We know the poems and parables from the painfully straight-forward statements by:Goose55 wrote: ↑Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:25 amHow do we know which prophecies in Malachi are poems, and which are literal? There is a Messianic prophecy in Malachi Ch 3Del wrote: ↑Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:26 amI see no compelling reason to take the poetic prophecies of Malachi literally, while ignoring the straightforward and clear words of Christ concerning the eternal awareness of the wicked in their suffering.
See? The Apostles understood what Jesus said! And this is what they handed down to us.Matthew 13 wrote:The Parable of the Net
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
The "Kingdom of Heaven" is the Church that Jesus established on earth, for our salvation. He collects sinners into His Kingdom, and strives to make us into saints. ("like a mustard seed which grows into a mighty bush, and all the birds of the air make their homes in its branches")
There will be a judgment for each of us, with eternal consequences. That is what the Apostles taught, and that is what they wrote in the Scriptures.
So weeping and gnashing of teeth, while writhing in flames that never go out. Sounds like a pretty severe punishment. Even for one who does nothing but evil from cradle to grave. If humans get this sentence, what is the punishment for the devil and his fallen angels?
- Reading the Scripture as a whole.
- Reading Scripture with the mind of the Church and the teaching of the Apostles.
Without these things, the Ten Commandments become "suggestions," and THIS IN MY BODY becomes some sort of metaphor.
The "writhing in fire" must be some sort of metaphor for something that is much worse. Spirits don't feel heat or cold. They do not have nerve endings, or carbon-based bodies that could participate in chemical reactions.
I like to think that the soul burns with longing for the only thing that will bring us happiness.... but the hardened souls refused mercy, choosing to remain attached to their addictions.... refusing to serve God, as the demons chose. This helps me to make sense of the permanence of Hell.
But I don't have confirmation of my own opinions. All of the messages that we have from heaven continue to affirm the writhing in fiery torment.
When Mary appeared to the children at Fatima (May-October, 1917), She showed them a vision of Hell. Here are Lucia's own words:
http://www.fatima.org/essentials/facts/hell.asp"She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear."