Paul Copan on Why God Would Send People to Hell

Since people are threatening us here with hell, I'm redating this post of mine:

As an evangelical Paul Copan takes a conservative position that the images depicting hell in the Bible are figurative ones, simply because these images picture contrary ones involving darkness, flames, and worms that never die in a place where the damned no longer have physical bodies. What do these images depict? According to Copan, hell is “the ultimate, everlasting separation from the source of life and hope: God.” Therefore, “the pain of hell should not be seen in terms of something physical but rather as pain within a person’s spirit.” “Hell at its root is the agony and utter hopelessness of separation from God.” [From Paul Copan's book “That’s Just Your Interpretation” (Baker Books, 2001), pp. 101-109.

Initially I must wonder if Copan has done any deep thinking about what it might mean to be separated from the "source of life" here. There are many evangelicals who conclude that this means the damned cease to exist…annihilationism. And while Copan is trying to soften the horrors of hell, if correct, such a view of hell is still a horrible fate for a loving God to inflict upon human beings.

Copan further argues that “hell is the logical outcome of living life away from God.” Those who find themselves in hell have committed “not simply a string of finite sins,” but “the infinite sin,” for unbelievers have resisted “the influence of God’s Spirit” and “refused to honor God as God” by “not lovingly responding to God’s kind initiative.”

However, I find this almost absurd that the Christian God blames us for living our lives as if he didn’t exist because there simply isn’t enough reason to believe in him over any of the other gods, or no god at all, especially when we usually adopt the religion we were born into! I furthermore find it absurd that God is so upset that we don’t acknowledge him in this life that he will punish us forever for it, as if it hurts him that much for us not to acknowledge him. If he is omniscient, then he knows why we do what we do and why we believe what we do, and I fail to see how such a God cannot empathize with how we live our lives. We all do the best we can do given our environment and brain matter.

According to Copan, “to force someone into heaven who would hate the presence of God…would be horrible,” and he agrees with D.A. Carson, that “heaven would surely be hell for those who don’t enjoy and desire the blessing of God’s presence.” [How Long, O Lord? (Baker, 1990, p. 103]. “Hell is getting what one wants (and deserves)—no God.” Copan also quotes with approval C.S. Lewis that “the doors of hell are locked on the inside.” [The Problem of Pain, p. 127]. Copan further claims even though the damned are in anguish “they still choose to remain in it,” than to prefer “a God-centered existence in heaven.” And so “resistance to God continues in hell.”

If this is the best answer an evangelical can offer, and it probably is, then it is simply absurd. To claim that the damned prefer the anguish of hell over the bliss of heaven through repentance is simply absurd. Someone in hell would simply say, “Oops, I was wrong. Now I know there’s a God and I want to change (repent) and live forever with him.” Anyone in such anguish would repent of their “sins” if they could experience the purported joys of heaven. Every single person in hell would willingly desire to change if they could escape the torments of hell for the joys of heaven. Christians might claim such repentance wouldn’t be true repentance, but repentance (GK: metanoia) is “a change of mind.” People would gladly change their minds if they could know the truth with certainty.

The parable of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” (Luke 16:19-31) shows that the rich man in hell (Hades) was now a believer. But he was told he could not cross the chasm to “Abraham’s side,” even though it’s clear he wanted to do so—very clear—contrary to Copan. One of the points of this parable is that his eternal destiny was fixed when he died. Since his fate was already sealed all he could ask for was to warn his father’s house of the torment hell. This doesn’t sound like the doors of hell are locked from the inside to me at all. The doors of hell cannot be locked from the inside if it’s painful to be there. Besides, if they are truly “locked from the inside,” contrary to this parable, there is the very strong possibility that someone could repent in hell, and be admitted into heaven!

25 comments:

James Blair said...

What is amusing is that while atheists pretend to be offended at the idea of hell, they have not, historically speaking, hesitated to create it here on earth when they had political power...in the form of Gulags, brainwashing camps, and "re-education" centers.

Each with their own levels of punishment.

John W. Loftus said...

Oh, Please. Do we really have to debate this old canard again, a red herring if I ever saw one? Do you really need a Christian history lesson? Besides, I don't think any human being has ever caused as much suffering as God has by creating this world knowing full well that billions of human beings would end up in hell. Deal with hell, okay?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Blair, what "atheists" are you speaking of?

If you want to play this game, then I can name a large number of Christians who have created a "hell" on earth, and give references.

Starting from the Roman Empire:

Emperor Constantine passed laws allowing masters to beat slaves to death. He confiscated the wealth of pagans and kept it for himself. Under the reign of Theodosius, entire villages of Jews were set on fire. Jews in the Roman empire lost their privileges. In Salonika, Theodosius ordered the massacre of the entire city of some seven thousand people. Theodosius also made pagan worship punishable by death. (Source: MacroHistory

Moving on to the Middle Ages:

The Crusades were bloody wars launched by Pope Urban II for the sole reason of taking back the "Holy Land," so that it would be safer for pilgrims to travel there. This series of wars had no other purpose than to drive Jews and Muslims from their historic homes in the Middle East. Clearly, this is a case of a war being made on others because of religious differences. I am not denying that it may have been difficult to make pilgrimages to the Holy Land, but war is not the answer. To this day, some Muslims still see the Crusades as a Christian Jihad (Source: Ergun Mehmet Caner, "Christian Jihad").

I hope you're expecting me to mention the Spanish Inquisition. Well, I will, but I would also like to point out that not only did the Inquisition use incredible and terrible forms of torture (see Historical Torture Museum), but so did others in the government of Europe. These were all so-called Christians who advocated torture as a means of punishment and revealing "testimony."

Do I need to even mention the witch hunts?

Moving on to more modern times:

It's pretty much common knowledge that Hitler was a Christian and managed to kill thousands of Jews, Pagans, homosexuals, Gypsies, Communists and Socialists (source United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).

There are many, many more examples, including the American slaughter of Native Americans and the possible involvement of the Catholic Church in the Rwanda massacres.

I hope this serves to show that Christians can do some pretty awful stuff.

Cannon said...

Yeah, John, I don't know about Blair, but where is that Christian history lesson?

Shall we compare body counts with Susan?

100 Million Dead at the hands of practitioners of atheistic philosophies in the 20th century alone. (The Black Book of Communism, Harvard University Press).

And Susan, just some of the atheists might be Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, who attacked religion because it stood in the way of their atheistic philosophy of dialectical materialism and thus were motivated by their atheism.

And if Richard Dawkins is right, and most scientists are atheists (he is lying, but lets run with it) then the weapons of mass destruction that have been supplied to the world by these scientists and that could end civilization by tommorrow has to count as the greated CRIME IN HISTORY.

Even Oppenhiemer admitted that the scientists had blood on their hands.

And John, you tell me to just deal with hell? You know you claim that is imaginary, and that it doesn't even exist...so deal with the HELLS HERE ON EARTH created by atheists.

O.K.?!!!

John W. Loftus said...

To Blair and Cannon. Don't you know what the topic is here? If you want to discuss another topic then you may do so on YOUR blogs, or when we write something about this issue, which we've discussed quite a bit here.

As it stands the question of this blog entry is about Copan's view of hell. What do you think of it? What do you think of my objections?

Anonymous said...

What is amusing is that while atheists pretend to be offended at the idea of hell, they have not, historically speaking, hesitated to create it here on earth when they had political power

Many of the world's Muslim creationists consider President Bush a satanic figure for his slaughter, imprisonment and torture of their brethren. A generation from now, people will talk about "Bush and the Americans" in the way you talk about communists.

Anonymous said...

Getting back to hell, however, I wonder if any apologist has argued that because each human life derives meaning from the eternal destiny god chooses for it, hell as the eternal destiny of the nonbeliever gives his life meaning.

Hallq said...

What is amusing is that while atheists pretend to be offended at the idea of hell, they have not, historically speaking, hesitated to create it here on earth when they had political power...in the form of Gulags, brainwashing camps, and "re-education" centers.

By your logic, finding a few Christians who have not supported freedom of speech proves all Christians do not believe in free speech.

*Shakes head*

Why do I waste my time responding to this crap...

RubySera Martin said...

John says:

Copan further claims even though the damned are in anguish “they still choose to remain in it,” than to prefer “a God-centered existence in heaven.” And so “resistance to God continues in hell.”

My response to Copan's entire theory: Just another Christian struggling with the ethics of burning otherwise good people simply because they did not accept the Christ condtion while on earth i.e. the condition that all would be well at/after death if one believed in Christ while alive.

Since death is most likely the end of human existence, the entire argument is beside the point. If by any chance I am wrong, and we do continue to exist after death, the form is up for grabs. As most of us know, the various religions posit very different forms this existence takes. One example can be taken from the Buddhists and Christians.

For Christians, there is one life, one death, and then the judgment. For Buddhists it is very different and definitely more than one life and one death. But the laws of nature governing the universe are hardly aware of such minor differences and will probably treat all humans alike regardless of their religious beliefs.

If there is a God as portrayed by Christianity, ethics prohibit this God from damning anyone to extreme unpleasantness for eternity. Hell as we understand it today did not exist in the time the NT was being written. Thus, any hell or gahena of whatever Jesus talked about cannot have been hell as we were taught and preached.

This hell has not existed for more than five hundred years. That is only a quarter of the time since Jesus supposedly walked the earth and preached. The NT canon was decided long before this present form of hell was dreamed about.

Chris said...

Mr. Loftus, my name is Chris, I'm a student at Dallas Christian College, I will be working on my MDiv at Lincoln in Fall '08, and I would really like to discuss what you have written here.

"The parable of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” (Luke 16:19-31) shows that the rich man in hell (Hades) was now a believer. But he was told he could not cross the chasm to “Abraham’s side,” even though it’s clear he wanted to do so—very clear..."

First, as I read this text I have trouble seeing where the rich man is decided to be a "believer." He is in Hades, and he comes to a knowledge of heaven and hell, but that does not qualify him as a believer. Scriptures shows that even Satan and his demons have this knowledge of God, Jesus, and heaven. In Acts 19:13-15 the text reads, "13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, 'In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.' 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?'" This demon knew Jesus; which logically leads one to the demon's knowledge of the difference between heaven and hell, but one cannot call the demon a believer by means of his knowledge.

Second, the rich man never requested to cross over into heaven. His request was, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire" (16:24). He requested that Lazarus come to hell with water so that the agony of hell would be relieved. Abraham, in the parable, told him that Lazarus could not cross to hell because of the chasm, which also kept him from heaven.

To discuss Copan: you said, "There are many evangelicals who conclude that this means the damned cease to exist…annihilationism. And while Copan is trying to soften the horrors of hell, if correct, such a view of hell is still a horrible fate for a loving God to inflict upon human beings." I am positive that you have heard (probably more than you want) that God is loving but that He is also just. I think that a lot of Christians use that line because they heard it from some preacher and it sounded nice, kind of the "folk theology" of God's justice. I do believe that God is just, but I believe that it is His holiness that causes the sinner to be seperated from Him. Reading Exodus and Leviticus presents God's holiness better than any other section of Scripture (in my opinion). 611 laws recorded in these books and when someone broke one, a sacrifice had to be offered for replacement and purification.

But this does not mean that God created the universe and moves through it with a "holier than thou" attitude. God does not tell us that if we want to be with Him we better hurry up and catch Him, but rather He provides the way to Him. People always focus so much on the fact that they can't conceive why a loving God would send someone to hell that they miss the fact that He has provided salvation in Jesus. John 3:16, literally says, "For God loved the world in this way, that He gave his only begotten Son, in order that whoever believes in Him might not be destroyed, but might posses eternal life." (please check my Greek if you want).

God, who is love, does not send people to hell; He sent His Son to be a way to heaven.

I will leave my comment at that because I might drift to another topic, and I want to honor your post topic. I want you to know that I comment in humility wishing only to discuss and not to push. I used Scripture because I know that you know it Mr. Loftus. Please find no offense to my comment.

John W. Loftus said...

Chris, does Clay Ham still teach there at Dallas? Tell him I said “hi.” So you’re going to LCS, eh? It’s a great school from an evangelical perspective, my alma mater. No offense taken at your comment. This is the way reasonable people discuss things such as this, so thanks.

Chris wrote: First, as I read this text I have trouble seeing where the rich man is decided to be a "believer." He is in Hades, and he comes to a knowledge of heaven and hell, but that does not qualify him as a believer.

Metanoia, as you know, means “a change of mind,” or repentance. Now tell me what makes someone change his or her mind? New information, correct? Once someone believes something different he automatically changes his lifestyle in keeping with that new belief. If not, show me where I’m wrong here. Again, if someone truly believes something, his lifestyle will automatically change as the result of believing what he does. The rich man now knew the truth about God and hell. The whole difference between the rich man and the demons who believe, and us is the fact that their fate is sealed. They will all go to hell and stay there. According to Copan, there is no hope for them, and that is the only difference between them and Christians here on earth, according to the Bible. So their new belief is that everything in the Bible is true, except that there are no promises from God to them except that their final destiny is sealed, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Chris wrote: Second, the rich man never requested to cross over into heaven.

Which explanation best fits this non-request? Yours and Copan’s explanation is that the rich man didn’t want to change his lifestyle. Hmmmm. What possible lifestyle did he have in hell that was preferable to a heavenly existence? Just picture yourself in the rich man’s shoes. Would you be willing to change your lifestyle for a lifestyle in heaven? Keep in mind, that now the rich man is a believer, as I just argued. Of course he would. Anyone would. My alternative explanation is based in the history of the doctrine of hell. When one finds himself in hell, his fate is sealed. The rich man did not ask to be admitted into heaven because in this parable Jesus reflects the common belief that this was impossible. So the rich man requests the only two things he could request, 1) relief, and 2) concern for his family.

Chris wrote: I am positive that you have heard (probably more than you want) that God is loving but that He is also just. I do believe that God is just, but I believe that it is His holiness that causes the sinner to be separated from Him.

The holiness and justice of God reflects an aloof ancient potentate, not a loving father. Just picture a family rather than an outdated kingdom model, and you’ll see why this whole argument falls flat. The family imagery also deals a death blow to any substitutionary atonement theory. And there are plenty of statements in the Bible that use this family image as the priority one when it comes to God and his creatures. Besides, your whole concept of justice here is skewed. Justice means that we each get what is fair. What’s fair about being damned to hell when we didn’t know there was a hell waiting for us to be damned to? If the rich man had only known, like he wished upon his family still alive, he would have avoided it. We all would. Every single one of us without exception.

Chris wrote: But this does not mean that God created the universe and moves through it with a "holier than thou" attitude. God does not tell us that if we want to be with Him we better hurry up and catch Him, but rather He provides the way to Him. People always focus so much on the fact that they can't conceive why a loving God would send someone to hell that they miss the fact that He has provided salvation in Jesus. John 3:16, literally says, "For God loved the world in this way, that He gave his only begotten Son, in order that whoever believes in Him might not be destroyed, but might posses eternal life." (please check my Greek if you want).

Do you really mean to suggest that if someone really wanted to know the truth about the triune God revealed in the Bible that all they need to do is to search for him and they will find him in an incarnated Jesus who died and resurrected for their sins? How is it possible for me to convince you this is merely wishful and blind thinking on your part? But it most definitely is. Take this as but one example of thousands: Let’s say God unmistakably reveals to the whole world that only those people who correctly understand who built the pyramids of Egypt, when they were built, and how they were built, will enter heaven, but anyone who gets it wrong will go to hell. You know, don’t you, that people would still have as many theories about this as they do now, plus some. They would desperately want to know the truth, but we’d still disagree, right? That’s what it’s like for people all over the world who desperately want to know the truth about religious beliefs, Muslims, Tibetan Monks, Satanists, Agnostics, and Atheists. You simply cannot tell me that people who disagree with you do not want to know the truth. The present religious diversity around the globe speaks like a megaphone against the claim of yours that God speaks to us is a still small voice.

Thanks for your comments. I wish you well.

Chris said...

Mr. Loftus, Clay does still teach here. I actually grew up playing golf with him. He and my dad are best friends, and so I always went with them to the course. He is the Academic Dean now at the college, and he said that he was going to pull out his LCS annuals when I told him you said, “Hi.”

John wrote: Once someone believes something different he automatically changes his lifestyle in keeping with that new belief . . . Again, if someone truly believes something, his lifestyle will automatically change as the result of believing what he does.

I agree with your definition of repentance here, and while I still don’t agree that the rich man was a believer I think that further argument of that fact would produce fruitless labor, and I believe it can stray away from the point of this parable. The point is not whether he believed after death, but what he believed and did while alive. After death the rich man was confined to hell, as you said, “The whole difference between the rich man and the demons who believe, and us is the fact that their fate is sealed. They will all go to hell and stay there.”

John wrote: The holiness and justice of God reflects an aloof ancient potentate, not a loving father. Just picture a family rather than an outdated kingdom model, and you’ll see why this whole argument falls flat. The family imagery also deals a death blow to any substitutionary atonement theory. And there are plenty of statements in the Bible that use this family image as the priority one when it comes to God and his creatures.

To this I respond in two ways:

First to the character of God, Walter Brueggemann provides a list of nouns and metaphors relating to Yahweh’s character in Theology of the Old Testament. In this list Yahweh is shown to be:

1. Judge
Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"—Genesis 18:25

Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.—Psalm 96:10

2. King
The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.—Psalm 10:16

I am the LORD, your Holy One,
Israel's Creator, your King.—Isaiah 43:15

3. Father
Then say to Pharaoh, “This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son . . .”—Exodus 4:22

Is this the way you repay the LORD,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is he not your Father, your Creator,
who made you and formed you?—Deuteronomy 32:6

4. Mother
You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.—Deuteronomy 32:18
Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers?—Numbers 11:12
(The phrases “God who gave you birth” and “Did I conceive all these people?” point to the motherhood of God.)

The nature and character of God is represented in all four of these nouns. God is a King and Judge, but as much as He is those He also is a Father and Mother. In order to understand God you must look at Him in wholeness, and not at the characteristics that you can relate to.

And yes, the NT depicts God by the family model more than the Kingdom model, but that does not eliminate His Lordship nature.

Second, I understand God’s role as judge and father more every day by the situation in my own home. My brother is at a point in his life where he wants to live by his own accord and he views my parents as being oppressive in their rules. I know and believe that my father loves Michael (my brother) in the same way that he loves me; even though Michael has resorted to a lifestyle that doesn’t line up with my parents values. My father is a loving father to him, but there has come a point to where dad has to put his foot down. So I ask you, “Does dad’s love for Michael cease when my brother is asked to moved out?” The answer is “no.” In the same way, God’s love for the world does not stop when a person rejects him and falls to hell.

In the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Like I said in my earlier comment, “God, who is love, does not send people to hell; He sent His Son to be a way to heaven.” There is nothing that God can do if a person chooses not to believe in Him and follows down the wide path to destruction. He loves the person all the way down the path, but if they do not turn back they will surely be destroyed.

John wrote: They would desperately want to know the truth, but we’d still disagree, right? That’s what it’s like for people all over the world who desperately want to know the truth about religious beliefs, Muslims, Tibetan Monks, Satanists, Agnostics, and Atheists. You simply cannot tell me that people who disagree with you do not want to know the truth. The present religious diversity around the globe speaks like a megaphone against the claim of yours that God speaks to us is a still small voice.

Yes, I can not tell you that everyone who disagrees with Christianity is not seeking truth, but I can say that they are seeking but never finding. Like Paul in Acts 17, I say that these people are very religious, but Christianity proclaims the God that everyone is seeking, and God provides the way through Christ into truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

God does not speak to the work in a “still small voice.” God speaks to the world through His church, through His martyrs, and through His creation.

I truly enjoy this discussion with you Mr. Loftus. I was wondering though, as a future student of LCS, what did you receive your MA in? I think I will pursue the MDiv with an emphasis in church planting and a MA in preaching. Hopefully I will also work towards a DMin in Church Growth.

Also, I would love to continue this discussion for as long as you would like, but if you would want we could move to email, if not then the blog is fine with me.

John W. Loftus said...

The God as Father/Mother images are primary. It has to be. God as King or Judge doesn't describe an intimate relationship with his creatures, but since God is purportedly omniscient and omnibenelovent his relationship with his creatures is on an intimate level that only the father image best describes it. Try to harmonize all of them and you have too many difficulties--way too many.

Chris said “Does dad’s love for Michael cease when my brother is asked to moved out?” The answer is “no.” In the same way, God’s love for the world does not stop when a person rejects him and falls to hell.

This is absolutely disanalogous for so many reasons I don't know when to begin. No father would ever under any circumstances consign his son to the hell as depicted in the Bible. No father. That's not one of them. Zip. Zero. None.

And even if God is an aloof potentate or aloof Judge, unlike what you claim his attributes are, then even then no judge would ever under any circumstances send a person to the hell pictured in the Bible. None. Zip. That's not one of them. Zero.

This brings up the whole disconnect between our moral sensibilities and your God's. His morality is so unlike ours that I cannot bring myself to believe he's a good God. If I had the power to avert the Indonesian tsunami with just a *snap* of my fingers, and I didn't do it, I would be culpable for the deaths of a quarter million people. But God doesn't have to abide by my morality, even though he purportedly commands this morality that we all share. As far as I can tell, if he can act like the Devil then he is the Devil (or better yet, he doesn't exist).

I find this absolutely bizzare, and if you weren't blinded by your own fear of hell then you would too. It's not unlike the Muslim hell. Let's say Allah exists. This is possible, correct? And you stand before his judgment and he sends you to hell. What do you say in response? You say I didn't know. He says, ignorance is no excuse, off you go. And this is exactly what you believe that Muslims and atheists, Jews and Deists will face on the day of judgment with YOUR God? Hogwash. Absolute hogwash.

Yes, I can not tell you that everyone who disagrees with Christianity is not seeking truth, but I can say that they are seeking but never finding.

Now fancy that. There are billions of people seeking YOUR God, and yet God only lets a few find him based upon when and where they were born.

I am dumbfounded that you actually believe this. I am more dumbfounded that I did for so long.

As far as LCS goes. Major in Theology/Philosophy. That's what I did under Strauss. Do it. Gain a mastery over the arguments pro and con. I dare you. ;-)

If you want to purchase my book I've said most of what I want to say there. I consider it one single argument with different sections that tie together that debunks this bunk.

Anonymous said...

Remember Julia Sweeney from SNL?

http://juliasweeney.eamped.com/the-letting-go-of-god-forum-vf2.html

She gave up God and started her own forum about the process.

david ellis said...


Besides, if they are truly “locked from the inside,” contrary to this parable, there is the very strong possibility that someone could repent in hell, and be admitted into heaven!


In fact, CS Lewis apparently believed (heretically to the minds of many christians) that this can happen. In THE GREAT DIVORCE, a novel about the afterlife, Lewis depicts a man in hell repenting and going to heaven.

Adrian Miu said...

I don't think that anyone that would get to hell will repent to get to heaven, at least not immediatly. I believe that some brave people will choose to stay in hell. Sure it would be easy to desire to be in heaven but some of these brave men will remember who are they dealing with: a god that allowed thousands of generations to live painfull lives because the sin of 2 retards that he himself created.

Eventually one by one, as eternity goes by, these brave men will repent until one last man will stand alone in complete darkness without no point of reference, without motion. And than this brave man will get the joy of nothingness and explode of happiness into a Big Bang that will give birth to another Universe, one last show for the happy people in heaven. The cycle of life and death will continue, and the chance to live without the fear of hell will get passed to other life forms until Yehova bored by all the people from heaven always smiling at him like some dump sheeps will enter that Universe and appear as a talking donkey to an person and tell him the false story of creation to get the kick out of destroying another planet after playing with it for a few thousands years.

The dumb sheeps from planet Earth will remain blissfully lobotomized in heaven looking at a hologram of Yehova while a new heaven and a new hell will be created and Yehova will eagerly await a new hero from hell to emerge and die bravely for him to be etertained for a few billion more years.

There are thounds other heavens filled with smiling creatures that always feel they were born yesterday just like a fish swimming in a bowl and never remembering where it was 30 minutes before. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, just pure bliss, pure ignorance. Cause without ignorance it would be no bliss and without bliss it would be no different then hell.

richdurrant said...

John you may be closer to the truth than anyone seems to realize.
While there are a couple of other references I choose 1 Pet 4:6 which speaks of preaching the gospel to the dead. Why the need of preahing the gospel to the dead if there is a sealed fate? For God to be loving father, all would have to hear the truth and either accept or reject the truth. I see no way around this and God maintain a loving nature. If not knowing truth is reason for not accepting someone into heaven then, to me, God is not the loving God that we believe him to be.

Rod Staff said...

This life is but a blink of an eye when measured against eternity.

Steven Carr said...

COPAN 'for unbelievers have resisted “the influence of God’s Spirit” and “refused to honor God as God” by “not lovingly responding to God’s kind initiative.”'

CARR
Is that what Muslims are doing?

Presumably Copan is certain that Muslims '....would hate the presence of God....'

How can Copan know what 300 million Muslims would hate? He is certainly an amazing person to know what 300 million people are like - without ever having met them all.

Unless Copan preaches that Muslims are saved and will not go to Hell, because they are *not* people who '.....would hate the presence of God....'

Steven Carr said...

ROD STAFF
This life is but a blink of an eye when measured against eternity.

CARR
God is going to judge you on what you did 'in the blink of an eye'?

Won't he give us more than 'a blink of an eye' to find out what the truth is?

Choose your eternal destiny. You have one second starting from *now* to make up your mind whether Christianity or Islam is right.

Too late.

Eternal damnation for everybody who guessed wrong....

And stop complaining you were only given 'a blink of an eye' to decide which religion was correct.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you'll find out. In the end we all do.

Infinite Glory said...

Hell is a fearful, horrible reality. The Bible assumes that it is a just and righteous recompense to all who sin. And for that to be true, how infinitely valuable and worthy must the glory of God be that sin belittles and scorns! The horror of hell is an echo of the infinite worth of God's glory. The infinitely valuable God-man can deliver from deserved eternal torment. The torment of the Son was infinite when He took our place.

The justice of hell stands as an everlasting witness to the infinite greatness of the glory of God, and the infinite greatness of the suffering and righteousness of Christ to redeem all who repent and believe in Him. Hell is an echo of the glory of God.

Dante said...

THERE IS NO HELL!

I am a Christian. Plenty of other Christians know that there is no hell. The word HELL is translated incorrectly from the Hebrew words Sheol and Gehenna. Sheol should be translated “The Grave”. Gehenna should be translated “A Garbage pit” which was located outside of Jerusalem. The only other translation of Hell is Tatarus (Once only). Which is a place of keeping of demons for a time. God put them there and God will take then out for HIS purpose when the time is right.

Though there is a judgment and there is a Lake of Fire. SO,………what is the Lake of Fire??? It is God’s Loving Spirit!!! He will send all non-believers to the Lake of Fire to be purified. He will give a “Spiritual Spanking” to all those who have a hardness of heart towards God so that ALL will come to believe!!!
It will not be pretty and it will not be easy or painless experience, but it IS NECESSARY!

If anyone who is reading this thinks that God gives “free will” and would never go against our “free will” I suggest you read about Paul (formerly Saul) and think for a moment if he had “free will” when God himself knocked him off his horse and made him blind for three days. The man would not even eat for that time period. He hated Christians, so it was not as if he was on his way to changing his mind and repenting. He was on his way to kill as many as he could!!!!

So Christians and Atheists alike,………think for a moment on this! God does not ask us to Love our Enemies and then at the end of time TAKE HIS ENEMIES and TORTURE them for all of eternity in a Lake of Fire! He does not on the one hand create all of humanity just so he can KILL or TORTURE MOST (an estimated nine tenths) of them in a Lake of Fire! God is about LOVE!

Believe in Jesus Christ now and avoid a painful CHANGE by the Loving Spiritual FIRE of God in the future.

Satan is not anywhere as active in the bars, casinos and houses of ill repute as he is in the churches of today who CLAIM to speak on God’s behalf. I believe there will be many preachers of the “Good News” in the Lake of Fire. I believe that they will be in it for a longer duration than many atheists. Just to burn out their lying and evil thoughts and beliefs about a Loving and Caring God.

Matthew 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Who is God talking about here??? Are they atheists of believers??? Obviously they didn’t do MIGHTY WORKS if they didn’t believe in the Lord, or at least pretend to! They were wolves in sheep’s clothing spreading falsehood.

"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who IS THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN, specially of those that believe." (I Tim. 4:10).

Jesus will NOT FAIL at the task that the Father has set before him! He will truly be the SAVOIR of the WHOLE WORLD. Nothing less is acceptable to God the Father. NOW THAT IS GOOD NEWS!!!!

If I have made a dent. If I have at the very least gotten your interest up, please visit a man who knows much about the subject at this website listed below.

http://bible-truths.com/

God’s WILL, WILL be done and not man’s.
Dante

spyguy79 said...

Wow Dante, that's just plain bizarre. I know this posting is from last year but cmon man, that isn't even orthodoxy. By your estimations then a person could be Hindu or Buddhist, it wouldn't matter because all would be saved. There is exclusivity to Christianity simply because Christ asserts that salvation can only be found in Him and not apart.

You've just announced that you believe in inclusivism, that regardless of where a person looks salvation will be found in Christ whether they find him or not. Just as long as they don't openly rejected Jesus, they can be saved. By this assertion, then the best thing to do is stay at home and not share the gospel of Jesus at all. I mean, what if they rejected him? You yourself know that this simply is not the message but rather to take the message of Christ into the whole world. Why? Because without it, no one can be saved.

Adam said...

Your wisdom is deep...
Being so wise, please explain why the basis of your scientific suppositions, mathematics, cannot deal with the inanely simple relationship of 3x+1?
Perhaps it would be easier for you to relate to me the mathematical relationship of making a "finitesimal" from and "infinitesimal"?
If you are blind to the solution to 3x+1, then where is your vision...? ;-)
With kind regards, Adam Lewis.