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Will There be Different Punishments in Hell and the Lake of Fire?

how to get out of hell

Just when I thought the Bible God couldn’t be crueler, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preacher names James Bachman found a way to make God a bigger dick than I ever thought possible. Bachman, pastor emeritus of Roanoke Baptist Church, in Roanoke, Indiana, is the author of the ‘Parson to Person’ column that appears weekly in the West Bend News. Two weeks ago, Bachman answered the following question:

Are those who are in hell receiving less punishment than they will after the judgment?

Bachman replied,

Yes, their present punishment in hell is equal for rejecting Christ and not believing on Him. – “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12. Hell is a terrible place of continual torment in flames. – “And in hell he lifts up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke16:23-24)

At the end of this world all unbelievers will be delivered up from death and hell to be judged justly for additional punishment according to their own sins. – “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”(Revelation 20: 12-14)

An earthly illustration would be a bad criminal being put in a county jail until after his trial and sentencing. Then he is sent to prison where he
will spend the remainder of his sentence. For unbelievers who start out in hell, they will have to spend the rest of eternity after their judgment in the lake of fire, still experiencing hell but also at the same time, additional suffering for each of their sins.


Most IFB preachers believe that Hell is a temporary holding place in the bowels of the earth for non-Christians after they die. Then, at the end of time, the inhabitants of Hell will cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:14-15 says:

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The Lake of Fire, then, is the eventual permanent residence for all non-Christians. Billions of people will reside in the Lake of Fire, subject to excruciating torture day and night for eternity. Why? Because they were born to the wrong parents, lived in the wrong country, worshipped the wrong god, or believed the wrong things. Sure, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Donald Trump will be there, but most of the inhabitants of the Lake of Fire will be just ordinary, good people who, on balance, tried to live good lives, or people such as Jews in WWII who were systematically slaughtered by the Nazis, or people who were blown to bits by mankind’s war machine, or children who died ignominiously of curable diseases, thirst, or starvation.

Many of the residents of the Lake of Fire will end up there without ever hearing the name of Jesus or the Christian gospel one time. Evangelicals such as Bachman explain how this is just by saying that no sinner deserves salvation; and that all sinners deserve Hell and the Lake of Fire. Consider yourself lucky if you are one of the elect, the chosen ones. Such lines of argument fall flat, failing to adequately explain how a just God could banish people, through no fault of their own, to the Lake of Fire for not hearing the gospel. Really, God?

Evangelicals also argue that according to Romans 1 and 2, all humans have moral consciences given to them by God, rendering them without excuse. Further, all any of us need to do is look at the created universe and connect the dots. Somebody bigger than you or I created the universe! In 1960, gospel artist Mahalia Jackson sang:

Who made the mountains, who made the trees
Who made the rivers flow to the sea
Who hung the moon in the starry sky
Somebody bigger than you and I

Who made the flowers to bloom in the spring
Who writes the song for the robins to sing
Who sends the rain when the earth is dry
Somebody bigger than you and I

(He lights the way) He lights the way
(When the road is long) When the road is long
(And He keeps you company) He keeps you company
(With His love) With His love to guide you
(He walks beside you)He walks beside you
(Just like he walks with me) Just like He walks with me

When I am weary, filled with despair
Who gives me courage to go on from there
And who gives me faith that will never never die
Somebody bigger than you and I
(Somebody bigger than you and I)

I am more than willing to admit that it is possible for someone to look at the night sky and conclude that a creator of some sort created everything — a deistic God, perhaps. However, how one gets from A GOD to that God being THE GOD of Trinitarian, Protestant Christianity is a whole different discussion. Evangelicals answer this objection by saying that if an unbeliever — say an aborigine in Australia — looks at the night sky and says to himself, “a God of some sort created this,” the Christian God will either take that into account on judgment day (giving them lesser punishment in the Lake of Fire?) or will send an Evangelical missionary to their door to tell them who, exactly, created the universe.

Evangelicals go to great lengths to cover their asses on the question of what happens to people who have never heard the gospel. Press them long enough, and Evangelical apologists will eventually appeal to mystery, the alleged justice and fairness of God, or God’s thoughts and ways not being our thoughts and ways. Evangelical Apologetics 101 teaches that if your answer to a difficult question is lacking, just appeal to God’s unknowing ways or run to the safety of the house of faith.

Where Bachman’s God becomes especially cruel is when those who land in Hell are punished further in the Lake of Fire. In Luke 16, we find the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Luke 16 tells that the rich man died, went to Hell, and is tormented day and night. According to Bachman, the rich man went to Hell because he rejected Jesus Christ. Never mind the fact that the Bible says otherwise; that the rich man went to Hell because of how he lived in light of those suffering around him. He was indifferent to the plight of Lazarus, and now he is being punished in Hell for his indifference.

Bachman believes that the inhabitants of Hell, some of whom have been suffering for thousands of years, will be delivered from Hell, only to be re-judged for their sins and cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer worse torture than before. Imagine the rich man getting his release from Hell, a brief respite from pain and suffering, only to be told that he was headed for a more violent torture chamber, one that will remind him for all eternity of all the ways he slighted the Christian God and broke his rules. Bachman’s God wins the “Worst God Ever” award.

Years ago, I was listening to a cassette tape of a sermon by evangelist Rolfe Barnard, a Calvinistic Southern Baptist preacher. Back in the day, Barnard was, by far, my favorite preacher. Barnard described the Lake of Fire as a fiery, smoky pit located outside of the New Jerusalem — the home of God’s elect. On judgment day, says Barnard, the elect will stand nearby and watch as God judges their friends and loved ones and casts them into the Lake of Fire. On this day, there will be no tears. God’s chosen ones will praise his name and give glory to his holiness and justice every time he tosses a person in the Lake of Fire. Imagine the perverseness of this illustration. Imagine standing by and watching as God throws your children and spouse in the Lake of Fire, knowing that they will be horrendously tormented for eternity. “Praise Jesus! My son is facing the just desserts for his sin and rejection of Evangelical Christianity!! Woo Hoo! Jesus, you are awesome!” Talk about sick, disgusting theology.

Evangelicals make all sorts of theological arguments. I am weary of them all. I just want to know what they believe about judgment, Hell, and the Lake of Fire. Forget all the ‘splaining and Bible proof-texting. Just tell me whether or not all non-Evangelicals will be tortured by God for eternity in the Lake of Fire. How you answer this question tells me all I need to know about you as a person, your God, and your religion.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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  1. Avatar

    I believe I have made progress in my exit from Christianity. For when reading such passages as these or even being reminded of them before it used to scare the shit out of me. However, now I see how wrong, unfair, messed up, and sadistic, the concept of hell and eternal punishment is. I am amazed I used to believe this crap. ?

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    Someone’s a dick, and it’s not any god. This pastor dude is definitely one of those who will scare more people away from his religion.

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    MJ Lisbeth

    If there is a God who isn’t a dick, Hell would reserved for those who condemn people to it for no fault of their own.

    I’m not holding my breath.

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    Is it any wonder that so many evangelicals are judgmental and cruel? The deity they created is a monster, but they call him good.

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    Brian Vanderlip

    Belief of the sort embraced by James Bachman demonstrates the terrible madness of the Bible. There will be no tears shed while people are openly tortured? The audience will be busy rejoicing in God?
    Isn’t this just the perfect example of how sick the Christovirus can make us? How clear does it need to be? The Bible tells the truth. Just read the pages and get ready to run for your life!

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      And more than ‘no tears being shed,’ Brian. Some denominations teach that those in heaven will actively be able to spend eternity rejoicing in, and gloating over, those in hell and saying ‘I told you so.’

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    The whole concept of punishing people for not believing in the right things is asinine. It is no crime to remain unconvinced, especially unconvinced by a bizarre story which makes a virtue of having no supporting evidence (“faith”).

    No evolutionary biologist believes that anyone should be punished for not believing in evolution — a theory supported by overwhelming evidence. Because sane people realize that not believing something cannot be a crime.

    Even for those who were arguably guilty of moral shortcomings (the smug rich who never did anything for the poor, for example), the punishment of being tortured for all eternity far exceeds anything that morality could remotely justify. A just God would give them some proportionate punishment during their lifetimes, to scare them into changing their ways while it would still do the poor some actual good.

    As a system of cosmic justice, the whole thing makes no sense. As a system of fear-mongering contrived by ancient priests to terrify a population of uneducated primitives into obedience, it makes perfect sense. It’s painfully obvious which is the true origin of this set of beliefs.

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    dale M

    Same mentality as Nazism. Religion, like the old impoverished Soviet Union, is just too powerful to be taken down from the outside. These empires usually crumble from within and then FLASH!!!, they R gone. We, as atheists do support Religion by being indirectly, enablers. U can’t just attack or attempt to outlaw religion. U have to offer something better …. much, much better. Nihilism will not do. I have always believed in fighting fire with fire. Why? Because fire works! So, why not use it? What is he FIRE that keeps religion going? It’s FAITH!! We don’t and shouldn’t attempt to replace it. We need to develop one for ourselves. It must take into account all the nastiness that religious FAITH is based upon. We need to strike it from our FAITH. We still need to develop one. Our FAITH must B hinged heavily on HOPE through SCIENCE and ENGINEERING.

    What’s the difference? Evangelicals provide a backdoor out of HELL that is so narrow that, it would probably B easier to thread a camel through a keyhole. Their expression. Not mine. We need 2 provide a much larger backdoor 2 enable everyone an escape route from that insufferable Evangelical hell-hole of a religion. But this is a backdoor from ALL religions. But HOW?

    I offer this as a thought experiment.

    What if NATURE were to offer the possibility, that we could create our own “backdoor”. What if, after losing a loved one, a family or friends, we could all strive together to bring them back? It would force religion to laugh at us. They would quickly become the ‘unbelievers”. This would not only plant a very dangerous seed in their midst, but germinate it as well. In fact, we ourselves would have to posit the unthinkable. It is US that would resurrect Jesus and His disciples. Not the other way round. The “AFTERLIFE” would B seen not as a hidden place outside reality, but a place within reality but outside our PRESENT cosmos ……. BACKWARD TIME TRAVEL.

    This would require a very robust Space program. Not the government driven NASA, but a private Free Enterprise Corp. My strong belief in this is that, if U desire anything badly enough in life, U must WORK 2 make it happen!!! Those opposed to such a project, would B seen as unbelievers, uber-socialists, even potential 5th column “communists” attempting to BLOCK the return of their Messiah.

    So. What if this doesn’t happen in our lifetime? What if Nature doesn’t allow it in the distant future? Do U care? Evangelicals have waited some 2 millenniums already. Socialism doesn’t work! Now it’s our turn!! I said, it would B built upon FAITH in the scientific method. That’s all I said. This is what we should B doing. Not because it is easy, but because it is hard!! Religion says it HATES SOCIALISM. Well !! This would B a hell of a test 4 them ….. wouldn’t it ?? And would any of us really care if WE brought Jesus back to judge us all ? We all do this anyways. The Man would B seen as He really is …. stripped of all pretenses …… stripped of His evangelical image ….. a King without His supernatural clothing. Just another Jew …. to B pitied but, magnanimously, on our part ….. welcomed to that future century.

    And Jesus judging US would B like Him taking poison to hurt you and me. It would B His crisis. Not ours.

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    I watched the PBS series Independent Lens last night. The film was called ‘We Believe in Dinosaurs” and it’s about Ken Hamm’s Ark Park and Creation Museum. One thread of the film was the idea that if Creationists admit that science proves overwhelmingly that the Earth is more than 6000 years old they will have to admit that other things in the Bible will have to be discounted too. So they choose ignorance and a completely unlikely story. There’s also the usual ‘public schools indoctrinate our children’ message, and then the filmmakers show us a clip of Ken Hamm and Co. instructing children exactly how do respond to Creation naysayers – Just say, “Were you there?” Evangelicals evidently don’t know what the word indoctrination means. I don’t get it, but this kind of belief system has never been my reality. One guy in the film who had been one of the first shareholders in the Ark project no longer believes in Creationism. He no longer lives in Kentucky and is happy about that. How sad that religious beliefs can divide families and friends (much like our current political climate). I recommend the film, but it’s pretty discouraging to think that people believe this stuff so fervently.

    • Avatar
      Hugh D. Young

      I personally know a couple people who admit that the whole story is pretty far-fetched, and childish, but stay with it, ‘just in case’. I admit that going on 6 years after walking away, I still struggle with, at times OUTRIGHT TERROR of ending up in hell! But what is the alternative……Going back to the ‘god’ I was taught, and HATE, if somehow he exists in that form, and going thru the motions, pretending that I ‘love and trust’ him? Like an ‘ALL KNOWING’ entity wouldn’t just see right through all that anyway…..

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    Like many who have exited Evangelical Christianity, and then finally faith, my journey was arduous and agonizing, the effects of which I am still feeling and likely will in some form or fashion for the rest of my life on this planet. But it was my critical examination this doctrine, the doctrine of hell that was my “last straw”. What god would transform human bodies, and make them immortal, simply so they can experience eternal torture and suffering for their finite existence here?

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    Karen the rock whisperer

    I was so lucky to grow up Catholic. I was taught that there were indeed sins so vile that, if you didn’t manage to repent of them before death, you got a one-way trip to Hell, a horrifying place. (However, my liberal nuns hedged on what those horrors might actually be. One idea was permanently occupying a terrible black void of emptiness, forever separated from God, light, joy, and any semblance of happiness. I suspect this might indeed have terrified my teachers, but I was too young to make sense of it.)

    But for Catholics, those who try hard to be good people and follow God ‘s commandments (as interpreted by the Church, of course), who confessed their sins, did their best to undo whatever harm they caused, and prayed their penances–they would go to Purgatory, a truly horrible place where they would suffer just penance for just crime(s) (aka sins) and then be restored to the company of God and those in Heaven. It isn’t a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card, but it does make God seem more-or-less reasonable if you don’t question it too closely. (At least, that was my understanding of official theology at the time of my deconversion, some 40 years ago. They might have moved the goalposts.)

    But for a girl who took stealing from the cookie jar seriously, it was very comforting to be able to tell that to a priest, say a few prayers, and know that I was right with God again. At least, until Daddy bought more frosted oatmeal cookies.

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    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    Hi Bruce. I was wondering something. Do you think the current, living members of Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical churches are living in their own religious Hell right now in the United States? I see so very many horror stories from people who were once members of such churches—and I am not talking about stories exclusively from atheists, agnostics, and nones. Many people who remain Christians but have left their fundie churches feel as if they were living in Hell on Earth. I read their stories all of the time.

    I wonder how many of the people who sit in the pews at fundie churches on Sunday morning are sitting there with soul-torturing pain and enduring in quiet desperation because they know something is terribly wrong with “their religious system,” but they are so frightened by their preacher and the monstrous image of God he and the system have indoctrinated them with that they are afraid to speak up and even more afraid to leave the church. It seems to me that living in abject fear and emotional rancor within one’s mind 24/7/365 would be its own living Hell. Do you have any thoughts on this?

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    Yulya Sevelova

    I experienced all of the above, and though I’m so relieved to never attend another church service again, I remain on the fence between Christianity and my old, ” heathen” ways. Jesus and his ways are so different from what I grew up under, as a person with a real nomadic tribal backround. So when I heard the gospels, after a while I responded to it. Switched my allegiance to Jesus. I didn’t know that churches were chock full of narcissists and psychos. That was a real shock and disappointment. If I can’t totally debunk the Bible, regardless, I’m not going near a church. That much I’ll hold to. No more of those damned creeps with their morbid, sadistic ways. They are so much the cause of what’s wrong with this world. I really want to find a way to verify that He’ll is not real. I do wonder, as even Time Magazine had an article in 1987 about a cavern area that had a floor of lava, and it rained nickel, in this level above the E

  13. Avatar

    In the cartoon above, the squirrel door is definitely the best choice, but you will never get out. How do I know this? Watch the following fun, lighthearted YouTube video to find out…

  14. Avatar
    The Word

    My name is Alan Finch. JESUS became my Lord and Saviour in April of 1976.

    My 1st 38 years as a Christian, I believed the unscriptural teaching about that there is going to be eternal torment for multitudes and multitudes of people. I then began to seriously question that teaching. I then decided to do an indepth study of the Bible concerning this issue, and the Scriptures revealed to me that I had believed a horrible lie for all those years.

    In Acts 3:21 God promises that there shall be a “RESTORATION” of ALL things! What is there not to understand about this wonderful promise that God has made to us?

    The overall theme of the Bible is that God’s ultimate plan for ALL mankind is to restore, not destroy in an eternal Lake of Fire or eternal annihilation!

    In John 12:32 JESUS clearly states that He is going to draw ALL people to Himself! Not a portion of mankind, but ALL of mankind.
    In John 6:44 JESUS clearly states that nobody can come to Him except the Father draws that person to Him. For those who are true Christians, WE MUST NOT KID OURSELVES IN THE FACT THAT WE ONLY CAME TO JESUS BECAUSE GOD’S SPIRIT DREW US TO JESUS!

    In the present, and in the future, God has His own timing when He will draw each individual to Himself.

    Addressing the issue of the belief in eternal annihilation, the Lord clearly tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that He has planted eternity in our hearts. God has made us living Spirits. It is impossible for our Spirit to be destroyed.


    God worked out His plan in past Ages, God is working out His plan in the present Age that we are now living in, and God will work out His plan in future Ages to come.

    I have spent the last several years in Biblically expounding in a 32 page document that I have put together on the truth of there being no eternal suffering in a Lake of Fire for anyone. I have just explained the real LOVE of God that today’s Church just simply does not seem to grasp.

    If anyone would be interested in a copy of my document, email me at: nope-nope-nope, and I will email you a copy.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      In other words, YOU know the truth about Hell and eternal punishments, others don’t.

      Sure glad that after 2,000 years God sent you to set straight billions of Christians who were wrong about Hell and eternal punishment. 😂😂


      My understanding is much simpler: there is no Hell, and “The Word”has no evidence to suggest otherwise. Now . . . Let’s 🎉🎁🎊🎈🪔🥃🍷🍺🍹

    • Avatar

      ‘ If anyone would be interested in a copy of my document, email me at: nope-nope-nope, and I will email you a copy.’

      Sorry Alan, I don’t think anyone is interested in demented ramblings.

    • Avatar


      So, if god cannot fail, that means god fails at failing?

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      So, Alan Finch, please tell us which Jesus is your “Lord & Savior”.
      The Jesus that ran off from his parents and scared them?
      The Jesus who drove the moneychangers from the temple with a whip?
      The Jesus that insulted his mother in front of others when she asked him to do a simple favor at a wedding?
      The Jesus who said to love your enemies and do good to those that hurt you?
      The Jesus who is planning to torture most of mankind for all eternity?
      The Jesus that allows 25,000 people to die of starvation every single day? 10,000 of these are children.
      Screw you and your imaginary friend.

  15. Avatar

    The Word, all you have there is a slightly nicer version of a ridiculous story (which still needs more dragons, BTW).

    For me, it all falls apart because it contains unproven (and probably unprovable and unfalsifiable) concepts such as “God” and “spirits.” I have no reason to believe in such things.

    And what are my options if I don’t -want- to be drawn to your hypothetical god?

  16. Avatar
    Tim Wimmer

    I am currently struggling with this issue, too. What keeps me from falling away from Christianity is that I POSITIVELY know God as love and the truly best there is. I know Him. And I will not walk away from God whom I know for something I do not fully understand.

    Some thoughts I am currently pondering about this:
    – we are not as “good” as we usually think we would be…
    – every (!) human being has a valid invitation to Heaven (including perfection in every way – God invented everything good there is, all!!)
    – Jesus (God Himself) went to hell… there must be more to it
    – hell / the lake of fire will not just be the same kind of torment for every non-believer, but extremely / perfectly just and differentiated (Luke 12:47-48; Matthew 10:15 “more TOLERABLE”; Luke 10:12 ff.; Rev. 20:12)
    – the perfect justice of God’s final judgement itself is never challenged, neither Biblically nor non-Biblically (NDE etc.)
    – isn’t living without God in perfect inner peace and love and JOY (= Heaven NOW) in a way hell already now, ultimately?
    – the full reality about everything is intuitively available to everyone (Romans 1:18-23), no one is on the “broad way” accidentally

    There is much more to it… than one can superficially think about this topic.

    In the end it comes back to loving light or darkness more.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser


      “I am currently struggling with this issue, too. What keeps me from falling away from Christianity is that I POSITIVELY know God as love and the truly best there is. I know Him. And I will not walk away from God whom I know for something I do not fully understand.”

      What evidence do you have for the existence of the God of the Bible? Actual evidence, not Bible quotations or personal testimonies? It is one thing to have personal faith, but if you want me to embrace your deity, you are going to have to provide evidence for his existence. I will not just take your word for it.

      “every (!) human being has a valid invitation to Heaven (including perfection in every way – God invented everything good there is, all!!)”

      Evidence for your claim?

      “Jesus (God Himself) went to hell… there must be more to it”

      Evidence for your claim?

      “hell / the lake of fire will not just be the same kind of torment for every non-believer, but extremely / perfectly just and differentiated (Luke 12:47-48; Matthew 10:15 “more TOLERABLE”; Luke 10:12 ff.; Rev. 20:12)”

      Evidence for your claim?

      “the perfect justice of God’s final judgement itself is never challenged, neither Biblically nor non-Biblically (NDE etc.)”

      Evidence for your claim?

      “isn’t living without God in perfect inner peace and love and JOY (= Heaven NOW) in a way hell already now, ultimately?”

      Of course not. There is no evidence for the existence of the God of the Bible. Same goes for Hell. You assume things you have not proved.

      “the full reality about everything is intuitively available to everyone (Romans 1:18-23), no one is on the “broad way” accidentally”

      Evidence for your claim? Further, your claim is theologically suspect. Everyone? Buckle up if you are ready to have this discussion.

      “In the end it comes back to loving light or darkness more.”

      In the end, it comes to empirical evidence; what you can prove. So far, all you have done is make unsupported claims. I am, as other readers are, more than willing to discuss these things with you, but quoting Bible verses is a dead end.

      Thanks for commenting.


      • Avatar
        Tim Wimmer

        Hi Bruce, thanks for your answer.
        Ultimately most of your critique is about the empirical provability of God and about the reliability of the Bible.
        My comment was about the hell / lake of fire concept and its “fairness” etc.
        A broader discussion of atheism / agnosticism vs. knowing God (from many levels, experientially, scientifically, historically, scripturally (specific Prophecy fulfilled etc.), logically (intelligent design, DNA CODE etc.),….) will not be easy here in the comments and all pro / cons are probably exhaustively discussed already.
        I agree that truth cannot be easily known and the fight for truth is probably the hardest there is in this world full of deception. But it can be won. God bless you!

  17. Avatar
    Tim Wimmer

    Hi Bruce, thanks for your answer.
    Ultimately most of your critique is about the empirical provability of God and about the reliability of the Bible.
    My comment was about the hell / lake of fire concept and its “fairness” etc.
    A broader discussion of atheism / agnosticism vs. knowing God (from many levels, experientially, scientifically, historically, scripturally (specific Prophecy fulfilled etc.), logically (intelligent design, DNA CODE etc.),….) will not be easy here in the comments and all pro / cons are probably exhaustively discussed already.
    I agree that truth cannot be easily known and the fight for truth is probably the hardest there is in this world full of deception. But it can be won. God bless you!

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I’m fine with discussing the fairness of Hell. I contend Hell is not only unfair, it is unjust and immoral. Of course we would just be arguing about a concept since there is no evidence for Hell — especially the Bible Hell.

      • Avatar
        Tim Wimmer

        There’s a whole lot of extremely hard evidence you just write off… look at the impossibility of ALL Bible Prophecy being 100% (!) fulfilled (and it is specific, naming cities, kings etc., hundreds and thousands of years before it happens… for example Jews taking their old homeland back in 1948, being scattered all over the world for thousands of years, in an “overpopulated” world.. just taking their land, as prophecied (Ezekiel 37:21 for example) BEFORE they even were dispersed… and hundreds of such really “impossible” prophecies being fulfilled; if that is naturally possible give me just ONE more example of SPECIFIC (not Nostradamus blabla!) fulfilled prophecy of Biblical quality outside the Bibel! then I will discuss this further with you), intelligent design (IMPOSSIBLE), other historic evidence, geology (flood),…. without God.

        The best evidence YOU and everyone ever can get, is OWN experience of God (whoever seeks Him WILL find Him and just KNOW that He is beyond a shadow of a doubt because you have experienced HIM, GOD).

        Couple more thoughts about hell being “unfair, unjust and immoral” (something I can deeply symphasize with as I have tremendously struggled with it, too):

        Remember that every human (that comes into judgement..) will be judged extremely (!) differentiated and his WHOLE life will be examined openly, publicly (“there is nothing that will not be revealed” – nothing), down to the millisecond.

        It will be for every single human down to discussing “every idle word” and its motives etc.

        And the justice served will be so extremely individual and just, that even the judged himself will be ok with it, because there are no more excuses available. It really will be totally (!!) just, as Jesus said down to “every idle word” level – and words sometimes kill and damage so much…

        You wrote in your honest and inspiring article above about the preacher preaching about rejoicing over your loved ones being thrown into the lake of fire.

        Just a thought about that:

        Imagine discovering (now in this life) that your loved one is a serial killer and cruelly murdered many people, even relatives and other close people… in the most horrendous, horrific ways…

        In a way, when ALL about your life will be displayed fully and openly / publicly, you will gain another, deeper understanding of everything and everyone.

        Jesus said, we are all serial killers. Hatred kills. Words cause daily more pain, trouble, lifetime damage than outward violence ever could.

        And ALL of that will be discussed publicly about every life in absolute detail down to the “every idle word” level – there will be enough time then…

        That is why this justice will be so excellent and worthy of praise even that no one will be able to argue with it.

        Jesus said about this final justice that your own standards that you put out in this life (with words, attitudes etc.) will be YOUR personal measure of judgement (“as you judge you will be judged” and “by your words you will be condemned”) – who will be able to argue with THAT?!

        Your own words!!

        Your own standards!

        Again, man, Bruce, I get you… I do not want to argue this in an abstract “know it all” way and I feel the weight of those words.

        As Apostle Paul writes in 1 Cor. 13 all knowledge here is partial and we see now dimly as in a mirror… a reflection of this glorious truth.

        One last thought: It is your free choice to undergo this perfect judgement, as everyone is offered a way out, into perfect love and a new world you have always dreamed of.

        Not everyone will undergo this perfect justice, only those who chose so in declining Jesus’ taking all the blame and punishment for you.

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          Tim, what a convoluted mess of a comment. A few responses from me, though I realise you directed this at Bruce.

          Bible prophecies are a mishmash of speculation (there are no very specific prophecies, they’re so loose that people can only guess at their fulfilment), contrivance (even some bible verses specifically say that someone acted so as to fulfill a prophecy), and downright forgery, where the prophecy was actually written after the event. So ‘nil points’ for that claim.

          Intelligent Design is sheer nonsense, and has pretty well faded into the obscurity it merits. It was a last ditch effort by apologists to try and reconcile the never ending tide of scientific discoveries with the insistence on believing ancient superstitious nonsense, and it was recognised as such pretty well immediately. The courts have consistently ruled that it cannot be taught as though it were science. Similarly, almost the whole of the OT has been shown to be mythical in nature, as science continues to help us in understanding the world as it was. Adam and Eve couldn’t possibly be the origin of human kind, there was no great flood, there was no exodus, and so on and so forth.

          As for the rest of your comments, they are irrelevant if you don’t already believe in God. Regardless of your attempt to justify the disgusting concept that is hell, the fact is that it cannot be justified, especially as you seem to think that it depends on the issue of ‘belief’. Nobody can, strictly speaking, help what they believe. No matter how hard I might try (which is nil these days), I can’t bring myself to believe in God. To me it’s a contradictory concept that not even apologists seem to be able to explain, or even be consistent on. If I’m wrong and there is, after all, some god out there I am confident that it will recognise sincerity over feigned belief, and especially actions over words. Nor will it have time for reverence or absurd ritualistically based praise. If I’m wrong on this then it’s unworthy of me or my attention.

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            Tim Wimmer

            This is a great example of how you argue, no facts just rambling. Have you read Ezekiel 37:21? You contradict blatantly evident facts.

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            Bruce Gerencser

            Here we are back to evidence. What evidence do you have that the people inhabiting the present state of Israel are Biblical Israelites? I could just as easily make the case that New York City is “Jerusalem.” The same goes for the United States. More Jews live in the US than Israel. In fact, millions more Jews live outside of Israel than do within. So much for regathering all Israel.

            Another problem is the fact that present-day Israel doesn’t control all the land promised to them in the Bible.

            Even if the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 is some sort of fulfilled prophecy, the prophecy also says that the generation that sees the regathering will see Jesus return to earth (a mighty feat, since he never left). We are 20-40 years beyond “this generation,” thus we can mark this down as yet another failed prophecy.

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            Ezequiel 37:21! Oh good grief….but I see Bruce has already responded much more capably than I am able. If you really want to think about it, however, just consider which of my categories of prophecy it falls into. I assure you that it is one of them at least.

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          Bruce Gerencser

          You will quickly wear out your welcome with your verbose scattergun approach. I suggested the subject of a literal Hell. Outside of the Bible — which you are likely misinterpreting, see Dr. Bart Ehrman’s latest book on Heaven and Hell — what evidence do you have for the existence of God? Where is it?

          One more question. Do you think you will go to Hell after you die?

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            Tim Wimmer

            Ok you do not accept the challenge, that’s ok.
            Thankfully, I have assurence of salvation.
            @Geoff: Atheists cannot even explain the most simplest questions, like what is life and where came it from. Liberal theology even doesn’t believe the most basic truths any more, so don’t expect wordly “authorities” to be the least reliable in judging what goes into the text books. Evolution is flawed and every child can see it (zero transient species etc.).

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            Tim cannot argue from the basis of evidence, so he makes unsupported assertions such as “I have assurence (sic) of salvation.” He mistakes his emotions for actual evidence, misunderstanding and misusing the scientific method with its high standards for proof. He says he does not expect ‘worldly authorities to be the least reliable in judging what goes into the text books.’ That’s a double negative; what he’s said is that he expects them to be more reliable…than Christians, I suppose? When I read word-salad comments like his, I’m glad evangelicals don’t control the narrative anymore.

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            Tim, this is just ridiculous. Evolution is a proven fact, just as much as gravity or germ theory. Even if you were somehow to provide evidence that did overturn it, however (you won’t) you still have to provide an alternative that fits the evidence, and I can assure you that creation myths get nowhere in a tenth of a second. In fact, your new theory would actually look exactly like the theory (scientific theory, and therefore regarded as fact, not hypothesis) of evolution as it presently stands….

            As for ‘atheists can’t explain’, this just reflects the poor quality of your knowledge of apologetics. No serious apologist uses this type of argument any longer as they know it will come back to bite them. Of course there are countless numbers of things atheists can’t explain but the problem is neither can you! An atheist can answer honestly, however, with ‘I don’t know, but we’re making progress’ (and we do know the likely origins of life, incidentally). You meanwhile just invent an answer that you call God but which, in fact, presents far more problems than it solves. If it actually solves any, which I doubt.

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          Tim. When I was a Christian, I believed by faith. I didn’t expect evidence to convince me, but a personal relationship with Jesus. However, such faith and the relationship can’t be proven. At all. But that is biblical, to believe without evidence.

          Your words are emotional and all over the place, and difficult to understand. Better for you to disagree on the basis of your faith, than to accuse those with different ideas and beliefs of lacking in morality.

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Bruce Gerencser