Around the Web April 2012

The concept of hell was another key blocker with 25% stating that the idea of a loving God who allowed people to go to hell, stopped them from engaging with Christianity.

The 2 biggest barriers to people “engaging with Christianity” that are mentioned are: (1) the church’s stance on homosexuality (29%); (2) the concept of hell (25%).  Church scandals and reports of abuse are the biggest turnoffs when it comes to “Christians and the church” (55%). The article says that “Olive Tree Media” intend to use the research to develop an Apologetics series.  I wonder what they’ll be saying about hell?

At the resurrection, when Christ returns, both the righteous and the unrighteous will be raised from the dead to face the Judgment seat of Christ. Those who love Christ and who have followed Him will be raised to live forever with Him in the New Heaven and the New Earth. But those who do not belong to Christ will be raised for…what?This is where it gets tricky.

Jesus warns that it will be a place of torment, but we do not know for how long. While Jesus says that the fire will be eternal, we are not told that the people, or the suffering will be eternal.

Jesus tells us that in Gehenna there will be weeping (Matt 8:12), wailing (Matt 13:42), gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:50), darkness (Matt 25:30), flames (Luke 16:24), torments (Luke 16:23), and “everlasting fire”. (Matt 25:41)
As scary as this may be, and Jesus did emphasize that this was a fate to avoid at all costs, it does not specifically teach us that Hell is about suffering eternally without end.
We have to balance these statements with verses where Jesus warns us to fear God who:
“…can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) …

At the very least, all of these facts certainly make the commonly held doctrine of Eternal Suffering seem very weak in comparison.
The Lie of Hell
Notes on a tough subject ( against annihilationism ~ ed)
Against conditional immortality: ( I appreciated reading the debate in the comments)
Please share other links that might be of interest to our readers in the comments.

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