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Unread 02-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #16
Lo, He comes...
 
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Oh, that's true I suppose. I guess the distinction between that view (my tentative view, or the one that I hope to be the case) and Rome's understanding is that hell is indeed permanent, whereas purgatory is for those who are being saved but have not yet been purified enough to see God's face unhindered.

In my understanding (and St. Isaac's), Hell is the experience of the love of God for those who have loved the darkness their whole lives, and in so doing have so utterly dehumanized themselves (inasmuch as communion with Christ and growth in holiness is to become more fully human, to go in the opposite direction to that is to become less human) that the experience of their Creator's love is felt as flame and wrath.

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I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

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Unread 02-10-2017, 08:08 PM   #17
charis humin kai eirene
 
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I think you need a #6 ... Not Fully Revealed.

I am not saying this to dismiss conversation. Ted Logan brought Scripture into the discussion, which (finally) brings us to a theological discussion. All else is opinion and/or tradition, IMO.

One conclusion I have come to is that Hell is mostly irrelevant to people of faith, or perhaps academic. We may never know anything about it beyond what the Bible now reveals, and should find peace with that now. We are told it is for the unsaved, and uncomfortable. Hot, cold, eternal, temporary, here or somewhere else ... for those in Jesus Christ, it doesn't matter, and should not affect our faith.

Hell is often used as a blunt instrument to bludgeon people to 1) believe in Jesus, and 2) stop sinning ... but apparently is not that effective! It is also used by Satan to discourage believers by making us worry about the unsaved ... the "universal" unsaved and the specific unsaved. The former is beyond our grasp, "above our pay-grade." The latter might sometimes be an encouragement for us to do what we are supposed to do (share Good News), but often actually discourages us by causing us to be fear damnation more than trust our awesome God.

Finally, when Jesus returns and all is made new ...

" ... and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

Hell, fear, worry, even tears for the unsaved will be gone. Whether this is a "memory-wipe" or (my own opinion) a complete peace that God is perfect, I don't know. But I like the idea of no tears.

I spent a good deal of time in the Bible, reading books, and thinking about Hell (and other equally mysterious topics), and have some ideas and thoughts, but don't dwell much on it any more ,,, and rarely even mention Hell in my sermons. Come to Japan, a country with little history of Christianity and a long history of ancestor-worship, and tell me if you think Hell Theology will bring this people to Jesus ... or not. To be honest, I don't think it is all that much more relevant in "Christian America."

2 yen - FWIW
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Unread 02-10-2017, 08:18 PM   #18
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It is one of the questions I get asked continually. It seems like every time there is a death in someone's family I get asked about heaven and hell. I agree that for believers it may be an academic exercise but I don't think it's without benefit to discuss it. I also agree that we are grasping at straws when it comes to much of this.

Still, these conversations can be healthy if we don't get dogmatic about our particular understanding or interpretation.
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Unread 02-10-2017, 08:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
It is one of the questions I get asked continually. It seems like every time there is a death in someone's family I get asked about heaven and hell. I agree that for believers it may be an academic exercise but I don't think it's without benefit to discuss it. I also agree that we are grasping at straws when it comes to much of this.

Still, these conversations can be healthy if we don't get dogmatic about our particular understanding or interpretation.
Oh, I agree, this discussion is great! I didn't mean "this is only for academic folks," but Webster #3 theoretical, speculative. But as you said, when a minister talks to the bereaved, to those faced with imminent death, or even those dealing with a severe sin situation, Hell is often a topic that rears it's ugly head. At those times, a theological dilemma is not comforting or supportive. I would much rather bring up hope than damnation. Add to that the Japanese social responsibility of "caring for their ancestors" and Hell becomes Bad News. Missionaries used to "Christian" societies come here and point to Hell in order to bring them to Heaven ... Big Fail for faith in Japan. Come to think of it, same could be said for a good deal of America these days.

Discuss away, I'm reading with interest, and just adding my thoughts.
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Unread 02-10-2017, 09:50 PM   #20
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I... actually (partly) agree with Charisj/Randy about something. Wow.

Even if, as I hope will be the case, hell is ultimately destroyed and swallowed up by the purifying grace and - dare I say - wrath, of God, it's still not a state I want people to have to endure because I don't want anybody's soul to be in that state.

I also like your point about the afterlife not having been fully revealed to us. You're right, the Tradition is silent about the exact form of what it will look like. What is clear from the teachings of Jesus, though, is that to be in the presence of God is a fearful thing (Hebrews 10:31), and a reckoning is coming. Therefore, repent, for the Kingdom of God is near!

My calling is still the same. Tell people about Jesus and invite them into the fellowship of His Body, the Orthodox Church that He established in 33 AD.
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I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

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Unread 02-10-2017, 10:13 PM   #21
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Double-WoW!

I agree with IsaactheSyrian ... except for a small capitalization issue ...

I, too, want to tell people about Jesus and invite them into the fellowship of His body, the orthodox church that He established in 33 AD!

JK, Ryan! Be well in His church, whatever nomenclature, it's His church.

Cheers!
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Unread 02-10-2017, 10:43 PM   #22
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Just another thought ... if I may?

I grew up in a home without faith. "For the Hell of it," "Helluva ...," and "Go to Hell" were common phrases ... come to think of it, Hell was very much a part of daily life! That has to take a toll on our belief in Hell as a spiritual reality, and probably dilutes a lot of hope for Heaven, too.

I was a Buddhist for a while, and Hell was a bad place for bad people, but it seemed like you would eventually rise up for another chance ... to eventually reach a level of (wait for it ... ) Nothing. Heaven wasn't real either! I came to find that nobody really believed any of that, so left. Even before I knew anything about Jesus or the Bible, I thought Hell was a deserved bad place, and Heaven an undeserved good place. That's about where I am now, too. I don't dwell too much on the "deserved" part very much, but figure it has something it has to do with Adam (and to be fair, Eve). I do, however, consider the "undeserved" part with constant gratitude.

That said, I believe in both Heaven and Hell absolutely. Details I leave to the Lord Jesus, but still speculate on both now and again. One version of Hell is something like "Groundhog Day" without Bill Murray or the good ending. Maybe this is from the "cause-and-effect" residue of Buddhism? Another is like a bad dream ... running away from something evil, with nowhere to run to ... and never waking up. Out of pity for the poor souls in Hell, I hope for eventual annihilation. But not my call. Btw, my version of heaven has nothing to do with harps (or original '59 Bursts) and clouds. I would be bored out of my skull, and would surely never be asked to play lead! I would imagine there will still be some sort of connection to this place, but without sin and death.

Cheers!
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Unread 03-04-2017, 06:35 PM   #23
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If all good things come from God, then apart from God, there is no good but evil. The wages of sin is death. Not punishment for living wrong but a wage earned by a sinful lifestyle. It seems to me that hell is mre of a consequence than a punishment. I believe hell to be both real and eternal.
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Unread 03-04-2017, 09:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charisjapan View Post
I would imagine there will still be some sort of connection to this place, but without sin and death.
I always found myself under the assumption that "this place, but without sin and death" would be the new heaven and new earth (which, I also assumed not to be a literal new planet, but this planet, only renewed, renovated if you will).
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