Quote# 107384

Question: "Why is the idea of eternal damnation so repulsive to many people?"

Answer: In the shifting winds of modern cultures, the idea of everlasting torment and damnation is difficult for many people to grasp. Why is this? The Bible makes it clear that hell is a literal place. Christ spoke more about hell than He did of heaven. Not only Satan and his minions will be punished there, everyone who rejects Jesus Christ will spend eternity right along with them. A desire to reject or revise the doctrine of hell will not mitigate its flames or make the place go away. Still, the idea of eternal damnation is spurned by many, and here are some reasons for it:

The influence of contemporary thought. In this postmodern era, many go to great lengths to assure no one is offended, and the biblical doctrine of hell is considered offensive. It is too harsh, too old-fashioned, too insensitive. The wisdom of this world is focused on this life, with no thought of the life to come.

Fear. Never-ending, conscious punishment devoid of any hope is indeed a frightening prospect. Many people would rather ignore the source of fear than face it and deal with it biblically. The fact is, hell should be frightening, considering it is the place of judgment originally created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).

A flawed view of God’s love. Many who reject the idea of eternal damnation do so because they find it difficult to believe that a loving God could banish people to a place as horrific as hell for all eternity. However, God’s love does not negate His justice, His righteousness, or His holiness. Neither does His justice negate His love. In fact, God’s love has provided the way to escape His wrath: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (John 3:16-18).

A downplaying of sin. Some find it shockingly unfair that the recompense for a mere lifetime of sinning should be an eternal punishment. Others reject the idea of hell because, in their minds, sin isn’t all that bad. Certainly not bad enough to warrant eternal torture. Of course, it is usually our own sin that we downplay; other people might deserve hell—murderers and the like. This attitude reveals a misunderstanding of the universally heinous nature of sin. The problem is an insistence on our own basic goodness, which precludes thoughts of a fiery judgment and denies the truth of Romans 3:10 (“There is no one righteous, not even one”). The egregiousness of iniquity compelled Christ to the cross. God hated sin to death.

Aberrant theories. Another reason people reject the concept of eternal damnation is that they have been taught alternative theories. One such theory is universalism, which says that everyone will eventually make it to heaven. Another theory is annihilationism, in which the existence of hell is acknowledged, but its eternal nature is denied. Annihilationists believe that those who end up in hell will eventually die and cease to exist (i.e., they will be annihilated). This theory simply makes hell a temporary punishment. Both these theories are presented as viable options to the biblical teaching on hell; however, both make the mistake of placing human opinion over divine revelation.

Incomplete teaching. Many contemporary pastors who do believe in the doctrine of hell consider it simply too delicate a subject to preach on. This further contributes to the modern denial of hell. Congregants in churches where hell is not preached are ignorant of what the Bible says on the subject and are prime candidates for deception on the issue. A pastor’s responsibility is “to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3), not pick and choose what parts of the Bible to leave out.

Satan’s ploys. Satan’s first lie was a denial of judgment. In the Garden of Eden, the serpent told Eve, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). It is still one of Satan’s main tactics. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the blindness he produces includes a denial of God’s holy decrees. Convince the unsaved that there is no judgment, and they can “eat, drink and be merry” with no care for the future.

If we understand the nature of our Creator, we should have no difficulty understanding the concept of hell. “[God] is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4, emphasis added). His desire is that no one perish but that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

To contradict the Bible’s teaching on hell is to say, essentially, “If I were God, I would not make hell like that.” The problem with such a mindset is its inherent pride—it smugly suggests that we can improve on God’s plan. However, we are not wiser than God; we are not more loving or more just. Rejecting or revising the biblical doctrine of hell carries a sad irony, which one writer put this way: “The only result of attempts, however well meaning, to air-condition hell is to assure that more and more people wind up there.”

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/eternal-damnation.html#ixzz3VMhetZD8


Got Questions Ministries, Got Questions 43 Comments [3/26/2015 3:20:11 AM]
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Submitted By: Pokefrazer

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Ivurm

Infinite punishment for a finite crime is inherently unjust. Even the most awful atrocities fade over time. There is not a single person on this planet who deserves the kind of punishment your "benevolent" God has waiting for them.

3/26/2015 3:30:32 AM

Sharon Young

Disclaimer: By no means am I a preacher.

Truth without grace can be construed to be blind; grace without truth would thus be limp. Without the notion of damnation and/or denial of eternal life, the concept of grace is cheapened.

One does not simply earn salvation it seems. That said, some peoples' attitudes towards unbelievers aren't very well received. But who the heck am I to judge anyway?

3/26/2015 3:33:44 AM

whatever

The bible also tells us the Earth is flat, so how can it be trusted?

The bible is inconsistent on many subjects. It presents no consistent interpretation of God. In the Old testament he creates the Universe twice by different methods, then cannot chase enemies in iron chariots. It also tells us he ordered the wholesale destruction of entire communities then it tells us God is love.

It also gives different biographies of Jesus with different accounts of his crucifiction and resurrection, and strangely the bible fails to give us a proper definition of marriage. Plus hell did not appear in any bible books until after the Greeks had invented it.

Think to yourself, what passages would be most useful to the Romans when they wanted to invent the Christian church to suit their purpose? Don't you think the threat of hell would be useful in a control-centred religion?

Why did Constantine invent the Christian religion? Wasn't it "With this you will conquer?"

3/26/2015 3:40:08 AM

Churchy LaFemme

So the reason we should worship this god of yours is because we're afraid of the consequences if we don't?

3/26/2015 3:59:57 AM

whatever

@Churchy LaFemme

Isn't that the reason most early religions were created? The Gods, whoever they are, must be appeased.

3/26/2015 4:01:37 AM

Reynardine

Most of us are wiser, more loving, and more just than *your* God, in all events.

3/26/2015 4:08:58 AM

Da Rat Bastid

(OP)
"Satan’s first lie was a denial of judgment. In the Garden of Eden, the serpent told Eve, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4)."


There are two things wrong with this. One, nowhere in the Bible is it ever stated that the serpent is Satan. Second, and more important, the serpent told the truth. It was your "loving, just god" who lied.

3/26/2015 4:17:54 AM

Skide

Simply delightful. Should your little deity exist as you describe him, it would be our first and foremost moral obligation as human beings(thus his victims) to obliterate this unimaginably evil entity with extreme prejudice, might I add.

Then of course there is this little factoid that you and your ilk has exactly zero proof of such creatures existence, let alone its character, so there. Just throwing it out, how vile and sick is the entire christian(nay, abrahamic) worldview for those of us who don`t long with their entire existance to be slaves.

3/26/2015 4:49:57 AM

Sangfroid

Infinite punishment is both cruel (in that there is no end, and as any correction officer will tell you, a convict without hope is the most dangerous) and very, very unusual. Even in the most regressive state, there is a hope the convict will redeem himself and get out sooner or later.

So I guess we're more moral than gob.

3/26/2015 4:55:20 AM

Hasan Prishtina

Christ spoke more about hell than He did of heaven.

There are 13 references to hell in the Gospels. There are 39 references to heaven, and that is only taking heaven to mean the dwelling place of God rather than any other meaning.

You also don't seem to have much time for mercy and justice. And why do I get the feeling you want hell to be unbearably painful so you can enjoy the thought of the souls of those who don't share your views in torment?

3/26/2015 5:11:15 AM

Pule Thamex

"...it smugly suggests that we can improve on God’s plan."

Practically anybody can improve on God's plan, since God's plan is the drooling insanity of virgin-sniffing jerks.

To believe something makes it neither true nor valid nor desirable nor necessary. Generally, belief is a stupid thing. That you believe in a deranged thing like hell and think it good, as well as the casual way you mention fairies like Satan and Bible God as though they actually exist, speaks volumes about the state of your own derangement. I have no hesitation in calling you a despicable knobhead.

3/26/2015 5:33:22 AM

Doubting Thomas

I don't necessarily have a problem with truly wicked people going to Hell, such as Hitler or Pol Pot for instance, but I have a problem with God sending people to hell for being born gay or not believing in him when he gives no evidence he exists. Then there's the problem of sending righteous and devout people to Hell just because they spent their entire lives going to the wrong Christian church. Meanwhile rich TV preachers are supposedly going to Heaven to live in their mansions made of gold which are slightly less ostentatious than their earthly palaces.

Usual disclaimer applies, mainly that I don't believe God or Hell exists and this is merely academic.

3/26/2015 5:36:08 AM

Mister Spak

You left out one thing:

What is your evidence that hell exists?

3/26/2015 5:56:13 AM

Arctic Knight

“If I were God, I would not make hell like that.”

If I were god, I would send your god to hell for being a sadistic asshole.

3/26/2015 6:38:26 AM

shy

"Why is the idea of eternal damnation so repulsive to many people?"

It astounds me that anyone would find something like that to be anything less than self-evident. Even from a purely utilitarian standpoint, eternal torment accomplishes nothing for anyone's benefit.

3/26/2015 6:52:27 AM

Nemo

"The problem with such a mindset is its inherent pride—it smugly suggests that we can improve on God’s plan. However, we are not wiser than God; we are not more loving or more just."

If I, for whatever reason, could not allow certain people near me because I just couldn't stand something that they had done, I would be satisfied with putting them to sleep or taking away all of their senses (and I mean all of them). The only thing I could possible gain from torture would be a sick sense of joy.

Sorry apologists, you're not getting away from this point. If God is the one who came up with the idea of Hell and torturing nonconformists and said this route was better than any conceivable alternative (and above, I gave an alternative that answers the "God cannot be in the presense of sin" "objection"), the only explanation is that your deity truly does enjoy watching people suffer. Or doesn't exist and is the result of mishmashing the concepts of different people on their local deity.

As for improving on your so called god's plan, if the purpose is to maximize happiness and minimize pain, then my alternative would do just that, and your whining about "but GAWD said so!" will not change that. If the purpose is to help Yahweh masturbate to the screams of freethinkers, then the system set up by the Bible is indeed the best possible one.

3/26/2015 6:53:41 AM

beep

“[God] is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He”

So we're all totally perfect but if we attempt to express ourselves we'll be tortured forever

Do these people even listen to themselves

3/26/2015 7:00:40 AM

breakerslion

To contradict the Babble's teaching on Hell is to say, essentially, "I believe ancient con men made up an untouchable "authority" in the sky, and gave it the ability to mete out horrible torture in order to perpetrate both fear, and the false idea of delayed but ultimate "justice." The con men did this in order to create a hierarchy wherein they could shamelessly exploit the masses and minimize the likelihood that they would be torn apart for doing so. They were, allegedly, 'only the messengers,' after all."

The amount of glib bullshit that you guys spew by the shovelful kind of gives the game away. That, and the numerous pudgy, uncalloused, manicured hands at the top of your sect's hierarchy.

"Your reward is in Heaven."

Gee. Thanks.


3/26/2015 7:18:33 AM

tfaddict

It's repulsive because God punishes us for the stupidest things. Hated the guy who murdered your family and cut your arm off? ETERNAL DAMNATION! Tried to kill the aforementioned murderer? ETERNAL DAMNATION! Thought a girl was hot? ETERNAL DAMNATION! Didn't feel like working that day? ETERNAL DAMNATION! Ate a bit too much bacon? ETERNAL DAMNATION!

3/26/2015 7:19:45 AM

Dan Onymous

How about we torture you for a mere ten years then ask again about whether you find the idea of eternal punishment repulsive.

3/26/2015 7:33:39 AM

Slaanesh

Any god that damns me for bacon is a god unworthy of being followed.

3/26/2015 7:34:15 AM

Malingspann

"Others reject the idea of hell because, in their minds, sin isn’t all that bad. Certainly not bad enough to warrant eternal torture."

- You're all here for...eternity! Oh! Which I hardly need tell you is a *heck* of a long time! So you'll all get to *know* each other pretty well by the end!

3/26/2015 8:54:49 AM

NotaReptile

We do not negotiate with terrorists.

Last time somebody threatened nations like this, he wound up sleeping with the fishes. Why should we exclude your god from that group.

3/26/2015 9:05:49 AM

Scratch

I find hell repulsive because I don't think anyone deserves torture forever. Hey, that makes me more moral than the christian god. Cool.

3/26/2015 9:15:24 AM



In one place the Bible says that only at the final judgement shall the dead be raised and judged, they are just dead until then. If judged unworthy they are put to the lake of fire for the final death. Interpretations of that say not eternal torment but final nonexistance.

Another place, same book, say 144,000 jewish male virgins will be the only chosen for heaven. Make of that what you will.

The Old testanebt doesnt mention hell at all for people, only kind, loving, meek and mild Jesus says he is coming to butcher most of humanity with fire and sswird to establish his kingdom. Really Dude, you worship that ?

Eternal torment iss a sign of sever mental illness in humans, lack of empathy, forgiveness and so on, all characteristics we are told God has. It sounds more like a hissy fir of a 4 year old when his quacky duck pull toy isnt quacking.

3/26/2015 10:09:42 AM

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