Are There Levels Of Hell
While the Bible does not support the circular, layered version of hell seen in Inferno, there are several distinct areas the Bible does mention. In the Old Testament, there are several references to a place called sheol. Its Greek equivalent is hades. Sheol refers to a temporary underworld, where the dead sleep it is not the final destination of anybody.
In the New Testament, the word gehenna is translated as hell. There is a small valley called the Valley of Hinnom, or Gehenna, thought to be cursed because some of the kings of Judah offended God by burning their children as sacrifices to false gods in that place. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal… I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem .
The name of this valley became a word used in the New Testament, including by the Lord Jesus, to refer to a place of torment and fire.
Some places where the word gehenna is translated as hell include:
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell .
Hell Is Like A Garbage Dump
The word that is often translated hell in the New Testament is Gehenna. This was a place where the garbage was dumped in New Testament times. Every kind of garbage was thrown there, including the corpses of criminals. Worms bred and fed in the filth while smoke filled the place due to continually burning fires.
Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of Hell?
Jesus, warning His disciples of the opposition they would face, added the encouragement, Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell .
The Unquenchable Fire Of Hell
In Matthew 18:8-9 Jesus teaches on temptations to sin and that it better for a person to go without the limbs that allow them to give into sin, then for their whole body to be cast into hell. And in Matthew 25:41-46 the unrighteous will depart from God into eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels for eternal punishment. In conclusion, in The Gospel of Matthew, hell is described as the place of fire, which is unquenchable, containing suffering, weeping and gnashing of teeth. Those who will inhabit hell are the devil and his angels. Also, all those who do not bear fruit because of their unbelief, those guilty of murder and lust in their hearts and those who do not believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are the ones guilty of the sins of omission and commission.
In the Gospel of Mark, hell is mentioned Mark 9:45-49. Jesus is teaching again on how it is better to lose a limb then for ones whole body to be cast into hell, as seen in Matthew 5:29-30 and 18:8-9. But where it differs is in verse 48, where Jesus says that hell is the place where the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched. Hendriksen explains that, The torment, accordingly, will be both external, the fire and internal, the worm. Moreover, it will never end. He also writes,
He also writes,
So, in the book of Jude, hell is described as the place where unbelievers and rebellious angels will experience a more extreme fire, and devastation, than Sodom and Gomorrah experienced.
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Has Anyone Been Released From Hell
Yes. The Bible provides detailed accounts of nine people who went to the Grave and were brought back to life by resurrection. * If they had been aware of their surroundings in hell, they would have been able to speak about that from personal experience. Significantly, though, none mentioned being in torment or experiencing anything at all. The reason? As the Bible consistently teaches, they had been unconscious, as if in a deep sleep.John 11:11-14 1 Corinthians 15:3-6.
^ Most modern English translations do not use the word hell in Acts 2:27. Rather, some use expressions such as the grave, the realm of the dead, the dead . Others simply transliterate the Greek word as Hades.Holman Christian Standard Bible, NET Bible, New American Standard Bible, English Standard Version.
Where Is Hell Located And How Did It Begin
Although we cant be sure exactly where hell is at, we can be sure it does exist. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus Christ says: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the HEART OF THE EARTH.” Other passages such as 1 Samuel 28:13-15, that the medium of Endor sees the spirit of Samuel, coming up out of the ground. Other passages like Ephesians 4:9 state that before Jesus ascended into heaven, He descended into hell. However, Revelations causes us to speculate that the earth itself is hell once it is turned into a lake of fire . We may not have the exact physical location, but we do know that hell is a literal place of real torment.
From what we can gather from Scripture, Hell was created for the rebellion of Satan and the angels that followed him . Scriptures indicate God never intended Hell and the lake of fire for mankind but that is where all will go who choose not to put their faith in Jesus Christ. The most important question is not where hell is or even when it was created but how to avoid going to hell. We avoid hell when we choose to believe in Jesus Christthe One who died to pay for your sins and all who choose to put their trust in Him.
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Closing Thoughts About Hell In The Bible
I think Tim Kellersums hell in the Bible concisely Hell, then, is the trajectory of a soul, living a self-absorbed, self-centered life, going on and on forever In short, hell is simply ones freely chosen identity apart from God on a trajectory into infinity.
The Bible gives us a picture of hell thats much different than what is commonly held in churches across the country. We should let the Word direct our view of hell and not what culture tells us.
Lets hear from you! What do you think about this teaching of hell in the Bible?
Where Souls Go After Death
Aquinas uses an analogy of buoyancy:
And since a place is assigned to souls in keeping with their reward or punishment, as soon as the soul is set free from the body it is either plunged into hell or soars to heaven, unless it be held back by some debt, for which its flight must needs be delayed until the soul is first of all cleansed. … Sometimes venial sin, though needing first of all to be cleansed, is an obstacle to the receiving of the reward the result being that the reward is delayed.
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Erroneous Views Of Hell
The second chance view After death there is still a way to escape hell.
Answer: It is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment .
Universalism All are eternally saved.
Answer: It denies the truth of salvation through Christ which means that a person decides to either trust in Christ or else he/she rejects Christ and goes to hell .
Annihilationism Hell means a person dies like an animal ceases to exist.
Answer: It denies the resurrection of the unsaved . It denies conscious torment .
Is There A Literal Hell
We all have heard the expression before, usually by someone angry who says, “Go to Hell!” For some it’s just an off color expression. But is there a real literal Hell, the kind that burns with fire and brimstone? Is it a real literal place? What does the Bible say about it? Do you know? Join us for this important topic as Pastor Scott Strobel opens the Bible and we discover what the Bible actually says about Hell. You might be surprised, don’t skip this one!
Is There a Literal Hell?
Today Im going to bring you a Bible study on a neglected subject that is indeed in the Bible. And that is the subject of hell.
There is no question that hell is in the Bible… The word shows up over 50 times in the Bible. And if you happen to have a book that claims to be a Bible or Scriptures, and hell is not in it, then you dont have a genuine Bible.
And on this podcast when we speak of the Bible in the English lan-guage, we are speaking of the old King James Bible, first published in 1611.
All right, hell is in the Bible, but what is it?
- Is it a state of mind?
- Is it separation from God?
- Is it just the grave?
- Is it a fictional place invented to scare people?
- Is it a literal place where lost people go and spend eternity?
There are many varying opinions.
But when it comes to what the truth is, we are not interested in the opinion of a man, a group, or a religion… We are interested in what the Bible says. So… What saith the Scriptures?
The Bibles answer
Pope John Paul II
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Gehenna Literal Place Of Perpetual Burning
Gehenna accounts for 12 of the 13 Hell mentions, and most importantly, it comprises 100% of Jesus alleged references to Hell.
So what is Gehenna?
Its a valley. A literal valley. A physical, geographic location. The Valley of Hinom. In fact, heres what this valley looks like today.
There it is. And look, passing right through the middle of it is Gey Ben Hinom St.
The typical response here is that Jesus was using the valley of Hinom figuratively to mean our modern concept of Hell. But figurative to who?
It really doesnt matter what this valley means to us today. Jesus wasnt speaking to us. He was speaking to Jews who lived 2,000 years ago.
So the real question is, what did Gehenna mean to the Jews of Jesus day?
The section of this valley referred to as Gehenna was well known throughout Israel as an evil and dark place, used for a variety of evil acts throughout Israels history. In the time of Hosea, the rebellious Israelites committed child sacrifice there to honor the pagan god Molech , as seen in 2 Chron 28:3.
Moreover, he burned incense in the valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons in fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel.
Later, in 2 Kings 23:10, it says that King Josiah desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek.
Hell In The New Testament
In the New Testament, hell is described both clearly and vividly. There are three words used in the Greek for hell Gehenna, Hades, Tartaros, and pyr. Greek Scholar William D. Mounce, states that gehenna comes about later as a translation from Hebrew and Aramaic phrase referring to a desecrated valley south of Jerusalem. In New Testament usage it refers to an eternal, fiery abyss of punishment where both body and soul are judged The Lexham Bible Dictionary states,
It is a noun derived from the Hebrew phrase gy hnwm, which means Valley of Hinnom. The Valley of Hinnom was a ravine along the southern slope of Jerusalem. In Old Testament times, it was a place used for offering sacrifices to foreign gods. Eventually, the site was used to burn refuse. When the Jews discussed punishment in the afterlife, they employed the image of this smoldering waste dump.
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A Short History Of Hell
What do you believe about heaven and hell? Even if you’re not religious, it’s hard to escape the pull of these two opposing fates awaiting mankind after death: eternal paradise and joy in the clouds or eternal damnation and despair in the fiery depths.
The concept of hell is present in many religions such as the Mesopotamian religions from the third century B.C.E., as well as in Roman and Greek mythology . Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism all acknowledge the existence of a hell, too. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll concentrate on the Judeo-Christian concept of hell. Where did our collective Western image of hell come from? And has it always been the same since the very beginning?
Not at all, says Jeffrey Trumbower, a professor of religious studies at St. Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont and author of “Rescue for the Dead: The Posthumous Salvation of Non-Christians in Early Christianity.”
“There’s hardly any conception of the afterlife in the Hebrew Bible,” says Trumbower, referring to the books that largely comprise the Old Testament in Christianity. Compared to the ancient Egyptians, whose ‘Book of the Dead’ and ‘Book of Gates’ present robust visions of what awaits us after death, the people of Palestine hardly gave it a thought.
“The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.”“What does he look like?” asked.“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.
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1. Place Of Souls Of The Wicked
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell .
2. Fiery Furnace
and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they. . . The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire .
And Joshua said, ‘Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.’ So all Israel stoned them with stones and they burned them with fire after they stoned them with stones .
3. Place Of Unquenchable Fire
He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire
And if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire .
As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them . . . are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire .
4. Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth
The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will collect out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth .
5. Place Of No Rest6. Condemnation7. Destruction8. Separation From God’s Presence9. Outer DarknessSummary
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Does The Bible Mention Hell
The short answer is yes, but perhaps not the way you think. The Bible talks many times about hell and the fact that we are all sinners , and that there will be a Judgment Day where God will judge all humans who have not repented. For example, Matthew 12:36 says that every person will have to give an account of themselves on Judgment Day.
Although English translations of the Bible often use the term Hell throughout the Old and New Testament, there are three basic names used in different places to describe the place where people go after death. Each one has different connotations.
Are There Levels To Sin
Dante grouped people by a defining sin in his portrayal, and their punishment was appropriate to their great fault. Sin, according to him, is the byproduct of giving into ones greatest weakness their Achilles heel.
The Bible sets up a different paradigm.
Instead, all sin is punishable by death and destruction in the face of a holy God. Holiness is Gods natural state it encompasses His sanctity, righteousness, and omnipotence. It is hard to conceive of, but Isaiah gives a glimpse into what it is like for a sinner to stand before the Lord of Hosts in all His glory, in a state of sinful uncleanliness.
The prophet recounted, In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted hp and the train of his robe filled the temple…And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: Woe is me! For I am lost for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! .
Here, Isaiah sees the extent of his sin compared to the perfection of a holy God, and despairs, because in his own power, he cannot make himself worthy. All sin, no matter how minor it may seem by worldly standards, is an offense against God.
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