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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:00 pm 
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you have been shown from scripture, from the fathers and from Church teaching that hell indeed is a place of eternal torment...if you choose not to believe that, then you're on your own

Leave aside whether I believe that or not - you don't know if I do or not, I may have been persuaded, I may be in the process of being persuaded, or I may never be persuaded - but leave that aside, and leave aside any other answer I have been given, someone just please answer this question:

Where in the entire Bible is the first clear mention of hell as a place of eternal torture?

I don't want to play silly games. I just want an answer.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 8:30 pm 
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[bible]Isaiah 66:24[/bible]

[bible]Jer. 15:14[/bible]

Here are two early references, there are certainly others. Keep in mind though that in the OT eternal life was not focused on as much as God's earthly promises. In the NT obviously that is reversed.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 8:40 pm 
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The OT is, at best, shadowy about the afterlife. Belief in the existence of an afterlife of rewards and punishments grew within Judaism during the OT period. This is one of the resons that the Sadduccees rejected a rising from the dead, as they could find no convincing proof in the Books of Moses. But certainly in the NT, we have repeated references to heaven and to hell. The one that comes to mind as most dramatic is Matthew chapter 25.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:03 pm 
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Isaiah: 66;24
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And they shall go out, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched: and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh.

That doesn't seem to be much of a clear reference to hell as a place of eternal damnation - especially if it's the first time it has ever been mentioned. It's very vague. The word eternal isn't actually used. The Bible says Jonah was in the whale "for ever" and a hebrew servant shall belong to his master "for ever". I don't think too many people at that time, when the book of Isaiah was written, would have picked up on that verse and understood it to mean that they could easily end up suffering eternal inescapable torture.

Jer. 15:14
Quote:
And I will bring thy enemies out of a land, which thou knowest not: for a fire is kindled in my rage, it shall burn upon you.

There is no mention of "eternal" there at all.

Why would God be so careless and so slow to clearly warn people that they are in danger of suffering eternal torture - if people are actually in danger of suffering eternal torture? Don't you think that's a good question?

Even if hell, as a place of eternal torture, does actually exist, is there any evidence that any human being has actually gone there? If God, being infinitely merciful, and all-powerful, has a choice between condemning someone to torture in hell for eternity, or to purgatory for a long long time, don't you think, in His infinite mercy, he would make sure it's the latter. Can you tell me of one human being who is definitely in eternal hell? If not, then you must admit there is a possibility that there is no human being in eternal hell - even if such a place hypothetically or actually exists.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:11 pm 
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faithfulservant wrote:
let's see...won't believe the bible...won't believe the Church teaching...how about someone who has been there :shock:

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from St Faustina...of Divine Mercy chaplet fame

http://www.divinemercysunday.com/vision.htm

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Sister Faustina's Vision of Hell

"I, Sister Faustina Kowalska, by the order of God, have visited the Abysses of Hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence...the devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God, What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: That most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell." (Diary 741)


No One Can Say There is No Hell
Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like...how terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God's mercy upon them. O My Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend you by the least sin." (Diary 741)


one last time... did you bother reading Fr Matteo's post? does it make more sense now?

if Saint Faustina and the 3 children of fatima aren't good enough witnesses for you for having seen hell and the souls there, and you don't accept the bible references already given you, then what i and others have observed about you is a foregone conclusion... nothing anyone says to you on the subject will make any difference anyway, because nothing anyone says will change your already made-up mind...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:30 pm 
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Fs wrote:
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one last time... did you bother reading Fr Matteo's post? does it make more sense now?


Fr Matteo wrote:
Quote:
But certainly in the NT, we have repeated references to heaven and to hell. The one that comes to mind as most dramatic is Matthew chapter 25.


Fr Matteo did not actually answer the question very precisely. He did not actual state where in the entire Bible is the first clear mention of hell as a place of eternal torture. He just suggested it is somewhere in the Gospel of Matthew.

I have already dealt with the alleged references to hell, as a place of eternal torture, in Matthew, earlier in this long thread. For example:

Quote:
Matthew 25:46
Quote:
And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

we have already seen that when the Bible uses the word "eternal", it does not necessarily literally mean eternal. The actual Greek word which Matthew used was "aionion" which does not literally mean eternal, it literally means something like "pertaining to an eon" or "lasting an age" - a finite period of time. It has been translated as "eternal" (in some Bibles only) but it does not literally mean "eternal". As I said before, there is a Greek word which means "eternal" - "aiodios". (Paul uses the word "aiodios" in Romans 1:20 - "His eternal power also and divinity".) But "aiodios" is not the word used in Matthew 25:46.

Also the word "punishment" is translated from the Greek word "kolasin" which means "punishment, chastening, correction".

Even if you want to insist it should be translated as "eternal punishment", let me point out that obliteration is a punishment which is eternal - but which does not mean eternal ongoing never-ending torture. (But I'm not saying obliteration is necessarily the correct interpretation.)

And if you want to take Matthew 25:46 literally (or at least the English translation, in some English Bibles, literally) then do you take all of Matthew literally? Do you take Matthew 5:28-30 literally? Or would you recommend that others (for example, teenagers and college students) take it literally?!!!

Matthew 5:28-30
Quote:
But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body go into hell.


Why take some references to "hell" so literally and not take other references so literally?


But leaving that aside, what is puzzling me right now is that even if it is clearly explained somewhere in Matthew that hell is a place of eternal torture (though I have yet to see where in Matthew it is clearly explained), why did it take God so long to make people aware of this? It's not as if it's not important!!! So why did God not tell the people who lived before the time of Jesus about this possibility - that if they weren't careful they could quite easily end up suffering eternal torture, from which, once there, they could never ever escape? Was it not incredibly negligent of God not to warn the people of the world about this dreadful possibility until many years after the time of Jesus?

Or was it easier to avoid eternal damnation before the New Testament was written?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:35 pm 
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Torn, it seems to me that you are bent on taking things they way you will. Well "it isn't literal" if says eternal, you say. Nonsense, all senses are based on the literal. You cannot ignore the plain meaning in interpretation

You know well that the Church teaches that there is an eternal Hell. You know well this is the obvious, on the face, sense of scripture.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 6:39 am 
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But leaving that aside, what is puzzling me right now is that even if it is clearly explained somewhere in Matthew that hell is a place of eternal torture (though I have yet to see where in Matthew it is clearly explained), why did it take God so long to make people aware of this? It's not as if it's not important!!! So why did God not tell the people who lived before the time of Jesus about this possibility - that if they weren't careful they could quite easily end up suffering eternal torture, from which, once there, they could never ever escape? Was it not incredibly negligent of God not to warn the people of the world about this dreadful possibility until many years after the time of Jesus?

Or was it easier to avoid eternal damnation before the New Testament was written?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:36 pm 
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torn wrote:
Even if hell, as a place of eternal torture, does actually exist, is there any evidence that any human being has actually gone there? If God, being infinitely merciful, and all-powerful, has a choice between condemning someone to torture in hell for eternity, or to purgatory for a long long time, don't you think, in His infinite mercy, he would make sure it's the latter. Can you tell me of one human being who is definitely in eternal hell? If not, then you must admit there is a possibility that there is no human being in eternal hell - even if such a place hypothetically or actually exists.


The beast and the false prophet, who are human beings described in the Great Tribulation. There, that is two for you, not just one.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And, in the next verses, a lot more humans will definitely be there too:

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The Alpha and the Omega Himself confirms this again a few verses later:

Revelation 21:6-8 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur."

Torn, it doesn't matter if the written warnings in Scripture don't come early enough for your taste/opinion, does it? God gave whatever information He deemed appropriate at all the right times throughout history~ always has and always will. The only question you need to worry about is, will you believe the information He gave?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:09 am 
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Whatever it may or may not appear to say in the incredibly unclear book of Revelation, it is completely irrelevant to my question:
Quote:
So why did God not tell the people who lived before the time of Jesus about this possibility - that if they weren't careful they could quite easily end up suffering eternal torture, from which, once there, they could never ever escape? Was it not incredibly negligent of God not to warn the people of the world about this dreadful possibility until many years after the time of Jesus?

Or was it easier to avoid eternal damnation before the New Testament was written?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:37 am 
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i don't know why i keep getting sucked in here... :roll:

Fr Matteo explained to you the pre-Jesus view...though maybe stephen could expound on it... they had the Law of Moses to live by .... those that were faithful to that law were in the company of those that Jesus opened the gates of heaven for after His death and resurrection

it seems to me you should be more concerned with where you will be spending eternity and do something about that.... and you have the teachings of the Church to make it clear to you ... you don't have to worry about how things are interpreted from the bible...what is clear and unclear...what is literal and what is figurative... it's not your job ... Jesus left us His Church for our sake and salvation ....

i leave you with this

Matthew 13
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, there cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart: this is he that received the seed by the way side.

Luke 6
47 Every one that cometh to me and heareth my words and doth them, I will shew you to whom he is like.
48 He is like to a man building a house, who digged deep and laid the foundation upon a rock. And when a flood came, the stream beat vehemently upon that house: and it could not shake it: for it was founded on a rock.
49 But he that heareth and doth not is like to a man building his house upon the earth without a foundation: against which the stream beat vehemently. And immediately it fell: and the ruin of that house was great.

John 5
24 Amen, amen, I say unto you that he who heareth my word and believeth him that sent me hath life everlasting: and cometh not into judgment, but is passed from death to life.
25 Amen, amen, I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath given to the Son also to have life in himself.
27 And he hath given him power to do judgment, because he is the Son of man.
28 Wonder not at this: for the hour cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God.
29 And they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.

Jesus makes it quite clear... there is life (heaven) ... and there is judgement (hell) ... Jesus told His apostles that he who hears them , hears Me... since the Church was given all His authority on earth, by listening to the Church , you are given all you need to assure that you too can avoid hell, and enjoy eternal life... the bottom line is, it's your choice

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:11 am 
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Perhaps since the gates of heaven were not open yet they didn't have much choice where they would end up? They needed Jesus, like the rest of us, to come to earth, die for us and open the gates so that we may enter.

I can't tell you for sure as I am not all knowing like God, I can only trust what is given in scripture and what centuries and centuries of teaching has handed down. I can however trust that Jesus would not lie to us and that what he said in Matthew is the truth...

Matthew 25:31-46
31 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; 36 naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? 38 And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, [even] these least, ye did it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me. 46 And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.

Either I believe Jesus and there is an eternal punishment, in eternal fire as well as eternal life spent with Jesus, OR I can not believe Jesus' words and call him a liar. I choose to believe in what Jesus, and consequently, what the Church has taught for centuries. We CAN be sentenced to an eternal punishment in the eternal fire with the devil and his angels. I prefer not to call Jesus a liar.

Michelle

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:13 am 
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Fr Matteo explained to you the pre-Jesus view...

This is all Fr Matteo said about the "pre-Jesus view":
Quote:
The OT is, at best, shadowy about the afterlife. Belief in the existence of an afterlife of rewards and punishments grew within Judaism during the OT period. This is one of the resons that the Sadduccees rejected a rising from the dead, as they could find no convincing proof in the Books of Moses.

If he said anything else, I must have missed it.

Your quotes from the New Testament can be interpreted (and translated) in different ways, fs, as I have already explained in this thread. So I don't want to go back over that. The question I am now asking - to which I haven't yet received a direct answer - is:

Quote:
even if it is clearly explained somewhere in Matthew that hell is a place of eternal torture (though I have yet to see where in Matthew it is clearly explained), why did it take God so long to make people aware of this? It's not as if it's not important!!! So why did God not tell the people who lived before the time of Jesus about this possibility - that if they weren't careful they could quite easily end up suffering eternal torture, from which, once there, they could never ever escape? Was it not incredibly negligent of God not to warn the people of the world about this dreadful possibility until many years after the time of Jesus?

Or was it easier to avoid eternal damnation before the New Testament was written?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:20 am 
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Either I believe Jesus and there is an eternal punishment, in eternal fire as well as eternal life spent with Jesus, OR I can not believe Jesus' words and call him a liar.

How do you know exactly what Jesus said - and meant - Michelle? Jesus spoke in Aramaic, and his (supposed) words were written down many years later in ancient Greek (by people who were perhaps not even present when He spoke the words) and then later translated into English, then modern English.

I definitely do not believe that Jesus was a liar.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:37 am 
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and i gave you an answer to that question in my post :roll:

now you are really starting to sound like an unbelieving skeptic :roll: those are the arguments i always got from those who disagreed with what the bible says

and that's why we have the Church, torn... as i stated before... if you don't want to believe the Church, fine ... :lalala i'll swear, you are just about as obstinate as ken/yoga... :brick: you get answers which you don't agree with and you discount them and just post your same question again :verymad:


if you don't listen to the Church , you don't listen to Jesus...period...end of story... i'm outta here :surrender :salut:

may God have mercy on you, and may our Blessed Mother help you to see and understand before it is too late

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:46 am 
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How do I know exactly what Jesus said? Well, since I wasn't there I don't know. But I do know that the sacred scriptures have been passed down through the generations and I know what sacred tradition tells me as well. I know that the story of Moses wasn't written down immediately either but I believe it to be true. I have faith that those who recorded the story told it right.

So you are questioning the words of the bible? You are questioning the centuries of teachings? How do we know that Jesus performed miracles? How do we know that Jesus gave us the "Our Father" to pray? How can we trust ANYTHING we read in the Bible then? If you analyze all the scriptures this way then you can't believe any of it. You can't just pick and choose what you believe to be true. Either his words are true or they aren't. I don't think that you can say they got part of it right but not other parts. Given your argument then I could say that Jesus didn't really say (or mean) that we had to believe in him to be saved. Afterall, the language has been translated so many times, we weren't there, it was written down much later after Jesus died... he probably didn't really say that! Right? The answer is clearly no.

It is a matter of faith Torn. You either believe what Jesus taught or you don't. He's either speaking the truth or he's a liar. That is all there is to it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:40 pm 
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So you are questioning the words of the bible? You are questioning the centuries of teachings?

If the bible is so clear then how come good people, good Christians and other good human beings, cannot agree on what it says, cannot agree on what it means, cannot even agree on its translation? How many different translations of the bible are there? How many different interpretations of the bible are there? So it is far from clear, some of it is very far from clear.

Quote:
How do we know that Jesus performed miracles? How do we know that Jesus gave us the "Our Father" to pray?

Perhaps we don't know that Jesus performed miracles. (Does it really matter if Jesus performed miracles or not. If he never performed any miracles, would that make him any less wonderful? Surely life itself is a much greater miracle than changing water into wine, love is a much greater miracle than walking on water.) There is no reason to believe that Jesus didn't give us the "Our Father" to pray - but even if He didn't, would that make it any less of a prayer?

Quote:
How can we trust ANYTHING we read in the Bible then? If you analyze all the scriptures this way then you can't believe any of it.

I see your point, but I don't think it's correct. I believe it's reasonable to believe the bible in general, to believe in the essence of the bible, the essence of the teachings of Jesus, without being sure of all the details. I think it's delusory to pretend that we understand precise details when in fact we don't honestly know. We can have belief about the details, but we cannot be sure. Whereas we can be sure beyond all reasonable doubt about the existence of Jesus and his general teachings.

For example, I believe beyond all reasonable doubt that Socrates existed, that he was a very wise and intelligent man, but I cannot be sure what exactly he said. I believe beyond all reasonable doubt that Saint Patrick existed, and that he taught Christianity in Ireland, but I cannot be sure that all the stories about him are precisely true and accurate. So why should I believe the bible is 100 per cent precisely accurate? Why should I believe that my interpretation of the bible is 100 per cent precisely accurate? Why should I believe that any fallible human being's interpretaion of the bible is 100 per cent precisely accurate? It is a book written and translated by fallible human beings - but nevertheless very inspiring and full of wisdom and guidance when read with intelligence, God-given intelligence.

However, I personally would be in great difficulty if I only had the bible for guidance. I also have God to guide me (the Holy Spirit to guide me, if you want to call it that). The bible tells me that God is within me. Through prayer and meditation, God guides me (not always very clearly of course - but that's my fault!)

I Cor 6:19
Quote:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?


Psalm 45:
Quote:
Be still and know that I am God


How do I really know if I can believe those words or not? Not by asking other people's opinions or consulting biblical scholars, etc, but ultimately through my own experience.

I read the bible - and other inspirational books, and I listen to inspirational people, some very inspirational people - but I also look within, through prayer and meditaion. And I learn from my daily experiences of life, good and bad.

God is within us all, and will guide us, if we open our hearts, as well as opening our bibles.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:57 pm 
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Fs wrote:
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and i gave you an answer to that question in my post

Here is that question, fs:
Quote:
even if it is clearly explained somewhere in Matthew that hell is a place of eternal torture (though I have yet to see where in Matthew it is clearly explained), why did it take God so long to make people aware of this? It's not as if it's not important!!! So why did God not tell the people who lived before the time of Jesus about this possibility - that if they weren't careful they could quite easily end up suffering eternal torture, from which, once there, they could never ever escape? Was it not incredibly negligent of God not to warn the people of the world about this dreadful possibility until many years after the time of Jesus?

Or was it easier to avoid eternal damnation before the New Testament was written?


Is this your answer?:
Quote:
they had the Law of Moses to live by .... those that were faithful to that law were in the company of those that Jesus opened the gates of heaven for after His death and resurrection


You seem to be missing the point of my question, though I think it is blatantly clear. Did God explain to people or warn people, who lived before the time of Jesus, about the "very real possibility" that they could end up suffering eternal damnation if they weren't careful?

If not, why not? It's not as if it's not important. It's not as if God would be negligent about it? So did people go to hell - eternal hell - without receiving any warning? Or did all the people who lived before the New Testament was written avoid eternal damnation?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:19 pm 
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[i}((Torn said: How do I really know if I can believe those words or not? Not by asking other people's opinions or consulting biblical scholars, etc, but ultimately through my own experience.

I read the bible - and other inspirational books, and I listen to inspirational people, some very inspirational people - but I also look within, through prayer and meditaion. And I learn from my daily experiences of life, good and bad.

God is within us all, and will guide us, if we open our hearts, as well as opening our bibles. ))[i]

Torn, if you don't need to ask others opinions on what to believe then why do you look to inspirational books and people to help you understand your faith? This is contradictory... while the decision is ultimately yours you do look to others to see the whole picture regarding faith. You wouldn't be here otherwise. You are getting clearer picture of your faith.

Torn, how is this different from Catholics looking to the Church to help us on our way? We read the Bible, read other inspirational books and listen to those we feel are very spiritual and guided by the Holy Spirit. Ultimately we have to decide if we believe what we have learned through it all. This is the exact same path you are taking. We aren't so different afterall are we? The difference that I see is most of us here have decided that through our study and prayer we have decided that this is the correct belief and that the Catholic Church will lead us in the right path to God. You are still trying to figure out that path.

I have studied and read about many different religions and aspects of religion. I have spoken with people of various religious backgrounds (and some who have chosen no religion). And most importantly I have prayed that God, through the Holy Spirit, show me that I am where I should be in my religious choice and beliefs.

Some aspects of religion are hard to understand. I trust in the Church to help me understand those things. I feel very fortunate that I belong to the Catholic church who has not only the Bible to help us understand God but we have Sacred Tradition passed down from generation to generation. Actually all Christian religions are based on this Tradition. Most won't admit that but the fact remains that they are.

We can't know all that God knows. If we did we wouldn't need God and we wouldn't need faith. Some things are just mysteries. God is just asking you to have faith. Since none of us lived in the OT times you will probably never have a complete answer to your question. We have tried to answer but you haven't accepted any of our responses. The final answer is that we don't know but we do know what Jesus tells us NOW and we know what God expects of us. Nothing we do now will change anything that happened in the past. What we can do though is make sure we follow God's commands here and now.

Michelle

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:46 pm 
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torn wrote:
Whatever it may or may not appear to say in the incredibly unclear book of Revelation, it is completely irrelevant to my question:
Quote:
So why did God not tell the people who lived before the time of Jesus about this possibility - that if they weren't careful they could quite easily end up suffering eternal torture, from which, once there, they could never ever escape? Was it not incredibly negligent of God not to warn the people of the world about this dreadful possibility until many years after the time of Jesus?

Or was it easier to avoid eternal damnation before the New Testament was written?


How were people saved in the Old Testament times, torn? It was by faith in everything God revealed to them, which of course included His prophecies of a coming Savior. Now, who exactly had a chance to hear and know anything about God in the Old Testament? Isn't the answer primarily, only Jews? There were occasional outsiders (like Ruth) who came into the fold, but in the Old Testament only believing Jews were saved compared to everyone else in the world at the time.

Under your mindset, you will say this was incredibly negligent of God not to warn the rest of the people of the world. But, we aren't God. He is all Good, and He set the stage of history the way He deemed and saw fit.

There isn't a whole heck of a lot of information regarding heaven in the Old Testament either, is there? So, why should there be a lot of information about hell? What God was trying to get across in the Old Testament was relationship with Him and His people, and them believing/following Him or not. The Old Testament did not focus on the eternal hereafter much.

You do see glimpses of some who are going to endure eternal fire in Isaiah 66:22-24, and Daniel 12 parallels the Matthew 25 verses that show some will go to eternal life and some raised to everlasting contempt.

The Daniel passage goes on where he is told at least two times to "close up and seal the words until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand."

God gave information when and where He deemed fit. If you are going to question why He didn't outline hell as eternal torture in greater detail from day 1, why don't you question why He didn't reveal Himself personally to everyone in the Old Testament times instead of just the Jews? You have to realize and accept in faith that God is Sovereign and knows what is best.

Jesus is the Word of God. He revealed there is an everlasting torment for those goats on the left at judgment time- at least in Matthew and personally again in Revelation. That's all you need to know- it is True because He said it is. Be glad the words were unsealed so you could know them at this time.

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Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession- to the praise of his glory. ~Ephesians 1:13


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