God means what He says and says what He means! My hermeneutics are “literal”, however, that being said…study the scriptures yourself and make up your own mind! Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit…
Our beliefs of HELL have changed in the last century or so…not because God has changed, but because man wants to live the way he wants to live and because we have focused on GOD is LOVE! YES, HE is LOVE it says so all throughout the Bible and is especially emphasized when the Apostle Paul speaks to the Corinthians. But don’t neglect the fact that GOD is JUST and He hates SIN!!!
1 Corinthians 13 If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited,5 does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12 For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. 13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Scriptures from the HCSB – Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Hebrew Name of Jesus) has given us everything we need to know HIM through HIS written WORD, the Bible, He also makes it perfectly clear about what HE expects of HIS children.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
HE wrote the Bible, both the Old & New Testaments – it says in
John 1:14 HE is the WORD made flesh. Do we just pick out of the Bible the verses that make us feel good about ourselves? He’s given us the entire Bible for instruction. It’s not just a story book, it’s not just a history book, it’s a book about relationships…it’s about how God wants His people to know Him and to live for Him. It’s about obedience and YES! It’s about HIS LOVE! He didn’t have to make man and He could destroy us all in a heartbeat! But he designed and chose us to LOVE us and for us to LOVE HIM!
YES! GOD is LOVE, but HE is also JUST!
That being said, He’s made it perfectly clear there’s a HELL! EVERY man on earth hasn’t measured up to GOD’s moral standards…ME included. I’m not speaking to you from a throne of my righteousness as the only righteousness I have is the Blood of Christ shed on the Cross. But that being said, I do have an obligation to point out to my fellow human beings that I LOVE that God is not only LOVE, but he’s also JUST! No one will get a cruel decision at GOD’S judgement seat…
Galations 6: 7-8 7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.
Jesus talks more in the New Testament about Hell (Hades, Gehenna, Sheol, Death) than anyplace in the Old Testament.
Matthew 5:22 when Jesus – Yeshua warns “whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell [gehēnna] of fire.” Yes, hell is “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” Matthew 25:41, but also for those who join them in their rebellion against God Matthew 11:20-24. The horror of hell is such that Jesus says, “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” Mark 9:43. For those who do not enter the narrow door of faith and repentance in Jesus Luke 13:24, a place of weeping and gnashing teeth awaits them Luke 13:28.
Luke 16:19-31 “There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day. 20 But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was left at his gate. 21 He longed to be filled with what fell from the rich man’s table, but instead the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side. 24 ‘Father Abraham!’ he called out, ‘Have mercy 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 flame!’25 “‘Son,’ Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.’ 27 “‘Father,’ he said, ‘then I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28 because I have five brothers—to warn them, so they won’t also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”
Jesus talks about HELL as a place of torment…it’s a real place, it’s not just a synonym of the name given to the Valley Hinnom near Jerusalem. The Valley of Hinnom is where the Pagan’s and misguided Jews sacrificed the babies/children to their God Moloch and later became the garbage dump of Jerusalem where pungent smoke rose day after day with the burning… Hell is where those who don’t believe in and don’t have faith and trust in Yeshua will reside for eternity!
So Let’s not design our own Jesus or our own SALVATION! God has a plan and no matter how we as Christians have decided to modify it, customize it and make it to fit our lives! No matter how as a nation of people we become tolerant of other religions, other lifestyles, the acceptable names we put on murder (abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia), I believe God will judge our entire nation including those of us who sit in silence with our hands folded upon the Bible that lay in our laps. If we are not following HIS great commission of spreading HIS Gospel of SALVATION, we are setting ourselves up for a fall…a fall from the GRACE of GOD!
Ephesians 5:11 11 Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.
In the book of John 16:8-13, Jesus says that he will send us the Holy Spirit…8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 About sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.
When the Holy Spirit enters into believers, the spirit enables us to Glorify God in everything we do, everything we think…our conscious is pricked when we see mistreatment of our fellow man, of defenseless women and children.
Romans 2:15 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts will either accuse or excuse them
1 Timothy 1:5 5 Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
Titus 1:15 15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.
His plan will go according to what He chooses. He’s made it perfectly clear in the Bible what he considers to be detestable & abominable to HIM…He’s also given us the way out through the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross, first we believe, then we repent and finally we obey Him because we Love HIM. That doesn’t mean that we can continue in our sins – God Forbid!!! The Bible says that when we sin in the church, the church is supposed to bring it to the attention of the sinner and not let them back in until they’ve turned away from their sins. If you’re being silent when you see your fellowman do things that in your heart of hearts you know are unpleasing to God…what are you doing? Why would you not speak out?
When we become Christians, our desire is to reflect Jesus to the world. To become more like HIM in everything we think and do, the way we feel, the way we talk and treat others. Jesus made it clear that we are to LOVE God with all our hears and minds and to LOVE one another, but allowing one another to continue in sin without saying anything to them is only insuring their place in HELL! Why would we do that to our fellow man if we truly Love HIM? Telling someone that they are wrong and that they need to know God and follow the ways of Jesus isn’t the same as not loving them. It’s because we LOVE them that we speak up! It’s because we don’t want them to commit spiritual suicide…it’s because we want them to know the joy of having a relationship with our Father who art in Heaven!
God has made a place for those who follow Him and He’s also made a place for those who follow Satan. Why would Jesus tell us?
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. Destruction means HELL, it doesn’t mean eternal life with Jesus and our Father in Heaven. Wide is the path refers to all the choices in this world that will lead you away for Jesus. Few refers to numbers…
The forces of evil are all around us, this is why were are told in
Ephesians 6:10-20 to put on the Armor of GOD!
10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore,
with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
15 and your feet sandaled with readiness
for the gospel of peace.
16 In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.
18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. 20 For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.
Isaiah 30:10 They say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets,
“Do not prophesy the truth to us. Tell us flattering things. Prophesy illusions.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.