Christians, is Hell a "parable" as someone informed me on another forum, or is it a real place or situation? In your opinion.
Hell, a misunderstood or misused word with several meanings. But in common parlance it is a place of punishment and torment in the afterlife for all those that do not accept God on His terms.
It is real but more importantly, it is the reason some, many believers want folks to believe and are ardent about their position. And it all comes down to "love your neighbor as yourself."
Okay, the next question is usually "What is your proof?" And the answer remains "faith" in the Word of God, the Bible. And here there is another bit of confusion. Faith is not what "saves" a person. The Grace of God saves. Faith (a compound of many items) is the vehicle. We have faith. God graciously keeps us the Hell.
No, I wasn't going to ask for proof. I was just wondering if Christians really do believe in a literal Hell or not.
It would kind of be a double standard if Christians believed in Heaven but not Hell. That's why they're all frightened about sinning all the time. But anyways, I can't really be of much use, seeing that I'm not religious or Theistic.
Jews do. Hell is a metaphor like everything else in the Bible/Tanakha. Why people follow a Jewish book that means nothing to them unless they're a Jew under Babylonian or Roman occupation, is beyond me. Anyway Hell is named after the Norse Queen of the underworld Hel, who can be traced back to the Mesopotamian Netherworld queen, Erishkigal. The Netherworld was a known as the House of the Dead and it was for everyone except gods. It was the ancient Greeks that introduced the notion that the Netherworld was a nasty place for evil people.
It is not a geographical location, like turn left when you get to Saturn and go down the worm hole. It's a state of mind, a state of your consciousness. Your afterlife is determined by your state of mind when you die. Interestingly, you can lead a virtuous life and at the time of death be in anger and hate and you could end up on the wrong trajectory.
Sounds a lot like you made that up. It's not in the Bible, that's for sure.
Not made up. If you read ancient spiritual texts you will find it. Perhaps your not so ancient bible is not as comprehensive as it could be. And as you could understand, when you die your body rots because it is organic. The only thing that will experience the kingdom of heaven or not, is your mind. How else do you think you are going to heaven and will comprehend that you are actually there? Similarly, how else do you think you will comprehend hell?
I must say, I have never heard this argument previously. On the contrary, "ancient spiritual texts," are not text in fact, but are pictographs of various "assumed" stances or positions of yoga and the like. The earliest written texts are possibly circa 200 BC with updates periodically as new regimens are applied or constructed through the combining of new ideas and personal systems of the "enlightened" ones. And each of these new systems is but a further move away from God toward humanism.
The attempt to degrade the Bible is expected. However, it defends itself in both content and history in contrast to the newer or (in today parlance) new age religions.
And, is usual, the OP is ignored in order to present another spurious belief system.
You yourself speak of an afterlife. Therefore you must understand that it is not your body that will traverse the afterlife, but your consciousness. That is a simple concept.
The concept is faulty.
We cannot be sure what type of "new" bodies we will have (1 John 3:2), but it will be a body like Jesus.
Jesus had a body: before death (Matthew 2:1) and after death (Luke 24:36). And this body did consume food (Luke 24:43).
The process of change to the new begins at death or the rapture (2 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Retaining the same "consciousness" would retain the same information and memory. In such a case, there would be sorrow which does not exist in Heaven (Revelation 21:4).
And, again, the OP is not addressed to the more "convenient" inventions of man.
Do you understand the concept of the conscious mind being that which experiences heaven or hell? The most ancient text is in sanskrit. It is the oldest language known. Sanskrit is not new age, it is very old age!
In order for you to contemplate the concept of hell and heaven, you must understand it from your mind, not from what you have been told.
What is the name of this ancient sanskrit text?
>>>Do you understand the concept of the conscious mind being that which experiences heaven or hell?
>>>In order for you to contemplate the concept of hell and heaven, you must understand it from your mind, not from what you have been told.
It would appear your comments in this vein are, at best, without much thought, or "contemplation." The mind initially, without "experience," seems to only work at that which is autonomous to sustain life, and that not really a thought process. To suggest that one is born with a consciousness of Heaven and Hell seems a bit far fetched. We learn from others, what we see, what we are told, etc, then reasoning (hopefully) begins. Contemplation, in the sense used here, is nothing more than reasoning about that which one does not know.
>>>The most ancient text is in sanskrit. It is the oldest language known. Sanskrit is not new age, it is very old age!
There are many texts much older than the "oldest" Sanskrit. Every belief system would like to be able to say "we wrote it first" but history, secular and theological, deny them all that ability, with the exception of the Bible. Theological historians, of course, quote the Bible and surrounding facts as their proofs. Secular historians, especially those that would disprove the Bible, continue to prove its truths.
Hell is perplexing. To experience Hell one must have life. Supposition says to have life one must accept the Christ as Jesus offering eternal life. To not do so is to not have life. If that is so, then how can Hell be experienced unless one has life? Perplexing.
I really do not know the historical context of Hell. I tend to lean with Paul to some degree how Hell was introduced into literature. That said one must take a moment to realize what is writ is not always what was said.
My opinion based on my understanding of the Old Testament and New:
Hell is to forfeit everlasting life. To have one's soul 'burned up'. The prize which Christians seek is to spend eternity with God. The opposite is Hell.
I can agree with the "prize" however the "burned up" does not fit. It is closer to a "continual burning" which seems to have varying degrees. Two opposing thoughts on "hell" are 1) "burned up" or annihilated and 2) restitutionalism, spending time there until punishment is complete and the "soul" is restored in the form of the above "prize." Neither is supported by the Bible.
Now should God have a different meaning than that which is prominent, albeit, restitutionalism, again its His to do with as He chooses. And I would add personally, I would like to believe that, but there is just no support for it in the Bible.
Might I add, it would be hard to understand how one can label themselves Christians and not believe the Bible. I say this as the OP is address to "Christians" and not what the Bible relates. However, it is impossible to separate the two in a proper and practical manner.
EDIT: Sorry Misphat, I must have clicked reply under your post. I meant to click reply in general.
Hell is like a holding cell for those who do not accept Jesus as their Savior. The Holy Bible proclaims that hell has opened her mouth without measure and has enlarged herself. Isaiah 5:14.
It is interesting to note that New Jerusalem was measured (Revelation 21:15) but hell is not.
Death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14) This is called the "second death."
God talked to Moses through a burning bush, which was not burned up. Certainly God can build a fire which does not consume flesh but the effects of the heat will be felt. It is not a place anyone wants to go to no matter what.
Believers do not sin because they love the Lord. They also want you to reap the benefits of God when they talk with you about sin and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior. The Holy Bible proclaims, "Many are called but few are chosen." Everyone has been called to repent but few have done it.
Sin is like a jail cell except it is comfortable with the door wide open. No one seems to want to leave it until the day the door slams shut and it is too late to leave.
Is Hell really biblical?
And apart from the above article which I hope will be read by interested parties ... I find the idea of eternal punishment to be rather primitive. Would God really be vindictive enough to allow a soul to suffer in eternal torment? ... no matter what their sin? Think of eternity. Infinity in a timeless realm. After a billion years would one even remember or associate themselves with their sin? Suffering for the sake of suffering it seems to me. Would God really do that?
The universal brotherhood of man or we are all children of God systems are a wonderful picture of what man would want God to do. However, it does not match up with what God has said.
As much as we would like to have it our own way, God has never agreed to this in the Bible.
So we are back to the OP. The Bible states, and the Christian believes, there is an actual Hell. Anyone that has read the related parts of the Bible has probably come up with the same questions you pose here. But one can bend things around as much as they want, it will not eliminate the fact that God has said it in no uncertain terms.
Heaven or Hell. Everyone will be give an opportunity to choose. That is what the Bible says.
The Door To Hell
CC BY-SA 2.0
File:Darvasa gas crater panorama.jpg
Hell is a very real, tangible, location. It is not an allegory, a state of mind, a representation of internal or mental turmoil. IT Is real and unfortunately, all who wind up there chose to do so. Going to Hell is a conscious rejection of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.... such an unnecessary, horrible and irreversible fate.
There is absolutely no reference in the OT or NT regarding a "physical place" called Hell. The Hebrew version of Hell is defined as Sheol -the endless pit of darkness. In the Greek Hades. It is a metaphor used to define one going into the depth of their own darkness, further and further from the light; the Void which emits no light, cannot be enlightened or illuminated. It was always referenced when one turned away from Creator and used their thinking, logic, reason to live, purpose and do.
According to several historians, the first use of the word is when Adam indulged his mind, ate of Reason, and plunged into the darkness. Therefore, by proxy, the Christian term Hell should mirror the Hebrew. Yet, it has taken on an entirely different meaning because of the graphic narrative in the Letter of Revealing, which was written to a post-Babylonian audience that picturesquely describes Hell as a lake of burning sulfur, as a place of eternal torment. This illustration was designed to supercede the socially popular Hades view and make a dramatic impact on the reader, as being far worse than the Underworld could ever be -a place one should avoid at all costs.
Hell is the continued distancing of one's self from the fullness of light, from the Anointing -which translates to be the original stasis of human beings: immortal reflections of Creator. This continued event leads to one's undoing, farther and farther from their immortality, until they cease to exist. The common perception is that there is an escape clause from death through the concept of the Afterlife, woven into post-Roman theologies (i.e Christianity, Islam, etc), fused with Grace/Forgiveness/Salvation and conditional by following the rule of Law(s) or religious traditions. This idea is false -and the text expressly says so, though many of the believing ignore it and eat up the preachers words of hope that there will be a second Resurrection event, thus solidifying the afterlife concept, justifying death and imposing necessity to follow the rules if one wishes to "get in" to "heaven". This runs counter to the true message, the purpose of said salvation. Why on earth would Creator throw His Essence, which is the human spirit, into such a place for all eternity; why would he torture himself?
Hell is truly a time between one's birth and death that bleeds away their true nature, ebbs out Creators essence within, until it's exhausted and the body, which yearns for its transformation into an immortal state, withers into the dust it came from...
I have to disagree with your last.
As to the first portion, the common use or parlance of "hell" is well understood by most. The theological discussion of the 3 major definitions of "hell" does not appear to be the question here.
But in short, your argument is unfounded. "Hell" does exist in the writings of both the New and Old Testaments.
It seems God wrote Proverb 10:19 to alert believers that the longer a man's message, the less truth with be found.
Hell, as I expressed stated, is not referenced as a physical place. It's mention in the texts is clearly metaphoric, parabolic and suggesting even that it is a state of mind or a state of experiential sensation likened to an illusion or delusion or moment of madness.
Hell, by definition, is necessary here, and is very much in question, as to establish whether or not it is, as the OP asked, parabolic or literal.
Numbers 16:33 - "pit" (sheol) would be a good place to start. You will find dozens other times this Hebrew word is used, but in a varied English term. For instance, the same word is "grave" in Genesis 42:38. But you could just look for the word "hell' which is directly used some 31 times in the Old Testament and 23 times in the New Testament.
Note the story of Lazarus and the rich man, Luke 16. Note it begins "There was" a statement of fact, not a parable. It then goes on showing a place separated by a gulf. It was a a holding tank for good and evil prior to Jesus Christ death. It is Hell, a place of torment today. It is real.
And this is just a short study as the interest (the OP) here is not proving or disproving Hell's existence. But again, you are free to believe or interpret as you choose, by exegetics or by eisegesis, it will not change the content or context of that which is written.
New International Version -- Revelation 20:14
"Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death."
"The Final Judgment
…13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
( Hades is known as the abode of the dead. )
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