Filed Under: Music & Film | Posted: 02/02/2008 at 12:01AM
Comments | Region: Thailand
People like to think of God of love, God of compassion, and God of mercy. They read the Bible and choose the part they like and ignore those they dislike. They even make presupposition and read into the Bible to support their assumption, a way of Bible reading we know of as ixegesis.
Take for example, in reading Deuteronomy chapter 28; they would like to read the blessing in 28:1-14. I counted a total of 12 and the 12th reads, “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your.” These are really blessings and so we close the book say a prayer to thank him and back to do our daily chores.
We do not want to continue reading because the immediate verses after blessing in 28:15-68 are curses. Here we see curses for disobediences. God says, “You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country, you will be cursed when you come and cursed when you go……”, and among the curses, there is Hell.
Why on earth would God who so loved the world want to curse and send people to Hell. God spelled it out loud and clear. The only reason we still ask is because we stopped in verse 14 and did not hear what he said in the following verses.
God created every thing in this world like a coin. It has the head and the tail. There is darkness and brightness, day and night, black and white, good and bad, up and down, front and back, boy and girl, man and woman, right and left, blind and clear, close and open and certainly heaven and hell.
Sheol is the word used in the OT for the place of the dead. The derivation of the Hebrew word Sheol is uncertain. Some have suggested that it comes from a weaken form of the root s‘l which derived the words for a hollow hand (Is. 40:12) and applied as deep place. More scholars now hold the view that it is derived from the root s’l meaning ask or enquire which connected to gaping, craving monster (Is. ; Hab. 2:5 etc.).
The meaning of Sheol moves between the ideas of the grave, the under world and the state of death. We can see the picture of Sheol in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and the Lazarus in Lk. 16:19-31. The Greek Hades used in this passage represents the underworld or the realm of death. It is Hell in the New Testament equivalents of Sheol. Consequently Sheol and Hades can be construed as Hell.
Hell is also mentioned in following part of the Bible:
Tartarus in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.
Sheol = Hades in Matthew ; Luke ; 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation1:18
Gehanna in Matthew 5:22; 30; Luke 12:5
Hell in Mark 9:44
Abyss in Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:1; 11:7
God created Heaven and as usual created the other side of the coin Hell. There is obedience and disobedience, right to wrong, applaud and punishment, righteous and sinful, just and evil. God allows freedom but also restriction not to commit sin. God, however, does not just simply put people who commit sins to Hell but only sin to the extreme that we deny him totally.
We can play a deaf ear to His words. We can imagine Him and create Him in our mind the way we like Him to be. We can rip off part of the Bible and leave what we like to read. But He said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Like it or not, “Hell” will still be there as real as his words. God defined "Hell" clearly in the Bible.
Do not blind yourself into thinking that the coin has only one side. Sheol has nothing to do with hell and Hades is only a fire place to burn rubbish. Hell is only an imaginary word and perhaps we should strike it off the Bible, Hurray, Heaven is for all and Cheers.
Heaven or Hell, the choice is yours.