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Do you really HOPE that all will be saved?

minasoliman

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Before I sleep, I was contemplating on this repeated phrase that we may not know that all may be saved or we may arguably have reason to believe that not all will be saved, and yet we still pray and hope that all may be saved.

But I wonder, do we really and truly HOPE so, or are we just saying this?  Some of us, heck most of us still believe some people deserve to burn in hell eternally.  We seem to want the satisfaction of vengeance, even if we can do it ourselves, we desire the government or God to do it if the government can't.  And if the government can, we still want God to burn him/her in hell forever.

And so I wonder if we are honest with ourselves in thinking if we really hope that all may be saved?  Is it simply an insult to our sensibilities and want of vengeance that we dare to even hope that all will be saved?  Considering many commentaries on mass killings of innocents, and how we just don't fathom to think the person who killed even has a soul, and considering psychopaths and sociopaths who seem to be extremely difficult (some people say impossible) to medically or at least psychologically treat, I wonder at what point can we really truly believe in our whole heart that we HOPE all may be saved.

This may just be a rant from me, but I figured I share this rant in this section. If it becomes a debate or just a simple sharing of ideas or insights into the thought I bring, great!  It's pretty much an open ended discussion.  You have something personal to share that reflects or relates to this, that's okay too.  Or you can consider this my belated 19K post.

Good night!
 

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Thank you for this.

I was raised to think of nearly everyone as bound to perish in hellfire. Learning this from a young age, I didn't doubt it and it didn't trouble me. Yet the attitude over the years began to take a terrible toll on my social and mental health. It wasn't too many years ago that God finally seemed to break through with the warm light of his love for everyone around me. I won't say I was given to know that those around me would be saved, but that I was given to know that their salvation was as much the concern of the almighty, all-loving God as my own. Yes, in a sense I dared to picture all men as saved -- dared at least to picture the possibility clearly and hold up that vision next to the dark one I had carried so long. And the relief was indescribable. Like a physical relaxing of some awful cramp or fever. Joy flooded in. I've gone thru my days much more comfortably ever since, looking at others with a smile, feeling my own kinship and place in the world -- and all from that one therapeutic moment -- I haven't had to reconsider my basic understandings of dogma or make any real shift in belief -- just had to let that palpable hope shine in.
 

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I feel that I am obligated to hope for the salvation of all. I believe that hoping in God's vengeance and revenge in destroying the wicked is a sin...
 

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minasoliman said:
Before I sleep, I was contemplating on this repeated phrase that we may not know that all may be saved or we may arguably have reason to believe that not all will be saved, and yet we still pray and hope that all may be saved.

But I wonder, do we really and truly HOPE so, or are we just saying this?  Some of us, heck most of us still believe some people deserve to burn in hell eternally.  We seem to want the satisfaction of vengeance, even if we can do it ourselves, we desire the government or God to do it if the government can't.  And if the government can, we still want God to burn him/her in hell forever.

And so I wonder if we are honest with ourselves in thinking if we really hope that all may be saved?  Is it simply an insult to our sensibilities and want of vengeance that we dare to even hope that all will be saved?  Considering many commentaries on mass killings of innocents, and how we just don't fathom to think the person who killed even has a soul, and considering psychopaths and sociopaths who seem to be extremely difficult (some people say impossible) to medically or at least psychologically treat, I wonder at what point can we really truly believe in our whole heart that we HOPE all may be saved.

This may just be a rant from me, but I figured I share this rant in this section. If it becomes a debate or just a simple sharing of ideas or insights into the thought I bring, great!  It's pretty much an open ended discussion.  You have something personal to share that reflects or relates to this, that's okay too.  Or you can consider this my belated 19K post.

Good night!
Yes, although I am not sure this is likely.  I fear very few might be saved.  My hope is that God will work something out along the lines of the universalist doctrine described in the Nestorian Book of the Bee, punishing the unsaved but not to an infinite degree, or from a CS Lewis perspective, that the unsaved, some of them might realize the gates of Hell are locked frommthe inside and thus be able to escape.  This realization might be aided by our prayers.

The "God hates most people" idea is a perverse form of Christianity.  Especially in Calvinism.  John Wesley told George Whitefield, whomwas a Calvinist but otherwise an ally of Wesley, "Your God is ,y devil," referring to the horror of foreordination to damnation.
 

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How do I put this?

I hope for it generally, but not always specifically.

The problem is with me.
 

minasoliman

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Agabus said:
How do I put this?

I hope for it generally, but not always specifically.

The problem is with me.
That's the most succinct summary of what I portrayed.  Yes, I have a problem.  I do not know if I really hope that all may be saved.  I know I must believe it, I just don't know given specific circumstances I would be able to do truly believe it.

I guess the point is, perhaps if we are honest with ourselves, we might better handle what we SHOULD do in the future.
 

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I can´t stand the thought that people around me, whether my relatives, friends, or neighbours that I see walking on the streets may perish forever and suffer eternally(!)... And that many think it being the majority... That almost gives me a mental breakdown and nervous collapse. I actually was enrolled in a psychatrical clinic for weeks in october because of the thought that people might suffer forever and I must do everything to save them all. And I barely slept between july and october last year(3 months) because I thought many men would go to hell. It made me depressed. Severely so. I now know that what I experienced WAS hell and I am after that convinced that anyone who has experienced hell(even if only for 3 moths) would refuse to hope for the damnation of anyone and would almost desperately hope for the salvation of all.
 

minasoliman

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beebert said:
I can´t stand the thought that people around me, whether my relatives, friends, or neighbours that I see walking on the streets may perish forever and suffer eternally(!)... And that many think it being the majority... That almost gives me a mental breakdown and nervous collapse. I actually was enrolled in a psychatrical clinic for weeks in october because of the thought that people might suffer forever and I must do everything to save them all. And I barely slept between july and october last year(3 months) because I thought many men would go to hell. It made me depressed. Severely so. I now know that what I experienced WAS hell and I am after that convinced that anyone who has experienced hell(even if only for 3 moths) would refuse to hope for the damnation of anyone and would almost desperately hope for the salvation of all.
Good!  But I'm not talking about relatives, neighbors, and friends.
 

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minasoliman said:
beebert said:
I can´t stand the thought that people around me, whether my relatives, friends, or neighbours that I see walking on the streets may perish forever and suffer eternally(!)... And that many think it being the majority... That almost gives me a mental breakdown and nervous collapse. I actually was enrolled in a psychatrical clinic for weeks in october because of the thought that people might suffer forever and I must do everything to save them all. And I barely slept between july and october last year(3 months) because I thought many men would go to hell. It made me depressed. Severely so. I now know that what I experienced WAS hell and I am after that convinced that anyone who has experienced hell(even if only for 3 moths) would refuse to hope for the damnation of anyone and would almost desperately hope for the salvation of all.
Good!  But I'm not talking about relatives, neighbors, and friends.
Neighbours=All people.
That is what I meant with neighbours, which I why I said "neighbours walking on the streets". What I meant was "Strangers walking on the streets". I dont wish that ANYONE should suffer eternally what I went through for 3 months  (and more).
 

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Great thread. I agree with all of you. Human beings we are so weak, so blind that we must hope and pray for the salvation of all in Christ our Lord. Who is holy? Noone. Even our saints and holy Fathers have sinned in their life. And I really feel and believe that the Lord our God is so Merciful that will enlight us to avoid our eternal damnation. My aunt is a doctor and she said me a few weeks ago that she realised that many people die at the correct moment of their life. They suffer at the bed and when they forgive everyone and everything, when they realise what they are and what they have done, then they die while feeling relieved.
 

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Alkis said:
Great thread. I agree with all of you. Human beings we are so weak, so blind that we must hope and pray for the salvation of all in Christ our Lord. Who is holy? Noone. Even our saints and holy Fathers have sinned in their life. And I really feel and believe that the Lord our God is so Merciful that will enlight us to avoid our eternal damnation. My aunt is a doctor and she said me a few weeks ago that she realised that many people die at the correct moment of their life. They suffer at the bed and when they forgive everyone and everything, when they realise what they are and what they have done, then they die while feeling relieved.
That is wonderful to hear
 

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I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
 

minasoliman

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beebert said:
minasoliman said:
beebert said:
I can´t stand the thought that people around me, whether my relatives, friends, or neighbours that I see walking on the streets may perish forever and suffer eternally(!)... And that many think it being the majority... That almost gives me a mental breakdown and nervous collapse. I actually was enrolled in a psychatrical clinic for weeks in october because of the thought that people might suffer forever and I must do everything to save them all. And I barely slept between july and october last year(3 months) because I thought many men would go to hell. It made me depressed. Severely so. I now know that what I experienced WAS hell and I am after that convinced that anyone who has experienced hell(even if only for 3 moths) would refuse to hope for the damnation of anyone and would almost desperately hope for the salvation of all.
Good!  But I'm not talking about relatives, neighbors, and friends.
Neighbours=All people.
That is what I meant with neighbours, which I why I said "neighbours walking on the streets". What I meant was "Strangers walking on the streets". I dont wish that ANYONE should suffer eternally what I went through for 3 months  (and more).
That's good that you have that feeling.  But have you ever gotten into a fight with someone or been unfairly treated by someone that AT THAT MOMENT, you still loved them and wished the best for them?
 

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But yes it is really difficult to pray for all and especially for murderers, rapists, wars, enemies etc... This is the perfection that saint Maximus the Confessor describes. To love EVERYONE in the same level.
 

minasoliman

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MalpanaGiwargis said:
I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
I suppose it is a logical outcome of "loving the enemy" to have such hope.  But I like you also think of ISIS and have a hard time to fathom hoping for their salvation as wel.

I liked a recent Copt's honesty, and I can't help but reiterate.  God bless the survivors who truly forgave their families' killers and wish for their salvation.  They are a source of hope and salvation for me.  But at this moment, I sympathize with many other Copts who wish them to be destroyed and sent to hell.
 

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MalpanaGiwargis said:
I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
Aquinas Said the same thing as Ephrem. So did Tertullian and Calvin etc. Personally I find that absolutely repulsing. That sounds more like eternal hatred than eternal love. Though I agree with you about the problems of ISIS etc. But we are commanded to pray and bless those who persecute us, and to Love our enemies... That obviously seems to mean that we should Hope for the salvation of every man, doesnt it? And to love our neighbours as ourselves... Is it even possible to Hope for our own salvation if we dont hope for the salvation of our neighbour?
 

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minasoliman said:
MalpanaGiwargis said:
I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
I suppose it is a logical outcome of "loving the enemy" to have such hope.  But I like you also think of ISIS and have a hard time to fathom hoping for their salvation as wel.

I liked a recent Copt's honesty, and I can't help but reiterate.  God bless the survivors who truly forgave their families' killers and wish for their salvation.  They are a source of hope and salvation for me.  But at this moment, I sympathize with many other Copts who wish them to be destroyed and sent to hell.
I remember a letter I have read from a mother of a dead child during that bomb in a coptic church in Cairo... I was impressed. She has great faith. She said about the forgiveness of our Lord while He was on the Cross...
 

minasoliman

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beebert said:
Is it even possible to Hope for our own salvation if we dont hope for the salvation of our neighbour?
Good point!
 

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minasoliman said:
beebert said:
minasoliman said:
beebert said:
I can´t stand the thought that people around me, whether my relatives, friends, or neighbours that I see walking on the streets may perish forever and suffer eternally(!)... And that many think it being the majority... That almost gives me a mental breakdown and nervous collapse. I actually was enrolled in a psychatrical clinic for weeks in october because of the thought that people might suffer forever and I must do everything to save them all. And I barely slept between july and october last year(3 months) because I thought many men would go to hell. It made me depressed. Severely so. I now know that what I experienced WAS hell and I am after that convinced that anyone who has experienced hell(even if only for 3 moths) would refuse to hope for the damnation of anyone and would almost desperately hope for the salvation of all.
Good!  But I'm not talking about relatives, neighbors, and friends.
Neighbours=All people.
That is what I meant with neighbours, which I why I said "neighbours walking on the streets". What I meant was "Strangers walking on the streets". I dont wish that ANYONE should suffer eternally what I went through for 3 months  (and more).
That's good that you have that feeling.  But have you ever gotten into a fight with someone or been unfairly treated by someone that AT THAT MOMENT, you still loved them and wished the best for them?
No... And I dont love my neighbour as myself... and if you want... Pray for me. But what I mean is that I DONT want anyone to suffer as I did. Utter despair for anyone? No. By no means. Perhaps this is the only grace I have from God that I can experience: That I really dont want anyone to suffer as I did in utter despair. But I dont love my neighbour as myself; so I dont deserve to even look Christ in the eyes...
 

LizaSymonenko

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The Lord knows our weakness...and propensity for anger and desire for revenge. 

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."  Romans 12:19

Clearly He understands how our minds work.

As in all things, we simply need to trust in Him....and leave the judgment of the individual to Him.  He is the Great, fair, and just Judge.  Nobody will fool or sweet-talk or bribe Him.

...and yes, we do desire for the salvation of all...I even wonder about poor Judas...or even Lucifer.  They were both loved...and made a mistake...and refused to repent.

Therefore, we pray that EVERYONE repents before they die.  Heaven is boundless.  Just because another million souls enter, doesn't mean there will be less room for us and ours.  There's room for all creation.

The psychopaths and murderers, etc...some are biologically impaired (meaning lack of some chemical, or something...is hindering them incapable of love, etc.).  Some truly are not able to be kind and loving...and it is a mental illness...that they were born with.  Just as we wouldn't wish a man born blind to burn in hell forever...so, we don't wish the man born with a mental illness to burn forever.  These conditions are not their fault in the least. 

Those who are not "born" impaired....have for some reason allowed the devil access to them.  They were weak.  Perhaps hurt by the world.  Perhaps lonely or desperate.  We know that Satan does not sleep.  He watches for any weakness....just like a lion...who hides in the tall grass...watching the antelope...and the moment he spots one limping, or sees any impairment....he is there...taking advantage.  Same with humans.  Any display of weakness...is an invitation for temptation. 

We also don't wish for the sad individual who gave in to this temptation to burn forever.  They were weak.  They were hurt.  We wish for them to repent, as well.

If they murdered or harmed...we pray for the salvation of their victims.  Forgiveness of their sins, and memory eternal.

While difficult, as our views are often tinged with anger, or hurt, deep down inside....we truly would not wish to see anyone burning.  It would go against our true natures to see anyone or anything suffer.

May all evildoers repent before they harm anyone else....and may every living soul be worthy of salvation.

 

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beebert said:
minasoliman said:
beebert said:
minasoliman said:
beebert said:
I can´t stand the thought that people around me, whether my relatives, friends, or neighbours that I see walking on the streets may perish forever and suffer eternally(!)... And that many think it being the majority... That almost gives me a mental breakdown and nervous collapse. I actually was enrolled in a psychatrical clinic for weeks in october because of the thought that people might suffer forever and I must do everything to save them all. And I barely slept between july and october last year(3 months) because I thought many men would go to hell. It made me depressed. Severely so. I now know that what I experienced WAS hell and I am after that convinced that anyone who has experienced hell(even if only for 3 moths) would refuse to hope for the damnation of anyone and would almost desperately hope for the salvation of all.
Good!  But I'm not talking about relatives, neighbors, and friends.
Neighbours=All people.
That is what I meant with neighbours, which I why I said "neighbours walking on the streets". What I meant was "Strangers walking on the streets". I dont wish that ANYONE should suffer eternally what I went through for 3 months  (and more).
That's good that you have that feeling.  But have you ever gotten into a fight with someone or been unfairly treated by someone that AT THAT MOMENT, you still loved them and wished the best for them?
No... And I dont love my neighbour as myself... and if you want... Pray for me. But what I mean is that I DONT want anyone to suffer as I did. Utter despair for anyone? No. By no means. Perhaps this is the only grace I have from God that I can experience: That I really dont want anyone to suffer as I did in utter despair. But I dont love my neighbour as myself; so I dont deserve to even look Christ in the eyes...
So it's really about you.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
beebert said:
minasoliman said:
beebert said:
minasoliman said:
beebert said:
I can´t stand the thought that people around me, whether my relatives, friends, or neighbours that I see walking on the streets may perish forever and suffer eternally(!)... And that many think it being the majority... That almost gives me a mental breakdown and nervous collapse. I actually was enrolled in a psychatrical clinic for weeks in october because of the thought that people might suffer forever and I must do everything to save them all. And I barely slept between july and october last year(3 months) because I thought many men would go to hell. It made me depressed. Severely so. I now know that what I experienced WAS hell and I am after that convinced that anyone who has experienced hell(even if only for 3 moths) would refuse to hope for the damnation of anyone and would almost desperately hope for the salvation of all.
Good!  But I'm not talking about relatives, neighbors, and friends.
Neighbours=All people.
That is what I meant with neighbours, which I why I said "neighbours walking on the streets". What I meant was "Strangers walking on the streets". I dont wish that ANYONE should suffer eternally what I went through for 3 months  (and more).
That's good that you have that feeling.  But have you ever gotten into a fight with someone or been unfairly treated by someone that AT THAT MOMENT, you still loved them and wished the best for them?
No... And I dont love my neighbour as myself... and if you want... Pray for me. But what I mean is that I DONT want anyone to suffer as I did. Utter despair for anyone? No. By no means. Perhaps this is the only grace I have from God that I can experience: That I really dont want anyone to suffer as I did in utter despair. But I dont love my neighbour as myself; so I dont deserve to even look Christ in the eyes...
So it's really about you.
Probably yes. So then Maybe it isnt a grace from God. I still really dont want anyone to suffer though...
 

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beebert said:
Is it even possible to Hope for our own salvation if we dont hope for the salvation of our neighbour?
That's the million dollar question in a way. I suppose to some degree it depends on what "hope" really entails. I hope everyone is saved in the sense that eternal punishment is horrible to contemplate, and it is obviously God's will that all would be saved; I hope that they, and I myself, can reconcile their behavior with the image of God in which we are all created. Since the world has not been reduced to ash, God's forbearance towards us seems to be near-limitless. On the other hand, the Scriptures are pretty clear about the existence of hell, and I assume God means it when he gives commandments and prohibits certain behaviors. For people who commit heinous sins and die without any sign of repentance at all, I'm not sure I can have a reasonably grounded hope that they are saved. That does not mean I desire the damnation of the wicked, but I also believe there comes a Day when we answer for our actions, and if someone has chosen to be a monster, then damnation may be the just punishment. Fortunately, a greater Judge than I will pronounce that sentence!
 

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MalpanaGiwargis said:
beebert said:
Is it even possible to Hope for our own salvation if we dont hope for the salvation of our neighbour?
That's the million dollar question in a way. I suppose to some degree it depends on what "hope" really entails. I hope everyone is saved in the sense that eternal punishment is horrible to contemplate, and it is obviously God's will that all would be saved; I hope that they, and I myself, can reconcile their behavior with the image of God in which we are all created. Since the world has not been reduced to ash, God's forbearance towards us seems to be near-limitless. On the other hand, the Scriptures are pretty clear about the existence of hell, and I assume God means it when he gives commandments and prohibits certain behaviors. For people who commit heinous sins and die without any sign of repentance at all, I'm not sure I can have a reasonably grounded hope that they are saved. That does not mean I desire the damnation of the wicked, but I also believe there comes a Day when we answer for our actions, and if someone has chosen to be a monster, then damnation may be the just punishment. Fortunately, a greater Judge than I will pronounce that sentence!
Yes... It is just... I am not sure most people have seriously thought about what it really means when we say eternal punishment. ETERNAL punishing... In FIRE. That is literally Tja most brutal torture one can imagine. It would then be a crime against humanity to not pray that all might be saved IMO
 

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I love what Liza has said; I don't think I could have said it better. 

"The Conclusion of Every Hour" (and whatever other names it goes by) says, in part, "Christ our God...Who loves the righteous and has mercy on the sinners, of whom I am chief.  Who does not wish the death of the sinner, but that he returns and lives.  Who calls all to salvation, for the promise of the blessings to come."  If this is Christ's attitude, maybe it should be ours, too.

So yes, I do genuinely hope all will be saved.  But I'm also comfortable hanging out in the grey area between "logic implies not everyone is/will be saved" and "only God knows."  I don't need to know; there's no use in it.
 

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minasoliman said:
But I wonder, do we really and truly HOPE so, or are we just saying this?  Some of us, heck most of us still believe some people deserve to burn in hell eternally.  We seem to want the satisfaction of vengeance, even if we can do it ourselves, we desire the government or God to do it if the government can't.  And if the government can, we still want God to burn him/her in hell forever.

And so I wonder if we are honest with ourselves in thinking if we really hope that all may be saved?  Is it simply an insult to our sensibilities and want of vengeance that we dare to even hope that all will be saved?  Considering many commentaries on mass killings of innocents, and how we just don't fathom to think the person who killed even has a soul, and considering psychopaths and sociopaths who seem to be extremely difficult (some people say impossible) to medically or at least psychologically treat, I wonder at what point can we really truly believe in our whole heart that we HOPE all may be saved.
Specifically with regard to "hope", I think it's a function of love.  We can't hope for the salvation of all without loving all.  And I'm not sure very many of us can say we love others as we love ourselves or our loved ones.  St John asks how we can love God whom we have not seen if we do not love our brother whom we have seen.  So, really, we're not doing well. 

With regard to the sincerity of the hope, I think of this often when I pray.  How sincere am I when I ask God for anything?  Our prayer is often a lot of "good thoughts" or "positive vibes", and maybe that's a good place to start, but there's a lot more to it.  Maybe this hope is like that.   
 

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LizaSymonenko said:
The Lord knows our weakness...and propensity for anger and desire for revenge. 

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."  Romans 12:19

Clearly He understands how our minds work.

As in all things, we simply need to trust in Him....and leave the judgment of the individual to Him.  He is the Great, fair, and just Judge.  Nobody will fool or sweet-talk or bribe Him.

...and yes, we do desire for the salvation of all...I even wonder about poor Judas...or even Lucifer.  They were both loved...and made a mistake...and refused to repent.

Therefore, we pray that EVERYONE repents before they die.  Heaven is boundless.  Just because another million souls enter, doesn't mean there will be less room for us and ours.  There's room for all creation.

The psychopaths and murderers, etc...some are biologically impaired (meaning lack of some chemical, or something...is hindering them incapable of love, etc.).  Some truly are not able to be kind and loving...and it is a mental illness...that they were born with.  Just as we wouldn't wish a man born blind to burn in hell forever...so, we don't wish the man born with a mental illness to burn forever.  These conditions are not their fault in the least. 

Those who are not "born" impaired....have for some reason allowed the devil access to them.  They were weak.  Perhaps hurt by the world.  Perhaps lonely or desperate.  We know that Satan does not sleep.  He watches for any weakness....just like a lion...who hides in the tall grass...watching the antelope...and the moment he spots one limping, or sees any impairment....he is there...taking advantage.  Same with humans.  Any display of weakness...is an invitation for temptation. 

We also don't wish for the sad individual who gave in to this temptation to burn forever.  They were weak.  They were hurt.  We wish for them to repent, as well.

If they murdered or harmed...we pray for the salvation of their victims.  Forgiveness of their sins, and memory eternal.

While difficult, as our views are often tinged with anger, or hurt, deep down inside....we truly would not wish to see anyone burning.  It would go against our true natures to see anyone or anything suffer.

May all evildoers repent before they harm anyone else....and may every living soul be worthy of salvation.
Amen!
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
minasoliman said:
But I wonder, do we really and truly HOPE so, or are we just saying this?  Some of us, heck most of us still believe some people deserve to burn in hell eternally.  We seem to want the satisfaction of vengeance, even if we can do it ourselves, we desire the government or God to do it if the government can't.  And if the government can, we still want God to burn him/her in hell forever.

And so I wonder if we are honest with ourselves in thinking if we really hope that all may be saved?  Is it simply an insult to our sensibilities and want of vengeance that we dare to even hope that all will be saved?  Considering many commentaries on mass killings of innocents, and how we just don't fathom to think the person who killed even has a soul, and considering psychopaths and sociopaths who seem to be extremely difficult (some people say impossible) to medically or at least psychologically treat, I wonder at what point can we really truly believe in our whole heart that we HOPE all may be saved.
Specifically with regard to "hope", I think it's a function of love.  We can't hope for the salvation of all without loving all.  And I'm not sure very many of us can say we love others as we love ourselves or our loved ones.  St John asks how we can love God whom we have not seen if we do not love our brother whom we have seen.  So, really, we're not doing well. 

With regard to the sincerity of the hope, I think of this often when I pray.  How sincere am I when I ask God for anything?  Our prayer is often a lot of "good thoughts" or "positive vibes", and maybe that's a good place to start, but there's a lot more to it.  Maybe this hope is like that. 
Yup, that's my worry, the "positive vibes" I have in my prayer rather than sincerity.  My "worst enemies" in life, if you can call them enemies, people who cussed me out, ex-girlfriends, new leader in a research opportunity who kicked me out...yea I pray for them, but there are a lot worse "enemies" in this world that praying for such people in my life really seems too easy in the comforts of where I live as opposed to other more sinister folks in the world who no one ever wishes to run into.
 

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minasoliman said:
MalpanaGiwargis said:
I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
I suppose it is a logical outcome of "loving the enemy" to have such hope.  But I like you also think of ISIS and have a hard time to fathom hoping for their salvation as wel.

I liked a recent Copt's honesty, and I can't help but reiterate.  God bless the survivors who truly forgave their families' killers and wish for their salvation.  They are a source of hope and salvation for me.  But at this moment, I sympathize with many other Copts who wish them to be destroyed and sent to hell.
+1

Honestly, the Copts have become, for me, a sign of contradiction, and I'm not sure what to make of it.  Sometimes I'm tempted by the thought that people are saying what they think they ought to say or that they are brainwashed in some way, but usually I'm silenced by the feeling that the Lord is making good on what he promised in Lk 12.12 and 21.15, and that I am actually listening to the Holy Spirit and not, say, some five year old girl. 

Even so, I wonder how it is that the Copts have not formed militias to defend themselves as their Syriac brethren have done in certain places where they are also persecuted.  I've taken it for granted up to now that they are waiting on God to defend them, and that this is the deliberate decision of an entire people which is rooted in their deep and sincerely held theological conviction. 

But if there are a lot of Copts who wish for their enemies to be destroyed and sent to hell, I wonder how they have managed to resist the urge to help that process along.  Also, how is the Church ministering to these people?  Maybe I haven't been paying as much attention, but everything I see concerns the victims' families' forgiveness and Christian witness, the need for prayer, expressions of forgiveness and love for the attackers, etc., but I haven't come across much acknowledgement and validation of the feelings you describe, even if it's just to try and redirect it.

Forgive me, I'm not trying to offend, but this entire phenomenon is something I have difficulty with.   
 

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Agabus said:
How do I put this?

I hope for it generally, but not always specifically.

The problem is with me.
I'm probably the opposite of this.  I think it's very easy to see absolutely inflexible part of ideologies alien to me (Isis, etc) and due to it being a guiding idea having something of an intractable, irrevocable "angelic" nature to it.  When you see these things up close and in an actual person there is a lot more wiggle room.

After that my attitude is mostly apathetic.  I'm  probably not really too concerned about myself if I hope someone is going to heaven or Hell eternally...that's not really in any priority of mine.  Maybe that's a sin, but my sentiments or logical conclusions aren't that important to me. I hold with suspicion most logical chains on things like this as ad hoc human constructs, and a sentiment to me is just a personal sentiment.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
minasoliman said:
MalpanaGiwargis said:
I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
I suppose it is a logical outcome of "loving the enemy" to have such hope.  But I like you also think of ISIS and have a hard time to fathom hoping for their salvation as wel.

I liked a recent Copt's honesty, and I can't help but reiterate.  God bless the survivors who truly forgave their families' killers and wish for their salvation.  They are a source of hope and salvation for me.  But at this moment, I sympathize with many other Copts who wish them to be destroyed and sent to hell.
+1

Honestly, the Copts have become, for me, a sign of contradiction, and I'm not sure what to make of it.  Sometimes I'm tempted by the thought that people are saying what they think they ought to say or that they are brainwashed in some way, but usually I'm silenced by the feeling that the Lord is making good on what he promised in Lk 12.12 and 21.15, and that I am actually listening to the Holy Spirit and not, say, some five year old girl. 

Even so, I wonder how it is that the Copts have not formed militias to defend themselves as their Syriac brethren have done in certain places where they are also persecuted.  I've taken it for granted up to now that they are waiting on God to defend them, and that this is the deliberate decision of an entire people which is rooted in their deep and sincerely held theological conviction. 

But if there are a lot of Copts who wish for their enemies to be destroyed and sent to hell, I wonder how they have managed to resist the urge to help that process along.  Also, how is the Church ministering to these people?  Maybe I haven't been paying as much attention, but everything I see concerns the victims' families' forgiveness and Christian witness, the need for prayer, expressions of forgiveness and love for the attackers, etc., but I haven't come across much acknowledgement and validation of the feelings you describe, even if it's just to try and redirect it.

Forgive me, I'm not trying to offend, but this entire phenomenon is something I have difficulty with. 
Mor, you are correct.  The Church ought to be ministering more to those who suffer violent tendencies, etc.  The problem is that these people rarely attend church services, therefore, sermons are lost to them.

We probably touch a few of them when we help out at homeless shelters or soup kitchens.  I always try to make sure I smile sweetly and make eye contact with each individual...to let them know they are not just another shadow passing before me as I throw food at them.  I always try to make pleasant conversation, at least exchange some pleasantries.  You never know...that may be all they need to lift them up for that day.

Otherwise,....we have the prison ministry....which is where a good number of them end up.  However, I feel our prison ministry isn't as robust as it should or could be.  As a woman...I would hesitate going to a prison....and most men would, as well.  It's a tough gig...but, we have a few priests who excel at it.
 

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:O Strange to see a thread on this, as I've been thinking about this topic the last couple of days...

In answer: Yes I do. It's such a speculative topic that I don't want to meddle with something where I'm far out of my depth and put my foot in my mouth by saying anything more when I know I'm simply not qualified to speak on this. It's in God's Hands, and I trust Him. I agree completely with this (perfectly put, Ainnir!):

Ainnir said:
So yes, I do genuinely hope all will be saved.  But I'm also comfortable hanging out in the grey area between "logic implies not everyone is/will be saved" and "only God knows."  I don't need to know; there's no use in it.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
Thank you for this.

I was raised to think of nearly everyone as bound to perish in hellfire. Learning this from a young age, I didn't doubt it and it didn't trouble me. Yet the attitude over the years began to take a terrible toll on my social and mental health. It wasn't too many years ago that God finally seemed to break through with the warm light of his love for everyone around me. I won't say I was given to know that those around me would be saved, but that I was given to know that their salvation was as much the concern of the almighty, all-loving God as my own. Yes, in a sense I dared to picture all men as saved -- dared at least to picture the possibility clearly and hold up that vision next to the dark one I had carried so long. And the relief was indescribable. Like a physical relaxing of some awful cramp or fever. Joy flooded in. I've gone thru my days much more comfortably ever since, looking at others with a smile, feeling my own kinship and place in the world -- and all from that one therapeutic moment -- I haven't had to reconsider my basic understandings of dogma or make any real shift in belief -- just had to let that palpable hope shine in.
Amen brother. Beautifully stated. I'm still working on this.

Selam
 

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That's a difficult question.
There are some sins that we aren't expected to intercede for, for example.
However, what would you do if the adversary himself were to appeal to you to pray for him? What would you do?
 

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  It's a sobering thought that only 8 people in the entire world were saved in Noah's flood and that only 3 people were saved from Sodom and Gomorrah when they were destroyed.
 

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Jude1:3 said:
  It's a sobering thought that only 8 people in the entire world were saved in Noah's flood and that only 3 people were saved from Sodom and Gomorrah when they were destroyed.
Well, good point, although Orthodox theology makes the salvation of thise people post mortem directly  possible via the Harrowing of Hell.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
minasoliman said:
MalpanaGiwargis said:
I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
I suppose it is a logical outcome of "loving the enemy" to have such hope.  But I like you also think of ISIS and have a hard time to fathom hoping for their salvation as wel.

I liked a recent Copt's honesty, and I can't help but reiterate.  God bless the survivors who truly forgave their families' killers and wish for their salvation.  They are a source of hope and salvation for me.  But at this moment, I sympathize with many other Copts who wish them to be destroyed and sent to hell.
+1

Honestly, the Copts have become, for me, a sign of contradiction, and I'm not sure what to make of it.  Sometimes I'm tempted by the thought that people are saying what they think they ought to say or that they are brainwashed in some way, but usually I'm silenced by the feeling that the Lord is making good on what he promised in Lk 12.12 and 21.15, and that I am actually listening to the Holy Spirit and not, say, some five year old girl. 

Even so, I wonder how it is that the Copts have not formed militias to defend themselves as their Syriac brethren have done in certain places where they are also persecuted.  I've taken it for granted up to now that they are waiting on God to defend them, and that this is the deliberate decision of an entire people which is rooted in their deep and sincerely held theological conviction. 

But if there are a lot of Copts who wish for their enemies to be destroyed and sent to hell, I wonder how they have managed to resist the urge to help that process along.  Also, how is the Church ministering to these people?  Maybe I haven't been paying as much attention, but everything I see concerns the victims' families' forgiveness and Christian witness, the need for prayer, expressions of forgiveness and love for the attackers, etc., but I haven't come across much acknowledgement and validation of the feelings you describe, even if it's just to try and redirect it.

Forgive me, I'm not trying to offend, but this entire phenomenon is something I have difficulty with. 
I was under the impression that the Sutoro had the blessing of Assad, whereas with the Copts, General Sisi is their ally and they would not want to provoke him or receive reduced support from the existing security services.

 

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Mor Ephrem said:
minasoliman said:
MalpanaGiwargis said:
I wonder — are we obligated to hope this? I certainly think it better that everyone repent and find forgiveness, and, in a general way, I guess I do hope for that. But when I contemplate things like the atrocities committed by ISIS or war crimes or suicide bombers or child rapists, I have a hard time seeing HOW it is the case that all are saved, and I further have a hard time being concerned that people who do such things are in hell. That is perhaps a failing on my part, but there is a strain in ancient Christian literature of rejoicing in the just judgments of God; St. Ephrem specifically mentions the just laughing at seeing the damned in hell. That seems a bit too much for me, but maybe I am not as horrified by sin as I should be. Given my own failings, that is probably the case.
I suppose it is a logical outcome of "loving the enemy" to have such hope.  But I like you also think of ISIS and have a hard time to fathom hoping for their salvation as wel.

I liked a recent Copt's honesty, and I can't help but reiterate.  God bless the survivors who truly forgave their families' killers and wish for their salvation.  They are a source of hope and salvation for me.  But at this moment, I sympathize with many other Copts who wish them to be destroyed and sent to hell.
+1

Honestly, the Copts have become, for me, a sign of contradiction, and I'm not sure what to make of it.  Sometimes I'm tempted by the thought that people are saying what they think they ought to say or that they are brainwashed in some way, but usually I'm silenced by the feeling that the Lord is making good on what he promised in Lk 12.12 and 21.15, and that I am actually listening to the Holy Spirit and not, say, some five year old girl. 

Even so, I wonder how it is that the Copts have not formed militias to defend themselves as their Syriac brethren have done in certain places where they are also persecuted.  I've taken it for granted up to now that they are waiting on God to defend them, and that this is the deliberate decision of an entire people which is rooted in their deep and sincerely held theological conviction. 

But if there are a lot of Copts who wish for their enemies to be destroyed and sent to hell, I wonder how they have managed to resist the urge to help that process along.  Also, how is the Church ministering to these people?  Maybe I haven't been paying as much attention, but everything I see concerns the victims' families' forgiveness and Christian witness, the need for prayer, expressions of forgiveness and love for the attackers, etc., but I haven't come across much acknowledgement and validation of the feelings you describe, even if it's just to try and redirect it.

Forgive me, I'm not trying to offend, but this entire phenomenon is something I have difficulty with. 
Well, in history the last known Coptic militia were Nile Delta group near Damietta and Mansoura called the Peshmurian Copts (not to be confused with the Peshmerga Kurds) in the 9th century.  They were formidable, and the Caliphate had a difficult time with them, which only ended with naive negotiations of the Coptic and Syriac patriarchs interceding to have the Peshmurians to stop.

Another militia formed much more recently in the turn of the 19th century.  So the idea of a Coptic militia is not foreign, and a few netodox Copts have even called for a "Coptic nationalism" movement.  The clergy however was never in support of a militia, at least not openly.  The clergy were always peacemakers, and the Muslim leaders have always used them to quell any protests.  The present "Coptic nationalist" movement is implicitly anti-clergy, but it is quite a small group at the moment.

There are more Copts I talk to that just simply have human reactions to what occur in Egypt.  We do have a fascinating vocal group of pacifist Copts that are sincere on tv for their forgiveness of enemies, and we do have a good Sunday School education that does stress our pride in the history of the martyrs that probably has an effect on why you see what is faith-inspiring.  But I am beginning to see what is a growing social media presence of the wearing thin of Coptic patience as well despite praise of pro-Coptic Muslims for the strength of Egyptian patriotism of Copts against all odds.  But it is getting tiring to hear those "praises" and it is somewhat condescending, like "good boy Copt!"  A few days after the attacks, a viral video went around of a mass Coptic protest where they used part of an Islamic shehada with a Christian response:  "La Illaha illa Allah...w'al Massih howa Allah!" (There is no God but Allah, and the Christ is Allah!)

So at the moment, out of the respect of the strong pacifist religious convictions of the families of the victims and the support of the clergy, they stay silent, but the question is for how long.  Even Coptic people are still human despite a strong deified few who has the divine ability to forgive and to love and pray and hope for their enemies' salvation.
 

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Alpha60 said:
Jude1:3 said:
  It's a sobering thought that only 8 people in the entire world were saved in Noah's flood and that only 3 people were saved from Sodom and Gomorrah when they were destroyed.
Well, good point, although Orthodox theology makes the salvation of thise people post mortem directly  possible via the Harrowing of Hell.
Does it, though?
 

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minasoliman said:
So at the moment, out of the respect of the strong pacifist religious convictions of the families of the victims and the support of the clergy, they stay silent, but the question is for how long.  Even Coptic people are still human despite a strong deified few who has the divine ability to forgive and to love and pray and hope for their enemies' salvation.
Do you get harassed for eating bacon, stuff like that? I hate that.
 
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