The True Meaning of Hell
Hell - A word study
The CORRECT meaning of the words translated in the scriptures as "hell."
Heaven is mentioned in the Bible 551 times, compared to hell which is only 54 times. Yet we are a generation of Christians who enjoy one-upping those heathens, threatening them with eternal suffering instead of helping them find the joy of our Lord.
The eternal fires of hell simply mean that the fire cannot be stopped or put out. You cannot change the course of events once you have been thrown into the grave.
The fires of Gehenna, which was the town dump for Jerusalem, are certainly not still burning, nor did the garbage dumped there continue to burn. It was burned up, only ashes left. The fire continued to burn, not the object or body thrown into the fire. Eventually, all the garbage was left in ashes. The fire is not still burning, so obviously we have misinterpreted the word which was translated into "eternal."
Hell simply means the grave, Sheol means the underworld, and Gehenna refers to the trash dump.
The word "eternal" simply means that no one can put out the fire or change the judgement of death. The pronouncement of death is eternal, it can not be changed.
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
In this verse the beast and the false prophet are doomed, not everyone. Plus, the words "for ever and ever" can mean an age, a period of time, or literallly forever.
We assume it is a period of time because of the following verses...
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell (meaning the grave) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The lake of fire purifies and destroys whatever is thrown into it.
It is not perpetual torment, but it is perpetual death.
For further study, get a Strong's Concordance so you can see the actual meaning of the words before the translators decided how they wanted to translate it and therefore control what you believe.
You can download free Bible software from E-Sword.net.