Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, May 04 2007

Don't confuse these two publications

Because of a question recently posed, I would like for everyone to know that the Seventh-day Adventist publication called Signs of the Times has no affiliation with The Signs of the Times material that is produced by the Westboro Baptist Church. The magazine Signs of the Times has been around since the late 1800s. You will not find Signs of the Times publishing picketing schedules for funerals, nor will you find a count of someone's days in Hell. For one thing, Adventist beliefs do not carry the burden of a belief in an everlasting, punishing Hell. We believe that Hell is for an appointed time and place and that once it has allowed those who want no part of God's love to choose to cease to exist, Hell will serve no further purpose. Then God will heal and comfort those who grieve for anyone who has chosen to be lost.

Rather than see Hell as some fiery punishment for sin, we see it as a natural outcome of sin's inability to exist in the direct presence of pure love. It's hard for we humans to really comprehend, but somehow Christ gives those who wish it a type of protection that allows us to meet God directly, face to face, even though we've all been touched by sin. It isn't forced on any of us, but it was planned for everyone and provided for everyone, whether we choose to accept it or not. We can reject God's love, but then we can't look at Him. And God intended for us to be with him face to face, in the end.

As Adventists see it, Hell is forever, but not as a burning flame. It's forever in its finality and in the eternal wasted life of someone who rejects God's gift. I'm no preacher, and I don't claim to speak for all Adventists, but I really feel that it's important to make a distinction between these two denominations' very differing ideas of Hell. Don't take my word for it. Take time to study it for yourself. I just want people to know that when someone asks the old question, "Why would a loving God toss people into a burning pit to suffer forever?", my answer is that I don't see any evidence that God would do that to anyone.

posted at: 10:08 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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