Why Some Choose Hell Over Heaven

It’s absurd to think that some people make a conscious choice to suffer in eternal torment rather than experience the glory of Heaven. Evangelists hardly even ask whether people want to go to Heaven. Most assume everyone wants to be there and instead start with the question: “Do you think you will go to Heaven when you die?” Yet, there are people in this world who hate God to such a degree they would rather spend eternity in Hell than worship the Almighty.

I came to this startling realization based on personal conversations with professing atheists. The first I recall is a written exchange with someone I contacted via a forum for Air Force Academy alumni. The discussion made its way around to evolution, creation, and the existence of God. I engaged in that heated argument for a time but later decided to do something more personal with the main participant. I wrote him a letter and included a copy of Jason Lisle’s Ultimate Proof of Creation. It must have made an impression because exactly one year later, he wrote his first and only reply. Here is part of that letter:

I would never honor such a creature, even if it meant eternal suffering for me. Knowing that I’ve kowtowed tot he kind of evil that would condemn someone to untold horrors just because that person didn’t pledge to that evil…that would ruin me worse than any threat of torture or pain. I could never give my loyalty to such a being, knowing that it harms others in that kind of fashion, for that kind of reason. No, thank you. Even assuming you’re correct, I’ll take the lake of fire and whatever’s behind Door Number 3. [emphasis mine]

This perspective stuns me. It’s beyond comprehension that someone would choose Hell over Heaven not simply because they don’t believe in God but because they don’t like who he is. I have wondered in the past if it’s even worth it to try to prove God’s existence, which led to me to ask this on Twitter:


Here’s one very telling reply:


This says God is the evil one, not mankind. It turns the nature of good and evil on its head, aptly described in Isaiah 5:20. This is not a limited view among atheists. I met with another man whose “de-conversion” testimony revolved around the teaching of Dan Barker. Barker is a writer and frequent debater who strongly argues that God is evil and unworthy of worship.

Speaking for myself, if the Bible heaven and hell exist, I would choose hell. Having to spend eternity pretending to worship a petty tyrant who tortures those who insult his authority would be more hellish than baking in eternal flames. There is no way such a bully can earn my admiration. (Godless, page 170) [emphasis mine]

God does not send people to Hell without giving them a choice or a chance. As shown so clearly in the open, honest statements by the atheists above, they willingly choose Hell over Heaven because they hate God. And, no, I don’t believe hate is too strong a word here.  Have you talked with people who have this attitude?  How would you respond to them?

  • It’s good then, that God will not torture unbelievers throughout eternity. It’s sad though to realize how much destruction in human minds false representations of God’s character has caused.

    The effect of the punishment is everlasting not the punishment itself. See Mal. 4:1-3; Ps. 37:10,20,36; Jude 1:7

    Unquenchable fire in the Bible does not mean it never ends. Compare Matt. 3:11,12 with Jer. 17:19-27

    “Forever” does not always mean endless existence but can be literally translated “until the end of age”. (like in Rev. 20:10) For further evidence see other uses of the word in: Isa. 8-10; Jon. 2:6 vs. 1:17; Ex 21:6; 1 Sam. 1:22.

    • So, are you saying that you don’t believe in the existence of Hell, or just that it is not eternal? What do you believe will happen to unbelievers in eternity?

      • TL;DR Hell is real, but not eternal. Unbelievers will be destroyed in a final judgement. After that sin and sinners will be no more.

        Jesus taught the reality of Hell. As I understand the texts they are not talking about eternal torture but a one time event that destroys sin forever.

        See for example:
        * Matt. 10:28; “both soul and body destroyed”
        * Mal. 4:1,3 “will leave them neither root nor branch” “they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this”
        * Rom. 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death”

        These and other similar texts tell me that there is going to be a judgement day when those who did not accept the grace of God will be eternally destroyed. They will be no more and with that, sin will be no more.

        Rev. 14:11; 20:10,14 (and context) explain when this will happen. They use the phrase “forever and ever” in the context of judgement. Compare that to Isa. 34:9-10 where the text talks about the judgment on Edom. It also says things like “shall not be quenched” and “forever and ever”. But Edom did not burn forever. In biblical usage such language intends to convey the idea–not that the fire will never go out, but that it cannot be put out by any other means than completely consuming what it is burning until there is nothing left.

        • Thanks for that clarification. I think you dismiss “forever and ever” too easily, especially since the same language is used to describe God’s glory elsewhere.

          I did have another question: when, in the context of time as we know it, do you think this final judgment will happen? I ask because some believe it has already taken place.

          • In context of the judgement the text doesn’t talk about God, but the devil, the fallen angels, and unbelievers. And applied to them “forever and ever” could mean “until the end of their existence”. (Technically this interpretation applies to God as well, but He is everlasting, so His existence never ends). The Bible is clear that they will be destroyed in the final judgement. See the verses I quoted above.

            Rev. 14:11 is an obvious reference to Isa. 34:9-10 where a similar judgment is carried out on Edom. But there “forever” could not mean the eternity of the process because we would be able to see it burning and its smoke rising still. It means that the effect is eternal and the smoke rising up forever means that its a testimony to the ages to come.

            Also read the other verses I referenced. It might not convince you that my interpretation could be the only way the final judgement may take place but I think it is enough to convince you that it is a possibility. Now, taking into consideration that “God is love”, I cannot see how He could torment unbelievers and fallen angels throughout eternity.

            I don’t believe the judgement has already taken place. Rev. 20 reveals most of the timeline.

          • Speaking of God, I was referring to 1 Tim 1:17 and Rev 5:13. If we allow the possibility that “forever and ever” doesn’t always mean eternity, we must allow for the possibility that these passages also may not mean God will have honor, glory, and dominion for all eternity.

            I will take some time this week to study the passages you’ve cited in more depth and respond more fully at a later time.

        • FREEO

          MR. Laszlo you seem to have done your homework a very good write, Seems like you know where you want to go.

  • Kurt

    This is interesting to me. I went onto a Christian forum and not paying attention, wandered into a forum for atheists. We got into some discussion about proving the existence of God. They told me, correctly, that the burden of proof falls to me. I turned the conversation over because of the very negative tone they were taking with me, asking what their motive for wanting proof was (I assumed that they were more interested in the form the argument was taking rather than the content of the argument). The short of the story is that one atheist participant had made over 50,000 comments on a Christian forum, and I never got a response for what his motive was. I can only assume by the lack of response that many atheists don’t care if they get valid proof of God’s existence. The bottom line is that they have already chosen to reject the existence of God, let alone listen to the gospels. That is sad, but I also believe it is true. BTW, I’m curious to know why an atheist would make 50K in comments in a Christian forum?

  • Kurt

    This is interesting to me. I went onto a Christian forum and not paying attention, wandered into a forum for atheists. We got into some discussion about proving the existence of God. They told me, correctly, that the burden of proof falls to me. I turned the conversation over because of the very negative tone they were taking with me, asking what their motive for wanting proof was (I assumed that they were more interested in the form the argument was taking rather than the content of the argument). The short of the story is that one atheist participant had made over 50,000 comments on a Christian forum, and I never got a response for what his motive was. I can only assume by the lack of response that many atheists don’t care if they get valid proof of God’s existence. The bottom line is that they have already chosen to reject the existence of God, let alone listen to the gospels. That is sad, but I also believe it is true. BTW, I’m curious to know why an atheist would make 50K in comments in a Christian forum?

    • Yes, that is an interesting observation, isn’t it? I have also observed that no amount of proof is acceptable to atheists that are that active in arguing on forums.

      • Anonomenclature

        Speaking as an apatheist, the difficulty for many is that any proof of the existence of God would have no significance to them whatsoever, as it would not to me. As any impossibly definitive proof of God’s nonexistence would be utterly without meaning to you.

        I find the principal origin of this total failure in language, and here is what I find the fascinating connection in your comments, in that they lay the burden of proof on reality itself, when really their notion of truth is entirely internal. There is nothing wrong with that. There is noone whose understanding of truth is not a personal affair. But to demand proof of something that you already present as false internally has no purpose. It’s like when racecars rev their engines before a race to psych out other drivers.

        It’s almost entirely the reason I chose to base my belief not on existence of nonexistence of deity, but whether I believed such a deity would in anyway impact the manner in which I treated my fellow human beings.

        Archangel Michael their holy self could descend on a beam of absolute bliss and deliver a message to me personally from the Lord and I would strike up light conversation. I would certainly have some questions, and I would probably change as a person a great deal, but my fundamental beliefs regarding the sanctity of life, liberty, and the universe itself would not change in the slightest.

  • Speaking as an atheist, it goes down to the core of one’s morality.
    If the core of one’s morality is God’s nature/commands/desires/etc, then a God that creates Hell can be perfectly moral for no other reason than that morality really just doesn’t apply to him. Though it doesn’t feel that way, that is how it functions.
    However, if compassion and love for fellow conscious beings is the core of your morality, then the common concept of Hell (everlasting torment that happens to people who aren’t Christians when they die) is undeniably evil. Sure, one can play word games and say “Oh, but the people who go to Hell are choosing Hell by not loving God” but that doesn’t address the moral problem so much as attempt to distract from it. Or you can claim that Hell is not everlasting, as one of the commenters did, which makes it, perhaps, less evil in the same sense that a Holocaust that only killed 3 million would be less evil than the real one that killed 11.5 million.
    This Hell is, to put it quite mildly, extremely dissatisfying to compassion. The only way to view the creation of Hell as a just act is to override one’s own compassion. When you say you’re stunned by this, you’re saying that you’re stunned that, in this particular situation, someone would refuse to override their own compassion.

    • john

      the thing is God Gave man the choice to eat the forbidden fruit or not Adam choose to do so and when confronted blamed someone else instead of stepping up and taking the blame for what he did and we have been paying for it ever sense it all about making a choice

      • WingedBeast

        Okay, I had to reread my own post, due to how long it’s been. But, rereading my post, then looking at yours, I have to ask… relevance?

        • John

          the relevant part is man choose to go his own way and not God’s it isn’t God’s fault that man didn’t listen instead man followed his own desires

          • WingedBeast

            Reread my actual post. Specify the issue that I brought up that your point actually addresses.

            Hint: It’s none of them.

    • John

      the moral is God gave Adam a command not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil it was a command and a choice when Adam choose to eat the fruit of that tree he disobeyed God and brought sin, death, and misery and man brought it on himself by listening to Satan’s lies

      • WingedBeast

        Again, that has no relevance to any of what I said. What’s more, I don’t know if you take the story of Adam and Eve to be literal, but let’s correct you on a few things.

        By the ancient Israelites around the time much of the Old Testament was written, “satan” was a word for a danger or a block in a path, not a personal agent. A devil was an accuser, not a specific person. And, neither of those were the serpent.

        But, most germane to this part of the conversation, according to the story on the page, the serpent didn’t lie. God said that, if they ate of the fruit, they would die that very day. The serpent said that they wouldn’t die that very day but become like God knowing good and evil.

        Before you say it, no, the story does not, in any way, indicate any kind of death happening that day. You have to add in the “and they died spiritually” or “and they died in that there was a measure of distance in their relationship with God” yourself. God verified exactly what happened, “Behold, man has become like us, knowing good and evil”. In the story on the page, the serpent tells the truth and God verifies it.

        And, out of the page, here you are, altering reality in order to fit a preconceived set of expectations… that you then use in order to create a distraction from the morality implied by God creating Hell.

        • john

          i could say the same thing about you as a friend of mine once said any person can twist scripture to fit any point of view from what i have seen of your post you are good at what you do and twisting Scripture doesn’t make what you say true as for Satan not being a real person read Job

          • WingedBeast

            Twisting? I’m explaining what’s blatantly on the page *without* additions.

            And, if you really want to look at Job, look at the fact that you’re looking at a translation, and that the a more exact translation doesn’t refer to “satan” as a name, but as something one being was called “the satan”.

            It would make as much sense, based on that, to assume that Israelite culture acknowledged a singular entity of evil is to assume, based on various jokes set in bars, that there is only one entity that serves drinks at all bars.

          • John

            I find that funny Israel’s culture did acknowledge the existence of Satan and it says more but you wouldn’t understand the New testament says the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit

          • WingedBeast

            Poisoning the Well, AKA Ad Hominem attack. You’re attacking the person and not the argument. That’s not what you do when you actually have an argument to make.

          • John

            I am not making an argument and this is my last post and I am not going to argue with someone like you may God have merc on you

          • John

            and assuming makes an ass out of you

          • WingedBeast

            And, you’re still avoiding the point that your response still has no relevance to my original post.

    • ABC

      God doesn’t create hell. God does create FREEDOM to accept him or not. God can be defined as “He who is” and/or “the sheer act of being itself”. God, in His essence is good and loving, yet He does not impose himself on anyone.

      Knowing that, if you choose God after death, you choose by definition “to be” and/or “to exist”. If you reject him, you choose “to not be” and/or “not exist”. As God does not destroy the soul, choosing to reject God is to choose to spend eternity as non-being, being fully deprived of everything, but yet conscious of your deprivation. That, my friend, is hell. Imagine you were a ghost, walking among all your friends and all the things you love, unable to communicate and/or touch and/or use them. Now multiply that times eternity. That is what hell is.

      • WingedBeast

        Sure, one can play word games and say “Oh, but the people who go to Hell are choosing Hell by not loving God” but that doesn’t address the moral problem so much as attempt to distract from it.

        Rewriting that as “God doesn’t create Hell but…” same situation.

        Your entire comment is just that, an attempt to handwave and distract away from God being responsible for God’s own actions.

        • ABC

          I never said “but”. I placed a “.”, which is an entirely different thing from a logical standpoint.

          My advice to you: read “The problem of pain” by CS Lewis, it will shed good light to you in regards to this.

          After I answered you I realized that your approach has a hidden logical problem.

          Let’s assume that there are three people:
          – a random person (name it “A”)
          – a friend of A (name it B)
          – you, a friend of B

          Now, let’s assume that “A” was his entire life a pedophile who raped babies and who NEVER got caught, because he was extremely clever. “A” dies, stays before God and God asks him: “you are welcome to heaven (which is God’s house); however, you must purify your soul, and purification requires repentance, do you repent?”. “A” says: “nope”. A decides voluntarily to stay outside heaven.

          Then comes B, God tells him: “welcome, you are invited to heaven after purification”. B asks God that if A does not get into heaven, he doesn’t want to go in either. There is a conundrum:
          1) if God obeyed B, He would be violating “A”‘s free will. Maybe A hates heaven and B is trying to force A in against his will.
          2) B’s demand goes against God’s justice and mercy, that requires a pedophile to repent and be cleansed of sin. If God complied, he would not be just to the souls of the raped babies.

          Then, you come in. God welcomes you, invites you and asks you to undergo purification. You say what you said above. Do you believe that you are being fair and just by indirectly condoning a baby rapist who did not repent? You are rejecting God based on your view of things, which is incomplete. We never see other people as they fully are. God does.

          There is an additional twist. Why, instead of being “partners in hell” with your acquaintances, don’t you strive to take all your friends to heaven? Why don’t you pray and make an effort so that all come in and live happily ever after? That is what we are called to do: to let God work in us, so that we can all help each other to go to heaven together.

          Another thing. And this is already known in christian theology. The first judgement of all the souls will take place simultaneously at the end of times, in what is called “the particular judgement”, a judgement that will only be known to God and each particular person, meaning that none of us will be able to know if our friends/family will go to heaven/hell. After each of us has made a decision, then the “group judgement” will take place, and in it all the sins of mankind will be revealed. This means that we will see all the actions of all people, which will display God’s perfect justice and mercy. Only after that, those who voluntarily rejected God will be left to their own voluntary decision. And God will not condemn anyone to hell, He will simply respect the personal and individual decision of each of us.

          God sets the rules of his own house. All of us are invited to come in; however, as guests we must be respectful to the Owner. Let’s assume that the president of your country invited you to his house, would you go in to do anything you want or would you come in respectfully? Same applies here, only that the owner is the King of the universe, and our Creator.

          Finally, it is kind of surprising that you say “an attempt to handwave and distract away from God being responsible for God’s own actions”. Actually, I would say that your response is an attempt to handwave and distract God away from the accountability of your own actions.

          Don’t get me wrong, I am not being judgmental or pointing you with the finger. I can’t, I am too much of a sinner to do it. What I am telling you is that WE ALL will have to give explanations of our actions to Him. And there will be no excuses, no technicalities that will allow us to escape.

          I would like to invite you to visit Bishop Robert Barron’s Youtube channel, you may find int interesting.

          Thank you for your fast response and enjoy the rest of your sunday.

          • WingedBeast

            “I never said “but”. I placed a “.”, which is an entirely different thing from a logical standpoint.”

            I seriously hope you’re joking.

            “Now, let’s assume that A was his entire life a pedophile ”

            Why?

            Seriously, why? A being a pedophile is not as bad as it takes to get into Hell. By some theologies, A having supported marriage equality is enough. Heck, A having been born is enough. No, let’s not assume that A was a pedophile, because that’s poisoning the well.

            “however, you must purify your soul, and purification requires repentance”

            Here’s where we get to another question. What is being purified? What is left?

            Some would say that what is left is a perfect reflection of God’s glory. That’s their words, not mine. I would say that whipes away all that is you and replaces you with a mirror.

            But, we’re not talking about the problems of some theological understandings of Heaven. We’re talking about the problem of Hell.

            So, to something that’s more accurate to Christian theology and to the problem of Hell A was born and does not repent of that and, due to God’s design, is left with options only of suffering or capitulation with a being who would give all of humanity the choice of worship or suffer.

            “1) if God obeyed B, He would be violating A’s free will. Maybe A hates heaven and B is trying to fore A in against his will.”

            That’s an interesting maybe. Maybe, if Heaven is so offensive, God should look into the possibility that, maybe, there’s a good reason why Heaven might be offensive, if you have to purify yourself, potentially, the ability to have wrong thoughts.

            But, that maybe isn’t at issue, not really. Neither would he necessarily be violating As free will. He simply would have to consider an alternative to what you’re referring to as “purificaiton”. Maybe a compromise, to ensure that free will is maintained after purification, or perhaps God might just get over himself.

            “2) B’s demand goes against God’s justice and mercy, that requires a pedophile to repent and be cleansed of sin.”

            That requires a person to repent and be cleansed of the sin of having been as God made them.

            “Do you believe that you are being fair and just by indirectly condoning a baby rapist who did not repent?”

            Reworded for accuracy “Do you believe you are being fair and just by indirectly condoning a person who was born who did not repent?”

            Or, to put the question back to you, do you believe you are being fair and just by indirectly condoning someone who would put *EVERYBODY* (not just the people for whom you have an excuse to lack empathy) in a position of either suffering or worshiping?

            “Finally, it is kind of surprising that you say “an attempt to handwave and distract away from God being responsible for God’s own actions”.”

            And yet, you repeatedly do that handwaving, with your focus on one pedophile, as though a good representation of all the human population that isn’t Christian.

            “Actually, I would say that your response is an attempt to handwave and distract away from the accountability of your own actions.

            Don’t get me wrong, I am not being judgemental or pointing you with the finger.”

            A. Yes you are. I know you followed it up by how you’re a sinner, too, but yes you are pointing a judgmental finger at me. Putting a show of pointing that judgmental finger at yourself doesn’t eliminate that.

            B. What’s being discussed in the problem of Hell *IS* God’s actions. That’s the topic under discussion, not a distraction from a different topic.

          • ABC

            “I seriously hope you’re joking”.

            I am not.

            “Why?
            Seriously, why? A being a pedophile is not as bad as it takes to get into Hell.”

            You missed the point. It is not pedophilia what condemns the person to hell, it is his refusal to accept God’s gift of repentance. Repentance is not something we do on our own, it is God who comes into our heart, shows us the consequence of our sin and thus causes us to repent. “A” denies God entrance to his heart to induce repentance. If “A” rejects God, then God respects such decision. Furthermore, a sin against God is a sin against an infinite being; and it can only be penalized with an infinite punishment. If you reject the authority of a police officer, you spend the night in jail. If you reject the authority of a judge, you spend a year in prison for contempt. If you reject the authority of a president you spend a decade in jail. If you reject the authority of God, you spend an eternity in his absence.

            “ By some theologies, A having supported marriage equality is enough. Heck, A having been born is enough.”

            Salvation is achieved by faith and BY FAITH ALONE. Having faith means recognizing God as supreme rule of the universe, Jesus as His Son, and submitting to His command. In the absence of faith in God, no salvation occurs. It doesn’t matter how good you were in this life, what matters is how you stand in front of Him. Anyone who stands before God with pride will reject Him and spend the eternity in His absence.

            “No, let’s not assume that A was a pedophile, because that’s poisoning the well.”

            This does not reject any of the arguments that I presented you.

            “Here’s where we get to another question. What is being purified? What is left?
            Some would say that what is left is a perfect reflection of God’s glory. That’s their words, not mine. I would say that whipes away all that is you and replaces you with a mirror.”

            No. What God does is cleanse of your sin and thus make you achieve the person you were meant to be. Purification unleashed your full potential, sets you completely free from the bondage of sin and brings fulfillment with the subsequent eternal joy.

            “But, we’re not talking about the problems of some theological understandings of Heaven. We’re talking about the problem of Hell.
            “So, to something that’s more accurate to Christian theology and to the problem of Hell A was born and does not repent of that and, due to God’s design, is left with options only of suffering or capitulation with a being who would give all of humanity the choice of worship or suffer.”

            What you want is someone to tell you that you can disobey God in this life, in the next, reject Him and still be happy for all eternity. Well, it doesn’t work that way. Yes, it is “we will only be happy for all eternity if we live in communion with God”. We walk away from God in this life and after death? We know what happens: eternal sorrow. It’s our choice to accept the reality of things or to live deceived.

            “That’s an interesting maybe. Maybe, if Heaven is so offensive, God should look into the possibility that, maybe, there’s a good reason why Heaven might be offensive, if you have to purify yourself, potentially, the ability to have wrong thoughts. “

            Maybe you should look into the possibility that, maybe, there’s a good reason why people like you find it offensive if you have to purify yourself. It’s not God who is to be doubted here. If you think of God as “some guy with a white beard” who wills what is cool and what is not, then you got a problem that requires urgent attention. God himself is pure and infinite love, perfection, justice, and mercy. If you downgrade God to someone who should have a reality check (like you insinuate) then the devil has you EXACTLY where he wants to. Anyone who tells that to God after dying and rejects Him will spend eternity in Hell. Why? Because it is a lack of respect, plain and simple. And it applies for ALL of us (myself included).

            “But, that maybe isn’t at issue, not really. Neither would he necessarily be violating As free will. He simply would have to consider an alternative to what you’re referring to as “purificaiton”. Maybe a compromise, to ensure that free will is maintained after purification, or perhaps God might just get over himself.”

            So, you are condoning a pedophile and saying that God is dead wrong for calling a pedophile who rapes babies to repentance. And you ask why would you spend an eternity in hell? Do you really believe that a person who rapes babies does not owe an apology to God? Are you REALLY that hard-hearted?

            “That requires a person to repent and be cleansed of the sin of having been as God made them. “

            No, that requires the person to be cleansed of the sin that person made VOLUNTARILY.

            “Reworded for accuracy “Do you believe you are being fair and just by indirectly condoning a person who was born who did not repent?”

            I will ask the question again: Do you believe that you are being fair and just by indirectly condoning a baby rapist who did not repent?

            “Or, to put the question back to you, do you believe you are being fair and just by indirectly condoning someone who would put *EVERYBODY* (not just the people for whom you have an excuse to lack empathy) in a position of either suffering or worshiping?“

            Heaven is the COMMUNION with God. That means that people in heaven share their life with Him. We are all invited to do so. It seems like you think of heaven like a place where people have to spend all the time like slaves bent over their knees, nose on the floor. If that is the case, you are wrong. Heaven will be like earth but without sin, and therefore suffering. Imagine an earth where everyone did the right thing, no one suffered and everyone was happy. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of it?

            “And yet, you repeatedly do that handwaving, with your focus on one pedophile, as though a good representation of all the human population that isn’t Christian.“

            That is a red herring fallacy. What I simply did is showing you how your presumptuous “altruism” or “empathy” or “caring” can be wrong, and in fact a complete lack of justice. You worry more about an unrepented pedophile than about the souls of the raped babies. Maybe you whould reflect on that.

            “A. Yes you are. I know you followed it up by how you’re a sinner, too, but yes you are pointing a judgmental finger at me. Putting a show of pointing that judgmental finger at yourself doesn’t eliminate that.
            B. What’s being discussed in the problem of Hell *IS* God’s actions. That’s the topic under discussion, not a distraction from a different topic.”

            I am not judgmental. Whether we like it or not, we shall ALL be judged. Me, you, all. It’s up to us to live in denial and face the consequences or take notice and ask God for help. Salvation is something that God offers us, and it only comes through Him. You can accept it or not. I’d rather try and ask God to help me be saved than the opposite decision.

            If after three years of your original message you are still troubled, maybe that is a wake up call you should pick up. Maybe God is knocking at the door of your heart asking you permission to come in.

          • WingedBeast

            “You missed the point. It is not pedophilia waht condemns the person to hell, it is his refusal to accept God’s gift of repentance.”

            Then, there was no reason to make A a pedophile or to associate refusal of Heaven on the grounds of those in Hell as, in any way, condoning pedophelia… at least no honest reason.

            “Furthermore, a sin against God is a sin against an infinite being; and it can only be penalized with an infinite punishment.”

            BS.

            “If you reject the authority of a police officer, you spend the night in jail.”

            No. If I simply refuse to acknowledge a police officer as having the authority to, say, tell me not to record what police are doing in public, I don’t go to jail for that, at least not legally. There has to be specific actions, not a platonic ideal of police authority.

            Similarly with the others, it’s actions, not a philosophical position.

            “Salvation is achieved by faith and BY FAITH ALONE. Having faith means recognizing God as supreme rule of the universe, Jesus as His Son, and submitting to His command. ”

            Let’s be clear, here. Submitting to his command, whatever that command happens to be, regardless of what it is.

            I refer back to the matter of supporting marriage equality. If I percieve a command as being counter to compassion with no value to obedience save that of obedience itself, then you are saying that God has set up things so that I will spend eternity in Hell for the grave crime of compassion.

            “This does not reject any of the arguments that I presented you.”

            No, it doesn’t, which highlights the lack of honest reason for you to make A a pedophile.

            “No. What God does is cleanse of your sin”

            Let’s be careful to define our terms, here. Judging by your langauge, so far, including your focus on faith alone, I’m willing to bet that sin includes the wrong thoughts. If so, what you are saying is that God cleanses me of the bare capacity to have thoughts he doesn’t like.

            “Purification unleashed your full potential”

            Potential to or for what?

            “What you want is someone to tell you that you can disobey God in this life, in the next, reject Him and still be happy. Well, it doesn’t work that way.”

            And, why doesn’t it work that way? Surely, the almighty isn’t so weak as to be incapable of offering communion on grounds that are so incredibly coercive.

            “It’s not God who is to be doubted here.”

            Test everything and hold to what is good. God is to be doubted, because so much evil is done and defended from basic thought on the notion that “It’s not God who is to be doubted here.”

            “God himself is pure and infinite love, perfection, justice, and mercy.”

            So is said, but no. Infinite love would not place the condition of never doubting the love. What you describe is not infinite love, is not perfection, is not justice or mercy, and the concepts have to be warped indeed to make them fit.

            “So, you are condoning a pedophile and saying that God is dead wrong for calling a pedophile who rapes babies to repentance.”

            And, here we are at the reason you decided that A should be a pedophile, so you had that nice little distraction available to avoid talking about the real issue. And, despite the fact that I repeatedly resisted using that particular sin and despite the fact that you admitted that it has no baring on the discussion, here you are, taking a resistance to putting people into eternal torment as condoning pedophilia.

            The intellectual cowardace is duly noted and not impressive.

            “I will ask the question again:”

            And I will point out the dishonest distraction, again.

            “Imagine an earth where everyone did the right thing, no one suffered and everyone was happy. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of it?”

            Of course, let’s be clear on what “did the right thing” is. “Never thought the wrong thought” “never thought that, maybe, it was an ounce less than loving to command genocide” “never supported marriage equality”

            How does this, on a moral level, differ from a similar justification for North Korean gulags?

            “What I simply did is showing you how your presumptuous “altruism” or “empathy” or “caring” can be wrong, and in fact a complete lack of justice.”

            No, you didn’t. You dishonestly distracted from the reality of *EVERYBODY* who wouldn’t wind up in Hell by focusing on one issue with an excuse to lack empathy. Your dishonesty shows nothing save that you will lie for your cause.

            “I am not judgmental.”

            Says the person who’s distraction only works by likening everybody who isn’t Christian to a pedophile.

            “Salvation is something that God offers you. You can accept it or not.”

            You’ve got a lot of the standard wording down. But, on a functional level, how does it differ from “worship or torment”?

            “If after three years of your original message you are still troubled”

            I’m not troubled. You responded, I’m having a conversation.

            “Maybe God is knocking at the door of your heart asking you permission to come in.”

            Or, maybe the real Christian God is knocking on the door of *your* heart, urging you to look past the surface excuses and see the hate that you should reject, instead of claim is in his name.

          • ABC

            Hey, you can rationalize as much as you want. You have already been told you are wrong, and you have already been shown why. You can’t trick God, you can’t defeat him with all that babbling. None of us can.

            I am sharing what I have learned with you. If you wish to continue denying God in your life, then you are likely to also deny Him after death. And we all know what happens when a person rejects God intentionally face to face after death.

            You can continue deluding yourself or face the truth. What do you think God would tell you if you told Him all that?

            You call God evil, and you call evil men good. Nothing new under the sun: Isaiah 5:20.

            Vanity, the devil’s predilect sin.

          • WingedBeast

            “You have already been told you are wrong, and you have already been shown why.”

            You think very highly of yourself, don’t you?

            It never occurs to you that you might be in error or that a rhetorical trick might not have worked, even when told, to your face, that it didn’t, does it?

            “Vanity, the devil’s predilect sin.”

            And you don’t see any vanity in your argument, do you?

            You don’t see the vanity that it takes to warp definitions in order to make evil good in order to justify the evil that you attribute to God and think him happy about it.

          • ABC

            “You think very highly of yourself, don’t you?”

            I was mentioning the article, and the responses from other people here. You think very highly of yourself, don’t you?

            “It never occurs to you that you might be in error or that a rhetorical trick might not have worked, even when told, to your face, that it didn’t, does it?”

            Heaven is real. Hell is real too. If you accept God’s terms, you spend eternity in heaven. If you reject them, you choose Hell. There is no rhetorical trick, it’s a plain binomial decision.

            “And you don’t see any vanity in your argument, do you?”

            If it was about vanity I would be concerned about making myself look good and making you look dumb. I am trying to show you the risks any person (myself included) faces if he stands before God with such attitude. Also, note that when I talk, I use the pronoun “we”. Meaning that I include myself in the considerations I write.

            “You don’t see the vanity that it takes to warp definitions in order to make evil good in order to justify the evil that you attribute to God and think him happy about it.”

            Like I said, you want someone to tell you that salvation comes without repentance and without submitting to God. Again, it doesn’t. If anyone says that, such person is either ignorant or wicked.

            From here onwards, I am done. Take care, and pray God to reveal his infinite love to you. You may discover a great surprise.

          • WingedBeast

            “If it was about vanity I would be concerned about making myself look good and making you look dumb.”

            Or, if you were a believer in a theology that were of questionable morality, you would be concerned about making sure that theology looked good, wording it right to avoid interacting with challenges and using the above identified rhetorical trick to distract. You might even take steps to draw attention to humility you think you have like…

            “Also, note that when I talk, I use the pronoun “we”.”

            You imagine that such careful language is the stuff of humility? If so, your understanding of vanity and humility is shallow indeed.

            “Like I said, you want someone to tell you that salvation comes without repentance and without submitting to God.”

            Your mind-reading abilities are lacking, do not rely upon them so. I want admission that putting in position of choosing Hell Or Worship is an evil, coercive thing to do to people that you claim to love. If I am to worship a god of goodness, should not that goodness mean something?

            Ah, but I suppose that is stepping out of my place, not submitting hard enough to make evil into good and God into the evil that I call good.

            If you are right and God really does like that, well, I pitty anybody in Heaven or Hell.

          • ABC

            I could continue arguing you, yet it would be fruitless. Along all the argument you always shift blame on others, you always point the finger. However you never take a look inside yourself, always blaming the other (in this case, God).

            To save myself time, if you want to read my considerations on the matter and a response to all the nonsense you wrote so far, read “The problem of Pain” by CS Lewis. You are not original, all your thoughts and considerations were already raised several centuries ago, and duly rebuked, refuted and dismantled. The book explains succintly and with a very deep philosophical foundation such refutations.

            It is you who chooses heaven or hell for yourself for all eternity, not me.

            Pleased to meet you, have more useful things to do.

          • WingedBeast

            Oh look, someone thinks repeating the same thoughts yet *again* will have some new impact that they haven’t already.

            Seriously, open yourself up to the thought that maybe, just maybe, God is better than that.

          • ABC

            Did you watched the video?

          • WingedBeast

            Yes, and if you want some more complex thoughts than just that I’ve seen this before and it failed before, let’s go into why it fails.

            If God is love, if that truly is his life and character, then rejecting Christianity on the basis of not enough evidence or on the basis that the character of God being presented is unloving in the extreme is not rejecting God. It’s rejecting an image, not the real thing.

            When you present a deity that demands, on pain of eternal torment, that you love your neighbor and your family and a stranger, but never do so to the degree that you will hesitate to abandon them because you think that’s what God wants, you do not present love itself. You present a character that is a different concept from love.

            It’s the treachery of imagery. You mistake the image you present for the real thing, and fail to see the contradictions created.

            One can reject the character you present without rejecting love itself.

          • ABC

            You do a lot of magical and wishful thinking. Quite an effort to stay deluded. Jesus (THAT IS, GOD THE SON) himself talked about hell and the risk of being sent there.

            http://biblehub.com/matthew/25-41.htm

            http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/hell-bible-verses/

            You talk a lot about love. What you dismiss is JUSTICE.

            If you want to stay blind, stay blind. Goodbye.-

          • WingedBeast

            So, you’re saying it’s unjust to allow someone into Heaven who accepts love and justice, but not the characterization you present.

            This comes back to your vanity. You think very highly of yourself that you cannot be mistaken about God or that your beliefs regarding God cannot attribute, to him, characteristics and/or actions that are far beneath him, regardless of whether or not you admit to injustice of those actions or characteristics.

            As with Creationists who refuse to believe that God can be great and the theory of Evolution can be right at the same time, what you are doing isn’t worshiping God, but worshiping yourself and your culture with God as a graven image.

  • anotherperson

    How can any morally sound person choose Heaven? It seems like the most selfish choice anyone could make. Worship, preach, do good, but when it comes time to move on after death, make the right choice. It’s like being on a sinking ship and someone offers you a lifeboat but refuses to let anyone else you love on board because of some odd reason… maybe they are racist. I for one would refuse to go. If you truly love sinners (but hate the sin) and you are truly selfless and compassionate, then why not show your love by refusing any privilege that wasn’t offered to them? Yes, the suffering is eternal, but it is ONLY YOU who suffers as a result of that choice. I feel like, no matter how righteous I might be, I could never willingly go to heaven as long as there are people I love going to Hell. I don’t care how much bliss I might have in the afterlife, I could not live with myself if I accepted such an arbitrary privilege.

    • john

      no it isn’t an odd reason the first couple Adam & Eve rebelled against God and by their sin doomed the rest of us but God through Jesus Made a way to escape that fate to all who will except it it comes down to what do you choose Life or Death

  • Mary Jones

    People send themselfs to Hell by not listening to Gods voice.Or as some would put it the voice of reason or their concious.People make there own Hell by not makeing the right choices.They dont have a good relationship with God.Or they took advice that had bad consiquences obviously it wasent fr God.Faith is a constant learning experience.So is learning to love urself enough to obey ur true non egoic self wich actually is obeying God.

  • Anthony Rock

    As a Christian, I am appalled at the idea that some people believe and readily accept that God can conceive and create a place where people will be roasted for billions and billions and billions – nay trillions and trillions and trillions of years.
    What possible purpose does such torture serve? How is this morally acceptable by anyone?

    • ABC

      We are called to live eternally in communion with God, to respond to his love and be part of his own causality. However, God also made us free to choose whether to be part of this or not.

      Hell is simply the place where those who reject God spend all the time. Plain and simple.

      Maybe it is impossible to fathom a person who would give the finger to god, however the author of this article showed two who would do it.

      On the contrary, it would be morally unacceptable if God forced anyone to an eternity with Him, despite the fact that the person explicitly said that did not wanted to be in communion with God.

      • Anthony Rock

        So a person decides he or she does not want to be with God and God being a just being decides to show him or her who is boss and to do so roasts said person in fire for billions and billions and billions and trillions and trillions of years. So I ask you exactly what is the point being proved by your version of this just god?

        A 14 year old girl dies and she has not accepted God and God roasts her in fire for trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions of years. What is the point being proved by your version of this just god?

        It’s a waste of time providing any link to any youtube video, btw.

        • ABC

          I will say it again. Watch the video.-

          • Anthony Rock

            I will say it again: unless the video was made by God – it is absolutely and totally irrelevant.

          • ABC

            I will say it again. Watch the video. Hell is a decision people make on their own volition, it is an eternity living outside God’s terms.

            From there on, where you will spend eternity is a matter between you and Him.-

          • Anthony Rock

            These people are the ones who created the fire in hell and these people are the ones that roast themselves. These people are the ones who decide to create hell with fire instead of making it a beach location. How silly of them.
            Kindly stop wasting my time.

  • Anonomenclature

    I speak from a strange position, again, as someone to whom the existence or nonexistence of god makes very little difference. The way I treat others is for their sake, and if that glory I see in them is what some call God, so be it. But that glory blinds, and burns, and many are left by the road to suffer into oblivion just because it hurts to help.
    I hope against hope their suffering ends with their heartbeat. If it does not, then I would have no choice but to follow them. What a hell it would be, to live untouched, untroubled by the endless suffering of my kin. I would spend countless eternities in whatever hell this world might promise so long as it would keep one more from the flames.
    If that is not what “God” wanted,then they should have known that there was no other possible outcome. That is the only choice the person I am will ever make.

  • Proud Amelekite

    I am gay and that makes your God my enemy. There is no hard feelings. It is just war, you understand. While being with God sounds great to you it would be hell for those of us who hate him. The best thing for you to do is to accept this as an unchangeable reality and move on to other pursuits.

  • scott

    If I die and I get sent to hell. How is that my. Choice? I am making a choice right now I don’t want to go. Now the ball is back in God’s court. Will he send me pm?