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The term "hellfire preaching" does not appear in the Bible, although the concepts of the fires of hell and the necessity of preaching certainly do. Hellfire preaching means different things to diff...
The truth out there at some point in your study and walk it becomes very obvious that an endless, eternal burning hell is nothing more than a cartoon from the mind of Dante' and his "Original Comedy" or "Dante's Inferno", from middle ages literature. Hell in the Bible is translated "Sheol" in the Old Testament which simply means "the grave". "Hell" is also translated "Gehenna" which was a garbage dump, refuse site outside of Jerusalem, this is the "hell" Jesus referred to where "the worm dieth not" and the fire is not quenched. "Hell" is translated from the greek term "Hades", a well known fable of greek mythology used in the parable of the rich man and Lazurus and also "hell" is translated "Tartarus" which means "a place of darkness". A fire is eternal or "everlasting" in consequence if it results in total destruction, if I burn something to ashes, that fire eternally did it's job. The smoke from that fire is described rising forever and the outcome or "torment" limited in duration, but eternal or "forever" in consequence. "Eternal punishment" is not eternal punishing. Describing an "unquenchable fire": If I place all the water, all the CO2, all the liquid nitrogen in the universe on a fire and it does not go out, would you describe it as unquenchable? However, once the source that fuels that fire is gone, what is the result? If the Bible is allowed to interpret itself, the word "forever" and the word "perpetual" do not always mean "never-ending for all eternity" within the context of the Bible. We use the term "forever" in that correct context all the time. "I was standing in line forever waiting to be helped." Revelation 20:10 in thee most symbolic book in the Bible, but oddly, it gets translated literally in our modern language. "Tormented day and night forever and ever" seems clear as a single verse all by itself when compared with preconceived, how you were taught version of the demise of the lost, but it just does NOT coincide with the rest of the Bible contextually. Like trying to convince the world was round when everyone thought it was flat, the Bible proves it was round, (and it always was) it took men a while to catch up AFTER the falsehood of a flat earth "flooded" their brain and thinking. Genesis 6:3, God was referring to men who died, but life spans shortened anyway. Genesis 13:15, Exodus 31:17, (Still old covenant or conditional?) Exodus 32:13, Deuteronomy 32:40, Joshua 4:7 (Are those stones still there?) Joshua 14:7, 1 Samuel 2:30, 1 Samuel 27:12, 1 Kings 1:31, 1 Kings 8:13 (It was destroyed.) 1 Chronicles 15:2 (Is this still going on or has the time come to it's end?) There are literally hundreds of verses where "forever" depends on the context being used, it means " as long as appointed, as long as meant to last". The issue is also convoluted, the belief in an immortal human soul, God is immortal. Souls can be destroyed. (Job 9:2, Matthew 10:28, 1 Timothy 1:17) John 3:16 There is no "FIRE life", it is eternal life or you PERISH there is no "hell" burning now, no pitch forks or pointed eared devil. God certainly will destroy the wicked, being just. He doesn't want anyone to perish; however, read Isaiah 28:21, God will perform this strange act. The Lake of Fire is Biblical at the end and God will make all things new and the wicked will be as "ashes under the soles of your feet" Malachi 4:1-3. Separation from Jesus is still lost, being lost is still lost to our loving Savior. The love of Jesus would not beat a rabid dog for all eternity, but He would, as you, end it's misery, with sin, it appears some will burn longer beaten with many or fewer stripes. Luke 12:47 Nevertheless, He will not keep an oven always burning and blindfold truth from the saved or roast the objects of His love nor expect you to enjoy it. Always hellfire isn't Biblical, but justice is, Christ crucified is and accept He paid so dearly so you don't have to. Romans 6:23. God is love, that is Biblical.
Yes, hellfire preaching is biblical because Jesus taught on the reality and consequences of ending up in hell. It is not a subject that many people want to hear or that many preachers preach about. I think this is because they feel it repels people from the gospel and church membership instead of attracting them. Many people, cults and some so called Christian denominations deny the existence and reality of hell. Jesus gave many parables to get a particular truth across. All of his parables had one common denominator. They were all rooted in reality. The parable that he gave of Lazarus and the rich man in hell was no exception. If this parable was not rooted in reality then what would be His point in giving it? Why would he make an exception for this particular parable? Did he need drama and hyperbole to aid him in a parable? I don't think so. Just plain truth. No. Hell is real and it is a terrifying and horrifying place to end up in. People will be conscious and tormented in it for eternity. Sometimes I think we over anaylize and over think the simplicity of God's word It reminds me of the Judaizers that plagued the early church. They couldn't accept the simplicity of John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever beliveth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". They felt there had to be more to it and there wasn't.
I would say yes and no. Paul did not preach much on hell. He did preach on the way of not going there. After all, what is salvation but to save us from Hell? To many understood that it meant getting right with God by giving up their sins first to be saved. It led many people to believe if they lived a holy life they would be saved, instead of believing what Jesus did for all our sins and then we live a holy life because of what He did for us. That kind of preaching still exists today and only sends people to hell. We are saved by grace, not by giving up sin and living a holy life. Salvation by works is always wrapped in a package of self-righteousness; that we can be saved by keeping from sin and doing the right thing. We are saved by what Jesus did for us on the cross, and we do what we do because of what He did for us. Salvation by works and self righteousness is contrary to salvation by grace, where we do good works because we are saved, not to be saved. Hellfire preaching often emphasizes what we do, not grace. It is still preached in some churches today that the way to heaven is through self-righteousness instead of the righteousness of Christ given to us when we first believed. One is the religion of Cain, where by we are saved by our own works of righteousness. Titus 3:5 refutes that idea. The other is that we are made righteous before God by faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross so that we are saved by His life, death, and resurrection. When we trust in Jesus to save us it is all His work and He gets all the glory. When we believe we are saved by our works we get the glory. Those who believe they are saved by living a holy life only have self-righteousness. They have never trusted Jesus to save them by His finished work on the cross, and are trusting in their own righteousness to save themselves. That is why Paul was so adamant about not perverting the gospel as it always sends people to hell believing they are saved by their works instead of Gods grace. Galatians 1:8-9 So preaching on hell can be a good thing because it is true, and there is a hell. But our preaching on hell should give the antidote for not going there. Jesus is the only way to be saved. Many do good works and keep from sin to save themselves. Salvation is Jesus good work on the cross to save sinners, and then we do good because we love Him for what he has done for us. Our works can not save us but that is what is being preached in many churches of false teachers. Ephesians 2:8-10 Many people believe they are saved because they are righteous. But the bible says we are unrighteous and as an unclean thing. When we receive the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus, we are given His righteousness an no longer depend on our own. Romans 4:5 We are not righteous, but we are made righteous by faith alone. If we have trusted Him to save us then we do not go about establishing our own righteousness to save us because we have His righteousness which is the only way of salvation. Salvation by works is always appealing to the flesh. Hell fire preaching teaches us we can be saved by works instead of grace. It teaches us to give up sin to be saved. It is a lie, since there is no way for any human to be entirely sinless in life. Every other way to be saved than through the blood of Jesus is a false way. If there was any other way to be saved than through His blood sacrifice for all our sin, then Jesus died in vain. Hell fire preaching may lead us away from sinful living, but it saves no one. Salvation by works sounds so good, but we end up in hell.
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