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31

I immediately thought of C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce" upon reading this question. In the book, he puts forth the idea that separation from God is what sinners desire, and God gives them what they desire. I did some digging and found this blog (written by Bird) on the topic: "The idea of Hell being something of a choice for the damned fits hand-in-glove ...


20

I'm reminded of the story of two twins inside a mother's womb. They are discussing what things might be like on the other side of "birth". One wonders if there really is a "Mom". Neither can conceive of what life will be like, though, since neither has ever been there. They've heard that it's a painful trip, but that there's a wonderful world of ...


19

There are a couple issues here. First: Strictly speaking in a logical sense this is the best thing a person could do for themself. No. Suicide is never a logical solution to any situation. If anyone is in a position where they think it is, they would be best served by taking a time out and then seeking help. But this question is not really about ...


18

No. The general accounts of men, angels and the interaction between the two makes a pretty clear distinction that they are different KINDS of beings. Both are created by God but each has a different purpose and different destiny. We understand some things they do not. They are not bound by some of the physical limitations we are. One interesting note is ...


17

Romans 3:23 (NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God No one is righteous. Better is not enough. God demands 100% holiness. No one can achieve that. Therefore, we need the Blood of Jesus Christ. Only in Jesus, can we have salvation. Romans 5:12 (NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, ...


17

This view is based primarily on Matthew 16:18–19, in which Jesus says: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in ...


16

As already mentioned, it is entirely possible for a rich man to go to heaven. The problem is that a rich man can more easily trust in his own merits or wealth. There are many proverbs that talk about that, like Proverbs 11:28 (ESV): Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. When we trust in ourselves and ...


15

Before Elijah was taken away into heaven, he “crossed the Jordan,” and ever since, “crossing the Jordan” has been a metaphor for dying, or crossing over into heaven. By the time of Pilgrim’s Progress (1670s or so) this was an established metaphor for gaining entry into paradise. Now, having seen the Jordan River firsthand, I can tell you that it isn’t much ...


14

This verse is contrasting Jesus and David. Jesus ascended: Luke 24:51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. David went to heaven the old fashioned way: by dying first. This is evidenced by David's body being buried: Acts 2:29 “Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, ...


14

I have never had a problem with the idea of God punishing someone forever. It is based on the concept of infinity, if God is infinitely excellent and glorious than sin against him is an infinite crime. We do not get it because part of our sinfulness is to deny His absolute glory. Love hates hatred; it does not just want to reform it, but to punish it for ...


13

If we could envision exactly what Heaven is going to be like, it wouldn't be Heaven, just as if we could comprehend God, He wouldn't be God. Just as man should not create (in their own minds) a God made in their image, but understand that man was made in God's image. So too we must not make Heaven in the image of the earth, but understand that earth ...


13

These two lines of reasoning are, as you've presented them, problematic as you suggest. Ideally, they'd be used together and be founded in the true message of the gospel. First, the few details to be cleared up: I don't understand how can someone venerate Jesus for his act of ultimate selflessnes and love (the crucifixion) but at the same time try to ...


12

Short answer: We don't know for sure. The rest of this answer explores various "Christian answers", but the conclusion is "we don't know for sure". This is a question that I struggled with when I was an atheist, and it's a question that Christians have grappled with and that has never been answered in a way that would have been intellectually satisfying to ...


11

I would have to say No. Jesus said in Matthew 6:20 (NIV): But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Here, he indicates that you should work towards heavenly treasures. Furthermore, he encouraged here, in Matthew 19:21 (NIV) Jesus answered, “If you want to be ...


11

Memories: Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God I am under the impression that yes we will have memories of our lives (because without such memories how could we give account?). We would not be able to give an account if we did not have consciousness. Conscious Experience: I think that this Scripture gives us a ...


11

I must admit, I chuckled at This is the kind of question kids ask me in Sunday School.. Anyway... First off, Revelations 19 has a wedding feast. Revelation 19:9 (NIV) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Emphasis ...


11

In the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus, Jesus says no: And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was ...


11

The idea of Peter at the gates of heaven with the keys has a long history that is sourced to the bible. Of course, as things go, sourcing alone and understanding the source may be two different things. Here is an example of the teaching in the 7th century at the Synod of Whitby over the argument about the Easter observance. (bold mine) The controversy [...


10

This is actually a verse that Witnesses would know well, and quote often. It is on the basis of this verse that Witnesses avoid politics (and, generally, careers which would result in fame). Witnesses do not vote; do not join political campaigns; do not donate to political causes; and do not join political parties. This is all on the basis of John 18:36: ...


10

St. Thomas Aquinas addressed this pretty deeply, and as I suspected, his answer was yes, Our Lord's risen body was a glorified one. Although it differed in glory in some way from His body in Heaven. I answer that, Christ's was a glorified body in His Resurrection, and this is evident from three reasons. First of all, because His Resurrection was the ...


10

The three degrees of glory are the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial. Each kingdom is on the order of the law it represents: Telestial law is the law of the world, effectively lawlessness (in the scriptures, this is compared to the glory of the stars), Terrestrial law is a "middle" law (compared to the glory of the moon), and the Celestial law is God's ...


10

That death and "sleeping," are often conflated in Scripture is perhaps a useful metaphor here. Notice how, in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul likens those who have died to those who have "fallen asleep in Christ." And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If ...


10

Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard ...


10

So, there are passages that are particularly relevant here: Matthew 22:29 - 32 29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what ...


10

We do not know exactly where heaven or hell is. However, in Scripture, the word "up" is commonly used in association with the location of heaven and "down" is typically associated with the location of hell, either figuratively or literally. Also, from the vantage point of heaven, earth is down. The "up" and "down" context may certainly be completely ...


9

First of all, Christianity doesn't teach that some get to go to heaven because they are "smaller sinners" than everybody else. Likewise those in hell are not their because they are "bigger sinners" than anyone else. In fact as humans we all stand on pretty equal ground as far as that is concerned, and if that were the standard we'd all be in hell. Secondly, ...


9

St Augustine says we do and I might as well quote him at length since its way way in the public domain: Whether the Bodies of Women Shall Retain Their Own Sex in the Resurrection. From the words, Till we all come to a perfect man, to the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:13 and from the words, Conformed to the image of the Son ...


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