The strangest thing happened. I have a set of radio channels set as favourites on the sound system of my car. I was driving home from work and listening to a news channel but for unbeknown reason the radio channel just changed by itself. I did not touch it. It never accidentally does that. One of the Christian channels I set in my favourites came up and there were three people sharing ideas live from their studio. So I thought, well ok then, lets listen to what they are saying. A female voice spoke and quoted from:
8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
She went on to say: “this verse shows how deeply God is moved by our pain, trauma and troubles. Even to the point that He records our tears in a book and colllects them all in a bottle”.
I think it’s a beautiful verse which eloquently expresses how God feels about our pain and how serious He takes it. There is of course the symbolical element in the language used in this verse and we need to understand that a literal interpretation will consequently render all kinds of difficulties. I mean how big must that bottle be, or how many millions of bottles must there already be full of the tears of the generations past and present. It is not important to even ask those questions because the verse is not meant to be literally interpreted. It is a typical use of figurative speech and hyperbole. The point made here is that God does take notice, and He will not forget what you have gone through, no, He does keep record.
The second person spoke up and this man began to recall the verse from:
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
He stated the following: “during the millennial reign of Christ, God will wipe away our tears when Christ reigns from the New Jerusalem. We will be in that city looking through the walls of the city which are transparent where we can see the lost outside the walls.” He went on to say: “during that period we will all likely know someone, a loved one, family, parent, children or friends who never accepted Christ. It will be the tears from the loss of these people we may have been close to that God will wipe away. That may be hard to imagine but there is a school of thought which suggests that a thousand years, [referring to the millennial reign] may well be enough time to find healing over that loss and God can do that for us.”
I found it pleasant to listen to the lady who spoke first and she made a good point that truly expresses the heart of God. Then this guy added his bit and I’m sorry, but how can anybody come up with such a construct out of sync with sound interpretation of scripture? I wanted to reach through my radio into that studio, and grab the man by the skin of his neck and shout; “how can you come up with such a concoction of complete and utter claptrap, filled with assumptions, fantastical and sick sanctimonious ideas!”. I was very angry, and saddened to hear that people like him represent the highest positions in Christian leadership in the English Church. No wonder the Church hardly shows spiritual stability and true power. It doesn’t bother me when a Christian chooses to believe total nonsense. But it does bother me when these Christians are in leadership positions influencing many other believers or anyone listening to them.
Then another lady, she was the third person, began to ask questions about the whole passage there in Revelation 21 from verse 1 through 8.
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The lady asked the male speaker again; “when shall God wipe away our tears? Will it be in the New Heaven and New earth?” The man confirmed that this was the case. Then the lady asked a rhetorical question, “will God wipe away our tears so we will not remember the former things, suggesting that we won’t weep anymore over our loved ones whom were lost because they didn’t believe in Christ, and we will be healed from having seen some suffer damnation and punishment as we watched them through the transparent walls of the new city of Jerusalem?”
Oh, come on!!! I shouted in my car. It is truly appalling to hear that this is the kind of stuff that regularly goes out on mainstream Christian radio and TV across UK, USA, Europe, Asia and Africa and the rest of the world. I have to call such reasoning out as thick. Honestly, I’m not trying to be nice here. As one preacher used to say “bless their darling hearts, and stupid heads”. I ask you, are we really making progress this way? Are we becoming a people manifesting the glory of God and the power of His kingdom this way? Are attracting more people to come to believe in Christ this way? Absolutely not. If we are going to grow and develop in the things of God, we must be willing to exercise a little more willingness to think, learn to ask the right questions, and study. You don’t have to be an academic, but when you are serious about establishing your life in the Gospel truth, then you must study the scriptures.
There are a few dynamics that play here in the interpretations of the three speakers from that radio program. The first one to notice is that they are clearly speaking from the paradigm of futurism, specifically an eschatology of dispensationalism. The idea that the thousand year millennial reign of Christ is an event which is to happen in our near future confirms that fact. This goes hand in hand with the notion that the millennial reign is an exact period of a thousand years. Yet, what is completely ignored is the symbolical hyperbole applied using numerical language here. The thousand years fits synchronic with the meaning of 10 x 10 x 10 as a way of expressing the emphasis on ultimate completeness and fulfillment. Which is exactly what happened during the period from the day of Pentecost up to September of 70 A.D. That period covers the fulfilment of all the last day prophecies found in Malachi, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel and the fulfilment of all the foretelling’s of Jesus, and His Apostles.
The other issue here is the idea that Jesus is going to set up a physical kingdom and rule from the geographical location of Jerusalem for a thousand years. Yet the holy city, the New Jerusalem is interchangeably associated with a bride adorned for her husband and is clearly referring to people. A people who believes God and trust His Christ and God who dwells with them. You see this whole passage is covenant language by the use of symbolical language. The new Heaven and Earth represents the New Covenant of Peace in Christ. Since the establishing of the New Covenant through His death, Christ also re-established the kingdom of God on earth during His Parousia (His coming, presence) between 67 – 70 A.D. This is a reality in the heavenly realm. It is real in the spiritual world or dimension within us and all around us.
Now the word “Kingdom” also means: the right to rule. The right or the authority to rule the earth was a responsibility given to Adam. But he compromised his right to dominion when he yielded to the deception of the serpent and corrupted his innocent nature. When you think about it. It was through one man (Adam) that we all died spiritually. And it had to be through a man (Yeshua, the last Adam) that we could be born a new creation in union with Him. As Adam sold us as slaves to sin;
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
-Jesus the last Adam redeemed humanity out from under the slavery of sin. Just as a man sold us to slavery to the nature of sin, it had to be a man who would redeem (buy us back) us out of that prison. As a perfect man anointed with the Holy Spirit and Power Jesus took back man’s God given sovereignty. When He executed the day of the Lord during His Parousia He established His right to rule the earth as a man. What!? You say, but Jesus is God. Yes He is, and He is also 100% man. In brief, Jesus is God incarnated in the flesh. Well, He is Yahweh the second person of the Holy Trinity who became man. What Jesus did during His life on earth throughout His ministry, He did not do as God. He accomplished all His works and miracles, as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit. He had to do it as a man.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of (a more accurate translation is “in”) death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
And so right now Jesus rules heaven and earth from His throne in heaven as a man and yet being God. He is the High Priest of the New Covenant and fulfilled His Priestly duties as a man. He also fulfils His Kingly duties as a man. He is a man fully empowered by the Holy Spirit even though He is also the second person of the Godhead. As a man with a glorified body empowered by the Holy Spirit He rules the heavens, and exercises His right to rule all the kingdoms of the Earth.
1 Corinthians 15
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Here the Apostle Paul says that Christ was already reigning in some sense at the time he wrote. Notice he says, “for he must reign until he puts all of his enemies under his feet” (verse 25). At that point it was not yet His eternal reign of the eternal kingdom, which could only come at the Parousia. So what reign is he is referring to here in AD 57 when this book 1 Corinthians was written? Christ was already reigning in some sense, and if it’s not his eternal reign, then it has to be his Millennial reign (Revelation 20). Paul implies here that the Millennial reign between his first coming and his second coming was already in progress at that time. This is the period of the 10 x 10 x 10 = 1000 = the millennial reign. The time where all “last days” prophecies find their ultimate fulfilment. This was also the time when Christ put down all of his enemies, and broke the power of the people, and took the Kingdom (of Judah, Matthew 21:43) away from the Jews, to give it back to the Father to whom it belongs. Back in day of the Prophet Samuel, when the Israelites rejected God as their King and demanded a King like all the other nations, God allowed them to set up Saul as their King. But soon afterwards God sent Samuel to anoint David as the successor, from whose descendants the Messiah Jesus would arise to take the Kingdom away from the Jews and give it back to God. Christ then sat down with the Father to co-reign with him eternally. Through the redemptive work of Christ, God the Father reconciled the world with Himself. Scripture says that we are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms at the right hand of the Father far above all principality, power, might and dominion and every name that is named. (Ephesians 1:20-22 and 2:6)
The redeemed in Christ are now worthy to walk in the power and authority of Christ’s kingdom and the kingdom of God the Father.
Now for those on earth who choose to believe this amazing reality, the Gospel truth becomes healing for their soul (and body). It is here where the wiping away of tears is a hyperbolic reference to the healing and restoring of our soul. Psalm 23:3. It is here where the Gospel truth are become the leaves of the tree of life which are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:2. Jesus is not going to come down and take up position here on earth in the land of Israel and fix all the worlds problems for a thousand years. His Kingdom is not of this world. It is a spiritual realm we can access by faith. When we do, we manifest His right to rule here on earth. But it happens when we believe and act according to this faith. Christ will never overthrow governments and kingdoms by using physical violent force. The Bible is clear that under different Old Testament Covenants God did overthrow governments or punish nations and leaders of nations, but this was God acting in line with His covenants with Abraham and with the people of Israel either to protect them or to punish them or to preserve the lineage of the future Messiah. In this New Covenant in Christ, God swore by oath not to act as a tyrant, a terrorist, a dictator or psychopathic despot. He rules by righteousness, and truth and over all by love. When people believe from the heart they will be the ones here on earth who will stand for the truth against the tyrants, and corruption in this world. Thus by love, truth, righteousness and by His grace in the power of the Holy Spirit we bring down every corrupt work of evil in this world. This is now the people’s responsibility.
And whilst we live in this world we have within us His kingdom, His right and authority to rule as Kings (sovereigns) and Priests. Being established in this truth we stand in our restored sovereignty, representing His right to rule the earth.
We are surrounded by the corruption and evil works we witness in this world, and we can observe those who have no clue of the goodness of God that is also freely been given them. Society has conditioned people not to be aware of their sovereign right to govern themselves from the power of God within them. Their minds are blinded until they finally see the glorious light of the Gospel shining within their own hearts. That’s what it means to be within the holy city the new Jerusalem. That city is you and me believing the glory that’s within us, whilst on the outside observing the darkness and pain of the people who don’t know that this reality was also given to them. Heaven also has a city or construct which is so glorious it is beyond our imaginary powers to fathom. But avoid ignoring the appropriate message conveyed through pictorial language in scripture by the use of symbolic concepts.
It was at the end of almost forty years of fulfilment right up unto September of 70 A.D. that the Temple was destroyed and the power of the people (of Israel) was broken (Daniel 12:7) and that the Old Sinaitic Covenant was abolished once and for all. It was that Old Covenant with it’s old heaven and earth and it’s commandments and priesthood, and once the desolation was complete, God would remember it no more. Those were the elements that were burned up in the violent destruction of Jerusalem (2 Peter 3:10) and became the former things that passed away. That old city turned into a lake of fire which forever made room for the New Covenant of Grace and Peace and thus all things were made new.
In addition to that the second paradigm of the three in that radio studio overlaps with the believe in hell, or the lake of fire as a place of eternal torment for all who did not believe or accept Christ. Their interpretations and the ideas they discussed over air stem from these two theological standpoints of futurism and eternal punishment as their fundemental beliefs. But they are wrong. Wrong, I say in those specific interpretations. There may be many beliefs they developed over the years, which are based on sound comprehension of the scriptures, but what was taught here clearly was not the result of sound hermeneutics. Someone may say that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and my reply is “yes, correct”. Everyone has a right to be wrong and still believe that they are right. People also have the right to believe stupid and self-limiting beliefs. That doesn’t mean those beliefs are established in truth. Another might say “well, that is their truth, and if that’s true to them you can’t argue with that.” I will say that; “truth as I see it, or as you see it is still a perspective”. But we must first be willing to learn where fact is conveyed by a scripture or Bible verse, paragraph, chapter and book.
If we say the Bible (in it’s original text) is indeed God’s Word, then what is conveyed by scripture is fact and evidence of reality.
To proof the guilt or innocence of a person charged with an offence, the prosecution or the defence must seek to convey fact, not feelings or opinions. In order to convey fact in the realm of legislation and contract law we must determine the correct syntax of words. Before we do that we must first define the meaning of the selected words and then generate well formed sentences.
For example: If I say two plus two is four, would you argue with that? No. That’s because we already have an established mutual understanding of the meaning and the definition of the word “two” referring to the number 2. If someone did not understand the meaning of the word “two” how can I convey the same fact if the definition of the word is lost? If I say: “t. w. o. plus t. w. o. is f. o. u. r.” By quoting each letter in isolation the word and it’s agreed definition is lost. If I change the syntax of the sentence to: “four is plus two two” no one would understand what I mean. Fact is two plus two is four, and in order to convey that fact I must keep the right syntax and remain loyal to the agreed definition of each word used in the sentence. Many of today’s conflicts in public debates are based on the misuse of grammar and definition of words. The breakdown in communication is particularly rife between the general public and those who work in public offices, such as politicians, the judiciary, police, and in the medical arena.
A member of the public will say to a Police officer “I want that suspect charged”. What does it mean to charge someone? Does it mean they are charged like a battery? In real terms, yes. When an indictment is read out to the suspect who committed the offence of shoplifting the charge may read something like: “on [date and time] at [location] you entered [store] and selected [items] of [the value] and past the last point of payment without offering payment for the goods, knowing they belonged to [store] and exited the [store] with the intention to permanently deprive them of the goods, contrary to [Section .. of the Theft Act 1968, – depending on which country]
At the point when the suspect is charged, the suspect now becomes the defendant and is charged to court either for a (guilty or not guilty) plea hearing or sentencing. My point is when that member of the public said “I want that suspect charged”, it is mostly not likely that they rationalized this meaning for the word “charged” within that context. It is more likely that they meant that they want the suspect to be punished. However, when a person is charged to court, they still have to be found guilty or not-guilty, and under British Law a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Around June 2021 the then Prime Minister Boris Johnson together with Chief Medical staff Professor Christ Witty and the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Valance, conducted their regular press conference from 10 Downing Street. It was one of those presentations where further announcements were made with regards to national strategy to tackle the pandemic. Although I was not in the habit of doing so, that day I happen to watch it on TV. I then watched PM Johnson and heard him say something which in my view was hugely significant. I don’t remember the sentence exactly word for word, but I recall him saying something like “we have looked at all the evidence, and we see no evidence to the contrary, therefore, we are going full steam ahead…”
Bear in mind this is at a time where we’ve had regular anti lock-down and anti mandatory vaccines protest’s going on where hundreds of thousands sometime more than a million people marched the streets of London, but then was barely reported by the Main News outlets. The same protests were organised all over the world. Thousands of Doctors and scientists voiced their concerns about the safety of the vaccines. Not one or two, no Doctors from all over the world. Irrespective of what you believe about the pandemic, or the vaccine roll out, here’s something everyone must come to grips with. When qualified Doctors and Scientist of high expertise raise evidence to the contrary of what another groups of scientists and Doctors are saying then the requirements for further research and open debate must be facilitated.
Let’s look at the syntax of the sentence spoken by Mr Johnson as best as I remember. I do remember it at least well enough because I video recorded it, although I can’t find the clip now. “We have looked at all the evidence, and we see no evidence to the contrary, therefore, we are going full steam ahead…”
It is not an unfounded accusation that doublespeak is the norm among journalists, politicians, judges and celebrities. Doublespeak (noun): is deliberate ambiguous or obscure language designed to mislead, for example; the military expression “collateral damage” instead of “civilian deaths and injuries.”
Mr Johnson was well aware of the millions of people in UK alone who objected to the mandatory covid vaccines in care homes, and the threat of mandatory covid vaccines for NHS staff in hospitals, the threat of vaccine passports, proof of negative PCR test, etc. He will have had all the briefings from all the MP’s who have held meetings with Doctors and experts who raised concerns about the safety of the vaccines. Yet, Mr Johnson said “we see no evidence to the contrary”. Only God truly knows what his intention was and what meaning and definition he associated with the word “see” at the time he said that. But if doublespeak was applied here then Mr Johnson may have selected words here which to the general public are defined as one thing but to him they mean something completely different. The word “see” can mean many things such as: to consider, to view, to review, to take into account, to acknowledge, and many more meanings can apply. Could he really have said, “We have looked at all the evidence from both sides of the argument, but we will not consider nor acknowledge any evidence contrary to our view, we will ignore that and therefore, we are going full steam ahead…”
Now I’m aware I’m using conjecture and mind read, but I base it upon the context of what was going on at the time and Mr Johnson’s own track record. It is not my goal here to discuss the pandemic and the dynamics around the right and wrongs of how governments dealt with what they stated as a health crisis. I’m pointing out that in the midst of much misery with the future of peoples life’s, jobs, and the future direction of a nation or nations hanging in the balance the definition and meaning of words spoken by those who are in leadership positions really matter. Because what they say creates the official narrative. The official narrative then becomes the mantra of the News outlets and will potentially influence public opinion. Add the constant emphasis on threat, risk, and danger then that will generate fear with the people. Fear is raised in the general public and functions like an induction into trance state to then install the hypnotic program of the narrative. Remember, information in simple mantric format get written in the sub-conscious mind through repetition with significant emotion involved. Only those who are aware of what’s happening will see through it and be able to pierce through the official narrative and get to the bottom of what is really going on.
How much more when theologians, Biblical grammarians, teachers and preachers can know or should know the true meaning and definitions of those words which many so construed to support the doctrine of eternal damnation. We who proclaim the Good News make ourselves hugely responsible when we convey ideas as fact using words which allegedly determine whether a listener will be able to make an informed decision about their eternity.
The debate around hell, and eternal punishment has been going on for centuries, and is often alluded to be treated as immense complex material. But it is not. It really is amazingly simple.
It must be that the golden standard for the believer at least, is to stay with what the Word of God says. The topic of hell and the lake of fire or eternal punishment will have no such foundation for the non-believer or the atheist or anyone who questions the Word of God being inspired (God-breathed) and the only authority from which we may extract our doctrines. Are we to approach this topic with a two pronged basis with the Word of God on one end and the Church dogma and liturgy on the other? Even where the Church dogma diverges from the Word of God the Church dogma seems to hold more controlling power over it’s followers. Those believers who profess to hold to the foundations of the Protestant system pride themselves in the Reformation principle encapsulated in five solas: Scripture alone, Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, God’s glory alone.
I’m aware that people from all over the world log on to this site reading from the steadily growing archive of articles here. But I don’t know the visitors personally. So I don’t know where you stand on this. But I will tell you where I stand. I believe that Sola Scriptura is the primary fundamental golden standard as the foundation for my faith. Therefore, the topic of eternal punishment, hell and the lake of fire must be settled here on the level playing-field of scripture. Not the Church Dogma, whether it be Catholic or Protestant, or any other persuasion. If the Dogma does not line up with scripture then the dogma is of absolutely no use to my faith. Now that is a simple approach. I get it when people say that it is down to interpretation of scripture as well. But the more you dig into the Word of God and commit to stay true to it’s harmony, flow and sound hermeneutical principles it becomes more and more difficult to design the Word of God around your doctrine, and you will have to concede your doctrine to the Word of God.
And yes, there are still many verses that present themselves as an enigma to many. I am one of the many. So, I don’t claim to know all the mysteries of the Word of God. But some of the things taught from the pulpit don’t require much insight to be recognized as complete fiction. The doctrine of hell in essence does not differ much from the divine comedy of Dante’s Inferno, even though the idea of hell is no laughing matter. The more you become established in the Gospel truth the better your senses become acute to discern truth from falsehood. It may not be so crucial when people take different views on what certain verses mean and how they should be interpreted on the non-essential matters. However, the moment you are talking about eternal damnation for those who did not believe or accept Christ you have put yourself out as judge jury and executor of billions of people. You may say that you are not the executor, and that God is righteous and loving and in His great mercy He is giving every individual fair opportunity to make that decision. Great, but you are misrepresenting God, when you say that He will ultimately execute all those who do not believe on Christ to an eternity of torment in a lake of fire. O’ and in the same breath say that God is love, and He also suffers grief to have to do this to the many who rejected Him.
I mean that is truly a screwed up view of who God is and how love works.
If you are a loving parent with reasonable sound mind, and not a psychopathic child abuser, you will love your children unconditionally. What if they make a total mess of their life and they don’t take your advice, they even express ungratefulness, and hatred towards you. Naturally, you will be hurt, grieved, and even angry, but you will never, reject them and deny them the fact that they are your child. You will do whatever you can within your power to help them out of their trouble.
And though God has given each of us sovereign right to rule our dominion, the limit of our dominion does not reach into an ability to choose our eternal destination. This area is off limits for us. Why? Because as long as we are in this life on Earth we do not possess the mental capacity to comprehend the reality of life in heaven, and even more so, if there were such a place, a spiritual realm where we could be punished for an eternity.
A baby, a toddler constantly has their parents of guardians make decisions on their behalf. The parents or guardians will hope their decisions are made in the best interest and welfare of the child. Even if it goes against the will of the child. Similar to people who are adults, but for some reason or other, they may be in a situation where their mental capacity fails them from being able to make the right decision for their safety or welfare. Parents, Carers, Doctor’s, or Police may have to step in to safeguard and protect that person from harm coming to them.
If the Evangelical message were true that the people who die without having accepted Jesus in their life will be eternally punished, then the Christian Church(es) are doing a terrible job at convincing the wider world they must accept Christ or else burn forever.
But let’s get back to the Biblical facts. Not feelings, not doctrine or dogma, not tradition or culture. Not opinions, not people’s testimony who claim God took them to see “hell” to warn the people on Earth. No let’s get back to scripture, scripture, and sola scripture. But not the translations of scripture. Let us stay loyal to the ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. And let us see what fact the scriptures convey. Not once, no not once do the scriptures use the word “Hell.”
The translations may use the word “hell” and they do so inconspicuously. In further articles on this topic, we will discuss exact meanings and the relevant Bible verses, of the translations that use the word “hell”. What needs to be pointed out here is that the word “hell” is used to convey a different concept foreign to the definitions of a set of Hebrew and Greek words, which convey their own fact not at all harmonious with the concept of “hell”. The concept of “hell” generally conveying the notion close to the ancient Greek mythology where the pagan god Hades punished his subjects in the underworld with everlasting torment. Yet, the word “hell” is printed as presupposing it represents it’s Hebrew or Greek original in the manuscripts. Reading and studying the scriptures for over thirty years now, I cannot but also confirm that these translations using the word “hell” are superposed in places in scripture which conveniently strengthen the doctrine of hell. However, replace the word “hell” with the true and accurate definition and meaning of it’s Hebrew and Greek counterpart, suddenly the doctrine of hell falls apart as the verses in question seem to convey a very different picture. Not only do we see the word “hell” used in translations to magnify a doctrine that does not exist if we remain in bounds and hold honour to the true meaning of the words translated. It is also not uncommon to find that the translations manipulate the syntax of sentence structures in such a way it enhances the “hell” idea and is detached from the original message conveyed in the original Hebrew or Greek.
The selection of Hebrew and Greek words translated as “hell” actually convey the following meanings; Realm of the dead (as a holding place), the Valley of Hinnom (a location just outside the ancient walls of Jerusalem where human sacrifice to heathen gods were conducted prior to it becoming the cities’ dumping ground for refuse and garbage), the action of – casting down.
O’, then the word “Hell” is actually no where to be found in scripture. But what has the Church (organised Churches and institutions) been telling the world for hundreds of years?
Questions for a further articles:
Are there eternal consequences for our lifestyle, choices and actions here on Earth? Yes, there are, but not the consequence of burning in a lake of fire in the spiritual realm to be tormented day and night.
What about Lazarus and the Rich man? Ha, of course you had to bring that up. That story is an amazing presentation by the Lord Jesus emphasizing the change of Covenants and the Judgment that came on Jerusalem.
If there is no hell, then we can do what we like and get away with evil. If you really believe that, are you looking for an excuse to commit evil acts? Are you an evil person? Or are you a person who wants to do what is right because you are afraid to go to hell? Or are you someone who wants to do the right thing because you are motivated by love and truth and God’s Spirit in you?