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Hell and the grave

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by rwc109, Mar 14, 2002.

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  1. rwc109

    rwc109 Active Member

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    The Hebrew word 'sheol' is translated 'hell' 33 times and as 'grave' 33 times in the Authorised Version.
    What is one to make of this?
    1. grave = hell?

    or 2. serious mistranslation?
     
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  2. 2002 Christian

    2002 Christian Member

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    Jesus says hell happens at the end of the world.

    Matthew 13
    13.38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    13.39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    13.40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
    13.41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
    13.42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Fiery Hell happens after the resurrection.

    Matthew 5
    5.30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, 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 hell.

    Matthew 10
    10.28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    2 Peter 3
    3.7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
     
  3. Jesusong

    Jesusong Veteran

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    As far as how to translate "sheol" whether grave or hell, depends on the context. A book I would recommend is "The Making of The NIV" - Kenneth Barker (Baker Books) in it there is a chapter 'The Translation of Sheol' and it explains the difficulty of how to translate this word.

    As far as when hell happens, hell is not at the end of the world. The lake of fire is at the end of the world, and according to Revelation 20:14, " And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire."
     
  4. charlesj

    charlesj Member

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    Hi Roger:

    This question is only a stepping-stone or springboard to a deeper subject. This is what I call a “loaded question” and doesn’t stop with the answer does “hell = grave?”
    This is a typical question that the Sabbath keepers uses for “bait.” The next step would be "do you go to heaven or hell at death?" And then the next step is “is heaven real?” and etc. etc. Sabbath keepers as well as the Jehovah Witnesses are very “polished” in this area and love to lure those weak in the faith on this subject.

    I’ve been down this road many times on this subject and even though I agree with your doctrine I have found that I’ve never won anyone to Christ with it. It does cause division.
    Roger, this note is NOT to say that I don’t respect you, nor is it to say I don’t have love (agape, care for) for you.

    I think I’ll take the “fifth” on this one……
    “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant qcontroversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” – 2Tim 2:23

    your servant in Messiah, Jesus,
    charlesj

    "There are six things that the Lord hates,
    seven that are an abomination to him:

    -haughty eyes,
    -a lying tongue,
    -and hands that shed innocent blood,
    -a heart that devises wicked plans,
    -feet that make haste to run to evil,
    -a false witness who breathes out lies,
    -and one who sows discord among brothers" --Prov 6:16ff
     
  5. 2002 Christian

    2002 Christian Member

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    Are you saying BODIES of the damned are not really in the graves, but are in hell NOW? That is not what Jesus told us. Jesus said bodies are cast into "hell." Re-read my posted scriptures above. You can't have it both ways. :(
     
  6. Jesusong

    Jesusong Veteran

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    Where did you get that??????????

    Please re-read my post.
     
  7. Tristan

    Tristan Chilling out

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    Hi All,

    Or secret hidden option number 3 - that the word 'sheol' can mean something different depending on the context!

    e.g. the word 'bar'

    1) I walked into a bar and ordered a drink
    2) I picked up the metal bar and put it back on the shelf.
    3) There are twleve bars of music in 'twelve bar blues'.

    I choose option number 3, because option 1 is just silly. Option 2 - I would say there is the possibility of a 'slight' mistranslation, but nothing 'serious' as it still conveys the meaning pretty well.

    Blessings,

    Tris
     
  8. 2002 Christian

    2002 Christian Member

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    I got that from reading between the lines. You said, "As far as when hell happens, hell is not at the end of the world." If hell is not at the end of the world, then I assume you mean hell is happening now. Correct me if I am wrong. Jesus said that bodies are cast into hell. Since bodies have not been cast into hell yet, but are in the graves awaiting a resurrection at the end of the world, hell must happen at the "end of the world" in order for them to be cast into hell. Matthew 10:28 clearly says that "hell" is a future event, since bodies are destroyed there, along with souls. The tares are not burned until the end of the world, according to Jesus' parable.
     
  9. Tristan

    Tristan Chilling out

    68
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    2002 Christian

    Instead of reading between the lines of his post, you should have read the post itself where Jesusong quite clearly quoted Rev 20:14 where it says that hell is cast into the lake of fire. If you read a bit more of Rev 20, you'll find that people are brought OUT OF hell/hades for the final judgement (the greek word 'hades' is translated both hell and hades, depending on the version of the bible, but it means the same thing really if you go back to the original greek). Then once they are judged they are sent into the lake of fire where hell/hades was sent in v.14

    Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

    This verse shows, people are in hades/hell before the final Judgement.

    I recently did a study for our youth discussion group on death and the Final Judgement. The bible is very clear on eternity (i.e. eternal life w/God, or eternal punishment), and where sinners will ultimatley go, but is v.sketchy on what happens between now and judgement. But it does point strongly towards the fact that believers are 'absent from the body and present with the Lord' etc.., and so will not be in any punishment when they die. However it is not so clear what happens to non-believers before judgement..it *seems* to point towards their punishment. The closest is the parable of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus (I forget the scripture reference offhand, but I can find it for you if you like), where Lazarus dies and goes into punishment in flames, and the beggar is being comforted. Since Lazarus is asking for someone to go back and warn his family, then I am assuming that this is only possible because his family is still on earth, and there has not been the final Judgement yet.

    I think the likelyhood is that condemned people are in hades right now awaiting the *final* judgement. But as I said, this is v.sketchy in the bible, so it's just my opinion.

    Hope that's clear and makes sense :holy:

    Blessings,

    Tris
     
  10. Jesusong

    Jesusong Veteran

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    2002 Christian:
    You are correct.

    In Hebrews 9:27 we read; "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment"

    After death we go to judgment. If we have Christ as our Saviour we spend eternity in heaven, with our glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If we don't have Christ, then we spend eternity in hell. Your referencein Matt 5:30 "It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." is quite literal, if not right away. The soul will go to hell after the initial judgment, with the body joining later at the final judgment at the last resurrection. Revelation 20:11-15 gives a graphic description of this event.
     
  11. heapshake

    heapshake The Great Pumpkin

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    Is eternal punishment eternal torment?
     
  12. Tristan

    Tristan Chilling out

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    Hi Heapshake,

    I believe that any punishment that means that you are separated from God is torment. Being in the lake of fire for eternity would be pretty tormenting (IMHO). But then I guess it all depends on what you mean by torment. For some people, just being apart from God is torment enough (When Cain was driven out of God's presence in Gen 4 to was cursed, this punishment was "more than he could bear" - how much more is it torment to be in a lake of fire for eternity?). Wheras for others (who have never known the presence of God) it may be pain for eternity. Or even just doing the same thing for eternity.

    Matt 25:46 "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

    This is pretty clear that the punishment is eternal. Is the punishment torment?

    The parable of Lazarus the beggar, and the rich man in Luke 16:22-31 shows what may be a glimpse of what that punishment is. The rich man is being consumed by flame and is "in torments". If this parable is any indication, then yes, the punishment is torment. Two important points to remember though.

    1) Since the rich man wants to send someone back to warn his family about this place, then I don't think that this is the lake of fire, because the lake of fire only comes after the final Judgement. I think that this place is Hades (which gets thrown into the lake of fire). Either way though, this is a place of burning...I wouldn't think that the lake of fire *doesn't* burn you.

    2) This is after all a parable...it could well be that this is nothing like hell/hades. Although I wouldn't think that Jesus would mention it unless it were some kind of indication of what it were like. Other scriptures point to being burned by hell fires etc...so I think it must be close to what hell is like, if not exactly what it is like.

    It is interesting to note that the greek word that is translated 'punishment' in Matt 25:46 is also the same greek word that is translated 'torment' in 1 John 4:18:

    1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

    Nothing definitive, but something to think about. The word is only used twice in the NT, and these are the scriptures it is used in.

    What do you think? Is the eternal punishment eternal torment? I personally think so.

    Blessings,

    Tris
     
  13. charlesj

    charlesj Member

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    "If we don't have Christ, then we spend eternity in hell" -end of quote


    "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. -- Matt 10:28

    I really don't want to get into this, but would like to point out that the ONLY WAY a person has eternal life is in Christ. You DON'T have eternal life in any other place other than with Christ. You cannot have eternal life in a place called hell.

    The soul that sins shall die and those without the Son will perish. The gift of God is eternal life, but the wages of sin is death (opposite of life), Romans 6:23.

    God gave his only begotten Son so that whosever believes on Him should not PERISH, but have eternal LIFE.(Jn 3:16)

    This study does not start here, but in Genesis where Adam is created. Adam disobeyed the Lord and was "kicked" out of the garden.... why was he forbidden to come back into the garden? Gen 3:22 has the answer. Gen 3:22 tells us
    that after he disobeyed he knew right from wrong AND
    least he stretch forth his hand and partake of the tree of life and live forever, he was removed from the garden.

    If Adam ALREADY had eternal life, then what good would it have done him to eat of the tree of life? Or, what good would it have done to forbid him from the tree of life?

    There were two trees in the garden, one gave LIFE the other gave DEATH. Adam partook of the tree that gave death and from that point on merited death and started to die. Gen 5:5 fulfilled the death penalty for Adam.

    This is NOT a popular doctrine for most believe that you go to a place called hell and burn forever. The fact is that you do burn, but the fire is hotter than most preach.

    It is the same fire “example” we see in book of Jude,

    “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” - Jude 1:7

    Like I have already said, I wanted to plead the “fifth” on this one because it is NOT a popular doctrine. I have heard the arguments on both sides for the last thirty years. I worship with a group of Christians that do NOT hold to this doctrine, but teach that man burns eternally. This is not the way I see it in the scriptures. I am open to studies, but
    I think I’ve heard about every argument on it.

    Your servant in Messiah, Jesus,
    charlesj
     
  14. heapshake

    heapshake The Great Pumpkin

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    That was what I was asking about Charlesj. I think that the death of your soul could be eternal punishment while it isn't eternal torment in the sense of burning in a lake of fire.

    This is something I've been trying to figure out here recently.
     
  15. Tristan

    Tristan Chilling out

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    Heapshake & CharlesJ

    Interesting points. Never thought of it like that before. I can see where you're coming from.

    Either way, I praise God He sent Jesus and made a way for us not to go there.

    God bless you both :)

    Tris
     
  16. Jesusong

    Jesusong Veteran

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    I don't feel that the death of the soul means cessation of existence. The soul is eternal, otherwise if death = cessation of existence (also known as annihilation) then where's the fear spoken about in Matt 10:28?
     
  17. heapshake

    heapshake The Great Pumpkin

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    But what does "destroy" mean. If the soul is destroyed how can it exist? I'm still up in the air on this topic. Mark 9:47-48 is something that doesn't seem to fit with the soul being non-eternal. I'm not sure what "the worm" is?
     
  18. 2002 Christian

    2002 Christian Member

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    Yes. Judgment follows death, but it doesn't happen immediately. We have only one life, one chance for salvation. This is the meaning of the text. The next conscious moment for the deceased will be to receive his reward/punishment as a result of judgment.

    This topic has connection to many other doctrines, which may not be appropriate to discuss on this one thread.

    "And, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him." Daniel 7:13. The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. A judgment begins here.

    "I beheld," says the prophet Daniel, "till thrones were placed, and One that was Ancient of Days did sit: His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Daniel 7:9, 10.

    This happens in heaven not when each saved person dies, but at a particular time ("And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged" Rev 11:18; "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment has come" Rev 14:6).

    Thus was presented to the prophet's vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered "according to his works."
     
  19. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

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    Getting back to the question in the opening post.

    The word "hell" is one of the most abused and misused words in the English language. Its original meaning was "to cover and bury". When a farmer planted his crops, or buried his apples or potatoes to keep them from freezing in the wintertime, he mounded in a pile and first covered them with straw, and then with a heavy layer of soil. This process was called "helling them in". To use the same meaning for a burial, we would say the dead one was "helled in".

    The idea of torment in literal fire is from the philosophy of man, and not from the Bible. The Hebrew and Greek words, sheol and hades, are translated "hell", and also "grave". We read that in the grave "the wicked cease from troubling; and ... the weary be at rest" (Job 3:17). "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). "Grave" in these two texts is from the Hebrew sheol, which is called "hell" in other places.

    So, does hell mean the grave? Yes.
     
  20. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

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    Tristan,

    You mentioned:
    The punishment is eternal, but not the punishing. If the punishing were eternal, then those who do not accept Jesus and are still in their sin would have eternal life. But that is not the case. Read Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    How can eternal life be a gift from God for those who believe in Jesus if those who don't believe also get it. At least that is what would have to happen if torment is eternal.

    After posting, I noticed charlesj's comments. He makes some valid points.
     
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