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Is LITERAL Hellfire Torment A Bible Teaching?

Alter2Ego

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ALTER2EGO -to- EVERYONE:

The teaching of literal hellfire torment is commonplace in Christendom and non-Christian religions. This teaching defames the Creator and portrays him as a sadist who tortures people in flames of fire for all eternity—as punishment for wrongdoing committed during the relatively brief human lifespan. The hellfire dogma was brought into Christianity by the Roman Catholics who copied it from pagan religions. (Pagans are those who do not worship the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.)


The Bible makes it clear as to how God views the ritual burning of people. Jehovah ended up rejecting the ancient Israelites after they got involved with pagan worship, which included burning their children to death.


"And they [the Israelites/sons of Judah] have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that HAD NOT COME UP INTO MY HEART." (Jeremiah 7:31)


"{58} And they kept offending him with their high places, and with their graven images they kept inciting him to jealousy. {59} God heard and got to be furious, and he condemned Israel very much. {60} And he finally forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent in which he resided among earthling men." (Psalms 78:58-60)



The scriptures indicate that hell is nothing more than mankind’s common grave. Proof of this is provided by a verse of scripture in the Bible, which no hellfire-believing Christian can explain away. I’m referring to the scripture that says Jesus Christ--the epitome of a perfect, sinless, and obedient man--died and went to hell.


"{21} In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. {22} He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth." (1 Peter 2:21-22)


"He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that HIS SOUL WAS NOT LEFT IN HELL, neither his flesh did see corruption." (Acts 2:31--King James Version)




DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1.
Are there scriptures in the Bible to support the teaching of literal hellfire torment? If so, quote up to four (4) scriptures and include Bible book, chapter, and verse. Then bold or italicize or colorize the words within the quotations that you are focusing on, and explain why you believe the scriptures you present are talking about literal hellfire torment.


2. According to Jeremiah 7:31, did Jehovah command the ancient Israelites to burn anyone in the fire?


3. According to Jeremiah 7:31, did the burning of people come to God's heart?



4. According to those who believe in literal hellfire torment, hell is a place for people who are wicked. So why did Jesus spend three days in hell, considering what's said at 1 Peter 2:22?


5. If hell is a place of literal torment, why is it that the word "hell" also means "Sheol" and "Hades" and "the grave"?


6. When people are being tortured in hellfire, wouldn't they have to KNOW or be conscious/aware of the fact that they are being burned? I mean to say, what's the point of punishing people in hell if they aren't even aware?


7. Does the Bible teach that humans have an immortal soul that survives the death of the person so that the soul can then be burned in eternal flames? If so, please present scriptures to this effect to prove it, and follow the steps indicated at Question #1.


8. Those who believe in literal eternal torment say that the person's soul is being burned forever. What is the soul? Are animals souls also or is this only for humans?
 

RabidAlpaca

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Hell is a completely fabricated concept. The most obvious evidence of this is that the old testament does not detail hell in any way shape or form. Hell is translated from the word "sheol" which in Hebrew has no negative connotations, but rather resembles Jewish purgatory.

The idea that an omnipotent creator will torture people with eternal hellfire because they didn't listen to "his" priests is ridiculous. I've never understood how christians can take so much comfort and joy in knowing that a large portion of their family and friends are screaming in agony this very moment, being tortured by the very man they worship.

"Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an eternal gaoler hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul. While there is one sad and breaking heart in the universe, no good being can be perfectly happy." ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
 
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tecoyah

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The very idea that people of ANY faith believe a God capable of such brutality and destruction, yet still worship it.....in my opinion defines the worshippers as evil and masochistic.
 

laska

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Existence requires opposition in all things, laws that organize matter, and free agency. Our Heavenly Father wants all of His sons and daughters to have an infinite fullness of joy but in existence there is cause and effect. If we embrace darkness misery is what we get. A man like Hitler is a miserable creature not because of God but because he used his free agency and chose a path that leads to misery. Christ is an example the other way, He chose a path that leads to joy. If the Atonement of Christ is properly understood it shows the love of God for all of us.
 

spud_meister

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From my reading, when people die, they die. And once the apocalypse and second coming and all that happen, those that are judged worthy will be resurrected and live on earth, in paradise, whilst the sinners will simply not be resurrected. The idea of a heaven or hell where the souls of people go before the second coming in not biblically supported.
 

tosca1

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Well, in my view, whether hellfire torment is literal or not, does not make any difference. I won't waste that much energy pondering and debating about it....who can know exactly anyway?

The thing that matters is for us to prepare to meet our Maker on Judgement Day.
 

Gathomas88

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Frankly, literal "hell fire" torment might not even be necessary.

Divorcing oneself almost completely from God's presence, and therefore everything "good" in creation, is likely torment enough. More than anything else, "Hell," in my view, is a state of eternal regret, longing, and impotent frustration over what a person has lost.

That's not even accounting for one's company in Hell either.

On the higherarchy of things, angels are quite a bit higher than men. The only reason we are protected from the fallen among their number now is because of God's influence.

Having to share company with them for the rest of eternity without this protection very likely would not be a "fun" experience.
 

WCH

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I choose to follow the guidelines set forth in the Bible because, not only do they seem to be the rational and moral way to lead ones life, I don't want to live with the fear of death.
 

Alter2Ego

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The very idea that people of ANY faith believe a God capable of such brutality and destruction, yet still worship it.....in my opinion defines the worshippers as evil and masochistic.

ALTER2EGO -to- TECOYAH:

You would be surprised at how many supposed Christians insist hellfire torment is literal. At other websites where I debate this topic, the Christians argue tooth and nails in support of the dogma. Their favorite verses are taken from Jesus' parables, including the parable of the "Rich Man and Lazarus". That, they insist, is not a parable--despite the fact the context makes it clear that it is indeed a parable/illustration. Another of their favorites is a verse from Revelation which speaks of the "Lake of Fire". When I direct them to the context of that, showing them it is not literal but instead is figurative speech, they reject the context.
 

Alter2Ego

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Hell is a completely fabricated concept. The most obvious evidence of this is that the old testament does not detail hell in any way shape or form. Hell is translated from the word "sheol" which in Hebrew has no negative connotations, but rather resembles Jewish purgatory.

The idea that an omnipotent creator will torture people with eternal hellfire because they didn't listen to "his" priests is ridiculous. I've never understood how christians can take so much comfort and joy in knowing that a large portion of their family and friends are screaming in agony this very moment, being tortured by the very man they worship.

"Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an eternal gaoler hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul. While there is one sad and breaking heart in the universe, no good being can be perfectly happy." ~ Robert G. Ingersoll

ALTER2EGO -to- RABID ALPACA:

I have wondered about that myself, until I it dawned on me that they are convinced they and their friends will all go to heaven.
 

kjw47

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The only way to know if hellfire is literal is to get to know the true God--This true God---Deuteronomy 32:4--- all of Gods ways are justice--- He taught all exactly what that justice is--an eye for an eye--perfect justice on a perfect set of scales. Lets apply Gods scales to a literal eternal suffering teaching.

On one side--70-90 years of unrepented sin living for ones own will.------- on the otherside-- trillions x trillions x trillions etc of never ending years of suffering as punishment---

0 balance on those scales--thus--not Gods scales---thus a sadistic teaching against the God of Love by teachers who do not know him and vica versa.
 

RabidAlpaca

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ALTER2EGO -to- RABID ALPACA:

I have wondered about that myself, until I it dawned on me that they are convinced they and their friends will all go to heaven.

What is with the "ALTER2EGO -to- RABID ALPACA:"?

Are you talking to me on a radio? When you quote someone it's rather implicit that's who you're talking to.
 

laska

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I believe the burning is figurative but there is a hell. Because there must be opposing forces in all things, if there is light, darkness exists, if there is joy, there is misery. If there is a heaven, there is a hell. I believe hell is separation from God and feeling the effects of reaping what you sow. It is a misery of soul, regret, fear, anguish, darkness. It is being around that company. The LDS scriptures teach there is a space of time between death and the resurrection and that hell for the vast majority will only be temporary. It will bring them unto repentance and God will rescue them and they will attain a kingdom of glory in the lowest level of heaven. There will be a very small percentage that will reject all light, who love darkness, who will remain in that state forever. I believe they will inherit death and eventually cease to exist, but that is just a hunch. I agree with Tecoyah, anyone rejoicing in anyone suffering in hell is far from virtuous.
 

phattonez

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"The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs" (CCC 1035).
 

nota bene

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I rather like the idea of a purgatory, a transitional time.
 

laska

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In modern day revelation to Joseph Smith the Lord states:

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—D&C 19

There is no changing cause and effect. The Atonement is the only way to avoid it. Christ suffered the demands of justice for mankind. The gospel plan is the way to fully access the Atonement.
 

Logicman

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Hellfire is real.

Everyone has eternal life. But the unbelieving Christ-deniers will spend theirs in Hell, according to the Scriptures.

“I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." - John 8:24

“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” - John 14:6

“But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” - Luke 13:3

The Truth About Hell

WHAT JESUS CHRIST SAYS ABOUT HELL! "fire" Matt 7:19, 13:40, 25:41 "everlasting fire" Matt 18:8, 25:41 "eternal damnation" Mark 3:29 "hell fire" Matt 5:22, 18:9, Mark 9:47 "damnation" Matt 23:14, Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47 "damnation of hell" Matt 23:33 "resurrection of damnation" John 5:29 "furnace of fire" Matt 13:42, 50 "the fire that never shall be quenched" Mark 9:43, 45 "the fire is not quenched" Mark 9:44, 46, 48 "Where their worm does not die" Mark 9:44, 46, 48 "wailing and gnashing of teeth" Matt 13:42, 50 "weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30 "torments" Luke 16:23 "tormented in this flame" Luke 16:24 "place of torment" Luke 16:28 "outer darkness" Matt 8:12, 22:13 "everlasting punishment" Matt 25:46

Watch "23 Minutes in Hell" Video - Bill Wiese

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=648563944666093503#docid=-750107269338052182

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God - A Great Awakening Revival Sermon

Select Sermons - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Repent! Today is still a day of salvation.
 

laska

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This is from the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi CH 28:


3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the achurches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord—

4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.

5 And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;

6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.

7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.

8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.

10 And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.

11 Yea, they have all gone out of the away; they have become corrupted.

12 Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up.

13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.

14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.

15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!

16 Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.

17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.

18 But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.

19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;

20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.

24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!

25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!

26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!

27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!

28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.

29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!

30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

32 Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.
 

phattonez

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In modern day revelation to Joseph Smith the Lord states:

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—D&C 19

There is no changing cause and effect. The Atonement is the only way to avoid it. Christ suffered the demands of justice for mankind. The gospel plan is the way to fully access the Atonement.

All revelation ended in Jesus. There is no new revelation.
 

kjw47

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All revelation ended in Jesus. There is no new revelation.

Are you speaking of the prophecys in the book of rev? They are occurring now, its almost done.
 

phattonez

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Are you speaking of the prophecys in the book of rev? They are occurring now, its almost done.

Revelation is mostly about the Mass and about salvation history.
 

Alter2Ego

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I believe the burning is figurative but there is a hell. Because there must be opposing forces in all things, if there is light, darkness exists, if there is joy, there is misery. If there is a heaven, there is a hell[/B][/COLOR]. I believe hell is separation from God and feeling the effects of reaping what you sow. It is a misery of soul, regret, fear, anguish, darkness. It is being around that company. The LDS scriptures teach there is a space of time between death and the resurrection and that hell for the vast majority will only be temporary. It will bring them unto repentance and God will rescue them and they will attain a kingdom of glory in the lowest level of heaven. There will be a very small percentage that will reject all light, who love darkness, who will remain in that state forever. I believe they will inherit death and eventually cease to exist, but that is just a hunch. I agree with Tecoyah, anyone rejoicing in anyone suffering in hell is far from virtuous.

ALTER2EGO -to- LASKA:

Are you telling this forum that the dead are conscious? Otherwise, how do you expect the dead that are in hell to be aware of "misery of soul, regret, fear, anguish, darkness"?


I will watch for your scriptures that you think indicate the dead are literally conscious and aware. Please do not quote more than four (4) verses at a time.
 
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