What are your thoughts on this?

 

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I know many believe that these verses are metaphorical in some way. I don't assume they are. I think it makes sense that we were given an accurate rendering of what Hell is here. Afterlife is the important message in the bible, so i would presume that such a matter wouldn't be given by a riddle.

After the ressurrection and judgment when all the lost are thrown into a lake of fire, I don't know what happens then for sure. Certainly there's some burning going on. Does it go on forever? I don't know. Apparently the word used for forever is a bit ambiguous and can mean a rather long duration, but what sort of sense would it make to burn just a really long time and then cease to be? My guess, at least, is that it goes on infinitely but either way, its really, really bad.

 

 

19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Luke 16: 19-31

Hey Guys, thanks so much for your reponses!  I felt the same sentiment expressed here until I really just stopped one day and thought about it.  I asked YHVH, longing for some understanding.  I started thinking about what is, arguably, the most famous Bible verse of all time: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16  So who, according to this verse, is eternal life for?  Those who believe in Yeshua.  What is the definition of perish? I looked it up.  It means to be completely detroyed, die violently or suddenly.  The wicked will perish.  This is expressed over and over again in Scripture.  The righteous will LIVE.  To experience eternal torment, we would have to have life.  YHVH told Adam and Chava that if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that they would die, not that they would suffer forever.  The Word is that the wages of sin is death.  Not everlasting torment.  The more I meditate on it the more it seems that finite "hell" is more consisitent with Scripture and what I have personally experienced of the Father's nature.  What say ye?

"Do not fear man, but rather fear God who can destroy both body and soul in hell."  Yeshua (emphasis mine)

Also, I do not believe the soul is infinite.  Our soul, as I understand it, is our record of life, our thoughts emotions, impulses, our imprint if you will.  The spirit in us, the life, the spark, comes from the Father and goes back to him.  But our record can be destroyed, forgotten, erased.  This is the second death.  Erased.  Lack of existence...

i think there is never an escape from accountability.  the Hebrew/biblical concept of reaping what you sow implies that consequences are natural results of actions.  punishment has a whole different meaning.  YHVH asks us to choose between life and death, not life and eternal suffering...Ok, look at it this way, suppose a man loves a woman and proposes marriage.  "I love you more than anything, enough to die for you.  I will give you a beautiful mansion to live in and we will travel the world and live a wonderful life together if you say yes.  But if you refuse my offer of marriage, I will trap you in the basement of the mansion where you will hear how happy I am with the woman who will accept my proposal and you will live there,  forever, sad because you will always know that it could have been you."  If the woman accepts the offer, do you think it would be from love or from fear?  Even if she enjoys her life with her husband, do you think her joy would be full, knowing she didn't really   have another option?  What if she were aware of the other women who had refused marriage to this man; could hear their pitiable laments wafting through the mansion from their basement prison?  What if one day this bride chose to cheat on her husband?  Instead of divorcing her or even executing her for her sin, what if he chained her and tortured her for the rest of her life?  What if he prolonged her life and then decided to allow her to be tormented forever?  What would you think of such a man?  Would you accept love on these terms?  Would it be love at all?  But we know that God is love.  And if we  can agree that the above actions are not ones of love and are not ones that honor the freewill that we know God has given men, then the only real question left is the nature of the soul.  I believe that scripture supports the idea that the soul is perishable and is not eternal.  God is the creator of life.  Where there is not God, there is not life.  It is not possible.  I beleive those who do not choose Life will be fully aware of that at some point and I think that they will suffer and in the end reap what they have sown, which is death.  The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Yeshua Messiah, our Lord. 

 

maybe one way to consider eternal death is as eternal separation from YHWH. without Him, the creature is essentially dead, existing yes, but truly 'alive', no. separation from one's creator would be punishment worse than anything, maybe.. there is information on different types of fires in Enoch also..

 

Chapter 10 - 1. Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him:

2. 'Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it.

3. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.'

4. And again the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azâzêl hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dûdâêl, and cast him therein.

5. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light.

6. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. ...

11. And the Lord said unto Michael: 'Go, bind Semjâzâ and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves with them in all their uncleanness.

12. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation, till the judgement that is for ever and ever is consummated.

13. In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire: and to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all generations.

 

Chapter 14: ..8. And the vision was shown to me thus: Behold, in the vision clouds invited me and a mist summoned me, and the course of the stars and the lightnings sped and hastened me, and the winds in the vision caused me to fly and lifted me upward, and bore me into heaven.

9. And I went in till I drew nigh to a wall which is built of crystals and surrounded by tongues of fire: and it began to affright me. And I went into the tongues of fire and drew nigh to a large house which was built of crystals: and the walls of the house were like a tesselated floor (made) of crystals, and its groundwork was of crystal.

11. Its ceiling was like the path of the stars and the lightnings, and between them were fiery cherubim, and their heaven was (clear as) water.

12. A flaming fire surrounded the walls, and its portals blazed with fire.

13. And I entered into that house, and it was hot as fire and cold as ice: there were no delights of life therein: fear covered me, and trembling got hold upon me.

14. And as I quaked and trembled, I fell upon my face.

15. And I beheld a vision, And lo! there was a second house, greater than the former, and the entire portal stood open before me, and it was built of flames of fire.

16. And in every respect it so excelled in splendour and magnificence and extent that I cannot describe to you its splendour and its extent.

17. And its floor was of fire, and above it were lightnings and the path of the stars, and its ceiling also was flaming fire.

18. And I looked and saw ⌈⌈therein⌉⌉ a lofty throne: its appearance was as crystal, and the wheels thereof as the shining sun, and there was the vision of cherubim.

19. And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming fire so that I could not look thereon.

20. And the Great Glory sat thereon, and His raiment shone more brightly than the sun and was whiter than any snow.

21. None of the angels could enter and could behold His face by reason of the magnificence and glory and no flesh could behold Him.

22. The flaming fire was round about Him, and a great fire stood before Him, and none around could draw nigh Him: ten thousand times ten thousand (stood) before Him, yet He needed no counselor.

23. And the most holy ones who were nigh to Him did not leave by night nor depart from Him.

24. And until then I had been prostrate on my face, trembling: and the Lord called me with His own mouth, and said to me: 'Come hither, Enoch, and hear my word.'

25. And one of the holy ones came to me and waked me, and He made me rise up and approach the door: and I bowed my face downwards.

When the question of Hell comes up i think we often forget to define what we mean by that. Sinclair pointed out the time before the great judgment as opposed to afterward and that's what i want to address.
 
The place we read about in the account of Lazarus and the rich man can't be an eternal state because after the final judgment both death and hell are thrown into the lake of fire. The people who are in this place have been resurrected to receive their judgment. Now the question becomes, what happens to them after this.
 
They are thrown into a lake of fire. The following verse deals specifically with those lost people who will accept the mark of the Beast -
 
 
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. - Revelation 14:9-11
 
The key words and their definitions are:
 
for: eis -  into, unto, to, towards, for, among
 
ever: aiōn - for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
the worlds, universe
period of time, age
 
torment: basanismos - to torture, a testing by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal
torment, torture
 
This being a future condition, this is perhaps The most precise foretelling of what it means to be thrown into the lake of fire. They're certainly very interesting verses. If it tells us anything for sure it is apparently that one thing this fate does not entail is a quick expiration.
 
This particular application aside, one thing i'd like to mention regarding "fire insurance" (a motivation of fear for obeying YHWH). I'm not personally against that notion..i know a lot of people are... but in truth when we first begin to seek Him out, we literally can't yet do this because we love Him..we do it because we are beginning to understand that therein lies the preservation of our spirits. Love is an action...it's not seated in feelings. Until we fear Him, we won't...and honestly can't begin to love Him. (to love YHWH is to obey Him)
 
The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom.

@Tristran:

 

"Maybe this is the 1000 year rule after Jesus's return. A 1000 years in hell, is infinity."

 

The "second death", the point at which the lost are thrown into the lake of fire is described to occur immediately after that 1,000 years actually. I don't doubt , however, that even though 1,000 years is like one day to Him...it would certainly feel like an eternity to anyone apart from Him.

yes absolutely, the fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom.  the scriptures do tell us that is is YHVH's kindness that leads us to repentance.  properly understood, repentance is to change the way we think.  this is how we are able to obey the Father's commands.  scripture tells us that hell was created/prepared for ha'Satan and his angels.  scripture tells us that the angels are spirits and that spirit is eternal.  the same is not said of the soul.  the smoke from sodom still rises.  it is not currently burning.  the nature of fire is to consume, to eat up to destroy.  the only place in scripture where this seems to not be the case is with Moses and the burning bush.  But it was YHVH who spoke to Moses out of that fire.  i do not believe that it will be YHVH's presence in the flames of hell.  death, the wicked, sin, hell, all of these things are going to be destroyed.  what purpose does eternal torment serve?  if the soul could not be destroyed, then why does Yeshua tell us that YHVH is able to do so?  fear of eternal torment is NOT the same thing as fearing YHVH.  again, Yeshua does not tell us to fear hell, but to fear YHVH. 

You make a point of spirit and soul being different concepts and i believe this as well. The words which are translated as soul are always used to apply to creatures who have a flesh body animated by a spirit. The spirit + body = soul. In this way, it is surely a necessary truth that the soul can not last eternally. When those lost spirits are resurrected to rejoin their corrupt flesh and are once again souls, they then are burned in a lake of fire where the flesh must be destroyed once and for all. The soul, then, is no more, but what of the spirit?

 

An angelic spirit can be tormented day and night "forever" (though perhaps aion does not strictly translate to eternal). There is much evidence of spiritual consciousness of the human spirit after death, too much to ignore, so that it is apparent that human consciousness continues in sheol at least. Perhaps no one on Earth can yet know for sure what the duration of the burning in the lake could be for the spirits who belonged to those destroyed souls later.

i don't think destruction is necessarily instant either.  Yeshua says that some will be beaten with many lashes and some with few.  and if hell really is what many believe then, we should truly be abashed at sitting here typing when every second someone is dying to later wake up to everlasting pain and torment.  everlasting.  EVER.  LASTING.  i dunno.  it just doesn't add up.  of all the people who have ever and will ever live...to think that millions upon millions of souls will be wailing and screaming while a select few get to party throughout the universe...really???  that does not sound like YHVH to me.  i could just misunderstand.  but that does not seem like justice.  it seems cruel and unusual.  again, John 3:16 (along with other verses) seem to make it crystal clear that the ultimate fate of those not found in Messiah is permanent death.  (just do an exegesis on each word in that verse.) and that is just.  eternal life is mercy.  for every person who has accepted the gospel as "fire insurance",  i am sure there are many who have rejected it, appalled at the incongruous and vindictive nature they perceive of a god who would do such.  "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."  John 17:3  if we know him we will have his life in us and we will be in him.  The Spirit of YHVH is life.  without we die.  and you can't die a little bit.  you are dead or you are alive.  :/  so anyway...nothing to divide over...i just see my Father in a way that i believe is more clear...more consistent...i don't want to trade truth for tradition...

 

perhaps the spirit will eternally burn, but in man, this is not the consciousness, the personality.  the part of us that is self aware is what will be destroyed.  in YHVH's eyes it will not be worth keeping.  as for the angels...i do not know...where will they go when hell is "swallowed up"?  it seems to me that the one who would always hurt would be the Creator Himself.  a painful memory that could not be forgotten?  He blots out our transgressions.  the wicked will be detroyed...the angels?  again, I do not know.  but i do know that God is love and love KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.



Prodigal Son said:

You make a point of spirit and soul being different concepts and i believe this as well. The words which are translated as soul are always used to apply to creatures who have a flesh body animated by a spirit. The spirit + body = soul. In this way, it is surely a necessary truth that the soul can not last eternally. When those lost spirits are resurrected to rejoin their corrupt flesh and are once again souls, they then are burned in a lake of fire where the flesh must be destroyed once and for all. The soul, then, is no more, but what of the spirit?

 

An angelic spirit can be tormented day and night "forever" (though perhaps aion does not strictly translate to eternal). There is much evidence of spiritual consciousness of the human spirit after death, too much to ignore, so that it is apparent that human consciousness continues in sheol at least. Perhaps no one on Earth can yet know for sure what the duration of the burning in the lake could be for the spirits who belonged to those destroyed souls later.

I think that whether the lake of fire brought instant annihilation or long term suffering, it remains true that all believers, myself included, could do well to have more fire in them for witnessing to the lost. There is nothing more important in terms of our job here on earth. He isn't willing for souls to perish nor is He rejoicing when His own enemies do. There is singing in Heaven when one sinner repents. I hope we can be a part of making much more singing happen.

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