Following The Evidence #130

A smoker once asked me if he would go to hell because of His habit. I said, “No you just smell like you have been there already.” As a child Robert Ingersoll, the famous atheist, listened to a preacher expound the doctrine of how God would subject the unsaved to unending torment. Ingersoll decided that if God was like that, he hated him. In a letter he wrote, “It makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend. It is the one infinite horror.

Every church in which it is taught is a public curse. Every preacher who teaches it is an enemy of mankind. Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go. It is the infinite of malice, hatred, and revenge. Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God.”
There is certainly a great conundrum when on the one hand we declare God to BE love, and then proceed to expound this malicious doctrine. This doctrine makes God into the ultimate terrorist. But it is a lie invented during the Middle Ages for the purpose of controlling the masses by fear. There are substantial moral and logical difficulties in believing that God will torture His enemies forever if they do not believe in and submit to Him! Let me begin by explaining that the verb ‘punishing’ is never anywhere in the Bible associated with the word eternal or everlasting.

The word of God uses the noun ‘punishment’. If it were the verb then we might have a case for the malicious doctrine of unending fire for the unsaved. However, punishment is an event. Listen to the words of Paul on this matter: “And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 NLT). Eternal destruction and eternal separation. That is the choice you have, eternal life or eternal destruction. The unsaved do not receive eternal life in some other place.

The idea that God will torture those who do not repent forever is a monumental lie and an attack on the character of God. The idea of an eternally burning hell that you go to at death is not taught in scripture. You, right now, may be wanting to quote Luke 16 and the rich man and Lazarus at me, and I will discuss that during our investigation.
The bible does talk about a fire (at the end of this world’s history) but what are they and when, why and how does it happen? The subject is made a little more difficult by the bias of the KJV translators who were still influenced by the church of the Middle Ages. Modern translations have helped to correct this bias.

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