Archive for June, 2011
There has been a lot of discussion concerning Hell at our church in recent months. That, paired with the writings of C.S. Lewis, has stirred me to write about Hell.
Please note that little of what I have to say in this post has anything to do with essential doctrine. That is, you don’t need to know these things or even think about these things to obtain salvation. These are simply thoughts about what the Bible calls Hell, and looking into the deeper questions concerning it. I will be writing about these questions one at a time.
#1 – Where is Hell?
There is some division over this within the church. Some claim that it is located in the center of the Earth, others claim it dwells in the dimension of Eternity.
I believe both.
Here is an image to depict the location of Hell here in time:
As you can see, the circle in B.C. is divided. Let me explain why with the following verse:
“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And 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. ”
My Father pointed out that this was no parable. This was an actual event that Jesus is giving account of. If it were a parable, the scriptures would have told us so as with all the other parables.
From Luke we learn that Abraham’s Bosom and Hades are located next to each other. More on this a little later. Read the following verse concerning their location:
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
So we have learned the location! But, why was both Abraham’s Bosom and Hades in the center of the Earth? Because they were temporary locations. When God created us 6’000 years ago, He gave us perfect spirits and perfect bodies. We corrupt our spirit with sin. In order to redeem us, God had us prepare sacrifices as a substitute for a perfect sacrifice: Jesus Christ. And so, those who honored God’s law and kept his commands and sacrifices went to Abraham’s Bosom to await true Salvation from the Lamb.
Similar is so for those who go to Hades. The word used for “Hades” is the same word used for the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem. This is where the corrupt souls go to await judgement day. Once Christ died salvation was obtained immediately by those who were in Abraham’s Bosom, so it was removed from the center of the Earth. However, the souls within Hades have not been judged yet. We are still awaiting Judgement Day, and until then they shall remain within Time in the center of the Earth.
Another verse that convinced me of this is the following:
“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
This was said to the Thief on the cross. The Thief would go on to spend 3 days in Abraham’s Bosom and then be taken up into Heaven once Salvation was complete by the resurrection.
It should be noted that Jesus Warned that evil would increase after his death. A little bit of me thinks this is because Hades isn’t confined by Abraham’s Bosom any longer. But this is pure speculation, and is not at all backed by scripture.
#2 – Where is Hell going to be?
This new Hell is what the scripture calls “The Lake of Fire.” It is composed of supernatural elements ( i.g. liquid fire that produces no light) and it lasts forever, so it must therefore reside in eternity.
Here is another image to pull it all together:
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
This describes the end of Judgement Day, in which Hades (the Earthly Hell) is cast into the Lake of Fire (the Eternal Hell).
Revelations 20 also tells us that during the Thousand Year Reign of Christ, Satan will be cast into a bottomless pit before eventually being cast into the Lake of Fire. I am unsure of whether that is located within Time or Eternity, but such an infinite prison is probably in Eternity.
All questions and comments are welcome. However it should be noted that such an optional teaching shouldn’t provoke anger.
Thank you for reading,
-Cullen J Webb