How would you respond to the following atheist objection.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by quantumfaith, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    Came across the following objection to theism in general and Christianity in particular.

    How can God confine someone to an infinite hell for a finite amount of sin?

    I would be interested in how you might "debate" this issue with such a skeptic.
     
  2. Alive in Christ

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    I would respond by saying that God has decided and decreed that hell will be in existance for all eternity, and that settles it. Its his universe, He can run it as He sees fit.

    (as you can see, I'm not a good "debater", I dont have the patience.) :wavey:
     
    #2 Alive in Christ, Dec 19, 2011
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  3. quantumfaith

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    :) Perhaps persuasion of the skeptic is not a ministerial gift of yours. :)
     
  4. Alive in Christ

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    Well, I know that "formal" debating sure isint a ministerial gift of mine. :laugh:

    Informal wittnesing and discussing are more my gifting, in this regard.
     
  5. quantumfaith

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    And I am appreciative that you have that gift. Blessings
     
  6. marke

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    This issue is not difficult to understand if dozens of scriptures are used to complete the whole doctrinal picture, but the problem is that laying all the scriptures out takes a lot of space and time (a lot of scriptures which must be sewn together somehow in as concise a manner as possible in order to keep the points from the various pieces from being lost while the other pieces are put together.

    Here's the outline:

    1. People go to hell for one sin only and that is rejecting the word of God without ever repenting after they have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit as He draws them to Christ. Jesus said all other sins shall be forgiven men because He became the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
    2. Those who willfully reject God's command to be saved become guilty of choosing sin over righteousness and, like the angels which fell with satan, become willing participants in the sins of the whole world. They not only must suffer punishment for their own sins, and the sin of rejecting the horrible suffering death of the Savior, but every sin of every other sinner becomes theirs to answer for as well. They make themselves willing partakers of other mens sins.

    Take abortion, for example. Who is guilty of murdering babies besides the abortionist doctor? Those who passed the laws, those who enforce those laws, the judges who rule in favor of those laws, the people who elect those who pass those laws, etc. Who was responsible for the murder of innocent Jews during the holocaust under Hitler? Every God-hating rebel against God who did nothing to stop that madman.

    Unrepentant sinners make up what the Bible refers to as the world and the world is the enemy of God and they act as a unit to further the devil's evil work and to thwart God's work, and for that they rightly incur the wrath of God that will be poured out on the whole world of wicked men with equal fiery vengence for all the horrible wicked things the whole world has, in unity, done against God and His people.

    The sheer volume of, and the horror of, and the atrocities of those wickednesses that are laid on every wicked individual who willfully refused to be delivered from sin will never be equally met by an eternal fiery judgment at the hands of a holy and righteous God. Has anyone been intimately acquainted with the gory details of a brutal rape, torture, and murder of a young girl who begged for mercy at the hands of her middle-aged, sadistic, unfeeling, mentally twisted killer? If that was a loving father's or mother's only 9 year old daughter and they were shown the gory details and made aware of her unheeded cries for mercy, would they want to just forgive the man and ask him to not do something like that again? Not if they are normal, and God is more than normal, he is going to miserably destroy the whole lot of the unrepentant wicked for their participation in every sin ever commited by any one of them in the unified world system.
     
    #6 marke, Dec 19, 2011
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  7. Romans7man

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    Sometimes I ask, How can God give eternal life with Him, when I have done absolutely nothing to deserve it? That one still boggles my mind. What an Awesome God we serve!

    Meanwhile back on the farm, and more pointedly back to your question.
    My thinking goes back to Romans 1. As you may already know I don't believe we are born sinners, but are sinners by choice. It is not that God wants any to perish, but we choose to rebel and even with that God has made a way to return back to Him.

    It is not God's responsibility to give any way out, but it is pure mercy and grace that He does.


    A person that generally asks a question like that wants to make their own rules and live by their own standards. You might ask them where they get their sense of justice, where do they get their understanding of right and wrong? If they believe in some sort of creator and were logical in their thinking they would have to agree that that creator has the say, or you may be talking to a complete idiot and they just want to waste your time anyway. At any rate it goes back to Romans 1.

    Dell
     
  8. quantumfaith

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    Thank you Romans7

    I agree with you on much. The issue of our nature to sin and rebel remains a cloudy and a bit mysterious to me. I do know we ALL sin, and I feel like we have a nature to rebel in sin but I do not fall in line with how many view and define total depravity here in BB land. One often gets labels, which do not in themselves "bother me", rather it is the obvious pejorative intent and jabs that I "choose" not to appreciate.

    I have in the past enjoyed "debating" and discussing my faith with "skeptics" from all ends of the spectrum, those truly interested to the ardent "god haters". I do my best to blend biblical, philosophical and intellectual arguments in contending for the faith. Admittedly, arguments of simple scripture quotes and commentary have little stimulating effect with respect to the more ardent skeptics.
     
  9. convicted1

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  10. jbh28

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    Because we sinned against an infinite God.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    Two questions for clarification. It seems that you are saying here that Jesus died for every sin of everybody in the whole world, but he DIDN'T die for every sin?

    Is it your view that everybody, without exception, dead or alive, has been enlightened by the Holy Spirit and drawn by Him? That everybody has been exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ? If so, could you explain how that could happen?

    I know, this is chasing a rabbit, but I have to ask these questions when I think of them.
     
  12. gb93433

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    One might respond with the question, "Is the soul temporal or eternal?"
     
  13. Romans7man

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    Labels don't bother me in the least. I have been called a Calvinist and I have been called an Arminian, among other names I don't think is allowed on this site to be repeated. As long as they don't call me late for supper!

    I do enjoy debating the scriptures. I learn from being forced to be able to back up what I claim to know. Thats not to say we always come to agreement, but that comes with the territory I suppose.

    As for the skeptics, I think some of it is in their raising, some is in the hypocrisy of what they have seen or at least what they think they have seen in the Church. Also they are skeptic because of sin in their own life. Many just don't want to be responsible for their actions.

    I know we can't convince them all, but a good relationship probably works best when they can see the real you and they see Christ in us.
    My agnostic brother died this past August at the young age of 47. I tried to witness to him a few times, but he made it clear to me more than once, When one dies it's over. I would not bring up religion at all around him, but he always brought it up. I made the point that I would let him do the asking and I would answer any question he had. He told me a number of times, "I wish I could believe like you brother".
    We had as good a relationship as one could have I suppose, but we could not come to a meeting of the minds when it came to God and Jesus.
    Anyway, we buried him and I know he is in hell as we speak.
     
  14. quantumfaith

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Sorrowful for the decision of your brother to never abandon pride enough to respond to the revelation that he experienced, God has ordained that we are indeed to "choose this day whom we will serve", so many choose poorly.
     
  15. Aaron

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    Sin isn't finite.

    Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
    Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
    Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
    Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
     
    #15 Aaron, Dec 20, 2011
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  16. freeatlast

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    MY answer would depend on the athiest. I always find it interesting that someone who does not believe in someone or something would want to debate how that nothing works. None the less I might ask him if he is acknowleding that there is a God? Then depending on his answer go from there. Howeer if I was going to answer his question directly I might respond with this.
    First I would explain that God gets no pleasure out of the death of the wicked. Man's eternal torment does not satisfy God. There is only one thing in this regard that will satisfy God and that is man's redemption.
    I would explain to this person that time and suffering cannot pay for the sin. The price was so high that God himself was the only One who could pay the price and did so through His Son. So since man has been given an opportunity to escape an eternity of torment and refuses (as we are free will beings) God is not responsible for the length of time (eternity) that the lost will suffer. The eternal suffering of man is on the back's of men, not God.
     
    #16 freeatlast, Dec 20, 2011
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  17. HAMel

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    Romans7man, I have a brother-in-law that can't stand to breath the same air as I do. He holds me in over-the-top contempt..., and/or otherwise hates my guts.

    I've witnessed to him over the years but he just digs his heals in deeper all the while dying the slow death from emphysema and suffering from internal rot the result of rebellion.

    He has all the answers and doesn't have a clue. A lonely man for sure all the while surrounded by a family of unbelievers who themselves deny the very existence of God.

    It's sad when people finally come to grips with the reality of the matter it's eternally too late. I praise the Lord for calling me and have to admit that I don't thank Him and praise Him enough for what He did for me. I shudder to think I could be just like my relative. Praise the Lord!
     
  18. glfredrick

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    The answer is other than most here have offered.

    God has a law that states very clearly that the soul that sins dies forever.

    For God to break that law and offer annhilation or some other means of shortening or otherwise alleiviating the penalty for sin would be for that same God to become either a liar or unable to accomplish what He said He would accomplish. Neither are true of God, so henceforth the soul that sins dies for ever.

    How much better to bend the will to God (by His grace) and accept His imputed perfect righteousness so that the soul is no longer dead in sin forever, but rather lives forever in the presence of God, who in Christ justified us according to the law.
     
  19. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    One of the biggest problems with debating an atheist or other non believer is that you can’t use scripture, because they don’t believe it. You can use it to show what Christians believe, but if they reject the Word of God you can’t use it to convince them.

    My argument would be based on time itself. We know today that time is relative and that changing the speed that time passes is possible with great speed. As we approach the speed of sound, time slows down, this theory has been supported by several NASA experiments. While we view time as something finite and unchanging God exists outside of time. He existed for eternity before there was a “first day.” If God is all present then he also exists at all times. He is not bound by time as we are but exists outside of time itself.

    Try this spin, if God exists everywhere, then does he exist among the stars? What if a star was 2000 light years from earth, would God exist there? If God exists there could he see earth? So if He looked at earth from that distant star, what would he see? He would see the images and light that left earth 2000 years ago. Following that reasoning, the image of Jesus’ death and sacrifice is always before the face of God. It is not an event of ancient history that happened long ago. Past present and future all blend together in God’s eyes. That is how Christ could die one time for all sins, past and future. When Jesus died for me all my sins had yet to come to pass, yet he also died for old Testament saints who’s sins were long past.

    In the words of Dr. Emmitt Brown, “You’re not thinking 4th dimensionally Marty.”

    Several posters on this thread have mentioned loved ones they believe to be in hell. Let me add something, you don’t know. You don’t know to condition of any man’s heart or soul. Yes you can make educated guesses and you are probably right, but you don’t know. If they are in heaven it is only because of the Grace of God, but then that is how I plan on being there as well. Only God can condemn men to hell, not us. You have done all you can, but you won’t know anything for sure until we see face to face.
     
  20. Romans7man

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    I had a brother-in-law that hated the very ground I walked on. I prayed for him right up until he died, to no avail. He to was young, about late 30's early 40's. Even though we did not see eye to eye on just about anything, I still did not wish him dead, as he did have small children with my sister.
    He payed for a lot of liquor just before he died, as he knew he was about to die from liver failure from all the alcohol he drank. The liquor he bought was not for him, but for those that would soon attend his funeral. He wanted to go out like he lived.
     

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