How many of you..


Would be willing to give up your eternal life for me to have it?

Paul in Romans 9:3 can say…
‘For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,’

How many here would voluntarily give up your eternal life so that it could be passed on to me (if such a thing were possible before you-know-who starts whingeing). Would any of you volunteer for eternal damnation to save my soul?

Now there’s a test of love don’t you think? :wink:


That is the question I asked in Tentmaker Forums, and people got upset at me for asking such a question. I said, someone with true and sincere love will lay down his life so that another can have it. It may sound strange, but if there was a hell, and if we had a choice to exchange our godly life in exchange for some in hell could experience it, the only one’s in hell should be the righteous! When this happens, hell is not hell any more.


In principle I’d answer “yes”, although to be honest I don’t love you enough in practice to volunteer that. :wink:

(No offense meant. There are only a few people in the world I love enough to do that for, if God required that as a condition for their salvation. Which in a way I think He actually does, although He Himself fulfills that condition for everyone. :smiley: )

Good question though. :slight_smile:



Well said.



Jesus has already done that for you…Now, will you believe and receive it?



I think if I were given the chance to trade my eternal life for someone else’s eternal hell, there would be others in line before you. Sorry! :cry:

It would certainly be a tough decision. First in line would be any of my kids that were unsaved, then I think, either my mom or grandma. But I would be willing to do it for someone. If I was not given a choice of ‘who’ – and it was you or no one, yes, I would.



That’s a really excellent question Jeff!

But I’d have to be honest and say no. However, as I read it, Paul was willing to make that bargain for ALL of his kinsmen! So it wasn’t like it was his life swapped for ONE other person, but for the whole tribe! So it seems Paul’s getting far more “bang for his buck” (do the Brits use an expression like that?) by dealing for an entire large group than for one (sorry Jeff :wink: :laughing: ) measly sinner. Now tell you what. You up the ante and include ALL of your atheist colleagues and friends and you got a deal!!! :smiley:

More seriously though, it seems a rhetorical tool for Paul to say this doesn’t it? For he has certainly read the OT which says the soul who sins will die. the son shall not be punished for his fathers crime/sin. and so on… easy to make a promise that there is no chance you’ll have to honor. But the sentiment is very genuine and I think reveals the depth of Pauls genuine compassion and devotion to his fellow man.

Recently, I got into an argument (or maybe just disagreement) with the folks at a hospital I work at who are wearing, beneath their name tags, a red heart shaped badge that says I CARE FOR YOU JUST LIKE I CARE FOR MY ______ (FILL IN THE BLANK) – so people write in things like their Mom, or their kids, or their husband/wife whatever. To me this is showy and hollow talk from a fevered PR person. If you would care for me just like you’d care for your own MOTHER then that means you don’t love your mom NEARLY enough!!! Now sure – I understand that you will TRY to act that way, and that’s a sweet sentiment yes; but it’s false modesty and compassion to assert that you WILL do so.

Anyway, maybe I was being a bit too harsh… :question: :blush:



Of course I knew the answer before I asked the question. Maybe I should have said you could swap for anyone you chose rather than me (though the possibility that A37 just might be willing to go to hell for me was too much to resist :smiley: )

Still it shows just how far (not very) the human ability to love (in the agape sense) goes and why so very few Christians actually appear to non-Christians to reflect very much of their saviour at all (while the Christian themselves think they are practically wearing a Jesus mask).

Thanks for indulging in a bit of fun all :wink:


Great Q Jeff. Of course, Paul was willing to do it for all Israel. So…may if there was a whole nation of Jeffs I’d consider it. :wink:

But if we believe rightly that Paul was a universalist (and that irrevocable hell is impossible), then what Paul is willing to undergo is a temporary time in hell on behalf of the nation. That’s considerably different. To ask if anyone would embrace an irrevocable hell for you is to ask what is for a universalist a self-contradictory question, since universalists argue also that a God of love is incompatible with an irrevocable hell.

I was thinking about Paul’s offer and a couple things came to mind. a) He says, “If it were possible…” He in fact believes it’s not possible. But interestingly he believes he’s saying something meaningful about his love for Israel. That’s an interesting discussion right there. Isn’t it a bit disingenuous (right word?) to claim you love somebody so much you’d do what you and your beloved ones know isn’t possible? That makes me think Paul is just exaggerating for the sake of rhetorical emphasis. He just wants to express how much he loves Israel. But REAL love lives and moves in the REAL world of possibilities. It does all it CAN do to save. The REAL question is, Am I willing to do all WITHIN THE REACH OF MY POSSIBILITIES to bring someone to faith. And I’m sure Paul would essentially agree, so again I think his question is just a rhetorical device. He doesn’t believe hell is eternal AND he knows there’s no way God’s ways make such a thing possible.

Then b) this might challenge the tradition substitutionary view of the atonement. If Paul believed something like this view of the atonement, wouldn’t he believe that somebody (Jesus) ALREADY suffered hell for Israel? But maybe that’s WHY he knew it wasn’t possible for him to suffering hell on behalf of Israel–i.e., Jesus had already embraced it for us all.



I had a long drawn out response to your question, Jeff. But in the process of posting it, I was directed to the login page and subsequently lost my entire response. I took that as a sign from God that He didn’t wish me to post it. I don’t know if you would have liked it anyway.


I have no like or dislike of any possible answers in this thread so post away! Also it’s a good idea to construct long posts in a text editor offline and then just paste them in and submit to avoid the problem you describe :smiley:


Jeff, I believe Tom has the right track, as stated above.

In Romans 9:3, Paul wishes to be “accursed” and cut off from Christ, for the sake of his fellow Jews. He wishes he could trade places with the Jews, as to be cast into ignorance and blindness to the atoning work of Christ. Surely, Paul was not thinking of a never ending state of blindness and ignorance but a temporal state of the same. This saint was willing to relinquish His election within the age he lived. This speaks to the glorious beauty of being presently awake to the grace of God, through Christ Jesus.

To make things short, I believe to throw “eternity” into the mix makes hay of the reality of that which Paul’s wishes…

I am however glad you have brought up Paul’s wish, as this state of unselfishness is the place we must all come to eventually. Only by His graceful love working within us, can we ever.

Be blessed,



Mathematically speaking, it would be just as bad for one person to spend an eternity in hell as it would be for many people to spend an eternity in hell. :stuck_out_tongue: :ugeek: