Speculations about the Afterlife


#1

My recent discussion, or rather me venting my displeasure (or outright hatred) toward soulsleep (though I do want to extend my apologies to Aaron; I do not hate you, by no means. Even if I vehemently disagree with the view you ally to) I’ve had some prayer and study and some thoughts.

Now, much of my thought has been unfortunately…very contemptuous. When I feel that there is something reproachable in my Lord, or when I feel distance between me and him because of a presented doctrine; I get less than happy…understandably. I can feel myself railing against an idea of God that I can’t always distinguish from the reality of him. That causes distance from the reality of him, for sake of railing against the idea I find false. Distance, but not separation mind you.

But at any rate; I have somewhat an inclination or an idea that has been running through my mind for some time, and some time before this discussion arose - though it may have arisen shortly after embracing Universal Reconciliation, or shortly after my first encounter with soulsleep (which I wasn’t fond of then either).


The idea follows somewhat as such, that Jesus; or some manifestation of God in omnipresent form, the Spirit, Life, and the all-consuming fire; that God stands in front of the door of Hades with the keys to it in hand.

When a person dies, the body going back to dust and the Individuality (soul/spirit/life-being) passes on.

Before the cross, that Individuality would pass into Hades, the unseen, the realm of the disembodied, the dead. Some to rest, and others to restlessness. Paradise being also an abode for those whom may have this rest while they wait to be delivered, outside of Paradise would be the restless disembodied; restless for a variety of reasons (this may perhaps have including shame, pain, torment). Perhaps the restless just slept in repose (or even restless repose, a tossing and turning, and an insomnia), perhaps they all rested and slept at times in repose, or at least those in Paradise had restful repose. But not in such a way as to state permanent unconsciousness, permanent state of sleep, or cessation of existence.

Then came Christ; who is The Resurrection and The Life and when he died on the cross entered into Hades and delivered the dead from their rest, and restlessness. Preaching the gospel to the prisoners perhaps, and giving rest to the heavy burdened. But otherwise emptied the grave and took them with him - even perhaps took them into him being Life and the source of theirs. But sufficed to say they entered into God’s presence, or some fuller sense of it.

Now here is the idea which is the more relevant one I want to present as it has more to do with our present situation; post-cross.

After the cross, the Individuality passes on and before reaching Hades enters into the presence of God, who stands before the gate with the keys in hand, having locked it shut perhaps. But now those who pass on instead of going into Hades go into the direct presence of the Spirit of God which is like an all consuming fire, a lake of fire even; and brings blissfulness and happiness, rest and heavenliness to the righteous Individual, but correction and restlessness, remedial torment to the unrighteous who in the presence of such a holy God are convicted by their own nature until they repent and find bliss and happiness, rest and heavenliness in that same fiery presence.

A fiery Love that corrects, and then soothes. A Life that causes growth pains, but that growth leads to joy. A Justice that is painful, even as painful as any Hell and as long lasting as the sinner is sinful; but one that makes the unjust man a just one.

Maybe Hades, being the “unseen” still applies to those in the presence of God - this Heaven/Hell sort of mixture, Heaven for some, and Hell for others. Not Hades as in this state or place of being in the underworld but being “unseen” in the presence of God, where as before it was being “unseen” in some other means.

But following the train of thought that the departed pass into the direct presence of God for torment unto bliss or bliss continuing. Then comes The Resurrection as it is expressed as an event, the consummation so to speak. Where the New Heaven and New Earth - The New Creation are made, and so there should be newly created bodies for the souls to inhabit.

These bodies first of all, would only magnify the Individuality, not imprison or contain it like the bodies of flesh. So having a body in this case would be more a blessing than being disembodied, as being disembodied from the flesh was more a blessing than struggling in it, even as having a body to begin with was a blessing. In other words; an ever increasing enfolding of blessedness with every passing forward.

Now, there would be perhaps three sorts of people, maybe four.

First; Those who are in the presence of God, and are righteous. These would continue their blissfulness in the Resurrection, with even more blessedness in the presence of the Lamb.

Second: Those who are in the presence of God, and are yet undergoing correction. These would be in their bodies, but they would still be in the fiery presence of the Lamb (The Lake of Fire?) and would continue their dying to self, and correction until they experience the same bliss as the First.

Third: Those who died in the tumult before the New Creation, and were righteous. These would be like the First, but be sooner in their bodies. The individual being magnified and enjoying the presence of God and enjoying the New Creation.

Fourth: Those who died in the tumult before the New Creation, and were unrighteous. These would be like the Second, those who would be tossed embodied into the corrective presence of the Lamb, the fiery all consuming holiness of God for correction. The idolators, the whore-mongers, the murderers, the liars, the unbelieving, etc. Those who were like the Second, only passing into corrective judgement in their bodies sooner, but their correction in the presence of God would still take as long as it would be required for them to be made righteous and purified by the fire. So their bodies may not have as much relevance on how long or short their coming to righteousness and bliss would be. But maybe it would hasten it even. But that would ultimately just be another “good thing” as it is always better for someone to come quickly to repentance than to come slowly to it.

And then when all who are in the fiery presence of God; The Lamb have been redeemed and are blissful and the last sinner has been made a saint; then The Son shall give The Father his kingdom and God shall be all in all.

Notes: I lean towards the idea of God standing in front of Hades rather than “in”, and of course Hades and Death being annihilated in the presence of the Lamb as Death and Hades are overcome by Life in every way; ceasing to be properties or concepts in reality.


In summary, or at least summarising the relevant parts.

Christ/God stands before, (or in, perhaps) Hades (the unseen) - having omnipresence there, drawing all mankind to himself as they pass from the Land of the Living towards (or into) the unseen (unseen from the perspective of the living) even as he draws them in the Land of the Living; drawing Mankind to himself pre and post mortem. Where the righteous and unrighteous alike stand in his presence, for bliss or for correction unto bliss. Where then the Resurrection event shall occur, and the righteous, those made righteous, and the yet unrighteous will continue their existence in the presence of the Lamb (though embodied, and magnified in their embodiment) for bliss, or correction unto bliss; while those who have been taken up or destroyed and then Resurrected in the New Creation after the tumult likewise stand in the presence of the Lamb (and especially perhaps, immersed in The Lake of Fire; the fiery presence of God, even perhaps The Holy Spirit) to bliss, or correction unto bliss; even while in their embodied state. And then when all is done, God shall be all in all.

This is what I am pondering as a possibility anyway. I am not sure as to its Biblical effect, I didn’t quote any verses (I kinda want to leave that to you guys to seek and ponder; this is more a philosophical experiment than a sermon or doctrine) but it is a thought I’ve been having that I wanted to share, at least so far as my rough understanding of the thought can be expressed so far. :slight_smile:


#2

Interesting thoughts, a lot to digest and ponder on :slight_smile: Reminds me a bit of Elhanan Winchester’s view of the afterlife that I read in “All Shall Be Well”.


#3

Lefein,

Some interesting thoughts. Thanks. :slight_smile: At least they seem internally consistent.

I still tend to think of “hell” as a distinct place from “heaven,” though, maybe due to my former theology. I tend to see all the accounts of the judgment seat in the NT as implying a real, physical separation between those in Christ in this life (thus not needing much, if any, postmortem refining) and those not in Christ (and thus needing refining). The former go to a blissful literal place (“the new heavens and the new earth”), and the latter go to a horrible literal place (more along the lines of our traditional ideas of “hell”).

Now, the only thing I need to figure out is how those in the refining place get to the blissful place. :smiley: I know it involves repentance and putting trust in Christ, and I lean towards thinking it involves the physical activity of Christ to move a repentant to bliss. This also may imply that we in Christ get to sally into the refining place to help find and transport repentants to the blissful place??? :open_mouth: That’d be awesome, I think: "post-mortem “firefighter” evangelists! :mrgreen: (although we wouldn’t be “fighting” the fire, of course, but that’s the picture in my mind…)

Anyway, just some other speculation. :smiley:


#4

I think that speculation of yours adds some nice meat to the meal here. :slight_smile:

I too believe in literal places, my speculation is more or less that the just and the unjust both are present in the presence of God; that they both exist and dwell in “the fire” at least somewhat. It is just that the righteous find it joyful, like being immersed in Love, while the unjust find it painfully holy until they themselves are clean and find it as beautiful as Love.

For evangelists, it reminds me somewhat of the scene where New Jerusalem’s gates are always open and the leaves of the trees of Life for the healing of the nations and those such scenes. I think it makes a great deal of sense for Christ’s children to help Christ in his work of saving people. Why would they be neglectful of that joy? Why would they too not rejoice with the angels when that “one sinner” comes to repentance, and the prodigal comes home?


#5

Beautiful thoughts, Lefein. :slight_smile: