preacherman

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Heaven, Hell, & The Old Testament.

I find it intersting that God didn't let the Israel know about heaven and hell. In the Old Testament we see no evidence of God saying to Israel you follow me you will spend eterity with me in heaven and if you don't and are unfaithful you will spend eternity in hell. Hades and Hell aren't even mentioned in the Old Testament.
As I read the Old Testament when refering to heaven it usually is taking about the skies, space. You do see Isaiah's vision in chapter 6 but would the Isreaelites really understand that vision. You have the Jaboc's dream and other instances of visions and encounters with angels and God but do the Israelites undersand it to be a place where they would be if they were faithful to God? Maybe they knew that God was there but do they have understanding that they would be? Did they understand the consequences and concept of hell if it isn't even mentioned. Enoch walked with God and was no more and Elijah taken to heaven. Notice their response and understanding where Elijah went in 2 Kings 2: 16: "Look, they said, "We your servants have fifty able men. Let tehm go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in the valley."

Why is the concept of heaven and hell not evident in the Old Testament and made evident in the New Testament?
Can we understand their lack of knowledge and understanding about a Spiritual Kingdom and Messiah?
Will those who where faithful to God in the Old Testament be in heaven and those who weren't be in hell? Is that very fair?
Is Heaven and Hell even real?
How would you respond to someone saying, "Would a loving God send someone to hell?"
Is hell a real place of burning fire and sulfer or is it just Jesus trying to describe to us what it is going to be like? Is hell just separation fom God?
How do you picture heaven? Will we know everyone? What is it going to be like? Do you think we will be suprised on who we are going to find in heaven and hell? Why? How does the world view heaven and hell? How should we teach and preach on these two subjects? Should we use them to motivate people to becoming Christians and disciples? Has the churches preaching on hell effected how people view the church, and now teach and preach to the world?
What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

90 Comments:

Blogger Velcro said...

Oh my goodness... I could go on forever about this, but won't.

I'll have to come back in a bit when I have more time.

Very interesting questions indeed.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous David said...

We must understand that we are under a new covenant. I believe that those who were faithful to God in the Old Testament are with God in Heaven. I don't know about whether those who were unfaithful, practiced idolitry in hell since they weren't warned of it. I know that as a Christian I am glad that I am going to heaven and that is all that matters to me really.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

Who is that prophet dude?

Preacherman, you don't mind opening up a large can of well- worms that won't die- huh?

Good post to make us all think.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preacherman,
Thank you for this post.
I find it very intersting about the Old Testament. I have never thought about it. Never crossed my mind that the Old Testament doesn't mention hell or even give the faithful ones hope of a better place but a temorary land.

For me peronally, I think heaven is going to us being with God forever and hell is a place where God is not. Everything that God is heaven will be and everything that God is not hell will be.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Preacherman,

I do see in the New Testament those who where faithful to God in heaven. Abraham with Lazarous. One mount of with Jesus you see Moses and Elijah. And the disciples knew who they were even though Jesus hadn't revealed their identities to them. Matthew 17:1-4. I think we will know who each other is in heaven and those who we meet will suprise us. Why? Because God has the final say who gets in and who doesn't.

I agree with Danny. Good post to make us all think.

4:12 PM  
Blogger john alan turner said...

I think most of our questions reveal how little we truly understand of the biblical doctrine of heaven.

I'm really grateful for guys like Randy Alcorn, Paul Marshall and Michael Wittmer for helping us understand these issues better.

Also, realizing that our concept of heaven would have been foreign to all of the people Jesus talked to, it makes us re-examine what he meant when he said things like "Our Father who art in heaven" or "The kingdom of heaven is at hand".

Jesus was, obviously, not talking about what we must do to get into some distant place called heaven when we die. He must have had something else in mind.

I'll be interested to see where this conversation goes -- especially in light of what I've been posting at my blog about Hell Houses as a means of evangelism.

4:41 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

The prophet,
I am looking forward to seeing what you think on this subject and adding to the discussion.

David,
Thanks for you comments.

Danny,
Thanks for stopping by and love for you continue to add to this discussion. I love opening can of warms for everyone. I think it is important for Christians to think and discuss things that we often have question about but are afraid to discuss. I want my blog to be a place where that is done.

Anonymous,
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Joe,
Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion.

John Allen,
I have enjoyed your posts and think that it will be very interesting to see where both of our discussions go.
I want to encourage everyone to check out John Allen's blog on Hell Houses.

Thank's everyone.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Falantedios said...

I've been thinking about this today, even before I read your blog, preach. Here's what I think.

Look at Genesis 12, Gen, 15, and Gen 22. Think about why Abram is so concerned about having an heir. Is he being selfish? Is he jealous about his goods going to a servant? I don't think so. If Abram has a son, his life goes on. Isn't that why it is so important for the surviving brother to step in and carry on his brother's family?

Life with God was an experiential, day-by-day thing, rather than pie in the sky, by and by. Life after death was wrapped up in the land and one's descendants.

I believe, after considerable persuasion, that far too much of our NT interpretation has been affected by Hellenistic philosophy, because so many theologians for so many years rejected all but the tiniest Hebrew influence on the Greek Scriptures.

In order to properly understand what Jesus and the NT writers have to say about heaven and hell, we MUST investigate how God revealed his plans for the future in the Hebrew Scriptures, and we must remember the goal of God's plan: Rev 21:1-4.

in HIS love,
Nick

11:59 PM  
Blogger L.E.Meredith said...

A very short chapter Psalms ch 11. Give us a glimpse of what is to come.
Read it all just seven verses.

Ps: 11:6: Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
7: For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

As for eternal torture just one question. What does the term second death mean to you? Was that thrown in just to confuse us?

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think hell is a real place. I don't know if hell will actually us being on fire and burning forever and ever but more of seperation from God.

11:23 AM  
Blogger K. Rex Butts said...

One of my beloved undergraduate professors, Jimmy Allen, has recently made public in his autobiography how his views on hell have changed over the years from being a place of "eternal fire and torement" to a state of "annihilation." I knew about his views from being his student.

Being a semester away from completing my M.Div I am aware of the theological debate on this issue but I have never taken the time become more aquainted with the claims and issues of each position. This is partly because my goal and desire is not to simply escape "hell" but to be in eternal fellowship with God and his people. Regardless of the reality that hell actually is, if that is my final desitination then I have lost "the good fight", failed to "finish the race," and missed out on the "crown of righteousness" (2 Tim. 4.7-8).

11:46 AM  
Blogger Velcro said...

I hope that my first comment didn't make me sound like a hell fanatic. It's just that the preacher at the church I attend on Saturday nights preached an interesting sermon on hell a few weeks ago.

I believe that hell is a real place.

The thing that makes hell such a punishment is that it is eternal.

I also believe that hell is darkness, not that the eyes get used to, but where nothing can be seen... period.

I also believe that hell really has no physical substance. The Bible says it's like a lake of fire... kind of like falling for eternity while being on fire, but in an eternal darkness.

Good post, Preacher.

The title of that sermon I mentioned is: Hell: Fiction or Fact

You can go to the link below to listen to it:

http://gatewaypeople.com/resources/index.php?action=sermons

4:05 PM  
Blogger Frank Bellizzi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Frank Bellizzi said...

Preacherman,

You raise a lot of good questions here. If nothing else, this explains why biblical scholars pay so much attention to what used to be called Intertestamental Literature. On your set of topics, there really is quite a leap from Old to New Testaments. That in-between literature chronicles some of that leap.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Ben Overby said...

Preacherman,

I’m happy to rejoin the world of e-words after an absence during my transition, and I’m glad Nick pointed me to this particular discussion. Let me get right to the point. 2 Peter 3 teaches that God will recreate. However we interpret the destruction (and there are no shortage of views), the important point is that God will recreate. It’s not a recreation ex nihlo because Revelation 21 states, "And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." (Rev 21:5). New, or kainos, has the idea of freshness. God will refresh the whole cosmos, stripping from it all evil. When evil has been dealt with, we’ll be liberated and creation will be freed from its bondage (Romans 8 is especially important).

According to Ph. 3.20-21, we will be transformed in the resurrection, receiving a body like Christ’s! A physical body needs a physical world. Jesus was recognizable after his resurrection (and oddly enough, sometimes not recognized immediately—e.g., Emmaus road.) It follows that we’ll know each other, we’ll enjoy eternity in the new creation, a freshly restored universe, where we’ll live as kings and queens and reign with Him forever. (Re. 22.5).

I hope this little bit adds something to the discussion. If our view of heaven never gets beyond the wrong-head, Gnostic or platonic concepts, then we are going to be forever struggling to find some continuity between this life and the ethereal next, which reminds me on another quick point.

You mentioned that the Jews weren’t informed about heaven and hell. Maybe we think that because we try to force our Enlightenment notions of heaven into the reading. We go looking for a heaven that fits the images of ghostly angels floating on clouds singing devo songs forever but find absolutely no mention of anything of the sort from Genesis to Malachi (not to mention the conspicuous absence of such notions in the New Testament as well). But if we go looking for passages that speak to an after life in a freshly redone creation, there is any number of such passages poetically described throughout Isaiah. Ezekiel gives us the amazing image of dead bones rising, and a flowing river that looks very much like that of Re. 22. And the view of those living between the testaments was no less robustly physical and inspiring as is seen in the narrative of 2 Maccabees 7. The poor Jewish brothers were being tortured right before their mother’s eyes. After the first son had been fried on a pan alive, and after the vapor of his flesh had ascended, the wicked king turned to the second boy, ripping his skin off his head.
When the young man was near death he exclaimed, “And when he was at the last gasp, he said, Thou like a fury takes us out of this present life, but the King of the world shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting life.” (2Ma 7:9)

That the Jews expected a physical resurrection in the judgment is hardly debatable given the next words attested to the third brother. “After him was the third made a mocking stock: and when he was required, he put out his tongue, and that right soon, holding forth his hands manfully. And said courageously, These I had from heaven; and for his laws I despise them; and from him I hope to receive them again.” (2Ma 7:10-11)

Heaven is in the old testament, it just doesn’t look like we expect it to. Heaven is where God is, and according to Re. 21 heaven and earth are going to be knitted into one, and in the same moment we’ll be raised from the dead to receive a new body. Like the third brother, we hope to receive this physical presence again in a fresh state, remade so that we’re never sick, never dying, never crying.

Now I’m really through. Great to be reading from you and other blessed encouragers. May God richly bless us all in Jesus.

Ben

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Kevin B. said...

Excellent last post by Ben. There is a clear looking-forward-to of the new earth, which God would remake one day. Our misinformed view of "heaven" from a neo-platonic mindset has caused us to miss the hope of the Jews (and therefore, of Jesus).

One can read Isaiah, then Luke, and realize suddenly that there is more continuity there than one thought.

N.T. Wright has done much to expose the shallow view of heaven many of us have had. As he puts it, "heaven" is not some "future, disembodied, post-mortem bliss," but rather is the recreation of this world into a world of beauty.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Ben,

Are you saying that you believe that God is going to recreate the earth? Is that what you are saying heaven is going to be? A new earth?

11:46 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Ben,
I forgot to ask you about your view of hell:
What do you think hell is going to be? Is it really fire or just seperation from God?

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about dogs in heaven? I lost my dog and want to knw what you think about dogs being in heaven.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Ben Overby said...

David,

I think I'm just repeating Peter, John, and Paul.

Peter: But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
(2Pe 3:13 ESV)

John: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
(Rev 21:1-2 ESV)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
(Rom 8:18-23 ESV)

All of this fits perfectly into all those Old Testament prophesies where God promises to reverse the curse. Only after sin did the earth produce thorns. When sin is no more, the cosmos can return to it's former harmony. See Is. 11, 65, 66, among many other such passages.

Ben

5:01 PM  
Anonymous David said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Ben,

I want to thank you for answering my questions and letting me see what is says in scripture.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

preach,
What a great discussion. Ben makes some very intersting points. I think his view is different then what others have taught. If the earth has been cursed that is after the fall and sin entered the world. When Christ returns and renews the earth will the earth be like the garden of Eden? Is that heaven is really going to be like?

11:08 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Ben,

I want to thank you for your comments and adding to this discussion. Joe Beam and Lee Wilson in their book The Real Heaven: It's Not What You Think take this view. They ask great questions such as: "Why did God wrok to develop a place for us if it was the wrong place for us to begin with? Why did He create a human if humans would one day become exinct and morphed into another being altogether? If God considered His creation to be "good" upon completion (Genesis 1:31), why would He change His mind at a later time?"p.67.

The book states: "The New Earth": for the new human. God intened for us to live on earth where He served as God , no one where we live sperated from Him and slowly watch ourselves die. That not God's will." Revelation 21:1-3 says, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heave and the first earth ahd passed away, and there was no longer any sea, I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of the Heaven from God, perpared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud vioice 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."

Wilson says, "You see, it is not that we "die and go to Heaven." it is that God raises us from the dead and sends Heaven to the New Earth."

Thank you for your comments again and adding to this discussion.
___________________________________
What do you think?

Other questions that I are addressed in the book that we may want to consider in this discussion is:

If heaven is a new earth what will the new earth be like?
Will animals be in heaven? Do animals have souls? A covenant with animals? What are we going to do in heaven? What will we look like? Will we become angels or not? Will children be in heaven? Can I be certain that I am going to heaven? How can I know I am going to heaven?

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't Peter mention a 3rd Heaven or demension? What does that mean?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I think the fact that the faithful of the Old Testament don't seem to have been given a notion of heaven only points to the fact that Israelite people who feared God feared Him because He was God and not because he had promised a reward. This reflects the differences between the modern/Greek linear thinking and the Israelite thinking. Whereas we expect explananations, logic, and a reason for worshipping
God, the Israelites didn't question, they simply obeyed because God is God, heaven or no heaven. It is a mindset and a way of life that we should all aspire to.

5:45 PM  
Blogger seeker said...

It may be possible that the Jewish theology regarding heaven and hell came about during the Babylonian captivity (Jewish Exile 586-538 B.C.). Changes in Jewish theology suggest that after the exile, there was an emergence of a Satan figure with demons, which is reflected in the Intertestamental period, and continues to the New Testament time. The New Testament assumes into its teaching the existence of Satan, a resurrection of the body, life after death in heaven or hell, and the end of time.

The question then becomes, “From where did the Jews in exile get these teachings?” At the time of Cyrus the Great (ruled 558-530), a strong religion of Persia was Zoroastrianism. Inscriptions from the period of Darius the Great (521-486 B.C.) mention the worship of Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian deity. In Zoroastrianism, there is also an evil spirit named Angra Mainyu, also known as the Shaitan, commander of all the demons. In addition, there is a heaven for those who are good and a hell for those who are bad. I realize the difficulties this answer brings, but it does seem plausible in that Zoroastrianism predates Christianity, and answers the question without having to infer from the New Testament to answer Old Testament questions of heaven, hell, and the afterlife.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

The idea of the non-material world (heaven) that dominates the New Testament but is absent in the Old Testament may have come from Plato, the Greek philosopher who lived several centuries before Jesus. Plato imagined a world of forms--ideas--that had no substance and was unlike this physical world. Another philosopher named Philo, who lived about the same time as Jesus, knew both Plato and the Hebrew scriptures very well, and he might deserve more credit for Christians' ability to imagine "heaven" than Jesus himself, or any of the New Testament writers. Of course, if you believe that Jesus is the son of God, then this is just blasphemy. But if Jesus was just another guy, then this is exactly what you would expect: guys base their own ideas on the ideas of other guys who came before them.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

the reason heaven and hell are not "preached" about in the old testament, is because, heaven and hell are not the promised inheritance from god to man kind any place in the bible. "Hell" means the grave and nothing more. mankind is destine for THIS hell if they obey not the lord, where they will remain dead for eternity. The woman in the garden of Eden was promised a seed that would ultimately destroy death (Christ). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (or Israel) Were promised the land of Canan for an eternal inheritance for them and thier seed.(gen 13:14, 28:13 etc.) this is what is meant in Gal 3:29 (through baptism, into the new covenant in Christ vs 27) "and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise" King David was promised that his "greater son"(again, Christ) would sit on HIS throne when the kingdom of Israel was re-established in the mountains of Israel(1sam.28:17+18-2sam, kings & chron. also Luke 1:28-35) "These all DIED IN FAITH, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES, BUT HAVING SEEN THEM AFAR OFF.....etc" this is why Paul was able to preach the kingdom of and the name of Christ using ONLY the law of Moses and the prophets (acts 28:23,31) Christ is the fulfillment of all the old testament promises; the only promises made to mankind are in regard to inheritance of the earth or the grave "every man according to his works". God never makes a covenant promise to Any man in the bible to inherit heaven. Through Christ we may inherit the promises of the old testament for an eternal inheritance. (see Dan.3 Neb's image; Christ is the rock which will smite the image on the feet. that "stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole EARTH" also Micah 4:6-8, Acts15:16, Micah5:3, Isa.11:11, Ezek.20:34, Acts 1:6, Ezek 37:21, Matt 25:31-34 "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, ON EARTH AS IT IS DONE IN HEAVEN". Sorry for the long post, thank you for your time reading it.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Risk said...

Interesting read. I came across the blog with a google search. It had occurred to me, while reading through Psalms and Proverbs that David and Solomon did not believe that they or their enemies or friends would be going to either Heaven or Hell. Enemies would die badly and the righteous would be preserved. That was it.

Clearly, Jesus taught about a heaven that believers would go to after death. I wondered when the notion of Heaven came into the Jewish mindset. The post and the comments helped me to confirm what I had been thinking.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous lbgann said...

Interesting that Seeker mentions Zoroastrianism teachings about heaven and hell predating Christianity. I think you will find other ancient pagan religions teaching similar stories of a reward/punishment type of afterlife. Does indeed make you wonder why those concepts are found in the New Testament and not taught in the Old. What other similarities are there in Christianity to older pagan religions? Plenty of info online expressing the idea that Christianity survived and thrived because it was more successful in incorporating elements of pagan belief than other savior/gods who were contemporaries of Jesus.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous lbgann said...

I found this blog from a google search on heaven and hell. I was raised in the Church of Christ. I'd like to throw out something else that has also been bothering me. In studying the history of the Bible, I find it was written over a period of 1,000+ years with scores, if not hundreds, of men involved in its writing, most claiming God's inspiration. I found it was left to men to decide for sure which books were inspired in order to make up the canon of the bible. Moreover, the canon of the Christian bible we know is not the same canon of Christian bibles used elsewhere in the world. Additionally, a google search on errors and contradictions reveals hundreds of such in the bible, some of which I have found explanations for, most I have not. All this leads me to these important questions: How could God create the universe in six days with all its awe-inspiring complexities, unimaginable size, marvelous wonders and unparalleled perfection in the execution of its natural laws, yet it took Him over 1,000 years with the help of hundreds of men to write just one book, which to this day has not taken ONE form and is riddled with errors and contradictions? Hardly compares to His creation, yet the Bible's pages teach us how much more important it is than the creation. Why the disparity?

6:41 PM  
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2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many questions are driving me crazy today. I am not sure that having all this internet information is really helping me find answers to these ... What is Dying like? What happens? What is heaven like? What does it look like? What do you do there?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

However, as early as Genesis, paradise is spoken of. People were in Paradise and then thrown from it. Paradise was then off-limits to humans, and secured by angels. The fallen angels were also thrown from Heaven, no?
Interesting as well...when Jesus promised Dismas -the good thief- he would not go to Hell, He simply said that he would go to Paradise that same day. Apparently, from God's perspective, people's Heaven is Paradise...

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One has to remember that whenever some start a new religion or sect, they have to make something slightly different from what went before.

That is the only way to separate it from previous religions. So Christianity is a religion that is based on the idea of a Jesus born to a virgin. Of course much is always copied from previous religions but then there has to be some difference to hook em in.

Jews simply follow their religion which is based on the Old Testament and of course they do not believe in Hell (at least not the type Christians believe in).

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look at where Christianity spread from or gained its strongest foothold its easy to see why the differences between OT and NT, specifically heaven, hell and the virgin birth.
Ever ask yourself why were the first Christian bibles written in Greek and not Hebrew? Because Christianity spread through the eastern Mediterranean first. This was a part of the world where Gods had to father children and there was a heaven and hell. So in creating a new religiion, they had to change or invent certain facts that the locals would buy into. So that makes Christianity no more believable than the Greek or Romans or countless other religions before then.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello and thanks to all
I remember Jesus saying something like If your right hand offends thee then cut it off, for it is better to enter the Kingdon of Heaven with one hand than to suffer the torment of Hell, also about the right eye
I like to think this is metaphorical, but if so, then what did He mean

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHA umm.... hell is mentioned in the Old Testament read KJV.....

1:42 AM  
Blogger seeker said...

In some Bibles, the word "hell" is mentioned in the Old Testament. The question, however, is where does the concept of hell being that hot place where unbelievers go, and heaven being the eternal glory where believers go mentioned in the Old Testament.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell

Many people believe that hell is a place of torment where bad people are judged to go. Some feel that God sends them there, others think people earn their way there. The fact is, the reason they feel this way is because most churches teach this doctrine, but is that what the Bible teaches?
Hell comes from the Hebrew word she’ol, and the Greek word ha,des.
In the King James Version of the Bible, sheol is translated 31 times as grave, 31 times as hell, and 3 times as pit, since all of these words come from the same word (sheol) it stands to reason they all mean the same thing. The Greek word hades is translated hell in all of the 10 places it occurs. Hades and sheol mean the same thing, we can see this in the prophecy concerning Jesus: (Psalm 16:10 sheol) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Acts 2:31 hades) He, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. KJV.
This now brings up a new point, if hell is for a torturous punishment why did Jesus go there? We all know Jesus had to die for us, which he did do, then he went to the grave awaiting his resurrection.
From the very beginning man was to live forever, however God told Adam and Eve that if they sinned they would die.
*** Rbi8 Genesis 2:16-17 ***
16 And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.
He also told Adam he would return to the ground:
*** Rbi8 Genesis 3:19 ***
19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.
He said nothing about conscience torture! He said they would die.
God’s gift is everlasting life to those who serve Him, but to those who do not serve Him, He will not give everlasting life. Few find the road to everlasting life (Mat. 7:14), so then logically the majority will not. Since only God has the ability to keep you alive, if these unrighteous ones went to a fiery hell, this would mean that God was keeping them alive there, not something that could be considered an act of love. 1 John 4:8 points out God is love. Ask yourself, if you could keep Adolph Hitler alive in a volcano eternally, would you do it? Do you really think you have more love than God?

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Furthermore, why would god punish us for eternity for finite sins. Finite sins cannot be punished infinitely.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

heaven is clearly mentioned in the old testament even in the earliest book in the book of job. it wouldn't make much sense for god to promise to old testement people that they could go to heaven..because they couldn't they went to abraham bosom ..also called paradise where jesus and the thief on the cross went..jesus said he'd be 3 days 3 nights in the center of the earth.but he told the thief on the cross "this" day I will be with you in paradise. resurrection is something the jews should have known about. jesus used the old testement scriptures to rebuke the saduceed for not knowing about resurrection. so the jews look for an earthly eternity. jesus came from heaven at introduced us to the fact that we being the first to be born again could go straight to heaven with him when we die as spirits. we will eventually get spiritial and glorified bodies. these bodies will be useful for both spiritial and natural activities. those surviving tribulation go straight into the 1000 year earthly reign of christ. the people in this kingdom will be natural or at least it seems..those of us who have new bodies apparently cannot get marriedand are like the angels in heaven according to jesus. perhaps after the temptation after the 1000 years everyone will have a spiritial body. we do see a close relationship in the future between heaven and earth according to the book of revelations in the end. it would not surprise me that our activities with god would not be also outside of earth it says in the end of the book of daniel that we will shine like the stars in heaven. I believe that is the glory of our glorified bodies. it is insanely awesome to think that got our loving father will put his glory up on us. when we die our spirits are present with the lord we do go to heaven. I think the long term picture of where we will be in all eternity can vary greatly..we may be in very many places were ever god wants us..eternity is a very long time..if you're around for eternity it would not surprise me that god would have us around in many different places... if man can go to the moon by himself shirley with god we will go to the stars at least if not to spiritial locations as well.. maybe even different universes or new creations of god.. in any case it appears that god wants to pour out love on us for all eternity..1 of my favorite bible verses is ephesians 2.7... you should go read it very soon it is a very good verse. I am sorry for any typos this whole text was done by voice to text many times the computer interprets my words wrong lee my apologies.. god loves you very very very much. you have more than enough to look forward to with him in all eternity..joy and peace .. his servant joseph

2:11 AM  
Anonymous John said...

I pondered and researched and prayed on this very same matter years ago my friends. The reason heaven/hell is never mentioned in the OT is because "man" never could "qualify" for it. The Garden of Eden was mans' first heaven, he was to be sinless and work within the garden. Man sinned therefore disqualifying him for that heaven. Later we find Yahovah giving his Israelites commandments on Mt Sinai, but even under the Mosaic laws man could only "atone" for his sins, so when someone died under the Mosaic laws, their souls still resided in "Sheol"(the abode of the dead). Salvation was not included under the law, that's why Yahovah sent his only "begotten" son Yeshua. Yeshua introduced "salvation" and "heaven" to his disciples in John 14 - 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Yeshua lived a sinless life, therefore "disqualifying" himself for death and receiving the keys to "death, hell, and the grave" Revelations 1:18. ( I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hades and of death.) Not only disqualifying himself for death/hades and obtaining those keys, "WE" now as faithful believers have obtained salvation and the opportunity at Heaven. There also will be first and second resurrections as detailed by John in Revelations 20. The 1st being for "ALL" believers (under the Mosaic and Christianic laws) and the 2nd for the wicked non followers (both before and after Yeshua). The overall idea is that man had no way of entering heaven/hell so death only brought about "Sheol"(the abode of the dead), Yeshua introduced heaven and the oppurtunity for it to all who believe and follow and the lake of fire(hades) for those who do not seize His oppurnity..

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Blogger zolas said...

hell was created in the old testament. for Lucifer and the angels who betrayed against the good God. heaven has been there since the beginning. people got the chance to go into Heaven following Jesus's promise that he was going to prepare us places to dwell. people go to hell when they sin against God. the result is hell. the law of who goes to hell has been set. if you fall into that trap you find yourself in the equation destined for hell. God wants us all in Heaven.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hell is translated "sheol" and is seen many times in the Old Testament

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it extremely Ironic that so many people do not know their bible and quick to spread false lies about what they do not fully know. Also shame on all who agree and support them. Its like the blind leading the blind. Lets Take a look at the wisest man in the Old Testament in Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth? So we have a concept of heaven and death and that we have a spirit and the animals have a different spirit. So there is a perception of life after death and we are different than animals.

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Blogger Stormie said...

Sheol is mentioned in the Old Testament. I believe sheol is the Hebrew name for Hell. The English name is Hell.

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