You might like some of the work John Sanders has done synthesizing metaphor studies with theology, particularly for the atonement. I’m kind of obsessed with it at the moment, but it’s super interesting stuff.
Not sure I like that review too much. Themelios has a better one;
This one is also really good;
Of course, but Isaiah 53 is a prophesy of Christ.
In the lectionary, Isaiah 53 is read on Good Friday.
In Handel’s Messiah, Isaiah 53 is treated as a prophesy.
And you know who else thinks it’s a prophesy?
Matthew! Remember him? He wrote one of the gospels.
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”[b]
Matthew is referring to Isaiah 53 verse 4.
Except that it’s true. It’s in both the OT and the NT. See my previous posts.
In my understanding Hell is not the Lake of Fire which will take place at the End Times but is a place of smoke and darkness but mostly a place that is separated from the presence of God and thus the torment is from the agony of not being near God and the anguish of not making the choice to follow God. The Lake of Fire which is the 2nd Death is true to what it says but in my opinion the Lake of Fire will not mostly be the burning of the fire but be the knowledge that they are forever away from the presence and glory of God. God doesn’t send people to Hell, people send themselves to it. Hell is the path for all but God offers a way out of it and that is through Jesus Christ.
The ideas sound Eastern Orthodox… and then there is that picture…
I think this move away from hell as scary and painful scenery is in the right direction. Far more significant it seems to me is the inhabitants, for they more than anything else are what make a place wonderful or unbearable.
As for the connection between hell and the separation from God, I agree totally. But I think some explanation is required, because most people are likely see this as only being torturous to religious fanatics and thus conclude that the so called heaven is a place full of self-righteous stuffed shirts they would not want to be caught dead in.
The basic problem I see it is that fact that it can be little difficult to imagine that an eternal existence can even be bearable let alone worthwhile. Many who imagine scenarios where someone lives forever comes to the conclusion that boredom can become excruciating. But then you might realize that there is something about God that could change this. He is infinite. There is no end to what He can give to those who are willing to receive. This is the promise I see in eternal life. Not merely an eternal existence. But a relationship with an infinite source of the things that make existence worthwhile.
This is likely to inspire laughter more than anything else with those who don’t believe in God. Indeed they are likely to believe that what you are describing is the much better place. But I have a perspective that makes hell something far more frightening.
The crux of it is that heaven and hell are not about rewards and punishment for sin. That is the most prevalent misunderstanding. Another misunderstanding which in some ways even worse is the idea that salvation is a way of avoiding the consequences of what you do. It is not so. God will render to EVERYONE according to his works (Romans 2:6). There is no escape from the consequences of what we do. However, you might notice that the consequences can be very different depending on how you deal with them. Accepting the responsibility and repairing the damage is very different consequences from what happens when you run from them, because they dominate your life (or afterlife) and the damage grows without end. That is the most pernicious nature of sin, is that it multiplies and grows like a degenerative disease eroding piece by piece everything of value within you including your freedom of will until there is nothing left worth saving. It is indeed a bit like you are in an incinerator which is slowly converting you to nothing but ashes.
I go one step further to say that they create hell themselves as well. You see, the whole reason I even believe in hell is because I see it the world and it is always something which people have created.
I have often compared it to the law of gravity – call it the law of sin. We all may have very different trajectories depending on various advantages in life, but our destination remains the same because of the inescapable fact: have gravity will fall – or in this case, have sin and down we go eventually. The only hope is if God reaches down to grab us, and we cling to His hand with everything we have.
Jesus told Christians not to judge others. Paul told us not to repay evil with evil, but to allow God to punish those who deserve punishment.
Our job as Christians is not assign people to heaven or hell, however if we are confident that someone knows Jesus as their Savior we are confident that that person is going to be with God.
However if we see danger signs that things are not right with their lives, we should warn them that they are subject to judgement, not be us, but by God. God is not mocked. You reap what you sow.
I would love to preach to the President, because he should know what the price is for his lies and arrogance. The problem might be for some of his followers who should know better, but do not. God is able to read the heart and we trust God to do what is just and right, and not judge as we would judge,
I don’t , it’s not my place to judge another man’s heart .
That is good. So you know that you are not asked by God to tell people if they are saved or not. But we do need to let people know what they need to do to be saved. The fact is that we believe that we can know that we have a saving relationship with Jesus, that we cannot lose.
The flip side of this is that if some people are saved from sin, others are not. What happened to them after death? If they go to heaven, if heaven i9s just like death with the sheep being hurt by the goats, then what good is eternal life. Heaven is for the righteous where they can relax without fear of sin.
That would mean that hell is the place of the unrighteous, where they are free to so their thing also. This would seem to me to be suffering from mental and spiritual pain. Physical pain is gone because everyone is dead.
Conceivably people who go to hell because they choose sin over righteousness might get tired of trying to hurt of others and turn to Jesus. On the other hand eternity in hell is not a measure of time, because time does not exist there. It is a state of being.
Is it fair to assign to heaven if 1) people do not deserve it, and 2) people have demonstrated that they do not want to live in peace and joy with Gods and others. If some whites do not want to live with blacks on earth, how is it loving to compel them do so in heaven?
Our job as humans is to live right on earth. We are to allow God to make the decision as to who is saved and who is not. That is not our job and honestly I know that I am not able to make that time of decision. If God is God and we trust God, then there should be on problem.
Clearly non-believers do not believe in God. They do not think that they should go to hell just because they do not believe in God, and that is the case. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the sure Way to goodness, but God does provide a way for those who do live right even though they are not . If non-believers what to take a chance on finding that way on their own, Good Luck.
The idea of human souls spending eternity conciously suffering in hell conflicts a merciful loving father ,and further the gift of eternal life becomes to no effect ( eternal either way ) …