Comment: If ultimate...

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If ultimate...

...Light, Love, Person, Reason is fundamental reality, and you insist on trying to rip yourself away from that, you can't expect to find anything but diminishing light, love, etc. That's not a result of God forcing something on you; it's a result of you trying to flee the fundamental reality, like Gollum shaking his fist at the sun and slinking away underground, into the caverns. This hell always existed in the sense that it is just what happens when you insist on leaving the Light behind -- you will find the outer darkness.

Christians disagree on what happens to those in the outer darkness:

- some say those in the outer darkness are hopelessly lost and that God hates them and wants them to be there

- some say those in the outer darkness are hopelessly lost despite God loving them and wanting them to return to Light and Love

- some say those in the outer darkness will just be put out of their misery (annihilated)

- some say those in the outer darkness will still be able to cry out, to respond to that longing in their heart to return to Light and Love and reality, and that the Father will welcome them home with open arms as the returning prodigal

The latter view is the one I hold ... all things will be reconciled through the peace of Christ, as everyone realizes the truth of the outer darkness and reality, and decides to return to that Love that will never stop seeking them.

Be careful not to assume that all Christians subscribe to the idea of God as some cosmic torturer Who just wants to see you burn for His glory. Although it isn't the predominant view, early church fathers such as Origen and Gregory of Nyssa (who were key in forming the early creeds and the accepted Biblical canon) upheld the view of all things being restored and reconciled (Colossians 1, etc.) Check out the 'Evangelical Universalist' by Gregory MacDonald if you're at all interested in hearing this other perspective, which affirms the core gospel but explores the philosophical and biblical support for the universalist view.