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Better picture of what Hell is

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Learis, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Better picture of what Hell is

    Hello, first post. Sorry it has to be on a such a grim topic. Often times on apologetics forums I hear people arguing about Hell and why they think it is unjust. Many have the belief that you are literally tortured for eternity, I guess either by being set on fire or maybe they think that demons eat away at you or something gruesome like that.

    Anyways, I would like to respond to them, but I realize that I myself am rather ignorant on the specific details of hell. I know in the broadest sense it is a place of mental anguish and torment, a complete seperation from God (that alone is would be utter torture for me). However, I'm not sure of what life is like down there. Is it similar to how it is on earth? I'm also not sure if people are even given life in hell. Jesus says that the way to eternal life is through him. Does this mean that our life ends in hell, that we cease to exist? Well, any information and scripture you have about this would be great. I'd like to have a better understanding about the basics of Hell so that way I can debate back with non-believers when they bring up this topic.
  2. The Bible continually warns of a place called hell. There are over 162 references in the New Testament alone which warns of hell. And over 70 of these references were uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ!

    The man in Luke 16:24 cries: ". . .I am tormented in this FLAME."

    In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says: "And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

    In Matthew 25:41, Jesus says: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting FIRE,. . ."

    Revelation 20:15 says, " And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE."


  3. Hell is a reality, if it weren't then Jesus would have said so.

    This is what I have found out about hell from various sources online.

    The word hell comes from the hebrew word: 'Gehenna'

    "Gehenna, from the Greek geenna or the Hebrew hinnom, the Valley of Hinnom, is a deep narrow glen south of Jerusalem, where the Jews offered their children to the god Molech (2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:31, 19:2-5), as seen in Jeremiah this practice was strongly condemned by the prophets. Later it became a refuge for all putrefying material which defiled the city; and thus became a symbol of the place of everlasting punishment, especially with its accounts of eternal burning fire to which Christ referred to when he said, "the fire is not quenched."

    "Gehenna (or gehenom or gehinom (גהינום)) is the Jewish hell or purgatory. It has sometimes been described as a final punishment for the wicked and sometimes as a spiritual forge in which souls are purified after death. In English, Jews commonly use the term "hell" in place of "gehenna." The name derived from the burning garbage dump near Jerusalem (the Hinnom gulch), metaphorically identified with the entrance to the underworld of punishment in the afterlife.
    Gehenna also appears in the New Testament and in early Christian writing to represent the place where evil will be destroyed. It lends its name to Islam's hell, Jahannam.
    In both Jewish and Christian writing, Gehenna as a destination of the wicked, is different from Tartarus (deepest sheol) and from hades (sheol) the abode of all the dead. In some accounts, the fiery punishment of Gehenna takes place in one level or section of hades."

    "According to New Testament accounts Christ and the apostles used the expression of "gehnna" often, denoting its common usage at the time, signifying this was a place for the lost or unsaved. Christ mentions Gehenna several times as a consequence of sin; he describes it as a place where their worm never dies, and their fire is never to be quenched. Gehenna is identical in meaning to the "lake of fire" (Revelation 19:20, 20:10, 14, 15). Moreover the "second death" and "lake of fire" are identical terms (Revelation 20:14). These latter scriptural expressions described the eternal state of the wicked as forever separated from God and consigned to the abode of unrepentant angels and men. Gehenna, as Biblically described, is a permanent, eternal place of punishment in which the unfaithful and wicked reside forever and is not to be confused with Hades or Sheol. The distinction between Gehenna (an eternal state) and Hades and Sheol (intermediate states)"

    sources - wikipedia & themystica.com
  4. This should give an idea of the duration of punishment:
    Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
    Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
    Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
  5. Thanks for all the great quotes guys. I guess it's pretty conclusive now that in Hell you do not cease to be, but rather there is an eternal life of torment. I guess the one thing I'm still confused about is the fire and brimstone. Is this figurative or literal speach when they say there will be unquenchable fire? Does that mean that it is literally going to be unbearably hot and physically painful, or is it all metaphor for the mental anguish and despair you will feel, or is it both?
  6. God's character is one of love, so he always speaks to us in very simple terms that everyone can easily understand. He never talks technical to us outside of our understanding – he never talks over our heads. We live in a physical body, which will pass away someday. Jesus is telling us about a realm that we know little about – the reality of the spiritual world. We are both spiritual and physical, but presently we are being held into a physical body. When we die we will enter the spiritual realm free of the physical. In this realm there is no time, there is no need to eat or sleep – there is no physical pain - you just exist somewhere forever and ever.

    To those who have resisted the advances of God – resisted his love, shunned his goodness and mercy – stomped on his compassion, kicked against the goads of his conviction for a lifetime – he has warned them that if they do not respond to these things - they will enter an eternal place of separation from him – it has to be this way. John tells us it is because they love evil. You can't serve two masters. I haven't quoted scriptures on this as everybody knows them, but rather offer a simple understanding of what I think is the reality of the situation.

    As we are today we can experience both spiritual and physical pain. In the spiritual world there is only spiritual pain – which can be unbearable. I'm not aware that spiritual beings are able to feel pain from the physical realm. Hell is depicted as being punished by heat and flames. I think that Jesus in his communication genius and simplicity has compared the flames of our physical realm to that of the spiritual realm because this is the only frame of reference that we all commonly have to understand the extreme severity of being separated from God's presence.

    Then what could the reality of hell really be? I don't know. Perhaps it is a place with boundaries where all spirits of like evil character are put together in total darkness where there is nothing physical at all. Horror to me would to be captive in total darkness and nothingness listening to the evil minds of billions around me with no hope of this situation ever, ever, changing. This is the most frightful aspect to this that I can imagine. Also, only the Christian and angels will have incorruptible physical bodies. Those separated will not have a body. It is necessary to have a body in order to interface with physical matter – if there is matter in hell.

    All I know is that whatever and wherever hell is – if we were there - we would all agree that the depiction of torment by flames in a physical body was a very accurate and apropos depiction of the reality of the torment of separation of the spiritual being in Hell.
  7. I was wondering what you based this thought on- all are ressurected at judgement and the soul doesn't come into being without putting a spirit in a body as described in :

    Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    Thanks ahead of time for your comments- I find this an interesting topic!
  8. The Lake of Fire and Sheol (Hell) I know are two separate places. I was under the impression that once thrown into the Lake of Fire you cease to exist. As for hell, it's the place wherethe souls of sinners await until the final judgment.

    I'd like to hear someone elses take on hell
  9. I have yet to see any evidence of that but I am willing to learn and will continue to read this thread- thanks Larry
  10. This is an interesting point. I think Jasher answered it quite well.

    Something I'm considering: Hell is normally described either in parables or the apocalyptic books, as such in both fire usually denotes judgement, as in God will refine something through fire to make it pure.

    Fire is also a sign of God's wrath.

    One thing's for sure, I don't want to find out and luckily once we place our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we won't have to:pray:
  11. I'm confused. Did he have a really vivid vision of hell? I don't recal reading he died.... just that he was screaming in the livingroom for a good 20mins while his wife held him close.

    So, he either had a vision from God, or he died and actually went to hell. I was always under the impression that once you go to hell, there is no getting out. The fallen can not be saved.....:confused:
  12. He was probably taken or caught up in the spirit like Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) and John (Revelation 4:1-2). The difference is that he was not taken to Heaven but to Hell.

  13. Hi Larry,
    I think there are three different dimensions of existence. Spirit, permanent body, and temporal body. The Trinity has existed forever in the spiritual realm - until Jesus took on the body of a man. All beings exist in the spiritual realm - it is our basic, essential, and eternal state of being, which never changes. Where ever we exist we will always be basically a spiritual being whether we are in a body or not. Spirits can be interfaced into a body. I assume this is to be able to be seen and touched and to have substance that can interface with matter.

    The angels are spirits that have been interfaced into a permanent incorruptible body. Obviously, they are shape shifters and can become anything they want to be. We may have entertained angels unawares - who knows.

    We of course have a temporary body - a corruptible body, which will pass away. God has promised the Christian one of these new incorruptible bodies - like the angels now have. Jesus also has an incorruptible body like we were promised and like the angels have. Those humans who love evil and have chosen to abandon God will remain in the spiritual realm when they die forever.

    I think there is a lot of confusion between the word soul and spirit. The soul is the expression of our being. It is the seat of our emotions, our reasoning power - where our personality exists. Animals have a soul and a body. They also have personality, emotion, intelligence, reasoning power to a limited amount.

    If you list the characteristics of an animal and also those of the human being and subtract the former from the latter you can see the contribution of the human spirit. Mostly the human spirit brings moral consciousness, language, superior reasoning, and God consciousness. The soul is not a separate entity, but rather an interface between the body and the world - in the case of animals. In humans the soul is the interface between the spirit and the body to the world. When the body dies the soul dies.

    I'm not sure about the fallen angels having their original permanent bodies - they seem to be able to move things around - like levitation and they often appear to certain people, but I haven't really understood if it is possible for a spirit to be able to interface with matter - I don't think so, but I just do not know.

    Some say that Christians that have died now have their new bodies but the Bible seems to say that this will not happen to all the people of God until the last day when he gathers all his people including those who are alive and remain. I guess I believe the latter, but I Still have big gaps in my understanding - but this is how it stands this week.
  14. Thanks for your thoughts Jasher.
  15. hell is thinking your a good person on the outside but you have not addressed your inside from immpurities,as jesus says clean the inside then you can help.
  16. (Please bear with me, I'm new to this forum and this is my first post)

    I just wanted to add to I think a good definition of Hell would be: "Total separation from God."
  17. This is a good observation. Perhaps some people deceive themselves. Who would pour something precious into a dirty receptacle? Clean the receptacle then it is worthy to receive what is pure.

    VictoryInKC: That certainly sounds like hell to me. For the three hours that the darkness covered Jesus' suffering on the cross it is said that for the first time Jesus experienced total seperation from God.

    Without God there is no hope, there is no light, there is no love.

    Whilst we have the light, we should live in the light.:cool:

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