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Offline Yada  
#1 Posted : Thursday, August 14, 2008 2:28:55 PM(UTC)
Joined: 6/28/2007(UTC)
Posts: 3,537

Belief in hell dips, but some say they’ve already been there
By Charles Honey

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Ernie Long believes he has been to hell. He can even narrow it down to a particular moment.

His mother was dying of cancer. As she lay on her death bed, he swiped her last $5 and the car keys from her purse, went out and got high. When he returned, she was dead.

Long goes quiet, thinking about it in the chapel of Guiding Light Mission in Grand Rapids, Mich. When he first moved to the homeless shelter, he recalls, he would wake up in the night haunted by what he'd done.

"The shame and guilt engulfed me," he says quietly. "I couldn't stop crying."

Today, Long is an intake supervisor for Guiding Light's recovery program. He believes Jesus saved him from the pit of hell and wants other men to be saved too, here and hereafter.

"I think hell is being in the absence of purpose," says Long, 64, who was addicted to crack cocaine before coming to Guiding Light two years ago. "When I had no purpose, no direction, I actually felt like I was living in hell."

For Long, hell is all too real -- a temporary torment in this life, an endless agony in the next. But for more and more Americans, hell is a myth.

In a survey released this summer by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, just 59 percent of 35,000 respondents said they believe in a hell "where people who have led bad lives, and die without being sorry, are eternally punished."

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Offline bitnet  
#2 Posted : Friday, August 15, 2008 12:51:52 AM(UTC)
Joined: 7/3/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,120


"How can a god you say is loving and merciful torment mortals whom he created for eternity just because of misdeeds over a few decades? How can we believe in such a god and his heaven and hell? Especially when the world is afflicted with natural disasters that are none of our doing? If such a god exists then he is certainly cruel and a sadist for torturing people for eternity and I want no part of a religion that worships such a god."

Haven't you heard this before? Preaching the wrong message certainly can make a mess of the best intentions. However, if we point out the existing mess and show that we can be delivered from a worsening mess, would that not be better? Salvation is not simply escaping hell... it is getting eternal life, and contrary to popular belief we do not have eternal life within us at birth but it is a gift from the Creator if we live as He wants us to. Otherwise we shall have to live eternally in the mess that we are so capable of creating for ourselves.
The reverence of Yahweh is the beginning of Wisdom.
Offline Samuel  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:23:00 AM(UTC)
Joined: 8/4/2008(UTC)
Posts: 76

Actually Bit there are some natural disasters that we can create whether you believe it or not. We have the technology to manipulate he weather!
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." -Ephesians 6:12
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