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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thy will or my will

A lot of great discussions happen in blogland all the time. Amazing how many can happen every second and because we are mere mortals our ability to participate in the vast majority is severely limited. One of these discussions has been happening over at pam's place *how God messed up my religion*, concering the issue of hell and christian universalism. I am still pleasantly surprised to see how congenial and civil the discussion remained, nornally in all my years seeing these issues tal;ked about more heat than light usually gets produced. I came across a book by Peter Kreeft called *everything you wanted to know about Heaven* and it had alot to say about hell as well.

A major stumbling block for many people who remain nonchristians is hell. How can a good God send people to hell??? Why would an all-loving, all-merciful God want to torture His creation for eternity no matter what they did??? Tough questions that have been debated since forever it seems. Something brought out in the book was what if the question/objection has been placed wrongly??? Suppose God did not send or force anyone into hell???

God is all-powerful. God is Spirit and thus is everywhere present. Not in a pantheistic way but in a real way. There is nowhere to go to escape God, apparently not even hell. There is a verse saying even in hell God sees. The question to be considered about hell is this-what if hell exists precisely because God is love and gives us freewill??? God does forgive all sin, as He did in Christ, but His forgiveness needs to be accepted. A gift is not a gift until its recieved.God offers His love,His grace,His peace at all times. He is love so He cannot be anything other than love. Hell then is a result of freedom, and freedom to reject God. Hell locks its doors from the inside. It is not God acting like a tyrant or dictator and punishing forever those who fail to follow His rule. Rather hell is the freedom a person has to reject God and His love because they love themselves and their own desire to be god themselves more. Heaven and hell are spiritual and not physical. Thus you could say we are in either heaven or hell as we live our lives here on earth depending on our spiritual condition. A verse says to know Jesus Christ and to believe in His Name it to have eternal life.

Much more to be shared, hope to get questions and thoughts generated from this. A key point Kreeft brings up in his writing is that all these things are facts and not feelings. We have decades and decades of thinking that has been shaped by the greek philosophers and the enlightenment. The whole sacred/secular split and material/matter vs faith/spiritual. it is so prevalent for the western mindset to think in materialistic terms. God,His Word, Jesus, Holy Spirit are REAL and even more real than what we see,hear,taste or touch with our senses. Thy will be done Father God!!!!

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