The Hell of Religion’s Hell is Hellish, But Is The Religious Hell Real?

Jesus didn't teach on "hell", at least not the religious “HELL” that is the major doctrine of the religious system, so why do those that say they are His followers teach of such a hellish torture chamber where people go where the torturing continues eternity, forever without end?

By now some of my denominated friends have got their defenses up and their gospel guns loaded with scripture verse bullets that (as far as they are concerned) will blast me into the fiery hell that I say Jesus did not teach on. 

The meaning of the word "hell" as it is referred to today was not taught in the Old Testament...this fact begs the question...why do denominations teach about hell the way they do?   In fact, the word Jesus uses for "hell" is not religion’s "hell", as in "a place of everlasting torment" at all, but "Gehenna",  In the New Testament, Jesus referred to Gehenna as the valley of Hinnom, where garbage burned continually, corpses were sometimes deposited, and in earlier times, people had been sacrificed. He only referred to it to illustrate his lessons about spiritual growth in the earthly realm...that the earthly body was meaningless and would be thrown on the garbage dump. Some suggest he was warning the entire Jewish nation that it must turn away from its earthly focus and reform by being more concerned with spiritual growth and the inner person, and if it didn't, the Jews would be destroyed in fire. He was right, of course. Jerusalem and the temple were torched in 70 CE. which actually was a well-known dumping ground outside Jerusalem. People kept the dump burning with brimstone to keep the stink down, and the bodies of criminals were also thrown there.  Jesus seems well to be saying, "Keep it up, pharisees, with this kind of self-righteous, violent, religiously-sanctioned and antagonistic way of thinking, don't be surprised if you end up in hell...Gehenna.

However, Jesus didn't refer to hell as everlasting torment for people who didn't accept salvation or swear allegiance to him. By the time of the first English translations of the New Testament, the hell myth had been so well rooted in church tradition that where the translators saw "Gehenna," they simply inserted "hell" as the translation. That led to the misconception about hell being in the New Testament and in Jesus' teaching.

I know many religionists think I am deluded...well, even in my deluded delusion I am persuaded there is NO such place as a Hell of everlasting torture as taught in most religious denominations. This hell theory though inspired by Satan, was invented, ordained and popularized by man ...NOT God...has caused a great rift in the nature and character of our compassionate, forgiving, merciful and loving Father God and has rendered the the finished work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection as incomplete. It has turned men and women into "tyrannical religious bigots" and caused them to see the loving Creator as a monster worse that Hitler. No wonder people don’t accept the “good news of the gospel”, they don't hear it...they hear a bad news gospel.

After searching and comparing Bible translations, looking into the Greek and Hebrew text to understand the historical context more fully when reading the English versions, reading the writings of the early Church Fathers, and viewing God through the lens of Jesus, who “by the way” is the express image of His loving Father, I am convinced there is NO such thing as a Hell of everlasting tortures as taught in most religious denominations today.

I don't think anyone would call the Jewish holocaust a triumph, because a few people managed to escape alive. You may go on and on about God’s fantastic plan to save a handful of His creation, use the most extravagant and thankful language possible, weep aloud with gratitude from the pulpit: "what a compassionate and loving Savior, to save the elect"!  If the doctrine of hell is right, then God looses the battle with the devil because the vast majority of people (His crowning glory) He created, He will loose because they will be in hell suffering for eternity.

No amount of praising God for the saved remnant can silence the screams of billions of people in the everlasting torture chamber of hell, God is not going to loose to Satan!  If you think that Satan will defeat God...you got another think coming!

Just rationalize it for a minute. 

If you believe in a literal hell of eternal conscious torment, that means you believe that nearly everyone you see today will be screaming in blood-curdling agony for trillions of years.  And the first trillion years won’t be .000000000000000001% of their total stay in hell’s torture chamber of everlasting punishment.

And if you believe you have the answer to this unspeakable travesty, and that you have the answer to prevent such a travesty...but you just put your 60 inch TV into the Wallmart cart, walk past all the hell bound people without saying a word to warn them, check out at the checkout line without speaking to the hell bound cashier, pleading with her to accept Christ...if rather, you just return to your car, tune  to the gospel radio station on the ride home, set up your new TV set, turn on the christian broadcast station to listen to your favorite TV evangelist and send him some money in response to his pleading to save the world or to receive your spiritual blessing, and feel you have done your part...what kind of a Christian are you?

If hell means the eternal torture of the vast majority of people who have ever lived...including most people you've ever met or will meet...and Christians are whistling and smiling happy on their way to heaven, without a care in the world because they and a few of their family and friends have repeated the magic “sinners" prayer. Yet, to those that had a chance to accept Christ but didn’t; its "to hell with them" as far as they are concerned...if that is the Christian’s belief then, are they not compassion-less, love-less and grace-less nincompoops, who portray God as being worse than Hitler? 

Comments

  1. Here is what the most popular grace teacher today says about hell. If you deny there is a hell then you are not preaching the true grace message. The Bible says grace and truth came by Christ.

    Part 1.
    Hell-A Reality Or A Metaphor?
    By Andrew Wommack




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    The word Gospel means good news, and it’s not good news to tell people that they are going to hell. However, there is a hell for those who don’t accept God’s offer of grace, and I believe it’s important for people to understand this.

    I’ve been appalled at the doctrine of “ultimate reconciliation,” or “universalism,” that has crept into the body of Christ today. This doctrine teaches that God will ultimately reconcile everyone to Himself, even the devil and those in hell. Some variations of this say that hell is only a state of mind and not a real place or that those in hell will only suffer punishment for a limited time. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    As I prayed about this, the Lord reminded me that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Then He asked me, “When is the last time you taught from Scripture about hell?” I realized I had never taught a whole message on hell. I certainly believe it exists and have mentioned it, but I have never taught on hell.

    I’m always emphasizing the unconditional love and grace of God. I make no apologies for that. That’s what changed my life. I’m excited about God’s love for me. But understanding the justice and wrath of God against sin makes me appreciate my salvation even more. Trivializing sin blocks us from receiving a full revelation of God’s love (Luke 7:47). So, here goes my teaching on hell.

    God didn’t just look the other way or change His attitude toward sin. He paid for our sins in full through the sacrifice of His Son (2 Cor. 5:21). Anyone who rejects or ignores such a great sacrifice will spend eternity paying for that.

    Sin has to be judged (Rom. 6:23), and it was judged, in the flesh of Jesus (1 Pet. 2:24). But those who don’t make Jesus their Lord will have hell to pay for the greatest sin of all—rejecting Jesus’ sacrifice (John 16:8-9).

    The sacrifice that Jesus made was infinitely greater than we have ever imagined. Not only does the Bible teach that He was not recognizable as a human being (Is. 52:14) while hanging on the cross, but it also teaches that He actually became sin (2 Cor. 5:21).

    Just before He died, Jesus said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). God forsook Jesus. He could not look upon the sin that Jesus had become. And if He forsook His only Son, what chance would any of us have? That is why, for those who foolishly ignore this great sacrifice, there is a real hell.

    In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word she’owl was translated “hell” thirty-one times and “grave” thirty-one times. Nearly every time it’s translated “grave,” it’s talking about where the godly go after death, and when it’s translated “hell,” it’s talking about the destination of the ungodly.

    Before Jesus’ resurrection, everyone went into the center of the earth when they died. It was separated into two compartments. One was called “Abraham’s bosom,” or “paradise,” while the other was called “hell,” a place of torment (Luke 16:23-28).

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  2. Part2.
    In the story about Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man spoke to Abraham from hell, the place of torment. Luke 16:22-26 says,

    “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou are tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed.”

    There is so much that we can learn from this passage. For one, it makes it clear that in she’owl, or hell, those who were in torment could see those across the gulf. They could hear, thirst, feel pain and sorrow, and even communicate with those in paradise. But the one thing that the people in hell will never be able to do is die.

    After the Resurrection, things concerning hell changed. Jesus went to hell, took the keys of hell and death (Rev. 1:18), and set the captives free—those who were in Abraham’s bosom.

    Ephesians 4: 9-10 says,

    “Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.”

    After defeating the devil and setting the captives free, Jesus took those in Abraham’s bosom to heaven with Him, where all believers go now. But we will not live in heaven forever. We only live in heaven until the end of the age. Then God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth, and all the believers will live there with Jesus in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-4).

    After that, hell will no longer be in the center of the earth, but it will be cast into a place that the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14), a place that was prepared for Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41).

    In Matthew 25, we read the story of the nations coming to the Lord on His throne where He divides the sheep from the goats.

    In Matthew 25:34, He said to the righteous,

    “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

    But to the unrighteous, He said,

    “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).

    Although it was never intended for man, hell is an awful place where those who reject so great a sacrifice will join the devil and his angels for eternity (Rev. 20:10).

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  3. Part3.
    The Scripture, in Luke, also shows that the people God honors are not necessarily the same people the world honors (Luke 16:15). This rich man had a beautiful home, fancy clothes, and the best of everything. He had it all, but he never showed the beggar any mercy. When he died, I guarantee you he had a fancy funeral. Thousands of people may have gathered, all talking about how great his accomplishments were.

    Yet the Bible says only that he was buried, left to rot in the grave. On the other hand, the beggar who was most despised on earth was carried away by angels. Which of the two would you rather have been? When you see this from an eternal perspective, it makes the suffering of this earth pale in comparison to what God has prepared for us (Rom. 8:18).

    That is why we have a section of a wall at Charis Bible College-Colorado dedicated to those we call “Heroes of the Faith.” These are graduates, like our extension school directors, who are giving their lives selflessly to take this message around the world. I believe that these are the people God honors, and it would serve all of us well to do the same (1 Sam. 2:30).

    We can also see from Scripture that there are no second chances. There is no purgatory, as the Catholic Church teaches. There is no ultimate reconciliation. On earth, the rich man rejected God and went directly to hell. When the rich man pleaded for mercy, Abraham could do nothing. There will be no mercy, no hope, and no goodness of any kind in hell, ever.

    There isn’t a single person on this earth who deserves anything good from God. And there is absolutely nothing people can do to gain His favor. If that offends you, then you have just experienced the offense of the cross (Gal. 5:11). In comparison to God’s standards, man’s righteousness is no better than filthy rags (Is. 64:6). But God loves man so much that He sent Jesus, a Lamb without spot, to be a sacrifice for sin.

    If Jesus died for past, present, and future sins—which He did—then what determines whether we spend eternity with Him or in hell? The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit convicts us of one sin, and it’s the only sin that will cause people to go to hell. That is the sin of rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

    “And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin [singular], and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:8-9, brackets mine).

    To say the least, avoiding hell is big. However, what Jesus accomplished on the cross is far more than the avoidance of hell. I have just completed a new series called The Power of the Cross. In that series, I teach on five subjects: “The True Meaning of the Cross,” “The Offense of the Cross,” “The Enemies of the Cross,” “Saved from Hell by the Cross,” and “It is Finished.”

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