1) Is Hell Real?
Recently, some “Christian Universalism” group “theologians” were sharing a post stating that “there is NO Hell” and that “a soul sleeps after one dies” —-> some even claiming that ‘they are being rejected for preaching this truth’.
I gave a proper theological reply “refuting” each of their false claim but it was ‘deleted’ in a ‘public group forum inviting for a debate’ (what an irony indeed).
Here are my simple replies:
(i) No Verse
There was NOT even a Bible Verse in ‘their research write up’.
Their popular claim that if there was a Hell why is it not Written frequently and explicitly in Old Testament Verses itself proves ‘nothing’ (too bad).
Simply because “Sheol” (which contains these afterlife punishment regions, which we may call as “Hell” collectively) —–> itself Means “Unseen” or “Hidden” living up to its name and that’s why ‘not much is revealed about it’.
Do you also realize that very few Old Testament Verses talk about God having a Son directly and most Jewish Rabbi’s did NOT know it and that’s a main reason why they reject Lord Jesus Christ? So, a scarcity of a Verse does NOT prove that such a Detail is not of Utmost Importance at all.
(ii) Early Church leaders
They quoted two prominent early church leaders from the Christian Universalist Camp (Origen and Clement of Alexandria) claiming that these recognize that ‘Hell is NOT real’ which is FALSE.
All these said was that Hell is not eternal —> but they recognized that Hell exists. The Christian Universalism they believed in is Purgatorial Universalism part of which is afterlife-Judgments in Hell.
Purgatorial Universalism was the belief of some of the early church fathers such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa. It asserts that the unsaved will undergo hell, but that hell is remedial (neither everlasting nor purely retributive) according to key scriptures and that after purification or conversion all will enter Heaven.
Two posts related to this, please consider with “proofs” (quoted therein):
Thank-you for reading!
(iii) Bible Verses
A simple Bible Verse proving that Hell (as a place of afterlife punishments) exists is Luke 16:19 – 31.
(iv) Soul Sleep
Even the ‘great protestant reformers’ and ‘earliest authorities in doctrine who translated the first Bible into English’ have made SERIOUS DOCTRINAL ERRORS such as the SOUL SLEEP highlighted here.
Truth is after Death comes JUDGMENT and NOT SLEEP as it is Written in Verse below Irrefutably:
“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27, NASB)
The [afterlife] Judgment depends on what each has done (Galatians 6:7) accordingly:
“For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13, NASB)
Hence, it will come to pass that EVERY MAN is a LIAR (in some way, (including me) and God Will OVERCOME all our lies as it is Written:
“Never may it be! But let God be true, and every man a liar, as it has been written: “That You [God] may be justified in Your words, and will prevail in Your being judged.” (Romans 3:4, BLB)
P/S: Please don’t be too confident in your protestant reformers even if some of them ‘died for Christ’ as so ‘did the Catholics’ and almost every other Christian Denomination too.
We need to CHECK with HOLY SCRIPTURE ONLY to know TRUTH.
Blessed be the Saviour of the World, Lord Jesus Christ!
Truth is BODY SLEEPS at Death and NOT the SOUL SLEEPS at Death as it is referred to in such Verses (there is NO Verse in the Bible where the phrase SOUL SLEEPS exists; Can you see it irrefutably?)
To Quote, an example explanation for edification:
“Who knoweth the SPIRIT of MAN that goeth UPWARD, and the SPIRIT of BEAST that goeth DOWNWARD to the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:21, KJV)
It is left as a question with ‘no Scriptural answer’ and I will leave it as thus too. Ecclesiastes 3:19 – 20 clearly proves that only the BODY SLEEPS in the DUST of the EARTH during DEATH which is the SAME fate for ‘MAN and BEAST’ while the next Verse (in Context), Ecclesiastes 3:21 mentions that the SPIRIT (proving consciousness after death here too) of the MAN and BEAST may have different fates as one may go UPWARD while the other DOWNWARD as the Preacher contemplated. So, these set of Verses in NO way prove the false-teaching of SOUL-SLEEPING after death in any way.
For more of the details above, and more please consider the write up below:
Website link for the post containing that details:
(v) Hell in Church History
Please consider the write up below (too much to list down here – in the context of Christian Universalism):
It’s not about being popular or not popular or opinions of scholars or philosophers but ONLY What saith the Scriptures?
Also, by wrongly quoting Clement of Alexandria or others stating that these did not believe in Hell, aren’t you making yourself a liar?
Your credibility as a theologian and researcher is greatly questionable if you start writing this “shallow”. No wonder Christian Universalism gets a bad name because of such ‘incompetent theological arguments based on man made logic’ with NO Scripture. If you can disprove me, “try it” by ‘quoting Verses’ and refute each point made here & in the posts quoted. I would oblige if there are Verses only in your argument (please don’t quote philosophers and other “mere men’s opinions” which proves or disproves nothing if NO Verse exists to support that claim).
P/S: Be Warned.
When you open your eyes on the “other side” (afterlife), you may be in heaven for believing in Him but you will realize that there is a Hell too and ‘all your life spent claiming that there is NO Hell will reveal to be futile & a shame to you’:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” – Lord Jesus Christ Who Quoted Luke 16:19 – 31 Speaks (in Matthew 24:35, NASB)
Here’s a start, please try refuting this Logic below with a phD too (if needed). If you can’t, it shows how “shallow” your understanding of Holy Scripture really is:
Some people think that the ‘Rich man and Lazarus’ story in Luke 16 is just a ‘parable’. Here’s a Simple Reply to refute such a false claim:
A Parable cannot use “imaginary things” such as “a unicorn” but things which EXIST ONLY. Thus even if Luke 16’s Depiction is a parable, such a place of torment vs comfort MUST EXIST. So viewing Luke 16 as a Parable or NOT, we still find such an afterlife place of torment vs comfort to be EXISTENT regardless. By the way, “Abraham” is a “real person” mentioned in Luke 16 too. Website link for this post:
“There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:30, NASB)
Let us ‘Be Wise’.
Peace to you
‘There is no hell or afterlife punishment regions’ (stuff Lord Jesus Christ NEVER said – can you see it irrefutably now?)
2) Immortal Soul?
Do we have an immortal soul? How can we understand our body + soul + spirit?
Body and Soul can be destroyed in afterlife Judgments (at most, Matthew 10:28) but the spirit will live on being given a body —> Resurrection in the flesh of an Imperishable Spiritual Sinless Body, hence Immortality.
Without the Resurrection, the spirit lives to God (1 Peter 4:6, 1 Corinthians 5:5) in the heavenly abodes such as Abraham’s bosom regions (Luke 16) but cannot live on earth. To live on earth, the spirit needs a body, hence a Ressurected Spiritual Body which is Immortal since it’s living in both the earth and heavens (like Christ’s).
Body + Soul + Spirit being distinct though there may be overlaps is seen in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
3) Can a Soul exist without a Body?
A Soul can live with the spirit without the body.
This can be seen in Christ’s Own Example as follows (with Verses):
Christ went in “His Spirit” to Preach in the afterlife Prisons after He Died, that is being “without a body” (1 Peter 3:18 – 19) but this afterlife state is also Described as “His Soul” not being abandoned in Hades (Psalm 16:10, Acts 2:27) as after the “Three Days”, He Resurrected in the Flesh with a Body (Luke 24:39).
“See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:39, NASB)
4) What does Romans 6:23 mean?
“for the wages of the sin is death, and the gift of God is life age-during in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, YLT)
Body Dies at Death and Soul could be Dead too in the afterlife being Destroyed (Matthew 10:28) —> meaning of Death = At Most, Body + Soul is Destroyed.
Spirit lives on in afterlife prisons as it was the case with the formerly disobedient spirits from the Days of Noah (1 Peter 3:18 – 20).
These spirits in prison could only return to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) after Christ was Manifested in the Flesh & Preached the Gospel to them there in the afterlife (1 Peter 3:18 – 19).
1) Clement of Alexandria taught this afterlife repentance based on 1 Peter 3:18 – 20 as follows:
Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE) – Miscellaneous VI, Writes:
‘if then, the Lord descended to Hades for no other end but to preach the gospel as
He did descend; it was either to preach the gospel to all or to the Hebrews only. If
accordingly, to all, then all who believe shall be saved, although they may be of the
Gentiles, on making their profession there.’
The phD author (from whose thesis I got this quote) remarks : Clement is here of the opinion that the salvation in Hades is not limited to the Old Testament righteous. It is open to anyone who believes and makes their profession.
2) Afterlife Evangelism is NOT a one time occurrence for Old Testament people only
Afterlife Evangelism and Ministry Work
Shepherd of Hermas (1st or 2nd Century CE), Ninth Similitude IX, 16:5-7 Writes:
‘These, the apostles and teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, after
they had fallen asleep in the power and the faith of the Son of God, preached
also… to them that had fallen asleep before them, and themselves gave unto them
the seal of the preaching. Therefore, they went down with them into the water,
and came up again… So by their means they were quickened into life, and came
to the full knowledge of the name of the Son of God.’
The above may explain the Verses below regarding “Afterlife Evangelism and Ministry Work” by the apostles into the “spirit world” too and NOT only during their ‘earthly lives’ as popularly erred (the Greek word “World – Kosmos” in each Verse below is the same which refers to the space in which all creation exists as per definition in Romans 1:20):
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:18, NASB)
Truly, the GOSPEL applies a Healing and Restoration Word to ALL Creation eventually as Described in Verses prior too as it is Written:
“And He [Lord Jesus Christ] said to them, “Go into ALL the WORLD and Preach the GOSPEL to ALL CREATION.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15, NASB)
More details regarding this:
The phD thesis I referred to may be found in link below:
From the rich man and Lazarus story (Luke 16:19 – 31), we may infer that these spirits must thus be in some afterlife regions of comfort after being Saved by Lord Jesus Christ, i. e. “living to God in the spirit-state” (1 Peter 4:6).
“For to this end the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but they might live in the spirit according to God.” (1 Peter 4:6, BLB)
I understand 1 Peter 4:6 as follows:
(i) Gospel is Preached to the Dead (afterlife Consciousness) in spirit (with or without soul)
“For to this end the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead” (1 Peter 4:6) = Gospel preached in the afterlife toward these ‘wicked dead’
(ii) First Resurrection of the Wicked for Judgment in the Flesh
“so that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh,” (1 Peter 4:6) = Judged in the Flesh, where the Flesh here refers to the first resurrection of the wicked for Judgment (John 5:28 – 29, Daniel 12:2) where this is their “Second Death” (Revelation 20:11 – 15).
1 Peter 4:5 (the Verse prior) also refers to Revelation 20:11 – 15 as Christ only Judges the inhabitted World on this “Day”, i. e. “Judgment Day” (Acts 17:31, Context agreeing to all these since “the dead” referred to in 1 Peter 4:5 is the “same dead” referred to in 1 Peter 4:6, Consecutive Verses).
(iii) Live to God in spirit
“but they might live in the spirit according to God” (1 Peter 4:6) = So, despite that judgment in the first-resurrected flesh toward the wicked (John 5:28 -29, Daniel 12:2, 1 Peter 4:5) —-> as evidenced by the phrase “so that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh,” (1 Peter 4:6) —-> “their spirit” will live to God post this Judgment in the Lake of Fire.
This “spirit” will be given a suitable “spiritual body” (spirit + body, 1 Corinthians 15:44) for a suitable ‘second’ Resurrection in an imperishable sinless body (1 Corinthians 15:42, 50) as the Promise of “being Made Alive in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:21 – 22) which is a HOPE toward the Wicked too (Acts 24:15, 1 Corinthians 15:49).
Two Deaths, —-> first & second death toward the wicked implies that there must be two resurrections for the wicked where the first is for Judgment in the Lake of Fire (John 5:28 – 29, Revelation 20:11 – 15) while the Second to fulfill the “spirit living to God” (1 Peter 4:6) as “being Made Alive in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:21 – 22) to obtain an “imperishable sinless-immortal” (1 Corinthians 15:42, 50) “spiritual body” for a Bodily Resurrection in the Flesh (1 Corinthians 15:44) as the HOPE toward the wicked too (Acts 24:15, 1 Corinthians 15:49).
Lost Wisdom – Targum – the Second Death
To Quote, regarding the “second death” of the wicked:
In Targum Neofiti (Neof.) and the fragments (FTP and FTV), the “second death” is the death that the wicked die.
Targum Isaiah has three occurrences. The first is 22:14 where the Aramaic paraphrases the Hebrew as “This sin will not be forgiven you until you die the second death.” So, the WICKED can only be forgiven of his sin AFTER the SECOND DEATH in the LAKE OF FIRE (Revelation 20:11 – 15, Revelation 21:8) as Revelation 22:17 mysteriously echoes toward these THIRSTY (wicked ones, as only these ones from the Lake of Fire are thirsty, right?) – Can you see it?
Please note carefully that though both the words “Gehenna” and the “Second Death” do NOT appear in the Old Testament Verses as an “afterlife punishment region or concept (Hell in some way)” in a ‘direct’ manner, but surprisingly it turns out by New Testament usage that these two phrases or words are REAL as there are New Testament Verses mentioning both “directly”.
Source for the two Targum quotes & what is the Targum? Please visit the link below, thank-you:
P/S: Why does God Hide such Deep Truths?
For His Glory when Found and Revealed (as Verse in image, Proverbs 25:2 mentions).
Regarding the Two Resurrections for the Wicked (the first for Judgment and the second for Life by God’s Irrefutable Mercy to ALL eventually, Romans 11:32 – the LAST WORD of JUDGMENT itself agreeing to the MERCY which TRIUMPHS over and ENDS ‘any afterlife Judgment Sentences eventually’, as James 2:13 reveals as well, Perfectly) and also which “age-during life” (AGE1, AGE2 or AGE3 is conferred as the FREE GIFT in Romans 6:23 toward ‘all men’), please consider these details discussed in Write-Ups below for further edification:
“I will … show him My Salvation.” – God Speaks (in Psalm 91:16, CSB)