Is hell a real place of fire?

PortWen

Well-Known Member
I was just scrolling through my YouTube home page and a video of RC Sproul popped up with the title The Problem of Hell. (Thanks algorithm.)

I don’t know an awful lot about him as a teacher…I first encountered his teaching on Moody radio years ago, and could never listen to him because the sound of his chalk writing on the blackboard that he does while teaching drove me nuts! (Last year I listened to him teach about Nero being the Antichrist and he went off into a lot of mumbo jumbo about adding up the numbers of his name to get the 666 Antichrist number..and it was so truly weird I stopped watching. Then I found out he was a preterist, so yeah.…that figured.)

So anyway I’ve just watched this hell video and he said, amongst other things, that hell is not a real place of fire…it’s just an analogy Jesus used to describe the most terrible place…...say whaaaat? (I read somewhere that people who make everything eschatological symbolic, are dangerous because that symbolism creeps into every other area of their theology, and now I see what they meant.)

In the comments section on that video, this one chap said people need to stop taking the Bible literally…that it’s symbolic but because we like things simple and don’t want to think and read things into it, we take it all literally. Where do they get this attitude of superiority from?

And for the record, I absolutely believe hell is a real, physical unending place of fire and torment.
 

Hiftobaf

Well-Known Member
RC Sproul was a calvinist and a preterist so he isn't too well liked here, but there is a distinction between hell and the Lake of Fire, if that's what you are getting at.

And for the record, I absolutely believe hell is a real, physical unending place of fire and torment.

At the Great White Throne Judgment, unbelievers are resurrected and then thrown into the Lake of Fire. Hell is thrown into the Lake of Fire too, so in a sense hell does actually end.
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
I believe Jesus taught that it was a literal place of fire,a furnace of fire, unquenchable fire, outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth etc.

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:43-48

Many even in the church like to water it down and claim it's all metaphorical, it's simply a place where God is not present. The graphic description of Hell given to us by Jesus Himself and other places of Scripture paints a horrific place of torment and fire. I think that the story of the Rich man and Lazarus gives us a true glimpse of how bad that place will be.

As bad as Hell is, it will eventually be thrown into the Lake Of Fire which is much worse. That's why the literal horrible reality of Hell gives me a huge sense of urgency to tell my unsaved loved ones and friends about Jesus Christ, because I do not want anybody going to this place.
 

PortWen

Well-Known Member
RC Sproul was a calvinist and a preterist so he isn't too well liked here, but there is a distinction between hell and the Lake of Fire, if that's what you are getting at.

At the Great White Throne Judgment, unbelievers are resurrected and then thrown into the Lake of Fire. Hell is thrown into the Lake of Fire too, so in a sense hell does actually end.
I know very little about RC Sproul and his teachings, except that he was a highly regarded theologian, or so I thought, so I was absolutely astounded at his denial of the physicality of hell...that it’s not real fire but, rather, eternal separation from God. (He didn’t mention the lake of fire but from the context I think that’s what he meant.) To me hell, or as you correctly pointed out the lake of fire, is a very real place.
 

PortWen

Well-Known Member
I believe Jesus taught that it was a literal place of fire,a furnace of fire, unquenchable fire, outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth etc.

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:43-48

Many even in the church like to water it down and claim it's all metaphorical, it's simply a place where God is not present. The graphic description of Hell given to us by Jesus Himself and other places of Scripture paints a horrific place of torment and fire. I think that the story of the Rich man and Lazarus gives us a true glimpse of how bad that place will be.

As bad as Hell is, it will eventually be thrown into the Lake Of Fire which is much worse. That's why the literal horrible reality of Hell gives me a huge sense of urgency to tell my unsaved loved ones and friends about Jesus Christ, because I do not want anybody going to this place.
The story of Lazarus and the rich man is one which makes me want to run outside yelling the gospel out loud….it’s an horrific tale. And it makes me weep too for my unsaved sons and husband.
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
The story of Lazarus and the rich man is one which makes me want to run outside yelling the gospel out loud….it’s an horrific tale. And it makes me weep too for my unsaved sons and husband.

When I had read that portion of Scripture to my mom(who's a cradle catholic), she told me that it scared her. To tell you the truth, when I was young around 11-13 and reading about Hell, I knew it was literal. I used to remember that I cried out to God to save me from such a place and I think if I saw it as a symbolic place, it wouldn't have lead me to God.

And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Jude 23

Some people need to hear about the reality of Hell, but unfortunately many churches don't mention it or simply say it's all symbolic. I hope that all of our loved ones accept Jesus Christ before it's too late.
 

usoutpost31

Well-Known Member
I believe Jesus taught that it was a literal place of fire,a furnace of fire, unquenchable fire, outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth etc.

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:43-48

Many even in the church like to water it down and claim it's all metaphorical, it's simply a place where God is not present. The graphic description of Hell given to us by Jesus Himself and other places of Scripture paints a horrific place of torment and fire. I think that the story of the Rich man and Lazarus gives us a true glimpse of how bad that place will be.

As bad as Hell is, it will eventually be thrown into the Lake Of Fire which is much worse. That's why the literal horrible reality of Hell gives me a huge sense of urgency to tell my unsaved loved ones and friends about Jesus Christ, because I do not want anybody going to this place.
Hell is a place of justice too. People remember the rich man begging for a drop of water but don't forget why he was there in the first place.

Lazarus longed to eat whatever fell off the rich man's table. Crumbs. He was starving.
He was sick, covered in sores. Even dogs showed more compassion to him.
He was begging, desperate for even the smallest acts of charity. And he lay at the rich man's gate. He was in his presence, day after day after day. Even though the rich man had everything he needed in abundance, he would not do anything to help him.

Perhaps this is why he doesn't get the drop of water he craves. He will not get what he, himself, would not give. Lazarus suffered before him in life, begged him for help, anything to ease his pain. And the rich man would not lift a finger. Now, he is the one in misery, and no one will help him, either.
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
Is Hell a real place of fire? Jesus says so.

Hell is in a universe of its own in a place far, far, far away. Probably so far away that an angel being flying at maximum speed wouldn't reach it in a trillion-trillion-trillion years.
 

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
RC Sproul was a calvinist and a preterist so he isn't too well liked here, but there is a distinction between hell and the Lake of Fire, if that's what you are getting at.



At the Great White Throne Judgment, unbelievers are resurrected and then thrown into the Lake of Fire. Hell is thrown into the Lake of Fire too, so in a sense hell does actually end.
RC Sproul was a godly man in many respects but he was, as noted, a Calvinist and had some theological misunderstandings. Hiftobaf is correct...Hell is literal and the lake of fire is literal.
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
I'm curious. Where did you get this Hellish universe thing?

I am of the opinion that Hell is in the middle of the earth, of course it's a spiritual place so even if scientists found a way to dig all the way into the core of the earth, they wouldn't be able to see it. Scripture indicates that Sheol or Hades is at the core of the earth but that's my own personal belief.
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
I'm curious. Where did you get this Hellish universe thing?
The Bible says that we can know what God is like by observing His creation. Romans 1:19-20 says, "His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse"

God is a Trinity. This entire universe is trinitarian. Our dimension, this entire universe, is made of time, space, matter. Time is made up of past, present, future; space is made up of length, width, and height; matter is made up of solid, liquid, and gas. Therefore, we live in a trinitarian cosmos of three universes (dimensions) -- Heaven, Hell, and Earth. Earth dimension is our universe; the Heaven dimension is where God chooses to dwell, and Hell is the trash heap of the cosmos. After the Great White Throne judgment, God will unite Heaven and Earth together and dwell among us. Earth will literally become the Father's house! But, I think like us He will keep the trash (Hell) out of this universe in its own separate plane of existence -- far, far away.
 

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
I am of the opinion that Hell is in the middle of the earth, of course it's a spiritual place so even if scientists found a way to dig all the way into the core of the earth, they wouldn't be able to see it. Scripture indicates that Sheol or Hades is at the core of the earth but that's my own personal belief.
Possible. The center of a sphere is 'bottomless', as in whatever direction you go, you are headed 'up'. So, perhaps you're right.
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
Possible. The center of a sphere is 'bottomless', as in whatever direction you go, you are headed 'up'. So, perhaps you're right.

Matthew 12:40 among other passages seems to indicate that it is. Quite possible that the bottomless pit part of Hell where the angels are held in chains is at the very core while Hades is above it where the unsaved dead are. Could be the chasm spoken of in Luke 16? Whatever the case may be, it's definitely a horrific place.

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Revelation 9: 1-3 also seems to hint at it being somewhere within the earth.
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
Interesting.

From what I understand about hell, the very worst aspect is true knowledge (or awareness) of God combined with absolute separation from God for all eternity.

I have no clue about the location, but I'd assume that we will never really know as we'll continue to be in the presence of God forever, if not in location, in our connectivity through the Holy Spirit.
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
Interesting.

From what I understand about hell, the very worst aspect is true knowledge (or awareness) of God combined with absolute separation from God for all eternity.

I have no clue about the location, but I'd assume that we will never really know as we'll continue to be in the presence of God forever, if not in location, in our connectivity through the Holy Spirit.

Being separated from God forever is just horrific to imagine. While on this earth, both the saved and unsaved enjoy God's blessings and Grace, but that will end once the unsaved individual dies without Jesus.
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
Being separated from God forever is just horrific to imagine. While on this earth, both the saved and unsaved enjoy God's blessings and Grace, but that will end once the unsaved individual dies without Jesus.
Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills states in in several different ways, "This is as close to hell as the saved person gets." He refers to that idea in several contexts that I can recall from several sermons and series; extremely hot weather, bad health, times of want, etcetera.

That became very real to me when I was working in a horrible space in the facility we manage. It was terribly hot, cramped, wet, muddy, itchy with insulation, critter infested, dark and lonely. I was listening to one of his sermon series when in my muddy-hell just as he was making one of those references. I stopped what I was doing, (overhead fifty year old plumbing replacement) and looked between my feet. I was lying on my back and could just make out the hatch between my sodden shoes, that held the promises of fresh cool air, open spaces, clean clothes and easy breathing.

I broke down and cried almost unconrtolable with the idea in heart and mind that, "This is about as close to hell as I'll ever get...THANK! YOU! JESUS!"
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills states in in several different ways, "This is as close to hell as the saved person gets." He refers to that idea in several contexts that I can recall from several sermons and series; extremely hot weather, bad health, times of want, etcetera.

That became very real to me when I was working in a horrible space in the facility we manage. It was terribly hot, cramped, wet, muddy, itchy with insulation, critter infested, dark and lonely. I was listening to one of his sermon series when in my muddy-hell just as he was making one of those references. I stopped what I was doing, (overhead fifty year old plumbing replacement) and looked between my feet. I was lying on my back and could just make out the hatch between my sodden shoes, that held the promises of fresh cool air, open spaces, clean clothes and easy breathing.

I broke down and cried almost unconrtolable with the idea in heart and mind that, "This is about as close to hell as I'll ever get...THANK! YOU! JESUS!"

Yes, the other example that stays with me is imagine being lost in a cave, isolated with no other person to call out to. Your just submerged in total pitch darkness. That would be terrifying. Now take that and intensify that to a million with fire and never ending pain. Yikes. Thank God He has saved us from that place.
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
Yes, and for me the most frightening thing about Hell is that when once a soul is in Hell, they get no more love from Almighty God — only anger!

What does that mean in context? Well, for starters, every lost soul in Hell is automatically afflicted with several basic curses:

1) God will refuse to hear any of their prayers, forever.
2) The lost soul still retains all of their needs and desires without hope of fulfillment of any, forever.
3) The lost soul is in permanent solitary confinement; misery loves company and while there is plenty of misery in Hell, there is no company to assuage it.
4) The lost soul is in cast into pitch black darkness, like being in a large cave where no light enters, aimlessly wandering to feel something

I'm thinking that those who have abused children, murdered millions, or taught heresy / deception and led many astray will be given special attention and additional punishment. Also, every lost soul will have a punishment tailor-made for the individual person that is commensurate and proportional to the amount of knowledge known and the nature and number of sins committed. But in the end, God gives to every person what they truly want even if what they want is freedom from Him -- what could be more fair?
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
Yes, and for me the most frightening thing about Hell is that when once a soul is in Hell, they get no more love from Almighty God — only anger!

What does that mean in context? Well, for starters, every lost soul in Hell is automatically afflicted with several basic curses:

1) God will refuse to hear any of their prayers, forever.
2) The lost soul still retains all of their needs and desires without hope of fulfillment of any, forever.
3) The lost soul is in permanent solitary confinement; misery loves company and while there is plenty of misery in Hell, there is no company to assuage it.
4) The lost soul is in cast into pitch black darkness, like being in a large cave where no light enters, aimlessly wandering to feel something

I'm thinking that those who have abused children, murdered millions, or taught heresy / deception and led many astray will be given special attention and additional punishment. Also, every lost soul will have a punishment tailor-made for the individual person that is commensurate and proportional to the amount of knowledge known and the nature and number of sins committed. But in the end, God gives to every person what they truly want even if what they want is freedom from Him -- what could be more fair?

Yup. That's why I believe that Hell will have different layers of punishment and that's probably one of the reasons for The Great White Throne Judgement because everyone will be judged according to their own works. God is a fair and just judge.
 
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