A Question for Calvinists?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Roy1, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Roy1

    Roy1
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    I have asked this on another thread, but the answers were not to the point.

    Is the spirit of those cast into hell then the lake of fire alive? Is there a spiritual aspect to their punishment?

    I do not want an answer that deals with physical or mental punishment. Or one that deals with eternal torment or annihilation.

    Is their sprit alive? Either way of the argument can you give some scripture.

    Roy
    [​IMG]
     
  2. npetreley

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    I suppose the answer would depend on what you think it means to be "alive" or "dead' (or perhaps more specifically "spiritually alive" or "spiritually dead"). I don't think there's a simple answer to this question, nor do I think there's a scripture that describes a spirit cast into hell/lake of fire as being alive or dead.

    Here's the best I can offer. Scripture implies, at the very least, that man has a spirit, but despite this fact, man is spiritually dead unless and until the Holy Spirit comes to live within that man. If one concludes that "spiritually dead" means "the spirit of man is dead", one might conclude from this that the spirit of man being tossed into hell/lake of fire is just as "dead" as it was when it inhabited the man.

    I'm not sure what good it would do to come to any of these conclusions, though.
     
  3. Ian Major

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    Roy said
    Is the spirit of those cast into hell then the lake of fire alive? Is there a spiritual aspect to their punishment?

    If you mean 'conscious', then Yes, they are alive. The story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16; the 'tormented day and night' texts of Revelation show this. One cannot be tormented without being conscious.

    Yes, the punishment is spiritual. That does not mean 'allegorial' - it means more real then merely physical. The rich man had no body, yet suffered in the flames.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  4. Roy1

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    Thanks for the input so far, it is helping me think this through.

    But let me add this,

    If their spirit is conscious, when does the dead spirit become a conscious spirit?

    If the spirit remains dead (in a physical sense), then what is the purpose of sending it to hell or the lake of fire?

    Roy
     
  5. Roy1

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    BTW Ian,
    I am from Belfast and have been to your church a number of years ago.

    All the best

    Roy
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Wow! Good question Roy.

    This is tough to understand. I think it clear that their SOUL suffers torment, but if their spirit is never made alive how can it suffer? If they are never "quickened" at salvation it does not seem that the spirit will suffer, does it?
     
  7. Skandelon

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    Good discussion.

    If a dead spirit can feel torment, regret and a change of belief in Hell as seen with the story of Lazurus, why couldn't it experence that while on earth?

    Was Lazurus born again while in Hell so that he could come to understand the need of his brothers?

    Interesting....
     
  8. Roy1

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    I know the question is a strange one and I have never heard it discussed before, but surely there are some other thoughts out there? [​IMG]

    Would it help in getting a response if I said the spirit had a beard, long hair and in the case of a man he wore a dress? (tongue in cheek, but these type of threads usually get a great response.) ;) ;)

    Thinking is hard, a knee-jerk reaction is easy.

    Roy. [​IMG]
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I don't think Lazarus had to suffer in spirit in order to suffer fully. This thread makes me think about the whole dichotomy/trichotomy debate again.
     
  10. Roy1

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    I don't think Lazarus had to suffer in spirit in order to suffer fully. This thread makes me think about the whole dichotomy/trichotomy debate again. </font>[/QUOTE]Hi Roger,

    Lazarus did not suffer, (unless there is other revelation I have missed? [​IMG] ) It was the rich man.

    To suffer fully must include in spirit. On the flip side we are enjoying full blessedness in glory, including all spiritual blessings. So to experience the full wrath of Hell/ Lake of fire, the spirit must be included some how. If not then the person is in physical and mental torment over a spiritual decision that he COULD NOT MAKE. But to make a conscious spiritual decision to reject Christ, then to suffer fully makes more sense. Or does it?

    Roy. [​IMG]
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    WHOOPS!!! The student finally gets to correct the teacher [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Good job Roy [​IMG] !

    Not sure about the spirit suffering bit though.

    How can an "unquickened" spirit ever suffer?
     
  12. npetreley

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    I think I finally see where you're going with this. I think it's a line of reasoning that excludes too many factors to come to a satisfactory conclusion, regardless of the conclusion.

    Let me give you an example. I know others may disagree with my interpretation of this verse (although I think the verse is pretty clear, and it has to be stretched quite a bit to mean anything other than what it plainly says, but that's my opinion). But let's -- for the sake of argument -- assume this verse means exactly what it says:

    Proverbs 16:4
    The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.


    If God has made the wicked FOR the day of doom - I mean for THAT purpose - then they are still wicked, and they still deserve the day of doom and (by implication) the eternal punishment they get.

    Yes, you are right that they were incapable of making a spiritual decision that would have led to a more pleasant fate. But does God not have the right to design a wicked vessel for His own purposes? And if God does so, does that wicked vessel deserve any better fate than what it was designed to get?

    Or, to put it the way scripture puts it...

    22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Some will focus on "endured with longsuffering" but ignore "prepared for destruction".

    God's character has many facets. He not only wants us to know Him, He wants us to know Him COMPLETELY. Wrath against unrighteousness is something He wants us to know, and the riches of His mercy is also something He wants us to know. How else can He display both characterstics except to create vessels of wrath prepared for destruction and then have mercy on SOME of them. If He has mercy on all, then His wrath and power remain hidden. If He punishes ALL (which we would ALL deserve without His mercy), then His mercy remains hidden. But if He deliberately tolerates the wickedness of SOME, and has mercy on SOME, then He displays both wrath and mercy.

    So I believe what Paul is saying here is this: What if God created vessels of wrath which He prepared in advance to destroy, and vessels of mercy which He prepared in advance for glory, and did this in order to make His characteristics known? Does He not have the right to do this? Of course He does.

    Now here's the clincher. If we ALL start out as sinners unable to make the spiritual decision necessary to be saved, and the only reason we are saved is because God enables us to be saved, then -- left to our own abilities -- we would all JUSTLY deserve eternal punishment.

    The fact that God has mercy on SOME does not absolve anyone from deserving that eternal punishment. So it is a meaningless question to ask why a spirit should suffer because of a spiritual decision he was unable to make. Were it not for God's mercy, we would ALL suffer eternal punishment JUSTLY.

    That's what Calvinism teaches.

    On the other hand, Arminianism puts the responsibility for salvation and even the preaching of the Gospel in the hands of men.

    Now let us presuppose that Arminianism is true, and a man neglects to share the Gospel with someone who might have chosen salvation if he had only heard the Gospel. It is extremely UNJUST for that man to suffer eternally for a spiritual decision he was ABLE to make, but could not make because some other man failed to deliver the message. Yet the fault lies not with the man who was ABLE to make the decision, but was not given the chance, nor with the man who was ABLE to choose to share the Gospel but chose not to, but with God -- for placing all the chances of salvation in the hands of fallible men.
     
  13. Ian Major

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    Roy1 said
    If their spirit is conscious, when does the dead spirit become a conscious spirit? ... If the spirit remains dead (in a physical sense), then what is the purpose of sending it to hell or the lake of fire?

    I think Npetreley's point must be remembered; what do we mean by alive/dead in this context? I know too that Christ4Kildare is right to remind us of the tripartite understanding of man.

    But it seems to me to be obvious that the spirit in man cannot be given a lesser role than that of his soul, whatever their relationship. When we speak of a man, saved or lost, we speak of a spirit, soul and body. The deadness of the spirit of natural man refers not to its unconsciousness but to its relationship with God. I think being out of fellowship with God is synonymous with being spiritually dead. Adam and Eve died the day they disobeyed. Yet they were spiritually aware, they were conscious of their sin.

    Peter refers to the spirits in prison, referring to the physically dead, spiritually dead of the ancient world, now held in Hades. The rich man of Luke 16 would be similar. Conscious spirits.

    The demons are spirits, and are conscious.

    So when the resurrected wicked are thrown into Gehenna, it will be their full persons, body, soul and spirit, that suffer.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  14. Ian Major

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    Roy1 said
    BTW Ian,
    I am from Belfast and have been to your church a number of years ago.

    Good to hear from a fellow-Ulsterman! Be sure to make yourself known to me if you get down this way again.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  15. Ian Major

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    Skandelon said
    If a dead spirit can feel torment, regret and a change of belief in Hell as seen with the story of Lazurus, why couldn't it experence that while on earth?

    Of course many do. Judas Iscariot is an example. And it is written of him, The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born." Mark 14:21.

    Was Lazurus born again while in Hell so that he could come to understand the need of his brothers?

    I understand you meant the rich man, but I have to ask, Are you joking?

    In Him

    Ian
     
  16. npetreley

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    Excellent point. That raises another question of "fairness". Do you believe angels/demons, including satan, were created as eternal spiritual beings that never experienced any kind of death, bodily or otherwise?

    I raise this question because it implies the rules are different for angels/demons than they are for us. According to arminianism, we get one fleshly lifetime in which to make a free will decision, after which we suffer the consequences of our fleshly decision for eternity.

    If Arminianism is true for us, then is it true for angelic beings? What chance were these angelic beings given, and for how long? And if angels (including satan), who already were eternal beings, chose of their own free will to rebel (and therefore become demons who are also eternal beings), then are they still being given the chance to repent and become angels again before they are thrown into the lake of fire? If not, then why not?

    And since they are still eternal beings, why is there a time limit on their ability to repent?

    Or if these eternal beings are no longer allowed to or able to repent now that they have made their "choice", then why not?

    I don't think the Bible necessarily answers these questions, but I can't help raising them if you're going to deal with the issue of man's eternal spirit in hell.
     
  17. Eric B

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    I believe the principle of "To whom much is given, much is expected" is what applies here. The angels were not born in sin like we were, but rather created perfectly, and then turned on their own free will. So apparently, they get no chance to repent. Their decision is final.
    One of the main problems with the doctrine of Calvinistic reprobation/preterition, is that it treats men just like these angels. It's as if they too as individuals) were created perfectly and "chose" to sin, and Calvinists often try to appeal to Rom.5 and a doctrine of "federal headship" to support something almost to that effect. Origen taught that all men actually did preexist their birth, were created perfectly, and all turned away except for Christ, who then became the Son of God :eek: . He seems to have had some amount of influence on Augustine and others.
     
  18. Ian Major

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    Eric said
    One of the main problems with the doctrine of Calvinistic reprobation/preterition, is that it treats men just like these angels. It's as if they too as individuals) were created perfectly and "chose" to sin, and Calvinists often try to appeal to Rom.5 and a doctrine of "federal headship" to support something almost to that effect. Origen taught that all men actually did preexist their birth, were created perfectly, and all turned away except for Christ, who then became the Son of God . He seems to have had some amount of influence on Augustine and others.

    The difference between the angels and us is reproduction. Each one of them were created perfect and then either fell or remained perfect. Adam and Eve were the only ones who had this experience. WE, because we are their off-spring, inherited their choice and their subsequent nature.

    Origen's folly seems more like an attempt at defending free-will, so is more in the Arminian camp. I mean, he is saying we all were born with a pre-Fall will.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  19. npetreley

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    I think this question is still left unaddressed and unanswered...

    Or if these eternal beings are no longer allowed to or able to repent now that they have made their "choice", then why not?

    Perhaps it might be better to ask this as separate questions:

    1. Is it possible that even one demon or even satan desires to repent and be reinstated as an angel?

    2. If not, then why not? What happened to them that they are now unwilling or unable to desire to be restored to their former status?

    3. If it is possible that even one demon/satan wants to repent and be restored, then what prevents them from repenting and being reinstated? Does God simply refuse to accept their apology and reinstate them?

    I'm not asking if any propitiation or other provision has been made for them to be "saved" and reinstated as angels. I'm specifically asking if you think there might be even ONE angel who rebelled, but would like to be restored to its original condition -- but cannot be restored because....(your answer goes here).
     
  20. Roy1

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    Hi folks,

    I appreciate that these threads have a tendency to wander at times as this one has. But the question is not on angels/ demons/ Satan, but man. As much as this is an intriguing question, it would be good to get back to the original question.

    “Is the spirit of those cast into hell then the lake of fire alive? Is there a spiritual aspect to their punishment?”

    Let me add; is it conscious in the torment of these places?

    Thanks

    Roy.
    [​IMG]
     

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