Re: TRAPPER, do you still believe that there is NO hell? by Mama Crow ..... Christianity (Biblical) Support
Date: 9/20/2007 2:47:21 AM ( 15 years ago ago)
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I'm not Trapper, but I don't mind sharing with you my opinion.
Sure, I believe there is a "hell" ... "hell" is just a grave, literally ... "hell" has nothing to do whatsoever with fires, or heat, or burning. It is the erroneous word used for the Greek word "hades" which should've always been translated "the grave."
(The word "hell" in English comes from an old Nordic name for a false, pagan god, deriving from their superstitions about the "underworld of the dead." It was hel or behelian.)
As late as the 1930s, many American farmers still spoke of placing their potatoes in "hell" after harvesting. "Hell" merely meant a dark hole in the ground.
But seriously, I understand what you meant by your question.
All of our life, we've been taught how the "unsaved" will immediately go to an "ever-burning hellfire" ... go there to shriek, scream, and writhe in unimaginable agony day after day, month after month, year after year ... thousands of lifetimes ... with never a respite ... never a drop of water to soothe our parched tongue.
I don't believe it.
Surely a loving God would not TORTURE human beings ... He is merciful; not vindictive. God is love; not hate. He desires to save; not destroy.
And besides. Why in the hell would Satan allow it? The Torture?
I mean. Hey! Think about it. We spent the majority of our physical lives honoring him (Satan) ... so we get sent "down there" to be with him ... Why would HE torment and punish those who got sent there because they served him? why, shoot! Seems to me Satan would want to celebrate ... let's have a par-tay! Woo-hoo!
But I digress. (do it all the time)
Christ DID speak of Gehenna fire.
(BTW, here we go again, THAT comes from a valley just outside the old city of Jerusalem ... which served as a town dump. It was a place of perpetual fires.)
Anyway, Jesus used this noxious place as an example of the dreaded "Gehenna fire" which shall DESTROY the incorrigibly wicked ... aka the real hellfire & brimstone.
"And if your right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Gehenna" (Matthew 5:29).
The English-language Bible says "hell." But Christ's audience knew immediately what He meant. He referred to that garbage dump outside Jerusalem, with its fires which consumed trash as well as an occasional body of an animal, or a criminal.
As an aside, it is important to note that Christ spoke by way of analogy, or in metaphor, and not literally. How do we know this? Simply by comparing scripture with scripture; by allowing the Word of God to interpret itself, without attempting to put our own meaning into it.
Since our bodies are the "temple of the Holy Spirit" and since the Bible also absolutely forbids disfiguring or maiming our bodies ... it is clear Jesus meant something else.
Obviously, He was showing how some human appetites, some desires, some passions, are as difficult to overcome ... are such a part of some people ... that rejecting them is like "pulling eye teeth" or "gouging out an eye" or "cutting off a hand."
Anyway, the most important point to be made (in my opinion) is that Jesus said those who fail to overcome sin by the power of God ... and with the help of the Holy Spirit ... will be cast into Gehenna fire (there to be "burnt up" ... completely destroyed.)
But now we get into WHEN does THIS supposedly happen?
WELLLLLLLLL ....that's a whole 'nother subject (the resurrections.)
But, basically, as I am trying to understand it ... every human who has ever lived, and who has ever died (or has yet to die) will be RESURRECTED at some point in time.
The first death that occurs to all humans is "natural." That first death ... no matter how it comes ... whether murder or tragic accident or peacefully or whatever ... THAT first death is NOT the "wages of sin."
There will be resurrections ... and some (who have been resurrected) will STILL reject God ... (unbelievable!) ... and, they will be sent to their second and FINAL death ... sent to the consuming fire ... to be burned up quickly ... swift punishment ... not tortured forever and ever amen.
"For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Eternal of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch ... And ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 4:3).
Gehenna fire will consume the BODIES of unrepentant resurrected bodies to ash ... they will not burn forever.
Dang. Sorry. Whew! That's all I have to say 'bout that ... just call me Gump.
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