Hell is a place of eternal conscious torment for unbelievers/people who die "lost"
Hell:the lost will be annihilated or lose their existence forever (annihilationism)
Hell is a temporal situation: those now unsaved (universalism)
I do not know, and I don't think you can know for sure about the specifics of Hell.
I have a different answer (please explain)
In general, I'm quite encouraged by the outcome of this poll. Seems Charles' initial post indeed indicates that things are moving and people at least start to acknowledge that the issue is not as cut and dried as it seemed.
Right now, 2/3 of the voters have a different answer than the 1st one. Good! And I hope that at least some who voted option #1, did so after understanding that there actually are various options, and having considered them.
That a intesting word you posted "apollumi"
Rev 14 reads as follows:
It aligns with Isaiah 66:Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, ‘Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’ (NRSV)
which is the basis for all the instances where the Scriptures talk about unquenchable fire etc.24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
The interesting thing is, however, that a study of uses of the idea of unquenchable does not refer to eternity, but to the completeness of the destruction (See for instance Isaiah 34).
Also, interestingly, Isaiah 66 talks about people who are no more than "dead bodies" and those bodies will be completely destroyed, nobody will stop the fire.
Then of course we also have the Lord himself, using the image of Jerusalem's garbage dump, the Gehenna. A place where the fire keeps going on, because obviously, new garbage is thrown upon it time and time again. All the same, what is thrown into it, is being destroyed.
So the question remains if we should read Rev 14 on its own, or in the light of similar passages. Solid Biblical interpretation would require the latter.
Which leaves us with Matthew 25:46 "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
It isn't difficult how to see how the idea here is more about the eternal consequences of judgement, than about duration. The Scriptures offer no room for purgatory. And it is well know how the concept "eternal life" is actually the "life of the age to come", which is a relationship mostly anyway. (John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.)
So it is really time for people to acknowledge that "eternal conscious torment" is at most a certain interpretation, and definitely not an obvious and clear teaching from the Scriptures. Also, as I mentioned before, it serves no purpose, nor is it just. Both would be an affront to God who IS just, and doesn't do things without purpose.
Kidding aside the purpose to me was a warning as a Loving God warns and warns. I agree nothing is added that I can see by insisting on eternal conscious torment even though thats what "I" see in the scripture that told us about this 2nd death. People can read REV and judge for themselves and anyway you look at it those lost do "perish" and are cut off from the presence of God forever. (eternal destruction)
Mine is a logic sequence.
The greatest One would be the One who could do more and better than anyone else. Otherwise He wouldn't be the One.
Satan/Sin/Evil corrupted all people. That's pretty impressive!
The only way One could be greater than Satan/Sin/Evil would be for the One to dramatically and thoroughly reverse the curse.
Thus, the Cross.
I will admit to convalusion, but Romans 8:12-21 seems to me to draw this same sequence ending with, "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for ALL men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for ALL men."
If my logic sequence is correct, the real issue is faith, not salvation. "And without faith it is impossible to please God!!!" (Hebrewss 11:6)
More to say about this, but on my way to a zone pastor's gathering.
Last edited by Wes Smith; August 3rd, 2011 at 12:38 AM.
without mistranslating.But you may be right when you said that hell is not described as a place in the Bible. We know that Paul never speak of Hell and if Gehenna (city dump) could the Translator be putting words in Jesus Mouth? Just wondering!
Yet it still seems that hell as a place of eternal punishment is a stretch. Whether Gehenna is a garbage dump or the place of pagan sacrifice, a meaning seems to emerge. It is a place where the unclean are sentenced. And whether they rot in a dump, or burned in fires to pagan gods, there is no sense of everlasting punishment there. It is a place where God is not, and human existence seems finite.
I recently read a neat article by Brian McLaren on Piper, and his writing off the Japan Tsumani as the will of God in ways we will never know, that we should pray for Him to use to bring salvation to those heathen peoples. Especially since none of the Christians there are from his denomination.
McLaren's point was that folks from Piper's school of theology have to have theodicy level answers for everything. God's soveriegn will has to be beyond each and every thing, and they have to have answers for it.
Naturally, this would include both heaven and hell.
Now, for myself...it's a little odd to try to hold that kind of perspective in my head. I'm fine with not knowing things. I have theories, things which seem more thematically coherent, but they aren't answers, because there's no way to know until I'm dead. I don't need to have the answers. There's more than enough trouble today, here and now. Ironically, that's precisely what Jesus told me to worry about, if I was going to worry...what is happening here and now.
The great majority of the warnings about hell that we see in the bible are telling us how we need to be living now. It's sort of a "if you aren't this person now, then when the time of straightening comes, you are going to have declared yourself on the side of death". We want those verses to tell us about the afterlife, but they mostly don't. In fact, the entire term "afterlife" is sort of bogus...God tells us that he already considers most of mankind to already be dead; it's only the ones who actually follow and abide in Him that have any kind of life.
How many Christians are so caught up in understanding and explaining (and controlling) this life that they aren't really alive at all? They're too busy being buffeted by the events of the every day, with no real participation in the aeon zoe.
There is an old Rick Nelson song, Lonesome Town.
There's a place where lovers goNow, we could spend a lot of time trying to identify in what state this town is located. But that would miss the point.
To cry their troubles away
And they call it Lonesome Town
Where the broken hearts stay.
Grace and peace,
Also note, making references to stories or myths to back up one's point was extremely common in those days. Jude is full of things like that, such as referencing Gabriel fighting the devil for the soul of Moses. I don't think that any of us believe that this really happened...it was a story at the time that had meaning which would have been clear to Jude's listeners. Also, (I know that this is more sensitive, but...) Jesus referencing Jonah being in the whale...what was important was the three days in the whale, not whether the story was actually true or not.
I don’t know the mind of Jesus so cannot state what Jesus believed. I can only go by what we have in Scripture. It seems obvious that when Jesus or other biblical writers talked about gehenna or hades they were talking about familiar ways of referring to the idea of death with its accompanying decay and destruction (gehenna has additional overtones of meaning). Note that several places in the NT hades is used in parallel construction with “death” (Acts 2:27, Rev 1:18, 20:13-14)
Bottom line: We do not know what Jesus “believed” about hell, especially since “hell” never occurs in Scripture. We do know that he referred to gehenna or hades. That calls us to understand to what those words refer within the context of first century Judaism placed against the background of OT usage.
Grace and peace,
Thanks for your post. We have to abide by God's word, and have the wisdom to know how to kindly lead sinners to Jesus, and also help them understand the consequences of their rejecting Jesus Christ as their Savior. But, we must, also, know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Holy Spirit has told us deal with a person, in that way, before we dare do it on our own.
The Greek deity existed for at least a millennium prior to the NT. I can't say for sure about the Norse deity, but the Temple of Odin teaches 250 BCE where they get this date I do not know.
We don't know if anything akin to the modern concept of Hell exists. I think that Dennis, Shea, and others have pointed that out, that the modern concept is foreign to the biblical text, unless I misunderstand them.
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Grace and peace,
So, has anybody read "Erasing Hell" by Francis Chan yet, which is essentially a response to everything Bell wouldn't say in "Love Wins"?
Also, Jesus going and preaching to the spirits in prison, is this suggestive of the possibility of post-mortem conversion?
You can be right or you can be in relationship
I don’t have the time or energy for a full analysis, so just a few comments.
1) the background of this passage (and several others in the later epistles) is likely cultural ideas preserved in first century Jewish traditions that were prevalent at the time but which are not part of our Scriptures. It is widely understood by biblical scholars that especially the Petrine epistles reflect these traditions, notably the writings of 1 Enoch. That provides a radically different context to understand this passage than modern ideas of “hell.”
2) “spirits” is never used in the NT to refer to dead people (with the possible exception of Heb 12:23, and then in a very specific and qualified context). In the NT, the most common usage of “spirits” refers to demonic forces or powers of evil.
3) The grammar and syntax of 1 Peter 3:18-20 places emphasis on Jesus’ being “made alive,” the resurrection. It is this reality “by which” the proclamation is made. In fact, this is the content of the proclamation.
4) The Greek word phulakā does not mean specifically “prison” in a negative sense but rather refers neutrally to a place that is guarded or protected, and can be used positively in the sense of “refuge” (Matt 14:25, 24:43, etc.).
5) Of the 46 other times that the word phulakā (“prison”) occurs in the NT, it is never used in contexts with gehenna, hades, or other similar terms. Only twice does it occur in a context that could remotely be associated with such concepts. In Rev 18:2 it is used metaphorically to refer to the destruction of Rome in the imagery of Babylon, and in Rev 20:7 it is the dwelling place of satan. Neither of those references evoke the imagery of “hell.” In both of these instances, phulakā could be understood in its positive sense. That is, phulakā can be a place of habitation or refuge.
6) When used of “spirits” (1 Pet 3:19), “every foul spirit . . . every foul and hateful bird” (Rev 18:2), or “satan” (Rev 20:7), phulakā can refer to the habitation or dwelling place of these. When combined with the first century Jewish understanding that evil in the figure of spirits, the devil, or the satan was the ruler of the present age and the world, this is easily a reference via Jewish traditions to the domination of the world by sin and evil. It is this domination that was broken by Jesus' resurrection.
In other words, rather than 1 Peter 3:18-20 being a literal description of Jesus preaching to people who are already in hell or purgatory, both common beliefs, it is a theological confession using prevalent first century ideas proclaiming that the resurrection of Jesus has broken the power and domination of sin in the world. That is a central NT message, from the Gospels to the Revelation.
So perhaps even those “inside the faith” need to read and study carefully rather than impose preconceived ideas onto the text.
Grace and peace,
I do believe this (bold) - Dennis has another meaning so we will disagree.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[a] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
18because also Christ once for sin did suffer -- righteous for unrighteous -- that he might lead us to God, having been put to death indeed, in the flesh, and having been made alive in the spirit,
19in which also to the spirits in prison having gone he did preach, 20who sometime disbelieved, when once the long-suffering of God did wait, in days of Noah -- an ark being preparing -- in which few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water;
So there is still at work within all of this a lot of ambiguity, and it still very easily applies to "spirits" in the sense that Dennis mentioned.
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
To be honest, I was not a fan of Bell's book either. Not because of his conclusions, but because of his methodology. I thought his approach was not particularly forthcoming.
On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.Post Thanks / Like - 1 Thanks, 0 Laughing
But yeah, I generally found Chan's book to be a marvelous collection of logical fallacies.
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
You can be right or you can be in relationshipPost Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 1 LaughingJohn Kennedy - thanks for this funny post
If we believe "Hell" is place of everlasting torment then "Gehenna" is poor metaphor of "Hell" because Gehenna was place of destruction and not a place of torment.
Some of you are saying that word "Hell" is not a Hebrew or a Greek word (Hell is English word)and if that be the case the doctrine of Hell that has been taught for years has been added to the Bible. I think (Paul D is telling us That the idea of Hell as we know of it today came from the pagan Greek philosophers and later some half convert Church Father of the 3rd century brought thai pagen idea into the Church. If that be true then we have no Bible version or doctine of Hell. Could this be the reason we don't hear sermon on Hell anymore in our pulpits.
Grace and peace,
The 2nd death is everlasting) Torment is found in REV. If you ask me a soul in the lake of fire cut of from God forever is destroyed.