Degrees of separation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, May 7, 2008.

  1. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it is pretty widely accepted that there will be no cookie cutter hell for the reprobate, that there will be varying "degrees" of hell, so to speak (Matthew 11:20-24)

    My question is since hell is separation from God...does that mean there will be different degrees of separation from God? If one is separated from God, how can somebody else be "more separated" from Him?
     
  2. Steven2006

    Steven2006
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMO, separated is separated, and that would be the same. Degrees of torment, now that is a different topic.
     
  3. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree about the torment...but since hell is separation from God, and there are different degrees of hell, it logically follows there must be different degrees of separation, too.
     
  4. Steven2006

    Steven2006
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't follow that. That is implying that some in Hell would have at least some degree of contact or awareness of God's presence. I think they are all equally separated, and that is 100% complete separation. But the torment that they are subjected to (while separated) will vary.
     
    #4 Steven2006, May 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2008
  5. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps it's degrees of suffering over the separation from God.
    For it to be degrees of separation, it would have to mean there will be those who are more separated and those less separate. How can there be less separation for anyone in hell, God would have to be there for the person to be less separated.
    Did I make that make sence? I've got it right in my head, not sure I translated it right.
     
  6. Amy.G

    Amy.G
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,103
    Likes Received:
    0


    Makes sense to me Donna.
     
  7. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would have to (and so I do) agree with both your's and Steven's postings.

    The death is seperation from God, hell is the place of judgment for those who are seperated and those judgments will vary by degrees.
     
    #7 Allan, May 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2008
  8. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the answers. The more I think about this, it draws me to the view of life in the ocean, and I'm wondering if hell could be a similar principle. While sea life is separated from everything above the water, life gets much darker, colder and unbearable the closer you get to the bottom, and further away from the top. The pressure is also greater, too. Those that live near the surface are still separated, but can see some light, and I wonder if those in hell (as the story of Lazarus) see some of what they are missing out on, and they are the ones who are weeping...while those even further (like sea life at the bottom) cannot see anything, more pressure, colder, etc. are those who are gnashing their teeth in anger and hate. Since there will be different degrees of suffering, I can still see how there could be different degrees of separation, too.
     
    #8 webdog, May 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  9. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    An interesting analogy.
    But I must ask: Does scripture state or allude to there being different degrees of seperation as it does for torments in hell?
    What I mean is:
    Seperation is always equated with death. There aren't varying degrees of death, you either are or you are not.

    Hell on the other hand is a place is a holding place awaiting final judgment (Great White Throne) and therefore the probablilty that there are diverse torments for different people is not plausable but confirmed via scripture.

    However, I do like your illistration regarding Hell. We see also in the scripture of demons being chained 'in the darkness' and even 'under the darkness'. Talk about deep. No wonder it is refered to as the bottonless pit.
     
  10. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think the two can be separated. Scripture does allude to differing degrees of hell. Since hell is both separation and torment, and if there are indeed degrees of hell, it would follow logically that there would be degrees of both, IMO. I'm not sure we can equate physical death with hell's separation, either, since physical death is a state and hell is both a real place and state of separation. Just my thoughts, of course :)
     
  11. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm wondering where you come by the idea that hell is separation from God as if that's the definition of what hell is or all that is experienced there.

    Sure, we're told those in hell are "away from the presence of the Lord", but we're also told in several places that they are experiencing God's wrath. I'd think that means that God is constantly acting in retributive justice in hell. If that's the case, then it's easy to see that there might be different retributive justice expressed by God there.

    My own opinion is that "the presence of the Lord" phrase in 2 Thessalonians means God's blessing or his fellowship or something like that, not that God is not present in any way in hell.

    [Sorry. I was posting while you were answering, and you've sort of answered already.]
     
    #11 russell55, May 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  12. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didn't say anything about physical death I'm refering to the spiritual death that man is already in but without judgment yet. It would seem that in your view we are in hell now if that were the case.

    And agian, are there differing degrees of being dead spiritually?

    Another question brother:
    I think you are misunderstanding what seperation in hell is about. (at least that is what it seems).

    If you are eternally seperated from God what other degree of seperation is there beyond that that is meaningful??
    That encompasses, to never have hope, life, light, peace, joy, et al..
    To be removed from any chance of hope or grace has no degrees. It is the absolute distance from God.
     
    #12 Allan, May 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  13. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyway Web, I thought you analogy was interesting.

    I think you are place some undo emphasis here but nothing of real consequence.

    I'm out on this one (maybe :laugh: ) Enjoy your day and don't be 'seperate' from God but cleave to him. God bless you and your family richly in His grace and bounty.
     
  14. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well said Allan, Amen.
    In my mind there couldn't be anything worse than separation from God. Most take blessing for granted. As if they are natural. Everything even your next breath is a blessing. If you take everything away you have darkness. You have silence other than your own thoughts of regret. Being completely alone no one to share your misery with. No end of it for an eternity. That's got to be Hell. It would be far worse than fire because then at least you'd have the light from the flame. Oh you still burn with the I should haves. There are no degrees of loneliness You can't get anymore alone than you are when you're alone
    MB
     
  15. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aren't those who are physically alive today, but who are spiritually dead separated from God in a different manner than those who have already died physically? That is a different degree of separation, is it not?
    Is hell spiritual death, or the destination of those spiritually dead?
    I don't think we can know this side of Heaven (or hell).
    Thanks :)
    I wasn't trying to place an emphasis anywhere...just sparking discussion and debate.
     
  16. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    God may have seperations and punishments that are beyond our comprehension.
    Whatever it is, hell is going to be severe for those going there.
    I'm thankful for Jesus.
     
  17. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    13
    Me Too!!!!
    MB
     
  18. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    13
    God blesses even the unGodly
    We Know it is outer darkness and complete separation from God there is weaping and nashing of teeth. Living men are not completely separated from God because God blesses the unjust with the same rain He bless the just with. Hell is separation from God with out hope. With out any more chances. With out love and comfort.
    MB

    MB
     
  19. Outsider

    Outsider
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all,
    I do feel there are degrees of seperation.
    Those that are physically alive, but not in the right relationship with God are seperated from him. They are occupied with the things of this world and do not think of themselves as being seperated. They are missing out on the wonderful blessings of being in the proper relationship with God.

    Those that die naturally, are now aware of truth, and with nothing to distract them, I believe they are able to see what they have missed out on and what is to come.

    Then comes the LoF. Yet another degree of seperation.

    I may not have worded this very accurate, so please try and understand what I am trying to say. I do not neccessarily believe that there are degrees of torment in hell or in the LoF, but hell and the LoF are different degrees within themselves.

    Just my thoughts...
     
    #19 Outsider, May 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  20. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the idea that hell is separation from God and only separation from God does not give the whole Biblical view on the matter. Yes, hell is separation from God's goodness and grace, but not from His wrath. The person in hell is separated from all of the goodness and grace of God, but the wrath of God still abides on him. So to answer the question about degrees (and yes, I believe there will be degrees of punishment in hell), it does not lie in the degree of separation, rather it lies in the degree of wrath that the person will experience in hell.
     
    #20 Andy T., May 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2008

Share This Page

Loading...