Monday, January 11, 2010

128: Second Death in Hell?

1 Chronicles 22-24
So David gave orders to assemble the aliens living in Israel, and from among them he appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. - 1 Chronicles 22:2

The only thing that happens today is David enslaves (the bible says "appoints") the aliens in Israel to prepare stones for a temple to God. He tells his son (Solomon) to actually build the temple because God told David not to.

The rest of the section is more listing of names. The Levites are listed and the divisions of the priests are spelled out. Another exciting 1 Chronicles section.

This article is called "Hell: The Lake That Burns" and the first sentence is "Is there anything more fearful than the thought of going to hell forever?" I don't think it needs any more introduction.

Mostly the article is trying to sell a book, but it does have a few interesting (read: weird) things to say about Christianity. The writer first has to establish the validity of the bible, so he uses the standard Christian method (using unfounded statements that can't be refuted or verified):
Several fulfilled Biblical prophecies prove that the Bible is not simply literature but there is a God who can actually predict future events, therefore what it says concerning hell is legitimate.
Right, proven. On to what he has to say about hell:
Many Christians claim that anyone who is not saved by Christ is going to suffer in hell forever, however that certainly contradicts the merciful God in the Bible, who is full of mercy and grace.
Merciful God is full of mercy? Repetitive writer is repetitive. Now, I know I haven't read the whole bible yet, but God is going to have to have a massive change of character before I would call him anything close to "merciful". By whose definition is killing everyone that doesn't follow the rules considered mercy? But, of course, hell has to exist because the bible says so (God isn't that merciful). So how can we match up a merciful God with hell? This is his theory:
Satan, false prophets and the beast all deliberately misled people away from the truth which leads to eternal life and their punishment reflects their horrendous crimes. The rest who God condemns are given a relatively merciful second death as stated in Revelation 20:14-15 and Revelation 21:8
Here are those passages:
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. - Revelation 20:14-15

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. - Revelation 21:8
How do you get to be a "false prophet"? It seems like these passages mean that being sent to hell is the second death, not that you're going to be permanently dead after you're sent there. But I don't really know because they are taken completely out of context (I'm reluctant to read them in context until I get there). This also poses a new problem, what if you don't want to have eternal life? Should you strive to be sent to hell?

(via The SOP)
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