I’ve done a post about heaven, so I suppose it’s time I did one about its opposition, hell.
Do you believe hell is real? A lot of people don’t, even some Christians. Although I find it quite interesting that most people believe in heaven. Everyone (from my experiences) believe that they will go to heaven because they are good people. They haven’t robbed a bank, killed anyone or anything like that. On the other hand, they probably believe that murderers, rapists and the like will go to hell.
I’m going to explain why this isn’t true with scripture.
The word “hell” occurs 54 times in 54 verses in the King James bible.
It appears in the NIV – 14 times, in the NASB – 13, in the NKJV – 32, in the ESV – 14, in the VUL (Latin Vulgate) – 0, NLT – 17. As you can see, there are some major omissions of the word ‘hell’ from modern, popular translations.
Does that not concern you? Does it not make you think that the authors of those bibles are trying to convey the wrong message, that they are trying hide something? It certainly makes me think so.
Here is the “outline of biblical usage” taken from the Blue Letter Bible (my emphasis added to 3 and 4):
1) sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit
a) the underworld
b) Sheol – the OT designation for the abode of the dead
1) place of no return
2) without praise of God
3) wicked sent there for punishment
4) righteous not abandoned to it
5) of the place of exile (fig)
6) of extreme degradation in sin.”
What do we have to do to avoid going there? I believe that first of all, you need to be saved. * Second, you need to obey God. Reading the bible and learning what God has told us through His Word is extremely important. You can’t learn about the character of God and what is expected of us if you do not read the bible. Here are just 3 of the 54 verses that contain the word.
- “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalm 9:17
- “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.” Psalm 55:15
- “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
Here’s a little story from the bible to illustrate something.
“19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:19-31
Pretty eye opening isn’t it? I wish I could convey to people that if they don’t turn to God, they will end up where this rich man does.
People just don’t want to listen these days though. They are too busy being ruled by their own desires and their own lusts. It breaks my heart that a lot of people I know are probably destined for hell, even though I have posted scripture after scripture after scripture. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, I don’t know. But from what I’ve been learning along the way, we are to plant seeds, and that is what I hope I have been doing.
I just hope those seeds grow and take root.