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HELL

One of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible is the doctrine of hell. There are several words for hell. From the OT, the Hebrew word “Sheol” is 31 times translated hell in the English Bible. In the NT, the Greek word “Hades” is 10 times translated hell, “Gehenna” 11 times and “Tartarus” (2 Peter 2:4), once.

The biblical knowledge of hell comes almost exclusively from the teachings of Christ who spoke emphatically on the subject on several occasions. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, the punishment of hell is so severe than any punishment known to man. The punishment of hell is much more badly than death (spiritual death of man) itself (Matthew 5:22, 29030, 18:5). The Lord used figurative language to describe hell, but the figure stands for the most terrible reality.

“And fear not them, which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him, which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

The human soul is immortal, eternal and indestructible on earth. In hell, the soul of the unregenerate will suffer the most severe punishment, which includes separation form God, torture of the soul with unquenchable fire, undying worms and many more. The soul will not die in hell but will remain alive forever in pains and agony.

The fire of hell is spiritual and unique; it is something not of this world. We cannot compare it with any human created fire or with any kind of fire in this world. (Mark 9:43, 45). It is better to suffer the pains of divine discipline and rebound than to suffer the pain of hell.

Satan is not the lord or master of hell, he will be its most notorious and popular prisoner. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of hell. Satan will not hurt or punish anyone in hell, but he will be the subject of the most severe punishment (Luke 12:5). Nobody is in-charge of hell or heaven except the Lord Jesus Christ.

“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18).

Hell is originally created for fallen angels (Satan and his demons), not for human beings, but since men through Adam decided to follow Satan’s rebellion, God assigned hell as the place of punishment for all who rejected the free gift of salvation.

“And death (the spiritually dead people of all generation) and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14).

Contrary to popular notion, hell is the place of punishment for all self-righteous people not for the “wicked” or evil people. In the NT, the term wicked or unrighteous refers to those who have rejected the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Religious people are more self-righteous than anyone else in the world, they are the genuine evil and wicked people, they are not serving God but Satan. They are working for the kingdom of the world.

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Another misconception about hell is in its locality. The idea that hell is in the bottom of the earth originated from the rabbinical teaching not from the teaching of the Lord Jesus or his apostles

Indeed, there is fire in the middle of the earth, but that is not the Lake of Fire. The lake of Fire is not a geographical but a spiritual place. The cults who advocate such teachings borrowed it from ancient cults.

WHAT IS HELL?

A PLACE OF PERPETUAL BURNING with unquenchable, supernatural, eternal fire (Matthew 5:22, 29-30, and 9:44-45).

A LAKE OF FIRE (Revelation 19:20, 20:10, 19:15, which describes the vastness of its suffering where all the prisoners have no possible escape.

Hell is also called the SECOND DEATH because the first death is the spiritual death of Adam imputed to every human being (Revelation 2:21, 20:14-15, 21:8).

Hell is ETERNAL SEPARATION from God, meaning, God will “delete’ everything about him, no memory will remain as if he did not come to existence.

Hell is the RELEASED WRATH OF GOD against human rejection of the Gospel and Bible doctrines. God cannot be angry with the sins of His people, for which He sent Christ to die and reconciled them back to Himself (Colossians 3:6, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Romans 2:5-8),

Hell is A PLACE OF DARKNESS (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 2 Peter 2:17). Its darkness beyond comparison because we do not have anything like it in this world. It is darkness produced by human and angelic total negative volition toward God and His Word.

Hell is A PLACE OF DESTRUCTION (Matthew 7:13, Romans 9:22, Philippians 3:19, 2 Peter 2:1). The human soul is indestructible and created with a purpose to return back to God, and the soul that rejects Christ has lost that purpose. It served Satan, the world and its lusts. God has no use for that soul - it must be destroyed.

Hell is A PLACE OF EVERLASTING PAINS  & SUFFERINGS (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Timothy 2:10). At the resurrection, God will provide all regenerate people with glorious bodies designed for eternal fellowship with Christ in heaven. All unbelievers will also receive their resurrection bodies designed for eternal suffering in hell. The suffering unbelievers may wish to die because of the severity of pains but death will not come.

Hell is a PERMANENT PRISON (Matthew 11:21) where there is no escape. There is no parole or pardon, no release. All humans and angels will remain in hell forever.

Hell is A PLACE OF WOES (Matthew 11:21) and sorrows. The memory of the wasted life spent for the world and the things of the world bring much agony to the suffering souls in hell. Memory of past opportunities to believe and accept the free gift of eternal life will torture the soul of the unbelievers forever.

Hell is A PLACE OF TORMENT (Luke 16:23, Revelation 14:10, 20:10). Torment refers to severe bodily tortures inflicted upon the victims. The Roman Empire was an expert of physical tortures, but the tortures of hell is much more severe and horrible beyond compare.

Hell is A PLACE OF WEEPING & WAILING (Matthew 8:12, 13:42, Luke 13:28). The Jews were famous for their weeping and wailing during death of love ones, disaster, and calamity. The Lord Jesus Christ used these analogies to describe the suffering of hell. The Jews mourn for the dead for several days but hell will be a place where people will weep and wail forever.

Hell is A PLACE WHERE WORMS DO NOT DIE (Mark 9:43-48). The worms of hell are eternal and unique because their habitat is darkness and fire. The worms are associated with death and futility. The people in hell are in terrible futility; they are good for nothing except destruction.

Hell is A PLACE OF EVERLASTING FIRE (Matthew 5:22, Mark 9:43-49, 2 Peter 3:7, Revelation 20:10, 14-15). Only in the Bible we find supernatural and spiritual fire like in the burning bush and at Elijah’s sacrifice. The fire of hell is a real fire, but it is superior to any kind of fire we know on earth.

Hell is A PLACE OF JUDGMENT FOR ALL HUMAN GOOD (Hebrews 9:27, Matthew 10:15, Mark 11:22). Hell is the venue for the judgment of all human good of unbelievers for which reason man rejected the grace gift of salvation. Actually, hell will be full of “good and righteous” people of the world. People who tried to earn salvation by their good works and religious activities, rejecting the free gift of salvation, rejecting the works of Christ on the Cross on behalf of men.

Hell is the END OF HUMAN REJECTION OF CHRIST, it will terminate human rejection of Christ and Bible doctrines. Nobody else in eternity future will ever again rejects Christ. Hell is the testimonial that God is sovereign Lord of all.

THE PURPOSE OF HELL

Hell was created for Satan and his demons that rebelled against God and challenged His sovereignty. The Bible is silent about the time of creation of hell. When and how it was created is not important to believers. It is not an important issue, it cannot accelerate or advance the believer’s spiritual growth.

The location of hell becomes the center of various theological speculations and illogical assumptions. Some “Christians” support the ancient pagan views that hell is located in the center of the planet earth. Recently, they released a publication of their latest discovery utilizing modern technology. Their super microphones claimed that they were able to gather noises and voices from the bottom of earth.

Hell is an escape –proof prison created most especially for supernatural, superpower and super-intelligent angelic beings. The phrase “bottomless pit” for example denotes the size of hell. Let us first clarify several things:

? There are several biblical terms for hell

?  Hell has several subdivisions

?  There are numerous popular and widely    

    accepted false doctrines about hell.

We must be familiar with the original terms used by the Scriptures for hell because the English Bible translation is misleading. We must be familiar with the teaching of the heretical reversionists, we must be familiar with the biblical concepts of hell to refute the idle, weak and struggling believers. Understanding the terms used by the original text for hell is of extreme importance to avoid the subtle infiltration of human viewpoint.

The translators of the English Bible have confused understanding of hell, which they rendered several different Hebrews and Greek words simply as “hell,” when they actually refer to different places. Sheol is the general designation for the abode of the dead for both unbelievers and believers in the OT. Hades is also the general designation for the abode of the dead both believers and unbelievers in the NT before the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hades contains three compartments:

        ?  Paradise or Abraham’s Bosom

        ?  Torments

        ?  Tartarus

PARADISE (a Persian word, meaning “Garden of the king”) also called Abraham’s Bosom was the designation of the souls of all OT believers (Luke 16:23-25). No human being entered heaven until Christ entered into the presence of the God the Father and was accepted as a true humanity –the only perfect man.

The acceptance of Jesus in His humanity means the acceptance of the Father of his sacrifice for the sins of all humanity. His sacrifice was approved and serves as the only access to heaven. Only under these conditions could believers be admitted into the abode of God (Psalms 110:1, Hebrews 1:13, 8:1, 10:12-20). Christ in His ascensions transferred the souls of all believers who had died up to that time from Paradise to the New Paradise or heaven (Ephesians 4:8-9).

Paradise remains empty from the time the souls of the OT believers were transferred to heaven. Today, believers who died go directly to the presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). At the Second Coming of Christ, we will return with Him to glorify Him in His millennial kingdom.

“TORMENTS” is a temporary fire for the souls of unbelievers from Cain to the last person of the millennial kingdom who will reject the grace of Christ (Luke 16:23-25).

Hades and Torments are synonymous, but the rendering of both term as “hell” creates confusion because there is yet a final hell designated as “Tophet”, “Gehenna”, “the Lake of Fire” or the “Second Death”.

The first two occupants of the Lake of Fire will be the beast and the false prophet of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 20:10), who will be thrown into this prison just before the start of the Millennial kingdom. At the second resurrection, at the end of the 1000 years reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged and sent to the Lake of Fire for their final punishment (Revelation 20:11-15).

TARTARUS is the prison of the fallen angels who conspired against God as recorded in Genesis chapter six. They were the only angels who had not seen the activities of the Son of God on earth and the defeat of Satan. They still entertained hopes that their leader would emerge victorious in

 
 
                

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