Let me share a conversation I had with a friend about Hell:
Me: ‘There is no hell or lake of fire and I believe that everyone goes to heaven’
Friend: ‘That’s a heresy. Jesus came to save us from hell. All unbelievers will go to the lake of fire to be burnt forever’
Me: ‘What are you doing about saving those people?’
Friend: ‘I go to Church every Sunday and give $20 a month to Gospel ministries.’
Me: ‘But didn’t Jesus tell His disciples to sell all their possessions, give up their jobs and their lives to preach to the lost? If you really believe in hell then why aren’t you doing that? Why aren’t you giving up everything to save people from hell?’
Friend: ‘But hell is a real place because God cannot tolerate sin!’
Me: ‘Didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 5 that if a person did not cut his eye or hand that sinned, then he would be thrown into hell? I don’t think Christians really believe in hell otherwise we would have seen a lot of people without arms and eyes, including myself!’
Friend: ‘Jesus did not really mean all of that’
Me: ‘Exactly, this proves that hell does not exist!’
Friend: ‘Let’s talk about something else. Did you watch the game last night?’
You see the truth that not even Christians really believe in this atrocious doctrine of hell because actions speak louder than words. The theologies of hell, eternal conscious torment and annihilation are immoral doctrines. For 2,000 years, the Church has preached that Christians will go to heaven but that everyone else will be tormented forever in a burning hell. But does this make any moral sense? How can we say that ‘God is Love’ and yet turn around and say that He will burn people if they don’t love Him back? If we ask Christians whether they would personally burn any unbelievers, then they would never do that. Then are we saying that we are more loving and moral than the God we worship?
This inconsistency is incredibly astounding and we must address this issue. We are preaching an immoral and horrifying God who is sending 70% of the world, including billions of people to a burning hell just because they did not believe in Jesus! The punishment is infinitely greater than the unbelief or any finite crime committed by man. No man however bad, deserves infinite punishment! Even the government authorities of the world show greater mercy to criminals.
Some Christians say that man voluntarily chooses to go to hell by his own unbelief. But does a loving God allow His own creation to freely choose such a horrific destiny? God’s thoughts are much higher and gracious than ours! He’s a loving Dad and not a cruel psychopath who allows people to burn forever.†Jesus was the One who ate & drank with sinners, forgave the adulterer and those who crucified Him.
Isaiah 42:3 ‘He won’t break a bruised reed.†He won’t quench a dimly burning wick.†He will faithfully bring justice.’
He is so tender in His love that He did not even break a bruised reed on the floor. How can this loving God send anyone to hell! This hell is religion’s lie but LOVE is Daddy’s truth!†If someone burns people, you would call him a crazed murderer but if God does it then religion calls him “a just God”. The true God is our Daddy who keeps no record of wrongs -†His love is justice!
The doctrine of hell produces more atheists than God’s love produces believers. God does not murder anyone through annihilation or torture anyone in hell.†Christians believe in a bipolar God who is peaceful like Jesus in turning the other cheek and yet turns around to kill millions like Hitler.†God’s true nature was not displayed in Sodom’s fire or on Mt. Sinai when 3,000 Jews died but it was revealed in†Jesus who forgave, loved, laughed & cried with compassion – He did not kill anyone but loved His enemies.†Jesus told the Jews to be as perfectly compassionate as God by loving their enemies, but Christianity believes that this same God burns His enemies forever. Any sane human being will declare that the burning of others is inhumane and horrific. The truth is that even atheists are more compassionate than the hell-fire “God” portrayed by Christianity and other religions. Christians will never send their unbelieving children to hell. Then how will our infinitely loving God do that? It’s impossible!
Therefore we must renounce this false teaching of hell – that has made Christianity immoral and unbelievable. Every religion on earth believes in this system of Law where the righteous people are rewarded and the wicked are punished based on their unique definition of faith. Isn’t traditional Christianity also similar to such an ‘Old Covenant’ mentality, if we believe in this message of “Heaven or Hell”? These ideas of eternal punishment were introduced into the Church from the Roman pagan culture and the religion of Zoroastrianism more than 1000 years ago.
What is the truth about the hell?†In the creation account of Genesis, God only created the heaven and earth but there is no mention of any hell. God never told Adam that he would be condemned to a burning place called hell. The curse fell upon Adam’s land and His punishment was spiritual death that was imputed by the Law that came 1000s of years later. Man was under judgment – and we see the flood, Sodom’s fire and Egypt’s drowning in the Red Sea as examples. When the Law came, Israel was blessed if they obeyed but judged if they disobeyed. We see no mention of any place called Hell in the entire Old Testament! We first see it when Christ makes the judgment on the Pharisees.
Matthew 23:29,33-36 ‘Woe to you, scribes and†Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous †You serpents, you offspring of vipers,†how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna (Hell)? Therefore behold, I send to you prophets, wise men, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify; and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city;†that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar.†Most certainly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.’
The judgment of hell was only pronounced on a single generation of the Pharisees and those Jews who trusted in the law. It has nothing to do with anyone post-70AD. The judgment of hell was only for those Jews who were under the old covenant (ten commandments) as Christ preached in the Sermon on the Mount telling them to have a righteousness that exceeded the superficial holiness of the Pharisees otherwise they would perish in Gehenna or Hell.
Matthew 5:21-23, 27-30 ‘You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, ëYou shall not murder;’ and ‘Whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’†But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be in danger of the judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ will be in danger of the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of Gehenna …’You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’†but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna. If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.’
Today Christians believe in hell but yet they will not obey the very words of Christ. They will not cut off their eye or hand that sins, and will definitely not stop getting angry at their fellow human being. This is the clear proof that we don’t really believe in hell at the core of our hearts. If Christians really believed in hell then they would take the words of Christ seriously. This is why Christians do not obey Christ in selling all their possessions (Luke 12:32-33, Luke 14:25-33). The truth is that Jesus did not command these things to us. We don’t have to sell everything and cut off our body parts because we’re not the Jews who lived under the law.†The truth is that this hell was the judgment of 70AD when Jerusalem was destroyed and it has nothing to do with anyone today.
How do we know this? It’s because Jesus spoke about this Hell or Gehenna as a physical place where bodies perished. This Gehenna was known as the valley of Ben Hinnom in the Old Testament that constantly burned with the Jews’ sacrifices to the false gods. When the Jews worshipped these false gods, God’s judgment came upon them through the Babylonians who destroyed Jerusalem with fire so that it was burning like the valley of Hinnom (Jeremiah 7:30-34). History was about to repeat itself because the judgment was coming upon Jerusalem when it would become like a burning Hell (Gehenna) in 70AD. Therefore Jesus spoke about escaping the hell-fire of Jerusalem even if they lost a limb instead of perishing in the city.
Mark 9:43-44 ‘If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire, where their worm doesn’t die, and the fire is not quenched.’
Entering the kingdom was about physically escaping this burning place called hell. We see that Christ actually quoted the scriptures from the Old Testament that spoke about the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple where the dead bodies would burn in the fire and be visible to those who were alive.
Isaiah 66:6,15-16,24 NIV ‘Hear that uproar†from the city, hear that noise from the temple!†It is the sound of the Lord repaying his enemies all they deserve ‘See, the Lord is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the Lord will execute judgment on all people, and many will be those slain by the Lord’ †And they will go out and look on the dead bodies†of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.’
Therefore this hell was the burning of Jerusalem and itís Temple and not a spiritual bonfire. The lake of fire was the burning of the land of Israel that eradicated and removed the Old Covenant. It was not a spiritual place! But what about all those evil people who could not be saved and were cast out into the darkness?
Revelation 22:14-15 ‘Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.’
When you carefully read the passage above, many people think that it talks about the sinners today who are burning in hell. The scripture tells us that the dogs are condemned. But what about the cats? I hope you’re seeing that this is not a literal description of criminals in general. It’s symbolic language that is talking about the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Paul called the circumcision group as the dogs (Philippians 3:2). He also called the Jews who trusted in the law as adulterers (Romans 7:1-3, 2nd Corinthians 11:1-3). They were also called murderers, idolaters and lovers of money that was the root of evil (John 8:44, John 3:19, Luke 16:33-34, 1st Timothy 6:10).
What happened in 70AD was the ultimate reversal and the turning of the tables. Under the law, the Pharisees condemned the prostitutes, tax collectors, adulterers and murderers. But Jesus told them that the first would be last and the last would be first (Luke 13:29-31).
Matthew 21:23,31-32 ‘Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.’
In the end, the teachers of the law were the ones who were judged as the dogs, murderers and adulterers in 70AD. But the actual ‘sinners’ were the ones who trusted in Christ and they entered the kingdom in 70AD by escaping the destruction of Jerusalem.
This judgment of the lake of fire was prophesied in the Old Testament that would happen in the later generations of Israel. It was the same burning sulfur that fell upon the land of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24, Jude 1:7, Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:10).
Deuteronomy 29:22-24 ‘Your children who follow you in later generations†and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it.†The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it.†It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. All the nations will ask: ‘Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?’
The Old Covenant Israel perished in the fire in their land. It was their last days and final generation that would never come back because the Law came to an end never to appear again.
Eternal life is God’s presence with us
Most people think that eternal life is heaven and that eternal death is hell. But thatís not the truth because God never told Adam that he would go to heaven or hell. From the Bible, we see that the eternal fire was about a physical judgment that ended a specific generation or covenant.
In Jude 1, it says that the eternal fire would be likened to the judgment of Sodom. The question we ask is whether Sodom is still burning today? Not at all! Sodom was burnt down and that generation came to an end with no more descendants. It was a physical judgment.†In the case of the Jews, the eternal death described the destruction of the old covenant system when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD.
The Bible also tells us that the final judgment would be similar to the flood of Noah (Matthew 24:36-39). The flood was a physical judgment that completely eradicated a certain generation. Only Noah and his family of 8 people were saved (1st Peter 3:20). It was not about heaven or hell. It was about the continuation of descendants and generations on the earth. During the time of Noah, the entire world was filled with violence. After the flood, such violence will never be repeated. Jesus also said that the 2nd coming was similar to the fire of Sodom when Lot escaped the fire (Luke 17:28-29). In that judgment, the city of Sodom was destroyed and the violence and injustice perpetrated by the Sodomites was never repeated again. Lot escaped and his descendants lived on the earth but the Sodomites perished to never inhabit the planet again.
In the same way, the final judgment of the 2nd coming of Christ in 70AD was not about some mythical place called hell. It was about the eternal end of the old covenant and all who trusted in that system. The Jews, their Temple and priesthood came to an end so that the old covenant and ministry of condemnation would never be repeated. Those who perished in 70AD were the sinners under the law. After 70AD, God made a new covenant so that there is no more law and there are no more sinners. But now all of humanity is righteous in the new covenant from generation to generation on this earth forever and ever because God’s Spirit is with us.
Isaiah 59:21 NIV ‘As for me, this is my covenant with them,’ says the Lord. ‘My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants from this time on and forever,’ says the Lord.’
Those who escaped the judgment of Jerusalem in 70AD received eternal life. Their children and generations continued to live on this earth! This is the world we live in after the judgment of 70AD. This is the eternal life – a world without end! The Lord is with us forever in this life and also after death because the Judgment Day is over. There is no more separation from God and therefore no more tears of judgment, but only everlasting joy (Revelation 21:3-5). Life is not perfect and we will face problems, but God is telling the world that there is no more judgment and that we live in this New Covenant where His love for us never ends (Isaiah 54:7-10). The Judgment Day in 70AD was brief, final and unrepeatable, but His love endures forever. The New Covenant has included ALL people in God’s love and the gift of Righteousness in Christ.
John 17:3 ‘Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’
Eternal life is in Christ, and He lives in you.†Eternal life is to know God as Daddy who loves you and will never judge you.
Revelation 21:1-3 ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,†coming down out of heaven†from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God’
In this new covenant system, it’s not about going to heaven or hell because the separation between man and God has ended. Under the old covenant, God’s presence was in heaven and man was on the earth separated by the law that exposed his sins. But now thanks to Jesus Christ in 70AD, God’s presence has come to the earth and He is living with all of humanity. Eternal life is to be with God both in this life and beyond. It is to know God as Daddy, and every human being will know the truth either in this life or after death.
From my book “Relaxing in Daddy’s love”
Mathew Simon†is here to share with you the Glorious Grace of God through Jesus Christ. He hopes that you can know Him and/or grow in His Grace through the Bible-based postings on his blog GoodNews4You.
Author of: “Accepted in the Father’s Love”, “Relaxing in Daddy’s Love” & “Tasting Health & Healing in Daddy’s Love”
You don’t have to gnash your teeth at God
nor be afraid of your soul’s destiny.
Just call the Hellbusters hotline!