Who gets into heaven (assuming there is one)?

A group for members of all religions, or no religion at all, to talk about religion

  1. I used to believe in heaven and eternal conscious torment in hell but now I think maybe there isn't a hell at all. There are some scriptures in the Book of Revelation that cause me to think hell couldn't possibly exist.

    Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

    So if you go to heaven and someone you love is in hell are you going happy? It says there will be no morning so naturally, you will be happy that you're in heaven. Maybe it's that once you're in heaven you think everyone else is a loser for not making it to heaven? Or maybe your memory will be wiped and you will have no knowledge of anyone who's in hell? The thing is that verse doesn't say anything about memories being wiped.

    Also, there's this verse in Revelation:
    When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (6:9-10)

    That verse seems to suggest that there's no memory wipe since they seem to remember their death. So maybe there's no morning or crying because everyone eventually goes to heaven. Because surely heaven will turn into a living hell if you know that you will never see that person you love ever again because they're in hell and you're in heaven.

    But maybe there is no hell. Maybe every person who had a good heart will go straight to heaven and every person who had an evil heart will go to some sort of purgatory so their heart can be purified and once it's purified they will be allowed into heaven.

    I know there are verses that seem to go against what I just said and that's why sometimes I think the writers made up stuff as they went along.
     
  2. Castielle

    Castielle Fapstronaut

    Plenty of reasons. Killing and robbing have tons of horrible consequences, and of course you know that, because I'm assuming you haven't killed anyone or robbed anyone. You don't refrain from doing bad things purely because of the threat of punishment, right? While we have a sinful nature, we are also made in the image of God. We have an internal meter of morality that is based on God's standard of morality. If murder became legal tomorrow, I highly doubt everyone would just go around killing people. We have compassion and love and we understand that those things are wrong and cause pain to others, so we don't want to do them.

    Also, to use a less extreme example than murder, let's discuss my reason for quitting PMO (aside from the personal negative consequences that behavior has in my life). I want to do what God says is right because a) He's a good Father, so if He tells me not to do something, it's probably in my best interest to listen to Him, and b) because I love and respect Him, and I want to so right by Him. My earthly father isn't going to beat me if I do something wrong, but that doesn't mean I want to have to come to him and tell him I let him down, even if I know he will forgive me.

    Yeah, I was going to say, I think I already addressed that. Lol and no worries about hostility, you don't come across that way at all. I'm happy to answer questions about what the word of God says and what I personally believe.

    As I said before, I don't know for sure the answer to your question about people who have literally never heard the name Jesus before. Should they end up in hell because we Christians did a crappy job of following Jesus' command to "go and make disciples of all nations"? It doesn't seem right to me, but I don't know. A similar question would be regarding not only people who lived back when news didn't travel quickly, but people who died before Jesus was even born. Are those people in hell? I don't believe so, no. In fact, we sort of know that isn't true, being that the Bible mentions Moses (I think?) being in heaven, and he died long before Jesus was around. So I don't know how that works. Perhaps there is another opportunity after death for people who haven't heard of Jesus or died prior to his birth to hear the news and make their choice. A sort of "limbo" period. I'm really unsure about that. But again, I rest in the fact that God is good, and I trust that He knows what He's doing.

    I would encourage you, lovingly of course, to change that in regards to your salvation. I would love to meet you in heaven someday, so this stuff is certainly worth the time and energy to make sure you understand properly and have your eternity secured.
     
  3. Castielle

    Castielle Fapstronaut

    Just to be clear, I'm sort of still thinking through my thoughts on this particular issue. I don't want to act like I have this solid, 100% belief in what I'm saying right now, but I feel like it makes sense, given what I know about God, that it might be a possibility. I might change my view on this, if other evidence shows me otherwise.

    But to your question, I would say that that's an entirely different situation than what I was responding to. If you are here, having this conversation, you clearly know who Jesus is, and who Jehovah is, yet you choose to reject Him and follow a different God. So that's clearly different than someone in a remote country who has never heard the name of Jesus or God before.

    I can't tell if you're just trying to push buttons, or if you actually don't understand. This seems like a ridiculous question to me. Do you really not see the difference between someone who has never heard the name of Jesus or God before, and someone who knows all about Jesus and God, and yet chooses to reject that and follow a different religion? They're so clearly different. I don't know how to even go about answering your question. It's obvious why those situations are different.
     
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  4. Castielle

    Castielle Fapstronaut

    Yes, exactly. That's very important. Some people seem to view it as cruel, the punishments of God, but I think that goes against our very nature. We all have a sense of justice. When we see someone being wronged, we ache for that person to get justice. So of course there needs to be consequences to our actions.

    Yes. I don't think we actually disagree, so let me clarify. I was referring to people baptizing their babies, without permission. That's different than someone choosing to be baptized after accepting Jesus as their Savior. Do you agree? I don't believe baptizing someone against their will is somehow going to save them if they die. For some reason certain people believe this works with babies, but why wouldn't it also work with adults, then? Could I just drag my granddad down to the lake and baptize him, kicking and screaming, and then he would end up in heaven? Of course not, because it's not magic. That's all I'm saying. Perhaps you still disagree, and that's fine, but I'm against the practice of baptizing babies. I think baptism is meaningless if the person being baptized doesn't even know what it is or that it's happening.

    Well first of all... there's a clear difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. So that's important to take into account. But secondly, I never claimed that God would be "against" baptizing babies. I'm just saying that I don't see how that would somehow seal their eternity in heaven. That if a baby died before it was baptized, it would end up in hell, but if their parents baptized them first, they would be in heaven. There's absolutely nothing in the Bible (at least not to my knowledge) that claims that you need to baptize your babies or they will go to hell. Every instance of baptism in the Bible (again, to my knowledge) is a public declaration, an outward, physical act to signify their CHOICE to follow Jesus.

    Also, while baptism is important, it's also made clear that it's not 100% necessary for Salvation. As is evidenced by the man on the cross beside Jesus, whom Jesus says will be in heaven with him that very night (or something to that effect... I'm too lazy to find the exact quote right now).

    No worries, I didn't get that tone from you. And yes, He is the same God, surely, but the LAW is different. Well, not the law, exactly, but the covenant. There are different rules, so to speak. I mean, surely that's clear, if you read Leviticus or any of those other chapters or books that talk about all the ritual cleansing practices you have to go through before you can even set foot in a temple, and all the sacrifices you have to make to God to atone for your sins. He's the same being, yes, but a lot has changed. I believe circumcision is one of those things, as well. I don't think that's necessary anymore.
     
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  5. Castielle

    Castielle Fapstronaut

    I didn't watch the videos, and I know you're probably just being funny, but I want to very clearly say that SUICIDE IS NOT AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN! I have absolutely no idea what would lead anyone to believe such a thing. There's nothing in the Bible that says that, and I think its a rather despicable view to hold, honestly. I have the utmost sadness and compassion for people who are in so much pain that they feel the only option is to end their life. I've had a lot of hard times, and even prayed for God to take my life on more than one occasion, but I still would never be able to bring myself to commit suicide. I can't imagine the darkness of the place in which one would have to be to do such a thing, and I'm sure it absolutely breaks God's heart.

    We can certainly agree on that! And I agree with the Hitler message, as well. As much as I may hate certain people or their actions, I honestly find it hard to wish hell upon them. Especially someone who has wronged me. More than seeing them suffer, what I would truly long for is to see them apologize. That would bring me more peace, to see them realize the errors of their ways, change, and become a better person with joy and freedom in Jesus. That happened with my cousin, and I rejoiced so dang hard that night!

    That verse is a mystery to me too, honestly. But even if hell didn't exist in a literal sense, anyone who doesn't accept Jesus doesn't get to spend eternity with God, which would still be sad. So even if they're just dead and gone (or whatever alternative to hell you can think of), that still wouldn't be something I would want for my loved ones. So that verse still is a mystery. Perhaps it's not meant to be taken so literally.

    Hm... that really doesn't add up with the entire rest of the gospel message, though. I agree that that verse is a mystery, though.

    Yeah, there certainly are verses about fire and brimstone and all that hell-ish stuff. So I don't agree with you there. But it is confusing sometimes to understand how that is going to work, for sure.
     
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  6. How do you know im not a murderer or a thief? ;)

    Thats a very good point you made, even athiests have a conscious, so wouldnt do those things anyway. But i guess what i meant was, its strange that it doesnt matter in Gods law. I was born in sin and therefore i can sin as much as i want as long as i come to Jesus. But that is a good point also about no wanting to disappoint Him.


    Lol, thanks. I never feel like i come across right in text form. Half the time i read my stuff back and i either sound like an jerk or a retard, i do much better in person :)


    Yeah, exactly. It seems like we're on the same page there. By the way, you can double check me, but i dont think Moses made it to heaven because he killed a man who was beating a slave.

    Thank you. But by not being a deep thinker, i guess i meant that i dont over analyze (most of the time). To quite one of the great masters ;)..."I rest in the fact that God is good, and i trust i the fact that He knows what Hes doing". I know God is real and He is love. And that by doing good where i can and having faith in Him, i serve Him. For me thats all i really need to know. We all scramble around trying to guess and figure everything out, but we dont know. God has it all worked out and all we have to do is sit back and be the best we can be. Thats my opinion anyway and hopefully i can still meet you in heaven :)
     
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  7. Castielle

    Castielle Fapstronaut

    Lol just an assumption, but hey, I could be wrong

    I wouldn't say that at all. It definitely matters. It's why you, or anyone else who has sinned or committed murder or whatever else, are going to be sent to hell without Jesus. That's a pretty dang huge consequence, so it definitely matters to God. It mattered enough for Him to watch His son die to save us from that fate.

    Where on earth did you hear that? I've never heard that in my life. Lol that's really strange. Read Luke 9, starting in verse 28. It seems to suggest that Elijah and Moses sort of appeared to Jesus in light, as if possibly from heaven. Certainly wouldn't suggest Moses was in hell.

    Gotcha! I'm all for that :)
     
  8. I was raised up Roman Catholic but spent the last 40 years on yoga and Eastern philosophy because I hungered for the metaphysics behind the dogma. I could write a long essay on this topic but I'm not going to be preachy. I'm no more special than anybody else. We're all children of God forever. Anyway, true heaven is ultimately realizing who you really are, a divine soul wave on the ocean of God Consciousness. Heaven is also not being dependent whatsoever on any outside or external situation or circumstance for your peace and happiness. You ARE that profound peace and happiness! All it takes is working on switching the awareness from the clutters of ego and the thinking process to soul realization. Could Christ lose His God-contact and enlightenment if he visited the worst hell? No! In simplistic terms, heaven is a state of mind. You could be depressed and be crying on a beautiful sunny day or be cheerful on a gloomy, cold, and overcast day. And I believe that the quality of experience that we will have in that more subtle realm after we drop away the body will be the result of how we conducted ourselves on earth.
     

  9. My bad, i was way off. I just googled it. He wasnt allowed into the promised land (not heaven) for disobeying Gods order.
     
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  10. Don't matter. The God is till different God...

    Why following different God is ok when one has never heard of Jesus but suddenly is not ok when one has heard of Jesus? Why not hearing of Jesus allows for excuse of pure heart and actions to be enough (that implies that it's purity in heart and actions that matters more than what religion one follows). But why suddenly pure heart and actions do not matter anymore when one has now heard of the religion (that implies that heart is not more important after all)? You see how it's contradictory?

    I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just wondering what you think is that which is so important about knowledge of existence of Jesus that it suddenly overrides the importance of pure heart? What is in that knowledge that changes things? There must be something, right? Because, like I said, no matter whether people do know about Jesus or not the God they believe is till different God. But not knowing of Jesus is an excuse for it being ok (as long as heart and actions are pure)... why? What is it about ignorance of existence of Jesus that makes it excusable? And what is it about knowledge of existence of Jesus that suddenly makes it inexcusable even if heart and actions are still pure (and match the teachings of Jesus) while following teachings of different religion and different God?
    I'm just trying to understand what is the reason behind this particular belief of yours.
    Fair enough. :emoji_v:
     
  11. truthseeker17

    truthseeker17 Fapstronaut

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    Hmm I find it weird that you specificly use Christianity in your examples while it's just on of the three biggest religions. There is Judaism and Islam too. I belong to the latter one. Christianity is polytheistic and other two are monotheistic.

    Before one believes in heaven, hell, angels and all the other things from the unseen, one needs to find and become to know God. For it is essential to get the good source. This is quite difficult since there are so many sources nowdays. Knowing God is done with logic, experience, feelings and proofs.

    I am convinced that Islam is the true and only religion. I am born into a muslim family. However I started serious practicing and digging into the religon by the age of 21. Before this I did seriously searched for God outside Islam. However it never did fit the idea of what I had how a God needs to be except in Islam. Never else did I find a message so complete, pure and overwhelming like Islam. I am not here to convince other to Islam, its just to inform you that born muslims sometimes don't have any advantages.

    In Islam we believe Allah(God) is the most Just. He grants EVERY single human the oppertunity to believe. Some accept most don't. We also believe that Islam is the only religion accepted by God(Allah). He says this in the Qur'an.
    “Truly the religion with Allah is Islam.” (3:19)

    “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam it will never be accepted of him and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers.” (3:85)

    “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:3)

    This gets three kind of people. Believers, disbelievers and the people who have not heard/known of Islam. The disbelievers will be punished in hell FOREVER. The people who are "neutral" may be judged by their deeds and be forgiven or even tested in the hereafter. If they pass they belong to the group of believers otherwise they are from the disbelievers. Ofcourse the believers will also judged accordingly their deeds. Some will enter hell for a period of time while other will avoid it completely. The main difference between a believer and a disbeliever is that all believers no matter what they did as long as they were believers will eventually get out of hell. This will be also the biggest regret of the disbelievers. They will say "I wish I only once said, There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger."

    You can find more information about why and how Islam is the only religion on the next link.
    https://www.al-islam.org/articles/islam-first-and-last-religion-shaykh-mansour-leghaei
     
  12. Castielle

    Castielle Fapstronaut

    I've never once said that "purity of heart and actions" is what gets you into Heaven. I'm not sure where you're pulling that from, because I certainly didn't say it.

    No, I don't see that at all. I think you still don't understand, but I don't know how else to explain it. They are 100% different things and not contradictory at all.

    Again... I never said that "purity of heart" is what leads to salvation. I said that God knows your heart. That's not the same thing.

    Let's use Moses as an example, again. Moses talked with God on a regular basis. They had a relationship, and clearly Moses was following GOD, as in JEHOVAH, not some other false god of a different religion. He had never heard the name of Jesus, and he is in heaven right now. Not because he had a "pure heart." I never said anything about that.... But because God knew his heart and knew that Moses knew Him and put his faith in Him, alone, not some other god. So why wouldn't God still be able to work that way now, with people who don't have access to the Bible?

    How do you know that? You don't. But God does. That's the point. God knows their hearts, you do not. God is real and speaks to people all the time. If He speaks to someone, and they listen to Him and put their faith in Him and follow Him, how is that not them believing and trusting in the One true God? It completely is, and He would know whether or not that's the case.

    Again... not what I said at all.

    More like... not knowing of the name of Jesus is an excuse for it being okay, as long as you know God (Jehovah) and have a relationship with Him as your Lord and Savior.

    Because again, I never said that what secures your salvation is having pure hearts (which, by the way, is impossible for a human... We cannot have completely pure hearts on our own), and pure actions, and that you follow the teachings of Jesus. It's about a relationship with God, putting your faith in Him as your Savior and your Lord. If someone is simply a decent person and tries their best to do good stuff, like Jesus said, that doesn't mean they have put their faith in him and made him their Lord and Savior. So whether or not you've heard of Jesus, if you haven't done that, then your salvation is not secured. And additionally, whether or not you've heard of Jesus, if you HAVE put your faith in the One true God as your Lord and Savior, your salvation would be secured (in my opinion, according to what I know from the Bible and God's character).

    That's fine, I just couldn't tell if you actually want to understand or if you're just stirring up trouble, because people love to do that on the internet. Hopefully you understand better now.
     
  13. SolitaryScribe

    SolitaryScribe Fapstronaut

    I don't want to get into a religious argument with you. However I grew up in a Muslim country so I'm quite familiar with Islam.

    My issues with Islam is it doesn't really teach anything different than what Judaism teaches. Really why would Islam be correct and not Judaism? What unique message does Islam offer about man and his relationship to God?

    My second issue with Islam is that it is wholly dependent on one person, Mohammed. There is no one to verify him, or what he said is true. He didn't perform a single miracle according to Islamic sources. When a religion becomes dependent on one person to claim the "truth" it becomes susceptible to falsities. Mohammed has made a claim that he is a prophet, what proof does he have to offer us to prove that he is one?

    Once again I'm not trying to start an argument with you, but you cannot try to prove Islam to me using the Quran.
     
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  14. SolitaryScribe

    SolitaryScribe Fapstronaut

    I highly recommend you read The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis. You should also read "Can a Loving God be Wrathful. An Orthodox Christian Perspective" By Anthony Coniaris.

    These two books essentially mention everything you were talking about. It puts into perspective of who we really become when we enter into heaven, and what the true nature of heaven and hell is. We often think hell is this furnace that God lit to throw all the bad people in. Which is a basic understanding that isn't quite true.
     
  15. "God knows your heart" implies that it is heart that matters. And I assumed it's how pure the heart is (values, morality, thoughts, actions that arise from it, etc) what matters. But maybe it's something else in the heart, I don't know what God values and looks for in the heart...
    But no matter how you word it the underlying meaning is still the same - it's heart that matters. Right? I mean that's what you implied by saying "God knows your heart" anyways.
    Even if they believe it is different God that speaks to them?

    What if there would be a Taoist who would feel that Jehovah is false God and that Tao is real God - they know of Christianity and Christian God but refuse to become Taoist instead. And what if Taoist would hear God speaking but he would think it is Tao speaking with him, not Jehovah. And God would look into their heart and judge it as good, would that be enough? Would that be possibility in your opinion that he would even consider their heart goo enough? Even if they are still Taoist and reject Christian God? But they don't even know that God who they hear is actually Jehovah not Tao.
    I know that because let's assume they would tell me. You say that they themselves do not know? So that those who identify as Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, Hinduists, etc could still get into heaven if Jehovah would deem their hearts worthy?
    I think you're right, I don't.
    :emoji_disappointed:
     
  16. SolitaryScribe

    SolitaryScribe Fapstronaut

    @What I Do That Defines Me @Castielle Well actually, before the resurrection of Christ, anyone from the old testament was sent to what was known as "Abrahams bosom". Which wasn't in heaven because heaven was closed off to us since the fall of Adam. The Bosom of Abraham was a place in hades where all the righteous went and were waiting for the coming of Christ. This is why Christ had to descend into hades for 3 days between his death and resurrection. When he descended, he took all the souls of the righteous and brought them up into the paradise of joy.

    The only person that wasn't sent there was Elijah. However when Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ during the Transfiguration, Moses' soul was called fourth from the Bosom of Abraham to appear in that moment. There are Christian sources which say that when Moses returned to the bosom of Abraham, he began to proclaim the good news to those who were waiting there.
     
  17. Theinquiringmind

    Theinquiringmind Fapstronaut

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    What is hell really like then?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  18. truthseeker17

    truthseeker17 Fapstronaut

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    Isn't it a bit odd that you don't want a argument with me yet try to initiate one? However I feel the same. The last thing I want is this never-ending discussion in someone else's thread.

    Just to clarify some of the things you mentioned. Mohammad's(peace be upon him) history is all known to us. It's written by the very same people who believed in him(peace be upon him) and even acknowledged by the people who didn't believe in him(arabs and non-arabs). The same technique which brought us worldy knowlegde is the same technique which brought us this heavenly knowledge. You can visit your local university and learn about this technique how the knowlegde was passed. I can't explain it here now since its detailed. You can also search it up. However it's acknowlegded by people(non-muslims). The funny thing is we muslims know exactly our prophet's history. We know so much about him that if you read it it would look like you could see him. This is a miracle in itself. Never will you find a biography such detailed of any person from 1400 years ago except Muhammad(peace be upon him). Not only that. Look at his legacy. Just try to google Makkah and witness his followers. Witness the fastest growing religion and you will realise there was something special with this man, Muhammad(peace be upon him).

    Qur'an is the biggest proof of Muhammad. It's the perfect book which has no similarity nor can something be reproduced similar to it by menkind. The Arab were the best in arabic poetry. I don't know if you some kind of knowlegde about the Arabic language but its very complex. When the Arab heard the message(qur'an) they were perplexed and didn't know how to react. Like you they were also disbelievers and would actually put their fingers in their ears. Such impact had the qur'an on them. They knew if one was just long enough exposed to the qur'an they would have no choice but to become muslim. Unfortunately we don't know Arabic now days so we can't experience this feeling. However despite this, Qur'an still talks about in details about most things which are only recently discovered and introduced. One big example is the embryology. Scientists still are clueless how a illeterate men from the dessert could talk about embryology in such a detail 1400 years ago. Also recently when the Qur'an was scanned with computers we found many things which are not explainable. The mathematical wonders ... you can see for yourself Mind you that this message was conveyed orally. Once something was said nothing could have taken back, nor had the "authur" such time make stuff like seen before in video. There are many, many, many more miracles in the qur'an. I leave that to you to search for it. I challenge you to find a mistake in qur'an. The Authur challenges you.

    “Or do they say that he has invented it? Say (to them), ‘Bring ten invented chapters like it, and call (for help) on whomever you can besides God, if you are truthful.” (Quran 11:13)

    “And if you all are in doubt about what I have revealed to My servant, bring a single chapter like it, and call your witnesses besides God if you are truthful.” (Quran 2:23)

    “Say: ‘If all mankind and the jinn would come together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce its like even though they exerted all and their strength in aiding one another.’” (Quran 17:88)


    This is my prophet's miracle. You could argue about the validation. Like I said it's been validated and acknowlegded worldwide. Now they even found old qur'an manuscripts which are extremely close to the time of the prophet(1400 years ago) and it's perfectly similar to the ones we have nowadays.

    All this was in defence of Islam and my prophet(peace be upon him). I am not here to proof you something. I don't wish to continue in this debate since it would disturb this thread. If there is something you need or want(information), you may always pm me. Peace.
     
  19. SolitaryScribe

    SolitaryScribe Fapstronaut

    I'll try my best to describe the view expressed in the book I mentioned above. Better yet, let me describe it by something we can relate to.

    Imagine there was this person that you loved dearly. This person has helped you in so many ways and make you feel happy whenever you're around them. Now imagine if you did something to horrible against this person, something that you never thought you could have done. Now imagine having to face that person with all the shame and guilt inside you. Being in the presence of that person would not feel comfortable. Imagine if you cheated on the girl you loved with all your heart, and you had to see her heart break in front of you. You couldn't bare to look at her. Or imagine if you were watching your mother slowly die in pain in front of you, and you feel helpless without being able to do anything within your own power.

    Hell is exactly that. We are in the full presence of God, and become fully aware of who we are and who He is. If we don't prepare ourselves to meet him face to face in his full glory, his presence becomes our hell.

    We're all going to end up in the same place, that topic has been settled already. However whether we are going to enjoy it or not is the issue at hand.

    "They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!" Rev 6-16

    If we have darkness within us, and we don't learn to abolish that darkness, we will dread being confronted by our creator.
     
  20. Theinquiringmind

    Theinquiringmind Fapstronaut

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    Hmmm, interesting. I was always taught that hell was separation from God's presence.
     

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