Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Old Testament and Hell

"Nowhere in the Old Testament is there any hint of eternal punishment after death. There are occasional hints of an afterlife for the righteous, but none of an afterlife, in Hell or elsewhere, for the wicked. The New Testament, of course, has many mentions of post-death punishment, another change in the account of how God treats His creatures." Steven J.

Skeptics have argued that any Old Testament reference to the word "hell" simply refers to the grave, or to a burning trash heap outside of Jerusalem. This is the scholarly way they put it: "Hell is always translated from the Hebrew word Sheol (which is used 65 times in the Old Testament) and means simply 'the world of the dead.' There is no hint of a place of fire. Sheol is translated as 'grave' 31 times, 'hell' 31 times, and 'pit' 3 times."

Psalm 11:6 - Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Psalm 21:9 - You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of your anger: the Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

Psalm 140:10 - Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

Deuteronomy 32:22 - For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Psalm 9:17 - The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 55:15 - Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

Psalm 139:8 - If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there.

Proverbs 5:5 - Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Proverbs 7:27- Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 9:18 - But he knows not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Proverbs 15:11 - Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

Proverbs 15:24 - The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Proverbs 23:14 - You shall beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell.

Proverbs 27:20 - Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Daniel 12:2 - And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Isaiah 14:9 - Hell from beneath is moved for you to meet you at your coming: it stirs up the dead for you, even all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

Isaiah 14:15 - Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Ezekiel 31:16-17 -- I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.

Ezekiel 32:21 - The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.

Amos 9:2 - Though they dig into hell, thence shall my hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Habakkuk 2:5 - Yea also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keeps at home, who enlarges his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathers unto him all nations, and heaps unto him all people…

The New Testament made a reference to those who dilute the Word of God by saying "which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures" (2 Peter 3:16). So you have some choices to make. You can say that God doesn’t exist, which (in the light of creation) is unspeakably foolish. You can say that God exists, but that He doesn’t care about justice, which is idolatry (that would mean that Hitler’s punishment for the slaughter of six million Jews was to simply die, and know nothing). Then again, you can believe the soothing words of those who twist Scripture and say that Hell doesn’t exist. Or you can take warning from the Bible that God will see that ultimate Justice is ultimately done, repent and trust the Savior, who warned: "Wherefore if your hand or your foot offend you, cut them off, and cast them from you: it is better for you to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire" (Matthew 18:8-9, New Testament).

A reply from Steven J.
"Steven J. said... Ray, looking over those verses, I find that most of them make perfect, obvious sense if you render sheol as 'the grave' rather than 'Hell.' ... I stand by my contention that post-death punishment is a concept absent from most of the Old Testament."

Steven J....there are many words you can substitute for the word "Hell" if you want to, and each verse still makes perfect sense. However, all you are doing is twisting Scripture "to your own destruction" and to the destruction to those who believe you.

I notice that you backed down by using the word "most" twice. Why not rather apologize and say that you were wrong, humbling though it is? This is such an important issue. Think of the implications...