What will you do when you come to the end of your life and finally become forced to feel the extent of the reality that your life is indeed ending, uncertain of what will happen next?
Have you ever wondered such questions as, “is there really such thing as a hellfire?” “Does man have an immortal soul that lives on after death?”
You are about to rediscover the bible like never before as it answers these pressing questions. The scriptures I am about to show will shed light on this common doctrine and remove any doubt as to whether there really is a place of torment taught in the bible.
The bible clearly shows that hell is not a place of torment and that man does not have an immortal soul, but rather is unconscious in death.
The reason people have adopted the belief that hell is an everlasting place of torment results partially from a misunderstanding of Revelation 14:9-11: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark … he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever.”
Notice that this scripture states that the smoke of their torment ascends forever. As smoke ascends upward it intermingles with the surrounding air, becoming more and more diluted. David recorded in Psalm 37:20 that “the wicked shall perish [not be tortured forever in hell] … Into smoke they shall vanish away.”
Another thing to note is that the Hebrew word for hell is “sheol,” and there are certain bibles where you can see a footnote that says ” the grave.”
The following scriptures confirm that it is not a place of torment:
Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 says: “For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all… All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in She´ol, the place to which you are going.”
Psalms 146:4: “His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground;
In that day his thoughts do perish.”
Ezekiel 18:4: “The soul that is sinning-it itself will die.”
Good people go to hell according to these scriptures, proving that it is not a place of torment for the wicked:
Job 14:13: “O that in Sheol you would conceal me, that you would keep me secret until your anger turns back, that you would set a time limit for me and remember me!” (God himself said that Job was “a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside what is bad.” – Job 1:8).
Acts 2:25-27 mentions that Jesus was in hell:
“I had God constantly before my eyes; because he is at my right hand that I may never be shaken. On this account my heart became cheerful and my tongue rejoiced greatly. Moreover, even my flesh will reside in hope; because you will not leave my soul in Hades (hell), neither will you allow your loyal one to see corruption. (The fact that God did not “leave” Jesus in hell implies that Jesus was in hell, or Hades for a time.)
Here are some more questions that are answered from the scriptures:
“Does anyone get out of the Bible hell?”
Rev, 20:13,14: “And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds. 14 And death and Hades were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire.” (So the dead will be delivered from hell. Notice also that hell is not the same as the lake of fire but will be cast into the lake of fire.)
“After one dies, is he still subject to further punishment for his sins?”
Romans 6:7: “He who has died has been acquitted from his sin.”
Here is another important scripture to note:
Jeremiah 7:31: “And they have built the high places of To´pheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hin´nom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart.” (”If it never came into God’s heart, surely he does not have and use such a thing on a larger scale.”) Deuteronomy 18:10, 2 Kings 16:3, 17:16-17, 21:6, 23:10 also tell accounts of the Caanan people who passed their children under the fire. This was a reason God told the Israelites to destroy them!
The idea of suffering after death is found among the pagan religious teachings of ancient peoples in Babylon and Egypt.
“In ancient Babylonian and Assyrian beliefs the “neither world…is pictured as a place full of horrors, and is presided over by gods and demons of great strength and fierceness.”" (The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, Boston, 1898, Morris Jastrow, p. 581) Early evidence of the fiery aspect of Christendom’s hell is found in the religion of ancient Egypt. (The Book of the Dead, New Hyde Park, N.Y., 1960, pp. 144, 149, 151, 153, 161) Buddhism, which dates back to the 6th century B.C.E, in time came to feature both hot and cold hells.( The Encyclopedia Americana, 1977, Vol. 14, p. 68). Depictions of hell portrayed in Catholic churches in Italy have been traced to Etrucen roots.- La civilta etrusca (Milan, 1979), Werner Keller, p. 389. Ancient Egyptian religious texts portrayed the “Other World” as featuring “pits of fire” for “the damned.”- The religion of Babylonia and Assyria, By Morris Jastrow, Jr., 1898,p.581; The Book of the Dead. pp. 135, 144, 149, 151, 153, 200.
Also, when considering Revelations, you have to remember that the book is filled with symbolism – for example, the Devil is symbolized as a wild beast. But people who believe in hell use “hell” and “lake of fire” interchangeably. Notice these scriptures:
Revelation at 20: 10,14,15. “Then the Devil, who betrayed them, was thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”…”And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This means the second death — the lake of fire”…..”And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Here it says that death and Hades will be hurled into the Lake of Fire. How can hell be hurled into hell? This confirms that sheol/Hades is not a place of torment, but simply means the grave, or unconscious death. This lake of fire symbolizes permanent destruction, showing that death will be destroyed forever. To be destroyed means to cease to exist.
What about this part? Revelation 14:11 which says “And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
This scripture says that the smoke of the “torment” that lasts forever, not the “torment” itself.
This is the smoke of the symbolic torment. (As I mentioned in the very beginning) According to the interlinear bible, “their situation was an unceasing ordeal”, which death is indeed.
Here are some more interesting scriptures that disprove ongoing suffering after death:
Obadiah 16, “…they shall drink and drink and be as if they had never been.”
Daniel 2:35, “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace.”
Nahum 1;10, “They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble.”
Psalms 1:4, “(the wicked) are like chaff that the wind blows away…”
Psalms 37:10, 20, 36, “A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found…but the wicked will perish; The Lord’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish – vanish like smoke…I have seen a wicked and ruthless man (but) he soon passed away and was no more…”
Isaiah 33:14, “The sinners in Zion are terrified…’Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?’, “Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”" (interpretation: “people cannot dwell in the burning, they are destroyed!”)
1 Corinthians 3:17: “If anyone destroy God’s temple, God will destroy him…”
Malachi 4:1-3 describes the end of sinners: “For, look! The day is coming that is burning like the furnace, and all the presumptuous ones and all those doing wickedness must become as stubble. And the day that is coming will certainly devour them,” Jehovah of armies has said, “so that it will not leave to them either root or bough. And YOU people will certainly tread down [the] wicked ones, for they will become as powder under the soles of YOUR feet in the day on which I am acting,” Jehovah of armies has said.
Genesis 3:19: “In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Why would their soul live on, if it never lived before they were created?)
Ecclesiastes 12:7: “Then the dust returns to the earth just as it happened to be and the spirit itself returns to the [true] God who gave it.”
Now to answer another pressing question, some of you may wonder why such a word as “agony” is used, as in the case of the Lazarus account, Jesus’s symbolic parable.
A better translation actually is anguish. The Greek word, “odynaomai” refers to “continual pain and grief, especially mental pain” or “great anxiety.”
Here are some scriptures where the Greek word is used:
Luke 2.48: “When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
And Acts 20.38: “What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again.”
Here is a scripture where the word torment itself is used:
2 Peter 2.8: “For by what he[Lot] saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.(He was obviously in mental anguish).
Lastly and most importantly, when you realize God is love, you can begin to see why the idea of a hellfire is impossible.
Ezekiel 33:11: “I take delight, not in the death of the wicked one, but in that someone wicked turns back from his way and actually keeps living.”
Anyone who believes in hellfire is still believing the first lie stated by Satan in Genesis 3:4: “You positively will not die.”
EDIT: This is more information to those who believe the Lazarus account proved a hellfire:
In this account Jesus was speaking a parable.
Matthew 13:34-35: “All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitudes in PARABLES and without a parable spoke he not unto them. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”"
If you were to take something in this account literally that would mean the whole account is literal, because you can’t pick and choose. It would mean that all those enjoying divine favor could fit into Abraham’s bosom, and that a mere drop could bring relief to one suffering in hell.(which would contradict other parts of the bible). Also we find that Abraham is able to carry a conversation with Lazarus and the Rich man even though the text says that Abrham was “far off.” This would mean that those in heaven could continually connect with those in hell. Another thing that is odd is the fact that the Rich man can speak at all. Do you think those suffering in agony would be able to speak in that state–or more likely be shrieking in pain?
Note this scripture:
Luke 16:26: And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.
Notice it says “those who WANT to go from here to you…”
Why would those in blissful peace in heaven want to go down to those who “are in hell”?
The fact is, this account does NOT tell about the judgement of the wicked and it is NOT literal. It is symbolic and tells of the urgency to respond to God’s message.
This is the punchline:
Luke 16:31:”He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
“In the account, the “rich man” represents the Pharisees, (See verse 14). The begger Lazarus represented the common Jewish people who were despised by the Pharisees but who repented and became followers of Jesus. (See Luke 18:11; John 7:49; Matthew 21:31, 32).Their deaths were symbolic, representing a change in circumstances. The formerly despised ones came into a position of divine favor, and the formerly seemingly favored ones were rejected by God, while being tormented by the judgement messages delivered by the ones whom they had despised.” –Acts 5:33; 7:54.