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« on: April 07, 2012, 04:58:12 PM »

This time of the year we talk a lot about hell, or hades.  I recently lost a loved one so her salvation has been on my mind.  I converted from the Church of Christ in 1981.  At that time I thought I knew what hell was, all who don't confess Christ and is baptized for the forgiveness of sins goes to hell.  Very simple, it would seem that by their way of thinking most people who aren't lucky enough to be presented with the Gospel and do and believe the right things are lost. Eternal damnation!  My priest told me that hell is the complete absence of God.  Another priest, one I've known since 1986, said no one really knows what's on the other side, but he told me how important it is to pray for the one who passed the next forty days.  Then we had a service for him.  Now some one else I care deeply about has passed, only though she was a devout Methodist, I'm getting a lot of different information about whether she even has a chance to get into heaven.  She had deeply held beliefs.  She never had the Orthodox faith presented to her in a manner where she could make an informed choice.  Is hell eternal fire that burns for all times.  I keep remembering the parable of Lazarus and the rich man!
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 05:09:00 PM »

This time of the year we talk a lot about hell, or hades.  I recently lost a loved one so her salvation has been on my mind.  I converted from the Church of Christ in 1981.  At that time I thought I knew what hell was, all who don't confess Christ and is baptized for the forgiveness of sins goes to hell.  Very simple, it would seem that by their way of thinking most people who aren't lucky enough to be presented with the Gospel and do and believe the right things are lost. Eternal damnation!  My priest told me that hell is the complete absence of God.  Another priest, one I've known since 1986, said no one really knows what's on the other side, but he told me how important it is to pray for the one who passed the next forty days.  Then we had a service for him.  Now some one else I care deeply about has passed, only though she was a devout Methodist, I'm getting a lot of different information about whether she even has a chance to get into heaven.  She had deeply held beliefs.  She never had the Orthodox faith presented to her in a manner where she could make an informed choice.  Is hell eternal fire that burns for all times.  I keep remembering the parable of Lazarus and the rich man!
Just pray. With God, all things are possible. I know that this answer will be unsatisfactory, but  the question of what happens after death is incredibly speculative, and you're probably going to get several different answers to your question, none of which affect what you can actually do about this situation, which is praying.

You might want to start a thread asking for prayers for your friend/loved one in the prayer forum if you have not already done so.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 06:39:35 PM »

Just pray. With God, all things are possible.

I'm going to second this. Pray for her because you care, pray to God because she is in His hands now. Speculating won't help, speculating positively to the point of not praying won't accomplish anything, speculating negatively to the point of giving up hope in the love of God won't help either.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 10:37:59 AM »

Just pray. With God, all things are possible.

I'm going to second this. Pray for her because you care, pray to God because she is in His hands now. Speculating won't help, speculating positively to the point of not praying won't accomplish anything, speculating negatively to the point of giving up hope in the love of God won't help either.

If I may ‘third’ that.

Puppyshoes, I am not Methodist though we share the same doctrine in theory. Putting all the significant differences between that and Orthodoxy aside for this moment, John Wesley held a profound respect and belief in The Orthodox Church and teachings of the early Church Fathers. Granted, as I learn more about Orthodoxy there may indeed be a lack of ‘fullness’ in Wesleyan theology. That being said a devote Methodist would typically believe in the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, Baptism, that faith without works is dead, that salvation is by Grace alone BUT we must ‘cooperate’ with God to receive such Grace, that by such Grace Faith is given and repentance is necessary. Wesley did hold Scripture above all else but was Not solo-scriptura. There is certainly much more but know we (I’m assuming she) believe in becoming Justified and living a righteous life in cooperation as servants and children with our Lord God.

I agree with you gentleman that we do not really know what is on the other side and Scripture actually gives us few clues. We do know that the righteous are in the hands of God though, and I cannot imagine any place we would rather be, or any judgment that could be more fair or merciful.

Puppyshoes your love, care, and prayers sounds like the body of Christ to me brother. With Him surely all things are possible indeed.

Glory be to God, and Peace be with you.

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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 05:58:38 PM »

Just keep praying, as the other posters have suggested. In the strictest sense, the fires of hell are the energies of God (how we experience the energies depends on the state of our soul), as is testified by St. Symeon the New Theologian. There seems, however, to be a state of separation following death where one can be purified if earthly purification was lacking (I know both St. Mark of Ephesus and St. Silouan speak on this subject). I don't know too much about it, but it seems people can be prayed out of this state.

Keep praying and take to heart this quote from St. Theophan the Recluse (it has given comfort to many on this issue, including myself) :

"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever."
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 10:21:15 PM »

Is hell eternal fire that burns for all times.  I keep remembering the parable of Lazarus and the rich man!

I've chosen to focus more on the literal aspect of your question, as I like many others have thought and wondered about this too.  Fire and brimstone and little devils poking and prodding you for all eternity is probably unlikely.  The human imagination tends to conjure up some over the top details about what the worst of the worst possible punishments could be like.  I think it's rather the opposite, something much more simple.

Since God's kingdom is love, would not hell be the opposite of that?  Many aspects of christianity believe that those condemned to hell can still be saved by the prayers of those who remember them.  I believe this too and so with that I believe that even in hell God is still present, for those who want Him to be.  So what is hell exactly?  Simple, it is the absence of love.  Cold, dark, and abundant despair or a spirit filled with hatred.

That's how I see it anyway.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 01:51:11 PM »

Well, l shall be impertinent and answer the question of the subject line and afterwards read the postings of all the above. 

Hell is a dark hole. 
Which swallows like a great fish...(a multitude).
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2012, 03:05:58 PM »

I'm starting to wonder if this message board is Hell?
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2012, 03:26:07 PM »

I'm starting to wonder if this message board is Hell?
Nah we are just stuck in limbo.
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2012, 03:34:36 PM »

This is Hell.  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2012, 03:36:29 PM »

A term to describe the spiritual well being of a person in regards to their relationship with God. Everyone will stand before the presence of God, and how that affects us is directly correlated with the type of lifestyle we lived. To those who generally lived life in a positive way that included faithfulness and good works, being in the presence of God will be a joyous experience, this is 'Heaven'. And to those who have lived a pretty nasty lifestyle that included lack of faithfulness and bad works, being in the presence of God will generally be a negative, painful experience for them. This is 'Hell'. Also important to mention that the spiritual states of Heaven and Hell are not just limited to us after we die. These are states of being that people can experience here on Earth right now. Hence why we have stories of some people like Saints in the Church who were so close to God and did such great things that they were truly happy and in a blissful state of Heaven. And, unfortunately, just as we have some pretty nasty people here on Earth who have rejected God and goodness so much that they are absolutely miserable. This is Hell on Earth.

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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 03:38:20 PM »

From the Book of Jeremiah, I got the impression that any kind of "Hell" would be separation from God, sadness, loneliness, coldness, that kind of thing. I hope I don't find out if that's right.  laugh
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 11:45:41 AM »

I'm starting to wonder if this message board is Hell?

Nah.  It's Purgatory.  Or...if you're Orthodox...one of the Toll Houses.

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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 11:58:03 AM »

On the idea that hell is seperation from God...

The Lord said He would say, "Depart from me  l NEVER knew you.
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 02:31:06 PM »

A thoughtful 3 minutes on hell from N.T.Wright: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vggzqXzEvZ0
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 06:32:15 PM »

A thoughtful 3 minutes on hell from N.T.Wright: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vggzqXzEvZ0

This clip is really helpful. It's interesting that he talks about the Greek Orthodox Archimandrite disagreeing with the dualistic depiction of the judgment in the Sistine Chapel.

From my understanding of the Orthodox position it's clear that when God becomes "all in all", there will be no place to escape the love of God. So to speak of locations is to miss the point. Scripture does use certain locations as a metaphor when speaking about our eternal existence. For e.g. Gehenna is the Greek word most often translated as "hell" in English Bibles. This was literally a rubbish dump outside of Jerusalem. But it is just a metaphor as I understand it. Just like Christ uses the terms like "outer darkness" and so on to describe what existence in hell will be like. Light has come into the world. Those who love the light experience this as paradise. Those who prefer darkness, experience this as torment. It's very hard to speak of this in concrete terms, I think this is why Scripture uses metaphor and images to convey what hell will be like. I think it is a mistake to take these metaphors as concrete reality, as if hell is some place beneath the surface of the earth with lava and devils running around poking the damned for all eternity. I think even some fundamentalist evangelicals are stepping away from this literal understanding. As for heaven, to speak about location is misleading as well. If the whole world is to be transfigured and made new at the coming of Jesus, then the earth made new will be our eternal home. This only makes sense. Heaven is not some place at the edge of the universe. In the Bible, heaven and earth overlap. Think of the Temple in the OT. Think of Christ in the NT - "Word become flesh and dwelt (literally "pitched his tent", harking back to the tabernacle in the wilderness) among us" - i.e. Christ is the Temple, the place where heaven and earth overlap. Heaven or more accurately "the age to come", seems to be the presence and rule of God in our midst.

I too lost a very dear friend last year. I was with her for nearly 5 years when she passed. So these things have been playing on my mind as well. She was brought up as an SDA, though I think she was Orthodox at heart even tho she didn't know much about it. I started investigating Orthodoxy literally a few days before she died. The Orthodox vision of the mercy of God has given me so much hope during these hard times.
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2012, 10:20:13 AM »

Quote
What is hell?


Not a good place to be.
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2012, 11:29:07 PM »

I'm starting to wonder if this message board is Hell?

You're the only one that came close...so far!  You gave me a good laugh. Thank! Wink
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 12:02:17 AM »

What is hell?  Okay this is how I figure it:  Let's see now if heaven is being within God's Grace and uniting with Him, then Hell would be out of God's Grace.   In other words away from God.

So how can we be in God's Grace, and also what is God's Grace?  Well in order to attain God's Grace we must accept Jesus as having redeemed us from our sins.  Why you ask?  Well I guess because when we accept His redemption, we are accepting ourselves as sinners, and by accepting our selves as sinners and realizing our limitations as humans, we are lessening our pride.  Grace then would be a continuous sojourn into a greater and greater sense of humility and thereby stepping completely out of oneself.

What if one doesn't repent for their sins before they die?  Well then they have retained their pride and that becomes a barrier to God's Grace. Anyway hell is being without hope.  So why don't we have hope after we die?  I guess it's because if we die in a 'state' in which we blocked God out He cannot work our hearts and draw us closer to Him.

 Saint Xenia of Saint Petersburg did an amazing thing.  Her husband died when he was drunk, and was in an unrepentant state, so she took his name and donned his clothes, for thirty years.  She humiliated him and that which he was the most proud of; the uniform he wore of the Preobransky Regiment, the most glorified regiment in Russia.

What she was doing was lessening his worldly pride after his death,  in the same way God would have lessened it during his life if he was still alive.  She's a great saint for her ordeal to save her husband's soul, and God did tell her before she died that her husband was saved.

Anyway you don't have to pay attention to anything I wrote other than that about Saint Xenia, because they are only my thoughts.  I think though they explain hell quite easily...I mean can you imagine being without any hope?  I can't imagine any torture worse than that. angel 
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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2012, 03:33:10 PM »

This time of the year we talk a lot about hell, or hades.  I recently lost a loved one so her salvation has been on my mind.  I converted from the Church of Christ in 1981.  At that time I thought I knew what hell was, all who don't confess Christ and is baptized for the forgiveness of sins goes to hell.  Very simple, it would seem that by their way of thinking most people who aren't lucky enough to be presented with the Gospel and do and believe the right things are lost. Eternal damnation!  My priest told me that hell is the complete absence of God.  Another priest, one I've known since 1986, said no one really knows what's on the other side, but he told me how important it is to pray for the one who passed the next forty days.  Then we had a service for him.  Now some one else I care deeply about has passed, only though she was a devout Methodist, I'm getting a lot of different information about whether she even has a chance to get into heaven.  She had deeply held beliefs.  She never had the Orthodox faith presented to her in a manner where she could make an informed choice.  Is hell eternal fire that burns for all times.  I keep remembering the parable of Lazarus and the rich man!

With God all things are not possible but "POSSIBLE". Pray for your friend. Get people to pray for your friend also. Do a memorial for her. Make a dinner in her name, at the place for the elderly. Ask them to pray too. Unfortunately, this is all you can do. But do it, it will not go to waste.
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« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2012, 07:20:01 PM »

We've been through this before. Hell is a small town in Michigan.
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« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2012, 07:57:10 PM »

Bourbon Street.
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« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2012, 08:29:38 PM »

Hell is driving 15 hours to see phish without a ticket and there is none for sale in the lot
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2012, 08:29:17 PM »

What is hell?  Okay this is how I figure it:  Let's see now if heaven is being within God's Grace and uniting with Him, then Hell would be out of God's Grace.   In other words away from God.

So how can we be in God's Grace, and also what is God's Grace?  Well in order to attain God's Grace we must accept Jesus as having redeemed us from our sins.  Why you ask?  Well I guess because when we accept His redemption, we are accepting ourselves as sinners, and by accepting our selves as sinners and realizing our limitations as humans, we are lessening our pride.  Grace then would be a continuous sojourn into a greater and greater sense of humility and thereby stepping completely out of oneself.

What if one doesn't repent for their sins before they die?  Well then they have retained their pride and that becomes a barrier to God's Grace. Anyway hell is being without hope.  So why don't we have hope after we die?  I guess it's because if we die in a 'state' in which we blocked God out He cannot work our hearts and draw us closer to Him.

 Saint Xenia of Saint Petersburg did an amazing thing.  Her husband died when he was drunk, and was in an unrepentant state, so she took his name and donned his clothes, for thirty years.  She humiliated him and that which he was the most proud of; the uniform he wore of the Preobransky Regiment, the most glorified regiment in Russia.

What she was doing was lessening his worldly pride after his death,  in the same way God would have lessened it during his life if he was still alive.  She's a great saint for her ordeal to save her husband's soul, and God did tell her before she died that her husband was saved.

Anyway you don't have to pay attention to anything I wrote other than that about Saint Xenia, because they are only my thoughts.  I think though they explain hell quite easily...I mean can you imagine being without any hope?  I can't imagine any torture worse than that. angel 

Is the reason her husband was saved, because she humiliated him though. Or because she did a good deed in his name by donating his clothes?
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2012, 10:43:52 PM »

It only takes a small onion to get out of hell, but ya gotta share it Cheesy
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« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2012, 08:23:11 PM »

Gary, Indiana?
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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2012, 12:51:39 AM »

Hell is very serious.

Isaiah 66:24, "And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

Matthew 13:50 “furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth”

Mark 9:48 “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”

John 15:6, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

Revelation 14:10 “he will be tormented with fire and brimstone”

Revelation 14:11 “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night”

Revelation 20:14 “This is the second death, the lake of fire”

Revelation 20:15 “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake
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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2012, 12:53:34 AM »

John 15:6, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

 Undecided
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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2013, 08:53:16 PM »

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« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2013, 08:54:35 PM »

Hell is a place where a person suffers some sort of miserable torment in gloomy pits and miserable places of darkness "Satan's entertainment"
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« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2013, 06:56:39 AM »

If it is true that God is Omnipresent, so where do you think hell is? The Church Fathers tell us that God is love and those who love Him are in joy, whilst those who do not want His love are in agony. Perhaps you should read the Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian if you are interested in learning what heaven and hell is.
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