The standard definition of “disciple” (noun) is someone who adheres to the teachings of another. The disciple places their faith and belief in that teacher.
A true disciples of Jesus Christ will put their faith and trust on him.
What Did Jesus Say About Hell?
Many professed Christian groups teach that ‘Hell’ and ‘the grave’ are synonymous terms, that they mean the same thing, and are therefore interchangeable terms.
I know this to be true because I was taught this, believed it, and preach it to the public as one of “Jehovah’s Witness” for the majority of my life.
I began preaching this from door to door at age eight in 1959. I shared this belief, parroting in ignorance of the real truth. At that time I was putting trust in “earthling man”, that is to say in another human being’s reasoning on the matter. After Christ cleansed my mind of their false teachings, I accepted what Jesus taught about Hell.
Here are the standard remarks non-believers will make about ‘hell’:
Quote: ”Hell is the Grave ( the condition in which life ceases Eccl. 9:10 until such Time as The Resurrection of The Just and Unjust begins Acts 24:15. In KJV Old Testament the Hebrew word “ Sheol “ translated 31 Times Hell, 31 Times Grave, 3 Times Pit.”
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” like other religious groups make a habit of mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed because they are things that have nothing in common with one another.
When the Scriptures speaks of “Gehenna”, “Lake of fire”, “Hell”, it is not referring to the common grave or state of the dead who have died the death due to original sin. ‘Hell’ is not the wages of sin as it is in the Ademic death that we as humans suffer. ‘Hell’ is the wages for being wicked.
When most people use the term ‘hell’ they are not referring to common grave nor the state of the human dead from inherited sin.
It is IMPOSSIBLE for that to be the case because Jesus himself stated ‘who’ hell was created for and it wasn’t created for humans beings although many will end up there. He refers to this state of existence as “the eternal fire”:
“Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!” HCSB
Note that Jesus said that this state of existence was created for “the devil and his angels”; not a human being. This should make it clear that ‘hell’ cannot be mankind’s resting place after his physical death. The Bible tells us about the human association with Hell when it tells us that wicked people will inherit the devil’s inheritance.
But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the immoral, those who practice magic, those who worship idols, and all liars—the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” GNT
Examine the Lord’s words recorded at Matthew 25:41 in context:
31 “When the Son of Man comes as King and all the angels with him, he will sit on his royal throne,
32 and the people of all the nations will be gathered before him. Then he will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will put the righteous people at his right and the others at his left.
34 Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world.
35 I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes,
36 naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’
37 The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink?
38 When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you?
39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’
40 The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Away from me, you that are under God’s curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels!
I know and believe in the existence of Hell because Jesus said it does and I am his disciple.
Do you believe what Jesus says or do you find it necessary to modify his words to fit what you prefer to believe? A true disciple of Jesus believes Hell exist because Christ our Lord said it exist. A true disciple of Jesus will not allow themselves to be swayed by contrary teachings by men.
A fundamental problem with belief in Hell and everlasting torment is the belief that we are not creatures born of God’s spirit that is poured into fleshly bodies (neshamah).
Job 32:8 makes this statement:
8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” will point out these statements found in the Book of Ecclesiastes in Chapter 9:5 and 9:10 as proof that nothing of you survives physical death:
5 Yes, the living know they are going to die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward; they are completely forgotten.
10 Work hard at whatever you do, because there will be no action, no thought, no knowledge, no wisdom in the world of the dead—and that is where you are going.
But does being unconscious or being incapable of “work” mean non-existence? No, it doesn’t. It infers a static state of existence in which there is no consciousness.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 states that upon death this spirit returns to God:
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Some professed Christian groups believe and teach that God’s “spirit” that is in us is basically some ‘start up energy’ or literal air breathed into us by God at the time of birth and at that then we become a “living soul”. They do not believe and teach that God’s spirit in us is something that is living; that it is alive. They may refer to it as “God’s active force”.
But their other teachings certainly infer that ‘something’ survives death that can be asleep and awaken. However, they still deny man is a ‘spirit’ in a body of flesh. If we are nothing but flesh with an ‘unliving’ active force breathed into us, then what is left that could possibly be sleeping then in death?
How do they make sense then of these words also uttered by Jesus?
“Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
If nothing of us survives death of the body, how could his words above have any real meaning? What could possibly be a fate worse than death to an already unconscious spirit?
With this belief would have the resurrection Jesus spoke of, recorded in John 5:28-29 purpose to wake the unrighteous dead simple to inform them they won’t be being resurrected to life and to say to them “Now go back to sleep”? What purpose would that serve? And again raises the question “What can hear his voice?”.
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” New King James Version
The Second Death is not Ademic death repeated. The Ademic death is the penalty for sin. The Second Death is the penalty for wickedness.
That Ademic death all humans will experience is not the ceasing of our existence entirely is clear in Jesus’ words that state that upon his arrival he summon all the dead from the tomb.
If nothing exist after death, what can be summoned?
Consider as well, what occurs when Christ opens the fifth seal of the scroll as written in the Book of Revelation Chapter 6:9-11:
9 Then the Lamb broke open the fifth seal. I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because they had proclaimed God’s word and had been faithful in their witnessing.
10 They shouted in a loud voice, “Almighty Lord, holy and true! How long will it be until you judge the people on earth and punish them for killing us?”
11 Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the complete number of other servants and believers were killed, as they had been.
If nothing exist after physical death, none of this is even possible because there is nothing to “rest a little while longer”.
What “Jehovah’s Witness” and other modern religious groups believe and teach about the ‘spirit’ in a human cuts off any further consideration that eternal torment in Hell is even possible.
And these professed Christian groups can offer no rational explanation of Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the wicked rich man who tormented him. Here in Jesus parable there is a conversation between a person in Heaven and a person in Hell.
What Jesus said is impossible within their belief. They either claim he didn’t mean what he said or they avoid discussion of this passage of Scripture all together. It just doesn’t fit in to what they want to believe. In doing so, they infer that Jesus was deceiving by using a false scare tactic.
They prove themselves disciples not of Jesus Christ, but of other men.
Remember that Jesus the Instructor stated, “You cannot serve two masters”. That includes being a disciple of two teachers.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other;” (King James Version)
Do you recall what happened in the Garden of Eden between the devil and the woman Eve?
There the devil posed a question to Eve that opened the door to Eve’s thinking independent from the express words of God. She put belief in someone else other than God.
After God had unambiguously stated the penalty for disobedience to His command, the devil questioned whether it was so. It was a question that should have never been asked and should never had been considered. The devil was successfully in making her doubt the word of God as given to her by her husband.
Why, Eve was even able to recite the commandment back to Satan when he asked his question.
But still, he was able to sow doubt in her mind as to whether God would really carry out what He said He would do, or if God even meant what He had said.
He asked Eve, ”Is it really so…?”
This has also been true in believing what Christ has told us about Hell. Even though he said Hell is real and exist, even though he states that it was created for Satan and his demons, even though he said those there will be tormented forever (Revelation 14:11), even though he offers a parable of a man in Heaven and a man in Hell having a meeting after they both had died; there are those who still deny the existence of Hell (the second death). They are doing same thing that Satan did to Eve by casting doubt and confusion on something clearly stated by Christ Jesus.
Many have rationalized in their own minds that God would not condemn to such a harsh judgment. They say, ” A loving God wouldn’t do such a thing.”
These people ought to feel the same concerning the death sentence Adam and Eve incurred as the result of eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.
And, they forget that our loving God caused a flood that destroyed and killed an entire world because of disobedience.
They do not hearken to the apostle Peter’s warning found in 2 Peter chapter 3:
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Many are willingly ignorant today because they do not want to contemplate the ramifications of the existence of Hell. But that willful ignorance won’t change reality.
The Book of Revelation tells us that the wicked are to receive the fullness of God’s wrath:
Revelation chapter 14
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Hell is the full measure of God’s wrath.
We as humans have no knowledge of the rules and penalties that govern those who exist in Heaven. Hell is the sentence of an angelic creature, but which his earthly seed will also share in.
We cannot extrapolate our idea of the possibility of things from our limited human perspective. We can only choose to believe or disbelieve.
As a point of reason, if person can allow themselves to believe that after a human dies, that a person can be raised to Heaven and partake in life there, then they should also be able to believe that a wicked person after death can be lifted out of this creation and transported to Satan’s final destiny. If one is possible, the other is possible.
We know that Hell is not part of this creation because this creation had been fully created before the devil fell and original sin took place. Hell is somewhere else that God carved out in His firmament. Again, Jesus is quoted as saying Hell was created as punishment for the devil and his angels.
Two of Satan’s most successful lies are that he and Hell don’t exist.