Friday, February 14, 2014

Hell

Dante And Virgil In Hell by William-Adolphe Bo...
Dante & Virgil In Hell (Bouguereau) (1850) (Wikipedia)
(Part of a series on death and the hereafter)

The Bible teaches that there is coming a final resolution of history when God will stop all evil and establish perfect peace and righteousness. While Hell is the default post-Fall destination for everyone, ultimately it is the destination of those who reject God’s offer of redemption found only in Christ Jesus

Most people believe they are going to heaven, but this optimism is in contrast with
Christ’s words in Matthew 7:13-14: “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

In the Old Testament, the word for Hell is Sheol, the place of final retribution for evil deeds (Num. 16:30,33; Psalm 16:10; 21:10; 86:13; 140:10; Ezek. 31:15,17; Mal 4:1-2). In the New Testament, three Greek words translated as hell are hades, Gehenna, and tartaroo. Hades was the Greek name of the underworld and the name of the Greek god of the underworld. 

The New Testament uses Hades to refer to a place of torment, a furnace (Matt 13:42, 50), a lake of fire (Rev 19:20; 20:14-15: 21:8), and a prison (Rev 20:7) where the wicked are imprisoned (Matt 5:25-26; 13:42, 50; 18:34; Jude 6; Rev 20:14-15). Hades is used  10 times in the New Testament, four times by Jesus (Matt. 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23), the other six times in Acts 2:27,31; Rev. 1:18; 6:8; 20:13,14

Gehenna means “valley of Hinnom,” the valley on the south side of Jerusalem used as a sight for human sacrifice (Job 10:21; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chron 28:3; 33:6; Ps 88:12; Eccl 9:10; Isa 14:10; Jer 7:31-32; 19:2-6; Isaiah 66:24) and worship of pagan deities. At the time of Jesus it was a place of abomination, a burning trash heap (Matt. 18:9; Mark 9:43-48), but the New Testament use of Gahenna is as a condition, not a place. Tartaroo, used only in 2 Peter 2:4, was a dark and doleful underground region where the wicked dwelt.