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What if you’re wrong about hell?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Saint Steven, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    From a CWR (Christianity Without Religion) article by Brad Jersak titled:
    What if you’re wrong about hell?
    (Source link: Q&R with Brad Jersak: What if you're wrong about hell?)
    Note this is more to read at the link than what I have posted in the OP here.

    Comments and discussion welcome.

    Q&R with Brad Jersak: What if you’re wrong about hell?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Question:

    Recently, in response to my rejection of the hell of eternal torment, one of my readers offered a fairly common objection: “I hope you’re right about that. BUT if you’re wrong about hell, then a lot of people will go there … and it will be your fault. Wouldn’t it be better to play it safe just to be sure?”

    The following response was adapted from a much longer essay from Clarion Journal, titled, “Let’s Talk about Hell BETTER or “If You’re Wrong, a Lot of People Will Go to Hell & It’s Your Fault” by Brad Jersak.

    Response: The Wager
    This high stakes objection is worthy of a careful response.

    1. “Wrong about hell” in what way? The implication seems to imply that I don’t believe there’s a hell or that the hell I believe in is not something to worry about. Not so! Of course I believe in hell. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it with my eyes, in my spirit and in my Bible. And now I preach the good news, knowing that Christ conquered hades (Rev. 1:18) to rescue us and he came back victorious with a host of captives (Mark 3:27, Eph. 4:8). I see no reason to believe that my conviction that hell is horrendous but not eternal would endanger a single soul of going there.
    2. Are we saved by belief in Christ or by belief in hell? I assume that objectors believe that the material cause of our salvation is Jesus Christ and the efficient cause is faith in his name. Nowhere do the Scriptures demand belief in a particular doctrine of hell as a requirement for saving faith. No doctrine of hell entered New Testament evangelism or our confession of faith at baptism. One can check every evangelistic sermon in Acts to verify this.
    3. The ‘Safe’ Wager: The charge seems to be rooted in a fear-based wager that ultimately bites itself in the behind. The wager goes like this: IF eternal conscious torment is even a possibility, then we’d better warn people about it or they will end up there. Makes sense, right? Well… that might have worked in Jonathan Edwards time. I say might because can we be so sure that those who repent out of fear of being roasted alive forever actually responded in willing faith to Jesus Christ? Did they love him because they’d God’s love in the revelation of the Cross? Or did Edwards merely convince them to convert with the eternal conscious gun to their heads? Is that saving faith?
    But for the sake of our wager, let’s say it was. Let’s say that gospel did work. And let’s say Edwards was completely right: that hell is eternal conscious torment and salvation is Jesus’ way out of the white-hot wrath of God. Let’s say eternal conscious torment is the clear and present danger. If so, then we need to determine which gospel will BEST save people from that fate.

    Here’s the troubling news: preaching eternal hellfire no longer scares people into Jesus arms. Statistically, it creates atheists by the millions. If you’re truly worried about people going to hell, then you had better NOT mention it, because such preaching is among the top stated reasons why people now reject Christ.

    This is a fact in the 21st century: people today reject the good news of Jesus Christ when we import hellfire preaching into our gospel. They do this because:

    • It sounds more like medieval mythology than gospel truth. It doesn’t resonate at all.
    • It looks more like a B-grade horror movie than something anchored to reality.
    • It sabotages the evangelist’s credibility because it doesn’t sound like the foolishness of the gospel (Christ and him crucified). It sounds more like the silliness of radical fundamentalism.
    • It enables the listener to defer judgment to an imagined “later” rather than facing all the ways they are already perishing and in bondage to the kingdom of hell today.
    So, if you are truly afraid that people will go to hell, DO NOT tell them about it. But my suspicion is that the greater fear is that we ourselves might go to hell if we don’t get it right, even if we cause others to reject Christ through our hellacious threats.
     
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  2. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    It won't matter.

    Not if you hear Jesus Voicer, and follow Him.

    Whoever trusts Jesus has life.

    Whoever trusts not Jesus has not life - (to them it will matter).
     
  3. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks, Jeff. Now read the article.
     
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  4. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Hell is where all non-believers currently are.
    In the original language, it's an active condition, not a future destination.
     
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  5. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    What is your definition/description of "hell"?
     
  6. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    That's what I just said:
    SkyWriting said:
    Hell is where all non-believers currently are.
    In the original language, it's an active condition, not a future destination.
     
  7. Jamdoc

    Jamdoc Well-Known Member

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    Decent points. I know that before I believed in Christ, and was pitched the ideas of Hell I rejected it, easiest way to not fear Hell, not believe in it or any of its connected doctrines.
    Why did I get saved? Because I was later actually taught about Jesus, thought He was amazing, and thought "what do I have to do to go to Heaven where He is?"
    The initial reason to believe in Hell for me was because I believed in Jesus, and Jesus talked about it being a real place, Jesus talked about Heaven and the Kingdom of God as a real place, a wonderful place, where you should want to go. It was the compassion, wisdom, and goodness of Jesus that made me want to believe anything He said.
    Maybe some people are better convinced by being scared of Hell but I think just as many are more convinced by the positive Gospel instead.
    That doesn't hinge on our doctrines about what Hell actually is, but I will trust what Jesus says about it and He said it was a place of wailing and gnashing of teeth, where the worm dies not and the fire is never quenched.
    So that's what I'll base my doctrine on.
     
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  8. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    I was involved in inner city evangelism and felt a lack of concern for the lost.

    I prayed about this, simply being honest before Him about my lack of heart concern.

    Within days I had a deeply frightening vision, being led to the very rim of the pit by an angel.
    It was frightening, overwhelmingly repugnant and I asked the angel 'do I have to go any closer.?'

    This changed my heart 360.

    This helped to motivate my reaching out - but I never once mentioned it in the course of presenting the good news.

    I did mention it preaching to believers - you could have heard a pin drop...

    I have an unresolved question kicking around.

    I saw no people in there - maybe an empty place prepared for after Judgement?
     
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  9. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I thought that was Hades. (the realm of the dead) Not Hell, per se.
     
  10. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Can you be specific and present the gramatical case for your position please.

    Is it possibly both?
     
  11. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand there are two different places that are easily confused.
     
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  12. Adamina

    Adamina Praise Jesus Supporter

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    Blame Jack Chick and inaccurate Bible versions and hellfire and brimstone preachers.......

    Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon

    "hell" YLT

    There are no concordance results for "hell" in the YLT.


    See results from these other Bibles:

    54 results in the KJV 32 results in the NKJV 17 results in the NLT 13 results in the NIV 14 results in the ESV 11 results in the CSB 13 results in the NASB 16 results in the NET 13 results in the RSV 13 results in the ASV 12 results in the DBY 49 results in the WEB


    upload_2020-3-13_18-59-30.jpeg

    You know what scared the hell out of me? Jack Chick.

    You know what scared the hell out of me? Jack Chick.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    =============================================
    [​IMG]
    The Total Victory of Christ videos

    What is hell? The Refined in the Lake of Fire presentation will change your perspective on punishment in the afterlife. Eternal punishment is not a biblical teaching. Share this video with all your Christian friends and family, the Lake of Fire is the most misunderstood concept in the bible.
    Not only is it not a picture of eternal punishment it's actually giving us completely the opposite picture. Not eternal hell fire or outer darkness, but actually the picture of a restoration process for all of God's creation.

    I have had former atheists tell me what drove them to atheism is that the doctrine of eternal punishment is contrary to the love of God.
    The early church did not believe in eternal punishment, they believed in the Apokatastasis, also known as Universal Salvation or Universalism.

    =============
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  13. Adamina

    Adamina Praise Jesus Supporter

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    Ooop double post.....lag.......
     
  14. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    We humans instinctively know torture is NOT ok ... why would a person accept a god that tortures people? Eternal torture teaching is a terrible teaching and leads people away from God. God does NOT torture people!
     
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  15. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I would agree with that. Thanks.
     
  16. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    ELEOS

    Folks torture themselves by refusing Love and seal their own eternal fate as separated from Love forever.
     
  17. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I usually take a different approach. I don't talk about hell so much. I do talk about being refused entry into heaven and being separated from God for eternity. Hell simply means the grave, but the word is now loaded with far worse connotations. You may not like it, but there is plenty in the Bible about judgement for unbelievers. And no, it will not be a fun time. If a person rejects the idea that heaven is a great place to go, I then introduce the consequences. An eternity of regret that they rejected Christ when they had the opportunity to accept.

    People reject Christ for many reasons, primarily because they love to sin and see no reason to change. I know people who are walking disasters who tell me they are good people. Some have brought terrible situations on themselves and then blame God for it.

    If the individual is intent on rejecting Christ, he or she will find an excuse. If they are convicted by the Holy Spirit, they will more than likely accept. My idea of Christianity was hell on earth with a vague notion that there was better to come. I was led to the Lord by a Christian who believed in sprinkling infants. He preached as if he'd learned from Billy Graham and here I am today. The power is in the gospel preached. And that is the greatest shortcoming in modern preaching.
     
  18. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Here's a curious thing, Carl. (several things actually)
    There are three place in which every knee will bow and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. I have bolded the third one. (see Phil.2:11 below)
    Now read the definition of "acknowledge" at the bottom of this post.
    What do you make of that?

    Philippians 2:10-11
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    1 Corinthians 12:3
    Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says,
    “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

    Romans 14:9
    For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that
    he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

    Romans 10:9
    If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart
    that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Note on "acknowledge" in Philippians 2:11
    S1843 eksomologéō (from 1537 /ek, "wholly out from," intensifying 3670 /homologéō, "say the same thing about") – properly, fully agree and to acknowledge that agreement openly (whole-heartedly); hence, to confess ("openly declare"), without reservation (no holding back).
     
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  19. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Jesus has established His authority in all realms.

    The demons believe and tremble.

    Exclusion from Love does not mean unable to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ.
     
  20. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    That is what we were raised to believe.
    The definition of "acknowledge" says: whole-heartedly and without reservation.
    Furthermore, the Apostle tells us that no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. - 1Cor.12:3
    And that if we declare with our mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our heart
    that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved. - Rom.10:9

    Philippians 2:10-11
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    1 Corinthians 12:3
    Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says,
    “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

    Romans 14:9
    For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that
    he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

    Romans 10:9
    If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart
    that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Note on "acknowledge" in Philippians 2:11
    S1843 eksomologéō (from 1537 /ek, "wholly out from," intensifying 3670 /homologéō, "say the same thing about") – properly, fully agree and to acknowledge that agreement openly (whole-heartedly); hence, to confess ("openly declare"), without reservation (no holding back).
     
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