Sunday, January 22, 2006

#122: Is Hellfire For Real?

This has been the most controversial question of the ages. Some New Testament verses say hell consists of darkness, while others tell of fire. Let’s attempt to apply Biblical logic and common sense to this question and see what we come up with. What is the most severe and longest-lasting pain that can be inflicted on human skin? Anything that is burning hot: like a lit cigarette, open flames, strong acid, a red-hot poker, etc. You know what I mean. The reason the New Testament used eternal fire to describe excruciating pain was because there isn’t anything much worse. Therefore, would you agree that fire is a perfect example for severe pain?

Some might ask, “How can a God of love be so mean?” He really has no choice. For those who didn’t live as commanded, God could not bring them into His presence because they would just continue to be disobedient. Another thing to remember: Everyone in God’s kingdom and elsewhere will have a free will. Could He put the unbelievers in another location, where they can’t share His company? Yes, that is exactly what He will do.

We must remember this fact: The only reason for God’s creation of the complete universe was so that only its benevolent and holy inhabitants could be with Him for eternity. In other words, everything that exists is a creation of God. Therefore, when anyone does not desire to live and do things God’s way, He can’t force them to be holy due to their free will. By their actions, they are saying, “I don’t want anything to do with God.” So, God will put them where everything that has to do with Him is removed. What is left? Absolutely nothing. That means that the damned will be sent to a place of emptiness where there is nothing to remind them of God. God just gave them exactly what they desired on earth, but much more. Now try to picture a realm that has no physical substance–since anything physical would be a part of God’s creation. There is no sunlight, no solid ground, nothing—not even fire, since it is a result of God's making—just dark space for all eternity. I don't personally believe that God deliberately desires such severe punishment for anyone for all eternity since he is a God of love. Nevertheless, God is only taking Himself and all His creation (nature) away from them, and giving them what they desired while on earth: nothing to do with Him. We must remember that darkness is the only non-substance where God and His creation are not present. Now that could be as bad, if not worse, than fire: nothing to remind them of God. Repeating, God gave them exactly what they asked for, displayed by the way they lived here on earth. They enjoyed God's life-sustaining nature while rejecting Him. In short, their lives on earth openly said, repeating, “We don’t want anything to do with you, God.” The darkness of hell is as essential as the light of heaven.

Many of the future residents of hell say they are saved or born again, that they have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or that they believe the gospel message, but they don’t live accordingly. It doesn’t mean a hoot or a holler what one believes; what matters is if one lived and believed as God commanded through His Son Jesus Christ. Am I preaching a gospel of works? Absolutely not. I believe a gospel of salvation: saved by grace through faith, and then confirmation of that faith by a life lived in accordance with what is commanded in the New Testament; in short, works. One doesn’t work for salvation; one does good works because one is saved already. No works can only mean no salvation. Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-10. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS, [obedience] which God prepared in advance for US TO DO.” [emphasis added]. This could be a stern caveat with high stakes—your life—for anyone who is not actively living for God.

In essence, this post is being/has been written to display in good old-fashioned holy logic what the above paragraph is saying.


Jay said...

Al. I think the point you made about separation from God in hell is true, and that will be some of the torment there. As far as not remembering and being a place of emptiness where there is nothing to reminder them of God, I don’t think this is scriptural. The story in Luke 16:22 tells us something different. This man was aware of his error and he was aware how good they had it on Gods side. Some may say this is just another parable, and you can’t take that literally. I don’t think so. There is no other parable where a name is used. This makes me think it is not a parable. If I am wrong please let me know. If I can think of any more scripture to prove this I will post later.. Al can you get a counter on this page so we can see how many hits you are getting. Thanks Jay

JC said...

The response to this comment is answered in blog #123.

Jay said...

David. You may be right about the motives of some churches putting fear the of God to get more money. We don’t have to worry about them I am sure God will be taking care of them. We are to fear the Lord that fear is used by him draw us to Him. Yes He is all loving, but as for no punishment how can He be all just if there will be no punishment? I don’t think that fear of God is mans invention. Jay

Jay said...

Hi David. God is a God of love and you are right in saying He doesn’t want us to only come to Him in fear. The fear I was talking about is a reverence of God because He is Holy and Just and a trembling fear because He is so awesome. When Moses came down from the mountain from just being with God the Jews, wanted only Moses to meet with Him because they were afraid to. The shepherds in the field trembled just from hearing from the messenger of God. There are plenty of scripture telling us to fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That wisdom is Christ. Sorry if I didn’t make my point clear enough. Jay