Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Opus 2015-421: Basic Beliefs: Hell

This week I have been speculating on what Hell will be like.  No, it is not because it was a rough week at school.  I look at that as more like purgatory, but since I am not a Roman Catholic, I don’t believe in purgatory. 

I have a lot of speculations that might fall into the realm of heresy.  As I was thinking about them I realized I had not addressed Hell in my ongoing series about Basic Christian Beliefs. 

Christians believe in potential future that is often called “hell”.  If you do not believe it is real then you either are not someone God would recognize as a Christian, you have never read your Bible or you are really into figurative language to rationalize away anything you don’t like.  I am not sure that all three categories are not the same but ultimately I will leave that up to God.  I have the feeling He will be much more forgiving than I would in some areas and much more harsh in others.  His place, not mine.

The Bible assumes that there is continued, personal existence after death.  There are two clear teachings which are usually called heaven and hell.  The Catholics have added two more categories:  limbo and purgatory.  Today I am going to take a quick look at hell.

“Hell” is a general term used on the fly to designate what happens to our souls and bodies after death if we have not trusted in Jesus for our salvation.  I say general term because there are different Greek and Hebrew words that have different nuances.  In the NASB you find the English word “hell” 13 times and it is always the Greek word [gehenna] (1067).  (Numbers without an “x” are the Greek and Hebrews numbers from Strong’s system.  If you don’t know what that is, ignore them.  Brackets enclose the transliterated Hebrew and Greek words.)  In the KJV you find the English word 54 times in both Old and New Testaments.  The KJV also translated the Greek word [hades] (86) as “hell” where the NASB transliterates it to Hades.  In the OT you have [sheol] (7585) 85 times which the NASB transliterates but the KJV usually calls “hell” (31x) or “grave” (30x). 

To say that Hell does not exist means you must ignore a lot of the Bible.

What they have in common is that this will be a place separated from God and not pleasant.  Hell is pictured as a place of torment.  It is called a lake of fire and yet is enclosed in darkness.  It will be the final abode of Satan and his minions.  Although God is aware and present in a theological sense He withdraws His presence. 

Keep in mind that anyone who dies outside the faith would be classified as one of Satan’s minions. 

That is an overview.  If there is any part of the teaching of the Bible that I don’t like, this is it.  However, it is there.  It is clear.  It is a Basic Belief.  If you claim to be a Christian, reject it at your peril.  If you are not a believer then just file it in that drawer that says “Weird Christian Fantasies”.  I am sure it is a big drawer for you.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.