ON Hellfire

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JohnDB, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. JohnDB

    JohnDB
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    We are Baptists...

    The perception of us being pulpit beating, hell and fire and brimstone preaching proliferators is a common stereotype for us.

    We obviously do know better than that.

    But there is a contradiction out there on that subject.

    We talk about two key aspects of God that are usually not disputed or are debated.

    God is omnipotent. Meaning that All power comes from God. There isn't any power that doesn't exist that God did not create or grant to someone. Our next breath isn't so much at God's acquiecense but at His active support.

    God is omnipresent. God is literally everywhere. There is no place that God is not. Hell is spoken of though as a place outside of God's presence. So...is God in Hell as well? Fire is there which certainly does seem to indicate that He is there actively supporting the flames.

    So...what say you?
     
  2. BaptistBob

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    God's presence is generally a reference to a place/status of joy, care and favor. Sometimes the bible will also use "dwell with" or "draw near" to express the same idea.

    And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." (Exodus 33:14)

    But the LORD was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence.(2 Kings 13:23)

    Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence.(Psalms 140:13)

    "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."(Matthew 18:20)

    But God is everywhere:

    Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.(Psalms 139:7-8)
     
  3. Salty

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    Sounds like the immovable object meets the irresistible force:tonofbricks:
     
  4. rdwhite

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    Our God is a consuming fire...God appeared to Moses as a burning bush...

    My simple way of understanding, is that in Hell, the souls of sinful men are in the presence of a righteous and holy God, bare to his wrath. In Heaven, the souls of men, made righteous, are in the presence of a righteous and holy God, with the covering and protection of Jesus Christ, without which, they too would experience the wrath of God.
     
  5. canadyjd

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    That may be the best explanation I have ever heard.

    Thanks

    peace to you:praying:
     
  6. JohnDB

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    But God is always good. God cannot be bad (IE torture) because He is too busy being good.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    What does torture have to do with this thread?
     
  8. rdwhite

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    Yes God is always good, and righteous, and holy, and just. It is God's justice and righteousness that demands due payment for crimes (sins) against holiness and goodness.

    "We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God'

    "There is none righteous, no not one"

    When a sinful man stands in the presence of a Holy and Righteous God he will naturally experience the pain that brings. God is not torturing anyone, it is the natural effect of being in the presence of God without protection. Only by receiving the righteousness of Jesus Christ may anyone stand in the presence of such a Good, Holy, Just, and Righteous God.
     
  9. Allan

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    You know that just as equally as God is love, He is also Just and Holy and therefore must punish in absoluteness that which is unjust or sinful.

    God offered His Son as a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and those who will not believe (and thus recieve what has been provided) they will give an account to the eternal nature of their sin. It is eternal since the Eternal God had to be the very propitiation to pay for sin.
     
  10. JohnDB

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    propitiation is not a word used in either Greek or Hebrew. It is an English word.
    It is also a principle that goes beyond what is true about God.

    God is Omnipotent. He has full control over his power...there is no "spill over" effects from it. God is perfectly efficient in his use of power. He knows (due to Omnicience & Soveriegnty) precisely when, how, and why to do anything that uses his power in a precise efficient manner. The principle of propitiation negates that concept. IT may be a popular concept that sounds good...but that doesn't mean that it is right.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Holyness isn't just the absense of evil...it is also a positive reaction to error should something arise that is an error. (freedom comes from perfect love together with goodness) So...when something goes wrong on this holy planet (the earth is holy as it has been and continues to be in God's presence and it was made by God and God said it was) then the holy nature of this planet seeks to destroy that wihich has gone wrong.

    IE sparrows are designed to fly, eat bugs and seeds, sing songs and etc. If a sparrow doesn't do any one of these things it is removed from the gene pool and this earth very quickly by agency of starvation, predators, disease or attack by other sparrows.

    God is the holy of the holy of the holy....the highest and purest of the purest of the pure. Levites used to touch the second level of holyness just to gain access into the holy of holies for Atonement Day...and during the Hasmonean period...they didn't survive the Day.
     
  11. Allan

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    There is so much incorrect in your understanding above it would take 4 to 5 etremely long posts to even address the errors you stated. I don't know where you got your information but will encourage you to throw it into the garbage and get some more reputable material to help you in studying scripture.
     
  12. JohnDB

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    That is one opinion that is telling on your part now isn't it?:godisgood:
     
  13. Carico

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    :laugh: No, God cannot look upon sin, but he knows it from afar. God created Satan as Isaiah 54:16 says, to work havoc since God himself cannot commit evil. So of course God knows about hell without actually being in hell. He leaves that to Satan and his minions. ;)
     
  14. HankD

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    Comment concerning the word "propitiation".

    Granted: "propitiation" is an usual English word and not part of conversational English.

    When used in English Bibles it comes from the Koine Greek hilasmos.

    1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.​

    1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.​

    In the Bible lexicon/dictionaries I have access to, the word "propitiation" (hilasmos) is defined as having to do with the divine expiation or satisfaction for sin by the blood atonement of Jesus Christ.

    Personally I see propitiation as distinct (but not separate) from justification.

    In my view propitiation is "global" and makes justification a possibility for all of humanity (1 John 2:2).

    The blood atonement of Jesus Christ is sufficient satisfaction of the wrath of God for sin to save all of humanity should all come to Him but not all will come and be justified/saved.

    John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

    John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


    HankD​
     
  15. JohnDB

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    But propitiation is beyond what is neccesary.

    If I were to accidentily break a window in your house and so I give you a new house to make up for my accident...that is what propitiation means...

    Jesus' death wasn't a propitiation...it was suffiecient...not more than sufficient. that is going beyond what is written and not something that should be done.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    I do not know where you get your info from, not that your personal definition makes a difference as to the doctrine, but it seems you have done what you are claiming others have:


    pro⋅pi⋅ti⋅ate
      /prəˈpɪʃiˌeɪt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pruh-pish-ee-eyt] Show IPA
    Use propitiate in a Sentence
    –verb (used with object) -at⋅ed, -at⋅ing.
    to make favorably inclined; appease; conciliate
    .
     
  17. HankD

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    John, it seems to me that you are depending upon human logic and reasoning.

    It also appears to me that it is only a personal opinion that you see "propitiation" as "beyond what is necessary" since you did not back up this objection with Scripture.

    I have defined the receptor word (hilasmos) from the original language and the Scripture plainly declares:

    1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    Even if it is more than sufficient, God does as He pleases without our stamp of approval and/or our logic and reasoning to the contrary.

    If God chooses to give me or anyone or to do over and above what is sufficient that is His perogative.

    1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.​

    1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.​

    While I agree that God can and does give what is sufficient, I find no Scripture which limits Him to sufficiency in every situation.​

    In fact the Scripture gives a dim view of this position:​

    Psalm 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.​


    In addition, while you said I went beyond what is written, you supplied no Scripture in rebuttal to my comment concerning "propitiation" as defined from the koine word hilasmos as applied to 1 John 2:2.


    HankD
     
    #17 HankD, Jul 25, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  18. JohnDB

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    The Greek word hilasterion is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew kapporeth which refers to the Mercy Seat of the Arc. Hilasterion can be translated as either "propitiation" or "expiation" which then imply different functions of the Mercy Seat. Propitiation literally means to make favorable and specifically includes the idea of dealing with God’s wrath against sinners. Expiation literally means to make pious and implies either the removal or cleansing of sin.

    The idea of propitiation includes that of expiation as its means, but the word "expiation" has no reference to quenching God’s righteous anger. The difference is that linguistically the object of expiation is sin, not God (that is, sin is removed, not God). Linguistically, one propitiates a person (makes them favorable), and one expiates a problem (removes it). Christ's death was therefore both an expiation and a propitiation. By expiating (removing the problem of) sin God was made propitious (favorable) to us.

    The case for translating hilasterion as "expiation" instead of "propitiation" was put forward by C. H. Dodd in 1935 and at first gained wide support. As a result, hilasterion has been translated as "expiation" in the RSV and other modern versions. Dodd argued that in pagan Greek the translation of hilasterion was indeed to propitiate, but that in the Septuagint (the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) that kapporeth (Hebrew for "atone") is often translated with words that mean "to cleanse or remove" (Dodd, "The Bible and the Greeks", p 93). This view was challenged by Leon Morris who argued that because of the focus in the book of Romans on God's wrath, that the concept of hilasterion needed to include the appeasement of God's wrath (Morris, Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, p 155).

    Theologians stress the idea of propitiation because it specifically addresses the aspect of the Atonement dealing with God's wrath. Critics of penal substitutionary atonement state that seeing the Atonement as appeasing God is a pagan idea that makes God seem tyrannical ([[Stricken by God?, Eerdmans: 2007). In response to this theologians have traditionally stressed that propitiation should not be understood as appeasing or mollifying God in the sense of a bribe or of it making an angry God love us, because it is God who—both in the Old and New Testaments—provides the propitiation. "I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls" (Lev 17:11). God, out of his love and justice, renders Himself favorable by his own action.

    On this point proponents of penal substitution are virtually unanimous. John Stott writes that propitiation "does not make God gracious...God does not love us because Christ died for us, Christ died for us because God loves us" (The Cross of Christ, p 174). John Calvin, quoting Augustine from John's Gospel cx.6, writes, "Our being reconciled by the death of Christ must not be understood as if the Son reconciled us, in order that the Father, then hating, might begin to love us" (Institutes, II:16:4).

    However, as Barth (and later Moltmann) showed, propitiation and expiation are false categories when applied to the triune God: if God forgives us in and through Christ (“Christ pays our debt”) then the cost has been borne by God in, as and through Christ. For God to propitiate himself is expiation; because expiation is always self-propitiation as it means the forgiver paying the debt (here, price of the sin) at his own expense. So Bonhoeffer: grace is free, but is not cheap. This is consonant with the use of hilasmos/hilasterion cognates in the NT: for example hilastheti in Luke 18:13, where there is no third party between the tax collector and God, and yet there is ‘propitiation’. (Interestingly, the tax collector “beats his own breast”, as an outward sign of his repentance and so, perhaps, he propitiates himself: bearing wrath (his own) and being made right (“dedikaiomenos”) by God.
     
  19. JohnDB

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    What all this has to do is with sufficiency or more than sufficient. (which is the point that I was addressing) It isn't the Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic that I was addressing...it was the English meaning of the word which isn't sufficient to realistically explain the Greek.

    English is the poorest language in which to translate the Bible into. It is extremely awful as a receptor language for most other languages in the world.

    But as time progresses language (especially English) is changing and shifting in meanings. At one time the word Charity was an equivalent to the word love...in today's society they are not the same in meaning...

    Now do you understand what I was saying...the above quote is from Wikipedia...and it addresses another issue with the word Propitiation in reference to Expiation and the differences there. There is no real good receptor word in English although Propitiation has shifted in meaning according to the Wikipedia definition above. But at one time the meaning was more than sufficient to atone for...that was what I was addressing.
     
  20. HankD

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    Thank you John for your in depth analysis. Yes I understand. Perhaps the word "satisfied" or "satisfaction" might be a closer English word.

    I am also aware that there has been disagreement concerning hilasmos as related to the blood atonement.

    However the "wrath of God" is a valid biblical concept so "expiation" of that "wrath" cannot IMO be completely discounted.

    It is true however that the "wrath of God" is usually directed towards the rejection of grace.

    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    Also, there is a semantic difficulty in any language. God being God, whatever He does can always be viewed as "sufficient" even if it greatly exceeds our expectations.

    Such as 1 John 2:2 which appears to say that His propitiation exceeds the sufficiency of "satisfaction" not only for the sins of the elect but for the whole world as well.

    But then one can say it (the propitiation) is sufficient for the whole world (although not appropriated for those who do not believe).

    So semantically, yes I would concede that it is ultimately always possible to see "sufficiency" in every thing God does.


    HankD​
     

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