Hell – it’s a word many folks throw around whether casually or seriously. We’ve all heard people exclaim, “What the hell!” Or even worse, they scream, “Go to hell!” as they slam the door and walk away when their anger is provoked.
I could name many other “hellisms,” that are popular in society today, but let’s save those for another time.
The word “hell” has an eternal side we often dismiss because we hear so little about it in our circles.
There’s a biblical side of the word hell that we must consider.
Yes, biblical. After all, when considering the origin of the word, one must look no further than the Bible.
The word, “hell” is a very old word. It’s as old as the word “heaven” which is also a biblical word many folks are familiar with today.
Heaven is a word often used by many as their final destination choice when they leave this earth. We will look at what the Bible says about heaven in another blog.
Our focus today is hell: h – e – double hockey sticks – hell.
Hell – Yikes
So what do we know about hell and where do we get our information?
My basis is the Bible because I haven’t found another source that references hell. Along with scriptures, we will also look at commentary notes to help us understand this place.
But to be fair, let’s start with some definitions I found online from Merriam Websters Dictionary.
They define hell as, ” the place where the devil lives and where evil people go after they die according to some religions: a very difficult or unpleasant situation or experience.
informal + impolite —used to express anger, annoyance, etc.
Now let’s look at what the Bible says about hell.
Isaiah 66:24, “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”
My footnote says, “There will be everlasting torment.”
Daniel 12:2, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake; some to everlasting life, others to everlasting contempt.”
Jesus himself references the passage from Isaiah 66 in Mark 9:47-48, ” And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where “the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.”
My footnote for this verse says, “Isaiah 66:24 speaks of the punishment for rebellion against God. As the final word of Isaiah’s message, the passage became familiar as a picture of endless destruction. Reference worms – worms were always present in the rubbish dump.”
Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
My footnote for the above verse says to see verse Matthew 5:22.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:22, “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
Interesting side note
“Hell – The Greek word is ge(h)enna, which derives its name from a deep ravine south of Jerusalem, the Valley of (the Sons of) Hinnom” (Hebrew ge’hinnom). During the reigns of the wicked Ahaz and Manasseh, human sacrifices to the Ammonite god Molek were offered there. Josiah desecrated the valley because of the pagan worship there. It was perhaps because of the desecration that the term came to be used for the place of final punishment.”
Luke 12:5, “But I will show you whom you should fear; Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes I tell you, fear him.”
One of the footnotes says, “not to be confused with Hades, the general name for the place of the dead.
Luke 16:22-26, “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in agony in this fire.’
But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
“Hades” – Here depicted as the place to which the wicked dead go and suffer torment.”
Another commentary says this about these passages, “Both men died, the poor man and the rich man. They have that in common. However, their final destiny is vastly different as we read in the passage.
The rich man is in hell, in Hades, in the state of separated souls, and there he is in the utmost misery and anguish possible. The representation he makes to Abraham of the present deplorable conditions is, ‘I am in agony in this fire.’
Hell is torment; hell is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Matthew 8:11 -12, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Here’s what we know so far
- Hell is separate from heaven
- It’s hot and very uncomfortable
- Weeping and gnashing of teeth occur
- It’s dark
- Worms who never get full
- Everlasting torment
- A great chasm exists between heaven and hell
- Unquenchable thirst
I can’t wait to go there on vacation – Not!
From what little we know about hell so far, nothing in the list above or in the scriptures or even the definitions we are given makes me want to spend eternity there when I leave this earthly body.
I can keep going, but I will stop for now as we’re getting a tad lengthy.
I will pick up next time with a continuation of our topic – hell. Surely there’s hope for something greater, something better.
Think on these things
Have you considered what will happen to you when you die?
Where will you spend eternity?
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