I am not trying to resolve great theological debates, I hope to have people think about how they see God and what that does, or might, mean in their lives. With that in mind, let me make some proposals about the nature of God and pose some questions. I am not binding myself to any statements I make about the nature of God and there are no provable answers to the questions but I hope you will find this something interesting to consider.
Does God ever stop loving us and is there ever a time, even in eternity, when He gives up on us and will let us permanently “stew in our own stuff” in Hell?
In his novel, The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis proposes that Hell is a spot between two blades of grass in Heaven. It is inhabited by small-minded, self-centered people focused on their ideas about how life has been and how they have been mistreated. The residents of Hell can choose to take a trip to heaven and are welcome to stay if they are willing to let God, and joy, be more important to them than the “baggage” they carry around in their lives. His book is a classic in showing how people in this life refuse pleasures of every sort in order to continue to be “right” about how things work.
My understanding of the Orthodox Christian view of the after-life is this – Since there is no place where God is not, Heaven and Hell are defined by our reaction to God’s Love. We will all be in His presence and be engulfed by His love. If we are willing to accept that love, eternity will be a great joy (heaven). If we continue to refuse His love, that love will be a torment to us and we will be in Hell.
When I mentioned the Orthodox view to a friend, he asked who I thought I was to think I could resist God? I decided to post that question here for all of us. I look forward to hearing your comments.
Let me close by saying that this is not just a question about the next life. How many times today have I resisted God? Will there ever be a time in my life on Earth when I grow tired of resisting?