'Burn in Hell' Theory

Preachers warn from their pulpits – ‘If you don’t accept Christ as your Savior, you are condemned for your sins! When you die, you would be sent alive to hell to be tortured forever in raging fire!’ Eternal torment is the ominous warning. Many claim that a fire-proof Satan rules this underworld and that his demons torture the people cast down there. On what basis is this preached? What is the soul’s punishment for sin according to the Bible? Does the Bible preach eternal torment?

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Sheol/Hades - Translators Gone Rogue

Translators of the King James Bible rendered the Hebrew word SHEOL (65 occurrences) in English as grave (31 times), pit (3 times) and hell (31 times). They translated SHEOL as grave/pit when it was to be the resting place for good people, but rendered the same word as hell when referring to a bad person. Job actually prays to go to SHEOL (Job 14:12). And any Hebrew expert or even Wikipedia would confirm that SHEOL means grave/pit. The Bible actually describes what kind of a place SHEOL is!

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Gehenna - Lake of Eternal Fire

The Greek word Gehenna is translated as hell 12 times. If Gehenna denotes hell, we can actually book a flight and go to hell! Yes, it’s a real place in Israel. That’s why translations like YLT render it as Gehenna instead of hell. When Jesus says ‘the fire in Gehenna’, it’s like a New Yorker saying ‘the water in Brooklyn’! The Valley of Hinnom, named Gehenna in Greek, lies just outside the city of Jerusalem. During Jesus’ time, it was the city’s garbage burner. Its fires were kept continually burning (everlasting fire).

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Tartaroo - Bad Angel Lockdown

The Greek word tartaroo occurs only once in the Bible and has been translated as hell. "God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." (2 Peter 2:4). – Here, the entire phrase ‘cast down to hell’ is translated from the one Greek word tartaroo. Some misuse this verse to support a netherworld where fallen angels and sinners are held forever. But there are obvious problems with that view.

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Weeping & Gnashing of Teeth

Didn’t Jesus talk about a place where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth? This expression is found in seven places - Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30, Luke 13:28. This is heavily symbolic as Jesus uses it only in a parable or a symbolic statement all seven times. Its meaning differs based on the context. But its general sense in all the places is – a finite period of punishment/trial for a group of people who have erred in God’s sight.

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A Parable for the Ages

Some take the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus literally to preach torment. But if taken literally, the parable seems to imply absurdities -- Lazarus is blessed not because of faith, but just because he was sick and poor. So will only the poor/sick will be saved? And if this hell is literal, mustn’t Abraham's bosom also be a real place where millions of poor will reside? Jesus told this story as a symbolic lesson to the Pharisees. What really was his message?

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