Is hell a real place of fire?

Neonap

Well-Known Member
Jesus spent a great deal of time warning people about the dangers of going to Hell. It doesn't make sense to me that He would invest so much effort into convincing people to avoid a place that doesn't really exist.

Indeed. Jesus was the one who created Hell so He would know how it's like. When Jesus described Hell as fire, outer darkness, etc etc. I take Him at his word.

The severity and horror of Hell is what should motivate us all to continue preaching to the lost and pray unceasingly for our loved ones.
 

Wings Like Eagles

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.
Messianic believers will often do a detailed teaching on the parts of sheol --Hebrew, for the place of the dead--which is divided into two parts. Paradise (probably an Aramaic transliteration from the Persian paradesa--) a beautiful garden reserved for those who belong to God (also called the "bosom of Abraham"). The other part was "the place of torment"--what we commonly think of as "hell"--a place of torment for the unrighteous dead--a type of "holding tank" where a soul was imprisoned, waiting Final Judgment. There is an unbridgeable gulf between the two sides. It is this place that Jesus depicted in Luke 16. It seems to be a place of unbearable heat--but doesn't appear to have flames. It was believed and taught that there were different levels in the place of torment and that the most intense suffering happened at the lower reaches. It was also taught that there was a gate at the bottom, with a road that led to the Lake of Fire (gehenna) where those who were judged, were thrown. Ultimately, the place of temporary confinement and death itself will be disposed of in the Lake of Fire where the smoke of their torment will rise up forever. Interestingly, the earth, were we to travel to the centre of it, gets hotter and hotter and hotter as one would descend, until reaching a virtual white hot iron core that is about the temperature of the surface of the sun.

Since we belong to Jesus, we can know that heaven, while beautiful, is also, in a metaphorical sense, a Person. When we pass from death to life, which the Bible tells us happens when we believe in Him and respond to Him in humility, His presence is and will be, astoundingly beautiful. Amazing grace.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
I read this last night:

Matthew 25:41 The He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

and Matthew 25:46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

As we will enjoy eternal life in the presence of Jesus, the accursed ones will exist in eternal fire eternally. There is no end to the punishment, it is eternal.
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
I read this last night:

Matthew 25:41 The He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

and Matthew 25:46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

As we will enjoy eternal life in the presence of Jesus, the accursed ones will exist in eternal fire eternally. There is no end to the punishment, it is eternal.
This is off-topic, TT but, your new avatar pic looks like a medieval portrait of one of the early Church saints. :cool:
 

gregb4hope

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.
To be honest do you need fire when your spirit which is in agonizing eternal regret being in torment for its disregard for the sacrifice of Christ blood on Calvary Hill and opportunity lost as we all will bow down and see Christ on the Throne in his greatness. The unbrlievers will find out how they've been decieved. Hell will be a thirsty place no doubt. Eternal fire already exist in our world of the physical dimension. Look at the sun. The center of the earth spits out molten lava thru volcanoes at a temp of 8500 degrees scientist have discovered. Hot Springs Ark. has heated water that bubbles up from the earth. Can it exist , absolutely. Lazarus and the rich man is being told to us by Jesus himself. Can it move some to reconsider, just ask the rich man. Agree with you. Literal is the only way to fully grasp what Jesus is saving us from. It far more than a pity party with second changes. It is the second death among men.
 

JamesSuth

Well-Known Member
I read this last night:

Matthew 25:41 The He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

and Matthew 25:46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

As we will enjoy eternal life in the presence of Jesus, the accursed ones will exist in eternal fire eternally. There is no end to the punishment, it is eternal.
Spot on :thumbup . I think one of the biggest lies of satan with the greatest consequences is the lie that death is ceasing to exist. It is so bad that I almost don't want to use the word death when talking to a non believer, and if I do I explain what it means - we forever exist in suffering and separation from God. I think the enemy has lied about what death is to make it less scary. Ceasing to exist would be a tremendous lost opportunity to spend eternity with God in perfection, but it is nothing to be fearful off. But that is a total lie. It is actually ever long existence in eternal punishment.

But likewise 'life' isn't just existing or getting by, it is being with God, with Christ, without sin so we can enjoy complete and perfect fellowship with our creator. The very best life on this earth is just a taste of what awaits :).
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Spot on :thumbup . I think one of the biggest lies of satan with the greatest consequences is the lie that death is ceasing to exist. It is so bad that I almost don't want to use the word death when talking to a non believer, and if I do I explain what it means - we forever exist in suffering and separation from God. I think the enemy has lied about what death is to make it less scary. Ceasing to exist would be a tremendous lost opportunity to spend eternity with God in perfection, but it is nothing to be fearful off. But that is a total lie. It is actually ever long existence in eternal punishment.

But likewise 'life' isn't just existing or getting by, it is being with God, with Christ, without sin so we can enjoy complete and perfect fellowship with our creator. The very best life on this earth is just a taste of what awaits :).
I fully agree, brother. Rather than saying "when you die," I prefer to say "when you leave this body and go into eternity." They need to know earthly death affects only their body, not their soul-- which is their very self. It lives on in eternity.
 

pixelpusher

Well-Known Member
I fully agree, brother. Rather than saying "when you die," I prefer to say "when you leave this body and go into eternity." They need to know earthly death affects only their body, not their soul-- which is their very self. It lives on in eternity.
Even the dictionary definition of death, if you google it up, puts a finality to it, that's it, kaput.

Recently on some of Andy Woods sermon/classes, he's pointed out that death is separation. So our physical death here is separation from the body, and eternal death, separation from God.

Words mean things, and the progressive humanists love to play with semantics, and in fact, I reckon that's close to the serpent's strategy also.
 

Jonathan

Well-Known Member
the night is coming when no one can work
That statement is elegant but also cryptic. I think I get the gist of it, but if you have the time, I wouldn't hold it against you if you clarified and extrapolated on it for an old chunk of coal like me.

PS - Full disclosure, I am guilty of gratuitously throwing in the word "extrapolate" simply on account of the fact that it is a fun to say and hear.

PPS -But Seriously, I am not ashamed to exploit a wise person in order to learn and grow. At the time I am writing this, you fit the bill.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
That statement is elegant but also cryptic. I think I get the gist of it, but if you have the time, I wouldn't hold it against you if you clarified and extrapolated on it for an old chunk of coal like me.

PS - Full disclosure, I am guilty of gratuitously throwing in the word "extrapolate" simply on account of the fact that it is a fun to say and hear.

PPS -But Seriously, I am not ashamed to exploit a wise person in order to learn and grow. At the time I am writing this, you fit the bill.
The phrase is taken from John 9:4 where Jesus is responding to the disciples' questions after He healed a blind man sitting by the side of the road. Immediately prior to this, the religious crowd had tried to stone Him for what they viewed as blasphemy. Possibly the disciples considered healing someone on the Sabbath right after that just asking for trouble, but Jesus responded, "4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” He knew His time was limited on earth. In fact, He was within a couple of weeks of being crucified at the time of this event; so, He knew that He had to make full use of the time remaining to Him.

There is a lesson here for all of us. Nobody knows the day or time of their departure from this life. When death ("night," as far as this world is concerned) comes, our work for Christ stops instantly. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit commands us twice in the New Testament (Ephesians 5:15-16 and Colossians 4:5) we are to redeem the time we have available to us.

The Greek word used in both verses --ἐξαγοράζω (exagoradzo, pronounced ex-ag-or-AD-zo)-- literally means "to buy out of the marketplace", hence "to redeem". It is used in Galatians 3:13 and Galatians 4:5 to describe what Jesus did for us by buying (or redeeming or ransoming) us from the curse of the Law to which we were bound. He did it to make good use of us for His Kingdom's sake, while we are on this earth. Thus in the Ephesians and Colossians verses He is telling us to make good --and FULL-- use of whatever time may be allotted to us to work His work on this earth. Only a fool would ignore such an instruction.
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
We don't end at death, we relocate. I'm pretty sure Mary and Martha asked Lazarus what is was like, and what happened to him at the moment of death. But if he was allowed to say it, it isn't recorded anywhere in Scripture. Too bad, because it would have given us some much needed information. But we do have the words of Jesus when He told the story about the rich man and Lazarus. It appears that the redeemed get an angelic escort to take them all the way to Heaven, while the cursed ones just suddenly find themselves in torments. I'm assuming this is the difference between God giving His child the scenic tour on the way to Glory, and swift instant justice for His enemies.
 

Channah

Well-Known Member
This is a question I have thought about a lot. Primarily, I am going to assume the Bible is literal here when it refers to Hell as a place of fire. However, it doesn't even have to be a technical inferno to be just as horrible. When I deeply contemplate the concept of hell, the main concept that comes to mind, that is more hellish than being roasted alive, is the idea of being eternity separated from my own Creator,

I will elaborate, because this isn't lip service.

Since your soul is most likely eternal, it can't be destroyed. The bible refers to "Death" and "The Second Death" which indicates stages and transitions, but ultimately your soul can never cease to exist. It is far worst than that.

Your soul will continue on but will be in a state of eternal separation from the very creator who not just created you, but created everything good that you know of as well. When I try to explain how horrific this would be, I find myself falling short trying to explain it. The only illustration I can think of that comes close to the way I perceive it is the following:

Imagine that you have been granted immortality. You can't die. You are immune to death. And you never sleep.

Now imagine that you have been buried alive in a very small coffin many feet below the earth with the full knowledge t that you will never be rescued, you will never escape, and your situation is permanent for all of eternity.

Yet, you are still fully awake and conscious, and will always remain so. And for all of eternity you will remain in this hellish nightmare of Claustrophobia with no lifeline to God. All of your screams and pounding on the interior of your coffin are all for naught because no one can hear you. And even if they could, they would be incapable of helping or even communicating with you. You will never know. The coffin starts filling up with the waters of panic, insanity, and absolute hopelessness, and even though you eventually find yourself eternally drowning in them, you still will never die, go to sleep, or receive any deliverance.

But this hellish existence inside a coffin of your own making will be your permanent state forever. And again, you cannot die. And you know this.

That is what I imagine Hell is like

May I borrow you explanation to post somewhere else?
 
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