Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

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Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Goose55 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:34 pm

There is no one Christian doctrine that is as repugnant to unbelievers as the doctrine of the torment of the wicked in everlasting flames. We find this teaching, or some variation of it, in nearly every Christian denomination. The basis for the teaching is a belief that humans possess everlasting souls that can not be destroyed. This, despite clear scriptures such as:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

Will the wicked go on living eternally in flames? If so, what do we make of such texts as this, that seems quite clearly to describes the end of the wicked:

"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." (Revelation 20:9)

"Devoured" seems to be quite final, does it not?

Open for discussion.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by tuttle » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:01 pm

The older I get and the more I see, the less I think that unbelievers find the eternality of hell repugnant, as much as they simply find hell, in any form, repugnant. Whether temporal or eternal punishment or destruction or oblivion or whatever, it's all repugnant. And I mention unbelievers, but I think it's safe to say that most of humanity would find hell to be repugnant. Just as if we believe death is repugnant. I would say that if we're having discussions with unbelievers about hell, that instead of trying to weave our way among the different theories of hell within Christianity, it would be best to say that Christianity teaches that there is such a place or time that is designated as 'punishment' before a holy God. Without even getting into the details of 'time' or eternity, that in and of itself is repugnant enough. I think we can find common ground with unbelievers when we admit that such a thing is also repugnant to us, who are just as guilty as the next sinner.

Beyond that a couple quick observations

1) that unbelievers find certain aspects of the faith repugnant should not be the indicator which tells us if the doctrine is true or false.

2) (to deal with your question in a more direct way)- Christianity gathers most of its teachings on hell from Jesus, who said things like: "It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.’" Which seems to indicate an eternal punishment, or even an eternal destruction if such a thing can be conceived.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Cleon » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:08 pm

Upon death everyone's body decomposes. Their immortal souls go to God. The righteous souls are made perfect in holiness and go to heaven. The souls of the wicked are cast into darkness and hell. Awaiting judgement...this is the intermediate state.

Upon the general resurrection of the dead at the last day, all those souls will be united to their same bodies, albiet changed. Some for glory, some for dishonor. Those people that are not already dead will be instantly changed. Then everyone will be judged according to what they have done in the body. Those that know and obeyed God will live forever with Him in those bodies. Those that don't know Him and have not obeyed will be cast into the lake of fire to burn forever in those bodies (the second death)...But, some will say they are then completely burned up or annihilated. This is called annihilationism and it is not favored much by orthodox Christians.



.

I hope this helps.

Edit - You've asked this before, I think. Are you an annihilationist?
Last edited by Cleon on Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Goose55 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:30 pm

tuttle wrote:The older I get and the more I see, the less I think that unbelievers find the eternality of hell repugnant, as much as they simply find hell, in any form, repugnant. Whether temporal or eternal punishment or destruction or oblivion or whatever, it's all repugnant. And I mention unbelievers, but I think it's safe to say that most of humanity would find hell to be repugnant. Just as if we believe death is repugnant. I would say that if we're having discussions with unbelievers about hell, that instead of trying to weave our way among the different theories of hell within Christianity, it would be best to say that Christianity teaches that there is such a place or time that is designated as 'punishment' before a holy God. Without even getting into the details of 'time' or eternity, that in and of itself is repugnant enough. I think we can find common ground with unbelievers when we admit that such a thing is also repugnant to us, who are just as guilty as the next sinner.

Beyond that a couple quick observations

1) that unbelievers find certain aspects of the faith repugnant should not be the indicator which tells us if the doctrine is true or false.

2) (to deal with your question in a more direct way)- Christianity gathers most of its teachings on hell from Jesus, who said things like: "It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.’" Which seems to indicate an eternal punishment, or even an eternal destruction if such a thing can be conceived.
Eternal punishment and eternal destruction can be one and the same. Eternal punishment is punishment that is eternal. Compare it to a sentence of death rather than "life" in prison. The inmate who's death sentence is carried out isn't coming back.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Goose55 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:36 pm

Cleon wrote:Upon death everyone's body decomposes. Their immortal souls go to God. The righteous souls are made perfect in holiness and go to heaven. The souls of the wicked are cast into darkness and hell. Awaiting judgement...this is the intermediate state.
Is it not written that only God has immortality?

"A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found." ~ Psalm 37:10
Last edited by Goose55 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by UncleBob » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:38 pm

Image
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Goose55 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:43 pm

UncleBob wrote:Image
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It is a touchy subject. And perhaps there are those whom we have yet to fully forgive. And so, we may embrace the doctrine of eternal torment, for that reason.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Cleon » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:44 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Cleon wrote:Upon death everyone's body decomposes. Their immortal souls go to God. The righteous souls are made perfect in holiness and go to heaven. The souls of the wicked are cast into darkness and hell. Awaiting judgement...this is the intermediate state.
It is not written that only God has immortality?
You'll have to define immortal so we all know what you're talking about.

I'll say, in my view, God had no beginning and no end. People have a beginning and no end. That's the distinction I make.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Thunktank » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:45 pm

Goose55 wrote:
UncleBob wrote:Image
Image
Image
It is a touchy subject. And perhaps there are those whom we have yet to fully forgive. And so, we may embrace the doctrine of eternal torment, for that reason.
Did I really just read that?
Image

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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Cleon » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:51 pm

[
Goose55 wrote:
UncleBob wrote:Image
Image
Image
It is a touchy subject. And perhaps there are those whom we have yet to fully forgive. And so, we may embrace the doctrine of eternal torment, for that reason.
Could be for some, but I'd say that's not the main reason. I think the main reason that it's accepted is that it can be seen in Scripture and it has been time tested through Church history.

I really don't think it's all that touchy in view of the holiness of God (The Creator) and the meanness of man (the created).
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by UncleBob » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:07 pm

Cleon wrote:[
Goose55 wrote:
UncleBob wrote:Image
Image
Image
It is a touchy subject. And perhaps there are those whom we have yet to fully forgive. And so, we may embrace the doctrine of eternal torment, for that reason.
Could be for some, but I'd say that's not the main reason. I think the main reason that it's accepted is that it can be seen in Scripture and it has been time tested through Church history.

I really don't think it's all that touchy in view of the holiness of God (The Creator) and the meanness of man (the created).
Goose (et.al.): Just remember that you (and I and everyone else) can believe whatever you want to but what does the Bible teach? And for wos and his traditionalists, what does tradition teach? Why? Does it/they have it correct? Why or why not?

Now personally, I suspect those descriptions reflect more the people who penned Scripture (think Peter using tartarus vs. Jesus who may have been describing the Hinnom Valley). It may be that Jesus was using the words of Isaiah (66:28) to describe Hinnom:
“And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
Also, many of the later traditions seem to better reflect the cultural values of medieval Europe than those of Christ, IMO.

Anyway, what do you think the Bible/tradition teaches about hell?
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Goose55 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:46 pm

UncleBob wrote:Anyway, what do you think the Bible/tradition teaches about hell?
Its plain to see that tradition teaches everlasting torment in flames, or some variant of that. It's in virtually every denomination's list of beliefs.

I think the Bible teaches the wicked will simply be no more.

"And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." ~ Malachi 4:3

ashes do not burn
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by wosbald » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:00 pm

+JMJ+
Goose55 wrote:I think the Bible teaches the wicked will simply be no more.
That would be a rather arbitrary and chaotic god — a capricious supernaturalistic whirlwind (of the kind mentioned in The Unseen Realm? thread) — who respects no consistency or telos in a Natural Order, impulsively making Images of himself and undoing them with equal irrationality.




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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Fainn » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:09 pm

Tradition was different during the time of Jesus. It was believed that one of two things happened to soul. A) It either went to paradise because it was righteous or B) It spend time in Hell for a short duration and then returned to G-d as nonconscious energy. The Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning was prayed on behalf of the dead a maximum of 11 months because only the most wicked spent a full year in hell. At the time, only two people were considered evil to merit eternity in Hell - Balaam for plotting to have Baal worshippers to seduce the Israelite men to worshipping idols. I believe the second was Haman who proposed the first final solution to have the Jews exterminated.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Hovannes » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Cleon wrote:Upon death everyone's body decomposes. Their immortal souls go to God. The righteous souls are made perfect in holiness and go to heaven. The souls of the wicked are cast into darkness and hell. Awaiting judgement...this is the intermediate state.
Is it not written that only God has immortality?

"A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found." ~ Psalm 37:10
A pretty good Thomistic philosopher once told me this:
Eternal, implies having neither a beginning nor an end. God is eternal,we OTOH are avaternal with a beginning(being created)
The Church Fathers taught that we exist because we are in God's thoughts.
The souls in Hell don't want to be in God's thoughts, they would prefer not to exist if they cannot exist on their own terms (without God)
That is why they wiggle(OK, writhe)
It isn't being without God as much as it is being unable to deconstruct God that makes hell so hellish for the so inclined.

Sounds OK to me.

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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Goose55 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:31 pm

A lot of folk have foggy notions about what happens after death. They're taught from religious tradition that the body turns to dust and the soul goes to Heaven, ....or that other place.

Jesus referred to death as a "sleep." Interestingly, so does the Apostle Paul in one of his descriptions of the resurrection of the just:

"This we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord
" ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Jocose » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:56 pm

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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Onyx » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:08 pm

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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Thunktank » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:44 pm

Onyx wrote:Image


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Thanks Onyx, I needed a good laugh.
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Re: Everlasting Souls Writhing In Eternal Flames?

Post by Del » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:55 pm

Onyx wrote:Image
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