Is there a heaven and hell?

Ask a pastor
02/03/2014

heaven and hell

 

“So what is the ‘official’ position of the ELCA in regard to the existence of heaven and hell?” -- Cheryl Hoth, an ELCA Facebook follower

Monica:  Thanks for your question! I don’t know that the ELCA has an “official” theological position on heaven or hell other than the Lutheran church affirms the power of the resurrection for eternal life. We also affirm in the Apostles’ Creed that Jesus himself descended into hell (death) and on the third day he rose and ascended into heaven. Luther’s Small Catechism speaks of Christ’s descent into hell not for the purpose of suffering but to proclaim victory over death and enemies. Christ’s ascent into heaven shows God’s will for life. Not even death by crucifixion can keep God’s love from shining in the darkness of our world. 

Brian:  I think it's fair to say that the ELCA’s “official” position is that heaven and hell exist. It would be impossible to go much further in articulating any description of either. Even the Bible doesn’t offer a single clear description or definition of either.

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A dangerous prayer
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