If God is so forgiving and loving why did He feel it necessary to create Hell?
Answer from the Muslim point of view
It is true that God is forgiving and loving but He is so only for those who worship Him as the one and only one God with no partner, no companion, no associate, and no equivalent. The Quran says (English translation):
"Indeed, Allah (or God; He is the same God worshiped in Christianity and Judaism) does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for those whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly made a tremendous sin"(4:48)
"And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah (God) and seek forgiveness for their sins - and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know" (3:135)
"Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah (He is the same God worshiped in Christianity and Judaism) , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (3:31)
Answer from the Orthodox Jewish point of view
It is precisely because God is loving, that He created punishment in the afterlife. If Hitler, for example, could wantonly kill so many people and escape through suicide, where would God's kindness be? We who believe in God, take solace in that such wicked people cannot flee from God.
Answer from the Christian point of view
The simple answer to that is; "God didn't." The Bible does not tell us; God sends the wicked to some fiery place of torment, the churches tell people that. The Bible tells us "God IS love" not just HAS love, he is the very essence of love, so as you rightly said a loving God would have "no need" or desire to create such a place. 'Christianity may have made hell a household word,' says U.S.News & World Report, 'but it doesn't hold a monopoly on the doctrine. The threat of painful retribution in the afterlife has counterparts in nearly every major world religion and in some minor ones as well.'
Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jains, and Taoists believe in a hell of one sort or another. The Bible tells us, the dead have no conscious existence, so hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where the wicked suffer after death.
What, then, is hell? Examining what happened to Jesus after he died helps to answer that question. The Bible writer Luke recounts:
'Neither was [Jesus] forsaken in Hades [hell, King James Version] nor did his flesh see corruption.' (Acts 2:31) Where was the hell to which even Jesus went? The apostle Paul wrote:
'I handed on to you . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, yes, that he has been raised up the third day according to the Scriptures.' (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)
So Jesus was in hell, THE GRAVE.
Hell is real, but it was not originally created for mankind. It was created for the devil and his angels. Some prefer to call it the lake of fire, but whatever name it goes by, it's real, it's hot, and it's everlasting for those who go there. A
Luke 16 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. Luke 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Matthew 25 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matthew 25 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
LUKE 16 22-28-- that you mentioned, is an illustration, the language throughout the account is plainly parabolic and cannot be construed literally.
20:15--Is this the hellfire Christendom speaks about? No, for in the preceding verse, we read: 'Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.'
(Revelation 20:14, KJ)
If hell is cast into the lake of fire, the lake cannot itself be hellfire. Moreover, death is not something concrete that can be picked up and hurled somewhere. So the lake of fire must be symbolic.
REVELATION 21:8--A judgment of eternal destruction has been determined for Satan, his demons, the symbolic 'wild beast' and 'false prophet,' and even death and Hades. (Mt 25:41; Re 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8)
All of these are consigned to 'the lake of fire,' that is, they are everlastingly destroyed. Fire was used in Bible times as the most thorough means of destruction. Hence, Jesus used fire to illustrate the complete destruction of the wicked.'Mt 13:40-42, 49, 50
41-46--this cannot mean that immortal souls of goatlike ones will suffer in an eternal fire. No, for humans are souls; they do not possess immortal souls. (Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Ezekiel 18:4)
By sentencing the goats to 'everlasting fire,' the Judge means destruction devoid of a future hope, which will also be the permanent end for the Devil and his demons. (Revelation 20:10, 14)
Hence, God's Judge sets out opposites. He tells the sheep, 'Come'; the goats, 'Be on your way from me.' The sheep will inherit 'everlasting life.' The goats will receive 'everlasting cutting-off.' Matthew 25:46.
You: "LUKE 16 22-28-- that you mentioned, is an illustration, the language throughout the account is plainly parabolic and cannot be construed literally."
From Blue Letter Bible Commentaries - capital emphasis added: (Significantly, Jesus does NOT present this story as a parable, and IN NO OTHER PARABLE does Jesus ACTUALLY NAME AN INDIVIDUAL (as the poor man is named here). We have every reason to believe that Jesus is giving us an actual "case history," that He would know because He is the man from heaven.) Luke 16: 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
(CERTAIN: ti' an enclitic indefinite pronoun Transliterated Word TDNT Entry Tis None Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech tis Definition a certain, a certain one)
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And 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;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
From Blue Letter Bible Commentaries: ((Jesus is describing Hades (called Sheol in the Old Testament), which was the common abode of the dead Some who are in Hades rest in comfort (the bosom of Abraham), but others are in fires of torment Hades is not the Lake of Fire (what we usually think of as Hell, referred to in Revelation 20:15, and called Gehenna in the Old Testament), but Hades is a "waiting place" until the day of final judgment (Revelation 20:11-13) ))
24 And 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.
25 But 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.
26 And 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.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
From Blue Letter Bible Commentaries: (Now the rich man is concerned for his brothers on earth; the first indication we have that the rich man thought of anyone else comes after it is too late.)
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
You: "REVELATION 20:15--Is this the hellfire Christendom speaks about? No, for in the preceding verse, we read: 'Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.' (Revelation 20:14, KJ) If hell is cast into the lake of fire, the lake cannot itself be hellfire. Moreover, death is not something concrete that can be picked up and hurled somewhere. So the lake of fire must be symbolic."
"REVELATION 21:8--A judgment of eternal destruction has been determined for Satan, his demons, the symbolic 'wild beast' and 'false prophet,' and even death and Hades. (Mt 25:41; Re 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8)
All of these are consigned to 'the lake of fire,' that is, they are everlastingly destroyed. Fire was used in Bible times as the most thorough means of destruction. Hence, Jesus used fire to illustrate the complete destruction of the wicked.'Mt 13:40-42, 49, 50"
Rev. 20: 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. From Blue Letter Bible. org: (At the present time, the Final Hell, the "Gehenna" or "Lake of Fire", is unoccupied.
(1) The very first ones who will be cast into it will be the "Beast" and the "False Prophet" Revelation 19:20.
(2) Satan and his Angels will be cast into it a thousand years later. Revelation 20:10.
(3) And then, all the wicked "those who will be delivered up from Hades, the present Hell, whose names were not written in the "Book of Life", after the "Great White Throne Judgment", will be cast in the "Lake of Fire" to spend eternity. Revelation 20:12-15. 1. SHEOL: In the Old Testament it usually means the place of departed spirits. Psa 16:10 2. HADES: Usually means place of the departed spirits in the New Testament. Act 2:27 3. TARTARUS: The deepest abyss of Hades prepared for the Devil and his angels. Mat 25:41-46 4. GRAVE (QUEBER IN HEBREW): "He was buried in the grave of his father." 2Sa 17:23 5. TOPHET (OLD TESTAMENT) GEHENNA (NEW TESTAMENT GREEK): These words are used to describe the lake of fire. NOTES: SHEOL AND HADES occasionally can be translated "grave" but not always. QUEBER always means "grave" where the body goes. Sheol, Hades, and Queber are not used interchangeably. 6. HELL AS DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE: Everlasting fire Mat 25:41 Eternal punishment Mat 25:46 Outer darkness Mat 8:12 Everlasting destruction 2Th 1:9 Lake of fire Rev 19:20 7. THE PURPOSE FOR HELL: For the Devil and his angels Matthew 25:41 For the wicked Rev 21:8 For the disobedient Rev 2:8, 9 For the fallen angels 2Pe 2:4 For the beast and the false prophets Rev 19:20 For the worshipers of the beast Rev 14:9 For the rejectors of the Gospel Mat 13:41-42 8. THE NATURE OF THE PUNISHMENT EXPERIENCED BY THE RESIDENTS OF HELL: Bodily Mat 5:29, 30 In the soul Mat 10:28 With degrees Mat 23:14 Unchangeable Luk 16:22-31 9. SURPRISES FOR THE INHABITANTS OF HELL: They possess memory Luk 16:23, 26 They cry for release Luk 16:24 They cannot escape from God. Psa 139:8 10. THE PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED WILL BE ENDLESS FOREVER AND EVER. NOTE: Matthew 25:46 "And they shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." In Jesus's own words the punishment of the wicked is everlasting, and the life of the righteous is eternal. Everlasting and eternal are the same Greek word "aionios." Therefore, the punishment of the wicked will be just exactly as long as the life of the righteous. The word is the very same word used in Romans 16:26 (..everlasting God..) If the word means endless duration when applied to existence of God, and if it means endless duration when applied to the existence of the righteous, then it also means endless duration when applied to the existence and punishment of the wicked.)) NOTE that if hell is not real and ETERNAL, then neither is Heaven. Also note, the meanings of the word 'death': From Blue Letter Bible.org Strong's concordance - Capital emphasis added: from 2348 Part of Speech n m Outline of Biblical Usage 1) the death of the body a) that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended b) with the implied idea of future misery in hell 1) the power of death c) since the nether world, the abode of the dead, was conceived as being very dark, it is equivalent to the region of thickest darkness i.e. figuratively, a region enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and sin 2) metaph., the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name, a) THE MISERY OF THE SOUL ARISING FROM SIN, WHICH BEGINS ON EARTH BUT LASTS AND INCREASES AFTER THE DEATH OF THE BODY IN HELL 3) THE MISERABLE STATE OF THE WICKED DEAD IN HELL 4) in the widest sense, DEATH COMPRISING ALL THE MISERIES ARISING FROM SIN, as well physical death as the loss of a life consecrated to God and blessed in him on earth, TO BE FOLLOWED BY WRETCHEDNESS IN HELL Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead (3498), and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Note the various meanings of the word 'dead': As used in Luke 15:24 about the "Prodical son". Was the son actually physically DEAD? No, he was dead as in SIN: 3498 - 'dead' Capital emphasis added: 1) properly a) one that has breathed his last, lifeless b) deceased, departed, one whose soul is in heaven or hell c) destitute of life, without life, inanimate 2) metaph. a) SPIRITUALLY DEAD 1) destitute of a life that recognises and is devoted to God, because GIVEN UP TO TRESPASSES AND SIN 2) inactive as respects doing right b) destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative Same here in Romans - same word 'dead', same number 3498: Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead (3498) indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Again: Eph 2:1 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead (3498) in trespasses and sins; Col 2:13 And you, being dead (3498) in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; As for the human soul not being eternal, note these: Hbr 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul (5590). "soul" from 5594 Part of Speech n f Outline of Biblical Usage (Capital emphasis added): 1) breath a) the breath of life 1) the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing a) of animals b) of men b) life c) that in which there is life 1) a living being, a living soul 2) the soul a) the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.) b) the (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being DESIGNED FOR EVERLASTING LIFE c) the soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body) Whether YOUR soul has everlasting life in Heaven or in the Lake of fire (or hell, whichever term you prefer), is your choice.
I guess I'm too simple minded and my simiple mind says that Hell is eternal separation from God
1. JESUS DOES NOT PRESENT THIS STORY (LUKE 16) AS A PARABLE. The Jerusalem Bible, in a footnote, acknowledges that it is a 'parable in story form without reference to any historical personage.'If taken literally, it would mean that those enjoying divine favor could all fit at the bosom of one man, Abraham; that the water on one's fingertip would not be evaporated by the fire of Hades; that a mere drop of water would bring relief to one suffering there. Does that sound reasonable to you? If it were literal, it would conflict with other parts of the Bible. What does the parable mean? The 'rich man' represented the Pharisees. (See verse 14.) The beggar Lazarus represented the common Jewish people who were despised by the Pharisees but who repented and became followers of Jesus. (See Luke 18:11; John 7:49; Matthew 21:31, 32.) Their deaths were also symbolic, representing a change in circumstances. Thus, the formerly despised ones came into a position of divine favor, and the formerly seemingly favored ones were rejected by God, while being tormented by the judgment messages delivered by the ones whom they had despised.'Acts 5:33; 7:54. 2. SOME WHO ARE IN HADES REST IN COMFORT, BUT OTHERS ARE IN FIRES OF TORMENT In all, the word 'Hades' occurs ten times in the earliest manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures.'Mt 11:23; 16:18; Lu 10:15; 16:23; Ac 2:27, 31; Re 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14. In all but two cases in which the word Hades is used in the Christian Greek Scriptures it is related to death, either in the verse itself or in the immediate context. Hades is the common grave of mankind, where the dead and buried ones are unseen. It thus signifies the same as the corresponding word 'Sheol,'and an examination of its use in all its ten occurrences bears out this fact. Note too that 'the rich man' of the parable is spoken of as being 'buried' in Hades, giving further evidence that Hades means the common grave of mankind. ALL (good & bad alike) "rest" in Hades, the common grave. The human body cannot be "tormented" while in Hades, as the Bible tells us the condition of the dead, that they are "unconscious" 3. HADES IS NOT THE LAKE OF FIRE I agree, Hades is the common grave of mankind, whereas "the lake of fire" is not a literal place, it is symbolic of complete destruction 4. HADES IS A "WAITING PLACE" UNTIL THE DAY OF FINAL JUDGMENT (REVELATION 20:11-13) The resurrected 'dead' will be judged during Judgment Day yes, all those held in the grip of Adamic death are in Hades, sleeping in their graves, none are being "tormented" up to the day of Judgement. 'the scroll of life'is opened indicating that there is opportunity for those (good or bad) who heed that education to have their names written in that scroll. Ahead of them will be the prospect of eternal life in human perfection. 5. THE VERY FIRST ONES WHO WILL BE CAST INTO IT WILL BE THE "BEAST" AND THE "FALSE PROPHET" REVELATION 19:20. The seven-headed, ten-horned wild beast out of the sea, representing Satan's political organization, is tumbled into oblivion, and along with it goes the false prophet, the seventh world power. (Revelation 13:1, 11-13; 16:13) While still 'alive,'or still functioning in their united opposition to God's people on earth, they are cast into 'the lake of fire.' Is this a literal lake of fire? No, not any more than the wild beast and the false prophet are literal animals. Rather, it is a symbol of complete, final destruction, a place of no return. Here is where, later, death and Hades, as well as the Devil himself, will be hurled. (Revelation 20:10, 14) It is certainly not an inferno of eternal torture for the wicked, since the very idea of such a place is detestable to God.'Jeremiah 19:5; 32:35; 1 John 4:8, 16. 6. SATAN AND HIS ANGELS WILL BE CAST INTO IT A THOUSAND YEARS LATER. REVELATION 20:10. When Revelation 20:10 says that the Devil is to experience 'torment forever and ever'in 'the lake of fire and brimstone,' what does that mean? Revelation 21:8 (KJ) says clearly that 'the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone' means 'the second death.' So the Devil's being 'tormented' there forever means that there will be no relief for him; he will be held under restraint forever, actually in eternal death. This use of the word 'torment' (from the Greek ba'sa'nos) reminds one of its use at Matthew 18:34, where the same basic Greek word is applied to a 'jailer.' RS, AT, ED, NW. 7. ALL THE WICKED TO SPEND ETERNITY BEING TORMENTED. REVELATION 20:12-15. After God lets Satan and his demons loose from the abyss where they have been for the 1,000 years. What is the result? The Bible shows that Satan is successful in turning some persons away from serving God. These will be as 'the sand of the sea,' meaning that their number is undetermined. After this test is carried out, Satan and his demons, and also those who do not pass the test, are thrown into the symbolic 'lake of fire,' which is the second (eternal) death. (Revelation 20:7-10, 15) 8. SHEOL: MEANS THE PLACE OF DEPARTED SPIRITS. PS. 16:10 The Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades mean the same thing. This is shown by looking at Psalm 16:10 in the Hebrew Scriptures and Acts 2:31 in the Christian Greek Scriptures. So that established, what kind of place is Sheol, or Hades? The fact that the King James Version translates the one Hebrew word Sheol three different ways shows that hell, grave and pit mean one and the same thing. And if hell means the common grave of mankind, it could not at the same time mean a place of fiery torture. Notice, too, that Jesus Christ was in Hades (Sheol), or hell. Are we to believe that God tormented Christ in a hell of fire? Of course not! Jesus was simply in his grave. Ecclesiastes 9:10, reads: 'All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol [grave, King James Version; hell, Douay Version], the place to which you are going.'So the answer becomes very clear. Sheol and Hades refer not to a place of torment but to the common grave of mankind. (Psalm 139:8) Good people as well as bad people go to the Bible hell. 9. HADES: MEANS PLACE OF THE DEPARTED SPIRITS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. ACT 2:27 Jesus Christ when on earth was greatly strengthened in the knowledge that God had caused to be foretold of him that, as God's chief 'loyal one,'his soul would not be left in Sheol. (Ps 16:10) On the day of Pentecost, 33 C.E., the apostle Peter applied this prophecy to Jesus, saying: '[David] saw beforehand and spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he forsaken in Hades nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God resurrected, of which fact we are all witnesses.' (Ac 2:25-28, 31, 32; compare Ac 13:32-37.) Hades and Sheol are one and the same; THE GRAVE. Where humans go at death. 10. TARTARUS: THE DEEPEST ABYSS OF HADES PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS. MAT 25:41-46 Tartarus is a prisonlike, abased condition into which God cast disobedient angels in Noah's day. 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6: (1Pe 3:19, 20) This directly links the matter to the account at Genesis 6:1-4 From these texts it is evident that Tartarus is a condition rather than a particular location, inasmuch as Peter, on the one hand, speaks of these disobedient spirits as being in 'pits of dense darkness,' while Paul speaks of them as being in 'heavenly places'from which they exercise a rule of darkness as wicked spirit forces. (2Pe 2:4; Eph 6:10-12) The dense darkness similarly is not literally a lack of light but results from their being cut off from illumination by God as renegades and outcasts from his family, with only a dark outlook as to their eternal destiny. Tartarus is, therefore, not the same as the Hebrew Sheol or the Greek Hades, both of which refer to the common earthly grave of mankind. This is evident from the fact that, while the apostle Peter shows that Jesus Christ preached to these 'spirits in prison,' he also shows that Jesus did so, not during the three days while buried in Hades (Sheol), but after his resurrection out of Hades.'1Pe 3:18-20. Likewise the abased condition represented by Tartarus should not be confused with 'the abyss' into which Satan and his demons are eventually to be cast for the thousand years of Christ's rule. (Re 20:1-3) Apparently the disobedient angels were cast into Tartarus in 'Noah's days' (1Pe 3:20), but some 2,000 years later we find them entreating Jesus 'not to order them to go away into the abyss.''Lu 8:26-31 11. SHEOL AND HADES CAN BE TRANSLATED "GRAVE" BUT NOT ALWAYS. Regarding Sheol, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1971, Vol. 11, p. 276) noted: 'Sheol was located somewhere 'under' the earth. . . . The state of the dead was one of neither pain nor pleasure. Neither reward for the righteous nor punishment for the wicked was associated with Sheol. The good and the bad alike, tyrants and saints, kings and orphans, Israelites and gentiles 'all slept together without awareness of one another.' Throughout the inspired Scriptures, Sheol is continually associated with death and not life. (1Sa 2:6; 2Sa 22:6; Ps 18:4, 5; 49:7-10, 14, 15; 88:2-6; 89:48; Isa 28:15-18; also compare Ps 116:3, 7-10 with 2Co 4:13, 14.) It is spoken of as 'the land of darkness' (Job 10:21) and a place of silence. (Ps 115:17) Abel apparently was the first one to go to Sheol, and since then countless millions of human dead have joined him in the dust of the ground. 12. HELL --MAT 25:41-46, MAT 8:12,2TH 1:9 REV 19:20 Matthew 25 says "lake of fire" not hell; they are 2 entirely different things. Hell is the English equivalent for, Sheol and Hades, the grave. The "lake of fire" is a symbolic lake meaning, eternal destruction. Matthew 8-'The sons of the kingdom thrown into the darkness outside'are natural Jews who do not accept the opportunity offered first to them of being rulers with Christ. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob represent God's Kingdom arrangement. Jesus is relating how Gentiles will be welcomed to recline at the heavenly table, as it were, 'in the kingdom of the heavens.' Luke 7:1-10; Matthew 8:5-13; Acts 10:28. this scripture is not discussing what happens after death at all. 2 Thess. in the Revised StandardTtranslation reads--: 'They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction* and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.' NAB & NE read-'Eternal ruin" JB reads-'lost eternally,' Everlasting destruction is the destiny of stubborn, goatlike people who do not want to know about God's purposes or who refuse to act when they have the opportunity. Just as; 'everlasting life' is the destiny of humble, sheeplike people who want to know about God, who listen to his instructions, and who then submit to his will. 13. THE PURPOSE FOR HELL: MATTHEW 25:41 REV 21:8 REV 2:8, 9 2PE 2:4 REV 19:20 REV 14:9 MAT 13:41-42 Tormenting people forever and ever in a fiery furnace does not serve any "purpose" and it certainly does not bring glory to a; "God of love" MATTHEW 25- is a parable, not to be taken literally. REVELATION 21;8- A judgment of eternal destruction has been determined for Satan, his demons, the symbolic 'wild beast' and 'false prophet,' and even death and Hades. (Mt 25:41; Re 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8) All of these are consigned to 'the lake of fire,' that is, they are everlastingly destroyed. Fire was used in Bible times as the most thorough means of destruction. Hence, Jesus used fire to illustrate the complete destruction of the wicked.'Mt 13:40-42, 49, 50; 2 peter is speaking of perfect angels who wilfully and deliberately turned against God, and even then, they are not tormented, they will be killed, with no hope of a resurrection. Eternal destruction is what awaits all those mentioned in these scriptures, not eternal torment. 14. THE NATURE OF THE PUNISHMENT EXPERIENCED BY THE RESIDENTS OF HELL: MAT 5:29, 30 MAT 10:28 MAT 23:14 LUK 16:22-31 MATTHEW 5;29'Speaking in illustrative language Jesus says, it is even more vital to 'throw away' anything, even something as precious as an eye or a hand, to avoid immoral thinking and actions. Otherwise, Jesus explains, such persons will be thrown into Gehenna (a burning rubbish heap near Jerusalem), which symbolizes eternal destruction. Matthew 10-- Notice that there is no mention here of torment in the fires of Gehenna; rather, he says to 'fear him that can destroy in Gehenna.'By referring to the 'soul' separately, Jesus here emphasizes that God can destroy all of a person's life prospects; thus there is no hope of resurrection for him. So, the references to the 'fiery Gehenna' have the same meaning as 'the lake of fire' of Revelation 21:8, namely, destruction, 'second death.' Matthew 23-- Gentiles who converted to the Pharisaic sect of Judaism were very reprehensible. Some of them may previously have had God's disapproval, but on becoming Pharisees, they became doubly disapproved, certainly headed for destruction in Gehenna. Luke 16-- Since the rich man (religious leaders) and Lazarus (common people) are not literal persons but symbolize classes of people, logically their deaths are also symbolic. Those who make up the rich-man class come under divine disfavor because of persistently refusing to accept the Kingdom message taught by Jesus. They thereby die to their former position of seeming favor. Whereas "Lazarus" or the common people, die to their former spiritually deprived condition and come into a position of divine favor. Whereas they had earlier looked to the religious leaders for what little dropped from the spiritual table, now the Scriptural truths imparted by Jesus are filling their needs. They are thus brought into the bosom, or favored position, of the Greater Abraham, God. 15. SURPRISES FOR THE INHABITANTS OF HELL: LUK 16:23-26; PSA 139:8 LUKE 16-- Taking it literally, we have a rich man going to a place of torment for no apparent reason other than the fact that he was rich. Are all rich people bad? Are all rich people going to a red-hot hell? The poor man goes into Abraham's bosom. Are people going here just because they lack money? Is there enough room for all the poor people in the world to recline on Abraham's bosom? Obviously, Bible scholars admit, Abraham's bosom has to be interpreted figuratively. So since the fate of the poor man is symbolic, then, if the story is to be consistent, the fate of the rich man also must be symbolic. Further, if the 'blazing fire'were literal, would the rich man ask for just one drop of water? Could even a bucket of water, much less a drop, get near a blazing hell? Taken literally, the account is worse than absurd: it outrages reason! Jesus spoke a parable, a story with symbolic meaning. 16. HUMAN SOUL ETERNAL 'The Christian concept of a spiritual soul created by God and infused into the body at conception to make man a living whole is the fruit of a long development in Christian philosophy. Only with Origen [died c. 254 C.E.] in the East and St. Augustine [died 430 C.E.] in the West was the soul established as a spiritual substance and a philosophical concept formed of its nature. . . . His [Augustine's] doctrine . . . owed much (including some shortcomings) to Neoplatonism. ''New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), Vol. XIII, pp. 452, 454. 'The concept of immortality is a product of Greek thinking, whereas the hope of a resurrection belongs to Jewish thought. . . . Following Alexander's conquests Judaism gradually absorbed Greek concepts.''Dictionnaire Encyclop'dique de la Bible (Valence, France; 1935), edited by Alexandre Westphal, Vol. 2, p. 557. 'Immortality of the soul is a Greek notion formed in ancient mystery cults and elaborated by the philosopher Plato.''Presbyterian Life, May 1, 1970, p. 35. Ezek. 18:4: 'The soul* that is sinning 'it itself will die.' Acts 3:23: 'Indeed, any soul [Greek, psy'khe'] that does not listen to that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people.'
The above is annihilationism. That is totally unbiblical. I see on your profile you are a JW. That explains it. Unfortunately, annihilationism is not the only incorrect teaching in the JW's. A few apostate and anti-Biblical false doctrines that JW's teach
* CHRIST IS NOT EQUAL TO GOD because He is a creature.
* Christ was first of God's creations
* Christ died on a stake, not a cross
* Christ was raised from the dead as an immortal spirit person
* Earth will never be destroyed or depopulated
* Wicked will be eternally destroyed
* The human soul ceases to exist at death
* Hell is mankind's common grave
* Only a little flock of 144,000 go to heaven and rule with Christ
* The 144,000 are born again as spiritual sons of God
((Me: Part of the problem, is the Bible version that JW's use. There have been so many changes made to it, that it is way too many to list here, but here are a few.
They change pertinent texts to fit their doctrines, ie, Jesus is not God, God is not a Trinity, annihilationism, etc.
And, from time to time, seem to change their teachings around instead of remaining steadfast.))
The Jesus I know, is God. The God I know is a Trinity. The Jesus that saves is God. The Holy Spirit that lives within me is a part of that Trinity. Jesus rose bodily, just as our bodies will be resurrected one day.
Hell (Lake of fire, whatever), is eternal, and so is the punishment for those who go there. burning
To my mind, the answer is: God did not make hell.
The scriptures say that we receive "our wages" of whom we list to obey.
If we obey God, we receive His wages ... effectively, peace and happiness in this life and Eternal Life in the eternities.
On the other hand, if we follow Satan, we receive uncertainty,
confusion and unhappiness in this life and hell after this
You see a long time ago the all mighty God, he sensed danger in his palace up in the skies, Heaven, thought there was a rebellion in the midst. There was, an angel decided that he wwould be a better ruler than god and decided to attack, God caught him in the middle of his attack and didnt know what to do, so to make a quick plan, god created hell to send the evil spirit into to live in and he became known as the Devil, and because of that legend, anyone who commits serveral evil acts in his/her life will be sentenced to hell by god.
God created Hell for Satan and his fallen angels.
If God created hell it was so that he can ordain punishment for
those who don't believe in him, and perhaps also for those who do
It seems strange that a loving and forgiving God would provide a terrible and eternal punishment merely for not believing what has never been proven. This was really just a way of creating fear among the common people so that they would unthinkingly believe whatever their religious leaders say. Apart from the lack of any evidence for the existence of God, there is no evidence for hell. If God does not exist, he did not create hell: it simply does not exist.
We hold it to be evident that an infinitely wise Creator, whose
wisdom is vastly manifest (for example) in the wonders of our
bodies, would not be so unwise as to neglect unfinished
business. If a tyrant "escapes judgment" by swallowing a painless
poison, to our mind it is axiomatic that his tribulations have just
begun. God is just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and He created Hell
because He is kind.
The existence of a spiritual place or places in which the souls of the dead are treated in accordance with their behavior when alive (reward or punishment), is a tradition of mankind, which finds expression (in differing details) in various religions. It cannot be conclusively proven as long as we're alive; and that's the whole point: God tests us as to whether we will live in a way that demonstrates that we're aware of His presence, even though His presence is not readily visible. See also the Related Links.