Hell:

Every week in churches all around the world multiple millions sit snug in their pews believing that when they die they will go to heaven to spend an eternity of bliss with God because they are born again and saved. Meanwhile, the vast majority of humankind—untold billions of others—will go down into the flames of hell after they die because they have not believed in Jesus, repented and been forgiven for their sins, and are not Christians. In hell they will suffer awful, painful, and conscious punishment and torment, forever and ever, with no hope or chance of escape.

Theological Problem:

Hell is also a huge problem for a lot of people, Christians included. Its horrible and haunting concept has thoroughly permeated and embedded itself in almost all areas and aspects of our society. Nobody is immune. Fact is, this traditional belief and afterlife curse is so ingrained in the collective consciousness of society that it is now variously and negatively termed:

  • “One of Christianity’s most offensive doctrines.”
  • “The ultimately intolerant doctrine.”
  •  “Invented by church leaders to ‘keep the people in line.’”
  • “Theology’s H-word, a subject too trite for serious scholarship.”
  • “It’s like capital punishment for a traffic violation.”
  • “There is no good news if there is no bad news.”

But is there really an afterlife place and reality of eternal conscious punishment and torment called “hell?”

What Scripture Says:

Nowadays, the Bible is considered the primary source of “hell” proclamations, denunciations, and slang phrases. And most Bible scholars confidently assure us that “hell is vividly described in the pages of the New Testament.”  But do you know what the Bible actually says or literally mentions about “hell”? 

The correct answer: NOTHING! ZERO!

What’s going on? Do you see a problem here?

Elaborations:

  • You’ve Gotta Be Kidding . . .Right?
  • How many Americans believe in hell?
  • What does the Bible actually say about hell?
  • What did Jesus actually say about hell?
  • Where did hell come from?
  • The greater issue.
  • The ‘all’ controversy.
  • Thinking outside the box—like God.
  • The twelve demands of Scripture.
  • The synthesis solution.

Sources:

  1. Hell Yes / Hell No by John Noe
  2. The Last Word and the Word After That by Brian D. McLaren
  3. Razing Hell by Sharon L. Baker
  4. Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
  5. Love Wins by Rob Bell