I’m new here. I was raised to believe in the doctrine of annihiliation of the wicked.
For some time, I held a view of Charles Taze Russell and the so-called “Bible students” (which by the way is not at all the same that modern Jehovah’s witnesses have), that all men are raised in the Millenium and then are able to ‘progressively’ accept Jesus.
But though that theology affirms the fact no-one can be saved except by Jesus, it still had tendency to offer ‘cheap mercy’. Thus it may be one thing that affected another; Anyway, I eventually went deep into the world and did drugs, crimes and all other bad things.
One time I was rushed by ambulance in the hospital. I had taken too much a certain medicine. They told me later on I had been quite a dead for few minutes, and of course was unconscious that time. What I saw in the hospital, shattered my annihilationist / soul-mortality cosmology to pieces: I woke up in Hell. It was quite ‘classical’ Hell. I remember smelling the burnt flesh. Saw the lake of melt sulphur and all that. Terrible voices I heard.
Now, you can say it was all because of drugs etc. but to me it was very real, and still is. Thus I went to the Lutheran priests when I recovered. They, unfortunately introduced me with the different kind of cheap mercy and wrong security. They did not say I have to turn from sin. Therefore I still walked in my sins for couple of years.
Even so, I did believe in God and Jesus. In that time I even came to accept (for the first time in my life) the full Deity of Christ!
But God had to let me go to very bad situation, before I humilated myself and asked Jesus to come into my heart. When I did that, I went instantly to sleep. Next morning I almost did not recognize myself from the mirror! I felt so good, so uncrumbened…so SAVED! In that time I was truly Born Again from above!
And ever since I’ve walked in the Lord’s footsteps.
I’m active in evangelization, public speeches, I give sermons in evangelical and fundamentalist churches…I’ve written a book about the Regeneration: I came to understand the meaning of the Regeneration only after I had experienced it, thus having the Holy Spirit as my teacher. I now study theology.
Now I consider myself a fundamentalist christian. But not that fundamentalist… See, I have this problem of Hell. I can’t imagine benevolent God who says He is Love, to cast people to hell and then forfeit them forever…and ever…and ever. Still, I only want to believe the Biblical truth and not just choose what I want. I want to believe the Word as literal as is necessary and meaningful to the context.
I’m seeking a theological breakthru to solve this great soteriological problem. I want to see what others have thought of it, past and present. And I want to be sure what the Bible says about it. Nothing more than the Truth, and whole truth.
Anyway, I’m still searching and have only this one theological hypothesis I’m experienting so to speak:
Clearly the Lazarus-and-the-Rich-Man parable speaks of the rich man being in Sheol/Hades and not in Gehenna, which is the ‘Final’ Hell. What if the part of the sheol, where non-believers go, is a purgatorial hell, and every non-believer must be there until the general resurrection / great white throne judgement? Maybe in hades and/or the time of resurrection they still could accept Jesus. And if someone ought not to, they’d finally cast into Lake of Fire / Gehenna?