Debate:Does God punish sinners for eternity?
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Jesus Christ will be our judge and if you read the Bible at all then you will know that Hell is for eternity. And there is no once saved always saved. you can fall from grace as many have.
I disagree with BOTH of the current posts. First of all, the Elect are "once saved, always saved". They would not be truly saved if they fell from grace. Second, I am entirely unable to tolerate to any degree those who claim that all will be saved - the ones who answer "No" to this question. Citing the ultimate and infallible truth, the holy and inspired Word of God, Matthew 25:41 says "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels". It does not say, "Depart from me, those who sinned even though I love them, into temporary fire", but "Depart from me, ye cursed, into EVERLASTING fire". Finally, this seems to indicate that one can choose to believe in God. This belief is very common, very heretical, and eliminates the need for a savior. The Elect alone will be saved, as indicated by Ephesians. Some claim that Romans contradicts this, but the Bible clearly says "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9. We are enabled to believe in Christ through faith in him which is given us by God's saving grace. If Christ needs us to choose him of our own accord then we are all lost eternally. --Lorr 12:38, 11 January 2011 (EST)Indeed, the influential and moving theologian, Jonathan Edwards, analyzed Psalm 73:18. "Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction". Edwards came to the conclusion that for humans "There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God."- Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
- Yes, below are some excellent sermons on this matter:
Conservative 23:03, 15 August 2011 (EDT)
Our nature is greater than we often imagine when we consider the eternity of Hell (or the eternity of the Heavenly/Earthly Paradise). We are eternal in nature. Hell is the (in my opinion, optimum) physical environment conducive for humans to exist outside all relationship to God. God is unhappy that people must exist there, but there is no other place of existence for those who reject the very source of their existence. GiLGiJ 18:24, 13 July 2012 (EDT)
To Destroy Evil
Yes, God should. It's ironic that the same people who say God shouldn't punish sinners are the same ones who ask how God can exist if He allowed Hitler to rule, and yet condemn God for punishing the nations in the book of Judges, when they're all the same issue. That issue is that God needs to punish evil, and humans and Satan ARE the source of evil. God can't destroy evil and have a universe devoid of evil without punishing sinful humans and removing/separating them from everyone else. God destroyed the nations in the book of Judges because as seen from Leviticus 18, they were practicing numerous abominations, including sacrificing their own children by burning them alive. Such evils needed to be stopped from spreading to Israel and other nations, just as God needed to stop Hitler (which I believe He did intervene to do - see Nietzsche's prophecy warning the Jewish people 50 years earlier e.g.).
As Paul says in Romans 3, "But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?" The plain truth of the Bible is that God needs to wipe out humanity to destroy sin and evil. He gave an example of His willingness to do so with Noah, and only preserved Noah because He decided there was some hope still for the human race in Noah's godliness. Jesus is the answer not because through Jesus we can be forgiven, but rather because through Jesus we can be changed to become new people who will stop sinning, who are committed to God and are given new hearts and new minds designed for righteousness and not wickedness. Only because of these new natures CAN we be forgiven. Salvation is the key not because of forgiveness but because through it we are changed so we can inhabit God's new coming universe without messing it up with evil and harming others the way we have this one. --Jzyehoshua 17:16, 20 July 2012 (EDT)
God doesn't punish sinners at all. And Hell is not permanent. It is Satan who is the accuser of the brethren, not God. God is all about love and forgiveness.
However, there is a difference between right and wrong. And we do reap what we sow. If we are selfish, we will suffer the consequences. In particular, homosexual acts are very selfish. There is no true love - in a conjugal sense - other than between a man and his wife.
It is sometimes argued that homosexuality couldn't be a sin: "Would God consign his children to an eternity of punishment in hell for loving another man?" This question presupposes that any punishment (or harsh consequences) of sin comes from God. Yet the Bible says, "The wages of sin is death" without saying who the paymaster is! The question also confuses love (which is a good thing, in general) with homosexual fornication which is a sin.
All this confusion can be cleared up if a person genuinely wants to know (1) Does God exist? (2) Does God love me? and (3) What is the best way to lead my life? --Ed Poor Talk 16:13, 18 June 2009 (EDT)
- Well, we are all sinners. The questions should be stated, Does God punish the evildoers for eternity? Matthew 25:45-46 Jesus says, "I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my Brothers and Sisters, you were refusing to help me. And they will go away into Eternal Punishment, but the Righteous will go into Eternal Life."
- But the questions remains "Does God punish?" No, God doesn't punish. By being cast out of the eternal life of Heaven (through mans own fault), the devil punishes those who end up in Hell. For the devil hates man, made in the likeness of God.--Jpatt 17:44, 19 June 2009 (EDT)
"God is all about love and forgiveness"??
No, He is NOT. This is what social gospel preaches, but not from the bible. God is about love and forgiveness, but He is also holy and just (a not PC view in this post modern culture, and sadly some churches purposely ignore this part, afraid saying God is holy and just, and all people are sinners, will offend people).
Because He is holy and just, He MUST punish EVERY sin. Some will even say that it is because He is love, so He cannot left injustice unaccounted for.(Kmcheng 18:03, 30 March 2010 (EDT))
Yes that's true, but God also loves every person and if they repent then he does not punish them. The fable "The Last Judgement" by Carel Kapek is very helpful to understand one theory about the trials of sinners.
Punish? Technically no
There are some very strong scriptures that are used in the bible which people use to show that God punishes people forever, but look at it this way...if your child did something wrong, would you punish him forever? Why would God, who made us in his image, be any different?
Also, note this scripture, Revelation 20:10. The word "torment" can also mean "jailed". So continuing from this scripture, we see these false prophet and the wild beast being tormented forever here, but a few verses later, it says this, in verse 13. "And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades (Hell or the Grave) gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds. And death and Hades were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death the lake of fire. Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire."
So, if "Death" is hurled into the lake of fire, then is death a person, or is it symbolic of something? Also, what is this hades? How is hades hurled into the lake of fire? The scripture actually explains it, by saying it is "the second death". In other words, when Christ spoke of memorial tombs, and a resurrection, those who receive the second death have no more need for a memorial tomb, for they won't be remembered, but will be destroyed forever. This is what happens to death, and this is what happens to "hades", or the grave. There is no more memorial tombs as such, but there is only life, and everlasting cutting off.
So no, God doesn't punish sinners for eternity. When someone is dead, they are dead. Yet there is a resurrection for those who are asleep in the graves as such until this time when Revelation is fulfilled. To understand the state of death, we can consider Ecclesiastes 9:5. Have a look for yourself.
As for punishing every sin, the bible states that "the wages of sin is death", so that those who have already died have already paid for their sin. Therefore, when they are resurrected, for instance when "the sea gives up the dead in them, and death and hades give up the dead in them", they will be judged according to their deeds during a period of time. This is why it says in Revelation 20:5 "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended), as they are still "dead" in the sense of not having the full application of Christ's ransom over them as they are still able to die, as they would have to live a life which shows their submission to their creator during that period.
For more information, I suggest going to jw.org. Exwikipediaperson 11:55, 6 August 2014 (EDT)