John 8:5l -
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
I Corinthians l5:54-55 -
So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
John 5:25-29 -
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, When the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.
For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of
life; and they that have done evil, unto the
resurrection of damnation.
The "second death" follows the "first death". The "first death" is physical death that we all get, with the exception of those who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord. No one escapes the "first death". After an unspecified period of time people are resurrected and either given eternal life or eternal death - the "second death". Why would God, if He is so "good" do something like this to people - the "second death". Why couldn't He simply retrain "bad" people, that wouldn't believe. Why would God cast you into a lake of fire, isn't that cold-blooded cruelty? He who has the gold makes the rules, God has the golden streets and makes the rules. That's hard for people to accept, but is it really worth taking the risk?
John l0:27-28 -
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
To those who refuse to let the spirit of the God of the universe into their hearts GOD will say, "YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE." Now isn't that coldblooded - the dictator.
Matthew 25:30 -
And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
A definite, coldblooded dictator. We see the carrot in John l0:27-28 and the stick in Matthew 25:30.
John ll:25-26 -
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Here our Lord seems to contradict himself. First He says "though he were dead, yet shall he live". Then He says whosoever believes "shall never die". He has already said that you are dead, so how can you never die? First, He refers to the "first death". Second, He refers to the "second death". We all, with one notable exception - the "rapture" at the Second Coming, experience the "first death". But, we all don't have to experience the "second death".
John 3:l8 -
He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
So again we see the dictator - "he that believeth not is condemned already". Revelation, the home of "the seals and the plagues", has this to say about the "second death".
Revelation 20:l3-l5 -
And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The "book of life" is where your name is written when you let God into your heart.
Revelation 2l:8 -
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable (worthy of or causing disgust or hatred*), and murderers, and whoremongers (a man consorting with whores*), and sorcerers (a person who practices the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits*), and idolaters (a person that admires or loves intensely and often blindly an object not usually a subject of worship*), and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is THE SECOND DEATH.
Abortion is the murder of unborn children, a form of genocide. The first two categories of those who wind up at the lake are interesting, the rest of the categories are cut and dry. The fearful (the awful, the dreadful, the frightful, the terrible, the horrible**) are cast into the lake of fire. Why would GOD so abuse these people? People who are too afraid to come to Him in this world He hates the most. Next, the unbelieving (the incredulous, the doubting, the distrusting, the skeptical**) are cast into the lake of fire. Next GOD is going to abuse the "unbelieving". People that pretend He doesn't exist in this life He has no mercy on.
There are many near-death accounts that verify that there is "something" beyond the grave. From "At Death's Window" by A.S. Genova:
...I looked up and saw an incredible light - crystal-clear and brighter than the sun, but you could look right into it without hurting your eyes. Inside the light was the figure of a man with his hand held out to me, radiating so much love. It was the most beautiful feeling I've ever experienced. I never wanted to leave.
From Heading Toward Omega, by Kenneth Ring:
As I reached the source of the light I could see in. I cannot begin to describe in human terms the feeling I had at what I saw. It was a giant infinite world of calm, and love, and energy and beauty.
From Return from Death, by Margot Grey:
I went forward towards the light and as I did so I had such a feeling of freedom and joy, it's beyond words to explain. I had a boundless sense of expansion.
From "Do Suicide Survivors Report Death Experiences?", by Kenneth Ring and S. Franklin:
I would say it was Jesus Christ; I mean it looked like him. He was dressed in a robe that was a robin's egg blue, and a long flowing robe that wrapped around him and he had this staff that was a bright gold. It must have been ten feet high. I was looking at him. We were having a conversation. If I could ever put my mind into the space I was in there and know what we were talking about, I'm sure I would really have a lot of satisfactory feelings about a lot of questions that I've been wondering about...I can't remember it, but I was really comfortable talking and whatever it was, I agreed with it. There wasn't any unpleasant feelings during the whole experience...Vision was clear, everything that was there stood out...The colors had brilliance, this whole person had a brilliance or an aura about him...It was probably the happiest I've ever been. And as for the skeptics: going through an experience like that, afterwards it just puts a belief into you that no matter what anybody says or whoever tries to disqualify these, it will never hold up with me because I believe I have seen something of where I'm eventually going...
Are all these people lying? Some, maybe, but not all. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a l2th century Buddhist work, comments, "Be not fond of the dull, smoke-colored light from Hell." A lot of people say, "I don't want to be in heaven with those church hypocrites." Unfortunately, those church hypocrites will be in hell, where they will torment and vex you forever. From Beyond Death's Door, by Maurice Rawlings:
The only thing I remember was passing out into blackness and then I saw these red snakes crawling all over me. I couldn't get away from them. I would throw one of them off and then another one would get on me. It was horrible. Finally, I was dragged down to the ground by something and then other crawling things started getting on me. Some looked like red jelly. I screamed and cried out, but no one paid any attention to me. I had the impression there were many other people in the same fix all around me. It sounded like human voices and some of them were screaming. It was reddish black in there and hazy and hard to see, but I never did see any flames. There wasn't any devil, just these crawling things. Although my chest hurt real bad, I remember how glad I was to wake up and get out of that place. I was sure glad to see my family.
From Reflections on Life After Life, by R.A. Moody:
These bewildered people? I don't know exactly where I saw them...But as I was going by, there was this area that was dull - this is in contrast to all the brilliant light...they had sad, depressed looks; they seemed to shuffle, as someone would on a chain gang...As I went by they didn't even raise their heads to see what was happening. They seemed to be thinking, "Well, it's all over with. What am I doing? What's it all about?" Just this absolute, crushed, hopeless demeanor - not knowing what to do or where to go or who they were or anything.
From "Changes in Religious Beliefs, Attitudes, and Practices Following Near Death Experiences: An Australian Study", by C. Sutherland:
I feel that church is a bit of a sham. Not God, but the people. They seem to fuss over stupid little things that are really just political.
Again, from "Changes in Religious Beliefs, Attitudes, and Practices Following Near Death Experiences: An Australian Study":
They say if you're not a Christian none of you will be able to come in through the eye of the needle, and all that sort of thing. And I think, well, I went up there and I saw it and I certainly wasn't a Christian at the time. So how do they know?
Visions of God From the Near Death Experience, by Ken R. Vincent really hammers the church into the ground.
It is noteworthy that the reports of near death experiencers who have wound
up heaven and hell do not follow the lines of belief and doctrine. In this book we have accounts of Fundamentalist Christians
and Unitarians in hell and of atheists, Hindus, and Jews in heaven. Probably the best description of hell is that it is
the absence of God. When it comes to the message of who God is and what is required of us, there can be no doubt that the message
universally is consistent. The Being of Light has many names that fit the religious frame of reference of the beholder.
This makes sense and was alluded to in The Tibetan Book of the Dead. How else would God be revealed to us? All religious revelation
filters through we finite beings who are products of our culture, our time, and our symbolic language. Like the
wisdom of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, it would seem from the accounts of the near death experiencers that God is interested
in what is in our heart and not what is in our creed. It is the love for God and one another that is important. To love
others is to love God. Many near death experiencers have come back disgusted with the religious dogma of their formal religion,
but filled with the love for God and others. They reject dogma, but not the teachings of Jesus and the other prophets. They
reject religion, but not spirituality.
*definitions from Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
**synonyms from Webster's Third New International Dictionary