Hell, as it is described by most of Christianity today, does not exist nor is it stated to exist in the Bible. When we compare what is commonly taught about hell to what the Bible says, we learn that:
|Common teaching about Hell||What Scripture says about hell|
|It’s ruled by Satan||Satan is called the “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4), and never the ruler of hell.|
|It’s a place of torture||Hell means “grave” (Ps. 16:10). This record in Psalms is prophecy about Jesus. Jesus was crucified and was buried in a grave and did not go to hell (Acts 2:31).|
|The wicked will be tortured forever there.||In the future the wicked will be destroyed forever in a “Lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15), not tortured forever.|
|The wicked are there because of sin.||The wages of sin is death, not hell (Rom. 6:23)|
|The wicked go there after they die.||The wicked are dead and reserved for future judgment (Job 21:30).|
|Hell lasts forever||Hell, i.e. the “grave” will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14).|
One of the hardest concepts for Christians and unbelievers alike to accept is how a loving God could condemn someone to eternal punishment and suffering in a horrible place like hell. The misunderstanding of this doctrine has caused many to reject Christianity and God as a means of salvation. When we read scriptures like “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and “God is just” (2 Thess. 1:6), it is hard for us to conceive of a loving and just God who tortures someone forever and then tells us to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44).
Over ninety percent of the confusion about hell can be cleared up by substituting the words “the grave” or “gravedom” for the word “hell” in the Bible. There are places in the Bible where the word “hell” is used in the comparative sense to imply a place of destruction, not a place of torment.
Due to the complex nature of this subject, further study is needed to understand the truth about the origins and meanings of the erroneous doctrine that is commonly taught about hell. The links below will assist you in that study: