Doctrine of Hell

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Ajay

Puritan Board Freshman
This below questions are from one of my friend.
1. I find it hard to understand how the Doctrine of Hell glorifies God. While it's demonstrate God's justice and righteousness, why does this have to come at such a great and terrible cost?
2. Why does God take pleasure in predestinating millions of souls to hell? Why did God allow the human race to continue after Adam sinned when he knew what the end would be from beginning, ie that most people would end up in hell for all eternity.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
I believe these objections have been mostly answered by the Apostle Paul. See Romans 9.

However, your friend does appear to make some improper assumptions, such as that God takes pleasure in the death of the wicked.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
This below questions are from one of my friend.
1. I find it hard to understand how the Doctrine of Hell glorifies God. While it's demonstrate God's justice and righteousness, why does this have to come at such a great and terrible cost?
2. Why does God take pleasure in predestinating millions of souls to hell? Why did God allow the human race to continue after Adam sinned when he knew what the end would be from beginning, ie that most people would end up in hell for all eternity.
God is Holy, and He has to judge all evil and sin that is against Him and His ways.
The Marvel and wonder is not that any go to hell, but that any of us can get to heaven.
God has ordained the state in which all of those who will reject Jesus to save them to go, their hell, but they are still responsible for being in that final state.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I believe these objections have been mostly answered by the Apostle Paul. See Romans 9.

However, your friend does appear to make some improper assumptions, such as that God takes pleasure in the death of the wicked.
In of themselves God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but to assume anything that God does to the wicked is not "pleasurable" is simply wrong. Why in the world would God do anything that does not bring Himself glory, which is always "pleasurable".
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's been said that nobody talked more about hell than Jesus. And it's true, as you skim the gospels, He's constantly going there.

This is a fair question, and an important question; and it should deeply stir us. A Hollywood actor died a few years ago in a car accident; the car ended up going up in flames and most think he was still alive in that car as it burned up. What a way to die. And yet when we read in the gospels of the lake of fire where the enemies of God are thrown; this is torment that doesn't last 20 seconds; it's a torment that never, ever ends. This is punishment at its absolute extreme, is it not? Is this too much? Is God harsh? Does the punishment fit the crime?

I think here's where we have to go with it. We know the character of God. And now we are informed of His decree. So what we have to do is begin to reorient ourselves towards what reality actually is. The doctrine is meant to drive home just how serious our sin is; just how great in fact our crimes are against the King of heaven. We think they are comparably light. But if God's character is what Scripture says it is, and if this is the punishment He's dealing out; our assumptions about the weight of our offenses must be off-base. And it's no wonder; we don't look into these things as un-biased beings. Behold, the God of heaven. Better submit to Him while you can as the crucified Lamb. He's coming back as the Lion to tear limb from limb those who continue in rebellion against Him.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
It's been said that nobody talked more about hell than Jesus. And it's true, as you skim the gospels, He's constantly going there.

This is a fair question, and an important question; and it should deeply stir us. A Hollywood actor died a few years ago in a car accident; the car ended up going up in flames and most think he was still alive in that car as it burned up. What a way to die. And yet when we read in the gospels of the lake of fire where the enemies of God are thrown; this is torment that doesn't last 20 seconds; it's a torment that never, ever ends. This is punishment at its absolute extreme, is it not? Is this too much? Is God harsh? Does the punishment fit the crime?

I think here's where we have to go with it. We know the character of God. And now we are informed of His decree. So what we have to do is begin to reorient ourselves towards what reality actually is. The doctrine is meant to drive home just how serious our sin is; just how great in fact our crimes are against the King of heaven. We think they are comparably light. But if God's character is what Scripture says it is, and if this is the punishment He's dealing out; our assumptions about the weight of our offenses must be off-base. And it's no wonder; we don't look into these things as un-biased beings. Behold, the God of heaven. Better submit to Him while you can as the crucified Lamb. He's coming back as the Lion to tear limb from limb those who continue in rebellion against Him.
God would seem to view being an eternity in hell as being a better state than simple being judged and burnt up totally, as some see it happening to the lost.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
God would seem to view being an eternity in hell as being a better state than simple being judged and burnt up totally, as some see it happening to the lost.
I disagree. It would be much better for the reprobate if he were destroyed immediately instead of spending an eternity where the worm dieth not and the fire, never quenched.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I disagree. It would be much better for the reprobate if he were destroyed immediately instead of spending an eternity where the worm dieth not and the fire, never quenched.
God seems to see it to be preferred though, as the resurrection of Jesus bought for the lost immortal bodies to endure eternity with and in themselves.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
What? So, if I am understanding you, you believe Jesus' death and resurrection was an act of mercy to those in hell for eternity?
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
Paul in Romans 9 answers already the questions.
Note that those objections are actually objections to the Christian Faith in general. If you press on God’s foreknowledge, you very quickly realise that all non-reformed positions and answers to those objections are worse. And everybody has to deal with foreknowledge because it is explicitly biblical (Rom 8).
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Paul in Romans 9 answers already the questions.
Note that those objections are actually objections to the Christian Faith in general. If you press on God’s foreknowledge, you very quickly realise that all non-reformed positions and answers to those objections are worse. And everybody has to deal with foreknowledge because it is explicitly biblical (Rom 8).
The problem with their view on Foreknowledge is that it makes God merely a passive watcher to see if a sinner will accept Jesus, while the Calvinist view is that God knows that they will be , die to Him being the cause of them doing so.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
The problem with their view on Foreknowledge is that it makes God merely a passive watcher to see if a sinner will accept Jesus, while the Calvinist view is that God knows that they will be , die to Him being the cause of them doing so.
If the non-reformed view of foreknowledge is pressed to consistency, it actually becomes blasphemous. Could God forknow something else if he willed? Does God derive knowledge from within himself or does he receive information from outside himself?
Note another point, every Christian is a determinist in one sense or another (except if he holds to a consistent Chance metaphysic where every atom has self-determination). Who is the ultimate determiner? If God passively takes in information from the future, it still follows that the future is fixed, but by whom? That‘s called fatalism.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
If the non-reformed view of foreknowledge is pressed to consistency, it actually becomes blasphemous. Could God forknow something else if he willed? Does God derive knowledge from within himself or does he receive information from outside himself?
Note another point, every Christian is a determinist in one sense or another (except if he holds to a consistent Chance metaphysic where every atom has self-determination). Who is the ultimate determiner? If God passively takes in information from the future, it still follows that the future is fixed, but by whom? That‘s called fatalism.
The Ultimate logical end of the Non Cal viewpoint would seem to be Open Theism.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
The Ultimate logical end of the Non Cal viewpoint would seem to be Open Theism.
Not, only that it ends up eradicating Christian theism alltogether. Numerous attributes of God collapse in non-reformed positions. All non-reformed positions actually make God dependent on some kind of "environment," "context" or something outside of himself.
The Triune God is his own context, the very essence of self-existence.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Not, only that it ends up eradicating Christian theism alltogether. Numerous attributes of God collapse in non-reformed positions. All non-reformed positions actually make God dependent on some kind of "environment," "context" or something outside of himself.
The Triune God is his own context, the very essence of self-existence.
the real folly of the non cal position in regards to salvation is that it makes God dependent upon sinners to actually be able to accomplish the salvation of anyone. the death of Jesus would just be providing potential/maybe, and not real and definite salvation.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I also remember that Jesus stated that there will be differing degrees of punishment for those who are in hell. So just as degrees of eternal rewards in heavens, there shall be degrees of punishment in hell.
You imply that the minimal amount of punishment is beneficial in some respect. It isn't. The lowest level in hell will be indescribable torment.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
the real folly of the non cal position in regards to salvation is that it makes God dependent upon sinners to actually be able to accomplish the salvation of anyone. the death of Jesus would just be providing potential/maybe, and not real and definite salvation.
I would argue that that the "bare Calvinist" position is also very problematic, as it deals in Harmatiology and Soteriology while ignoring entirely the attendant and necessary Ecclesiology. When one (or group) says they believe in Total Depravity, but ignores the means of grace and does "worship" after man, stunted growth and a trainwreck is usually on the horizon.
 

Ben Mordecai

Puritan Board Freshman
Everyone's doctrine of sin an judgment contains an element of mystery. The main question is where you locate that mystery. Arminians seek to eliminate the mystery of why God would predestine people for Hell (or predestine people to be passed over for salvation) by assigning this to free will, but they end up simply locating the mystery in why God would create a Hell to begin with, or else why God who is all powerful didn't do more to save every particular individual.

The Calvinist simply follows scripture in understanding that God is perfectly good and perfectly just and that the scheme of predestination is what it is. Nevertheless, God the Father, at great cost to himself sent his Son to suffer, and God the Son willingly suffered greatly, more than any other man, out of love for us.

Therefore, whatever the answer to the mystery is, God's love demonstrated though action vindicates him from any accusations of maliciousness.

God intentionally did not reveal to us the reasons in his hidden will. Our duty is to respect that and not seek to ascend into heaven to discover it for ourselves but to hold firm to the word that is near us, in our mouths and in our hearts, to hold to what it teaches. It teaches that God is love and that he has the right to have mercy on those he will have mercy and harden those he will harden.
 

Ben Mordecai

Puritan Board Freshman
Lutherans, interestingly, locate the mystery in the extent of the atonement. They confidently affirm that Jesus died for every single person but it is a mystery why some are still judged for their sins for their unbelief.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Freshman
Hell is a hard subject, and it is a scary subject.

If there's one thing I know from scripture, it's that God is just and righteous. He will never ever punish anyone more than they deserve. The only possibility other than getting exactly what you deserve is getting grace.

I am also bound to conclude from scripture that Hell is real, and it is also really horrible. Therefore, harmonizing these two means that God is absolutely just in sending people to hell, and that if we think it is too harsh, then we simply either a) don't understand the sinfulness of sin, b) don't understand the holiness of God, or c) a combination of a) and b).

Also keep in mind that the Bible teaches that the unconverted soul does not seek God and glories in sin. In hell, such a soul would still be unconverted. Such a soul, even in hell would not seek God, and at most would be seeking for a reprieve from their torment, and would not actually repent. Refer to the story of the rich man and lazarus.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I would argue that that the "bare Calvinist" position is also very problematic, as it deals in Harmatiology and Soteriology while ignoring entirely the attendant and necessary Ecclesiology. When one (or group) says they believe in Total Depravity, but ignores the means of grace and does "worship" after man, stunted growth and a trainwreck is usually on the horizon.
What is the bare Calvinist position, would it be subscribing to say just TULIP for Sotierology?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
You imply that the minimal amount of punishment is beneficial in some respect. It isn't. The lowest level in hell will be indescribable torment.
Hell is indeed a terrible condition to be found in, but Jesus did seem to ascribe varying levels of punishment there when the sinner was judged by Him in the end.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Everyone's doctrine of sin an judgment contains an element of mystery. The main question is where you locate that mystery. Arminians seek to eliminate the mystery of why God would predestine people for Hell (or predestine people to be passed over for salvation) by assigning this to free will, but they end up simply locating the mystery in why God would create a Hell to begin with, or else why God who is all powerful didn't do more to save every particular individual.

The Calvinist simply follows scripture in understanding that God is perfectly good and perfectly just and that the scheme of predestination is what it is. Nevertheless, God the Father, at great cost to himself sent his Son to suffer, and God the Son willingly suffered greatly, more than any other man, out of love for us.

Therefore, whatever the answer to the mystery is, God's love demonstrated though action vindicates him from any accusations of maliciousness.

God intentionally did not reveal to us the reasons in his hidden will. Our duty is to respect that and not seek to ascend into heaven to discover it for ourselves but to hold firm to the word that is near us, in our mouths and in our hearts, to hold to what it teaches. It teaches that God is love and that he has the right to have mercy on those he will have mercy and harden those he will harden.
I realize much more now having been saved by the Grace of the Lord for many years just how thankful I am that God choose to love and redeem me. One of the main results of how good and gracious God has been towards me is must strive to let others know about Heaven and Hell when ever they ask me who and what I have my hope in.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Lutherans, interestingly, locate the mystery in the extent of the atonement. They confidently affirm that Jesus died for every single person but it is a mystery why some are still judged for their sins for their unbelief.
They hold to the Unlimited Atonement viewpoint?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Hell is a hard subject, and it is a scary subject.

If there's one thing I know from scripture, it's that God is just and righteous. He will never ever punish anyone more than they deserve. The only possibility other than getting exactly what you deserve is getting grace.

I am also bound to conclude from scripture that Hell is real, and it is also really horrible. Therefore, harmonizing these two means that God is absolutely just in sending people to hell, and that if we think it is too harsh, then we simply either a) don't understand the sinfulness of sin, b) don't understand the holiness of God, or c) a combination of a) and b).

Also keep in mind that the Bible teaches that the unconverted soul does not seek God and glories in sin. In hell, such a soul would still be unconverted. Such a soul, even in hell would not seek God, and at most would be seeking for a reprieve from their torment, and would not actually repent. Refer to the story of the rich man and lazarus.
If the person did not want anything to do with God and the Christians while alive here on earth, would not Heaven for all eternity around God and His people be like Hell to them?
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
If the person did not want anything to do with God and the Christians while alive here on earth, would not Heaven for all eternity around God and His people be like Hell to them?
I would imagine that being grumpy in heaven would still be better than suffering for eternity the fiery torment of hell. (Of course the very idea is nonsense.)
 
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