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So Bit and Matthew are having a fascinating discussion on their impressions of heaven and, more noteably, hell.

 

Since this is a topic of particular interest these days, am curious what you think?  I appreciate Matthew's and Brit's use of scripture to help the reader understand the approach they are taking to explain their views.

 

I know a lot of believers from all varieties of Christian "faith traditions," so I know there is a smorgasbord of approaches to this subject.  That being the case, I am hoping we can all come together as respectful students as well as respected teachers.  If nothing else, our understanding of topic can be expanded, though one might not change one's position.

 

It's easy enough, in the passion of the moment, to attack the person, rather than offer counter-arguments to the view. Can we begin by agreeing not to do that?

 

Tags: death, heaven, hell, judgment

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Jax - I pass over my self-designation as the forum's pet atheist to you - you are a lot more persistent yet patient! I may pop in now and again though. Best wishes to everyone here.

Jax Agnesson said:

What is a 'perfect' body? I sometimes think the really tiny chi ld is the 'perfect' model, (look at those fingers; look at those ears!) and damage accumulates thereafter.

Will everyone be shaped like a human adult? Even the small bunch of cells that got spontaneously ejected within a couple of weeks of conception?

Do you believe that, if a nursing mother and her suckling child die together in some bomb-blast or accident, the infant will appear to his mother in the New Jerusalem as an adult, or will he still be an infant at first, so the two can get to know each other as mother and child? Will she still be allowed to breast-feed him for a while?

I still doubt your seriousness but I'll play a little longer.  There will not be flash and blood as here. The perfect body is something we'll see when we get them. My speculation is that the limitations of our earthly bodies will be a thing of the past and as such no child birth, all will be conceived that are to be at the moment the Lord comes and upon change to our eternal bodies we will be recognizable. Babies here will be fully developed to the same stature, state, as we all. If the bodies we receive are to be angel-like then they may have the ability to pass into different dimensions (spiritual), take human form, fly, etc...

you doubt Jax's seriousness, BB, but I would have to doubt whether any of this fantasising of yours could be taken seriously; the speculation that you pose would make us so different from our earthly personas that I doubt we could recognise ourselves. I like the Jesus of the NT, but it was surely a reasonable question from the Pharisees about who would be a many-married woman's husband in Heaven (sorry for my poor knowledge and description of the incident, but I dare say you will know what I mean); and all Jesus did was to flatten the question by saying that life in Heaven would not resemble that on Earth - this does not really help

Bit Brush said:

I still doubt your seriousness but I'll play a little longer.  There will not be flash and blood as here. The perfect body is something we'll see when we get them. My speculation is that the limitations of our earthly bodies will be a thing of the past and as such no child birth, all will be conceived that are to be at the moment the Lord comes and upon change to our eternal bodies we will be recognizable. Babies here will be fully developed to the same stature, state, as we all. If the bodies we receive are to be angel-like then they may have the ability to pass into different dimensions (spiritual), take human form, fly, etc...

You perfectly illustrate 1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

My fantasy is shared by many. Out present bodies will not enter into eternity (1 Corinthians 15:50). We will understand better then and we will be known (1 Corinthians 13:12).

You err not knowing the scriptures (Matthew 22:29).

Our eternal bodies are spiritual in nature and without the Spirit of God one can see this as pure fantasy.


Peter John Ellway said:

you doubt Jax's seriousness, BB, but I would have to doubt whether any of this fantasising of yours could be taken seriously; the speculation that you pose would make us so different from our earthly personas that I doubt we could recognise ourselves. I like the Jesus of the NT, but it was surely a reasonable question from the Pharisees about who would be a many-married woman's husband in Heaven (sorry for my poor knowledge and description of the incident, but I dare say you will know what I mean); and all Jesus did was to flatten the question by saying that life in Heaven would not resemble that on Earth - this does not really help

 lots of issues here. I like to think of myself as a natural man, but I quite like to think I can be spiritual too (which IMO need not mean being religious). Your fantasy may be shared by many, but so is its denial, and the trouble is that you fantasists all have different fantasies. Obviously we all err in not knowing any sort of scripture, not just the Judaeo-Xian one. And I can't help being without the spirit of God, that up to him!

Bit Brush said:

You perfectly illustrate 1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

My fantasy is shared by many. Out present bodies will not enter into eternity (1 Corinthians 15:50). We will understand better then and we will be known (1 Corinthians 13:12).

You err not knowing the scriptures (Matthew 22:29).

Our eternal bodies are spiritual in nature and without the Spirit of God one can see this as pure fantasy.


Peter John Ellway said:

you doubt Jax's seriousness, BB, but I would have to doubt whether any of this fantasising of yours could be taken seriously; the speculation that you pose would make us so different from our earthly personas that I doubt we could recognise ourselves. I like the Jesus of the NT, but it was surely a reasonable question from the Pharisees about who would be a many-married woman's husband in Heaven (sorry for my poor knowledge and description of the incident, but I dare say you will know what I mean); and all Jesus did was to flatten the question by saying that life in Heaven would not resemble that on Earth - this does not really help

It's up to you too...

Peter John Ellway said:

...And I can't help being without the spirit of God, that up to him!

Hi there Joanne,

 

The primary thing someone should probably recognize with this issue is that the Bible is extremely vague when it talks about the afterlife and is not even primarily concerned with the afterlife to begin with. It is a later tradition to center the Gospel on what happens to someone when they die. In scripture, physical death is not considered true death, but is repeatedly referred to as "falling asleep." Concerning heaven, the Hebrew word "shamayim" and the Greek "ouranos" are almost always plural when used in the Bible, implying a multitude of heavens, and were to begin with phrases used to avoid using the name of God. Concerning hell, there is no one word in the Bible to match our Western idea of hell--it is garnered from four words, two Hebrew and two Greek, two of which correlate. These four are sheol, gehenna, hades, and tartaros.

 

The most powerful references to what happens in physical death are perhaps also the simplest. The spirit, the God-breathed, base essence of every person, returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7), the body returns to the base materials of the Earth which produced it, leaving the soul--the mind, will, emotions, and intellect of a person, which we should probably group with the spirit, as the soul is a byproduct of the spirit entering a physical body.

 

Beyond that, it would require a lot more digging than I have time for at the moment.

Blessings.

--David

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