Wednesday, October 21, 2009

# 288: Examining Hell

The word “hell” is used quite often in informal and slang ways, but not very often in its true meaning. Hell originated in the New Testament writings; oddly enough, it was never once mentioned in the Old Testament. Hell is described in several different ways, but always as an undesired place in the afterlife.

I will quote the majority of biblical and associated verses on hell, and tell how many similar verses there are to see if we can come to a consensus as to what hell is/will be.

Matthew 5:22. “But anyone who says . . . will be in danger of the fire of hell.” No where in the New Testament or elsewhere does it tell if this fire, which is mentioned a number of times, is a physical fire that never burns out or a spiritual fire (hot like a physical one but spiritual in nature). I personally believe it will not be a physical fire.

There are four verses that mention hell will be a place of darkness. 2 Peter 2:17. “Blackest darkness will be reserved for them.” Can darkness and glowing fire be in the same location (hell)?

And in Matthew 8:12, it says, “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Presumably hell. There are seven verses that mention how hell will be a place where there will be gnashing of teeth.

The book of Revelation gives a slightly different version of hell. Revelation 19:20. “The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” There are five more verses in Revelation that teach the same thing concerning what hell will be. Revelation 20:15. “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (The lake of fire is the second death.) Is your name and mine written in the book of life?

Now the question arises as to whether this second death means that they will not suffer eternal punishment in hell, but rather an actual spiritual death. Or is the second death a different place altogether? There are two verses in Matthew’s Gospel that mention eternal punishment. Matthew 25:46. “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

There is one denomination (and I am certain there are even more) that believes that those going to hell will actually die and not have to endure eternal suffering. This seems more humane, but it contradicts some Scriptures.

I will bring up an extremely controversial subject: The vast majority of Christians and even non-Christians believe that when a person dies, they will immediately go to either heaven or hell. According to the NT, that is a false belief. The reason this belief gained universal support all stems from only one section of Scripture: Luke 16:19-31. Jesus was telling the crowds a parable and modern religions in general took it as an actual present-day happening. Matthew 13:34. “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.” The point that Jesus was making is that just because a person was rich and esteemed by the common people, it did not mean that he or she was automatically going to heaven. And the next point he was making is that beggars and the poor were not going to hell because they were looked down on by the wealthy. Oh yes, this was the common belief of all the religious leaders who were rich and loved money. Jesus was about to dispel that belief with this parable.

Here are the reasons why: first, if you have a Bible, read Luke 16:19-31 to see the flaws in it, as if this section was the legal precedent that overrode all other Scriptures concerning this subject. I will try to be as brief as possible. Verse 22: “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.”

The question I pose is this: as Scripture teaches, everyone will be judged on the last day at the resurrection. So how did these two individuals bypass the resurrection and the Judgment? Acts 24:15. “ . . . that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” Also, John 11:24. “Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’” Besides these few Scriptures, nowhere in NT Scripture does it teach that it was the angel’s responsibility to carry the saved people to heaven to Abraham’s side, before they were even judged after their/the resurrection. There is also much more evidence to prove that this event could not have happened as modern religion believes. I believe I gave enough Biblical hard-core evidence that Jesus was telling the crowd a parable. This story is only one of religion’s stupid non-biblical beliefs.

If anyone can prove the NT and me wrong, please leave me a comment. If you are a church person, let your minister read this post, and see his/her reaction. I am certain he/she will have a ready-made excuse to prove that I am wrong. How can so many millions of people be tricked by an obvious hoax?

Getting back to what hell will be like, since the Scriptures give several various scenarios as to what hell will be, I must leave the question unanswered, other than it is an undesirable place that is waiting for all who don’t believe and obey the NT.

Let me leave you with this truth: according to Revelation 20:12-14, “The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books . . . and each person was judged according to what he had done.” This will happen on judgment day after the resurrection. Here is a worthy comment: what a person does in life will correspond to what they believe. If they believed they could get away with murder, as it were, and still go to heaven, what they did in life will correspond to that believed. Many “Christians” will say, “It is faith that saves us.” And that is true, as common sense teaches, that what we did in life, good or bad, will verify whether our saving faith was genuine.

Also, what truly bothers me is that many denominations believe that if a person gave their life to Jesus Christ and believes He is their Savior, what they have done or will do will not be held against them at the judgment. They teach that their good actions/deeds are only for rewards. What a mother/father of all lies. A very hot hell is waiting with an open mouth for these religious deceivers.

In conclusion, just because pastors are religious and are honored in the community, what they believe and teach may not be according to the NT. Your only protection against unbiblical beliefs is to study the NT without any preconceived beliefs. This blog may also be a big help.

The reason for the necessity of hell is this: When children continue to disobey their parents, what is needed is a good spanking. Of course, now that is considered as child abuse. Wrong! Proverbs 13:24. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” The Bible is correct.

When people commit misdemeanors, the city or county jail is waiting for them. When they commit a serious crime, the penitentiary will be waiting for them. In Old Testament times, when people committed a crime such as adultery or working on the Sabbath, etc., they were stoned to death; that is to discourage others from doing the same. For that reason, the crime rate was always low.

America has more inmates per capita in jails than any other country. What does that tell us? It seems our deterrents are not sufficient.

Since our God is a God of love, all His people must obey the rules of love. Now, what is to be done with those who did not adhere to that rule? God’s deterrent had to be severe, actually the most severe of all punishment: a fiery hell for all eternity.

However, hell does not frighten those who don’t believe in our Almighty God, whose name is Jehovah. It will be a big hot surprise for all of them on judgment day.

As one can tell, hell is as necessary as love. What would Christianity be without the fear of hell? Actually, Satan got around that deterrent. But then, that is not the best motive for belief in God, though it will do. God would prefer the motive to believe in Him as their Lord (Boss) and Savior, because He is the epitome of love.

I don’t desire to be labeled a hell-fire Christian; nevertheless, it is of great importance that all people who call themselves Christians do everything in their power to somehow let it be known that hell is awaiting for millions, possibly including themselves if they remain silent. And that is what we have been doing: keeping silent since who knows when. That is the problem in Christianity as a whole. We are not spreading the message of hell, most likely because people will call us judgmental, etc. Talking about hell infers that we are talking about them, especially to friends, who will make us instant enemies. And everyone knows that we desire to be loved and accepted, and not hated. Nowhere in the entire Bible does it teach that we will win a popularity contest if we are good and obedient followers of Christ. In fact, Jesus Christ was killed because he told the religious leaders what they didn’t want to hear. Religious people may want to kill us. There are more than a few who want my neck.

Repeating, for our silence we may have to pay the ultimate price, because silence is pretty good evidence that we are dead “Christians.” If they are actually experiencing the goodness of Jesus Christ, it is literally impossible to keep it to themselves.

Evidently, it must be people who call themselves Christians who aren’t concerned if others who don’t know Christ are going to hell; as long as they think they are saved. Ouch!

I hope and pray that God will be merciful and compassionate to many silent Christians who are good, loving and God-fearing. And then, I hope that God will forgive me for writing the aforementioned sentence, because by our silence we are nonverbally denying Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I enjoyed reading your topic but I have a few things to comment on. In the 6th paragraph 5 sent. a Divine God gives no gender to whose going to hell. Please correct. In 17 paragraph 2 sent. The key word is continue not for the first time or repeatedly over and over. Based on what has happen the child should be met with love and compassion. We work every day, now if our boss told us to do something and we got it wrong or we made a mistake should we be spanked or popped up side the head. We must teach compassion but we must first have love. I feel that you have a compassion for Christains to speak out. I hope this does not hender your affection towards the weak in spirit.

JC said...

Anonymous, thanks for your comment.I agree with your first comment on paragraph 6. On your second comment, 2nd sentence, I was just quoting Scripture, where it mentioned "he". The word "he" is used repeatly througout the complete Bible, which also includes the female gender.If I misunderstood you please send another comment,to keep me on my toes. jc

Anonymous said...

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and whosoever believeth in him shall NOT PERISH but have everlasting life...John 3:16. If anyone or anything perishes, does that not mean that they no longer exist?

Anonymous said...

Apparently few readers understand just what HELL is in the scriptures. The KJV bible greek word HADES is rendered HELL.
In Hebrew the word SHEOL is rended as HELL.
READ ECCLESIASTES 9:5 (in part) it says "The living are conscious that they will die,but as for the dead,they are conscious of nothing at all."
Rev:20:14 "And death and hades were thrown in to the lake of fire"