God loves you. Enjoy your eternity in hell.

A question for Christians, particularly those of the inerrantist stripe.

28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28, NIV

And:

8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

2 Thessalonians 1:8-10, NIV

“Punished with everlasting destruction.” Is that what a perfectly merciful, perfectly benevolent Father would do to his children?

268 thoughts on “God loves you. Enjoy your eternity in hell.

  1. Oh but you see, God with it’s infinitely large ego suffers in such depth and breadth, no punishment can ever be enough for not stroking it’s metaphorical cosmic phallus.

  2. “Punished with everlasting destruction.” Is that what a perfectly merciful, perfectly benevolent Father would do to his children?

    Perhaps this is a post about what the Republicans are doing on health care.

  3. Me, I’m looking forward to it. At least I’ll get an answer to that ‘life after death’ question.

  4. TristanM:
    The Fundamentalists will argue that it’s your own decision.

    Not just fundamentalists. In C.S. Lewis fiction, he had characters make the decision after death. He was writing for kids, and kids have a rather strong sense of fairness.

  5. Oh goody. Another keiths bible study.

    Neither verse mentions enjoying an eternity in hell.

    Another fail.

  6. Mung:

    Neither verse mentions enjoying an eternity in hell.

    I suppose you ‘re attempting some kind of Mungish word lawyering, but the verse is quite clear:

    They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord …

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

  7. TristanM:

    The Fundamentalists will argue that it’s your own decision.

    Most fundamentalists will argue that the decision not to believe was yours. That’s not the same thing as volunteering for eternal punishment.

    In any case, it doesn’t explain why a loving Father would punish his children eternally, simply for choosing not to believe.

  8. Following J-Mac’s link, you find:

    Concerning the concept of eternal damnation, the pope said, “Damnation consists precisely in definitive separation from God, freely chosen by the human person, and confirmed with death that seals his choice for ever.”

    J-Mac,

    Why should death “seal the choice forever”?

    A truly loving Father would allow his children to change their minds.

  9. J-Mac,

    Is it really that difficult to understand? If you love your children, you want the best for them. Salvation is better than damnation. If a child chose damnation, and then later regretted the choice, a loving Father would allow the child to change his or her mind.

    Does the term “prodigal son” mean anything to you?

  10. Still awaiting your answer, Mung:

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

  11. petrushka:

    In C.S. Lewis fiction, he had characters make the decision after death. He was writing for kids, and kids have a rather strong sense of fairness.

    Lewis was troubled by the doctrine of hell. In The Problem of Pain, he wrote:

    There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power.

    And:

    As things are, however, this doctrine is one of the chief grounds on which Christianity is attacked as barbarous, and the goodness of God impugned. We are told that it is a detestable doctrine — and indeed, I too detest it from the bottom of my heart — and are reminded of the tragedies in human life which have come from believing it.

    However, being C.S. Lewis, he tries to rationalize the problem away:

    But it has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of Our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom; and it has the support of reason. If a game is played, it must be possible to lose it.

    And he attempts a form of the free will defense:

    If the happiness of a creature lies in self surrender, no one can make that surrender but himself (though many can help him to make it) and he may refuse. I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully “All will be saved”. But my reason retorts, “Without their will, or with it?” If I say “Without their will” I at once perceive a contradiction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self surrender be involuntary? If I say “With their will”, my reason replies “How if they will not give in?”

    If God were as dim as C.S. Lewis, that might be a problem. But a brighter God would have other options, including something like the following:

    1. Create two Paradises, one for those who want to be close to God and one for those who desire a separation.

    2. When a person dies, allow them to choose their Paradise.

    3. Make the consequences of either choice obvious to them.

    4. If they regret their choice at any time, allow them to rescind it and to move to the other Paradise.

    Isn’t it obvious that forcing someone to suffer eternally, with no hope or option of relief, is the opposite of loving kindness? How perverse that in defending their supposedly loving God, Christians lose their grasp on what it actually means to love someone.

  12. Mung:
    Neither verse mentions enjoying an eternity in hell.

    Technically correct. It probably wouldn’t be enjoyable.

  13. From Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”:

    The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell…

    But when once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God, as to any regard to your welfare. God will have no other use to put you to, but to suffer misery; you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel, but to be filled full of wrath. God will be so far from pitying you when you cry to him, that it is said he will only “laugh and mock,” Prov. 1:25, 26, &c.

    And remember, kids: God is Love.

  14. YES! His children are bloodthirsty murderers and hate him and those like him.
    Justice demands eternal execution and separation from God etc.
    Not my idea but remember onlky those of the accurate faith will get in heave etc.
    If Jesus had to be murdered on earth, very undignifying for a God, in the stead of evil humans then that proves his love. A last chance of going the extra mile.
    You can’t think of any evil people that you wouldn’t want not living in heaven while still being just as evil?
    Even humans execute humans for evil while knowing it will destroy them.
    Why is human ideas of making people dead, but in oblivion, any better then saying thinking in hell.
    How do you score it?
    People don;t realize how wicked human beings really are in thier motives. Humans have hate motives/crime in great heaps.
    It would be unwise, unsmart, to ignore the hell option unless you know for sure its not true. however it means knowing for sure Jesus was not God and there is no God.
    Be sure. Remember though. Science was created by the civilization that most was of the true faith. A little smarter. We are speaking their language right now
    Its a clue of gods favour and help to get the world saved.
    Figure it out.

  15. Hi keiths,

    You ask why God couldn’t make “two Paradises, one for those who want to be close to God and one for those who desire a separation.” At the very least, Paradise has to be a perfectly satisfying state, otherwise it isn’t Paradise. But if our hearts are made for God, as St. Augustine famously declared, and if the fact that our final happiness can only be found in God is an essential part of what it is to be human (or rational), then a Paradise without God will be impossible. Those who exclude themselves from the presence of God will always experience a feeling of dissatisfaction. (They may, of course, find even this dissatisfying feeling preferable to being in the presence of a God Whom they loathe, which is why theologians commonly teach that the damned would suffer even more, if they were in Heaven.)

    You also ask why souls couldn’t switch between Paradise A (the beatific vision) and Paradise B (a godless paradise). Some theologians have argued that the human will is necessarily fixed at the moment of death, but I don’t find their arguments very convincing. However, I would argue that if we believe in human freedom, then that freedom has to include the freedom to bind oneself to a particular vision of humans’ ultimate good – whether it be one that includes God as its core or one which excludes God as a hindrance to unfettered liberty. I would of course suggest that such a decision can only be a calm and reflective one, made after death, but I would also see no reason why it could not be binding if the person making it wished it to be so. Finally, experience amply confirms the fact that humans can become hardened to evil – which means that at least in theory, a person could reach a point of no return, where Divine grace and the experience of beauty would be incapable of moving such a person towards God. My two cents.

  16. vjtorley: Those who exclude themselves from the presence of God will always experience a feeling of dissatisfaction. (They may, of course, find even this dissatisfying feeling preferable to being in the presence of a God Whom they loathe

    vjtorley: or one which excludes God as a hindrance to unfettered liberty

    I would expect this kind of crap from FMM or J-Mac, but not you, Vincent. What a disappointment

  17. vjtorley: But if our hearts are made for God, as St. Augustine famously declared, and if the fact that our final happiness can only be found in God is an essential part of what it is to be human (or rational), then a Paradise without God will be impossible.

    If

    Glen Davidson

  18. “28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Matthew 10:28

    And
    “8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed

    There is obviously some inconstancies here…

    1. Why both the body and soul would go to hell in the first place? If anything the immortal soul should go there after the body dies, shouldn’t it?
    2. Both verses indicate everlasting destructionand not the everlasting torment.

    So if anything, both of those verses suggest everlasting destruction for both the physical body and the soul that some believe was immortal but according to those verses can suffer everlasting destruction.

    To me these verses indicate death without any hope for resurrection.

    Another bible translation gives us further clues:

    Mat 10:28

    28And you should not be afraid of those killing the body but not being able to kill the soul. Indeed rather you should fear the One being able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”

    So this translation uses the word Gahanna instead of hell.

    Gehenna is an English transliteration of the Greek word γέεννα, which in turn is from the Hebrew word gê’ hinnom, literally the valley of Hinnom.

    In Jesus time and his apostles the valley was used as a burial place for criminals and for burning garbage. Some scholars as well as some evangelical Christians suggest that Jesus and apostles used the word Gahanna in a symbolic terms to describe death without the hope of resurrection.

    While some bible translation use the word hell instead of Gahanna, other use Hades or Sheol.

    While it may seem confusing, it seems that all words seem to describe death or grave where both good and bad people go with different hopes after death; either having the hope of resurrection or not.

    Why would Jesus go to hell in the first place?
    And then got out of it or being resurrected if hell was a place of eternal torment?

    Act 2: 31-32 says:

    “He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”

    So this boils down to whether humans have an immortal soul that can be tormented after death, like in hell…

    Genesis 2:7 says:

    “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”

    This verse clearly says that man became a living soul and received an soul.

    “The majority of professing Christians today believe that when we die, we have a separate “soul” that continues The Immortal Soulto live on. Those who are lost will go to “hell” and the saved will go to heaven. Did you know that Christians were not the first people to believe in the immortal soul? No, this belief came from the Pagan world. All throughout the Old Testament, you will not see one verse where God or His people proclaimed an immortal soul teaching. And the same goes with the New Testament, apart from some vague statements made by the apostle Paul, which do not support an immortal soul at all.”

    The possibly of human quantum teleportation mentioned by me in the post here:

    How did Intelligent Designer/God do it? How was life created?

    also suggest that humans have no mortal or immortal soul.

    This also leads us to the issue of consciousness; what it is if humans have nothing outside of physical bodies?

  19. Vincent,

    You ask why God couldn’t make “two Paradises, one for those who want to be close to God and one for those who desire a separation.” At the very least, Paradise has to be a perfectly satisfying state, otherwise it isn’t Paradise. But if our hearts are made for God, as St. Augustine famously declared, and if the fact that our final happiness can only be found in God is an essential part of what it is to be human (or rational), then a Paradise without God will be impossible.

    You’re missing the point. Whether or not each place qualified as a true paradise, a loving God would allow his children to change their minds about where they’d like to be. When you love someone, you don’t want them to suffer forever based on an earlier mistake.

    Those who exclude themselves from the presence of God will always experience a feeling of dissatisfaction. (They may, of course, find even this dissatisfying feeling preferable to being in the presence of a God Whom they loathe, which is why theologians commonly teach that the damned would suffer even more, if they were in Heaven.)

    A loving God would allow them to alleviate that dissatisfaction if they so desired.

    You also ask why souls couldn’t switch between Paradise A (the beatific vision) and Paradise B (a godless paradise). Some theologians have argued that the human will is necessarily fixed at the moment of death, but I don’t find their arguments very convincing.

    Nor do I.

    However, I would argue that if we believe in human freedom, then that freedom has to include the freedom to bind oneself to a particular vision of humans’ ultimate good – whether it be one that includes God as its core or one which excludes God as a hindrance to unfettered liberty. I would of course suggest that such a decision can only be a calm and reflective one, made after death, but I would also see no reason why it could not be binding if the person making it wished it to be so.

    A rational person wouldn’t want the decision to be binding, and a loving God wouldn’t require it. When you love someone, you don’t want them to suffer forever on account of their mistakes.

    The God you are describing has a shallow understanding of love. He could learn a thing or two from humanity.

  20. Hellevangelist keiths and the hellelujah chorus. Sing along to a modern rendition of the blind leading the blind. Hell isn’t just for sinners anymore!

  21. J-Mac: This also leads us to the issue of consciousness; what it is if humans have nothing outside of physical bodies?

    Are stick insects conscious J-Mac?

  22. Mung:
    Hellevangelist keiths and the hellelujah chorus. Sing along to a modern rendition of the blind leading the blind. Hell isn’t just for sinners anymore!

    m/

    Somehow, reading your post got me in the mood to listen to Manowar – Bridge of Death.

  23. Mung: Neither verse mentions enjoying an eternity in hell.

    And one passage doesn’t mention hell at all. Anyone other than the hellevangelist keiths think that keiths is an expert on hell?

    To my eyes he’s just flailing. Throwing muck. Hoping something will stick.

  24. Mung,

    My question, for the fourth time:

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

    I can see why you would want to avoid my question. It’s awkward being a Christian, isn’t it?

  25. keiths,

    keiths,

    Are people supposed to be satisfied in your version of the evilless world, where you are allowed to be uncomfortable and unhappy, but not beaten or raped?

    Are you still afraid to answer?

  26. So where are we. Neither verse speaks of “hell” as enjoyable.

    The passage from 2 Thessalonians doesn’t mention hell at all.

    And, as it turns out, neither does the passage from Matthew.

    Another keiths fail.

  27. phoodoo,

    Are people supposed to be satisfied in your version of the evilless world, where you are allowed to be uncomfortable and unhappy, but not beaten or raped?

    Are you still afraid to answer?

    Mung:

    keiths prefers to ask questions, and it’s only others who are afraid to answer.

    Oh, please. The day I run away from the two of you will be the day that, um, hell freezes over.

    phoodoo,

    Your error couldn’t be more obvious. You’re assuming that if rapes and beatings aren’t equivalent to mosquito bites and bad haircuts, then it must mean that the latter are A-OK in my book.

    Where did you get that odd idea?

    All else being equal, a loving parent chooses what’s better for their child over what’s worse.

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

  28. keiths:
    phoodoo,

    Mung:

    Oh, please.The day I run away from the two of you will be the day that, um, hell freezes over.

    phoodoo,

    Your error couldn’t be more obvious.You’re assuming that if rapes and beatings aren’t equivalent to mosquito bites and bad haircuts, then it must mean that the latter are A-OK in my book.

    Where did you get that odd idea?

    All else being equal, a loving parent chooses what’s better for their child over what’s worse.

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

    My error??

    I asked you a simple question. You haven’t even come close to trying to answer. Why are you so afraid?

    What discomfort is allowed in your evilless world? All? None? Some that you don’t mind?

  29. phoodoo:

    My error??

    Yes, your error. You are the one assuming that if rapes and beatings aren’t equivalent to mosquito bites and bad haircuts, then the latter are perfectly fine. That’s dumb.

    I asked you a simple question. You haven’t even come close to trying to answer. Why are you so afraid?

    Fear has nothing to do with it. Your question…

    Are people supposed to be satisfied in your version of the evilless world, where you are allowed to be uncomfortable and unhappy, but not beaten or raped?

    …was predicated on the dumb phoodooism I pointed out above: that if rape is worse than a mosquito bite, then mosquito bites must be A-OK.

    However, fear does explain why you and Mung are running away from my simple question:

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

    Neither of you can explain why a supposedly loving God would do something so vile.

    The problem of evil is a brick wall that you keep running into at full speed.

  30. Alas, in my world I seem to benefit in the longer run, from the uncomfortable and sometimes painful processes of thinking and learning in the short run. What we are seeing in this thread is a free home demonstration of what becomes of those who avoid such short-term inconveniences.

  31. keiths,

    Is being unhappy evil keiths? Would a God be evil if he let people be unhappy? Is this the world you think a loving God must make in order to satisfy you?

    These are pretty simple questions. I wonder why you are so afraid?

  32. phoodoo,

    A loving God would want to eliminate any suffering that wasn’t necessary for a greater good.

    Do you want your loved ones to suffer for no particular reason? Nothing quite says “I love you” like “I can see you’re suffering unnecessarily, and I don’t care. It’s fine with me, whether you like it or not.”

    God allows 230,000 people to die in a tsunami and your “counterargument” is that God shouldn’t be asked to eliminate every mosquito bite and bad haircut?

    And the question you’ve been avoiding:

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

    Like any decent person, I say the answer is no. Mung can’t say that without admitting that his God isn’t very loving. What about you?

    Be brave and tell us. And while you’re at it, explain why a loving God would allow 230,000 people to die with no warning.

  33. keiths,

    But keiths, I didn’t ask you about everlasting destruction or about 230,000 dying without warning. My question was so much simpler for you.

    To you a loving God must eliminate all suffering that isn’t necessary. So I ask you quite simply (I guess only Lord knows why you can’t understand simple questions-or you can and you are just too shy), is being unhappy a suffering a loving God must eliminate, in order for you to not call that that version of a God isn’t evil?

    You can’t even describe the simplest elements of what a world with a loving God should look like, and yet you complain about the world we have incessantly.

  34. Do you need me to make questions for you even simpler keiths?

    Is it evil for people to be unhappy?

    Don’t be so shy, God didn’t make you that way, right?

  35. phoodoo,

    But keiths, I didn’t ask you about everlasting destruction or about 230,000 dying without warning.

    Of course you didn’t. You’re trying to avoid the evidence rather than confronting it. I take the evidence into account, which is why I no longer believe in a loving God.

    And I answered your question already:

    A loving God would want to eliminate any suffering that wasn’t necessary for a greater good.

    Unhappiness is a form of suffering. Isn’t that obvious?

    So why does your supposedly loving God allow horrendous amounts of gratuitous suffering?

  36. Mung, phoodoo,

    I have an idea. Why don’t you pray to God to guide you in your answer to my question?

    You have faith in him, right?

    Ask him how this question should be answered:

    Would a loving Father punish his children with “everlasting destruction” and shut them out from his presence?

    Let us know what he says.

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