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Questions Regarding Hell

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Questions Regarding Hell

Author : James Flanders I

Submitted : 2013-10-31 21:02:49    Word Count : 625    Popularity:   Not Rated

Tags:   james flanders, hell, doctrine of hell, false teachings about hell, hell test, Dante's Inferno, orthodox view of hell, wages of sin, eternal conscious torment, you shall surely die

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Take a few moments to imagine hell.

As you do do, please consider the following questions. Where did the pictures of hell in your minds eye originate? Were those images formed by the original text of Scripture? Is it possible that your view of hell has been formed by pagan belief systems that wormed their way into the orthodox church? Could it be that the beliefs many of of us hold regarding hell have been shaped less by Scripture and more by Dante's Inferno?

In your view, what is the purpose of hell? Is it simply a place for people to be endlessly and mercilessly tortured forever as an expression of the justice of God? If so, how could eternally torturing anyone truly be considered just?

If God commands us to love our enemies, forgive over and over again, and to be merciful, has He called us to a higher standard than He holds Himself to?

The penalty the sin of Adam was death. How did death turn into the idea of eternally living in torturous agony in hell? If eternal conscious torment is the penalty for sin, why didn't God say so at the beginning in the book of Genesis? Why would Paul teach that "the wages of sin is death" rather than living forever and ever in a torture chamber?

In the Old Testament Scriptures, the word translated as hell in some places is simply translated as grave in other places. How can that be? How can the same word mean two very different things? After all, there is a very big difference between a grave and a fiery eternal chamber of horrors.

Did you know that in the New Testament when we find the word hell in red letters, the word Christ used (Gehenna) was actually the name of a physical, geographic location just outside the city of Jerusalem? Did you know that if you take a trip to the "holy land" you can visit that location today?

When asked to describe hell, many will say that it is eternal separation from God. If that is the case, how could the Psalmist say: "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there." How can one be in the presence of God and separated from God simultaneously? Is it possible that rather than hell, this word should have been translated as "grave" as it was in many other passages in the Old Testament? If that is the case, what about all the other references to hell in the King James Bible?

Is the problem the Scripture in the original language? Or is the problem with some of our English translations and many of our traditions? If hell is a condition that is unending for any who enter into it, how could David say, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell" (Acts 2:27). If as many teach the wages of sin is eternal conscious torment in hell and they also teach that Jesus suffered in hell for the sins of humanity, how could he have paid the full penalty without continuing to this day and through all eternity to be in hell?

If you really take some time to mediate upon the above questions, you might find yourself having to reevaluate much of what you believe. In fact, if you begin to study the Scripture to look for the answers, you might even discover that the plans of God and the work of Christ are far greater and much more beautiful than you have ever known before.

In future articles we will focus in on the various Greek and Hebrew words that have been rendered as hell in some translations.

Author's Resource Box

Blogger and guitarist James Flanders has produced many audio teachings on the topic of hell and the redeeming work of Christ Jesus. You can listen to them on his main website and YouTube. After years of extensive Bible study he has come to see the work of Christ as something far greater than he had ever imagined possible.

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