people should not think that just because you go to hell god never loved you...
Debate Rounds (5)
One of course is that God doesn't send anyone to Hell. You send yourself there. God has done everything He possibly can to keep you out of Hell and still leave you as a person with free will and not just a robot. That's the way He made us--after His image, after His likeness, the power to say "yes" or the power to say "no," the power to reject our own Creator, and of course to take the consequences.
In one sense you can say He doesn't send anybody to Hell, because across the road to Hell he has placed the cross of Christ. There are also the prayers of parents, pastors and Sunday school teachers, and all the other things that God brings into our lives to stop us on our selfish way and to bring us to the Savior. We have to go wandering on past it all and put ourselves in Hell.
Sometimes you hear people say, "God wouldn't send His children to Hell." God certainly doesn't send His children to Hell because when we're His children we're in the family of God. We're born again and part of our salvation includes deliverance from judgment. We're not all children of God except through faith in Christ Jesus.
Can a God of love send anyone to Hell? You might as well ask some other question to make just as much sense. Does God allow disease in the world? Does God allow jails and prisons for some people? Does God allow the electric chair sometimes? Does God allow sin to break homes and hearts? Does God allow war? All of these things are the consequences of sin entering into the world, and in some cases the direct result of man's rebellion, and the result of greed and pride and egotism and hunger for power that doesn't have any use for people--only the desire to get ahead.
This is the incredible fruit of sin. Sin brings suffering into the world. There's no way of getting around it. And the greatest sin in the world is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
We have our catalog of sins. We have rape and incest and murder ; and we have them all cataloged and classified--but there isn't one of them (or even put them all together in one big hunk) that comes close to the sin of keeping Jesus Christ out of your life. Did Jesus say, "I'm going to send the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin because they rob banks"-- or, "because they believe not on me"?
It is folly to expect that you or I can trifle with the Lord Jesus and not have a penalty attached to it. What ridiculous thinking people have in this area! We expect penalties for doing much less. Life is just built that way.
You jump off a high building, the law of gravity will take care of you. You might say, "God is love," all the way down, but you're still going to get splattered when you hit the bottom! You break the law of gravity, and it breaks you! You may love your little child, but if he puts his finger up on that hot burner on the gas stove or the electric stove, he's going to get burned!
Fire burns. Gravity kills. Water drowns. And you can say, "God is love, God is love, God is love," until you're blue in the face. But water will still drown you, fire will burn you, and gravity will kill you, and sin will damn you no matter how much you say about a loving God.
God just set up life that way. He set up the rules. He set up the laws by which we are to live. And if we break those laws, they break us, and we pay the consequences.
I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside.
All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened. And yourself, in a dark hour, may will [a grumbling] mood, embrace it. Ye can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood...
"excerpted from The Problem of Pain and The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), included in The Quotable Lewis, 1989 Tyndale
In a sense, the concept of hell gives meaning to our lives. It tells us that the moral choices we make day by day have eternal significance, that our behavior has consequences lasting to eternity, that God Himself takes our choices seriously.
The doctrine of hell is not just some dusty theological holdover from the Middle Ages. It has significant social consequences. Without a conviction of ultimate justice, people's sense of moral obligation dissolves, and social bonds are broke.
Of course, these considerations are not the most important reason to believe in hell. Jesus repeatedly issued warnings that if we turn away from God in this life, we will be alienated from God eternally.
And yet, although "the wages of sin is death," Paul also says that "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). While breath remains, it is never too late to turn to God in repentance, and when we ask for forgiveness, God eagerly grants it.
"excerpted from Answers to Your Kids' Questions, by Chuck Colson, 2000 Prison Fellowship Ministries.
We may rest assured that no one will suffer in hell who could by any means have been won to Christ in this life. God leaves no stone unturned to rescue all who would respond to the convicting and wooing of the Holy Spirit.
As for the fate of [the damned] being eternal, it could not be otherwise. Death is not the cessation of existence but the continuation of the eternal being with which God lovingly endowed man--but now in painful separation from God and all else in utter darkness and loneliness.
"excerpted from In Defense of the Faith, by Dave Hunt, 1996 Harvest House Publishers
The Bible says that God prepared hell for the devil and his demonic cohorts (Matthew 25:41), that He is "...not wishing for any [person] to perish but for all to come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9), and that He has done everything possible to save us from that terrible, terrible place. Yet in the end God will not violate or overrule the deliberate choice of those who consciously and willfully turn away from Him.
"Daryl E. Witmer of AIIA Institute
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil."
"Jesus Christ, John 3:16-19, NASV Bible
My first argument is based on the meaning of the word "Love." It is true that love comes in many forms, and there is no way to certainly pin down a single definition, but at the base of all prescriptions and adaptations of love are the feelings of fondness, affection, attachment, and most importantly: trust. Without these base traits, love cannot exist. Any deity who would mistrust his children to a degree that he must place them through a series of tests shows that he does not truly love them. Were Yahweh to honestly trust us, he would have merely spawned us in heaven in his presence and before his court and honors. However, he has instead placed us on Earth and has had us born to men and women, and not delivered directly to Earth through him. This demonstrates that he does not believe all our souls are worthy, and he must challenge them to judge their theistic merit. In addition to his showing mistrust, it begs the question as to why he should believe our souls must be tested. Does Yahweh, perhaps, not manufacture our souls? Are they instead pulled from a pool, or is there a deity to which even he answers? Is he so imperfect as to create an imperfect soul, or is he just cruel?
Since my opponent has made several opinionated statements disregarding reliable sources, I reciprocated similarly in my explanation of what love meant to me, and how it applied to the Judeo-Christian deity Yahweh.
My second argument is based less on philosophy, and more on the scientific truthfulness of a few questionable claims made by my opponent. The first claim he made was "Does God allow disease in the world?" and shortly thereafter directly stated that "...these things [diseases] are the consequences of sin entering into the world, and in some cases the direct result of man's rebellion..." Science can fully prove that disease is the result of microscopic organisms or mutated genetics operating in a disagreeable manner with the biology and/or development of another organism, or host (as with parasitic infections) and can often be prevented.  Diseases of a greater degree such as cancer, leukemia, Parkinson's, Asperger's, and Alzheimer's are as attributable to definite causes as lesser diseases, such as influenza strains and various "stomach bugs," or gastroenteritis and allergic reactions. Thus, I believe I have wholly disproved that all disease results from sin. Some disease, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, may develop in a child due to a mother's poor decisions, but it cannot be attributed to the child. I also do not believe things such as cancer and leukemia that strike innocent children can be attributed to the poor decisions of anybody, not even the parents, and to say that such a thing is the result of poor moral conduct is an abhorrent thing and is intolerable by my personal moral standards.
Continuing my argument, though on a more philosophical level than my previous paragraph, my opponent asked "Does God allow jails and prisons for some people? Does God allow the electric chair sometimes? Does God allow sin to break homes and hearts? Does God allow war?" and then stated the same as the latter quote in my previous paragraph. God does not allow these things; men allow them. Prisons are man made, executions are man performed, and war is man waged. God may intervene in these, but he does not, due to the conceptualization of free will, which I shall move on to in a moment. Prisons, executions, and war may all be necessary to some degree. Were WWII never waged against Nazi Germany, Hitler and Himmler would have succeeded in eradicating Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Orientals, Pacific Islanders, and many other races and ethnicity they found unsavory. Personally, as a 3rd generation descendant of a Polish Jew who fought in the USMC in The Great War and WWII, I am very thankful that war efforts pressurized Hitler to making rash militaristic tactical decisions, thus ending the war and, highly likely, preserving my own life today. I am also thankful that rapists, murderers, kidnappers and treasonous countrymen, and any combination are not free to roam the same streets as my mother and sister, and that a number of them do not utilize my tax dollars for essentials (food, clothing, water, shelter) by living. My opponent has stated that out of all the previous sins listed, there is not one that "comes close to the sin of keeping Jesus Christ out of your life." I would like to point out that I would personally prefer a man to walk up to me and state that he does not believe in Jesus than a group of men beat me senseless, tie me up and hold my eyes open (much like Alex DeLarge had done unto him in A Clockwork Orange), and rape my mother and little sister, then murder them right in front of my very eyes, then state that they love Jesus Christ and proceed to repent for five seconds, then go next door and do it to my neighbor and his wife and kids. I would also like to point out that, as a Jew and one of Yahweh's chosen people, I do not believe in Yeshua. Does this mean that I will go to hell, despite not believing that Jesus of Nazareth was the messiah? I digress.
Continuing my argument on a scientific level again, I shall make my next points. I am not sure where my opponents arguments originated, as I see no relevance to the current debate, yet I will refute them anyway. My opponent has claimed that "You break the law of gravity, and it breaks you!" I know what he meant by this, but he then continued on to say "Fire burns. Gravity kills. Water drowns." Gravity will not kill. Gravity is simply a force of nature; it has no will to speak of, and ergo the intent of murder cannot exist.  Fire is less likely to burn you if you take proper safety precautions around it, just as water is less likely to drown you if you master the basics of swimming and attempt to stay as far away as possible from water deep enough to cause asphyxiation. My opponent stated that "You jump off a high building, the law of gravity will take care of you. You might say, 'God is love,' all the way down, but you're still going to get splattered when you hit the bottom!" I would merely state that gravity does not kill this man. This man kills himself by willingly thrusting himself off a tall building with full conceptual understanding of gravity and its nature. Simply put, the laws of physics cannot be broken.  This also brings me to my final point.
Free will. A man can never be truly free. There are laws that restrict us and bind us and keep us tied to where we are, and despite the willpower and the thinking, pondering, and conceiving, it is highly unlikely that these laws that restrict us may ever release us. A man cannot will himself into flying, and then spontaneously combusting, therefore free will as it means intrinsically does not exist. We live in an eternal prison of physics, and it was not meant that we should stray, and it is not known if we even can.
This concludes my argument for this round. I wish my opponent the best of luck in the next round.
If God is love, why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do little children die? Why do relationships fail? Why does disease reap such a bitter harvest in the lives of millions of people? In an attempt to explain this philosophical mystery, modern man has opted for a school of thought that suggests that God wants to relieve man"s stress and misery, but sometimes, he"s just not able. To every Bible believer, such a conclusion is unacceptable. Scripture teaches categorically that God possess is sovereign. He rules the world with absolute authority over its limitations and circumstances. He is omnipotent and all wise. Nothing is too hard for him and nothing ever takes him by surprise or leaves him baffled about the best means to his end. Nothing that man does can handcuff his providence.
If God is omnipotent, then, why do people suffer? If he could do something about human misery, then why doesn"t he? The enemy of our souls knows how to use this haunting question to capitalize on our weakness, tempting the sufferer to hard thoughts about God. Though most believers would not dare to assert that God is unloving or unkind, the temptation is very strong to entertain the idea when the pressures of life are relentless. In more than one burdened heart, the pastor"s declaration that "God is love" is silenced by the adversary"s shout, "Then why doesn"t he do something to relieve your pain?". Satan loves to suggest that you wouldn"t have the financial pressures, relational difficulties, physical ailments, emotional struggles, or life disappointments if God really loved you.
Victory over his diabolical and brazen insinuations may be realized, however, when you remember two great facts: (1) Suffering is inevitable in everyone"s life, because of the presence of sin in the world. The Lord has never promised anyone a pain-free existence in this life. Perfect health, uninhibited joy, and total freedom from stress is a promise reserved for the next world, not this one; (2) The ultimate proof that "God is love" is not always visible when one looks at the circumstances of life, but it shines with unimpaired brilliance when one looks by faith at the cross of Christ. It is the cross, not present circumstances, that testifies "God is love." Seeing he has given you and me this greatest of gifts for all eternity, we can afford to bear the temporary inconveniences of affliction. After all, "just one glimpse of him in glory, will all the toils of life repay." So, the next time Satan tempts you to doubt God"s love because your way is hard, remind him of the cross. It will strike him dumb.
- Michael L. Gowens
THE PROOF OF GOD"S LOVE
how do we know that God loves us
man by nature questions the love of God & His truthfulness
the proof of God"s love is not in words, but in deeds
God has given us an example to follow (what we say should be proven by action)
the greatest proof of God"s love " "Christ died for us
it was Christ who died for us and not any one else
when man sinned against his Maker, God had to punish his sin
"the soul that sinneth it shall die"
God is holy an cannot move from what He said
God had a desire to forgive the offender
God could not overlook sin
man could never pay the price for sin
it was necessary for someone else to bear the suffering of the guilty
by substitution God could be both just & the justifier of the ungodly
the big question: who would be a substitute for man?
it was Almighty God who chose to become man & take the sinners place
it was God Himself who wore the crown of thorns & died on the cross
He went from heaven to earth to the grave and then to hell for us
the death of Christ is the greatest proof of God love - John 15:13
a second proof of God"s love " "Christ died for us"
what are we that Christ should die for us?
it was no small thing for Christ to strip Himself of all His glories to become man
as a man, He lived a holy life which was an example for us to follow
as a man, He was hated while doing good to those that hated Him
the proof of His love is not in that He lived for us, but in that He died for us
His death was no common death
His death was a death of disgrace (legal execution)
it was a death of unspeakable pain
it was a slow death (He hung on the cross for hours)
He had no comfort or sympathy in the time of death
hear Him groan, "I thirst"
listen to Him cry, "My God, My God, why hast thou foresaken me"
hear Him cry before He dies, "it is finished" (love)
a third proof of God"s love " "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-7)
think about what kind of sinners Christ died for
our life, no matter how moral or upright, is stained with a continual path of sins
who among us can say that they are without sin
Christ died for us knowing that we would be continual sinners
He did not die for us because we had only committed one error
"sinner" - an identifying characteristic of one"s life
as sinners we are redeemed, and by it we become saints
does not this prove God"s love for us
sinning against knowledge
we know what is right, but sin anyway (a more serious sin)
even for these Christ died
we sinned against the very person who died for us
it is strange but wonderful, that the Person we sinned against has died for us
He had been injured, but He pays the penalty for the injury
He died for His enemies " those that hated Him
love is a mighty thing; it can forgive great sinners
rejecters of the Gospel (how many get saved the first time they hear it)
the fact that Christ died for sinners is special proof of His love
God did not consider man"s merit when Christ died
God considered our sins, but not our righteousness ( He died for sinners)
when Christ died, He died for man who was wicked & abominable, not good & excellent
Christ did not shed His blood for us as saints, but as sinners
God had nothing to gain by saving man
He could have started all over when man sinned
He had the angels in heaven to sin His praise
Christ died for us, unasked
man never sought God"s mercy or forgiveness
God has ask man to be redeemed - Isa. 1:18
God is still asking man to be saved
A loving God would never send anyone to hell
by Matt Slick
The idea of a loving God sending people to hell for eternity is not easy to accept. Why would God, who is full of mercy and grace, send people to a place of torment for ever and ever for not trusting in Jesus even though they are nice people, or never heard of Jesus, or were sincerely trying to find God? Is that fair? Is that right?
When people ask these questions, they are appealing to what they perceive as fairness. They are looking at the issue from their human perspective. But this perspective is not necessarily the right one. If God exists, and He does, then it is He who is the One who says what is right and fair, not us. So, we need to see what the Bible says about what is right regarding sin and salvation and make a decision afterwards.
The Bible tells us that God is holy, "You shall be holy, for I am holy," (1 Pet. 1:16). Holiness is incorruptibility, perfection, purity, and the inability to sin, all of which which are possessed by God alone. Holiness is the very nature of God's character. His character is perfect, without flaw, and He is the standard of all that is right and good.
The Bible also says that God is infinite , "Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite," (Psalm 147:5). If God's understanding is infinite, then God is infinite in nature.
The Bible tells us that God is love. "And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him," (1 John 4:16). God cares about us and seeks our well being and security.
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