange way to look at it.
    I get the feeling that the solutions you are thinking up here are causing you more problems than they solve. You're opening a whole can of worms here. Are you saying that the people in this world (and remember, most Christians agree that the majority of them are very probably going to go to hell) are actually demons? You believe you're surrounded by actual demons right now? How strange.
    And you also think that God is restraining their demonic nature? How exactly does that work? Does it mean that they don't know they're demons? This causes huge problems for the Christian worldview. If God is able to influence people in this direct manner, and routinely does, why does He not influence them more to be saved? Or why does He not keep influencing them in the afterlife?
    I get why you'd want to believe that. It would certainly make God look very bad indeed if people went to hell by accident, through ignorance or mistake. Unfortunately, your logic falls apart. What kind of idiot do you think would, in full and conscious knowledge of the choice between an eternity of bliss and happiness and an eternity of conscious torture, choose the second option?
    Take my word for it: we are not willingly rebelling against Yahweh. We honestly don't believe that He exists.
    I agree with you completely.
    That would be an incredible decision. You would have to be completely insane to choose to go to hell.
    And yes: I do call pity for these people in hell. Wouldn't you?
    Suns have wings? Okay.

    I think I see where you're coming from. The people in hell, including those who you once loved - they completely deserve it because they rejected God. Leave aside all the logical inconsistencies in what you've said; you're telling me that in Heaven you expect to feel no pity at all for people suffering in hell.

    Well, fair enough. That sounds appalling and horrific to me. But apparently some Christians choose to deal with the horrors of heaven by embracing them.
  20. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    So if you were in heaven, and you saw, or had a vision, of a person you loved on Earth who was now in hell...you would feel no pity at all for them? You would feel perfectly happy seeing them get tortured in the cruellest possible ways, forever?

    That's what I'm hearing you saying. Am I wrong?