A Question of Logic?

IF it is true that God sends no one to Hell, but they send themselves by rejecting Christ (damn themselves), is it also true that by accepting Christ the sinner sends himself to Heaven (saves himself)?

Please note that I posed a hypothetical question relating to consistent logic and could be relaying a question I was asked by an atheist.

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8 thoughts on “A Question of Logic?

  1. • Hi, I’m taking a thinking series online course in apologetics but totally new to it and to online stuff (not sure yet how to set website). I enjoyed your question on Hell. I think some of our understanding of the eternal punishment requires the kind of gymnastics shown in your question, but I think it is a bit simpler – anyway here is my comment on Hell and the goodness of the judgment that I hope you will reflect on and enjoy. Although God would want all of us to come to Him, God is really good and just in the judgment.
    Christian Gauthier wordpresssite with only a couple blogs – ourhope:heisrisen
    What does eternal punishment really mean? I agree people have to choose, and Hell is very real and eternal torment is a very critical issue. In fact, think of renowned people for whom Hell was a big factor alongside Evolution and suffering (in one direction Charles Templeton -Farewell to God and Brian Baker -From Faith to Reason, and in the opposite direction ex-atheist Anthony Flew -There IS a God and Greg Boyd’s ex-skeptic father – Letters from a skeptic). Note that although the logic of Creation eventually convinced Flew, he could not believe in Jesus because of eternal conscious torment. As we can see, Hell is therefore a life and death very important subject. Although an oversimplification, please consider what is the Eternal Punishment by answering 6 questions prayerfully:
    1-How long do you believe the judging goes on in the “eternal judgment”? Heb 6:2
    A- Basically Judged & Re-Judged each & every day every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or finally judged just once…but last judgment is permanent, eternal, for the rest of eternity
    2-How long do you believe the saving goes on in the “eternal salvation”? Heb 5:9
    A- Basically Saved & Re-saved each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or fully/finally saved once…but it is permanent/irreversible, for the rest of eternity
    3-How long do you believe the redeeming goes on in the “eternal redemption”? Heb 9:12
    A – Basically Redeemed/re-redeemed each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or fully Redeemed once… but it is permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity
    4- How long do you believe the condemnation goes on in “eternal condemnation”? Mk3:29
    A – Basically Condemned/Re-Condemned each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or finally CONDEMNED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity
    5- How long do you believe the punishing of Hell goes on in the “eternal punishment”? Matt 25:46
    A – Basically Punished/Re-punished each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
    B- Or finally PUNISHED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/eternal/for the rest of eternity
    6- How long do you believe the destructing of Hell goes on in “eternal destruction”?2Th1:9
    A – Basically Destroyed/Re-destroyed each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
    B- Or finally DESTROYED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity/eternal

    Were you consistent? Think! Unless you can answer A to #1-3 (for the just), you are inconsistent to answer A to #4-6 (for unjust) because these sentences with word “eternal” are exactly the same. So, if B to #1-3, then you should at least consider B for #4-6. If not, why not? The point of 6 questions is to show that our view and understanding of eternal comes from outside ideas/texts – not the word itself.
    Now, note powerfully that the DURATION can be exactly the same – i.e. all 6 imparted ONCE (redeemed/punished/destroyed fully once) but all permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity, hence all ETERNAL. WOW! It would appear that the eternal punishment can be imparted once and is not necessarily equal to eternal torment, when looked at consistently for both just & unjust. Now I think that the common atheists’ cruel monster arguments and the free will arguments both try to explain a misinterpretation of the word eternal.
    Could I attempt to prove this? Could this be the plain consistent meaning for eternal in entire scriptures including Mt 25:46 and especially for all “eternal life” texts. I`d have to say Yes! Although we have a measure of life now, Scripture indicates that eternal life is FULLY GIVEN ONCE at the applicable resurrection/ judgment… when mortality is swallowed up, when we will be MADE ALIVE (finally/fully ONCE but only) at His coming (1Cor 15:22-23), when we receive (once)… in the AGE TO COME, ETERNAL LIFE (Luke 18:30). Notice that in Lk 18:30, Jesus was asked “what” to do to inherit eternal life and Jesus answered “when” – in the age to come. So let’s spell out eternal in Mt 25:46 in a more consistent manner (i.e. the same for both just/unjust).
    “And these shall go away into eternal punishment (a just complete permanent horrific destruction imparted once at the just judgment of God – as per example of judgment of wicked at flood and at Sodom), but the righteous into eternal life” (a permanent life also imparted once at His coming, in the age to come).
    Again, WOW! Once it is understood that the gift of eternal life is basically imparted ONCE in the age to come (per John 6:40 … at last day when raised to life from the dead), we can see that the eternal punishment is also a last day everlasting destruction actually FROM GOD’s CONSUMING APPEARING IN GLORY, a second death, a permanent/eternal destruction to ashes.
    With the above I have shown that eternal conscious torment is not necessarily found in Mt 25:46 (#1 verse quoted in support of eternal torment), unless we want the meaning of eternal to be inconsistent between the just and unjust, based on outside inputs, or verses, most of which are quite figurative (worms, Rev).
    In closing, since Hell is such a big issue for many people like Flew and atheists, I think we Christians should make sure it is fully re-studied with a proper understanding of the word eternal, starting with studying the 6 questions above to fully see our inconsistencies.
    Finally, let’s think about justice: Just like before Flood, evil and injustice is now everywhere (downtown, ISIS, Boca Haram, famines, abuses, war, etc), and our Creator will have once again to restrain evil by cleansing this earth and make it completely new, where there will be no more pain, suffering, evil, death, sin, and especially no sinners writing in pain in Hell, as fully destroyed once. Earth will be re-created “very good”, just like it was in Eden with no traces of evil, death or sufferings, or Hell once the punishment is complete. Just like the ark, there is again only one way to live on. The wages of every sin (big or small) is death. The choice is ours: repent & life in Christ or permanent death. Choose to live – it’s pretty simple – love your neighbor (created in His image) and love Jesus Christ the Creator and Savior.
    Blessings, Christian

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    • “In closing, since Hell is such a big issue for many people like Flew and atheists, I think we Christians should make sure it is fully re-studied with a proper understanding of the word eternal, starting with studying the 6 questions above to fully see our inconsistencies.”

      I’m not sure how much re-studying needs to b done, although the debated about Hell seems to go on and on. Face it, we humans don’t like the idea of eternal conscious torment, but we like the idea of eternal Heaven and bliss. The question is whether or not we want to believe the specific words on the pages of Scripture concerning Hell and the larger context of how God created the human species to live eternally,

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  2. Hi Dan,
    the main problem I have with eternal conscious torment is that everyone uses Mt 25:46 to support this, when in fact Mt 25:46 does not! If you re-read my questions, you’ll see that for some reason we want to read eternal torment instead of permanent punishment because we have already been convinced about it. Think of it: how can we somehow say that for the just eternal means ONCE (saved/judged/redeemed ONCE) for the rest of eternity, but for the unjust eternal means an infinite billions billions of times – as in each & every second being punished and re-punished, being destroyed & re-destroyed, being condemned and re-condemned – especially when being condemned once is according to logic basically the same as being judged once. How can the world eternal be so flexible as to mean two complete opposites ONCE vs billions of times. I think I have shown that even with eternal life it means we get it once at His coming in the age to come, but it is for the rest of eternity? I don’t think my logic is flawed in the questions (unless you did answer A to questions #1,2,3 in a consistent manner), but I would welcome specific comments. No matter what, looking forward to seeing you in new earth.

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    • To your questions:
      1-How long do you believe the judging goes on in the “eternal judgment”? Heb 6:2
      B. . . A judgment is a decree. Believers in Christ are not condemned, however nonbelievers stand condemned already. Upon physical death that condemnation for unbelief will be unalterable for the rest of eternity. While a person yet lives, there is a possibility of passing from unbelief to belief in Christ for all those who are among God’s elect remnant people.
      2-How long do you believe the saving goes on in the “eternal salvation”? Heb 5:9
      B. . .There are three aspects of the believer’s salvation. At the moment of genuine belief in Christ, we are saved from the penalty of sin. While we yet live, we are saved from the power of sin. One day we will be saved from the very presence of Sin (when we enter God’s presence), I also believe that those whom God saves, He keeps by his power – preserves and protects them. He who began a good work will bring it to completion. (Phil 1:6)
      3-How long do you believe the redeeming goes on in the “eternal redemption”? Heb 9:12
      B- We have been bought by the blood of the Lamb. We were redeemed at the Cross.
      ““You are worthy to take the scroll
      and to open its seals,
      because you were slain,
      and with your blood you purchased for God
      persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Rev 5:9
      4- How long do you believe the condemnation goes on in “eternal condemnation”? Mk3:29
      B…This is a reference to final and eternal judgment regardless of how you define blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”.
      5- How long do you believe the punishing of Hell goes on in the “eternal punishment”? Matt 25:46?
      B…This is again a reference to final and eternal judgment, but also talks about eternal ‘punishment.’ I believe that all those who wake up in Hell will be subject to conscious eternal torment (punishment). “Punishment” implies awareness. This could be an eternal awareness of the gravity of one’s sin and eternal separation from God.
      6- How long do you believe the destructing of Hell goes on in “eternal destruction”?2Th1:9
      B…The everlasting destruction here is difficult to define. It is a different Greek word than “punishment”, which connotes awareness. To what does ‘destruction’ refer? It seems to refer to being separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his might for the rest of eternity.
      That’s my take on things, but I’m not sure how that fits with the rest of explanation of what you were trying to demonstrate.

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  3. I have been seriously delinquent in getting back to you, my friend. Stay tuned, as you have given me much to think about and discuss. I think I know what I want to say, but I need to address your specific questions.

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