Hell

Soto

Chicken
@Pioneer

Thankyou for your first response, it was full of very pertinent passages of scripture that I spent the time of reading through today.

The most important I saw you bring up are verses from these respective chapters: Isaiah 66, Mark 9, John 3, Romans 9, and Revelation 14.

I will go through each one sequentially and we can discuss our conclusions.

The TL;DR for this is from my view: the strongest verse supporting a claim for an enduring punishment for some of the unsaved is in Revelation 14, the strongest verse supporting a claim for the total annhiliation/destruction of the unsaved (or some portion) is found in Romans 9, where Paul makes one of the Bible's most explicit statements on the fate of the unsaved (along with 2 Peter 3:7). In addition, most of the verses referring to something that endures in perpetuity are specifically referring to the aftereffects or means/instrument used to destroy and or torment those who have not been saved, not the actual unsaved people themselves (eg. the worm in Isaiah 66), since I'm seeing many people conflate these two aspects (the ones being punished and the means of punishment and/or after effects of the punishment (eg. smoke or unquenchable flame).

Even the word hell used by Jesus does not necessarily denote a place or state of eternal suffering.

Strongest verse supporting a claim for hell(or everlasting punishment for some):

Revelation 14:9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.(NIV)

Strongest verses supporting a claim for annhiliation and total destruction:

Romans 9:22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory

and also 2 Peter 3:7

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

and Luke 13:2

Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”


Now that I've gotten that initial comparison out of the way, let's really dig in.


Let us begin.

Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. (NRSV)

This may appear to be an absolutely final statement on those who are unsaved, but when you carefully read it, it doesn't explicitly state that the unsaved will suffer eternally. Nor that there is a realm where this occurs at the last judgment (hopefully we agree there is a last judgment doctrine).

If we take a look at the NIV:

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.”

Here we see that is not the unsaved who are lasting forever in some state of torment, but rather that the worms that eat them endure, and the fire that burns them won't be quenched. This is very much in line with many sayings from Jesus Himself in terms of the unquenchable fire.

Now, before I go on, I'd like to take a look at the preceding verse:

Isaiah 66:22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. (NIV)

This adds context to this passage, for the new heavens and the new earth make reference to the Last Judgment, which is also mentioned in 2 Peter, where we find 2 Peter Verse 7:

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Wait a minute, destruction of the ungodly at the day of judgment?

I'm not seeing any reference to a doctrine of Hell here, it simply doesn't seemed based on scripture, in fact seems to go against what scripture refers to fairly consistently: an annihilation of the ungodly on the day of judgment.

The fact that both Isaiah 66 and 2 Peter refer to the new Heavens and the new Earth, and Peter specifies "destruction of the ungodly" adds weight for the argument of annhilation going back to Isaiah 66.



But Let's continue.


Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] [b] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46] [c] 47 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, 48 where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’[d]
49 Everyone will be salted with fire.


Here Jesus certainly makes reference to Hell, but what does this mean? There is once again, no specified duration of suffering, or description of this place. Clearly as everyone can see Jesus is here referencing the same passage of Isaiah 66 that we read previously, in which the context related to the New Earth and the New Heavens.

Will the unsaved be kept sentient to endure everlasting suffering? or will the aftereffects of their iniquity be kept around as a reminder for eternity? Or will they be cast out and destroyed? Let's look at two different verses in Luke chapter 13:

13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

So, what is something that perishes? What is something that is destroyed? Is that something or someone kept alive forever to endure endless torment? I'd simply argue the Bible means what it says. We can either make it more complicated or take it at it's Word. Again later in Luke 13:

Verse 22

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.


When we take this verse alone, it could appear as though there is an endless Hell, but when we see earlier in the chapter the context indicates sinners will perish and not endure.


John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

They won't see life for God's wrath remains on them? They won't see life? Jesus says in Luke evildoers will perish. They will be cast out. In Romans 9 Paul says sinners will be destroyed, in 2 Peter he says sinners will be destroyed.

The question is starting to become, where in the hell is hell found in the Bible???
 

Blade Runner

Pelican
Orthodox
@Blade Runner You say you have no problem with Annihilationism and have no opinion on it. I take it then that Annhilationism is not incompatible with Eastern Orthodoxy? Do I understand that correctly? If so, I’m very surprised to learn this. The heresy of annhilationism is one which I mostly associate with nontrinitarian Protestant cults (i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Christadelphians), and also with certain Freemasons and Modernists; the Jesuit apostate from Argentina, presently claiming to be the head of the Catholic Church under the stage name “Pope Francis”, subscribes to this heresy.

Catholic dogma is very clear that the souls of those who die in mortal sin go into everlasting punishment and do not cease to exist or “disappear”, nor are they ever annihilated by God. God made man in His own image and likeness—like God, man’s soul is an immortal spirit.

I was saying that I would theoretically have no problem with it, but I have no reason to believe that it happens, for just as many reasons - including that it does not seem to be a characteristic of God that I know. I was merely pointing to the fact that the Creator decides what is appropriate for his handiwork. All that has been considered in councils has been Universalism, or perhaps better stated, restorationism (since Origen apparently believed in the pre existence of souls). Origen didn't get to defend himself, so I don't think we know his most pure position or defense. But I will say that the positive belief that all will be saved is not orthodox = it is considered by no one as a proper teaching, and for good reason - if you aren't destroyed you can "exist" into eternity rejecting God - incidentally that is what Hell is. The thing so frequently misunderstood is that this is not an external punishment, it is the rejection of what you are and what you are made for, and without your proper end or the energy and grace from your creator, you are but a pathetic, smoldering negative reaction. I can't stress enough that if we look hard we see this currently even on Earth; most of us know or are at least aware of the pathological phenomenon of a human being hating another person who is good, without cause. The state of that being is foolishness, confusion and torment for the perpetrator - think of it - on the basis of another person being good.
 

tychomaz

Sparrow
@Pioneer

Thankyou for your first response, it was full of very pertinent passages of scripture that I spent the time of reading through today.

The most important I saw you bring up are verses from these respective chapters: Isaiah 66, Mark 9, John 3, Romans 9, and Revelation 14.

I will go through each one sequentially and we can discuss our conclusions.

The TL;DR for this is from my view: the strongest verse supporting a claim for an enduring punishment for some of the unsaved is in Revelation 14, the strongest verse supporting a claim for the total annhiliation/destruction of the unsaved (or some portion) is found in Romans 9, where Paul makes one of the Bible's most explicit statements on the fate of the unsaved (along with 2 Peter 3:7). In addition, most of the verses referring to something that endures in perpetuity are specifically referring to the aftereffects or means/instrument used to destroy and or torment those who have not been saved, not the actual unsaved people themselves (eg. the worm in Isaiah 66), since I'm seeing many people conflate these two aspects (the ones being punished and the means of punishment and/or after effects of the punishment (eg. smoke or unquenchable flame).

Even the word hell used by Jesus does not necessarily denote a place or state of eternal suffering.

Strongest verse supporting a claim for hell(or everlasting punishment for some):

Revelation 14:9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.(NIV)

Strongest verses supporting a claim for annhiliation and total destruction:

Romans 9:22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory

and also 2 Peter 3:7

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

and Luke 13:2

Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”


Now that I've gotten that initial comparison out of the way, let's really dig in.


Let us begin.

Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. (NRSV)

This may appear to be an absolutely final statement on those who are unsaved, but when you carefully read it, it doesn't explicitly state that the unsaved will suffer eternally. Nor that there is a realm where this occurs at the last judgment (hopefully we agree there is a last judgment doctrine).

If we take a look at the NIV:

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.”

Here we see that is not the unsaved who are lasting forever in some state of torment, but rather that the worms that eat them endure, and the fire that burns them won't be quenched. This is very much in line with many sayings from Jesus Himself in terms of the unquenchable fire.

Now, before I go on, I'd like to take a look at the preceding verse:

Isaiah 66:22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. (NIV)

This adds context to this passage, for the new heavens and the new earth make reference to the Last Judgment, which is also mentioned in 2 Peter, where we find 2 Peter Verse 7:

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Wait a minute, destruction of the ungodly at the day of judgment?

I'm not seeing any reference to a doctrine of Hell here, it simply doesn't seemed based on scripture, in fact seems to go against what scripture refers to fairly consistently: an annihilation of the ungodly on the day of judgment.

The fact that both Isaiah 66 and 2 Peter refer to the new Heavens and the new Earth, and Peter specifies "destruction of the ungodly" adds weight for the argument of annhilation going back to Isaiah 66.



But Let's continue.


Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] [b] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46] [c] 47 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, 48 where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’[d]
49 Everyone will be salted with fire.


Here Jesus certainly makes reference to Hell, but what does this mean? There is once again, no specified duration of suffering, or description of this place. Clearly as everyone can see Jesus is here referencing the same passage of Isaiah 66 that we read previously, in which the context related to the New Earth and the New Heavens.

Will the unsaved be kept sentient to endure everlasting suffering? or will the aftereffects of their iniquity be kept around as a reminder for eternity? Or will they be cast out and destroyed? Let's look at two different verses in Luke chapter 13:

13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

So, what is something that perishes? What is something that is destroyed? Is that something or someone kept alive forever to endure endless torment? I'd simply argue the Bible means what it says. We can either make it more complicated or take it at it's Word. Again later in Luke 13:

Verse 22

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.


When we take this verse alone, it could appear as though there is an endless Hell, but when we see earlier in the chapter the context indicates sinners will perish and not endure.


John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

They won't see life for God's wrath remains on them? They won't see life? Jesus says in Luke evildoers will perish. They will be cast out. In Romans 9 Paul says sinners will be destroyed, in 2 Peter he says sinners will be destroyed.

The question is starting to become, where in the hell is hell found in the Bible???
Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

To make the point that your “worm”, or your body, dieth not in hell he had to say it three times.

(Bold added by me)

Mark 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
 

Soto

Chicken
The worm doesn't die and those who worship the beast have no rest day or night....but Revelation also says that there will be no night when the New Jerusalem finally comes, because God Himself will be the light.

So if they have no rest day or night those that worship the Beast and his image, but ultimately there is no night, that could indicate their torment won't be eternal. In addition the smoke ascends forever and ever, but it doesn't say those that worship the Beast will burn forever.

The worm and the smoke seem to last forever. Where it mentions that the unsaved will be tortured forever, I would like to see.
 

M_M

Pigeon
Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom you should fear: Fear him which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

What is there to fear of the unsaved man, if he is annihilated? Isn’t that what they will want instead of being punished?

And what is really the difference here?

Jesus says not to fear those that kill the body, because they can do nothing to you afterwards. So why would we then fear God for doing the same thing. (Annihilating where nothing can be done to you afterwards)
 

Soto

Chicken
The process of destruction of a soul isn't described as pleasant, but rather it sounds terrible. So it is still a punishment to be destroyed in fire, rather than to live eternally with God.

It doesn't say Jesus will nicely euthanize the souls of the unsaved into a peaceful oblivion.

The amount of time of torment is not specified.

Likewise, the sheol described as abraham's bosom in the gospels sounds extremely painful. So it is not unfounded to assume prior to the last judgment those that die are tormented.
 
Technically, as far as I can tell, the bible itself does not say that people go to hell who aren't saved.

Yes Jesus talks about the wheat and the chaff being separated but the chaff is not held for eternity it is burned up.

Likewise, Jesus talks about "wheaping and gnashing of teeth" of those who are thrown into "gehenna" but Jesus doesn't anywhere say "the chaff will burn forever". Nor is there any length of suffering spoken by Jesus himself.

I'm not seeing eternal hell here.

Especially if you add references to the OT, it's not shaping up that the bible has any sort of hell teaching for the unsaved.

Soto, I quoted some parts of your post that are easily disproved by a quick Google search for Bible verses about hell.

Here are a few passages to clearly show that those who reject God spend eternity in hell.

Matthew 25:41,46. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels... And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Jude 1:7,13. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire...
Wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

2 Thessalonians 1:9. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might

Mark 9:43. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

Daniel 12:2. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 3:12. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

Luke 3:17. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

Isaiah 66:24. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Revelation 14:9b-11. If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.

Isaiah 33:14. The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?


Pay attention to the words "everlasting", "eternal", "unquenchable", and "forever."
 
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As I read more of the Prophets I keep noticing clear references to everlasting fiery damnation for those God hates because of their sins against Him.

Here's the latest one I've seen:

“Your wealth and your treasures I will give as spoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.” Jeremiah 15:13-14
 
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