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Featured What exactly is hell?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Neonap, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Neonap

    Neonap New Member

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    Is hell or hades a literal place where the souls of the damned reside, filled with fire and worms? Or is it something much more terrifying than we could ever imagine? Will it be a suffocating darkness where a lost soul will always be filled with constant dread and a never ending conscience biting at him to suffer alone with no company of demons or other damned souls wondering forever in darkness? I assume the afterlife is a big mystery to us, that we cannot comprehend what lies ahead of that veil, whether it be heaven or hell. A spiritual realm that differs from our current reality, that what we find on the other side will blow our expections away. Also do you think there are levels of suffering in hell? For example will a murderer suffer more than a robber? And one more question
    Also why can't a person in hell repent and be saved? Is it because our will is fixed when we die? The state we die in is the state we will meet our maker in? Is hell closed from the inside as C.S Lewis put it? What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  2. Adstar

    Adstar Well-Known Member

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    It's a prison for the spirits of those condemned untill the day of Judgement when they shall be judged and cast into the eternal Lake of fire.. We see Jesus describe it in His parrable of Lazarus..

    During ones life if one rejects the Message of salvation given by the LORD Jesus Christ then they are destined to be in Hell and then into the Lake of fire.. There is no need to have one minds fixed at death..
     
  3. Archie the Preacher

    Archie the Preacher Apostle to the Intellectual Skeptics

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    Jesus spoke about '...fire that never goes out...' and '...worm that never dies...' I do not know if this was literal or metaphoric. I do know I DO NOT want to find out by experience (thank you very much).
    More than likely. Even if it is fire and worms.
    Several statements in the New Testament - some from Jesus directly - indicate the raw fact Hell is forever. No further explanation about the 'why' of it. So I surely do not know, either.
    I think this most likely. Take a look at the God-deniers and God-haters writings either on their own sites or here. I'm not claiming or suggesting some of them won't reconsider Jesus' offer, but it seems they surely do not want anything to do with God. If that is their mindset when they die, I cannot see that opinion changing in Eternity. Looking at it another way, would one who consistently demands to do things "his way" stop being narcissistic?
     
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  4. TX_Matt

    TX_Matt Theological Mutt CF Ambassadors

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    Hell is the result of what happens when a person completely and totally rejects the love of God. It is being tormented by being in the presence of God while unable (willing or not, I'm a bit unsure as to which is true) accept God's love, thus being in communion and fellowship with him. In other words, the saved and unsaved are in the presence of God; to the righteous, it is comfort, to the wicked, agony. This ultimate, deep, and complete rejection of God's love and desire to be in communion with him causes humans to stop being image of God, and I believe it will result in them become less and less human to the point they ultimately destroy themselves. I am not sure if this will result in some sort of physical separation from the redeemed, but I think it's likely. While I personally hope for universal reconciliation, I am not sure if that will the case, not necessarily because God cannot, but because those who are in Hell have such a deep rejection that truly cannot be redeemed, they are beyond hope. Here are some of the best videos I've seen on Hell...



     
  5. Abraxos

    Abraxos 2 Tim 1.7

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    What I learnt and this may be quite liberating to some, hell does not exist in the sense that many of us have understood it to be. Hell in Christendom as perceived by many is a very bad interpretation of Bible scripture. This whole doctrine of eternal torment in hell came from the dark ages and is a contorted version of influenced Greek mythology, and made popular through art and poetry like Dante's Inferno and some Christian sermons like "Sinners in the hands of an angry God."

    In the Bible there is no such place. Satan is not the ruler of hell like Hades is the ruler of the underworld. It does speak of a "bottomless pit" (Revelation 9:1), but this refers to a place where God had chained the fallen angels reserved for judgement day. (Jude 6; Genesis 6:2). Hell in the Bible is depicted rather as a punishment that will come upon the wicked; And that punishment, the Bible gives us an example of what this punishment would be from what God did to Sodom and Gomorrah as God rained fire and brimstone from heaven onto the earth. (Genesis 19:24; Revelation 20:9).

    The wicked will be judged and punished by hellfire and will die, not be tortured forever. I'd encourage you to read this good article on how hell became eternal: The Salvation Conspiracy: How Hell Became Eternal

    What Does Jesus Mean by 'Their Worm Does Not Die' (Mark 9:44, 46, 48)?
     
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  6. RascaLinFaith

    RascaLinFaith Your Word became the joy and delight of my heart.

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    What's often overlooked is that Hell is not the absence of God.. "If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!" (Psalm 139:8)

    If God is everywhere in His being, then certainly He is in hell as much as He is anywhere else. He’s there in His judgment. He is there in His punitive wrath. He is present in hell as the One who executes His justice on those who are there. Anyone who is in hell would most want God, more than anyone else, to leave. This is our fundamental nature as sinners—to be fugitives from the presence of God. The very first sin provoked Adam and Eve to flee from the presence of God and hide themselves from Him. The last thing they wanted after they experienced guilt and shame was for God to be present. And that, if you can multiply it infinitely, is the experience of those who are in hell.
     
  7. Shempster

    Shempster ImJustMe Supporter

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    Hell is a very very old term and means secret place according to Norse legend. Unfortunately, the word was incorrectly substituted for Hebrew and Greek words that mean things other than a physical place of unending torture.
    Sheol and Hades speak of the grave. The dirt hole. Tartarus is the pit where certain demons are chained up. Gehenna was a place on the outskirts of Jerusalem. It would be similar to a landfil in our day. There is some imagery of fire connected to it, so people take others terms Yeshua used that sounded real bad, so they associated it with this idea of Hell.
    The idea of a scary place bad people go to was and still is used by religious leaders and fed up mothers to scare folks into submission.
    Have to admit it, it works alot.

    I am not saying that everyone good and bad goes straight to heaven when the die.
    The bible seems clear that some have a pleasant experience while others have bad ones. Though it looks to me that the story of the rich man and Lazarus was a parable, It also appears that the wicked are in for much trouble and grief. Exactly what that is, I'm not sure. But if you are going to create entire doctrines out of it then you need to conclude that the rich will burn in hell while the poor go to heaven.
    There was not one mention of anybody being a born-again person in any way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  8. Another Lazarus

    Another Lazarus Old Newbie

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    Imagine, God must send the Rich man to hell and save Lazarus, the Richs are not a bandit, neither a corruptor or a robber, he just doesnt share his Wealth, in the world all provided by God.

    May Jesus bless you all HalleluYAH
     
  9. RascaLinFaith

    RascaLinFaith Your Word became the joy and delight of my heart.

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    Wow, I'm really surprised that a lot of you are basically implying that you don't believe in a literal place called Hell.. you reject the biblical teaching that there is a place of unspeakable pain and torment where those who have rejected God spend eternity?
     
  10. BeStill&Know

    BeStill&Know Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good question! I often think of what God is described as in His Word. Father-Lover-Friend-Provider-Light-Water-Love-A Rock to stand-Compassionate-Wind-Companionship... so many and ALL good things.
    Hell or wherever the rebellious go, will be absent of all the numerous blessings of God. Darkness-isolation-abandonment-orphaned-quicksand-only aggressive hatred-no one comforting or sympathetic-very possibly cannibalistic-
     
  11. Shempster

    Shempster ImJustMe Supporter

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    Yes because its only a biblical teaching when you read looking through fundamental colored glasses. Part of this is reading English versions which incorrectly use that word.
    Not all, though. The Young's literal translation uses the best possible words. Many refer to the original words because there is no English equivalent. Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna.
    Gehenna is the one most referred to because of the fire imagery, but I feel that the understandings are many and inconsistent. Unless you stick to the endless torture idea.
    You can do that, but I feel like its slander. Its like picking words someone may have said, misunderstanding them and then painting a picture with a false narrative.
    Like what the media is doing to the President. Most of these things they say are just misunderstood drivel. So is the idea that almost all of God's creation will suffer in flames forever while a small few float on clouds and play mini golf all day.
     
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  12. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Not my faulty.

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    Hell will be a place designed for the torture of angels. I can't fully imagine what that might entail.

    Also, it does seem like there will be levels of punishment. When speaking of the people who rejected Him, He said in Matthew 11:20-24:

    Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.
     
  13. Abraxos

    Abraxos 2 Tim 1.7

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    A fiery hell under the earth where the human soul will be tormented for eternally is a doctrine of devils. It's not biblical.
     
  14. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member

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    Matt, that seemed to be Lewis' take on Hell, too, that the fate of the damned was to become subhuman. I think that fits with Christian mysticism as well, that salvation is nothing less than becoming more human, not something completely different by nature.
     
  15. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Not my faulty.

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    Then why are we told those who take the mark of the beast, in Revelation 14, that they "will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb" and that "the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night"?
     
  16. Archie the Preacher

    Archie the Preacher Apostle to the Intellectual Skeptics

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    Shempster, may I suggest you conflating the etymology and 'evolution' of the word - whatever it was, the one that comes out "Hell" in current English - with the underlying reality?

    According to the Bible, Hell is a physical - presuming humans have physical bodies in Eternity - place which was designed for renegade angels and is now reserved for all renegades. I presume if humans do not have physical bodies in Eternity, then Hell will be/is a non-physical 'place'. (Personally, I'm one of the "physical" faction.) No matter what it is, I am sure it is 'real' in whatever sense 'real' will be. I further suggest one does everything possible to avoid it.
    That is considerable off from what the Bible teaches.
     
  17. Abraxos

    Abraxos 2 Tim 1.7

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    You need to remember that the NT was written in Greek, and the word for "eternal" or "forever" in Greek means "Aion". Now "Aion" basically means a long period of time, or a time unclear to measure.

    For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. (Psalm 37:10-20)

    The unquenchable fire depicted in the Bible speaks of the fire, not the soul. The wicked will be tormented by hellfire, but the extent of how long he/she will be punished will be according to their sin (s), and then they will be no more.
     
  18. Archie the Preacher

    Archie the Preacher Apostle to the Intellectual Skeptics

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    The '...under the earth...' is not exactly Biblical. It is actually from the Greek tradition and probably from somewhere else prior to that. The Hebrew culture seemed to think it was related to the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem; possibly an underground area. It seems to have wriggled it's way into Christian tradition a good long time ago; another example of culture influencing the church. And the idea has morphed from 'the grave' to a place where all the dead are "stored" for lack of a better word, to the place of the dead being again conscious and punished.

    The 'firey' part is mentioned a lot by Jesus. If you think Jesus is either a 'devil' or influenced by 'devils' than my comments are wasted. I will accept a metaphoric interpretation to the 'firey' part, but any way one slices it, the impression is not good and not desired.

    Also, the idea of those rejecting God being 'tormented' is rather emphasized by Jesus and others. Perhaps we have 'different' Bibles?
     
  19. Shempster

    Shempster ImJustMe Supporter

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    Sorry, not sure how to answer the first part.
    If you are talking about the Lazarus story being scientific fact, I guess I would refer to my previous statement about it.
    Im not from any cult groups and I don't think I am a know-it-all but I love a friendly challenge.
    I would love to hear more about your thoughts on the last part.
     
  20. Archie the Preacher

    Archie the Preacher Apostle to the Intellectual Skeptics

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    Simple enough. You said "Hell" and referred to "Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna". That is, the Hebrew and Greek words for the 'place of the dead' in one form or another.

    This is NOT what Jesus ever meant or implied. Jesus did use the term 'Gehenna', I believe (working from memory here) but by that time, Gehenna - which came from the trash pit burning area outside Jerusalem - meant more than a location on Earth. The idea, the concept, of Hell did in fact change from earliest times. But one should never confuse the idea of an underground cavern or the center of the Earth operated by the Devil with the actual concept of Hell and Complete separation from the love and mercy of God.
    Nope. Not at all. Contrary to much popular opinion, I am pretty sure that is merely a parable to illustrate a point.
    If you say so. The view of Hell being a temporary punishment and then either complete annihilation or redemption or something else - which is what the post to which I responded put me in mind - is very similar to one of the Christian 'fringe' groups.
    You sound like one. But then, so do I, I suppose.
    Please clarify 'last part'. The part about the small fraction of humanity on clouds?