23 January 2016

Hard Questions—about eternal hell

Isn't hell an unreasonable punishment for not believing in a specific set of truth claims?

hard questions

A1 Definitions

B1 Hell

C1 Hebrew

D1 H7585 שְׁאוֹל sh'owl (sheh-ole'), which grave or world of the dead. It is described as down to the grave as Genesis 42:38, to the world of beings below the surface of the earth as Psalms 55:15, a place of punishment for the wicked Deuteronomy 32:22, a place to avoid that has sorrow and punishment. There is hope, however, as in Job 19:26, Psalms 16:10, and Psalms 19:45.

D2 H6900 קְבוּרָה qbuwrah (keɓ-oo-raw') is the grave. This is a place for the body. It is just like our grave of today. It is not hell.

C2 Greek

D1 G1067 γέεννα geenna (ge'-en-na) was a valley near Jerusalem. Since it was the garbage pit of the area, there were fires continuously burning, thus a picture of the future hell.

D2 G86 ᾅδης hades (ha'-d̮ees) is the same as Sheol in Hebrew.

D3 G5020 ταρταρόω tartaroo (tar-ta-ro'-ō) which is a special holding area for especially wicked, rebellious fallen angels.

D4 Lake of Fire is the final, true hell. God created this for the rebellious, wicked angels. The rebellious, wicked humans will also go there at the final judgment.

C3 For further study see

D1 https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/hell-sheol-hades-paradise-and-the-grave/ \

D2 http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/hades.htm

B2 Punishment

Law Dictionary--What is PUNISHMENT?

In criminal law, Any pain, penalty, suffering, or confinement inflicted upon a person by the authority of the law and the judgment and sentence of a court, for some crime or offense committed by him, or for his omission of a duty enjoined by law. See Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 320, 18 L. Ed. 356; Featherstone v. People, 194 N. E. 084; Ex parte Howe, 20 Or. 181, 37 Pac. 530; State v. Grant, 79 Mo. 129, 49 Am. Rep. 218.


A2 Answer

B1 People don't go to hell because of their doctrine (truth claims) or if "they asked Jesus in their heart."

B2 People go to hell because they are blasphemers, murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, etc. Every person (except the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 4:15)) has done these things at least in their thoughts but many times in actions, too.

C1 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, EMTV)

C2 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." (Galatians 3:10, EMTV)

B3 Nevertheless why would these sins result in eternal damnation?

C1 God's holiness is eternal.

D1 Holiness is a state of not ever breaking a law in thoughts, desires, words, or deeds. If holiness is nothing more than "being separate," then God would be an introverted loner. There has to be some standard of what is sacred and profane. This standard is perfect adherence to the Law of God.

D2 God is holy.

E1 The very definition of "god" would have to have this.

E2 If the definition of "god" could include the idea of not being holy, then what laws would he/she be breaking. Would it be their own laws? Then he/she would be a hypocrite. If it was someone's law, who would that be? Would there then be a higher being than "god?"

D3 "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11, ESV)

D4 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy. (Psalms 99:9, NKJV)

C2 God's warning that punishment never ends.

D1 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31, NKJV)

D2 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NKJV)

D3 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8, NKJV)

D4 And these shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:46, EMTV)

C3 God's forgiveness is based on faith, not sight.

D1 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24, NKJV)

D2 What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. (Romans 8:3, GNB92)

D3 "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. (John 3:16, NKJV)

C4 Humanity's refusal/resistance to God's plea.

D1 "How stubborn you are!" Stephen went on to say. "How heathen your hearts, how deaf you are to God's message! You are just like your ancestors: you too have always resisted the Holy Spirit! (Acts 7:51, GNB92)

D2 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37, EMTV)

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