HELL? NO. SOME THOUGHTS.

There are too many gray areas and misunderstandings about the concept of hell for me to accept this destiny as some kind of eternal torment. There are too many interpretations of the precise meaning of such a realm. And the God I encounter in Jesus is not the kind of vengeful tyrant who allows his creations to be excruciatingly tortured for all time. Here are some of my thoughts.

  1. What happens to people who have never heard the gospel of Christ?
  2. What about mentally challenged people?
  3. Where are we told anything about the eternal destiny of little children?
  4. There are so many people who have been abused by Christians and their messages.
  5. People who ‘believe’ but somehow live out of sync with God’s will. What happens to those prodigals?
  6. What about all the Germans who participated in the Holocaust?
  7. Jews? Are they all doomed?
  8. Who are the truly wicked people sent to eternal damnation?
  9. What about really nice people who just have never grasped the idea of accepting Christ even though they live Godly lives?
  10. When Christians fight wars and kill others are they doomed?
  11. Is hell eternal agony or annihilation? Both are mentioned in the Bible.
  12. My view of God is a loving father or mother who, because of that love, wouldn’t consign most of their creation to eternal suffering. 
  13. If there is any kind of hell, it will be sparsely populated.
  14. Early Christian scholars didn’t write about hell as an eternal destiny.
  15. Which sins are truly deserving of spending eternity in torment?
  16. I wouldn’t want to live with someone just because I was afraid they would hurt me if I didn’t. Jesus wouldn’t want that for us either.
  17. We have been taught by Jesus to forgive endlessly. Are we to be more merciful than God?
  18. If Jesus died for all of our sins, why do some people have to pay for their own sins?
  19. Hell makes God’s justice seem vengeful.
  20. If really bad people end up in eternal hell why would Jesus from the cross say, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do?’
  21. Hell, for me, doesn’t fit the grand scheme of a new heaven and new earth.

Some of what I have written can be argued against with certain Scriptures but I submit there are interpretations of those scriptures that are very different and theologically sound.

If hell is anything, I see it as a sidebar where the judge tells my attorney, Jesus: ‘After all considerations, all will be well.’

In closing let me extend an invitation to come to Jesus, and follow Jesus. Let Jesus teach you and guide you into the way of eternal and abundant life with the God of creation and into a life of loving others even as we are right now being loved. This is the meaning of faith.

Remember this. It is Satan who wants to keep us away from God. But as Paul writes to the Colossians in chapter 2:

‘13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.’ (13-15) Bible Gateway NIV

6 thoughts on “HELL? NO. SOME THOUGHTS.

  1. Thanks, George, for your thoughts. I’ve been on a journey in the same direction. …. A lot of questions about how hell fits with my conception of the nature of God.

  2. Pr G I rarely mention or preach on the concept of Hell! But it is there in the Bible, right against our noses. It is so uncomfortable a topic that I ignore it because it goes against my concept of the Love that the Heavenly Father has for us Some in my church and I am sure in all churches deem the concept of Hell to be essential to the concept of Good and Evil The Good must be rewarded and the Evil punished. .

    How do we reconcile that without being burned at the stake?

    AH WHAT THE HELL !

  3. Lots of debates on many subject matters that can send our heads spinning. Been there and done that.Hell translated from the greek and hebrew means Gehenna or Hades. In English we simply refer to such places as Hell. Jesus Speaks to us 46 times of such a place and warns us to turn away from living lives that can warrant Gods decision to put us there. Jesus also states that men need to heed his warning and turn to him. To Abide in him and to come to him as the father has given him the keys to heaven. Mankind in his natural state is a lost sinner and without Christ he is always heading in the wrong direction. We are in need of a savior and that is why Jesus came to earth to save us not only from the hell many go though on earth in their daily living because of sin in there lives but to deliver us from an eternal type of torment. God Almighty has given mankind 3
    wonderful blessings. His son Jesus Christ, His words of life, And freedom of choice. Then God adds a forth blessing and that is his Holy Spirit. His Spirit warns us, Guides us, confirms us, ministers to us, reminds us, instructs us , heals us, blesses us, and so much more. Jesus tells us that the only sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin against the Holy Spirit. Without Gods Spirit living in us we are like zombies following the sinful inclinations of the natural mind. Which if not put into check will not only cause us great harm in this life but in the life to come. How can a loving God do such a thing to us like sending people to such a terrible place. That can only be answered by careful study on the subject matter of who God is. Jesus refers to his father as Holy. He is pure light. Pure wisdom, Pure love. In the book of Job which many refer to as the oldest text of scripture job is confronted by God towards the end of the book. God tells him to stand up like a man and confronts him with many questions as to jobs seemingly understanding of things. In the end Job says if only there were someone to stand before me and God to intercede. God in his purity of heart was mindful of what Job suggested and sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ to intercede on our behalf. More questions of the subject matter can also be answered for us on the careful study of the Holy Spirit & The careful study of Holiness. Paul stated he always preached Christ Crucified so that men might see a loving creator and be saved . It is a strange thing for God to send people into a terrible place
    of torment or to terrorize people on the earth because of Sin. King David tells us that the heart of man is deceitfully wicked and then asks the question who can know it. And the very reason King David tells us this is because of his sinfulness with Bathsheba and the lenths king David went too that he might have her as his own. Jesus tells us enter though the narrow gate for broad and wide are the gates that lead to destruction. He also says we must be born again not off the flesh but of his Spirit. I have been in many different types of main stream religious institutions and few ever speak about hell , Sin, satan or the Holy Spirit. And if they do they are careful not to offend anyone so they mostly water down the message. same with many new bible translations . Everyone wants to seemingly put God in a Box and make believe he is this type of lovely wishy washy type of Lord that would never get upset with us and be angry. But again we can see on every mountain top evidence of Gods wrath when he flooded the earth and ended pretty much all of life. Evan Jesus refers to that time when he says in the final days again speaking of the times present with us now, That it will be like the days of Noah. Many fossils of Fish life have been found high up in the mountains in all nations of the earth. While God is the most loving father and creator it is not beyond him to act accordingly when he gets Angry. The end of Life as man knows it will happen again just like scripture points out.
    Christ is the answer . Not science or good works or anything else. In Christ is the fullness of God Almighty. He is Kind and gentle and calls us to take his yoke upon us. To walk humbly before our lord and savior and be transformed by the renewing of our minds and hearts. To stop being enemies of God and his Christ , Come now he says let us reason together. David crys out search me o lord to see if there be any unclean thing in my heart. It is with the heart that men believe or dis believe . God is always working on our hearts.
    That is because he is a loving God . And this is also why many who fall in love with God have a difficult time excepting that God could also cause great pain as well destroy.
    The Holy God is coming back to judge the living and the dead. Gods Decrees are written in heaven and they are given to us. They cannot be slighted because he is the word.
    He has given his word that we might all be saved according to it and find truth to live by.
    For without Gods word and the truths we see in it life would become a living hell right here on earth and to many right now living on this earth that’s what it’s become.
    Gods words speak truth and life. Excepting Jesus Christ turns our hellish life into a grace upon grace loving relationship with our lord. The healing begins at the conception of repentance . We are transformed , Delivered , set apart, Renewed and heaven becomes our home. The temps are rising and ice is melting, Floods are becoming a natural every time it rains, Starvation, sickness and disease , famine, Wars , deception in politics , greed and selfessness on scales not seen ever, the cost of living today is so difficult for so many, Unless the lord steps in it will only get much worse. But also its in such times that we can be Gods wonderful instruments of salvation to the lost. I have a Bible I would love to give them, George you have such a wonderful message of Gods love for them that only you can give. Peace And Grace
    Guy

    • Hi Guy,
      Well, you have so many thoughts to share that I’m hard-pressed as to which one to address first. Let’s take the following line from your writing: Everyone wants to seemingly put God in a Box and make believe he is this type of lovely wishy-washy type of Lord that would never get upset with us and be angry.

      I wouldn’t call Jesus dying on the cross out of God’s love for us as being wishy-washy. In 1 John 3 we read in vs. 16 that ‘this is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us’.
      That’s the most extreme love in all creation. That kind of love is never wishy-washy. And that’s a box that God put himself in for not just you and me but for the whole world. God was in Christ reconciling the whole world to himself.

      Certainly, God was and is upset, but not against us. He is wrathful against sin and what sin has done to us. He is angry with the powers and principalities of the darkness.
      If we want to know the best expression of God we look at Jesus. He never acted in anger. Sure he drove out the money changers, out of compassion for all who were excluded from God’s love. God’s holiness cannot be separated from God’s love.

      Consider the life of the Apostle Paul who killed the first Christians. Christ put him through the wringer not out of hatred and revenge against Paul but to help Paul ‘see’ the real Messian, know Christ’s love and live for Christ.

      There is a great book I would hope everyone could read. Certainly, the Bible is first but then read ‘Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God’ by Brian Zahnd. It’s a life-changing perspective on what the love of God means for us.

      Love, not punishment is the greater motivator and it’s God’s greatest gift in Christ.

      Grace and peace always
      g

      • A once famous fighter let all his opponents know that they could run but not hide and as well if his right hand didn’t take them down his left would. While God cannot separate his love from his Holieness it is equelly a fact that he cannot separate his righteousness from his Holiness. The reference to people putting God in a Box of their own making refers to people seeing God only in the light of his love and disregarding the warnings given about Gods righteousness . Jesus did not come to take away the law but to fulfill it. He also left us with 34 added Decrees, Statutes if you will. In John 5 he heals a man at the well of Bethesda and after doing so he returns to see the man and then makes the statement to him. Stop sinning or something worse will happen to you. Jesus reminds me of that famous fighter. Gods love finds us in our sinful nature Evan if we are trying to hide our sin. We are sick inside and that sickness at times can be the result of physical sickness in our bodies just like the man at the well. The lord is also quick to point out that which can cause sickness; and warns us to stop sinning, The good lord rolled up both his sleves and entered the arena when he came to rescue man. In one hand God is tender and loving and his grace and mercy shadow us, And in the other hand is his Righteousness beckoning us to follow him. No matter how a person reads Gods word his truth is going to have an effect. Gods word never comes back empty unless of course the Bible they are reading has changed its original content to say something else. In the context and light of Gods word coming out from a King James Version it reads loud and clear in John chapter 3 ;1-36 The wrath of God does abide on men . In Matthew 25; 41-46 people are sent into an ever lasting fire . While it is Gods love we want everyone to see first and foremost we cannot disreguard the sins that bring us to the well of Bethesda.
        In conclusion of what I have just said I would like to say I truly sympathize with the list of those who were mentioned but have a very difficult time trying to get away from what Gods word has to say. The closest verse in scripture that I can find that helps me to hold fast to Gods word without going off into an emotional roller coster ride because of the thoughts involving such a list is 2nd timothy 20 . I think God is so loving that he knows the hearts of those who also have a moral mindset as too right and wrong and he finds away to meet them. The Hope is God will save everyone that belongs to him in this world. how he does this is way beyond my understanding.

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