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Is Our Understanding Of Hell A Human Tradition?
Human Traditions Need To Be Rejected.
ALL Human Traditions.
What does the Bible say?

We should not be afraid to have our beliefs challenged
Remember that we are to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
There are an increasing number of men who claim that the doctrine of a conscious, eternal punishment in hell is a doctrine of men.
There are publications by Edward Fudge, LaGard Smith, Homer Hailey, Stephen Clark Goad and others that are gaining popularity.
If the issue is decided upon scripture and not upon personality and “originality” then we can know clearly what God wants us to know.

Yes, It Is A Matter Of Faith
The only things we can know of the unseen which includes the hereafter can only be revealed by God!
Jesus made this point in His ministry (John 3:11-13, 8:38, 42).
Because of the evidence of God's word I can know things beyond my personal experience (Hebrews 11:1,3).
Moses knew there was a God who would reward His people (Hebrews 11:27).
God gives everyone the opportunity to see Him (Romans 1:20).

As Christians we need to keep a clear view of the unseen realm.
By having this strong confidence we will treat this world as temporary (Romans 8:24-25).
We are showing true faith when we rely on what God’s word plainly teaches in spite of what our “background” may say (1 Peter 1:17-19).
“John Clayton, a popular speaker among churches, gave Fudge’s book an enthusiastic recommendation, while himself confessing: “I have never been able to be comfortable with the position that a person who rejected God should suffer forever and ever and ever”

The use of the word: “hell” in the New Testament
In the King James translation there are three Greek words translated "hell."
Hades - (Acts 2:27) - Hades (lit. an unseen place); (1) the place of the dead underworld (Acts 2.27); (2) usually in the NT as the temporary underworld prison where the souls of the ungodly await the judgment (Luke 16.23)
Gehenna; lit. the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom, ….figuratively in the Gospels for hell, a fiery place of eternal punishment for the ungodly dead (Matthew 5.22).
Tartarus – (2 Peter 2:4) - the name of a subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to the Gehenna of the Jews.

In the OT there is the word “Sheol”
(Psalm 16:10) - 1) Sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit - the OT designation for the abode of the dead.
The bible words "Sheol" and "Hades" describe the place where all the dead go.
Jesus after His death went to "Hades." (Acts 2:27, 31)
This is the same "hell" that will not prevail against the church. How? (Matthew 16:18)
This abode of the dead is temporary and will yield all of its occupants at the judgment day. (Revelation 20:13-14)
The Bible word "gehenna" describes the final abode of the wicked and of Satan himself. (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-47)

There is a conscious existence after death.
Some have failed to see the context of some verses. (Ecclesiastes 9:10,11)
From the viewpoint of things "under the sun" this is true.
Because we exist in the realm under the sun, and as humans, we cannot comprehend the reality of the after-life because we have never experienced it.

Do we go out of existence at death?
Will all the wicked dead be annihilated?
Or in the final judgment are we all cast into hell?
Notice that there is something else besides our bodies (Matthew 10:28).
What does “destroy” mean in this verse?
W.E. Vine comments: “The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well-being”.
J.H. Thayer defined apollumi, with reference to Matthew 10:28, in the following fashion: “metaphorically, to devote or give over to eternal misery”.

The Greek word for “destroy”
Is apolesai, which derives from the verb form apollumi. The verb occurs about 90 times, and a noun form is found some 18 times.
I do not know of a single reputable English translation that renders the term in any instance, “to go out of existence.” It is translated by such common English words as “perish,” “destroy,” “lose,” or “lost.”
“The term is employed of physical items that lose their usefulness. A wine-skin that cracks open, and is no longer usable, is said to “perish” (Luke 5:37).
A sheep that wanders away from the safety of the fold is described as “lost” (Luke 15:4,6), i.e., separated from the shepherd.
The wayward prodigal son was “lost” to his father (Luke 15:24), though certainly not annihilated.
Food that spoils is said to have “perished” (John 6:27).”

What is hell like?
It is torment (Luke 16:28; Revelation 14:11).
What will it be like to taste (experience) the full wrath of God?
We know that weeping and wailing will be within the souls of those in hell (Matthew 13:40-42, 49-50).
It involves an eternal fire (Matthew 5:22, 18:8-9, Mark 9:43, 45, 47).
While hell is a place for a spiritual body, this is the closest description the Lord could give of this place.
Even in the place before hell (Hades), there is a “flame” (Luke 16:24).
Have you ever been burned?
Burning bush burned but was not consumed.
It involves an eternal darkness. (2 Peter 2:4, 17; Matthew 8:11-12; 22:13-14; 25:30)

How dark is hell?
Peter says it is “blackness of darkness”.
Many cave tours have you sit down and they turn out the lights. You find out real quick why they make you sit down.
There will be no escape from hell.
No one could escape the torment before hell (Luke 16:26).
One is described as being in “chains” (2 Peter 2:4).

It is a place of regret.
The rich man was grieved because he could not help his brothers (Luke 16:27-28).
Are there degrees of punishment? (Luke 12:47-48).
Those who do not know God will be punished, but those who do know God but chose to do wickedly will suffer greater. Just knowing you had the opportunity to go to heaven and not making it is an added punishment itself.

Will you believe in Hell now or later?
How many people today laugh at hell?
“Satan is the consummate “deceiver” (Revelation 12:9; 20:10). There is nothing that pleases him more than to see deluded men repudiating the idea of eternal punishment - which the Lord explicitly affirmed (Matthew 25:46).
How tragic that some, who profess a relationship with the Son of God, would join with the enemy in this compromising denial of truth.”
Now, do you want to avoid this place called Hell?

By Carey Scott

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