Thank you. This article was written by Bro. Josh Sparks, a Christian according to the rules of this forum, believing in the Trinity doctrine and licensed with the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ. I personally do not believe that hell is a place of torment, but my personal thoughts have less weight than his, so the majority of this is his article. Of course, the scriptures have more weight than any of our thoughts, so that is where we should all look for our answers. I have found a good Bible study technique for me is to look up the words related to a topic in a concordance so that I can read through all of the scriptures pertaining to the topic in context.
You are more than welcome to post questions to the Bible Q&A, including your claim about hell. This is completely acceptable, it allows us the opportunity to refute it for everyone to see. There are even Christians who hold this belief. It is not even remotely scriptural, you could probably count on one hand the number of conservative theologians through the centuries who hold that view. I will say I do not believe hell is necessarily a given to be "burning", I suspect it is pitch darkness for eternity. Christ is described as 'Light' throughout scripture and it is his light that will endure forever (there is no sun in heaven, but there is a Son).
In recent months and weeks we have looked at several topics that have been the cause of controvery for many in christendom. We have examined such subjects as; what the bible teaches about death. Also we have looked at such topics as Is anyone in Heaven? and Is man a spirit? We have also through sound bible teaching taught the truth that man is a living soul and not an immortal soul. Anybody who teaches man has immortallity within his self or her self is teaching false doctrine. Only Jesus has immortality and this was given to him in his body which is to say in his flesh after his resurrection.
( 1 Timothy 6:16) who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. As I said this self sustaining life, immortality is given by the Spirit of God and Jesus himself tells us in ( John 5:25-26) 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself. Jesus here was not speaking of mere mortal life, ie mortal life, but was speaking about immortallity. Now we know Jesus was not immortal until after His death, Burial and resurrection or else he could not have died, but He did and He through His death and Resurrection can grant to us eternal life also.( John 17:1-3) 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
This scripture indicates that immortality is linked to incorruption, or a sinless state and also that immortality is something put on in the future in order to attain the reward of heavenly life.
1 Cor. 15:42, 44, 53 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
The Bible does not teach that man has an immortal soul. Over and over again it is stated in the scriptures that death is the penalty for sin. How unjust would it be to say death and mean something else? Over and over again the prize is stated as eternal life. What kind of prize is that if everyone already has it? Further there is this scripture: 2 Timothy 2:18 "They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith." and what did Jesus say about Lazarus? That he will rise. When did his sister expect this? On the last day.
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death,
the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4 The wages sin pays is death. Romans 6:23 for he who has died has been acquitted from his sin. Romans 6:7
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
"the dead know not any thing". Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 Psalm 146:4
God and God alone can only destroy this future being so Jesus says dont fear man he can kill but it is temporary. Fear the one who has power to destroy you in gehenna fire. God controls and has the issues of life everlasting, dont fear man, but fear the one who can destroy in gehenna or the second death this present dying body of existence and all hope and promise for a future existence.
We see Jesus said fear not the one who can kill the body. To kill here means to inflict mortal death. Notice Jesus uses the word kill when speaking in reference of mortal life, and then uses the word destory when speaking of himself having the abillity to destroy both body and soul in gehenna (hell). In our next study we will look at the word hell and the false doctrine being preached concerning hell. We will look at the meaning of the word hell and give you every scripture in the Old and New Testaments where the word is used. We will examine the scriptures to find that the lake of fire is a place of future judgement and destruction and not a place of eternal torment or ongoing punishment but a place of final destruction which is to say the second death.
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Most believe the dead will be resurrected but teach the dead go to heaven or hell and receive their reward and if that was the case there is no need for a resurrection and they have false teachings concerning eternal judgement as well. The righteous inherit everlasting life (Romans 6:23) and the wicked become ashes under the soles of our feet (Malachi 4:3).
More on hell:
There are a lot of words in Hebrew and Greek that several Bible translations sometimes rendered hell and sometimes not. Sheol is sometimes rendered hell, other times the grave and the pit. Hades is rendered hell and other times grave. It obscures the meanings when words are not always rendered the same way. Job 14:13 Job prayed that he wanted to be protected in Sheol. Acts 2:25-27 Hades. Revelation 20:13, 14 "death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them" Hades.
Jude 7 states that Sodom and Gomorrah suffer eternal fire. Those cities stopped burning thousands of years ago. In Luke Jesus says that the cities were destroyed. Jude shows that the destruction is eternal.
the Greek word for torment is also used for jailer and humiliating exposure by prophets in Matthew 18:34 and Revelation 11:10.
In 2000 Bro. Sparks was licensed with the ALJC and Pastored the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Ashland Kentucky before entering Evangelism again and has been Evangelizing ever since. In 2005 Breaking the Silence International Evangelistic Ministries Inc was organized and became a non profit organization in the state of kentucky with ministers and friends all over the world. Together we are Breaking the Silence and declaring the saving Name of Jesus Christ to this world. Bro.Sparks Pastors the Worldwide Church of Jesus Christ in his home currently meeting Fridays at 7:30 PM.
Unfortunately, I cannot find the future articles in this series that he has promised. I might write to him and request them.