Heaven and Hell before Genesis

If humans evolved gradually, what happened to the proto-humans after death? Did they simply cease to exist, or were they held accountable for their sins in Hell, or were they not held accountable and sent to Heaven? If God is real but humans have only known of him since Genesis, they would not have known of how to receive salvation or be with God.
I’m not trying to be confrontational, I’m just really curious.

You’ll get a wide range of views in here. But here’s mine.

  1. No one is going to heaven. Heaven overlaps with earth. The Bible Project Podcast does a great job covering these issues.

  2. No one has went to hell yet. Hell is the lake of fire. In Greek, hell and hades are often used interchangeably but they are different words. Hell comes from Gehenna and hades ( the underworld ) comes from hades. Hades is just symbolism for death. It’s where all things that die go. It’s just the state of being dead. After everyone is resurrected at the white thing judgement ( it says both righteous and unrighteous will be resurrected ) and those whose name are not in the book of life God destroys their body and soul a second time. It’s a eternal punishment that lasts forever because it’s a second death with no hopes of salvation or resurrection. Everyone, including proto men, until death stays dead until then. So no one is in hell. The podcast “Rethinking Hell “ with Chris Date really fine to
    Ines this argument that.

It’s helpful to me to first explain what is sin. Sin is not things you don’t like, sin is the things God disproves off. It takes God drawing it in the mine to say this is sin and this is not. The wages of sin is death. Sin has always existed, but prior to the law we were not accountable to it.

Romans 5:13
New American Standard Bible
13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not counted against anyone when there is no law.

So prior to the law being given there was no accountability to it.

For someone to be guilty of sin, they have to be able to know the difference between good snd evil. To choose one of the other actively.

Isaiah 7:15
New American Standard Bible
15 He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.

So if someone , or something, diet prior to the law was given snd was also to recognize goodness and evil how will they be judged?

Romans 2:12-16
New American Standard Bible

12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearersof the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law instinctively perform the requirements of the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of mankind through Christ Jesus.

It seems to say those will judge their hearts with their understanding of god and evil.

Romans 1:18-20
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

We will be judged by what we know. Creation is God’s great work, and his mark is on it. He considers our knowledge of creation to be enough that we should acknowledge him as creator. And as you posted, the basic law of good and evil is in our heart. If that was all we knew, then that is the basis on which we would be judged.

And here is my view on these questions:

First of all, only the biological species evolved gradually. Humans began with a communication between God and Adam which brought the human mind to life.

All living things have a spirit which survives death. But the life of the human mind exceeds that of biological organisms by a factor of 1000 at least which is demonstrated by the rate at which human beings change and learn, outpacing evolution by at least that much. So there is a dramatic difference which I don’t think is a product of evolution.

I have heard many claim that animals are not accountable or capable of moral choices. But I don’t agree with such claims. But obviously there are differences… Responsibilty and power go hand in hand. So the responsibility of a child is very small compared to an adult. And the responsibility of an infant is practically nonexistent. Likewise the responsibility of animals is quite small compared to adult human beings.

But frankly I don’t think it is even a matter of accountability but of consequences. Everything we choose as living beings has consequences to our spiritual existence. And if human beings live like animals then they can hardly expect a spiritual existence which is any greater than that of animals either. Sins are self-destructive habits which must be removed or they will be like a degenerative disease destroying everything of value in the human spirit.

You say that like humans know how to get salvation now, like this is an accomplishment some people have in life. Jesus said this is impossible in Matthew 19. Salvation is something only God can accomplish.

Ay up @Isaac_Philo. Once you start down the slippery slope of putting the horse before the cart, you’ll find the horse outrunning the cart. The cart has to shed baggage to even keep in sight.

Even when the horse is over the horizon, He’s there with it. It’s in Him.

And God is Love and Love never fails.

I’m not sure what you mean.

Aye, sorry. Ancient myths and science don’t mix.

By ancient myths do you mean Pagan myths or are you referring to the Bible?

There are questions we don’t know the answer to. What happens to humans today with cognitive disabilities that prevent them from understanding the gospel? What happens to children who die before they profess faith? What happens to people who have never heard the gospel? I think your question is along the same lines. We trust that God’s love and justice are more expansive than our theological constructs are capable of explaining with the finite revelation we have and the limited human minds we have to understand it.

1 Like

The Bible doesn’t say anything about that particular topic, as I would argue it just picks up describing creation at a particular point in time. One thing that is important to note then, is that the answer to your question has no bearing on what the Bible has to say about “modern homo sapiens” and our present condition. However, one could speculate about what God’s relationship and ultimate judgment with homo erectus might have been and propose that it would be a fair sort of judgment given their capabilities and sense of general revelation. At the end of the day, your question is a little like “what happens to people who die and never heard the Gospel?” or “how did people go to heaven before the time of Christ?”

Aye, Jewish monotheistic myth.

Ive heard this before but never understood it. Can you explain ? Also sorry for hijaking the thread in some way

I watched the Bible Project video about this. I think what they mean is that Heaven is the presence of God, and that when people accept Jesus, they are bringing Heaven to earth in the sense that the Holy Spirit indwells them. However, I beg to differ, because the Bible makes very many contrasts between earthly existence and being in the full presence of God after death. For example, 2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV says “8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Additionally, another aspect of this belief is that the New Heavens and the New Earth will be where God dwells forever, as stated in Revelation. In that sense, we don’t really go anywhere, because God will be on Earth when we are resurrected.
However, I feel like there are two different places where God is mentioned to be with his people after death- one place where they will be immediately (Luke 23:43 NIV says “Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.””), and one place after the resurrection of the dead https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/new-heaven-new-earth/.
I’ve heard it said that the meaning of the verse from Luke changes if you move the comma one word forward. I don’t really know what to say about that.

That’s not completely what the Bible project taught. It goes way more in depth. There is a entire series called heaven snd earth by the Bible project that goes hours and hours in depth in this subject.

To me it’s sort of like getting someone to understand why genesis is not literal. There is not a single verse to prove the hyperbolic statement snd mythology involved. It takes reasoning through scripture to first show what doors are left open and then you use philosophy and science on the other side of the door.

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.