The doctrine of the end of sin or What
is hell fire like?
To study with those who believe that the dead are not dead we need to find out what they believe before we answer them. I like to ask, "What is the immortal part of the person - the SPIRIT or the SOUL? Or both? If they
answer the spirit then they cannot use the SOUL texts!
If they say the soul then they cannot use the SPIRIT texts.
Now I don't care what they use as the immortal part but we need to find out what their view is. Most people say
they are the same thing they think. Now they disregard the texts that say that God only has immortality (1 Tim 1:17; 6:16) and man is mortal Job 4:17 - that is subject to death.
Forget what the serpent (Satan) said to Eve "Ye shall not die" Gen 3:4. Never mind that the doctrine of the resurrection destroys the immortal spirit (or soul) doctrine. Don’t bring up the texts that talk about God’s love and how he takes no delight in destroying the wicked and how this is inconsistent with God dangling sinners forever and ever over the flames of hell fire. (Is 28:21; 2 Peter 3:9) Also don’t mention the texts that say the dead don’t know anything (Psalm 6:5; 115:17; 146:3,4; Eccl 9:5,6,10) Those people were misguided!!!!!!!
What happens when we die?
I go to the text in Eccl 12:7 which tells what happens when we die.
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and
the spirit shall return to God who gave it”
Now there can't be anything immortal in the dust because it goes back "as it was". The part that must be immortal must be the spirit of man. This is the proof of the doctrine. But notice the question is does man have an immortal part of him that lives after the spirit is out of the body?
Notice that Job 34:14, 15 says God gathers to himself man's spirit and his breath.
Now no one supposes that breath is conscious. That which returns to God is what "he GAVE". What did God give?
Gen 2:7 He breathed into man the breath of life.
What did God give? Did He put a soul within him or did he Become a living soul?
Job 27:3 says all the while my breath is in me and the spirit of god is in my nostrails.
Notice too that ALL SPIRITS return to God (Hitlers' spirit is there as is the worst sinner's spirit. Now that is interesting. That means will all be saved? Do they really believe that? We call that "Universalism"!!!!!!!
Where is the texts that say that the spirits of men go to hell at death?
The spirit here means the breath of life. Was it conscious before it came to be put into man?
Rom 9:11 says no.
If it was not conscious before, how can it be conscious after it leaves the body?
Where is the text that says that the spirit is conscious after it leaves the body? TEXT PLEASE!!!
The fact is that the body (dust) without the spirit is dead. The soul can die EZEKIEL 18:4, 20; Rev 16:3 - but more on the soul later.
If these spirits return to God would they be praising God?
In His presence is fullness of Joy Ps. 16:11 - however the dead do not praise the Lord Ps 115:17 Hmmm!!!
Now the next problem is the judgment!!! If we go to heaven or hell at death - where does the Bible say we are judged at death?
The judgment is future Acts 17:31; 2 Peter 3:9. Why would God put people in hell or heaven and then - thousands of years later hold a judgment to see if they should be there?????
Now there are only 6 problem texts on Hell. I'll answer them briefly:
#1 Daniel 12:2 -
1. They are raised to shame -
Why were they raised to shame? If they were always alive they were already in shame while they were dead why is it mentioned that they now have shame?
2. Notice the shame is not eternal only the contempt (Thatcontempt is by the righteous against the wicked)
3. This text does not say anything about the wicked being conscious butonly the contempt is eternal
4. The SYriac bible reads "Some to shame and the eternal contemp by their contemporiaires"
#2 Matthew 25:41
1. What is eternal? The wicked? NO! The devil? NO! Only the fire!!!
2. How could it be eternal if the wicked are destroyed? The results are eternal
3. Jude 7 Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. Are they still burning?
4. 2 Peter 2:6 says that they were turned into ashes
5. Greek word aion (eternal means as long as a thing exists)
6. Heb 5:9 eternal salvation - Do we ever get it?
7. Heb 6:2 Eternal judgment
8. Heb 4:12 eternal redemption
9. It would be the same as saying the saints redeeming but never redeemed
#3 Matt 25:46
1. People suppose that this is eternal punishment in flames of hell
2. The punishment is death Rom 6:23 (Not eternal punish "ing" but punish "ment"
3. Psalm 92:7 They shall be destroyed - forever
#4 Mark 9: 43, 44, 46, 48
1. The unquenchable fire - is not quenched until it has destroyed everything
2. Is 66:24 the fire feeds on carcasses (Only the dead have carcasses)
3. Jer 17:27 Jerusalem had an unquenchable fire in its gates _ Is it burning today?
4. 2 Chron 36:19,20 the fulfillment - The fire went out.
5. Eze 20:47, 48 speaks of fire in the same way
6. Amos 5:6
#5 Jude 7
1. What is eternal? Only the fire! Not the people
2. Lam 4:6 Sodom was destroyed in a MOMENT (That doesn't sound like it was very long)
#6 Rev 14:11; 20:10
1. This only for a certain class of people - not for all the wicked
2. Isa 349, 10 speaks of the land of Idumeia - their smoke ariseth and ascends forever
3. Either literal or figurative
4. "Greek (aionios) as long as thing lasts
5. Exo 21:6 the servant served "forever" but he died
6. Jonah was in the belly of the fish forever - but it was only three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17 and 2:6)
I should give you the other problem texts and objections as well:
1. Argument: God is immortal (1 Tim 1:17) - Man is created in God's image conclusion; Therefore man is immortal.
Answer: God is omnipotent - Man is created in God's image - Therefore is man omnipotent?
2. The breath of Life - Animals do not have this only man!!!
Answer: Ps 146:3,4; Isa 2:22; Gen 7:15 (animals have it)
3. Man became a living soul
Answer: The antithesis is on the word "living" - There are dead souls (Numbers 6:6; Lev 21:11; Num 19:13; Hag 2:13) There are "O" texts that mention the immortal soul!!!!!!!!
Objections based on the word "spirit"
1. Eccl 12:7 The spirit returns to God
2. Zech 12:1 – God formeth the spirit of man within him
3. Eccl 3:21 – A question “Who knowth the spirit of man that goeth upward”?
4. Ps 31:5; Acts 7:59; Luke 23:46 Committing ones spirit to God
5. Heb 12:22-24 The spirits of just men made perfect
6. 1 Peter 3:18-20 Spirits in prison
7. Luke 24:39 A spirit hath not flesh and bones
8. Acts 23:8 Neither angel or spirit
9. ! COr 5:5 Destroy flesh – Save the spirit
Objections on the word “soul”
1. Gen 35:18; 1 Kings 17:22 The departure and return of the spirit
2. Matt 10:28 Can the soul be killed?
3. Rev 6:9-11 Souls under the alter
4. 1 Thess 5:23 Body, Soul and spirit
Objections based on texts supposed to prove the conscious state of the dead
1. Gen 25:8 Gathered to his people
2. 1 Sam 28:3-20 Samuel and the woman of Endor
3. Matt 17:1-9 The transfiguration
4. Matt 22:23-32 The God of the living
5. Luke 16:19-31 The rich man and Lazarus (Perhaps I should answer this one for you)
a. Fact #1 the rich man asks for Lazarus to be sent to his brethren and tell them about “hell” (The grave), but Abraham refers us to Moses and the prophets for understanding on what happens to a person when they die (V 28 – 31) ^That is significant – The OT is sufficient evidence on this doctrine. We can’t set aside what the OT has said.
b. We then inquire what facts the OT has give to us about death (Hell - Grave SHeol) for this is talking about sheol (V 23). Is sheol represented as a happy place or a silent place. We find that all go there, and remain until the last day
c. This is a parable!!! You cannot build a doctrine on a parable. I’ll give you an example Judges 9:7-15 The trees are talking to each other – Is this true? 2 Kings 14:9 is another example (do thistles and cedars have children?) What about Able’s blood crying from the ground? Literal? (Gen 4:10,11)
d. Why was this parable given? V14 to rebuke the paharisees for their covetousness. They thought riches were a mark of God’s favor.
e. This parable is in a long list of parables (Luke 15 contains three, Luke 16 starts with the parable of the unjust servant the parables don’t always say they are parables, they just start out … there was a certain man….., A certain man had two sons….etc.
f. Things in parables are sometimes referred to a s having life (Isa 14:9 – 14; Eze 31:15-18; 32: 17- 32; Jer 31:15-17/Matt2:17,18) Did Rachael weep literally?
g. Trees of the field clap their hands, floods lift up their voices, mountains sing, stones cry out etc. etc.
h. The interesting thing about this parable is what it supposedly teaches. Notice when a person dies they go to Abraham’s bosom. QUESTION: Where did the souls go before Abraham? Did they go under the alter? Rev 6:9, 10? Where did Abraham’s soul go? They all seem to go different places depending on what text is used!!!!!!
i. The beggar died and was carried by the angels….. When do the angels gather us? AT death or at the second coming? (Matthew 24:31; 1 Thess 4:16,17) If this is literal then it must be after the resurrection.
j. Is this a literal narrative? I thought souls or spirits did not have tongues, hands, fingers, eyes etc.!!!
6. Luke 23:42, 43 With Me in paradise
7. 2 Cor 5:8 Absent from the body
8. 2 Cor 12:2–4 In the body and out
9. Phil 1:21-24 Departing and being with Christ
10. miscellaneous texts
a. Rom 8:38, 39
b. 2 Cor 4:16
c. 1 Thess 4: 14
d. 2 Tim 4:6
e. Heb 12:1
f. 2 Peter 1:14
g. 2 Peter 2:9
h. Rev 20:5
i. Rev 19:10; 22:8,9
The last issue seems to center on the term eternal or everlasting life. What does that mean? Do the wicked live an eternal/everlasting life also but in hell? If so Romans 6:23 seems to be written wrong. The fact remains that if the wicked are ALIVE in hell forever – They have everlasting life!!!!!!