Besides the study of Theology and Apologetics, I have, off and on, studied the traditional view of an eternal burning hell, and have found it to have no real merit. I consider it to be a disproved doctrine. I think it could even be shown that it is an affront to God. Over the last 10 or so years I have been more of an annihilationist, and lately I have been researching the idea of Christian Universalism. It should be noted that there are good Christians that hold to these differing views and I am not going to call anyone a heretic, nor will I be intimidated by anyone about it.
The reasons I frown upon the traditional view is due to scriptural references that go against it. For example, both John 3:16, and Romans 6:23 support death as the penalty for sin.."The Wages of sin is Death, but the gift of God through Jesus Christ is eternal life." (Romans 6:23). It is the believers in Christ that get life. The unbeliever does not get life anywhere else, but death. These two texts echo each very closely. The Greek in John 3:16 implies destruction for the unbeliever and not a sustained existence in an eternal torment. Even Psalm 1 tells us that eventually the wicked will be no more.
We have to come to grip fully with the fact that Jesus took the FULL penalty for sin. He carried the sins of the whole world. (John 1:29) He being the lamb of God shed his blood for us. He suffered and died, which is in accord with Romans 6:23. He was in agony for many hours and died. Because the Lord Jesus carried the sins of all he suffered more for sin then anyone would or could!!! To say that the unsaved will be doing the backstroke in a fiery hell for eternity is to say they will suffer more than Jesus did and that is nonsense!!! More texts could be mentioned.
Besides good arguments for annihilation of the wicked there are many verses that seem to point more toward some sort of Christian Universalism or Reconcilliation. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, "As in Adam all die, In Christ Jesus all are made alive.". This verse tells us that all are tainted due to the fall, but Jesus has corrected the problem. Now if say 95 percent of mankind dies and goes to a fiery torment, whereas only 5 percent are redeemed through Christ than we are seeing that Adam was more successful than Jesus. It looks like a very uneven balance here. Imagine a barbell with 95 pounds on one side and 5 pounds on the other. Jesus said, "If I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all people to myself" (John 12:32). These are just a few verses that could be cited.
Of the verses cited above, none can be used to teach the traditional view of Hell. As for the word "hell", one can look in a concordance like Young's or Strong's and see the verses cited. One can through study see that these are basically three: the Hebrew Sheol, which is the grave or pit, the Greek Hades, which is equivalent to the Hebrew Sheol, and the word Gehenna, which Jesus mentioned (ie. Matthew 5:29). Jesus was speaking about the garbage dump on the south side of Jerusalem where constant fires were burning garbage and where rotting meat was attracting flies.. a place of death and destruction; not eternal life in fire.
Some traditionalist cite the parable of the rich man and lazarus as evidence for their view, but it is a parable and not literal. One can study this for themselves but they might have to wade through a bunch of literature and web sites to find out what Jesus was really driving at in Luke 16. Another scripture often used by traditionalists is Matthew 25:46. Most Bibles say, "eternal punishment", but in the Greek something more like "an age of pruning" is possibly indicated. Young's Literal Translation has "Punishment Age-during".
I would suggest some of the videos of Edward Fudge could be viewed for more study on this subject.
I'm Pentecostal....And I've seen this happen time, and time again.....And I think maybe that's why I'm now Non-Denominational.....I now attend a Bible Preaching Church, and none of this goes on, as I've seen in the Pentecostal Denomination.....
You know what, I am happy for you that you got away from those people!!!
They are CRAZY, and EVIL, and that's a bad mix,, Good for you Eloise!
You know, at the bottom of your Bible is no doubt Footnotes showing you where in the Hebrew scriptures the "Aposles" got that stuff from ,,, why don't you just quote me that?
That would be fun!
You guys need to watch this important film about why being Jewish is greater than any other Religion.
It's a real eye opener!
We learn something new every day......And the lesson here? Trust in God in all things....
I have to pick me up one of those shofars..
I know! What if you lock your keys in your car or something? They should make a Popelle Pocket Shofar (you know like the pocket fisherman) "As seen on T.V" "Buy one get one free". I'm telling you the Jews have all the awesome stuff!
Awesome! Pocket Parchment!
@ iSalve...34 Instead they put their detestable idols in the house that bears my name, to defile it; 35 and they built the high places for Ba'al which are in the Ben-Hinnom Valley, to burn alive their sons and daughters to Molekh - something I did not order them to do, it never even entered my mind that they would do such an abominable thing - and thus they caused Y'hudah to sin.' Jeremiah 32:34-35 (CJB)....God says right here that burning alive sons and daughters never even entered His mind and that such a thing was an abominable thing....yet you keep saying that this is what He has plans for most of the people He created....billions...in a firey burning hell...
@ iSalve....now you are just using word play...maybe you did not say word for word, but when you keep saying that hell is a firey burning torment for ever or posting articles saying as much or videos saying as much...it is all the same thing....do you not claim that there is a hell and that it is a place of everlasting fire & torment to unbelievers???