[quote="Kristin234, post:8, topic:296242"]
Okay, I have a genuine question. About the whole God being outside of time thing, does that mean if someone is in hell right now and you pray for them God can change something from the past where this person will not be in hell anymore? Because that just doesn't make sense to me. Once you are judged that is it. You get what you deserve. It makes no sense to me that after someone is judged God will grant our prayers to save them and change it up. You only have one life to live. If someone dies an unbeliever they will be judged as an unbeliever and they will get their due punishment.
If they are actually in Hell right now, then obviously the prayer was ineffective in turning this person away from Hell, although it was probably still effective in directing our own souls (in praying for others) towards God. But we do not know who is or is not in Hell: God has not granted us that knowledge. So we can pray for anyone, that they turned to God and were welcomed/are being welcomed/will be welcomed into the light of his presence, and can hope. If they are in Hell despite the prayer, they were always going to be in Hell. If they are not in Hell due to the prayer, they were always going to not be in Hell due to the prayer.
You could equally say that there is no point in praying for currently living people to turn to God and be welcomed into the light of his presence, because if they are in Hell in the future, will God change something from the future where this person is not in Hell anymore? Once you are judged, that is it. This way lies Calvinism and a disbelief in the power of prayer.
Rather than thinking of it like "Back to the Future", where the past and future change, think of it as God being eternal and all moments being equally present for him. More like God sees the whole four dimensional map of the entire universe. God's plan for us includes our freewill, and includes all the prayers everyone ever makes, and things are sometimes arranged so that things God wishes to happen happen in response to prayers. To God, whether the prayer or the event came first is irrelevant, because everything is equally present for him and always has been. Gosh, I'm getting deja vu. Don't we have a thread on this already?