Thoughts on Hell.....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by shannonL, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Some on the BB may consider me an "unlearned" man for what I'm about to say.

    I believe in a literal, eternal place called the Lake of Fire. It is there that those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ will abide for all eternity justifiably so since they turned their backs on the greatest gift of love ever given. Jesus dying in their place for their sins.

    I also believe that it will be a place of "literal" torment.
    The "fire" mentioned in the Bible concerning hell, lake of fire is a literal fire.

    The account of the rich man and Lazerus was not a parable. It was a true story involving real men etcc....

    If hell is not an eternal place of punishment that involves everlasting torment of it's residents then why did God send His Son to die for mankind if hell isn't exactly how it is described? Why send your only Son if hell is just a place where everyone will eventually be destroyed rather than eternally doomed?

    Again, I for one believe in a literal, eternal place of punishment where unbelievers will spend eternity being constantly on fire, burning, but never being burned up.

    What say you?
     
  2. blackbird

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    Have Lazarus come and dip his finger in water---and touch the tip of my tongue---for I am in torments in these flames

    Yes sir, Hell is hot and long with the noticeable absence of the water of the River of Life
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    I believe that hell is literal. I believe that hell is literaly a place of torment. But we do not need to have the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to prove that.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Bible

    Luke 16:19

    There was a certain rich man…
    In Beza's most ancient copy, and in another manuscript of his it is read by way of preface, "he said also another parable": which shows, that this is not a history of matter of fact, or an historical account of two such persons, as the "rich" man and the beggar,

    People's New Testament


    The Rich Man and the Beggar (verses 19-31). A parable, also, showing the consequences of a worldly spirit and the worldly use of wealth. "Here, as in other cognate parables, great wisdom is displayed in bringing the whole force of the rebuke to bear on one point. It is not intimated that this man made free with other people's money, or that he had gained his fortune in a dishonest way. All other charges are removed, that the weight lying all on one point may more effectively imprint the intended lesson. To have represented him as dishonest, or drunken, would have blunted the weapon's edge. Here is an affluent citizen, on whose fair fame the breath of scandal can fix no blot. He had a large portion in this world, and did not seek--did not desire--any other. He spent his wealth in pleasing himself, and did not lay it out in serving God or helping man."--Arnot.

    Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

    He was clothed (enedidusketo). Imperfect middle of endiduskw, a late intensive form of enduw. He clothed himself in or with. It was his habit. Purple (porpuran). This purple dye was obtained from the purple fish, a species of mussel or murex (1Macc. 4:23). It was very costly and was used for the upper garment by the wealthy and princes (royal purple). They had three shades of purple (deep violet, deep scarlet or crimson, deep blue). See also Mark 15:17,20; Revelation 18:12. Fine linen (busson). Byssus or Egyptian flax (India and Achaia also). It is a yellowed flax from which fine linen was made for undergarments. It was used for wrapping mummies. "Some of the Egyptian linen was so fine that it was called woven air" (Vincent). Here only in the N.T. for the adjective bussinoß occurs in Revelation 18:12; Revelation 19:8,14. Faring sumptuously (euprainomenoß lamprwß). Making merry brilliantly. The verb euprainomai we have already had in Revelation 12:19; Revelation 15:23,25,32. Lamprwß is an old adverb from lamproß, brilliant, shining, splendid, magnificent. It occurs here only in the N.T. This parable apparently was meant for the Pharisees (verse Revelation 14) who were lovers of money. It shows the wrong use of money and opportunity.

    Most commentators will disagree with you. this is a parable. It is in response to the Pharasees if you will look back to 15:1.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    I'm with you shannonL. And of course even if most commentators say the story of the rich man and Lazarus is a is a parable, that doesn't prove it.

    "We do not count this a parable, though some other commentators do call it so. Jesus does not call it a parable. There are definite people named in the story. Adbraham was a historical character." (The Son of Man, John R. Rice, p. 396.)

    If it is a parable it is the only one with a historical character, characters with names and a description of the afterlife.

    But like I told a JW once, even if we count it a parable, that doesn't make the descriptions in the story fiction. The parables of Jesus, though ostensibly fiction, were always based on real culture and customs. So there is a Hell (I capitalize it just like you would Tokyo), it is hot and terrible, and very sadly, lost people go there.
     
  5. shannonL

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    I don't think we have to have the rich man and Lazarus in order to prove the existence of hell either. Yet IMO it is the most revealing info we have concerning the conditions of hell etc.... Or at least it is the most lengthy.


    Anyhow, glad you fellows believe the way you do.
    I'm really fishing for some annihilationists etc..
    Maybe I'll get a nibble or two before long?


    If the rich man and Lazarus is a parable what is the reason for the giving of a name to one of the men? Did Christ make up a name to add effect to his story? No other parable names a person. They are simply men or women.
     
  6. blackbird

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    Many commentators call this a parable---then again---many do not---and in my twenty years of preaching--neither I nor any pastor/preacher/evangelist I know or have known call this a parable!
     
  7. mima

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    I agree with ShannonL that there is a literal hell. I also agree with John of Japan as to why this story can not be taken as a parable.
     
  8. shannonL

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    J.C. Ryle once said,

    "The watchman who keeps silent when he sees a fire is guilty of gross neglect. The doctor who tells us we are well when we are dying is a false friend. And the minister who keeps back hell from his people in his sermons is neither a faithful or loving man."

    I use this quote in a sermon I have on hell.

    Brothers and sisters IMO most of what is considered mainstream evangelicalism of the past 20 years to the present has been built around a philosophy that has been propagated by the very kind of men that J.C.Ryle mentioned in this quote.

    Do people not realize how contrary this seeker friendly type of evangelism is to the teaching of Scripture. Boldness is frowned upon. Hell is pathetically missing from the content of most sermons. Being dogmatic is the cardinal sin of all of what is known as evangelicalism today.
    Yet the casual, user friendly, speak softly,entertaining type church is the fastest growing kind of church in America

    God help us. judgement starts at the House of the Lord.

    It is so chic today to gloss over hell in sermons or mention it only as minimally as possible etc...

    Yet our precious Savior the Lord Jesus Christ said that it would be better for a man to pluck his eye out and enter heaven that way than to go into hell whole.
    He said it would be better to cut your leg off and enter into heaven lame if that is what it took to keep you from going to Hell whole.

    Yet down at Easy Goin Baptist Church pastor Cool Breeze is up on stage preaching with his shirt tail hanging out telling folk that God has a purpose for their life blah blah blah.

    Here is a thought: Why don't all the casual christians out there get their hearts right with Jesus and start living a Holy life set apart for God in order that they might realize that men and women, boys and girls are slipping off into hell as we speak . And if your saved and your still breathing it is because God wants you to warn people that a payday is coming.
    Instead you know what most american christians are interested in and what some Mr. Cool Breeze preachers are teaching? They are all obsessed with finding out just how worldly they can live and still reap the benefits of the abundant life they have through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

    Grace isn't cheap but by looking at what the American church has become you would think you could buy it on the clearence rack down at Wal Mart.

    Unless we see repentance within the walls of the church soon it won't be long until christianity was just an afterthought it this country. If you don't think it can't happen just look at Great Britain. Once that country was on fire for God. Sending out missionaries etc... Charles Spurgeon and others were preaching in packed services etc...Now that country is completely bankrupt spritually. Secular to the core. It didn't even take that long at all.
    America is not far behind. Mr Cool Breeze preacher with his watered down, casual, ear pleasing messages is leading the charge into the spritual desert and can't even see it.
     
  9. donnA

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    Hell is a literal place, and I don't know why anyone would call that unlearned, I'd call them unbelievers of God's word.
     
  10. Boanerges

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    Agreed Shannon, and many of the false teachers and false profit$ are currently putting a down payment on their condo in the lake of fire......unless they repent :(
     
  11. Mercury

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    This is an issue where BaptistBoard has been helpful to me. About a year ago this topic came up, and I posted some tentative thoughts about hell literally being destruction, hoping that if I was wrong, I'd hear good biblical reasons in the thread. Instead, the thread ended up confirming what I posted, only dealing with arguments I had already mentioned. Anyway, here's what I posted then, and what I still think now:

    One of the main reasons I'm uncomfortable with the literal eternal flames view is that it appears to be based on taking literary passages literally while reinterpreting the clearer passages. For instance, Revelation 14:10-11 and 20:10-15 describe torment in the lake of fire, but what is interesting is who all is being tormented. Revelation 20:14 says, "Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire." To me, this seems to not be literal, since I don't see how something like death can be tormented by fire. We know from other passages that death will be conquered and be no more. This passage seems to be a picture of that rather than a concrete, literal reality.

    The other main prooftext is the story of the rich man and Lazarus, and personally I think there's strong reasons for considering that story to be a parable. It may even be a Jewish story that was already commonly known that Jesus turned on its ear by giving it a new twist. In any case, I don't think a doctrine on hell should be formulated mainly from a symbolic vision and a possible parable.

    The more prosaic descriptions of the destiny of the wicked often seem to point to eventual destruction. John 3:16 presents two options: to gain everlasting life or to perish. While I do think the wicked will be raised to face judgement, I don't think they will also be given everlasting life to spend in a different location. Matthew 10:28 says, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Other similar verses include 1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Peter 2:12, and 2 Peter 3:9.

    There's also interesting examples used of what the eternal punishment is like. Jude 1:7 says that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah serves as an example of the punishment of eternal fire. The only way to add eternal torment to that is to say that the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah are now being tormented eternally by fire. But, that requires reading a presumption of eternal torment into the text regardless of what it states, and it also negates the historical example of what happened to the cities, which is what Jude refers to. Mark 9:43-48 speaks of a place where flames and worms are eternal, but it does not say that those thrown into this place will live forever. In fact, by checking the passage Jesus quotes in Isaiah 66:24, we see that it is talking about dead bodies being consumed by worm and flame in a garbage dump, and not about torment of living souls.

    This view also allows a more literal interpretation of the passages that talk about hell being more bearable for some, and of some being beaten with more blows than others. There may be a form of torment (varying from person to person), but the end of it is destruction. To me, that seems more likely that a Dante-esque hell broken into sections with different settings on the thermostat.

    Finally, this view seems consistent with the idea that hell is separation from God. According to 2 Thessalonians 1:9: "They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might..." While people can be separated from God today, ultimate separation must result in ceasing to exist, because God is the eternal I AM. Because God is and God is omnipresent, to be totally separated from God is to not be. Because of this, that wonderful prophecy from 1 Corinthians 15:28 can some day be fulfilled: "When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all." God may be all in all because in eternity nothing will exist that is in rebellion to God.

    About the only verse that gives me second thoughts about the eventual destruction of the wicked is Matthew 25:26: "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." But even here, destruction is a punishment with eternal consequences: due to this punishment, the wicked will not exist for all of eternity.
     
  12. Grasshopper

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    Many scholars disagree with you. Even those who agree with your view of Hell.

    Perhaps so we might live eternally with God. So if annihilation is what happens to the lost, Jesus wouldn’t have bothered performing His atonement? If so, then He must not have loved us as much as we think.

    I say prove from scripture that man was created immortal. If immortality is only gained through Christ, how does the lost man exist forever? What does “destroy” mean? To live forever? What does “perish” mean? To live forever? What did the Tree of Life provide?
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    If you will noticce in john Gills exposition he states "In Beza's most ancient copy, and in another manuscript of his it is read by way of preface, "he said also another parable": which shows, that this is not a history of matter of fact, or an historical account of two such persons, as the "rich" man and the beggar,".

    If you will begin reading in LUke 15:1 you will see that this is one of several parables Jesus tells in response to the pharisees attitude.

    I am not uncomfortable with literal eternal flames, nor do I argue against it. Luke 16:19-31 does little to support it. However there are many that do. I do not support total anilation of unbelievers. To say that to be seperated from God is to not be is not found in scripture. However I do bleieve that any description we think we have of hell is nothing compared to the real thing.
     
  14. UnchartedSpirit

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    interrupt:
    does God being omnipresent mean that he does have some presence in hell, even if he is not of it? or does it mean he just has an influence or awareness of it?
     
  15. Joseph_Botwinick

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  16. Grasshopper

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    So they would not eat of the Tree of Life and live forever.
     
  17. Ron Arndt

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    Personally, I have trouble with accepting a literal hellfire where souls are every moment of every minute being tormented, while they are screaming in utter agony. I could understand for the really willfully wicked, like Hitler, Sadamn and Charles Manson types. But for someone who lived a life time and just decided "hey I don't want to follow the Christian religion", but lived a good moral life anyway. Are they being tormented eternally?
    I think that is where the rubber meets the road. Has anyone ever seen a portrait of Dante's Inferno on the History channel or in a book? The portrait is so agonizing to look at one cannot look long. Yet THIS IS the true picture the New Testament presents if we take it literally? I really don't even like to discuss it with others. It's to horrible to imagine.
     
  18. JackRUS

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    Me too.
     
  19. UnchartedSpirit

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    I like the version from Lee Strobels "The Case For Christ." Can anyone answer my question on omnipresence?
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Hi, Ron.

    Your first mistake is imagining that anyone could live a good, moral life without Christ. Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (17:9) Let me tell you, living in a heathen society, these people do NOT live good moral lives: twice the abortion per capita as the US, porno in every bookstore, an ingrained culture of dishonesty, the schools filled with violence and sex (don't believe what you hear in the American press), no laws against public drunkenness, laws almost never enforce on child and spouse abuse, wicked idolatry all over--I could go on and on.

    Your second mistake is to underestimate the holiness of God. God does not "have" holiness, He IS holy. A holy God must punish sin, or He is no longer holy. His love and His holiness must be in balance.
     

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