Is hell literally a place of fire and brimstone?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Data Danny Hickman

How can the church lead the people living in darkness into the light, when we can't agree on what the bible teaches?

The bible says the wages of sin is death, but the church teaches that the wages of sin is eternal torment. Death is eternal. That's why eternal life is such a great gift. If everyone lives eternally then there's no such thing as death, so how did it ever get mentioned? Under that scenario, everyone either lives in a happy place or a place of sadness, but everyone lives eternally. Then what is this thing called death, and why do we talk about it?

Then death is dissected and declared to be "separation." Separation of the physical body and the spirit of a person. This is compared to being separated from God. But the bible states that when man sinned he died spiritually. When he confesses his sin he is "born again."

So people are born into the world in a spiritually dead state. But people are not separated from God when we come into the world. If we were we could never hear Him when He calls us to Himself. We couldn't get a prayer through until we are "born again."

So what is death, and what is life? "Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7. That's life.

Being naked and unashamed is a bonus, but life is bigger than that. Hiding from God is not good but death is more serious than that. Death is the cessation of life, the way darkness is the absence of light.

April 22 2021 Report

Data Danny Hickman

So... The "blackest darkness" Jude writes about is the total and absolute, downright absence of light. "Stone dead" is the state in which I believe he is referring. No life whatsoever!! A place where life has never existed. Jeremiah spoke of such a place. He was lamenting: He has set me in dark places, like the dead of long ago (Lam 3:6).

Mr Houdmann said it in his answer: fire and total darkness doesn't share the same space.

"Outer darkness" refers to a place where light doesn't, and has never existed. "Light" is synonymous with life. Death is a place where life isn't. Light can't exist in darkness. Life can't exist in death.

So what did God do? Isaiah foretold: He will swallow up death forever, the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces (Isaiah 25:8). When this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass (what Isaiah wrote)... 1 Cor 15:54. God sent Jesus to fix it for them who would have eternal life.

Jesus said "I am the light of the world" (Jn 8:12) He's talking about what He gives to the world; LIFE (light is synonymous) Then He said, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come" (Jn 8:21). Why can't they come? It's not a place to which the dead can go. He said they would die in their sin. They'd be where the dead go, in outer darkness, a place where there is no life.

In Adam all die.. in Christ all will be made alive 1 Cor 15:22. (If in Christ)

April 22 2021 Report

Mini Tim Maas

I make no claim for their Scriptural accuracy, or even for their reflection of Irish Catholic doctrine or tradition, but the sermons on hell that were delivered by a priest to a group of schoolboys in James Joyce's book A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (which I read while in high school) have stayed in my memory to this day for the graphic nature and the extremity of punishment that they describe.

April 22 2021 Report

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