"Hell is punishment. It’s not “just what happens” to people."
That's a comment by Flute. She is informing me that hell - the eternal separation from God, is something that God has deliberately prepared for those who reject His offer of salvation. Her enthusiasm almost makes it sound as though she's just stumbled onto this revelation.
She's right of course. You do have to make a deliberate decision to not accept God’s offer of rescue from hell. But what kind of a fool would do that? Everything that Flute describes is true. Hell is the complete and total absence of God’s love. There isn’t any place on earth that even comes close.
Now, atheists of couse say, ‘Only a monster would create a place like that.’
Well, God has made a place where people don’t have to be around Him. In fact, He’s reserved a special place, somewhat like a no smoking section, where atheists will finally be totally free from God’s influence. True, they have to go outside God's Kingdom to do their thing. And it's true that they have to stay there, but . . . Still, when it’s properly understood, it’s like atheists are saying to God, “How dare you create a place to exist where your love is absent!” They can't seem to get it through their logical minds that:
a) You CAN get rid of God, but
b) If you get rid of God it's going to be awful
c) This is a spiritual reality. It can't be any other way.
That’s what’s so confusing. Atheists hate the very concept of God. They want His name removed from society. The don’t want to have to think about Him, hear about Him, or see any reference to Him. Atheists, like America’s haemorrhoid Michael Newdow, want to be completely free from anything that has to do with Creator God. So when God provides a place where they can get exactly what they want, when God grants their wish, when God says to atheists, “Thy will be done,” they wail, “How can He do this to me? What kind of monster are you?”
I know. I know. I’m being facetious. What atheists are really complaining about are the conditions that they’ll have to put up with in Hell. Hell isn’t a very nice place. In fact, it’s down right awful. Atheists read the brochure for Hell and demand that major renovations take place before they have to move in. On the up-side, you can’t say you weren’t warned. God has been very upfront about your destination. You know in advance that there won’t be any ocean view. On the other hand, you still have a chance to upgrade. It's not too late.
I suppose atheists simply don’t understand the spiritual realities involved here. Atheists don't understand that God did not create Hell to be a “horrific place.” Hell is a horrific place simply because God’s love, God’s influence, will be completely absent. It appears that atheists would like God to create a beautiful, peaceful place for them where they can exist in the absence of God, but that is simply not possible.
Beauty and the absence of God are mutually exclusive.
Peace and the absence of God are mutually exclusive.
Let me explain.
Just as there cannot be the perception of up without a down, in without an out, hot without cold and light without darkness, there cannot be Love without evil. This is a spiritual reality or law. With God there is love. Without God there is evil. To the degree that the essence of God is present, to that degree will evil be absent.
Atheists don’t seem to realise that the only thing that makes possible for any type of love or joy or peace, even in their own lives specifically, or just on planet earth generally is the fact that our Creator is, to some degree, keeping evil at bay. His presence, where ever and to the degree that it exists, forces evil back against the wall. This is true for believer and non believer alike. Now, God’s decrees are “written on hearts.” We are hardwired to KNOW objective right from wrong. Whether we believe in God or not, to the extent that we follow His objective morals, values and obligations, to that extent will we and those around us experience peace and joy. Whether we believe in or acknowledge Creator God or not, “All good things and every perfect gift is from above, coming down to us from the Father (Creator) of heavenly lights in whom there is no changing or shifting like shadows.”
Atheists of course want to rid the world of all reference to and influence from our Creator. And yet, although they’ve read about hell and heard about conditions in hell, they seem to have no idea what they’re asking for.
. Hell is the complete absence of God.
. Atheists think they want the complete absence of God.
For every atheist posting today, sometime between today and a few decades from now, you will see your goal accomplished. You will experience complete separation from Creator God.
Remember though. You can’t act surprised when you get there. You’ve seen the brochure. You have been warned far, far in advance that life in the total absence of God is just a little bit this side of unbearable. Jesus tells us that existing in the complete absence of God’s love will feel like being burned alive. Why would that be? Well, at some point in the near future, those who have longed for and worked for the complete absence of God’s love will exist in:
. The complete absence of Good
. The total, all pervasive presence of evil
. Absolute fear
. Unmitigated hatred and rage
. Total and unending darkness
. Unrelieved sorrow
. Unequivocal alone-ness
. Absolute shame
. Unbounded regret
. Undiluted violence.
. Sheer panic. Unrelenting dissatisfaction
. All encompassing meanness
. Overwhelming stench
. Total betrayal
. There will be no freedom from pain, only total, all consuming, overwhelming pain.
The most dangerous conditions on earth don’t come close. God did not “create” these conditions. These are simply the conditions that exist when the essence of God is completely absent. That is what atheists say they want - the complete absence of God.
Hell is the destination for people who have finally come to the end of a journey, the main focus of which, the main direction of which has been to live a life without humbling yourself before Creator God.
If you long to be free from the presence of God during your life on earth, then Hell is nothing but the ONLY destination you could possibly reach given the road upon which you’ve chosen to travel.
Right now, even as I write this, millions of people are suffering a special kind of torment as they are in a hell that they refused to believe in. Their special torment is that they convinced spouses, children, friends, students and other ‘open-minded’ people that hell didn’t exist. Or, like singer Billy Joel, they’ve convinced millions of people that being in hell will be a lot more fun than the alternative. And now there is no way to turn back the clock. There is no way to warn their loved-ones about the horrendous consequences of following that error.
Of course hell need not be something that you even think about, much less experience. Jesus, at His own expense has made it possible for anyone who wants to be forever rescued from hell and to spend eternity in the midst of God’s Love.
If you choose to travel this earthly stage of life WITH Jesus, then Heaven is nothing but the only destination you could possibly reach given the road upon which you’ve chosen to travel. I hope to see you there.
Flute gave me some verses from the Bible that describe the "punishment" of hell. Yet, in order to do so, she had to deliberately climb over and step around these verses.
Daniel 12:1- 6 - Everyone whose name is written in the book will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake . . . to everlasting life. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever.
John 5:28,29 - A time is coming when all who are in their greaves will hear His voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live . . .
2nd Thessalonians 1:5 - All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God. God is just: He will give relief to you who are troubled.
Again Flute, help me understand why you ignore what could be yours? And if your answer is because you don’t believe it, then why do you obsess on hell which I assume you also don’t believe in?
"Hell is not so much eternal separation from God as it is the eternal presence of God in unmitigated wrath and fury."
That's close to correct. It's God's umitigated wrath and fury toward sin and those who have refused to separate themselves from sin. So my question becomes, When you know this Flute, why, why, why don’t you do something to make sure it never happens to you?