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He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hell: Biblical


*The overwhelming majority of Bible verses support some form of annihilation; more support universalism than eternal Hell
+Contextually if you approach the Bible with the answer in mind you will always find the scriptural support to shore up your predetermined thought ... if however you go to Scripture with only a question in mind you will find the answer

*Gen 3:19: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, not dust to eternal conscious torment. Death, not eternity, is our default end
+A nuance of a definition of death, all will die, in eternity death means separation from God then that will be Hell

*The Bible never mentions Hell in the original languages. We (mis)translate Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna as “Hell”
+A rose by any other name is still a rose

*Sheol, the realm of the dead in the OT, is nothing at all like Hell, but is clearly where they thought the dead went

*Tartarus, translated as “Hell”, is a prison holding the Greek titans after the Olympian gods defeated them
+Agape is a word for Love of the Goddess Diana, it now means something entirely different, best not to confuse semantics with intended meaning

*Gehenna, or Ge-Hinnom, translated “Hell”, was the smoldering garbage-dump outside Jerusalem
+What more fitting visual concept would you have the people of the day relate to then that, and the description of Hell as being a Lake of Fire is in line with that picture

*Hades, translated as “Hell”, is imported from Greek mythology, and is simply the realm of the dead, or the god of death

*Hades, while still not Hell, is thrown into the lake of fire and destroyed at the climax of the book of Revelation
+Hence the Catholic idea of Purgatory, Hell still exists

*Genesis and the Gospels compare Satan/sin to a croucher or devourer, never an eternal torturer
+Satan is not an eternal torturer, he will be eternally tortured, he will be judged like all mankind and thrown into Hell as well

*In Job, Satan is clearly an ally of God, or at least a colleague, and is busy going to and fro, not torturing anyone
+No he is 'seeking whom he may devour' trying to usurp God's place as Lord and bring as many people into Hell with him as he can deceive, he is an enemy of God and the Father of lies

*In 1 Samuel 28, “Sheol”, elsewhere translated as “Hell”, is apparently where the prophet Samuel is. Prophets in Hell?
+Better check the reference, I could not find the word Sheol in Samuel

*Psalm 139 – God is everywhere, even Sheol, elsewhere translated as “Hell”.
+God is everywhere in Heaven in Glory, on Earth in omnipresence, in Hell as in vindictive justice, we cannot escape from God's reach

*In Psalms, sin = death, perish, consume, destroy – examples are Psalm 5:5-6, Psalm 37:38 – no eternal torture
+You can make the same point in a variety of ways, but Death either leads to eternal death or eternal life

*Sin=death in the Prophets: Jer 12:3, Isa 1:28; 33:12, Ezek 18:4, Nahum 1:2-13, Zeph 1:14-18, Mal 4:1-3
+Death is that, it is appointed unto man once to die then the judgment, for those in sin, Hell, for those saved, Heaven

*Isaiah 25:6-9, God swallows up death forever, and everyone rejoices. Except the billions screaming in Hell, right? No.
+1 Corinthians 15:53-55, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Isaiah 25:9, "And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the Lord;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” The key point is 'His people' and salvation found in the fulfillment of the prophecy with Christ's sacrifice on the cross

*The NT dichotomy is clearly between life and death – Luke 20:34-38, John 3:16; 6:48-58, Rom 6:23
+Yes and in this life you choose your eternity

*Matt 7:21-23 Jesus contrasts those who enter into his kingdom and who do not – no eternal torment mentioned
+ Jesus declares to them I never knew you, depart from Me, Hell is eternal separation from God, with all its torments inferred

*Matthew 10:28 Jesus threatens Satan’s power to destroy, not eternally torture
+Luke 12:5, "But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Fear Him, GOD, Who is the one who destroys in Hell, Satan only has power in this world and will face the same judgment as all who reject Jesus as Lord and Savior

*In Matthew 24:36-51 the sinner is cut to pieces, destroyed, not tortured for eternity
+It is appointed unto men, once to die, then the judgment, the parable is about the life, natural abilities, wealth and possessions which are held in trust from God and will require an accounting of at the day of judgment and the actions of an unbeliever not appreciating and refusing to understand his stewardship and responsibility for his actions. "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"... is a phrase used throughout scripture to denote eternal damnation in Hell

*Mtt 18:34; Luk 12:58-59 Jesus implies that the unreconciled receive finite, proportional punishment
+The example is of the unconditional and unlimited forgiveness of God, however, the parable is about the children of God not unrepentant sinners condenmed by their denial of Jesus
*The rich man; Lazarus is not literal – if literal, then all in Heaven will hear people begging from Hell for all eternity
+This may be true, but the points to be understood are these:
-Hell exists;
-It is apart and away from Heaven;
-It is a place of torment and suffering;
-It is represented by torment in a flame, like a wound being salted with fire

*Sin in John = death, die, perish – John 6:50, 8:51, 10:28, 12:25 – no eternal torture
+The key word is 'if' ... 'if anyone eats ... he will live forever' hence if they do not eat they will be cast into Hell

*Sin = death – examples are Matt 3:10 and 13:40, and then Luke 9:25, and Acts 3:23
+I guess the reference to being thrown into the fire has no implication of Hell

*Rom 2:7, 1 Cor 14, 2 Tim 1:10 – the NT message from start to finish is rescue from destruction, not eternal torture
+Yes, rescue and salvation bought through the blood of Christ and available to those who will receive that salvation

*Paul says nothing about Hell – kind of a big thing to omit from every single letter, because like all Biblical authors he did not believe in an eternal Hell

*Romans 6:23 Paul says the wages of sin is “death”, not “eternal conscious torment” – an important distinction
+Hebrews 9:26-28 "He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation."
Judgement is either salvation or damnation ... it is our choice.

*In 1 Corinthians 15:22 the grammar and context are clear that all are made alive in Christ
+Please refer to Romans 5:12-19, where the short form explanation is this, Adam brought upon all men the condemnation for only committing one sin-his willful disobedience. Christ's sacrifice brought salvation and delivered the elect (many) from the condemnation (Hell) of many sins
*Galatians 6:7-8 – Paul is pretty clear that there is destruction or eternal life, not eternal conscious torment
+By inference, if you sow corruption, your reward will not be eternal life, it will be eternal death or Hell

*Phil. 2:9-11 says every knee will bend and tongue confess, not that most knees and tongues will be tortured forever
+Philippians 2:9-11 "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Those that will face an eternal judgment will in the end admit and confess to the omnipotence of God and His right to justify all peoples of the earth.

*Col 1:18-20 – God reconciles with all creation through Christ…or fails miserably to do so if eternal Hell exists
*The process of reconciliation is in place, God reconciling man to Himself, all things being brought into right relationship with God. This does not mean that everyone will be reconciled to God (universalism), but only those who so desire. The failure of the reconciliation process lies with the decision of a man, not on the supposed powerlessness of God to do so, nor does it change the right of God in His subsequent rejection and judgment on those who so choose and their being cast into Hell

*More in the Epistles – 1 Cor 1:18, 2 Cor 4:3, Phil 3:19, Thess 5:3, Heb 10:27, 10:39, 12:29 – still no torment
+To those who are lost there is no hope for eternal life, for those who have heard the gospel and refuse to repent there is only anticipation of judgment and in that judgment the fury of a fire which will consume

*And more – James 1:15, 4:12-14, 5:20; 2 Peter 2:6, 2:10-12, 3:7 and 10 – sin = death and destruction; not torment
+The punishment and judgment of sin will be an eternity spent in Hell
*The Bible writers’ worldview does not have a place for the default immortality of a disembodied “soul”
+1 Thess. 5:23, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 22:37, Hebrews 10:39, Hebrews 4:12

*The NT culminates in a new Heaven and new earth where there is no longer suffering – where is the torture exactly?
+For those who are cast into the Lake of Fire, where the worm never rests, and wounds are salted with fire

*Almost every verse taken to refer to “Hell” talks of destruction very clearly, and not of eternal torment at all
+If you look at how Hell is described there is little room for any thought which does not include torment

*For all of these reasons and many more, the Bible clearly does not teach a Hell of eternal torment.
+For all of these reasons and many more, the Bible clearly does teach of a Hell of eternal torment.

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