The suffering God and "hell"
I have covered many aspects of the faulty doctrine of an eternal burning hell, logically pointing out that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23) and how Yeshua came and suffered that very penalty. *I have also logically argued that in the end of time God will have a perfect creation without sin, which could not be so if he were to sustain an eternal penal colony of lost souls roasting in a "hell". *Such lost souls would be sustained sinners and not reconciled by any sane definition! I need not rehash here every aspect of the faulty doctrine of an eternal burning hell!!!
Last night I prayed for something new to point out and shortly thereafter noticed a new point. *It stood out with new luster. *I started to study about the fact that God is "longsuffering" in Numbers 14:18. *In the Hebrew this is "long-faced" [Strong's H750 and H639]. *The Hebrew is concrete in this case pointing at the sad long face of a suffering personality. *I also wanted to see how the Septuagint translated this and found the Greek word, "makrothumia", which means "long-endurance" of pain and being patient with others.. [see Strong's G3115]. *The Hebrew and Greek work well together in touching all bases on what God experiences. *He suffers with his creation!
There has been a debate on just how much God experiences pain. *Under Greek philosophical influence the early church often held that God does not suffer and is basically above it all. *The term "impassable" has often been used to describe God in this regard. *God is supposedly "not emotional" or does not feel pain. Many theologians will label any verse that describes face, eyes, hands, and suffering of God "Anthropomorphisms" and "Anthropopathisms". *In other words, God is described with human features (physical and mental) to help us understand certain points about the divine. *I am persuaded when God is described with hands and face, for God is spirit, but not so persuaded about God not having certain mental and emotional attributes. *If God is without emotions than God would be less understanding and could not see things fully. God is "passable" not "impassable". *He truly loves the created world and all his creatures!!!
To wrap this up, because God is both omnipresent and omniscient (all knowing) he is both above his creation and within it. *God is within everything, every single atom and particle. *God sees out our very eyes and is in our very nerves. *In him we move and have our being. God suffers what we suffer. *God knows each of us better than we know ourselves, something required for a perfect and devine judge. NOW if God were to sustain unredeemed sinners in and endless fiery hell God would suffer with them because he would be sustaining them. *Remember anything completely separated from God has no existence. *God will have a perfect creation in the end where all is completed and reconciled, which cannot be so if God as well as most people suffer in hell forever. God would suffer with them and to some extent the redeemed would also knowing that their loved ones did not earn salvation..
It is time to put the unbiblical and illogical Traditional view of Hell in the catagory of fables where it truly belongs.