Monday, March 07, 2011
Hell is more complicated than you might think
When people ask me about hell, I ask them back, "which one?" If you get buried in the ground, that is referred to as Sheol or the grave translated as Hell so all of us will be in hell sometime. The Christian will not be saved from going into the grave (hell) unless Jesus returns... but we will be saved from the grave (hell) if we die before His return. Another hell is Hades. It is temporal... not eternal as it is tossed into the Lake of Fire (another hell of sorts). This is the Greek realm of the dead mentioned in the NT.
Then there is Abraham's Bosom which is the abode of the righteous and also Paradise that is said to be those in Abraham's bosom rose with Jesus. Hell is also Tartarus... where Peter writes the fallen angles are kept in chains. This is also part of Greek mythology of where Zeus kept prisoners. Hell is not straight forward as many Christians believe. It is more complicated than just I get to go to Heaven and not go to hell... As I stated, that is even wrong.
There is also Gehenna where the garbage was burned outside of Jerusalem. Jesus passed through Gehenna on His way to be executed. This is also were prisoners were buried. This is the closest “hell” there is to the Lake of Fire. Now, theologians debate whether the Lake of Fire is to purify annihilate or to punish. It may be a matter of perspective. Yet, even that is stated to be eternal punishment however the word in Greek to mean “eternal” could mean “ages” or “a very long time” or “generations”.