Support for Christianity
Eternal punishment, death and fire, wrath of God, the worm that never dies
"In Lorber's work 'From Hell to Heaven', a spirit in the beyond says this to the Lord: "There is one thing I still need for my heart to be completely at rest, namely, enlightenment concerning the concept of a so-called eternal punishment, occurring in almost all Christian sects. Is there such a thing, or is there not? For if man is to receive an eternal reward for the earthly minutes he conducts himself properly, it stands to reason that there must also be an eternal punishment for a time of bad conduct. I find this assumption quite logical."
The Lord replies: "You do, but not I. Since I Myself am eternal life, I can certainly never have created a being for eternal death! A so-called punishment, wherever it may occur, can therefore always only be a means for the attainment of one main, fundamental goal (i.e. the blissful perfection of the beings), but not ever of an, as it were, hostile anti-goal."
Says the one thus instructed: "Yes, O Lord, I do understand this now. But in Scripture, in words coming from Your own holy mouth, it is only too clearly indicated that there is an 'eternal fire which never goes out', and a 'worm that never dies'! Indeed, it is written: 'Away with you, who are accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his servants!' - O Lord, I know many texts which vividly portray hell and its eternal fire. Yet, if there is no eternal punishment, I absolutely fail to see how an eternal fire which never goes out and a work that never dies can be mentioned in scripture."
Says the Lord: "My dear friend! It is true that an eternal death is mentioned, which is like an everlasting judgment, and this judgment is caused by My eternal, immutable order. The latter is the so-called fire of wrath, or rather fire of zeal, of My will which, of course, must remain forever unchangeable, since otherwise all creation would suddenly come to an end.
The prison and the prisoner
"Whoever allows himself to be enticed by the world and its matter (which necessarily must be - and remain - under judgment, or it would not be 'world'), must be considered lost and dead for as long as he cannot forsake the judged matter. Thus, for the sake of the created beings, there must be an eternal judgment, an eternal fire and an eternal death. But from this it does not follow that a spirit imprisoned in judgment must remain imprisoned for as long as this judgment can last - any more than on earth, if you had built a strong prison, the prisoners would be sentenced to remain there for the whole time the prison would last.
Is it not obvious to everyone that 'prison' and 'imprisonment' are two different things? Of course, the prison is - and remains - forever, and the fire of My zeal must never go out. But the prisoners remain in the prison only until such time when they have changed and bettered themselves.
By the way, in the whole of Scripture you find not a word about an eternal rejection or condemnation of a spirit, but only about an eternal condemnation of the non-compliance with My eternal order. Truly, depravity or anti-order is forever condemned, but the depraved only as long as he is living in depravity!
Thus, truly, there is also an eternal hell - yet no spirit who, on account of his depravity, would be condemned to eternal hell, but only until his betterment. Surely, I said to the Pharisees: "Therefore, you will be all the more condemned (or, for a still longer time condemned!) - "but never: Therefore you will be condemned forever! - Can you now understand your so intimidating Scriptural texts?" (From Hell to Heaven II/226, 9 on; I/24, 5 on; Gr. Gospel VI/243, 6 on)."
Cause of hell and the torment of hell
"Since hell is not a 'dungeon-like place of punishment', but a 'spiritual state of the soul', it is clear that when Holy Scripture speaks of the 'eternal torment' awaiting the unfortunate souls, it is not material fire and the like, but spiritual torment and sufferings which the obdurate would create themselves in the experiences of their inner spiritual life through their own wicked attitude.
Because these souls spontaneously distance themselves from the primordial source of all light and life, God the Father, thereby depriving themselves of the influx of the divine spiritual life-force, their inner spiritual life is devoid of light and warmth, i.e. of divine love, wisdom and power. In their innermost being they keep becoming darker, colder and more quarrelsome, to the utmost degrees of spiritual pain and torment. And it is this extreme darkness, coldness and lack of peace in the soul which constitute the torment of hell." (Comp. E.M., Ch. 58; Great Gospel X/III, 5).
Hell or heaven should not serve as motivation. The 'pious people'
"If you believe that either hell or heaven should serve as motivation for keeping men from evil and turning them towards the good, you are still grounded in a basically wrong belief. For the totally depraved man ridicules your hell and your heaven, and the really righteous man is good without your hell and your heaven.
According to your understanding of the matter, hell and heaven would have a particularly depraving effect on every human being. For he who does the good only for the sake of the reward, lends his money at high interest; and whoever does that, has no love for the fellow man and even less love for God. However, let us leave our heaven and hell and cast a look at your 'pious people'! Look, they will begin to rage even worse than the most greedy money lender whose debtor has absconded with the borrowed money. Since they no longer have to fear any punishment in hell, such people can then only be restrained by ratified secular laws.
Right from the beginning, people have done the wrong thing when they implanted in their children an excessive fear of hell and described to them heaven with all its pleasures, appealing to the human senses. Thereby they did achieve a kind of fear of God which, however, because it was so easy to end in hell and so hard to gain heaven, never developed into true love for God and the fellow man, but with the weaker hearts developed into an ever-growing fear and with the stronger ones, possessing more inner light, into complete indifference concerning God and the fellow men. For these stronger people had no faith of their own but merely pretended to believe, so that the common people would stick to their faith and not rebel against those for whom they had to work.
A further consequence of this is the almost total godlessness prevailing among men who, had not the secular laws restrained them with the force of the sword, would long ago have risen in anger against their masters and, by the use of violence, challenged their right to suppress them.
Look, all this is the result of such a false concept of justice in men who, at all times, preach in the harshest terms that God forever rewards the good in heaven, yet owing to His inexorable justness, metes out everlasting punishment to the wicked, making them suffer unheard of eternal, relentless torment in the most horrible hell." (Great Gospel VI/243, 3 on).
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