Question for Christians #1

If hell is supposed to be an eternity of punishment, and the devil rules it, wouldn’t he be happy to get more people and not punish them?

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32 thoughts on “Question for Christians #1

  1. Hell is an eternal separation from God.

    The devil has plenty of people he has decieved into spending an eternity with him.

    Based on everything you know about the devil, why would you think he would even consider not punishing people? Isn’t evil his very nature?

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    • Wouldn’t his nature be more to rebel against god? Which, to me, would entail not punishing the people the loving god has sent to hell.

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      • Satan is the father of lies whose entire existence, since he fell, is rebelion to God.

        Even if you want to believe he could end the punishment of people who end up in Hell, why do you think he might have the kind of compassion necessary in him?

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      • It wouldn’t be compassion, it would be to achieve his goal of disobeying god which is what got him banned in the first place.

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  2. Hi. Your question somehow made it onto my WP reader and I’m hoping it’s ok to respond.
    I am wondering how you’ve come to understand that Christianity teaches that the devil rules hell?
    He is alluded to as “the ruler of the world”.(John 16:11)..but not of hell.

    Jesus did say in Matthew 25:41 that “everlasting fire” has been prepared for the devil and his angels. But Satan won’t be ruling there. He’ll be suffering.

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  3. I’m gonna jump in if you don’t mind. Let me phrase this carefully: God is in control and King of the world. When sin entered the world it changed everything. Satan creates chaos and “rules” the world,Our world through sin. That is evident by all the evil and trauma in the world.

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    • Jump on in.

      Follow up question, if god is in control why did he let sin enter the world and why does he let satan rule the world through this sin?

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  4. Well, I’m not a language expert, but the word which is translated as “world” is kosmos. It can have a pretty broad application apart from immediate context. For instance, it can mean the entire created universe (as in “God so loved the world..”.) or simply those people who do not know God and, by default, serve His enemy. It can also denote an orderly arrangement or government.

    In the passage I referenced, the most likely option is the realm of spiritual authority the devil has over unbelievers.

    It is probably worth noting that Jesus also said in John 12:31 that this “ruler” was about to be “cast out”…not entirely out of “the world” system, but out of his unopposed position of authority.

    BTW, I just finished reading through your “about” page and am truly sorry for your past religious experience. To be honest, I don’t fault you for rejecting the concept of God that you were given.

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    • Don’t be sorry. I would say I feel sorry for you being in the religious world. It’s so obvious once you get outside of it.

      But back to the question. So In John 12:31 satan gets cast out of his unopposed position of authority but in John 16:11 he’s the ruler of the world. So somewhere in between he was granted a position of authority again?

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      • No, the entire discussion occurs before Jesus is crucified. He is predicting His death and victory over satan on our behalf. But, there are references in the epistles to Satan’s continued activity and encouragement to guard against his deceptive activities.
        What I meant by “sorry” was that it appears from your writing that you have rejected a particular religious experience rather than the God of the Bible.
        But (still looking at your background page) I am curious to hear why you would care to have rational discussion of such questions with Christians if you are not interested in conversion or an argument?

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      • So at this point in time what is satans role in everything? and where does he reside?

        I dont just reject a particular religious experience, i reject the god of the bible and all other gods. There are a lot. And what makes me an atheist is that I don’t believe in one more god than you.

        This isn’t an argument or an attempt at conversion. It’s a conversation/debate over a posed question. My goal is to keep things respectful and to provoke thought.

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      • I see. Thank you for the clarification.

        I don’t know that we are given a definitive outline of satan’s role in the Bible. He isn’t the main focus of the writings. We can read that he tempts us to rebel against God. And he is known as “the accuser of the brethren”.

        As I do not have an exhaustive understanding of the Bible, I cannot say with certainty that I know whether he has a singular place of residence. As he is a spiritual being, he is not limited in the same way as human beings. Yet, he is not omnipresent, either. And, we are told that he is active in this present world system until Christ returns.

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      • If he is the one that causes us to sin, wouldn’t he have to be omnipresent? I have heard preachers all of the time commanding satan to get out of somebody or to leave someone alone in jesus name.

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  5. When Satan rebelled against God he was kicked out of Heaven to earth where God’s perfect creation lived. Satan wanted, in continuation of his rebellion, wanted to destroy God’s creation. So he tempted Adam and Eve, and they disobeyed God. Their disobedience caused a shift in the way the world works. It created this cancerous sin that spreads throughout the world.

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    • A couple things: why would god kick him out of heaven into his perfect creation of earth? And why wouldn’t he have just stopped satan from tempting adam and eve? Or at the very least not let them disobey him. Kinda seems like he dropped the ball, or these things he created weren’t so perfect after all.

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    • As to why he “let satan rule the world” When he created man and woman he gave them free will. This free will allowed them to choose disobedience. Them choosing disobedience allowed satan to creep in the the workings of man’s mind. So as to who put him in authority: it was man and because of our free will God allowed it.

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  6. As to some of your questions, let me say this: I do not have all the answers. However, I will do the best I can, and ask some people tomorrow that I look up to. Also can you clarify by what you mean when you say, “should have created it better” create what better?

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    • I appreciate your honesty and that you want to seek out answers. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Having questions is a good thing. Following blindly is not. I urge you to question things and to really think about the answers you are given.

      As far as the creating it better: everything in general. But to this question, adam and eve. If he had done a better job, sin would not exist. He was in charge and let it happen. Christians are often referred to as his children, im pretty sure most parents would step in if their kids were about to do something they weren’t supposed to. Again, I say, he dropped the ball.

      And I’m speaking hypotheticals, cause I don’t believe he exists or ever existed.

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      • I apperciate your questions and making me think. I also appreciate you genuinly asking questions and not just arguing.

        After God created the world he looked at it and said, “It is very good.” God’s creation was perfect, he couldn’t make it any better. Adam and eve chose to sin. That was their choice. Why did God allow them? For two reasons I think: 1. Because of free will and the ability to choose. And 2. Because God requires obedience, so he wanted to see if they would obey.

        As to your father point. I am not a father, but don’t some father’s, knowing whats best for their children, still allow them to do wrong to teach that what they said was best in the first place? Like a father there will be consequences (sin) and forgiveness (Jesus).

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      • I enjoy thoughtful debate and think it can be done without being disrespectful. Which we have achieved.

        So god gave us free will, thats fine, ill go with it. But why did he all of a sudden decide that he was going to wipe out the entire human race outside of Noah and his, with the flood?

        It depends on what it is that the father will allow his children to make a mistake. If that mistake is creating sin for all mankind, I would think he would step in. That seems pretty severe.

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      • By the time of Noah sin had grown so rampant and destructive it displeased God, it angered Him. It wasn’t an all of the sudden thing. He saved Noah because he found Noah righteous because he obeyed and trusted God

        The way I see it. God didn’t step in because of free will. Though he is a father…adam and eve were human just as we are human, except they were without sin.

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      • But all these sinners that displeased him are what he created, and if he is all knowing, he would have known all of that was going to happen before he created a single thing. Why would he do it if he knew it wasn’t gonna turn out well?

        The flood brings up another issue I have that it’s ok for god to commit mass genocide but when hitler does it it’s wrong? Whats the difference?

        Saying god didn’t step in because he gave us free will seems like too easy of an excuse. It takes all of the responsibility away from him. That would be like a manager telling his employees you can do whatever you want and then saying well you cant fire me, they were free to do whatever they wanted and they chose not to work.

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      • Let me have some time to think about that, please. In the mean time, what do you believe? Where did man come from? What is the origin of evil? What is our purpose as humans? Who is the highest being in the universe?

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      • I thought about your manager example and found a flaw within it. In your example God is the manager, that implies then there is someone over him. However, that is not consistant with a biblical worldview.

        To use your example God, the owner, hired man to be the manager of his store as is evident is Genesis1:28. Man being the manager is given freewill by the owner to make decisions he sees fit as long as he stays within the owners parameters. Man however did not do that and God “fired” them by allowing them to deal with their consewuences fo sin: death.

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  7. If hell is supposed to be an eternity of punishment, and the devil rules it, wouldn’t he be happy to get more people and not punish them?

    I’m gonna try to address the op directly. But the phrasing implies that underlying assumptions are made which cannot be supported by the Biblical text.
    ~ The devil does not rule a place called hell. He will, as punishment for his rebellion, eventually become a permanent prisoner of “the lake of fire”.
    ~ Adam handed over his right to dominion by partaking of the “fruit” which satan offered. The other commenters here have already addressed this. The devil is designated as “the ruler” of “this world” by Jesus before He went to the cross to defeat satan on our behalf. As a man, Jesus won back the right for a human being to be King of the world, which Adam forfeited when he sinned.
    ~ The devil is effectively “dethroned”, yet will continue to have a realm of treasonous influence with anyone who is willing to listen to him
    ~ Satan does, in a sense, reward people who listen to him insofar as he has the ability to do so.
    ~ However, the reward is limited to what he can do on earth and in time. Therefore, the “rewards” (power, fame, wealth, illusions of “peace” etc) are temporary, and is only directed in such a way as to deceive and destroy that which God has made.

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    • Are the lake of fire and hell the same thing?

      If jesus defeated satan, wouldn’t sin not exist anymore and there would be no one going to hell?

      I’m sure you would consider me a sinner as I don’t believe in god or jesus or the devil or any of it, so if I don’t believe in satan, how could I be listening to him? And I definitely haven’t been rewarded for my disbelief. I have no power, fame, or wealth. I just see the world as it actually is. And are you implying that anyone that has power, fame, or wealth has been rewarded by satan?

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      • ~ they are not necessarily the same, no. There are more than one word which have been translated into English as hell.
        It would appear that when most people speak of hell, they are referring to the lake of fire which is mentioned, among other places, in Revelation 20:14.
        In that context, death and Hades (also referred to as hell by some) are cast into this same “lake”. In that context Hades is identified as something other than the lake of fire. So, the answer to your first question depends on ones definition of hell.

        ~ Adam had the ability to rebel before the fall. But his choice separated humanity from intimate fellowship with our creator. The ultimate sin is to reject the relationship God designed us for. The sinful actions we commit are evidence of that separation. Wrong attitude and behavior is the effect rather than the cause.
        When we persist on remaining outside if a relationship with Christ, the end is “death” –
        eternal separation from Him.

        ~ I understand that you don’t recognize the Bible as authoritative, but it clearly says that we are all sinners. We don’t all commit the same crimes against Him, but we all need to be revived on a spiritual level.
        ~ if we are not heeding God’s Spirit, we we will, by default, be open to satan’s deception. One who has been deceived usually isn’t aware of it at the time.
        ~please note that I did not claim to speak on the devil’s behalf. What we are told about him is that he is a liar and that he has influence. I cannot presume to know who he might choose to tempt or when…only that if he does so, it is with malicious intent.
        Also, not everyone desires the things on my sample list. Some can be kept distracted with less spectacular trinkets. But please, don’t assume that just because the devil is capable of “rewarding” people that he always does or that God always allows for this possibility.
        And no, not all who are famous or rich etc are automatically under satan’s control. Ultimately, the condition if our hearts is the determining factor.

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