Sunday once again and here is Part II on “Is There Really a Hell?” Your feedback is always welcomed.
Revelation 14:10 says, ” . . . and he shall be tormented with fire and BRIMSTONE . . .” And Job 18 describes the ” . . . PLACE of him that knoweth not God” (vs 21), in verse 15 as, ” . . . BRIMSTONE shall be scattered upon his habitation.” Do you know what brimstone is? It’s sulfur. And do you know where sulfur or brimstone is found? INSIDE THIS EARTH! According to the book Volcanoes by Pierre Kohler (p. 43), when Mt. St Helens erupted in 1980 — 150,000 tons of sulfurous gas was ejected! Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written over 3,000 years ago, and yet Job knew what science wouldn’t know for years — inside this earth is BRIMSTONE!
Sheol (Hell) – It is the non-permanent place or temporary address of the disembodied souls of dead. It is not the grave or sepulcher, nor is it the eternal location of the souls of the dead. It is the same as the Greek word “Hades”, which we will look at in a moment. Prior to Jesus Christ’s resurrection, both the souls of the evil and the righteous went there after death. It is translated “grave” 31 times, “hell” 31 times, and “pit” 3 times in King James Version (KJV) of the Bible.
Sheol (or Hades) has two separate halves. One side was and is reserved for the torment of the evil, while the other side, called “Abraham’s Bosom” in Luke 16:22, was for the comfort of the righteous. There is and impassable canyon, or gulf, between the two halves. When Christ was resurrected, he led the righteous out of Sheol to Heaven. Many (probably not all) of the Old Testament saints were resurrected into their immortal bodies at that time (Matthew 27:51-53). Since then, the souls of all of the saved people go directly to Heaven when their bodies die. The lost people still go to Sheol and join the lost people of the Old Testament in torment on one side of the canyon when they die. The other side of Sheol formerly known as Abraham’s Bosom has been vacant since Jesus Christ led the saints within it to heaven after His resurrection.
The English word “Hell” refers to a place of eternal punishment for the wicked. Its meaning does not distinguish between the two separate places for the wicked to be punished, one temporary for the soul, and the other, the Lake of Fire, permanent for the soul and body. Nor does its meaning include the place of comfort for saints prior to Christ’s resurrection. In normal English conversation, “Hell” is used only in the negative sense, with no saved people ever going there.
This caused some inadequate translations of “Sheol” and “Hades”. Often these words are translated “Hell”, which, as just explained, is rather ambiguous and non-descriptive. In many other places “Sheol” and “Hades” are translated as “grave”, but the grave is only the place for the body after death, not the place for the soul. This confusion often occurs when the verse refers to a righteous man going to “Sheol”, such as men like Jacob, Joseph, (Genesis 37:35) and Job (Job 14:13). Of course, these men did not go to a place of torment, but to the comfort side of Sheol (Hades), called Abraham’s Bosom.
Hades (Greek) – It is identical to Sheol (Hebrew). It is the non-permanent place or temporary address of the disembodied souls of dead. It is not the grave or sepulcher, nor is it the eternal location of the souls of the dead. Hades is translated “Hell” 10 times and “grave” once by KJV. It is the place for the soul, not the body.
Gehenna (Greek, but originally from a Hebrew name) – translated “Hell” all 12 times in KJV It is the permanent place for destruction of the “… soul and body …” (Matthew 10:28). It is a place of “… fire that never shall be quenched” (Mark 9:45). In most of the references, it is clear from the context that those who enter Gehenna, do so in their bodies, not merely as bodiless souls. For this to happen, it must occur after the resurrection of the damned at the great white throne of judgment. Therefore, Gehenna is the Lake of Fire described in Revelation 19 and 20. It is presently uninhabited, but the Beast and the False Prophet will be cast into it at the end of the tribulation (Revelation 19:20). One thousand years later, Satan will be cast into it (Rev 20:10) and will be followed shortly by the lost people of all previous time periods (Revelation 20:15). They will all enter Gehenna together, in there resurrected bodies, where they will remain in torment for all eternity.
The future destruction of the wicked is symbolized by the Valley of Hinnom to which Gehenna refers. It is a place south of Jerusalem where the bodies of dead animals and rubbish were taken to be burned. The Valley of Hinnom was also the site of much human sacrifice to the pagan god Molech (2 Kings 23:10, 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6, Jeremiah 32:35). The fire burned constantly in the valley since additional fuel was frequently being cast into it.
“And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place” (Jeremiah 7:31-32). Here we see that in the Valley of Hinnom is a place called “Tophet” whose name means “place of fire”.
“For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it” (Isaiah 30:33).
According to my understanding of the Bible, Hell is a place for persons who do not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. There are some, however, that do not believe in a salvation plan nor do they believe there is a place call “Hell.” As a Christian, I believe in Hell and therefore, I have accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Just suppose, however, that the “non believers” are right; that there is no salvation or Hell, then what have I lost being a Christian? Nothing. But just suppose that the Bible is correct and there is a “hell,” then the non-believers have lost everything. It’s all just a matter of choice.
If any non-believer desires to join the family of Christians and avoid Hell, the following is a suggested prayer. All you have to do is to say a prayer similar to the following and you will be saved (see Romans 10:9). If you make this decision, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. If you like, I can give you some information on what to do next.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry that I have sinned against you. I believe that you are the Son of God, that you died for my sins that I would have eternal life. I invite you now to come into my life as my Lord and Savior. Amen.
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