"On The Reality Of Hell" SBC Resolution- June 2011



On The Reality Of The Victory Of God's Love And Justice

Funny, I think I totally agree with the last paragraph. :slight_smile: Of course, none of the verses they list for hell actually match the assertions listed by the Southern Baptists… :unamused:

And I still think that to “proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of Hell, and the salvation of sinners by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone” has nothing to do with a pie-in-the-sky someday far-off judgment by a big man on a throne. TODAY is the day of salvation, because people are experiencing hell, filling their souls with everything but God’s love, NOW! If Jesus is beautiful enough, if God is good enough, people know what hell is like. Sooner or later, they’ll turn–especially if we continue being faithful witnesses to God’s glory and love. :wink:


There are people who are quite happy without God’s love and they are living an amazing life, good food, nice clothes, beautiful women etc… You telling them that they really aren’t happy and in reality it is their own personal hell means nothing to them.
People don’t turn to God to get away from hell and the bible shows no where that hell will change a person. In a sense hell is an eternal separation from God in that even our spirit and mind is eternally closed off.

If a person who is living on this planet with a miserable as a life there could be has even a fleeting moment of enjoyment, satisfaction or laughter could not really be in a scriptural hell. Going through “hell” is not the same as being in hell.


How could you as a Christian say something like that? To me, this implies that you think that it’s possible to have “an amazing life” without God. Do you really believe that?

I never said that. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

Then why talk about it? What does it matter whether it’s eternal or not?

Jonah says he’s in hell, and he repents because of it, and he’s SAVED! :astonished: :
Jonah 2:2: And said," I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice."
2:9: "But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. "
2:10: And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

In a sense, I actually agree with this. Good thing salvation is by grace, then! Right? Or is there something we have to do first before God grants us repentance? As a Calvinist, how do you see this? Aren’t we dead in our sins, and God makes us alive and gives us faith to believe? (Eph 2:8-9)

EVERYONE will be salted with fire. (Mark 9:49) In this life or the next, we WILL experience the jealous consuming Fire who burns all idolatrous desires away like the chaff they are.


If what you say here is in fact literally true, then what you’re actually stating is that there will be literal annihilation, not hell. No one can logically exist in the state you describe here. Total, endless separation from God of this kind would mean we would simply cease to exist entirely.
“In Him we live and move and have our being.” Without Him, we would be nothing…literally. We don’t have an independent existence.

Alternately, interpreting your words here in a less literal sense, you are talking about the same kind of separation that Adam and Eve experienced when they sinned, and indeed, the state all of us were in before we were saved. So in effect, we are already in the hell you describe above until we are pulled from it, whether we realize it or not. What difference does that make to God’s ability to save then, in which side of the grave we are on when He does it?


I think it’s interesting that they only give (Hebrews 9:27) as evidence for “The Bible precludes the possibility of any opportunity for salvation after death”. Hebrews 9 says nothing of the kind, and in context is not even about the idea of when salvation is possible.


I’m planning, as a Southern Baptist trinitarian apologist and theologian, to draft a counter-resolution this week. And then finance a worldwide press release for it out of my own money.

The resolution is far from surprising, but I worry it will simply bluff teachers and students, preachers and pewmembers, into toeing the line without searching into these matters for themselves–in the grand tradition of Baptist Protestantism (ironically enough. :wink: )


Of course! Atheists will be the first to tell you that. They will say, being under the thumb of God was hell itself.

Fair enough. I apologize

Because it’s the word of God and it should matter just like all of scripture should matter

The more accurate translation is “sheol” not hell and it was used as a metaphor furthermore Jonah’s heart NEVER changed even after his hellish (keeping within the metaphor) ordeal. Jonah was very angry with God for allowing the people of Ninevah to repent. Jonah remained rebellious and angry to the end of the book.

I am a Calvinist however I am not a hyper Calvinist. I believe by looking at scripture that the answer lies between Calvinism and Arminianism. I believe we are dead in our sins but I also believe that we are still held responsible if we do not receive Christ. I see both in scripture. I don’t know how to make complete sense of it and if I could then I would be God.

I have no clue what you mean by this verse? This verse is one of the most perplexing verses in the bible. I have heard so many interpretations on this verse. In keeping within the context of this verse Jesus is describing a horrible place that goes on and on and on and what does salt do? It preserves.


True enough; however I find it interesting that Sheol (OT) and Hades (the most frequently referred to ‘hell’ in the NT) are equivalent.

Ah, the irony in the Jonah account… Jonah remained angry to the end of the book about… God showing His mercy to the Ninevites after delivering Jonah from ‘hell,’ so he can warn them to repent! We just never learn, do we? :laughing:

Can’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor…


so you really believe that people unsubmissive to God can actually have an amazing life? wow. wow. you take their word over God’s? I don’t understand.

kind of like the universal Reconciliation verses should matter? haha, sorry, couldn’t resist. :slight_smile:

good point. in fact the word hell never appears in the Bible- we have to piece it together from what is said about Sheol and Hades.

yes Jonah got mad again, but what makes you think his heart never changed? he says he was wrong and declares salvation is of God. or can people whose hearts have changed never disobey or have bad attitudes?

everyone experiences the fire of God sooner or later. and no the place doesn’t go on and on and on. Jesus only says the fire is unquenchable and the worm never dies.


Although God was clearly aiming for him to repent, both before and after the sea monster–all the way out to the end of the book!

Moreover, what was Jonah so hellishly angry about? That God might save Ninevah from their sins after all.

Also, while the sea monster event was used as a metaphor, it was obviously a metaphor for being sent to hell (and swallowed by the great rebel dragon Leviathan, and taken to the very bottom of the swirling depths, which is Jewish imagery for punitive hades.) A super-emphatic metaphor for something shouldn’t be dismissed as being only a metaphor; it should be considered as a representative enactment for what it represents.

So do we!–though we mean that by looking at scripture, the answer is that God persists (per Calvinism) in saving all sinners (per Arminianism) from sin.

Same here. Most of us also see that God (as the Holy Spirit, from the Father and the Son) empowers us, especially by the sacrifice of Christ, to live and to repent of our sins and come to be righteous. If we refuse to do so, we are abusing the grace of God, which is sin, and must be punished. We just don’t believe that punishment from God, Who is intrinsically and essentially Love and positive Justice, is ever hopeless.

The sinner (like Jonah!) may insist on hopelessness from salvation from sin. But God does not. (Even though in some cases God insists there will be no salvation before punishment, and so therefore no salvation from punishment in that sense.)

Salt is ideal (the best of things), and when we are salty and have salt in ourselves then we are at peace with one another.

Most commentators don’t even try to interpret 49 and 50, in my experience. Or if they do, they do so in dis-context from 48 and prior; or they’ll try to connect 49 to prior verses but disconnect verse 50.

The reason for the attempt at disconnecting them should be obvious: because if they’re all put together, the result is sufficiently obvious! Everyone will be salted with the unquenchable fire of Gehenna, and salting is ideal, and if we have salt in ourselves we will be at peace with one another, therefore we should have salt in ourselves–therefore we should accept being salted by the unquenchable fire. (And unless supernaturalistic theism, including trinitarian theism, is false, then there is only one unquenchable fire: the Holy Spirit, our God the consuming fire!)

Whereas, if we refuse to be salted by the fire, or deny that the fire salts…? Well, those verses have something to say about what happens if salt becomes unsalty, too.

(But that doesn’t mean the unquenchable fire will stop salting!–no more than it means the maggot will stop eating away the dead flesh. The maggot doesn’t stop until the job is completely done; and the fire never stops at all. We’re supposed to be baptized and empowered in the Holy Spirit.)


And now I have posted my alternate Resolution On The Reality Of The Victory Of God’s Love And Justice.

(Which for purposes of convenience I’ll also attach doc and pdf files for here.)
On The Reality Of The Victory Of The Love And Justice Of God.pdf (103 KB)
On The Reality Of The Victory Of The Love And Justice Of God.doc (47.5 KB)


Hmm, I can’t find any quotes from firsthand observers of “The Reality of Hell” as stated in the SBC resolution.

I’d be hesitant to espouse in a public resolution the reality of something I’ve never seen or experienced firsthand.

But, I guess it doesn’t bother these folks.


This seems relevant: rachelheldevans.com/rob-bell-sbc … untability