Christians; please tell me how you feel about the following quote?

"If we hold to the belief in an eternal hell, we also hold to the belief that God's power is not powerful enough to rid the new heavens and new earth of wickedness and evil completely." (Razing Hell, Sharon L. Baker) I've always wondered about this. How can there be no more sorrow or sighing... show more "If we hold to the belief in an eternal hell, we also hold to the belief that God's power is not powerful enough to rid the new heavens and new earth of wickedness and evil completely." (Razing Hell, Sharon L. Baker)

I've always wondered about this. How can there be no more sorrow or sighing and no more tears, pain, etc., if the damned are forever and ever experiencing conscious torment? And how can something like this be part of the "all things" that are summed up in Christ?
Update: It makes me feel sad, too, Latino -- but also puzzled. Because Revelation doesn't indicate that there are no more tears in the new heaven and the new earth. It says there are no more tears. Period. And that all things are summed up/brought together in Christ. How can a hell full of billions upon billions of... show more It makes me feel sad, too, Latino -- but also puzzled. Because Revelation doesn't indicate that there are no more tears in the new heaven and the new earth. It says there are no more tears. Period.

And that all things are summed up/brought together in Christ. How can a hell full of billions upon billions of hopeless, tormented souls be in Christ?

As for the KJV, I have to say I prefer the Greek though I have to rely on reference materials to take advantage of it.
Update 2: Dr. Bob, you know I love you, brother. And the ironic thing is that I would have said almost word for word what you're saying here . . . a week ago. Now I'm not so sure. There are good, logical, not-stretching and non-twisting arguments that answer all of these points. I didn't think there could be, but I was... show more Dr. Bob, you know I love you, brother. And the ironic thing is that I would have said almost word for word what you're saying here . . . a week ago. Now I'm not so sure. There are good, logical, not-stretching and non-twisting arguments that answer all of these points. I didn't think there could be, but I was wrong. I'm always asking God to correct me where I'm wrong and show me the truth. I want the TRUTH whether or not it agrees with any doctrine I've ever held dear and whether I like it or it makes me sad.

For probably the last year or a little less I've been convinced that annihilation was the truth, but for some reason it came into my head/heart to ask a couple of questions and I think perhaps I may have stumbled into another rabbit hole. I have vowed to always take the red pill, but I'm not sure what I'm going to see when it takes effect this time.
Update 3: Evangelist, you are correct -- I should have looked it up instead of relying on memory. My apologies. But the question still stands and so far no one has attempted to answer my second statement, though I've repeated it in stronger terms. How could hell, populated by the damned, be included in Christ?
Update 4: Hey, Dr. Bob! Thanks for responding; apparently I don't get an update when someone edits, so I'm glad I looked. My thoughts aren't to call Jesus a liar -- never! But translation is never an exact art. The doctrine of hell was thoroughly entrenched by the time anyone ever translated the bible into modern English,... show more Hey, Dr. Bob! Thanks for responding; apparently I don't get an update when someone edits, so I'm glad I looked. My thoughts aren't to call Jesus a liar -- never! But translation is never an exact art. The doctrine of hell was thoroughly entrenched by the time anyone ever translated the bible into modern English, and it's impossible not to let our filters influence us.

No, what I want is to make absolutely certain that I'm reading Jesus correctly and interpreting what He says correctly. Besides eternal conscious torment, there are two viable alternatives, neither of which do violence to scripture (and it would take too long to detail why): That the flames of hell destroy and that death is death. That is, that the wicked dead suffer the punishment appropriate and then are no more. Or, the alternative I'm now studying: That the wicked dead suffer in hell until they pay the uttermost farthing, as George MacDonald has put it, and then begin to be able to repent. If you study the OT, you s
Update 5: you see that God inflicts rather horrible punishments on Israel for her unfaithfulness, and that His motive is to bring the people to repentance. And it works. Post Babylon, Israel never worshiped idols more. They did fall into other errors, of course, but that is another matter. God is patient and doesn't give up... show more you see that God inflicts rather horrible punishments on Israel for her unfaithfulness, and that His motive is to bring the people to repentance. And it works. Post Babylon, Israel never worshiped idols more. They did fall into other errors, of course, but that is another matter. God is patient and doesn't give up on us. (Good thing)

Historically, it appears that any of these three viewpoints were considered acceptable in the early church, so I guess they weren't absolutely positive either. If following Jesus is about avoiding hell, then I suppose one might conclude: "I'll only suffer for a finite time and then I'll repent, so it doesn't matter." But Jesus is indescribable. There are not enough words. The reason for turning to Jesus is Jesus Himself, not the fear of hell.
Update 6: 2FollowHim, thanks for your thoughtful answer. I wish you and I and Snowbird and Dr. Bob and everyone else who's answered (except the farting man!) were sitting around the living room and discussing this. It would be nice to see everyone and share openly and easily. My question wasn't at all about doubting or... show more 2FollowHim, thanks for your thoughtful answer. I wish you and I and Snowbird and Dr. Bob and everyone else who's answered (except the farting man!) were sitting around the living room and discussing this. It would be nice to see everyone and share openly and easily.

My question wasn't at all about doubting or judging God. I should have made that clearer. I agree that mankind is depraved and fallen and unable to save himself. Otherwise, Jesus' death would be a meaningless act of violence, but He came to seek and save the lost. No, my question is more about translations and our doctrines and whether or not they agree with the bible -- really agree with the original language and original intent and most of all the voice of God's Spirit speaking to us in the written and living word.

We have invented so many of our own doctrines, and since most of us have been taught them from childhood, it's sometimes hard to discern what is the truth of God and what is time-honored (but mistaken) tradi
Update 7: (but mistaken) tradition. That is the basis for my question. Have we interpreted God correctly in this matter or have we (and our translators) allowed ourselves to be misled?
Update 8: Snowbird, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer this! I wonder whether you may not have posted the wrong reference for Col 2:11-13? It doesn't seem to apply unless I'm missing something. Here is one of the references I was thinking of: and through him to reconcile the all things to himself--having made... show more Snowbird, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer this! I wonder whether you may not have posted the wrong reference for Col 2:11-13? It doesn't seem to apply unless I'm missing something. Here is one of the references I was thinking of:

and through him to reconcile the all things to himself--having made peace through the blood of his cross--through him, whether the things upon the earth, whether the things in the heavens. (Colossians 1:20 YLT) That word "reconcile" means, I'm told, to bring together into one. Note that things under the earth aren't mentioned (as they are elsewhere), and some commentators feel this means that fallen angels and unrepentant men aren't included. I'm not sure that works for me. Does that mean that Christ WON'T be all in all? I wonder if they don't have to be either destroyed or reconciled.

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with your picture of the lake of fire being the second death and the destruction of evil (after which it is no more). I haven't h
Update 9: heard that idea before and I'll have to look into it. It could be right. What I can't find reasonable is that in God's renewed creation there will be any space, however small, for evil to exist. Nor that God would be unjust in any way. This is what I'm struggling to understand. I'm not judging God -- just trying to... show more heard that idea before and I'll have to look into it. It could be right. What I can't find reasonable is that in God's renewed creation there will be any space, however small, for evil to exist. Nor that God would be unjust in any way. This is what I'm struggling to understand. I'm not judging God -- just trying to know Him for who He truly is, and whoever He is and whatever He does I do know that He is good and that if we understand as He does, we will agree.
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