Rethinking My Beliefs about God Apart From Traditional Christianity

Questions For People Who Believe In The Traditional View Of Hell

In Hell on November 14, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Why would a soul suffer for eternity for wrongs committed only during one lifetime? Is that really justice?

If the consequence for sin is eternal punishment and separation from God, how could Christ atone for every sin of the world, or even only for the elect, in only six hours?

Was the love of God, or the blood of Christ, not enough to atone for the sins of the whole world, or must people suffer for sin in addition to this great love by which we are saved? If so, why must there be two punishments?

How could we be happy in heaven while souls are suffering in hell? What if one of those souls was a personal loved one? (Yes, we will know they are suffering – See 1 Cor 13:12.)

Wouldn’t we then spend our eternity trying to get out of heaven and into hell to do what we could to rescue those who were painfully suffering?

If we really believe hell is eternal torment, why aren’t we dropping everything to rescue people now? Is it possible that we do not really believe this in our soul?

If we feel this way as humans about justice and love, how much more would God, who IS love, feel this justice and

love toward His own offspring? (Every human is God’s offspring – Acts 17:29)

Doesn’t this belief of eternal torture reflect a god similar to the likes of Adolph Hitler? Is this really the God of the Bible?

Why would an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect and holy God punish created, weak, ignorant, humans who have already lived a life of suffering? Wouldn’t we rise up in anger over this injustice?

If souls are not saved on the basis of good works, why would souls be eternally damned on the basis of a lack of good works?

If salvation comes by belief, would not the demons, who believe, also be saved?

If salvation is based on one thing and one thing only, the grace of God, could we not conclude that this grace is unconditional? The Bible says that there is no partiality with God; therefore, wouldn’t this grace be extended to every soul whether we believed it or not?

If God is omnipresent, how can anyone literally be separated from Him? Would it not make more sense to say that we are only separated from him in our own limited understanding or due to our unbelief?

The Bible says that God is a consuming fire, that a river of fire flows from his throne and that Christ baptizes with fire? Doesn’t the Bible refer most often to fire as a cleansing or a refiner’s fire? And doesn’t this make much more sense about a clearly symbolic lake of fire that destroys death and evil forever?

If it is our unbelief that keeps us from *seeing* the kingdom of heaven, could this mean that as much as we do not believe in the unconditional love of God for ourselves and others, the gospel according to John 3:16, is as much as we do not experience heaven (which is here and now?)

Why couldn’t hell be the suffering we experience on earth due to our unbelief?

And wouldn’t our eyes finally be *opened* after the distraction of the temporal world is gone in the afterlife, and we “know just as we are known”?

  1. I’ve asked these same questions in my heart for a long time. The one that really stuck out was;if we REALLY believe in this eternal fire, why aren’t we running out and trying to “save” everyone? I guess because I’m realizing that real relationship and seeing people’s hearts, and truly enjoying fellowship with people, and getting to know people, and all of the above, is what is reaching and touching people. Another issue, is that, I’m not seeing any mention of hell in the messages that Jesus, Paul, Peter, or any others preached. If I’m wrong, someone correct me! All of this stuff, scares me. I’ve been so used to believing in hell and these different dark and evil things. Now, my theology is being evaluated, revamped, revised. It’s scary to let go, b/c I still don’t know, and honestly, I worry about what other’s think. It might sound silly, but that’s how I feel.

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