How can we deal with the hopelessness that comes
from thinking those we love will be lost forever?

This is an issue that stirs up a lot of emotions. I've seen webpages that support almost every conceivable position on Hell - people who think you will burn in eternal torment, people who think you won't, people who think there is no Hell at all in the Bible, and you just die and are gone. What I noticed with all of this is that I was left feeling empty each time, feeling hopeless. I think that the Bible has an answer though that really solves it, regardless of your current position, and that is what the paper is about.

So what are you going to say? It would be impossible to sum up a 15 page paper in a few sentences without doing it injustice, but I can tell you two things that it will definitely not be about:

1) I will not be explaining by dancing around the problem how Hell is really a good thing like in this example: Q "Can a good God send us to Hell?" A "No we send ourselves there." Although this may be theologically correct, it is a frustrating answer because it does not solve our problem: the hopelessness that those we love will be lost.

2) I also won't use really complicated interpretations that no one can understand, or ignore parts of the Bible that I don't find convenient just to get the answer I want. That would not be an answer either because I would just be telling myself what I want to hear. Again the problem - the hopelessness that those we love will be lost - is not solved by it.

So who are you anyway? This paper is addresses an Evangelical Christian background, which is my own. But while my approach is Christian, it is certainly not traditional. You are welcome to read it regardless of your position or background. The only requirement is that you think. The paper is pretty intense reading, so you may want to go off-line after loading into your browser, or print it first and then read it.

so without further ado:

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Help! I don't want to think at all