Saturday, March 29, 2014

What Is Hell In The Bible?

There are four words in the Bible that are translated hell. They are:

       1.  Sheol  -       Hebrew (equivalent to Greek Hades)
       2.  Hades  -      Greek
       3.  Gehenna -   Greek
       4.  Tartaroo  -    Greek


Sheol is the Hebrew word that is translated hell among other words in the Old Testament. It is also translated grave and pit. Everybody went to Sheol when they died, the good, the bad, and the ugly :) According to Hebrew history, going to heaven or hell (traditional view) when they died was not something
they were concerned with.

Here are a couple of examples of the good going to Sheol:

And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. (Jacob) Gen 42:38

This is prophetic of Christ, Himself:

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption Ps 18:5.For great [is] thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. Ps 86:13

An example of the bad going to Sheol:

But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. Nu 16:33

We'll call  these guys the "ugly":

The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God. Ps 16:10  Note:  it is easy to see how this word "hell" could be misunderstood to be a place of punishment for the wicked because of how it is used. But, this word "Sheol" is not the same word used for the "hell" scriptures in the New Testament that refer to correctional punishment... That word is "Gehenna". It has a completely different meaning than Sheol.  Proper translation clears a lot of misunderstandings up.

This may be the one lots of people are familiar with:

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Is 5:14

It's obvious, isn't it, that "hell" in the Old Testament is not the hell we were taught about? It means, the state of death or the unseen.  Death, in many instances, was punishment for the wicked,


Hades in the New Testament is the same as Sheol in the Old Testament. When the Old Testament was translated into Greek, Sheol was translated Hades.  This is the "hell" that Jesus said could not prevail against the church. It is also the "hell" that is to be cast into the lake of fire but before that is to be emptied. The rich man found himself in this particular hell when he died.

Hades, like Sheol, is not always translated hell. We have probably all heard Paul's famous saying, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  Death and grave are both translated from Hades. It wouldn't have done much to further the teaching of endless hell, though, if Paul had said, O hell, where is thy victory, would it?

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. Mt 11:23  Here, Jesus tells a whole city that it will be brought down to hell, or brought to nothing. History bears this out, it was destroyed.
 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mt 16:18

  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, (see Scary Words Post) and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Luke 16:23

 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1Co 15:55   Death and grave are translated from Hades in this verse.

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.   Re 1:18  

 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with
death, and with the beasts of the earth. Re 6:8

  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. Re 20:13

 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Re 20:14

                                     Geenna  or...(Gehenna Latin form)

Gehenna, for me, is probably the most interesting of all the "hell" words. Not long after I discovered that there were people who did not believe in eternal torment or endless hell, I was talking on the phone with Dr. Harold Lovelace, a teacher of universal reconciliation, about this wonderful discovery I had been privileged to make. He was the one to point out to me that after Jesus had condemned the Pharisees to hell in Matthew 23, He then, told them that they would not see him again UNTIL they said, "blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord". (that's called repentance from hell)

I have been a Bible reading Christian for 30 years now, and until Dr. Lovelace pointed that out to me, I never one time noticed it. That was astounding to me. And was also proof that we read the Bible with the bias that we are programmed with. Up until about five years ago, I never considered the possibility of hell having an end to it even after reading Matthew 23. It's as plain as the nose on your face but I couldn't see it.

Read the whole chapter of Matthew 23 then pay close attention to the last verse. Can you see it?  Romans chapter 11 goes hand in hand with it.  Amazing!!

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.  Mt 5:22

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell .Mt 5:29

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Mt 5:30  

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Mt 5:30  

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better   for  thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Mt 18:9  

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.  Mt 23:15  

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mt 23:33  

A few of things to notice about the scriptures listed above:

1. Do you see anything about accepting Jesus as savior?

2. Who was Jesus talking to about Hell? Sinners?  His chosen people?

Matthew uses Gehenna more than Mark or Luke. John doesn't use it at all.  James uses it one time.

Here is how James used it:

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. James 3:6  Literal fire?  That would give new meaning to "burn the hairs off your tongue". Think about it.

                                    ** A Jew's View of Gehenna **

I asked the question of a Jewish person just what did the first century Jews consider Hell(Gehenna) to be.

This was their reply to me...

That's a complicated question, but the answer isn't "hell" in the modern (or Medieval) Christian sense. First thing you need to appreciate is that Jesus was himself a Pharisee. The term means, merely, those Jews who tended to follow the Rabbinate as religious leaders, rather than the Priesthood (the Sadducees). The roots and context and history of the split are complicated, but to cut a long story short, the Sadducee party later on fell from prominence, and essentially all modern Jews are Rabbinic (Pharisees) - so the term no longer has any "meaning" in the modern world.

All that said, there is still not any one answer. The reason is because, on this one, neither the Pharisees nor the Sadducees nor the Essenes (a third group completely) nor the Zealots nor any other Jewish group of that time or any other time, has ever had a clear and unambiguous picture of the Afterlife. Like, we're not even agreed that there even IS one, in the Christian sense. There could be, and some think so, but maybe there isn't, and maybe there's an earthly resurrection "in the flesh" and, well, even if you pick one of those there are fifty different versions of how it might work. Bottom line, we don't know. See Jew FAQ for the modern range of opinions.

So. What was Gehenna to a 1st-century CE Pharisee?

Certainly it was a valley, Ge-Hinnom, outside of Jerusalem. This was a despised place which had been, in various eras, a place of human sacrifice by the worshippers of Moloch; the place of execution of criminals by the Jewish courts; the garbage dump; a permanent open garbage-fire, sort of an iron-age incinerator;
the burial ground of executed criminals; and generally speaking the worst place known to Jerusalemites and a figure of speech meaning "the worst thing anybody can think of, nasty, accursed, dangerous, unholy, despised, defiled a thousand ways, and generally the destination of all things unwanted."

Today, it's just a neighborhood in the modern urban sprawl, southeast of the Old City. If you take a Christian tour of Jerusalem, you will certainly visit Golgotha/Calvary Hill. From there, look across at the Temple Mount; that valley in between is Gehenna.

It was a figure of speech, meaning "everything bad." To "go to Gehenna" was to be taken out with the trash, at best.

What did they think it meant, on a "spiritual" level? Tricky. Ideas of the afterlife were just beginning to be assembled in Judaism, and as that link makes clear, we sort of never finished choosing a model, in large part because our texts give almost no clues at all, and what clues DO exist have been looked at differently
by different readers. But we have no "hell" and no "salvation" and no "damnation" and we never did.

The only reference I can find in Mat ch 23, is the reference in v 15 (trans: KJV) where the Greek word rendered as "hell" is geennes, "Gehenna":

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Here we have a fascinating point; the period of proselytizing just preceding the first C. CE was the only active period in Jewish history, and it was a disaster - it brought us King Herod, of all the prize-packages the world had to offer us. So Jesus is not only calling them hypocrites and generally engaging in an extended excoriation of how badly they've failed their own standards - he's also pointing out how they've gone outside of the traditional Jewish "fold" to recruit what has become a horribly cruel dictator.

A "child of Gehenna" or more probably in the Aramaic "bar gehinnom" - "son of Gehenna" is a person of the "lineage" or "nation" or "substance" of Gehenna. Compare "bar Mitzvah" or "bar Kochba."

It has no reference at all to an eternal destination; rather it is a term of abuse meaning, roughly, "spawn of the garbage heap."

Or, to use the fuller turn of phrase, "twofold more the bar-Gehinnom than yourselves."

I guess you could say, he wasn't really very impressed with them that day ;-)
I believe it is very safe to say that we have been taught wrongly when it
comes to Hell. Our churches use the threat of Hell to evangelize the
unbelievers. Jesus used it to warn His followers not to become useless in His
kingdom. Salt needs to be salty!

Would you love someone because they threaten to torture if you don't?
Or, would you love someone because they gave their own life to save

Think about it and study the scriptures to see if what you have been taught about Hell is true.  

                                      Something to think about....

How many People did Jesus warn about Hell?

Were they Jews or gentiles?

Why would it be shameful  for the chosen people of God to have their works burned up in the garbage dump of Gehenna?

As gentile believers, are we cautioned not to have our works burned up by fire...leaving only wood, hay, and stubble?

Why did he not warn everyone he saw and talked with?

Is it possible to be separated from God?

Do you remember when you first heard of Hell?

Who told you about it?

Did you question it?

Do you question it now?

Do you defend it even though you question it?

Why not study it?


2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of 
darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

This is the only instance of tartaroo being translated hell. I have read that this term was borrowed from Greek 
mythology being the lowest part of Hades. There is really not a lot of information in the Bible about it.  Whatever it 

is, it seems to be a holding place for the sinning angels as they await their judgment.

What Does The Bible Say About Eternal Torment?

Rumor has it that Jesus talked more about Hell than He did about Heaven. If anyone has ever told you that, they just didn't do their homework.  It is very easy to find out how many times Jesus said Heaven or Hell (in modern day translations) with a concordance.

There are two main reasons I don't believe Hell, whatever it is, lasts forever. They are:
(1.) The use of the words translated "eternal" & "forever"
(2.) Endless Punishment is not in harmony with the rest of the Bible

Paul plainly stated that the "mystery" of Christ IN us has been hidden for ages and is now ready to be revealed. Obviously, God allows us to understand certain things about His plan at certain times. This should help us see how we could believe in the doctrine of eternal torment for hundreds of years and just now be understanding the meaning of the scriptures concerning God's judgments. When the early church was hurled into the dark ages, the common people were not even allowed to read the Bible....if they had been able to read....

Use reason here. Does God know everything? Did He know that for hundreds of years people would not have access to His word, yet, was willing to let them go to Hell for not believing in Christ? What does that say about God?  We know when Paul came along with the revelation that one is saved by grace through faith and not by works, this was NEW to the people of God, also.  His message was so new and radical that he had to fight for his life everywhere he went to preach it. This same story sort of repeated itself again when Martin Luther had his revelation of grace. Many applecarts toppled didn't they? I think our religious apple carts need to be turned over.

Could history be repeating itself now? For about 1500 years most of the church has believed the doctrine of eternal torment. But that was not always the case because universal salvation was only declared "heresy" in the 6th century. Evidently quite a few of the early Christians believed that God would reconcile all men back to Himself.  Now, it seems that many mainline denominational and interdenominational people are seeing the scriptures in a different light. And, like Paul, the men of God who are bringing in this good news, are suffering persecution from the majority.  It has always been the "remnant" not the majority, that has the message of God.

If you are one that would love to believe that God will eventually restore everyone to Himself, be encouraged, there is plenty of evidence in His word.  If you have no problem with 99% of humanity burning in Hell, forever, you may not be interested in the least. But, out of sheer curiosity you can read on and see what the Bible does have to say about God's restoring all back to Himself.

See what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ reconciling the world. This Christmas you may be able to sing "Joy To The World" and actually mean it.

God Bless.
Debbie :)

Gen. 22:18 "and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,because you have obeyed me."

Gen. 26:4 "I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,"

Gen. 28:14 "Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring."

Gen. 49:10 "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his."

Job 23:13 "But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases."

Ps. 2:8 "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession."

Psa. 22:27 "All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,"

Psa. 65:2 "O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come."

Psa. 65:3 "When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions."

Psa. 72:11 "All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him."

Psa. 72:17 "May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed."

Psa. 86:9 "All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name."

Psa. 107:1 "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psa. 145:9 "The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Psa. 145:10 "All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you."

Psa. 145:21 "My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever."

Prov. 8:29 "when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth."

Prov. 8:30 "Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,"31 "rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind."

Lam. 3:31 "For men are not cast off by the Lord forever."

Lam. 3:32 "Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love."

Isa. 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

Isa. 11:9 "They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."

Isa. 25:6 "On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine, the best of meats and the finest of wines."

Isa. 25:7 "On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;"

Isa. 25:8 "he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken."

Isa. 26:9 "My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness."

Isa. 40:4 "Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain."

Isa. 40:5 "And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Isa. 43:24 "You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins an wearied me with your offenses."

Isa. 43:25 "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."

Isa. 45:23 "By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear."

Isa. 46:10 "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please."

Isa. 53:4 "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted."

Isa. 53:5 "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

Isa. 53:6 "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Isa. 55:11 "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

Isa. 57:16 "I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me, the breath of man that I have created."

Isa. 60:1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you."

Isa. 60:2 "See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you."

Isa. 60:3 "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn."

Isa. 66:23 "From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD."

Jer. 31:31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah."

Jer. 31:32 "It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD."

Jer. 31:33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

Jer. 31:34 "No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

Dan. 4:37 "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble."

Dan. 7:14 "He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."

Ezek. 16:53 "'However, I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters, and your fortunes along with them,"

Mic. 7:18 "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy."

Mic. 7:19 "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."

Hab. 2:14 "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."

Zeph. 3:9 "Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder."

Mal. 1:11 "My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty."


Mt. 1:21 "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Mt. 2:6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"

Luke 2:10 "But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Luke 3:6 "And all mankind will see God's salvation.' "

Luke 15:1 "Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him."

Luke 15:2 "But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."

Luke 15:3 "Then Jesus told them this parable:"
Luke 15:4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?"
Luke 15:5 "And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders"

Luke 15:6 "and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'

Luke 15:7 "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."

John 1:7 "He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe."

John 1:9 "The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. "

John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:17 "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

John 3:35 "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands."

John 4:42 "They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

John. 6:33 "For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

John. 5:24, RSV "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."

John. 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."

John. 6:45 "It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me."

John. 6:46 "No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father."

John. 12:32 "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

John. 12:47 "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it."

John. 17:2 "For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him."

Acts 3:20 "and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you, even Jesus."

Acts 3:21 "He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets."

Acts 3:25 "And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.'

Acts 3:26 "When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."

Rom. 5:15 "But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!"

Rom. 5:16 "Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification."

Rom. 5:17 "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ."

Rom. 5:18 "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."

Rom. 5:19 "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."

Rom. 5:20 "The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,"

Rom. 5:21 "so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through
righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Rom. 8:19 "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed."

Rom. 8:20 "For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope"

Rom. 8:21 "that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."

Rom. 8:22 "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

Rom. 8:23 "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."

Rom. 8:24 "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?"

Rom. 8:25 "But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

Rom. 11:15 "For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?"

Rom. 11:32 "For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all."

Rom. 11:26 "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob."

Rom. 11:36 "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

Rom. 13:10 "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

1 Cor. 3:12 "If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,"

1 Cor. 3:13 "his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work."

1 Cor. 3:14 "If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward."

1 Cor. 3:15 "If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."

1 Cor. 12:3 "Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit."

1 Cor. 13:8 "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."

1 Cor. 15:21 "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man."

1 Cor. 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

1 Cor. 15:26 "The last enemy to be destroyed is death."

1 Cor. 15:28 "When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all."

1 Cor. 15:45 "So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit."

1 Cor. 15:46 "The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual."

1 Cor. 15:47 "The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven."

1 Cor. 15:48 "As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven."

1 Cor. 15:49 "And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven."

2 Cor. 5:14 "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died."

2 Cor. 5:15 "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."

2 Cor. 5:18 "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:"

2 Cor. 5:19 "that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

2 Cor. 5:20 "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."

2 Cor. 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Gal. 3:8 "The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you.""

Gal. 3:16 "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ."

Eph. 1:10 "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"

Eph. 1:11 "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,"

Eph. 2:4 "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,"

Eph. 2:5 "made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved."

Eph. 2:6 "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,"

Eph. 2:7 "in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."

Eph. 2:8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,"

Eph. 2:9 "not by works, so that no one can boast."

Eph. 4:10 "He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe."

Phil. 2:9 "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,"

Phil. 2:10 "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,"

Phil. 2:11 "and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Col. 1:12 "giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."

Col. 1:13 "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,"

Col. 1:14 "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Col. 1:15 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

Col. 1:16 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."

Col. 1:17 "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

Col. 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."

Col. 1:19 "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,"

Col. 1:20 "and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

1 Tim. 1:15 "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst."

1 Tim. 2:4 "who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." {NIVUS}

1 Tim. 2:5 "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,"

1 Tim. 2:6 "who gave himself as a ransom for all men, the testimony given in its proper time."

1 Tim. 4:9 "This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance"

1 Tim. 4:10 "(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe."

1 Tim. 4:11 "Command and teach these things."

2 Tim. 1:9 "who has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,"

2 Tim. 1:10 "but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."

Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."

Heb. 1:2 "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe."

Heb. 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

Heb 2:14 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--

Heb 2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  

Heb. 2:17 "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people."

Heb. 8:10 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

Heb. 8:11 "No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest."

Heb. 8:12 "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

Hebr. 9:25 "Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest
enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own."

Hebr. 9:26 "Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself."

Hebr. 10:10 "And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

1 Pet. 3:18 "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,"

1 Pet. 3:19 "through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison"

1 Pet. 3:20 "who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,"

1 Pet. 4:6 "For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit."

2 Pet. 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

1 John 2:2 "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

1 John 4:14 "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world."

1 John 4:16 "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."

1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us."

Rev. 5:13 "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"

Rev. 5:14 "The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped."

Rev. 15:4 "Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."

Rev. 21:3 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."

Rev. 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Rev. 21:5 "He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Do You Care?

I started thinking...I couldn't remember a single time when I saw anyone upset and 
broken at the thought of millions of people dying and going to Hell..
Have you?

Have you been upset about people going to Hell forever?  How can we be so passive about it?

Do We Care?

Do we really believe it?

Are We Sure We Believe In Hell?

When Jesus talked about a few going in through the narrow way and many going
down the broad way to destruction, do you understand Him to be talking about
Heaven and Hell after we die?

Well, I did. But do we really realize what that is saying?  Do the math

Why are you browsing a web site and why am I working on one when the
majority of people in the world are headed for hell? Why aren't we out in 24 hour shifts warning them of a fate that no human being can possibly imagine?

What Changed My Mind About Hell

I was watching the movie, "The Perfect Storm,"  when I started to question my  beliefs about the end result of humanity.(at that time I DID believe in an endless Hell) I was noticing the looks of total resignation on the faces of the fishermen as they realized there was no way to survive the storm they were in, In an instant a scripture popped into my thoughts.   

" But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that 
were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,"

The world was headed for Hell and here I was WATCHING A MOVIE!!!   How much sense does that make?  That was the greatest "life-changing" realization I have had since experiencing faith in Christ.  As you scroll down the page, notice the looks on the actor's faces.... fear, dread and 
hopelessness. I guess that is what really got my attention. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions at the time... fear, shame, regret, shock. I believe God used this movie to shake me up enough to realize what I really believed.....more importantly what I did not believe....

The fishermen in the movie are watching a monster of a wave that is headed straight for them. They know there is no surviving it.

Seeing the hopelessness in the faces of those fishermen caused an explosion in my soul. It forced me to face what I believed about the ultimate outcome of humanity: a fate much worse than death. 
That was eternity in hell.

I was overwhelmed with grief and very ashamed that I didn't care anymore than I did for people. I had been walking with God for about twenty five years at that time and I knew He would answer prayer that was in line with His will. So, I got real honest with Him and confessed that I didn't love 
people, but I wanted to. know God...He changed my heart! I am absolutely in love with people now... Christian and non-Christian alike. We are all made in God's image and are all reconciled to God by Christ.  It is a privilege to love people!  It is a privilege to see God answer prayer!

When I had my "epiphany" at the theatre I became obsessed with hell and who would go there. I found this particular image on a site that shows 31% of the world's population affiliated with Christianity. I found other statistics then but can't find them now but I do remember that 22% of the 31% were Roman Catholic. Well, us good Ole fundamentalists aren't brought up believing that anyone will go to heaven without being born again and that leaves the Catholics out completely.

So, we are left with about 9% that could possibly go to heaven or are we? That 9 % includes Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. For one who was taught that the Missionary Baptists would inhabit the New Jerusalem (because we were the "real" Baptists) and the Southern Baptists would live outside the great city, the picture was bleak indeed. You know, it's a wonder anyone survives religion isn't it?

Finally, I started to question....could we have missed it somehow on this hell thing? Could we have misinterpreted the Bible? Could the Bible have been mistranslated?

I have concluded the answer is YES!

Could it be possible that we just think we believe in an endless Hell?  Have you ever picked up the phone to warn a loved one about a tornado headed their way? A gas shortage? Have you warned visitors to stay away from your house because your family had a stomach virus? Honestly now, how many people do you warn about Hell?

I remember one woman who actually believed in endless hell. Her name is Andrea Yates. She killed all of her children, believing that she was saving them from the possibility of spending eternity in Hell.  As far as she knew she ended their lives before they could reach the age of accountability, reject God, die and go to hell for eternity. Personally, I don't see how anyone in their right mind, who actually carries out the thought process of Hell, could bring a child into this world. 

Saddam Hussein pales in comparison to anyone who would, knowingly, bring a child into the world with the full knowledge that eternity in Hell could be his fate. At least the victims of a terrorist get to die!

My Statement Of Faith

I believe there is one God, the God of the Bible, who created everything.  He 
manifests Himself as the Father,  Son,  and Holy Spirit.  He may have zapped 
creation into being instantly or in 6 literal days.  Or, He may have used the 
process of evolution for millions of years for some of it. Personally, I don't care 
how He did it, I just believe that He did it.  I am really blown away by the fact 
that He chose to create you and me. :-)

I believe the bible tells us what we need to know about God. I believe it is 
inspired by God. It was probably inerrant in it's beginning, but since going 
through many translations, there are flaws found in our copies we have now-a- 
days.  I believe it is still trustworthy to lead us to know God and to know how 
to live in the way that He expects His people to live.  I believe that, because, I 
experience it.

I believe Jesus of Nazareth,  who died on the cross and was raised from the 
dead, is the messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament.  I believe His 
death and resurrection was for the redemption/salvation of every single 
individual on the planet...because of His love for us.  He made us 
FOR  Himself.

In order to reap the benefits of that salvation, it is a no-brainier that one must 
believe it to be a fact. Jesus said, we are already condemned if we don't believe. 
I believe God's wrath will abide on unbelievers UNTIL they believe, thus, 
fulfilling Jesus' words in John 12:32..."I will draw ALL to myself."

I believe in the physical resurrection of every individual. Those who believe in 
Christ and overcome in this life will be raised to blessings beyond belief and will 
be partnered with God in His plan for the ages to come..... Those who reject 
God will be raised in the last resurrection and will suffer great loss and 
correction until they come to the end of themselves and confess that they are 
not the lord of their own lives....however long that may take.

I believe every knee will bow to God and every tongue will confess Christ as 
Lord, eventually.

I believe Christ will reign until everything and everyone is in submission to 
Himself and when that happens, however long it takes for it to happen,

                             We Will All Live Happily Ever After.