Hellfire happens to be a misconception of the Bible - See reasons
Have you ever seen someone tortured? We hope not. Deliberate torture is sickening and abhorrent. What, though, of torture inflicted by God? Can you imagine such a thing? Yet, this is exactly what is implied by the teaching of hellfire, an official doctrine in many religions.
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Imagine, for a moment, the following horrific scene: A person is being roasted on a hot iron plate. In his agony he screams for mercy, but nobody listens. The torture goes on and on, hour after hour, day after day—without pause!
Whatever crime the victim may have committed, would not your heart go out to him? What of the one who ordered the torture? Could he be a loving person? In no way! Love is merciful and shows pity. A loving father may punish his children, but he would never torture them!
Nevertheless, many religions teach that God tortures sinners in an eternal hellfire. This, it is claimed, is divine justice. If that is true, who created that terrible place of eternal torment? And who is responsible for the excruciating agonies inflicted there? The answers would seem obvious. If such a place really exists, then God would have to be the creator of it, and he would be responsible for what happens there. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Can you accept that? The Bible says: God is love.(1 John 4:8) Would a God of love inflict torture that even humans with any measure of decency find revolting? Surely not!
An Unreasonable Teaching
Still, many believe that the wicked will go to a fiery hell and be tormented forever. Is this teaching logical? The human life span is limited to 70 or 80 years. Even if someone perpetrated extreme wickedness for his whole lifetime, would everlasting torment be a just punishment? No. It would be grossly unjust to torment a man forever for the limited number of sins that he can commit in a lifetime.
Who knows the truth about what happens after we die? Only God can reveal this information, and he has done so in his written Word, the Bible, referred to above. Here is what the Bible says: As the [beast] dies, so the [man] dies; and they all have but one spirit . . . All are going to one place. They have all come to be from the dust, and they are all returning to the dust. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20) There is no mention here of a fiery hell. Humans return to dust—to nonexistence—when they die.
In order to be tormented, an individual has to be conscious. Are the dead conscious? No. The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten.(Ecclesiastes 9:5) It is impossible for the dead, conscious of nothing at all, to experience the agonies of hellfire.
A Harmful Doctrine
Some maintain that the teaching of hellfire is useful, true or not. Why? They say it serves as a deterrent to wrongdoing. Is that true? Well, is the crime rate in regions where people believe in hellfire lower than in other places? Hardly! In fact, the doctrine of hellfire is very harmful. Will a person who believes that God torments people view torture as something abhorrent? Why should he? Those believing in a cruel god often become cruel like their god. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
In whatever way a reasonable person may look at the matter, he cannot accept the existence of a hell of torment. Logic rebels against it. Human nature is repelled by it. More important, God’s Word does not say that such a place exists. When a person dies, “he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish.”—Psalm 146:4.
Did Jesus Mean Hellfire?
SOME who believe the doctrine of hellfire point to Jesus’ words recorded at Mark 9:48 (or verses 44, 46). He mentioned worms (or maggots) that do not die and fire that is not quenched. If someone asked you about those words, how would you respond?
Depending on the Bible version being used, the person might read verse 44, 46, or 48 because these verses read similarly in some versions.
The New World Translation reads: If your eye makes you stumble, throw it away; it is finer for you to enter one-eyed into the kingdom of God than with two eyes to be pitched into Gehenna, where their maggot does not die and the fire is not put out.—Mark 9:47, 48. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
In any case, some claim that Jesus’ statement supports the view that after death the souls of the wicked suffer forever. For instance, a comment in the Spanish Sagrada Biblia of the University of Navarre says: Our Lord uses [these words] to refer to the torments of hell. Often ‘the worm that does not die’ is explained as the eternal remorse felt by those in hell; and the ‘fire which is not quenched,’ as their physical pain.
However, compare Jesus’ words with the final verse of Isaiah’s prophecy.
Is it not apparent that Jesus was alluding to the text in Isaiah chapter 66? The prophet there apparently refers to going out of Jerusalem to the surrounding Hinnom Valley (Gehenna), where human sacrifice was once practiced (Jer 7:31) and which eventually became the city’s refuse heap.(The Jerome Biblical Commentary) The symbolism at Isaiah 66:24 clearly is not that of people being tortured; it speaks of carcasses. What it refers to as not dying is worms—not live humans or immortal souls. What, then, is the import of Jesus’ words?
Note the comment on Mark 9:48 in the Catholic work El evangelio de Marcos. Análisis lingüístico y comentario exegético, Volume II: [The] phrase is taken from Isaiah (66,24). There the prophet shows the two ways corpses were usually destroyed: putrefaction and incineration . . . The juxtaposition in the text of maggots and fire reinforces the idea of destruction. . . . Both destructive forces are described as permanent (is not quenched, does not die): there is simply no way to escape them. In this image, the only survivors are the maggot and the fire—not man—and they both annihilate anything that falls within their power. Hence, this is not a description of everlasting torment, but one of total destruction which, as it prevents resurrection from occurring, is tantamount to final death. [Fire] is, then, a symbol of annihilation.
Anyone who knows that the true God is loving and just should be able to see how reasonable it is to understand Jesus’ words in that way. He was not saying that the wicked will experience everlasting torment. Rather, they are at risk of total destruction that prevents resurrection from occurring.
What Punishment for Sin?
Does that mean that we are not punished for our sins? No, that is not the case. Our holy God punishes sinners, but he does not torture them. And when sinners repent, he forgives them. What is the punishment for sin? The Bible gives a forthright answer: The wages sin pays is death. (Romans 6:23) Life is a gift from God. When we sin we no longer deserve that gift, and we die.
You may ask: ‘How is that just? Why, everyone dies!’ That is true because we are all sinners. In effect, no one deserves life. Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.—Romans 5:12.
At this point you may be thinking: ‘If we all sin and so we all die, why should we try to be virtuous? It seems that the wicked man is treated exactly the same as the man who tries to serve God.’ But that is not the case. Although we are all sinners, God forgives those who sincerely repent and try to change their ways. He rewards our efforts to ‘make our minds over’ and to do good. (Romans 12:2) These truths are the basis of a marvelous hope.
Truely Hellfire is not a Bible teaching but a misconception of Bible verses.
Disclaimer : This article was created or written from any religious organization. It's a well researched article written for all who hungers for the truth contained in God's word.
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