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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:49 am 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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So the girls and I finished up The Great Divorce today. This passage near the end made me, literally, set the book down and say, "Wow."

Quote:
"...Only One has descended into Hell."

"And will He ever do so again?"

"It was not once long ago that He did it. Time does not work that way when once ye have left the Earth. All moments that have been or shall be were, or are, present in the moment of His descending. There is no spirit in prison to Whom He did not preach."


It goes on from there into a discussion on Universalism and Predestination and the like. But this was an intriguing possibility that currently has my mind occupied.

Obviously, he's talking about when Christ descended into hell after his death on the cross (and before his resurrection). I've always understood that to be a once-in-time event where Christ went down into Abraham's Bosom (?) and took to heaven those people who had died in faith before His incarnation.

This added a new twist on that.

I wondered if anyone else here wanted to add any thoughts.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:26 am 
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That is an interesting thought :). I"ll have to think about it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Just Keep Singin'
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Since I am pretty much a Universalist, I like it. Makes much more sense to me than believing that millions of good people are consigned to hell because they were brought up in and were faithful to the "wrong" religion.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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It's the fact that when Christ died He had to have reentered eternity, and, of course, eternity is outside of our conception, outside of time.

I don't know. As I'm looking into it further, I see there's even controversy over whether Christ actually went into Hell to preach the gospel. That's the way I've always understood passages like Eph. 4:9 and I Peter 3:18-20, though. It's just that I've also always been taught that Christ preached the gospel to those who were there at that time and those who had died in faith (in hope of the coming Messiah) were taken with Him to Heaven.

But, if He was in eternity, then there is the intriguing possibility that Lewis suggests.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:21 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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I just wanted to say that I don't believe I was ever taught that Jesus descended to Hell nor do I ever recall hearing that theory. Those verses are interesting. As a non-believer now all I can say is that I think it's a pretty cool idea. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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:) I do, too, yovi.

I've long thought that there is more to salvation than I've always been taught. One of the main reasons I believe that is not because I want to feel good about stuff. (That's just a very nice bonus, you know. ;) ) It's because we see biblical examples time and again of God working in unexpected ways. The people thought they knew what He was going to do or how He was going to make something happen. But He managed to surprise them over and over, even while fulfilling Scripture and prophecy.

That's the God we so easily forget. He's really beyond our thoughts and our ways, and, even though we give lip service to that idea, we don't actually give place to that idea.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:54 pm 
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Just Keep Singin'
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yovargas wrote:
I just wanted to say that I don't believe I was ever taught that Jesus descended to Hell nor do I ever recall hearing that theory.


yov, it is part of the Apostles Creed - which is recited regularly in many Protestant (and Catholic) services.

This is how I learned it:
(Note: The word "catholic" here is with the small "c" meaning "universal")

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Amen.


The phrase "he descended into hell" is now often translated as "he descended to the dead."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Huh. I must've seen the "he descended to the dead" version. Out of context like that the idea that Jesus got sent to hell looks pretty darn weird.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Well, he didn't get sent—he went: "he descended into Hell," not "he was cast into Hell." Or so says the creed.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:33 pm 
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It just occurred to me why I wouldn't have learned this - the faith I grew up in doesn't believe in hell. Our doctrine was that at the end times there would be a great big cleansing fire to destroy the sinners and that would be it. There was no belief in spirits surviving beyond the body for eternity. Once you were dead, you were dead, unless God choice to resurrect you. So this actually goes very sharply against our end-time teachings.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:37 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Interesting. Very interesting. I sort of knew that about SDAs, but I had forgotten it. (I didn't know the details of their beliefs, just the vague notion that you were unconscious until such a time as God decided to wake you up.)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:49 pm 
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hooked

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I believe fundamentally everyone has to make a choice, God or No God. In my mind this boils down to the concept of Free will... without the choice, there is no free will, and with that choice, everything we do matters ultimately.

I have long been bothered by the fact that death would be the end of that choice. The Great Divorce is a wonderful story that made me think at the time I read it as well, but the idea that we all might still have that choice, and some will change their minds and others will still be blinded by their own choices, all makes perfect sense to me.

I like the idea a lot, although I don't think Jesus needs to die to go to hell, if he did go there then, it was in the specific capacity of providing the "payment" for all of our sins, which was nice of him.

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For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:43 am 
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Just Keep Singin'
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I have read a couple of articles that say that this was to prove that Jesus really DID die...because if he didn't, then how could he rise from the dead?

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