Hello @ALandis! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the Ask Away podcast here on Connect. It was a good discussion! There are some really great podcasts on the RZIM site. This weekend’s post on Let My People Think was such an amazing sermon from Ravi, I hope to listen to it again this week. Are you a regular listener of Ask Away?
Robert Repke uploads the links to podcasts, but probably won’t be on here answering inquiries. So I’ll start us out, and others can join in.
There are several references to an experience of hell in the Bible as Jesus refers several times to a place “outside” where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (extreme agony) as well as a second death (or spiritual death) in Revelation.
Righteouss vs. Not
The Worthless Servant
Those who believe they can enter God’s Presence any way they like
The unbelievers and those who reject God’s gift of righteousness
The torment is forever
The philosophy that God destroys some souls with annihilation and sends others to heaven for glory seems quite inconsistent with scripture. It would appear that there is a conscious experience of eternity no matter where you end up. This is why our love for the lost and our commitment to evangelism is extremely important. (I do think there is reasonable evidence for an “age of accountability” that suggests children are not condemned, but that probably should be another discussion.)
I would add that God’s gift of soul is indescribable. It’s the part of us that has eternal existence and sustains our individual essence. That which cannot be destroyed.
I liked Vince’s comment in this week’s Ask Away podcast, “Heaven is not a reward ceremony for those who have been good enough. It’s a relationship with those who want to put their trust in God.” If we consider that heaven is the promise for those who have accepted God’s offer of relationship involving dwelling in His Presence through salvation in Christ, hell is the place where the soul is separate fromm God which is what makes it hell.
In their book The Bible Knowledge Commentary John F Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck of Dallas Theological Seminary state:
The doctrine of eternal punishment, though unpopular with liberal scholars and difficult to accept, is nevertheless clearly taught in the Bible. Jesus and the Apostle John say more on this subject than does all the rest of the Bible.
Love does not force itself by committing assault or rape, but rather extends itself in relationship and gives a choice of reciprocation. And that choice must involve an either or. God could have made us in the form of robots that do His will unconditionally and without question. But just as we may guess that a doll cannot return love, neither did God want that kind of relationship.
Here are a couple of vids from RZIM staff: The amazing John Lennox:
And Ravi Zacharias’ on hell: