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 Post subject: If God is loving and forgiving, why is there a hell?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:55 pm 
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A friend of mine was asked this question, and he in turn asked me.

Any takers?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:00 pm 
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My short, perhaps flippant answer is:

Because we reject that love and forgiveness.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:01 pm 
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Hell, defined, is existence without God. If we have spent our lives seeking ourselves instead of loving God, we will get exactly what we asked for--an existence without God. Hell.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:07 pm 
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Hell exists because God is also a God of justice.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:10 pm 
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Aussie mum wrote:
Hell exists because God is also a God of justice.
I think this is part of the answer. It's a simple question but I feel dumb tonight and can't formulate a reply. Some scripture would help too.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:13 pm 
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despair and presumption...

.... also, hatred of God, which the roots are pride

tell him to read The Catechism of the Catholic Church on all of this...

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Last edited by Dionysius on Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: If God is loving and forgiving, why is there a hell?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:21 pm 
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CommonMan wrote:
A friend of mine was asked this question, and he in turn asked me.

Any takers?


Without hell there can be no free will.

FJ

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:32 pm 
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How does this sound.


God punishes evil because he is a just God. To allow evil to go unpunished would be unjust for those who are not evil. God did not create evil. God's essence is absolute goodness (Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Ps 136:1) God abhors sin and He cannot sin. To create evil would be contrary to His own nature. "everything created by God is Good. (1 Tim 4:4)"

Evil was introduced to man by Satan. Since God gave us the ability to think and act as with free will this allowed the possibility for us to rebel against Him. What began among the angels spread to earth through Adam & Eve. God's punishment and anger with sin aren't evil, but are the proper response. Yet, because God loved us he shifted that wrath to Christ, punishing Him for our sins."For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:37 pm 
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CommonMan wrote:
How does this sound.


God punishes evil because he is a just God. To allow evil to go unpunished would be unjust for those who are not evil. God did not create evil. God's essence is absolute goodness (Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Ps 136:1) God abhors sin and He cannot sin. To create evil would be contrary to His own nature. "everything created by God is Good. (1 Tim 4:4)"

Evil was introduced to man by Satan. Since God gave us the ability to think and act as with free will this allowed the possibility for us to rebel against Him. What began among the angels spread to earth through Adam & Eve. God's punishment and anger with sin aren't evil, but are the proper response. Yet, because God loved us he shifted that wrath to Christ, punishing Him for our sins."For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16


All true... A good answer... But, it requires the person you are talking to to buy into your theology... I find that most people who basically believe in some generic God, and also believe they have free will, are more convinced by merely showing them that if hell doesn't exist, then their free will is only an illusion... We are all just robots without any say in our destiny.

FJ

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:43 pm 
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Ok, thanks. Aussie mum got me on the right track.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:45 pm 
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Without hell, people who really don't want to be around God would have no place to go.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:47 pm 
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Philothea wrote:
Without hell, people who really don't want to be around God would have no place to go.


exactly...

FJ

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:55 pm 
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We have to remember that there is no forgiveness without belief and conformity to to God. As Jesus said, we have to be doers of the Word, not just hearers.

God Bless,
Doug


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:56 pm 
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I'm glad the thought got you on the right track. I wanted to write a bit more but I was feeding my baby while typing and have only just got back here. Your response is better than I could have done. :clap:

blessings
Therese

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:07 pm 
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Quote:
Yet, because God loved us he shifted that wrath to Christ, punishing Him for our sins."


I would suggest that it may be more correct to say that God loved us and accepted the sacrificial offering of His Son for our sins; we were the ones who punished (killed) Christ, not God. It seems to me that it would be against His nature for God to vent his wrath on the perfect, sinless Christ.

Peace,
Butterfly


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:57 am 
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Since I love playing Devil's Advocate, here are some caveats that you might want to preconsider before talking to your friend. Keep in mind, I'm not arguing these points, just pointing them out to you before your friend does:


CommonMan wrote:
God punishes evil because he is a just God. To allow evil to go unpunished would be unjust for those who are not evil.


Assumes that everyone who goes to hell is "evil". Scenario: little old lady who lived a honest, decent life, but never bothered with religion because she was unable to give intellectual assent to it. Either be prepared to call her "evil" or soften the definition.

CommonMan wrote:
God did not create evil. God's essence is absolute goodness. God abhors sin and He cannot sin. To create evil would be contrary to His own nature.



Isaiah 45:7 form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
The Hebrew word for evil is "Ra". It's the same word that's used in other parts of the Bible discussing evil in the absolute sense, despite the fact that some modern translations translate it as "disaster".

Lamentations 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good

CommonMan wrote:
Evil was introduced to man by Satan.


And God, with the foreknowledge of what Satan would do, created Satan.


CommonMan wrote:
Since God gave us the ability to think and act as with free will this allowed the possibility for us to rebel against Him. What began among the angels spread to earth through Adam & Eve. God's punishment and anger with sin aren't evil, but are the proper response.


God cannot respond to anything. That's an assault on divine omniscience. If he knew what was going to occur ahead of time, then he cannot be said to respond, but only to have planned. In this sense, planned means intended. If He wanted things to be otherwise, then divine omnipotence grants him the power to have created them in such a way as to BE otherwise. The state of the world, the fall from grace and the punishment of unrepentant sinners must all be said to have been intended by God from the very beginning.

CommonMan wrote:
Yet, because God loved us he shifted that wrath to Christ, punishing Him for our sins."For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16


I remember a old testament verse that says that sacrifice isn't required to atone for sin, and there's certainly an instance where the sins of the people were placed on a goat who was then not killed, but released into the woods. If I get some time, I'll research the verses for ya.

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 Post subject: Re: If God is loving and forgiving, why is there a hell?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:12 am 
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CommonMan wrote:
A friend of mine was asked this question, and he in turn asked me.

Any takers?


I, too, tend to lean toward using the answer that in addition to being perfectly loving and forgiving, God is also perfectly just. And that by rejecting His love and not seeking His forgiveness we leave God with no choice but to punish us for our sins.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:28 am 
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I remember a story my old protestant pastor told me one time. He and a small group from our church went on a reviaval boat ride down the Mississippi River. It was a trip simmilar to a retreat. On this boat, however, were two men who got on the wrong boat. These men ment to get on a riverboat casino that would go down the Mississipi where there would be heavy drinking, gambling, and possibly some immoral sexual behavior. Being on the wrong boat after is took off, these men were stuck. My pastor happened to overhear them, and one of them said "This is Hell."

Bottom line is, people who have no love for God will not be happy in Heaven. They don't want to be there, no matter how much they think they do. God made Hell to give them, justly, what they ask for their whole lives.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:37 am 
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zachk1983 wrote:
Bottom line is, people who have no love for God will not be happy in Heaven. They don't want to be there, no matter how much they think they do. God made Hell to give them, justly, what they ask for their whole lives.



There are good people, who either believe in faiths other than Christianity or profess no faith at all, who do not desire to burn in eternal torment. The choice of a religion is a question of intellectual assent, not a judgement on the character of the person.

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 Post subject: Re: If God is loving and forgiving, why is there a hell?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:44 am 
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Quote:
If God is loving and forgiving, why is there a hell?


Why is it than we people ask me this question, my first impluse is to respond

"He wanted a place for people who ask Him stupid questions like that"

:twisted:

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