Originally posted by divegeester
"Let us reason together" says The Lord; so let's do that.
Can any Christian here who is a proponent of the eternal suffering doctrine please explain to me how the justice of god and the mercy of god work together to come up with a punishment that involves the perpetu ...[text shortened]...
What crime has this person committed that the justice of God demands this level of retribution?
I think we have to think in terms of a soul being fixed in a state of perpetual offense against God.
Eternal suffering probably accompanies eternal sinning. Do you think God is obliged to allow the endless flow of sin from the lips and acts of the lost?
Some therefore account eternal suffering to accompany infinite sinning.
If during the reign of mercy the rebel has hurled insults against God how much more during a reign of judgment.
The acts of the past have had judgement pronounced upon them at the last judgment.
"And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened; and another scroll was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by the things which were written in the scrolls, according to their works." (Rev. 20:12)
As best as I can understand, there are scrolls of their deeds while living and the singular book of life.
Footnote 15(1) of the Recovery Version comments:
And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.(v.15)
The perishing unbelievers will be judged according to the scrolls, which are a record of their works (vv.12-13), but they will be cast into the lake of fire according to the book of life. This indicates that they are condemned by the Lord because of their evil deeds but perish because of their unbelief, which issues in their not having their names written in the book of life. Not believing in the Lord Jesus is the unique in that causes people to perish (John 16:9).
The deeds of the past are finite. An infallible record God possesses of all deeds of men.
If the character is fixed forever in wickedness there must be an everlasting reason for punishment.
"In short, the lost are doubly condemned; for acts against the law of God and their own conscience; and because their character are always full of sin. The wicked are condemned because of their acts and character jointly. They are punished because of their evil nature as children of the devil, being tares and not wheat ; for their acts as "doers of iniquity:" (Matt. 13:38, 41) - Robert Govette
Possibly then the confinement to one's own affairs through suffering will restrict the lost from perpetuating more crimes upon each other. The suffering may act as a restriction. Yet, if words of blasphemy proceeded from them when God was extending a longsuffering time of forebearance towards them, giving them time to believe in the Son of God, the insults toward God must only intensify once the sentence of separation from God is enacted.
I think possibly the existence of black holes may be a kind of warning to the modern man. One closed to God and His Son collapse in upon themselves in abject darkness of self loathing from which escape is impossible.
One might ask "But can't God make it as if they had never sinned at all?"
He did. And this was rejected by them. So we need to come to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for hiding in His merit and standing upon His finished work of eternal redemption.
And we need to receive His Spirit into ours that His salvation can conform us to His image as many sons to the Firstborn Son of God.