I posted this on the Ekklesia discusion board and thought it would go good here.
Have you heard this one?
A Conservative Evangelical,
A Roman Catholic,
A Liberal Theologian
And a Rocker all died and wound up in hell.
The devil approached them and asked the first. "Well what about it, Boy?"
The CE replied,"Well I screwed up somewhere, not much I can do now".
Then he asked the RC, "How about you"?
He replied," Well I'm not to worried about it, I have someone prying me out of here".
The 'Ol serpent turned to the third and smirked," How about you"
By which the LT answered, "Hey, this is just a metaphor, I'm not really here".
Then before he could turn to the last, the Rocker yell'd, "Where's the party? Let's rock and Roll!!"
Here are some thoughts and some of my beliefs on the subject. Through not educated I do know a little on the subject. But not as much as I do not know.
There is more I can share. But I think I'll stretch it out. This subject could go on for awhile.
Now some people see hell as funny, a place that either does not exist or a place were all the "bad boys" will go to an eternal party with the devil. Although I am not a theologian, but I would like to share some insight on this issue.
Some say that the Bible doesn't have much to say on the subject. I did a study using just my Bible and a Strongs Concordance. This is what I have found.
In the Old Testament the word for Hell was "Sheol" in Hebrew, This meant the grave, hell or Hades. It was a place for the spirits of the dead to be keep until the resurrection of Christ. It was divided into two parts. The lower and the Bosom of Abraham. This is illustrated by Jesus in the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Lazarus went to the BOA. It was part of Heaven but a person was not in the presence of God. That would not be able to happen until Christ's Sacrifice. The lower part was for those you cared not for God or the things of God. Although it is uncertain what the defining line was but the book of Hebrews states that "Faith" is the key to all the mysteries of God. Weather there is torment in the lower part, Jesus says yes. He spoke on the subject of hell more than any other.
Some my say that God is love and would not send his creation to such a place. I say he loves His creation so much that He came and gave Himself for their sins so that they would not have to go.
Hell was made for the devil and his angels. Those who go, chose to do so. Another misconception is the devil sits on a throne ruling over hell and his armies. The truth is he is just wondering around like an imp causing trouble. He is not in hell yet, but he will go there at the end. He does not wish to go, but he figures if he must, he will take as many with him as possible.
The New Testament hell is called by Jesus "Gehenna" in the Greek. He uses a word that is used as the trash heap outside of Jerusalem in the Valley of Hinnom that burns day and night. There was not a name for the hell of eternal torment yet so Jesus used a word that would conjure up images of suffering and torment. Where the "worm never dies"
When Christ died and buried He went to Hades to proclaim freedom for the captives. And when He ascended to Heaven He took the faithful dead with Him. Doing away with the grave and Hades. The lower part was left to hold the non-believers until judgement day.
Jesus saw all this and loved His creation enough to warn them of it. And to pay the price for deliverance.
At the end there will be judgement for all and those not found in the Book of Life will be cast into Hell or "Tauros" the fiery pit that burns forever. I see this as so. When the last resurrection comes all people will receive an eternal body. Just like Christ had after His resurrection. It will never die and it is not held back by natural barriers. The ones believing on Christ and became born-again will go to the Presence of God were their spirits have already gone. The non-believers will be cast into Hell which I can easily see as the liquid fire in the center of the earth. There they are put with their immortal bodies that feel all the pain of fire and the feeling of drowning in liquid fire without someplace to put their feet.
Again people dwell on how cruel this sounds. But what is cruel is Christ leaving Heaven to go through a human life like us, just to be rejected tormented and cruelly killed so that we can be delivered from this punishment. Then for those He saved believe that they have been saved from a metaphor or that they are save from just going to a place that is absent of the presence of God.
That's it for now. I hope to get some feed back. That Is how I learn.
If you want the Bible references, just ask.