Is It Wrong To Scare People About Hell?

Is there a difference between scaring people into Heaven and preaching the truth about Hell? How should we tell the truth about the punishment of sin? What is the best way of doing this?

Comments

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345
    edited March 2018

    I shudder to think of what Hell is like, knowing that all of the suffering in the world came from God's hands for sin. I believe the fear of God will drive many to Christ when they learn it is ultimately God that Jesus saves us from.

    Because he is infinitely righteous and must punish sin to remain righteous. So if we can open people's eyes to see God at work in the world of suffering around us, it can stand as a symbol of how horrible Hell might be, without the good things of earth to surround and temper it.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625
    edited March 2018

    @davidtaylorjr said:
    Is there a difference between scaring people into Heaven and preaching the truth about Hell? How should we tell the truth about the punishment of sin? What is the best way of doing this?

    Easy, simple.
    1. Tell them or one about the love of God, Creation and the plan of salvation (Redemption).
    2. Tell of God's goodness, mercy, and grace.
    3. Tell of Christ's Sacrificial, Substitutionary, Atoning, Exemplary death.
    4. Tell of His birth, life, trial, death, burial, resurrection and promised to return and claim his own (through translation/resurrection).
    5. With this shared, one would under the necessity and the reason not only punish sin but to destroy it once and for all.

    All this is best conveyed by the life we live, our relationship with God and how we treat others. Happy Living! CM

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @Dave_L said:
    I shudder to think of what Hell is like, knowing that all of the suffering in the world came from God's hands for sin. I believe the fear of God will drive many to Christ when they learn it is ultimately God that Jesus saves us from.

    Because he is infinitely righteous and must punish sin to remain righteous. So if we can open people's eyes to see God at work in the world of suffering around us, it can stand as a symbol of how horrible Hell might be, without the good things of earth to surround and temper it.

    Dave,
    There seems to be a pattern of you conveying that God has a dark side and a band of demons working (suffering/mishaps) to bring people to Christ. I get the impression that you think God created Satan to refine humanity. Please clarify, in contrast to, what I feel you are conveying about God. CM

  • dct112685dct112685 Posts: 1,114

    @C_M_ said:

    @davidtaylorjr said:
    Is there a difference between scaring people into Heaven and preaching the truth about Hell? How should we tell the truth about the punishment of sin? What is the best way of doing this?

    Easy, simple.
    1. Tell them or one about the love of God, Creation and the plan of salvation (Redemption).
    2. Tell of God's goodness, mercy, and grace.
    3. Tell of Christ's Sacrificial, Substitutionary, Atoning death.
    4. Tell of His birth, life, trial, death, burial, resurrection and promised to return and claim his own (through translation/resurrection).
    5. With this shared, one would under the necessity and the reason not only punish sin but to destroy it once and for all.

    All this is best conveyed by the life we live, our relationship with God and how we treat others. Happy Living! CM

    I understand and agree with all of that. But should we ever preach on Hell itself? Does that make sense?

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @davidtaylorjr said:

    @C_M_ said:

    @davidtaylorjr said:
    Is there a difference between scaring people into Heaven and preaching the truth about Hell? How should we tell the truth about the punishment of sin? What is the best way of doing this?

    Easy, simple.
    1. Tell them or one about the love of God, Creation and the plan of salvation (Redemption).
    2. Tell of God's goodness, mercy, and grace.
    3. Tell of Christ's Sacrificial, Substitutionary, Atoning death.
    4. Tell of His birth, life, trial, death, burial, resurrection and promised to return and claim his own (through translation/resurrection).
    5. With this shared, one would under the necessity and the reason not only punish sin but to destroy it once and for all.

    All this is best conveyed by the life we live, our relationship with God and how we treat others. Happy Living! CM

    I understand and agree with all of that. But should we ever preach on Hell itself? Does that make sense?

    Why Thank you, David,
    There is common ground in these forums for us. We are still talking about death, just not by guns. Praise God!

    Before I attempt to answer your question, let me say the following:
    1. When you preach the love of God, to some degree, you are preaching about "hell", as mentioned above. When one understands the "is", then he's able to comprehend "what is not."
    2. When one can discern the what is wheat, he knows what is chaff and it has to go.

    • What do you mean by "Hell"?
    • Where is Hell?
    • When is "Hell?"
    • How long is "Hell?"
    • Who's in charge of Hell"?
    • In what context are you preaching about "Hell?"
    1. Knowing your answers to these questions will help me to answer you most probably.
    2. Seek out: I shared some in these forums on hell. They were prep thoughts to understanding. It would be most helpful if you could find it. If you find it tell me. It's here somewhere. Keep studying. CM
  • dct112685dct112685 Posts: 1,114

    @C_M_ said:

    @davidtaylorjr said:

    @C_M_ said:

    @davidtaylorjr said:
    Is there a difference between scaring people into Heaven and preaching the truth about Hell? How should we tell the truth about the punishment of sin? What is the best way of doing this?

    Easy, simple.
    1. Tell them or one about the love of God, Creation and the plan of salvation (Redemption).
    2. Tell of God's goodness, mercy, and grace.
    3. Tell of Christ's Sacrificial, Substitutionary, Atoning death.
    4. Tell of His birth, life, trial, death, burial, resurrection and promised to return and claim his own (through translation/resurrection).
    5. With this shared, one would under the necessity and the reason not only punish sin but to destroy it once and for all.

    All this is best conveyed by the life we live, our relationship with God and how we treat others. Happy Living! CM

    I understand and agree with all of that. But should we ever preach on Hell itself? Does that make sense?

    Why Thank you, David,
    There is common ground in these forums for us. We are still talking about death, just not by guns. Praise God!

    Yes, and I hope you had a chance to read my thread at http://christiandiscourse.net/discussion/186/revelation-2-an-apology-and-new-practices#latest

    Before I attempt to answer your question, let me say the following:
    1. When you preach the love of God, to some degree, you are preaching about "hell", as mentioned above. When one understands the "is", then he's able to comprehend "what is not."
    2. When one can discern the what is wheat, he knows what is chaff and it has to go.

    • What do you mean by "Hell"?

    The physical place of torment.

    • Where is Hell?

    We aren't really told.

    • When is "Hell?"

    Death of unbeliever

    • How long is "Hell?"

    Eternal

    • Who's in charge of Hell"?

    God

    • In what context are you preaching about "Hell?"

    Doing a series on the Romans Road but giving the context of what it means when it says in Romans 6:23 the wages of sin is death. What is that death? What does it look like? Does that make sense?

    1. Knowing your answers to these questions will help me to answer you most probably.
    2. Seek out: I shared some in these forums on hell. They were prep thoughts to understanding. It would be most helpful if you could find it. If you find it tell me. It's here somewhere. Keep studying. CM

    I'm not really looking for information about Hell. Basically I preached a message last night to some teens and one of them said, "I don't think this is what you meant, but are you trying to scare people to Heaven?"

    It's a two part series that I'm tag teaming with another leader, but I got the fire and brimstone portion of the Romans Road if that makes any sense.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @davidtaylorjr said:

    @C_M_ said:

    @davidtaylorjr said:

    @C_M_ said:

    @davidtaylorjr said:
    Is there a difference between scaring people into Heaven and preaching the truth about Hell? How should we tell the truth about the punishment of sin? What is the best way of doing this?

    Easy, simple.
    1. Tell them or one about the love of God, Creation and the plan of salvation (Redemption).
    2. Tell of God's goodness, mercy, and grace.
    3. Tell of Christ's Sacrificial, Substitutionary, Atoning death.
    4. Tell of His birth, life, trial, death, burial, resurrection and promised to return and claim his own (through translation/resurrection).
    5. With this shared, one would under the necessity and the reason not only punish sin but to destroy it once and for all.

    All this is best conveyed by the life we live, our relationship with God and how we treat others. Happy Living! CM

    I understand and agree with all of that. But should we ever preach on Hell itself? Does that make sense?

    Why Thank you, David,
    There is common ground in these forums for us. We are still talking about death, just not by guns. Praise God!

    Yes, and I hope you had a chance to read my thread at http://christiandiscourse.net/discussion/186/revelation-2-an-apology-and-new-practices#latest

    No, I haven't read it. Maybe later. The other points, I would address later. CM

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    It is not wrong to preach about hell. If a person is scared of being burnt forever in a black firey pit apart from God or goodness, that would mean they believe at some level. Fear of lostness and hell drove me to God. The love of God invited and promised hope and love. The coin has two sides. Now I live to glorify God and retell His Truth to others.

    Pray for wisdom and do what God puts in your heart. That will probably include some messages about hell. Jesus was rather crisp and clear about the subject. How can we teach salvation for the lost unless we teach from what lostness a person is saved?

    Jesus amazed people with His character, love, compassion. Jesus also warned about being lost, destroyed, death, hell and fire. Know your audience, be wise and follow how the Spirit of God guides you.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    @C_M_ said:

    @Dave_L said:
    I shudder to think of what Hell is like, knowing that all of the suffering in the world came from God's hands for sin. I believe the fear of God will drive many to Christ when they learn it is ultimately God that Jesus saves us from.

    Because he is infinitely righteous and must punish sin to remain righteous. So if we can open people's eyes to see God at work in the world of suffering around us, it can stand as a symbol of how horrible Hell might be, without the good things of earth to surround and temper it.

    Dave,
    There seems to be a pattern of you conveying that God has a dark side and a band of demons working (suffering/mishaps) to bring people to Christ. I get the impression that you think God created Satan to refine humanity. Please clarify, in contrast to, what I feel you are conveying about God. CM

    God is perfectly righteous. And to remain righteous, he must punish sin. And so he does this using Satan, demons, sickness, war, accidents, mayhem and whatever. He owes death and hell to every person born of Adam.

    So that's the starting point. But at the same time, God is perfect infinite love. So he became Christ and took his own wrath on the cross in behalf of all who trust in Christ as their only means of acceptance with God.

    But, even better, just as God considered us all guilty in Adam's sin, he considers all believers righteous in Christ, our representative. But here's the real treat, we have the righteousness of God himself imputed to us and therefore enjoy the same eternal life that only God has.

  • dct112685dct112685 Posts: 1,114

    @Dave_L said:

    @C_M_ said:

    @Dave_L said:
    I shudder to think of what Hell is like, knowing that all of the suffering in the world came from God's hands for sin. I believe the fear of God will drive many to Christ when they learn it is ultimately God that Jesus saves us from.

    Because he is infinitely righteous and must punish sin to remain righteous. So if we can open people's eyes to see God at work in the world of suffering around us, it can stand as a symbol of how horrible Hell might be, without the good things of earth to surround and temper it.

    Dave,
    There seems to be a pattern of you conveying that God has a dark side and a band of demons working (suffering/mishaps) to bring people to Christ. I get the impression that you think God created Satan to refine humanity. Please clarify, in contrast to, what I feel you are conveying about God. CM

    God is perfectly righteous. And to remain righteous, he must punish sin. And so he does this using Satan, demons, sickness, war, accidents, mayhem and whatever. He owes death and hell to every person born of Adam.

    I disagree that he uses Satan and Demons to punish sin. They are being punished themselves. How exactly are they used to punish sin? Please explain.

    So that's the starting point. But at the same time, God is perfect infinite love. So he became Christ and took his own wrath on the cross in behalf of all who trust in Christ as their only means of acceptance with God.

    God did not become Christ. Christ already existed.

    All that being said, what does this have to do with the thread topic?

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345
    edited March 2018

    @davidtaylorjr said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @C_M_ said:

    @Dave_L said:
    I shudder to think of what Hell is like, knowing that all of the suffering in the world came from God's hands for sin. I believe the fear of God will drive many to Christ when they learn it is ultimately God that Jesus saves us from.

    Because he is infinitely righteous and must punish sin to remain righteous. So if we can open people's eyes to see God at work in the world of suffering around us, it can stand as a symbol of how horrible Hell might be, without the good things of earth to surround and temper it.

    Dave,
    There seems to be a pattern of you conveying that God has a dark side and a band of demons working (suffering/mishaps) to bring people to Christ. I get the impression that you think God created Satan to refine humanity. Please clarify, in contrast to, what I feel you are conveying about God. CM

    God is perfectly righteous. And to remain righteous, he must punish sin. And so he does this using Satan, demons, sickness, war, accidents, mayhem and whatever. He owes death and hell to every person born of Adam.

    I disagree that he uses Satan and Demons to punish sin. They are being punished themselves. How exactly are they used to punish sin? Please explain.

    So that's the starting point. But at the same time, God is perfect infinite love. So he became Christ and took his own wrath on the cross in behalf of all who trust in Christ as their only means of acceptance with God.

    God did not become Christ. Christ already existed.

    All that being said, what does this have to do with the thread topic?

    The wages of sin is death and sickness in all its forms.

    “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)
    “turn this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 5:5)

    Christ = Messiah. The eternal Son became flesh and dwelt among us as the Messiah.

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    Dave's One-Man Theology 101:

    1. God cannot do evil so he creates Satan who does evil.
    2. God does not punish evil. Evil must be punished. God creates the devil who does evil to punish evil so God isn't responsible, or is or is a secondary cause or something. Unclear.
  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345
    edited March 2018

    @GaoLu said:
    Dave's One-Man Theology 101:

    1. God cannot do evil so he creates Satan who does evil.
    2. God does not punish evil. Evil must be punished. God creates the devil who does evil to punish evil so God isn't responsible, or is or is a secondary cause or something. Unclear.

    “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

    “If an alarm sounds in a city, do people not fear? If disaster overtakes a city, is the LORD not responsible?” (Amos 3:6)

    “Yet he too is wise and he will bring disaster; he does not retract his decree. He will attack the wicked nation, and the nation that helps those who commit sin.” (Isaiah 31:2)

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited March 2018

    Nice verses. I like those. I wonder why you wrote them, but thanks!

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345
    edited March 2018

    @GaoLu said:
    Nice verses. I like those.

    How do you view Satan in relation to God?

    Here is the WCF on angels and their sins. Satan being an angel. What do you think?

    IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;109 and that not by a bare permission,110 but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,111 and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends;112 yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.113

    Westminster Assembly. (n.d.). Westminster Confession.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @C_M_ said: Why Thank you, David,
    There is common ground in these forums for us. We are still talking about death, just not by guns. Praise God!

    Before I attempt to answer your question, let me say the following:
    1. When you preach the love of God, to some degree, you are preaching about "hell", as mentioned above. When one understands the "is", then he's able to comprehend "what is not."
    2. When one can discern the what is wheat, he knows what is chaff and it has to go.

    • What do you mean by "Hell"?
    • Where is Hell?
    • When is "Hell?"
    • How long is "Hell?"
    • Who's in charge of Hell"?
    • In what context are you preaching about "Hell?"
    1. Knowing your answers to these questions will help me to answer you most probably.
    2. Seek out: I shared some in these forums on hell. They were prep thoughts to understanding. It would be most helpful if you could find it. If you find it tell me. It's here somewhere. Keep studying. CM

    Here is what I shared in another thread: "The Kingdom of God"- page 4, on the subject of "Hell".
    Since I lack the skill to hyperlink it, I will have to cut and paste (no typing ;)). Below is the answer to the following question from- "The Kingdom of God"- page 4): "Who is saying his body needed to rot? And where in the world does it say He preached in Hell?

    What in "Hell" is there to preach for and to? How do you define "Hell"? Where is it?
    Who lives there? Does it exist today? Who's in charge of it?

    One would really need to probe into the bowels of this topic again, allowing the biblical canon to speak for itself. For example:
    1. What is the state of the dead in the OT/NT?
    2. Is there a consciousness of the dead?
    3. Do the dead go straight to Heaven or "Hell"?
    4. Is "Hell" and eternal torment or Annihilation?
    5. Which of the three views of "hell" is biblical?

    The below are points you need to have clear in your mind for more effective teaching on the subject of hell:

    1. Metaphorical View -- as a place where the torment is everlasting, but the suffering is more mental than physical.

    2. The Universalist View -- "Hell" is a temporary condition of graded punishments which ultimately leads to heaven.

    3. Annihilation View (a.k.a "Conditional Immortality")-- A place of the ultimate dissolution and annihilation of the unsaved.

      Believe it or not, this was one of the topics addressed during the Reformation. This topic developed into tension with the "established churches" of the time, which in turn resulted in the prohibition of the Anabaptist assemblies. It's serious business. Do we stand for truth; or do we remain confused/afraid and "go along, to get along"?
      

    These and other questions, we need to answer before ever suggesting Jesus was an evangelist in "Hell." In your case, before teaching, where do you stand on the view of Hell?

    Back to your question of Instruction:
    1. The little boy in your class obviously had a misconception of hell, is why he asked the question he did; through TV, movies, parents, etc.
    2. Did he miss the first presentation, by the other speaker? What was its content? New knowledge must be attached to old knowledge.
    3. What is the little boy's and your understanding of death? Do they agree?
    4. The age of the child must be factored in during instruction.
    5. An incorrect understanding of the state of the dead and/or an incorrect understanding of hell (two are stated above) is scary and to teach it, is scaring.
    6. When you teach what the Bible reveals (death/hell -- the grave & the ultimate dissolution and annihilation of the unsaved), you are right to teach so. Assuredly, it's not scaring. The Bible reveals it, teach it!
    7. Teaching the love of God is first and foremost. This is up there with accepting the Bible as the authentic and inspired Word of God-- the last word, to settle all human questions of faith and eternal life.
    8. In preparation drill down into the biblical root meaning of the words, "death" and "hell". The Greek and the Hebrew bring greater clarity to the subject matter even a child can understand it (I will share more another time). The Bible is for all, even for a child. Until next time, "rightly divide the Word of truth." CM

    PS. I hope this helps if it's not too late?

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    @Dave_L said:

    @GaoLu said:
    Nice verses. I like those.

    How do you view Satan in relation to God?

    Here is the WCF on angels and their sins. Satan being an angel. What do you think?

    IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;109 and that not by a bare permission,110 but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,111 and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends;112 yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.113

    Westminster Assembly. (n.d.). Westminster Confession.

    I see free will there. God created magnificent creatures who apparently had a substantial measure of free will and some chose to rebel against God. The adversary, satan, whether one or many in the case of the descriptive term, is an adversary because of free will. Take away free will and then the accusation is that God Himself is evil which is blasphemy.

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited March 2018

    Just tucking this in because I was thinking about it.

    @C_M_ said:
    There is much we don't know, so I woudn't be dogmatic on some of these answers, yet most seem fairly easy to answer. Here is what I think probable:

    What in "Hell" is there to preach for and to?

    No one. It is too late.

    How do you define "Hell"?

    The eternal abode of the wicked, a place of eternal punishment.

    Where is it?

    GPS coordinates are not given.

    Who lives there?

    The wicked.

    Does it exist today?

    Yes

    Who's in charge of it?

    God

    One would really need to probe into the bowels of this topic again, allowing the biblical canon to speak for itself. For example:
    1. What is the state of the dead in the OT/NT?

    Consider the state of Lazarus to have a good idea.

    1. Is there a consciousness of the dead?

    Yes

    1. Do the dead go straight to Heaven or "Hell"?

    Probably there is some intermediary place, but we don't know exactly. Maybe, at least in some sense.

    1. Is "Hell" and eternal torment or Annihilation?

    Eternal torment.

    1. Which of the three views of "hell" is biblical?

    The below are points you need to have clear in your mind for more effective teaching on the subject of hell:

    1. Metaphorical View -- as a place where the torment is everlasting, but the suffering is more mental than physical.
    2. The Universalist View -- "Hell" is a temporary condition of graded punishments which ultimately leads to heaven.
    3. Annihilation View (a.k.a "Conditional Immortality")-- A place of the ultimate dissolution and annihilation of the unsaved.

    None of the above. Hell is a real, eternal place and there is mental and physical torment.

        Believe it or not, this was one of the topics addressed during the Reformation. >This topic developed into tension with the "established churches" of the time, which in turn resulted in the prohibition of the Anabaptist assemblies. It's serious business. Do we stand for truth; or do we remain confused/afraid and "go along, to get along"?
    

    Yes, of course it was addressed during the Reformation. Hell has been a hot topic since the beginning, I suppose.

    Some stand for truth and some don't.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    GaoLu, here's a partial response to your comments. CM

    Hell in the OT:

    The Hebrew Old Testament often uses the word she'ol for the place where the deceased go.

    Four definitions are given for Sheol: "The underworld; the abode of the dead; hell, Hades."

    While the Hebrew Old Testament uses

    • She'ol-- 65 times,
      The King James Version has translated it:

    • Three times "pit" and

    • Thirty-one times each "grave" and "hell."

    Interestingly enough, in 43 of these 65 occurrences the King James Version has in its margin she'ol, however, without any word of explanation. Translation of word in the text is not always accurate or consistent. It seems to be left to the reader to decide for himself which word he wishes to use in each individual case? For a correct definition, he is likely to consult a good standard dictionary. However, it is an open question how much help he will actually get from that, inasmuch as four definitions are given for Sheol:
    1. "The Underworld"
    2. "The abode of the dead"
    3. "Hell"
    4. "Hades"

    To the Jews who translated the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek, resulting in the LXX, the Greek Hades was the same as she'ol. Here it's defined as "the vault of the dead underground." " In most cases she'ol is translated hades in the LXX. There are just four exceptions:
    1. Thanatos-- twice"
    2. Bothros -- once"
    3. Once it is not translated at all."

    In olden times Hades was the god of the underworld.
    Later the name took on the meaning "underworld, grave, death."

    The Vulgate says:
    *mors once
    * "inferus 17 times, and
    * infernos 47 times. Both words mean "that which is below."

    The Revised Standard Version has been fairly consistent by using
    • she'ol sixty-three times
    • the translation "grave" twice."

    Later on the deep drill down on the word Hell (sheol/grave/underworld). I hope this beginning to make sense? CM

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,022

    @C_M_ said:
    Later on the deep drill down on the word Hell (sheol/grave/underworld). I hope this beginning to make sense? CM

    What I learned in seminary, and what I've read in the decades since, CM, is that "Sheol" is a place of nothingness, more the "abode of the dead" than any of the other definitions you cited. Importantly, sheol is NOT a place a punishment; it is the common destination/outcome for all who die.

    In Ecclesiastes, for example, the same fate awaits the foolish and the wise (Ecclesiastes 2.14) people and animals (Ecclesiastes 3.19) and "everyone under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 9.3).

    Job believes he would be "asleep and at rest" had he died at birth, a recipient of the same basic outcome that awaits kings, prime ministers, princes, the weary, the imprisoned, the rich, the poor, the enslaved, and the free. (Job 3.13-19)

    In the Pentateuch, death gathers people to their ancestors (e.g. Gen 25.17) but is not a gateway to reward or punishment.

    From what I remember from seminary and have studied since, I believe only later in its history did Israel develop a theology of afterlife.

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited March 2018

    @C_M_ said:
    GaoLu, here's a partial response to your comments. CM

    Hell in the OT:

    The Hebrew Old Testament often uses the word she'ol for the place where the deceased go.

    Four definitions are given for Sheol: "The underworld; the abode of the dead; hell, Hades."

    While the Hebrew Old Testament uses

    • She'ol-- 65 times,
      The King James Version has translated it:

    • Three times "pit" and

    • Thirty-one times each "grave" and "hell."

    Right. I am talking about those times it means the place of punishment. The hell we have been discussing. Not the others.

    Interestingly enough, in 43 of these 65 occurrences the King James Version has in its margin she'ol, however, without any word of explanation. Translation of word in the text is not always accurate or consistent. It seems to be left to the reader to decide for himself which word he wishes to use in each individual case?

    I don't find it difficult to discern. I wonder who does? Probably someone. Context tells us. Words like "run" are the same (baseball, paint, sprint, etc.) You know when you read what "run" the writer means. Same with hell. No biggy.

    I hope this beginning to make sense? CM

    It does. I think that I understood that from about age 15. Maybe my parents explained it? Maybe I just sort of knew from reading it.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345
    edited March 2018

    @GaoLu said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @GaoLu said:
    Nice verses. I like those.

    How do you view Satan in relation to God?

    Here is the WCF on angels and their sins. Satan being an angel. What do you think?

    IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;109 and that not by a bare permission,110 but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,111 and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends;112 yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.113

    Westminster Assembly. (n.d.). Westminster Confession.

    I see free will there. God created magnificent creatures who apparently had a substantial measure of free will and some chose to rebel against God. The adversary, satan, whether one or many in the case of the descriptive term, is an adversary because of free will. Take away free will and then the accusation is that God Himself is evil which is blasphemy.

    I've never said the Devil or people do not have free will in a certain sense. I've always said people and animals act according to their nature. A cat freely chooses to do what cats do, etcetera.

    But as Jesus said: “Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever.So if the son sets you free, you will be really free.” (John 8:34–36)

    So free will does not exists for a cat to choose to act like a dog. Or for sinners to choose not to sin. Unless as Jesus says, “The one who belongs to God listens and responds to God’s words. You [Jews] don’t listen and respond, because you don’t belong to God.”” (John 8:47)

    Please consider this:

    “The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus had already known from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)So Jesus added, “Because of this I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has allowed him to come.”” (John 6:63–65)

    “After this many of his disciples quit following him and did not accompany him any longer.” (John 6:66)

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    You have done a good job of presenting your theology for which I thank you. I think you have some good points and some good illustrations. I think there are some fundamental errors in premises which lead to wrong conclusions. We may just have to disagree there.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    @GaoLu said:
    You have done a good job of presenting your theology for which I thank you. I think you have some good points and some good illustrations. I think there are some fundamental errors in premises which lead to wrong conclusions. We may just have to disagree there.

    Thanks for your reply. The big difference between us is that I can trust God instead of myself (whom I cannot trust) to deliver the goods.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625
    edited March 2018

    Gentlemen,

    Let me see if I can summarize and move the conversation forward of the meaning of Hell in the OT:

    Some Bible translators have used various words with “hell” which have other meanings. Four words **have been translated **with the term “hell”: (1) sheol, (2) hades, (3) tartaros, and (4) gehenna.

    We have looked at only one (1) sheol in the OT. With fresh eyes we see- The word "Sheol" is used 66 times in the Old Testament.

    It is the realm of the dead who are in the grave. Normally the Greek translation of the term is hades.

    • Gen 37:35 -- Jacob expects to go down to sheol/the grave, to his son Joseph.
    • 1 Sam 2:6 -- God brings down to sheol/the grave and raises up.
    • Eccl 9:10 -- In sheol/the grave there is no activity, no planning, and no knowledge. Sheol is the place of the dead. There is no fire, neither is there torment. The righteous and the unrighteous are found there.

    As for GaoLu's interest:

    I am talking about those times it means the place of punishment...

    Your concerns take the conversation to the NT. This is deep, but not insurmountable. "The place of punishment" is where a lot of fear and stories emanates (possible future post) when it comes to the biblical study of Hell. One such for example:

    In 1823, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams, expressing his unbelief:

    • “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his five points is not the god you and I acknowledge and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon or malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. ‘The value of deism, in its last and American ambit, was that it prevented confessional religion from driving human beings into atheism as its only alternative.’” (Michael Buckley, At the Origins of Modern Atheism, quoting a letter in 1823 by Thomas Jefferson to John Adams).

    Jefferson saw the god of Calvinism as demonic, but at the same time, he believed the true God must be better than that.

    What if we proclaimed to the world a picture of God that looks like this:

    • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

    This Calvinistic picture of Christ describes a vindictive vengeful God. I don’t know about you but, this description seems inconsistent with Jesus Christ the saviour. The one who was willing to be sacrificed just to give us the opportunity to accept his saving grace!

    Before addressing your specific concerns, GaoLu, let me be sure we have a mutual understanding of "hell" in the NT:

    There Is a Hell
    * (1) Jesus knows about hell - Matt 18:9; 23:33; Luke 12:5.

    * (2) There are only two options:
    -- * Life Eternal or
    -- * Being lost/destruction/eternal fire - John 3:16; Matt 7:13-14; Matt 25:31, 32, 41.

    However, destruction/eternal fire is a future event connected to Christ’s second coming. Therefore, “hell” still lies in the future.

    If there is mutuality here, we can address the judgment punishment and reconcile the "forever burning." We must correct hell's fear, misunderstanding, and the Calvinistic picture of Christ describes as a vindictive vengeful God. He is not a "Divine Sadistic Being", some people make Him out to be.

    I hope this is helpful and I am not boring you? Keep studying. Blessings. CM

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    @C_M_ said:
    Gentlemen,

    Let me see if I can summarize and move the conversation forward of the meaning of Hell in the OT:

    Some Bible translators have used various words with “hell” which have other meanings. Four words **have been translated **with the term “hell”: (1) sheol, (2) hades, (3) tartaros, and (4) gehenna.

    We have looked at only one (1) sheol in the OT. With fresh eyes we see- The word "Sheol" is used 66 times in the Old Testament.

    It is the realm of the dead who are in the grave. Normally the Greek translation of the term is hades.

    • Gen 37:35 -- Jacob expects to go down to sheol/the grave, to his son Joseph.
    • 1 Sam 2:6 -- God brings down to sheol/the grave and raises up.
    • Eccl 9:10 -- In sheol/the grave there is no activity, no planning, and no knowledge. Sheol is the place of the dead. There is no fire, neither is there torment. The righteous and the unrighteous are found there.

    As for GaoLu's interest:

    I am talking about those times it means the place of punishment...

    Your concerns take the conversation to the NT. This is deep, but not insurmountable. "The place of punishment" is where a lot of fear and stories emanates (possible future post) when it comes to the biblical study of Hell. One such for example:

    In 1823, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams, expressing his unbelief:

    • “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his five points is not the god you and I acknowledge and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon or malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. ‘The value of deism, in its last and American ambit, was that it prevented confessional religion from driving human beings into atheism as its only alternative.’” (Michael Buckley, At the Origins of Modern Atheism, quoting a letter in 1823 by Thomas Jefferson to John Adams).

    Jefferson saw the god of Calvinism as demonic, but at the same time, he believed the true God must be better than that.

    What if we proclaimed to the world a picture of God that looks like this:

    • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

    This Calvinistic picture of Christ describes a vindictive vengeful God. I don’t know about you but, this description seems inconsistent with Jesus Christ the saviour. The one who was willing to be sacrificed just to give us the opportunity to accept his saving grace!

    Before addressing your specific concerns, GaoLu, let me be sure we have a mutual understanding of "hell" in the NT:

    There Is a Hell
    * (1) Jesus knows about hell - Matt 18:9; 23:33; Luke 12:5.

    * (2) There are only two options:
    -- * Life Eternal or
    -- * Being lost/destruction/eternal fire - John 3:16; Matt 7:13-14; Matt 25:31, 32, 41.

    However, destruction/eternal fire is a future event connected to Christ’s second coming. Therefore, “hell” still lies in the future.

    If there is mutuality here, we can address the judgment punishment and reconcile the "forever burning." We must correct hell's fear, misunderstanding, and the Calvinistic picture of Christ describes as a vindictive vengeful God. He is not a "Divine Sadistic Being", some people make Him out to be.

    I hope this is helpful and I am not boring you? Keep studying. Blessings. CM

    Thanks for your interesting take on this. I think people try to make God loving at the expense of right and wrong. But God is both love and righteousness.

    So God cannot remain loving without righteousness. It would be a sleazy type of worthless love, if his love did not have integrity backing it. But you know it really is love when it is righteous love.

    So this is why I say God cannot remain to be righteous if he does not punish sin. But he reconciles his Love and Righteousness by taking his own wrath in his own self in Christ. His wrath fell on Christ (God incarnate) on the cross for all who trust in him as their savior. Because of this, he does not need to punish us for our sins to remain righteous.

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