The Evangelical Universalist Forum

In All Likelihood George MacDonald Went to Hell



Edwards believed that the saints will rejoice over the torments of the damned only in the sense that they will be rejoicing at the glory of God’s justice not the evil and suffering in and of itself. They are not sadistic or bloodthirsty.

Why Saints in Glory Will Rejoice to See the Torments of the Damned

By Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758)

[Sermon: The end of the Wicked contemplated by the Righteous.]

NEGATIVELY: it will not be because the saints in heaven are the subjects of any ill disposition; but, on the contrary, this rejoicing of theirs will be the fruit of an amiable and excellent disposition: it will be the fruit of a perfect holiness and conformity to Christ, the holy Lamb of God. The devil delights in the misery of men from cruelty, and from envy and revenge, and because he delights in misery, for its own sake, from a malicious disposition.
But it will be from exceedingly different principles, and for quite other reasons, that the just damnation of the wicked will be an occasion of rejoicing to the saints in glory. It will not be because they delight in seeing the misery of others absolutely considered. The damned suffering divine vengeance will be no occasion of joy to the saints merely as it is the misery of others, or because it is pleasant to them to behold the misery of others merely for its own sake… It will be an occasion of their rejoicing, as the glory of God will appear in it.


I think what’s missing here, is the thief on the cross story. Where the thief was forgiven all his sins and promised to spent that day in paradise - with Christ. Whether one believes in once saved - always saved. Or salvation is a life long process, which is found in RC and EO theology. Etc. We don’t know a person’s heart. Or what transpired with a person, while they are on their death bed.

The other problem is the Buddhist hell. There are many schools of Buddhism. Just as their are many different Christian churches. Even in Tibetan Buddhism, there are at least four different schools. Not every one, will have the same conception of hell…if they have one - that is. But even in some schools of Buddhism, there is the Bodhisattva (see, which is there to help guide and rescue folks.


Sure Randy. I’ve stated a couple of times that MacDonald could have found peace before he died. But given the nature of man and how they get stuck and fixed in their own mindset and heart it seems unlikely. He could have escaped karma or God’s vengeance.


I think you know that that’s not what I’m referring to when I say the stuff you post stinks. I’m referring to your dogma about punishment in the afterlife. A while ago your fad was saying people in the lake of fire don’t want to get out. Your latest fad is giving a duration for the punishment. I wonder what new dogma you’ll pull out of your hat when you get bored with your latest one. But really, why don’t you leave this forum and start posting somewhere your dogma resonates with people?


You’re a very hateful person qaz. You never deal with what I say. You do nothing but personal attack. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.


What have I said that makes you think I’m a very hateful person? That I question why you antagonize people with dogma that you know is morally offensive to them?


If you want to defend verbal abuse and hatred maybe you should leave the forum. I’ve answered your questions and you just bring up my past when I couldn’t make my mind up. I was manic and confused and off of my medicine. If you want to personally attack God’s children go elsewhere.


I’m glad you quoted those words of Jonathan Edwards, S. Michael. But notice Edwards’ words carefully:

By employing that word “merely” does not Edwards suggest that beholding the misery of the damned is one of the factors of the joy of the saved, though not the only factor? If not, why did he use the word “merely”?

And notice the very next part of the “sermon”:


The saved won’t pity the damned in their suffering, Edwards says, because God has no love or pity for them, but rather has eternal hatred for them. How does God’s eternal hatred for them fit the apostle John’s statement that God IS love? That “LOVE” is His very essence? Yes, indeed, there was very good reason for George MacDonald to turn from Edwards’ portrait of God with loathing.



It follows logically that if God is love then He must hate evil. He protects His children against those who hate Him and His children until they are made new.


Hating evil and hating evil-doers are two distinctly different activities.



The Bible doesn’t make that distinction because it’s impossible to make. From both Old and New Testaments:

Leviticus 20:23 - “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

Leviticus 26:30 - “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.”

Deuteronomy 32:19 - “And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.”

Psalm 5:5 - “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

Psalm 5:6 - “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”

Psalm 10:3 - “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.”

Psalm 11:5 - “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

Psalm 53:5 - “There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.”

Psalm 73:20 - “As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.”

Psalm 78:59 - “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:”

Psalm 106:40 - “Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.”

Proverbs 6:16-19 - “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Proverbs 22:14 - “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”

Lamentations 2:6 - “And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.”

Hosea 9:15 - “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

Zechariah 11:8 - “Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me.”

Malachi 1:3 - “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

Romans 9:13 - “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”


Jesus made that distinction:

He taught His disciples to love those who hated them. He didn’t tell them to love their evil deeds.
He also said that by doing so, His disciples would prove themselves to be children of God—that God is KIND to evil people, not that He hates them and tortures them forever.

Paul also taught that the kindness of God is meant to lead people to repentance. (Romans 2:4)


Jonathan Edwards agrees. We are talking about when God gets His vengeance of the evil doers in hell though. In the meantime we love our enemies. Vengeance belongs to God.


It’s not vengeance. Poor translation. It should be translated as “judgment.” God’s activity is the righteous judgment of people—for the purpose of bringing about righteousness. It is NEVER out of vengeance, payback, or penalty.


Here’s a couple more speaking of Christ’s’s wrath:

calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb ~~ Rev. 6:16

The Bible speaks of this fiery wrath as a cup unmixed without mercy:

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb

A different God than MacDonald’s indeed.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” ~~ Romans 12:19

This same God of the NT is the God of the OT as we see the context and background from which this is taken:

Leviticus 19:18 ~~ 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

Deuteronomy 32:35 ~~‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

Proverbs 20:22~~Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

Proverbs 24:29~~Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”

Jeremiah 51:36~~Therefore thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am going to plead your case And exact full vengeance for you; And I will dry up her sea And make her fountain dry.

When you have faith in God there’s no reason to be violent. We Let go and Let the all powerful all glorious God handle our enemy. The glory goes to God. God does the mocking on Judgment Day:

I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,

when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.

Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me

Proverbs 1:26-28:


It is unfortunate that εκδικησις has been translated as “vengeance.”

Jesus told a parable:

The ESV correctly translates the word as “justice.” The widow didn’t want vengeance against her adversary. She wanted justice. Perhaps her adversary had taken monetary advantage of her, and she wanted repayment.

And consider what Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Cor 7:11 concerning how they dealt with the man who copulated with his step-mother:

The ESV correctly translates the word as “vindication.” It makes no sense to translate it as “vengeance” here. The Corinthians were vindicated in the way they treated the man. Their treatment resulted in his repentance. They didn’t take vengeance upon him.

As in the case of repayment to the widow in Christ’s parable so is the sense in “Justice is mine, I will repay.” It means that God will make right the wrong done to his people.

The idea of Romans 12:19 (Judgment is mine, I will repay) is not at all about getting revenge on the wrongdoer. Rather, if someone takes advantage of you, never try to force him to repay or give back what’s coming to you. Judgment in such cases belongs to God. He will make it right and give back what’s coming to you. Yes, the wrath of God is mentioned in the passage. God gets angry at injustice.



You just admitted that it’s the kind of justice that repays. You said:

This is vengeance. We see this from the OT scriptures from which it was taken. Here’s a NT vengeance of God:

Moreover, the Greek word in Romans that says “Vngeance is Mine” is


I didn’t “admit” that the repayment was vengeance shown to the offender (paying him back for his offense) as you seem to believe.
I indicated that the repayment was to the recipient of the offense.


Sorry Paidion. But the Greek definition confirms what the translation say as “Vengeance”.


Here’s the theme song, for those undergoing hell / postmortem punishment: :wink:

My normal “mantra” these days is:

Buddhist meditation/ Vedanta contemplation/ Holistic Medicine/ Anglo-Orthodox theology

So many fundamentalists - and some here - would say I would also, be singing this song. :laughing: