According to the Sermon on the Mount, it is better to lose your sight than to go to hell.
People have often laughed off the idea of hell.
- it is often used in blasphemy/expletives
- re-interpretted in an existential way
- the church often does not talk about hell
Jesus believed in hell.
Some people often argue against the concept of hell, by only considering one attribute of God.
- E.g How could a God of love send people to Hell?
- E.g An all powerful God could save everyone.
- E.g A God of justice could not give finite sins an eternal punishment.
God is not only a ‘Just’ God, nor is He only a ‘Loving” God.
God’s holiness qualifies His love. Holiness cannot allow sin to continue indefinitely.
God’s power qualifies His love, and He cannot force people to heaven.
God wants sons (and daughters) not robots.
New Testament: Behold the Goodness and Severity of God.
Alternative Views Of Hell
- Universalism (traditional view): some day everyone will go to heaven.
- There are an indefinite number of opportunities in life and hell to repent.
- Universalism (contemporary view): Everybody is already saved due to the death of Christ.
- Sinners that go to hell cease to exist.
- They go into oblivion.
- Some argue that souls cease to exist at the moment of death.
- Some argue that souls cease to exist at the the moment of Judgement.
The information the bible tells us about hell is directly from Jesus. It appears that God did not trust anyoe else with this topic.
Human existence is traditionally identified in 2 stages:
- You Live/Die (Stage 1)
- You go to Heaven or Hell (Stage 2)
However, biblically, human existence is identified in 3 stages:
- You Live/Die as an embodied Spirit (Stage 1)
- You Live as an disembodied Spirit (Stage 2)
- You are given a new body as a re-embodied spirit (Stage 3)
Jesus underwent all three stages within 1 week.
Jesus preached in Hades! He was fully conscious even though His body was dead.
People that died in the flood are conscious, though their bodies are dead.
Heaven and Hell belong to the third phase.
Nobody is in hell at the moment.
Jesus said that Heaven and Hell are in preparation.
- I go to repare a room for you.
The bible concentrates on Stage 3.
Jesus’ descibed Hell as the following:
- A rubbish dump
- Gehenna – The Valley of Gehenna
- Located in Israel, near the Dung Gate (at the Southern Wall)
- Where the fire never goes out, and the worms never die.
- Sinister associations in the Old Testament.
- Molech worship was practiced there during the times of Jeremiah, which included the sacrifice of human babies.
- Normally crucified bodies were thrown into the valley of Gehenna.
- Jesus may have ended up there if not for Joseph of Arithemea whom gave Jesus a tomb.
- Judas spilled his guts there.
Hell is similar to the word “perish”.
- something does not cease to be, but rather ceases to be useful.
- to be ruined.
- Ointment on Jesus was perished.
- Prodigal son was perished.
- Unregenerate people will be perished.
- The verb “thrown into hell”
- Jesus says that body and soul will be thrown into hell, for people that are wasted.
Saved does not mean sage, it means salvaged.
Onesimus – means useful
He ran away, got converted and then returned.
God is in the recycling business.
Jesus’ experiences of Hell:
- A place of intense physical discomfort. A thistry place and a smelly place (putrification).
- Gnashing of Teeth. A place of utter moral depravity.
- Social depravation. Desparately alone.
- Spiritual Desolation. No prayer or worship, because there is no God to hear.
- You have to live without God in hell. On earth, God restrains evil and constantly reaches out to everyone.