Is Hell an Inferno of Fire?
I am not a theologian, nor am I the son of a theologian.
I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet.
I am not a scholar, nor am I the son of a scholar.
I am not a sadist, nor am I a son of a sadist.
I am a son of my MERCIFUL, KIND AND LOVING FATHER GOD.
As His son, I detest and disagree to the greatest extent possible the slanderous, demoralizing, demeaning, disrespecting, dishonoring, devilish accusation, by those who call themselves my spiritual siblings...by portraying my loving Father as a conceited, egotistical, revengeful sadist who will torture men, women, children and newborn babies in the torture chamber of hell’s eternal punishment because they died never having heard of Jesus and the plan of salvation or refused to accept Jesus as savior, if they have heard.
Now, I know my "bible knowing" religionist siblings will not agree with my view of God regarding hell, but know this, just because religion has believed in, and taught the fires of hell for so long does not necessarily make it a bible or true doctrine. There was a time when we scripturally believed that the bible supported the sun rotating around a flat earth. We now look back and laugh at our idiocy of having believed such ignorance, and yet, sometimes we still assume we now know it all about the "forever lasting" matter of hell fire. But! Do we?
Holding to the scriptures we think we know and think we have the correct interpretation of, it is easy to discard anything that refutes what we already believe. I use to be a pro at defending what I thought was right. I had all the scriptural points to prove why I was “right” regarding a particular belief because I interpreted the scripture based on my belief rather than letting the historical and contextual context of scripture formulate my belief. Little did I know then, that I was merely echoing one of the many interpretations out there. What God knows about the matter and the picture God sees is much broader than my narrow-minded vantage point.
The popular concept we have of Hell, is that it is an eternal inferno of literal fire where bad people (and or those who haven't received Christ Jesus) will spend their eternity in. But when we look up the root words translated hell in the bible, we find that their meaning has nothing to do with what we have been led to believe.
The Hebrew word from which the word Hell is translated in the English Bibles is 'Sheol'. Sheol simply means grave or a place of dead. The Greek words used for 'hell' are - Hades, Tartaroo and Gehenna.
Hades is the New Testament equivalent of the Hebrew word Sheol, which means grave or place of dead or unseen.
Tartaroo is only mentioned once (in 2 Peter 2:4) and it appears to be a temporary confinement for some demons until judgment. The word is actually a verb, meaning "to cast down", instead of a noun, Hell.
Gehenna is an actual place near Jerusalem - Gehinnom Valley. In the OT Hebrew, it was called the valley of Ben-Hinnom or Topheth. During the time of OT, this place was notorious for paganism, idolatry and child sacrifice. By the time of NT, this valley had turned into a garbage dump outside the city gates of Jerusalem, where fires were always burning to consume trash and dead bodies, where worms and maggots thrived (a reason why it is said that hell has worms). Lepers and criminals were sent to live there in shame, away from the rest of the society.
None of these words refers to a fiery hell inferno, where people would be deep-fried in their own rendering fat, and ever world without end.
That is main reason I have reneged on the popular religious hell of hell's eternal punishment and damnation is because it is simply not in the original language of scripture