JehovahsWitness wrote: Fair enough, do let us know when you figure something it out.
I’ll sometime post my concluding thoughts and summary, but I doubt I’ll have figured it out. There are some things we can say with certainty, but there are many things that are just an extrapolation/interpretation.
Because there is little we can say with certainty, there are many views on hell and the afterlife. Of course, each viewpoint believes they are right, but it would be hubris to claim their own interpretation is the absolute truth.
Ultimately though, for Christians, it should not really matter what their view of hell is. No Christian is planning on going there. And God is not going to send someone to hell just because they have the incorrect view of hell.
God is not going to say,
“Because you do not believe in eternal torture for sinners, I’m going to send you to hell forever.”
“Because you do not believe in the existence of hell, I’m going to cast you into hell.”
“Because you believe in conditional immortality, you belong to hell.”
I believe one can still be a Christian (even an orthodox Christian) and hold to any view of hell. Hell could be symbolic and doesn’t have a literal existence. Hell could be a place of eternal suffering for the damned. Hell could be a temporary place of punishment. One’s salvation is not conditional on having the correct view of hell.
JehovahsWitness wrote:otseng wrote: I believe one can still be a Christian (even an orthodox Christian) and hold to any view of hell. …
The fact is that anyone that has held their dying baby in their arms, has lost a loved one or has been told a family member or friend is in screaming agony never to find relief, asks and deserves a clear understandable answer to the question “What happens at death?” A God of love would know that this is one of the most fundamental of all human questions, and He has provided clear and easily understandable answers that doesnt amount to … “Make up whatever you like and believe that..’cause I’m not tellin’!”
While millions of nominal Christians will answer as you have above, leaving sincere seekers of truth, at the least unbearably frustrated and at the most open to exploitation (think of Catholic indulgences), fear and superstition,
Instead of equating me with nominal Christians and misrepresenting what I said, it’s better to address what I actually said.
I never said what happens at death is not important. As a matter of fact, a correct belief of the main tenets of Christianity would determine what happens at death. But, if one believes in a symbolic hell or a literal hell would not determine what happens at death.
People do need to correctly know how to gain eternal life. This is essential to Christianity. But, to have a correct knowledge of hell is non-essential.
So I ask you, is a correct understanding of hell required to have eternal life?
But, to have a correct knowledge of hell is non-essential…. So I ask you, is a correct understanding of hell required to have eternal life?
Yes, I do believe understanding of hell is indeed absolutely required to have eternal life.
I beg to differ.
Understanding of hell has nothing to do with having eternal life.
To add to this, if a correct understanding of hell is required for eternal life, then why did Paul not mention anything about hell? If anyone expounded on the requirements for salvation, it would be Paul. Yet he never mentions anything about hell. So, Paul did not think it was necessary to understand hell in order to have eternal life.