Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer
No, it is exactly what "wailing and gnashing of teeth" is. There is no disease or physical pain while in a spiritual body. You don't see things in a spiritual sense, and therefore you can't see the spiritual message of the bible. Hell is a place of spiritual torment, and therefore the fire and brimstone is not a literal "fire and brimstone" that causes [i]physical pain[i].
Originally Posted by Itinerant Lurker
John 3 covers the topic of "spiritual things" very clearly for us. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?" - Even the religious Jews of the time, who spent most of their lives studying God's word, didn't "get it" because they were only seeing things in a literal or legalistic sense. The first part of John 3 is the topic of being "born again". Jesus reveals to us the things "which have been kept hidden from the foundations of the earth," which is to say, the spiritual meanings behind the actual events contained in the bible that have been hidden to us because of our sin. They're not "hidden" because God hid them from us, but because we're not infinite and can't possibly understand the reasons for every thing that God does, especially not if we're trying to figure it out without God's help in understand His purpose for those things.
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"
You keep saying that hell is a literal place of suffering and torment, when in reality the parable of the rich man and Lazarus clearly indicates that it is no such place. The rich man cried out for help to Abraham for help from being tormented by the flame, yet Abraham and the rich man are within eye sight of each other. How then is Abraham not tormented by the flame, yet they are within the same area? No, the contemporary view of hell was born in the dark ages to scare people into believing, thereby giving the apostate church system more control over their fellow human being: It is a lie.
"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."
This "great gulf fixed" is a wound, a grievous wound, a spiritual wound by knowingly rejecting God and in so doing, rejecting righteousness and life.
"And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."
That line is about prophecy, of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Many people believe that Jesus was a myth, or just a mere good man, and yet we have no dried bones to point to and say, "This is Jesus." We deny the resurrection as sinful humans, and our reward is hell for not heeding God's warnings: You reap what you sow. We're told these things so that we, as believers, have no excuses or shame on judgement day.
If you had two children, and the one kills the other, how do you punish that child?
I don't see why he needs to destroy me for not finding any compelling reason to think he exists. Nor do I see why it's my fault that he chose to reveal himself in such utterly unconvincing ways.
The bible is a book of spiritual truth, and if you deny God and cause others to deny God in your arguments against God, you are spiritually killing people who side with you based on your argument. What do you think God is going to do? Let you get away with it? There are no neutral parties in this, but this is not a battle of flesh and blood. This is a battle against powers and principalities, and spiritual wickedness in high places: A battle for your mind.
So, why do you not believe God exists, exactly? Think about all the things you've learned and talked about, argued for and against. Does it disprove God? Nothing you say or do disproves God, but what you say and do causes others to sin by saying "There is no God." That's why, if you continue blindly in sin by denying God, you are just as guilty as Satan. Sin leads to death, spiritual death.
While you wait for judgement day, you will be tormented by your words and deeds which caused you to deny God, then knowing that He is real. There are still the angels which in the days of Noah were killed in the flood, "reserved in chains of darkness" until that judgement day. No one is spiritually dead, yet, but you might as well be considered spiritually dead until you are "born again" of the spirit and see things spiritually.
I don't worry about "hell", I don't need to. But it seems to bother you. Why?
John 10 (KJV)
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.