The Message

Fear of Hell

Fear of Hell- Is hell for real? 

If hell is absolute; where is it? Where and when did suffering originate? What is the purpose of teaching us that there is hell?  Is hell in the Bible? Did someone come back from hell and tell us what it looks like?  Is hell in the center of the earth? Can the Preachers that support torture explain to us how people look like when they are being tormented forever?  Is earth itself hell before the world began? Did Jesus mention the actual hell?

God’s plan was for everyone to be saved. Why would He create hell? God’s foreknowledge is not to create suffering for He knows that there’s no need since no one is going to hell except those predestined fallen angels, including the prince of this world, before man was created. If a pastor insists that there is hell, let him be! You can’t change their belief anyway.

Jesus used Gehenna as an illustration of the permanent place where both the body and soul of the wicked met their final judgment. In the gospel of Mark 9, he describes life in Gehenna as opposed to life in the Kingdom (43–48). Gehenna (Valley of Hinnom).  The Valley of Hinnom is the modern name for the valley surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City, including Mount Zion, from the west and south. It meets and merges with the Kidron Valley, the other principal valley around the Old City, near the southeastern corner of the city—Wikipedia

For more clarity, Gehenna is a physical location in Israel known in Hebrew as Ge Hinnom or the Valley of Hinnom, the valley where some of the kings of Judah sacrificed their children. First, children were burned as sacrifices to the Ammonite god Moloch. Then later, dead bodies of humans and animals were dumped, and to avoid the smell of dead bodies they incinerated the bodies the flesh served as fuel that seemed to last forever for many bodies were dumped.

Jesus mentioned the Gehenna, but that does not mean hell, so hell is not biblical teaching. The poor brainwashed believers are unawarere that these people playing church are forking over their hard-earned money and even measuring how deep their pockets are. These leaders have to act to make their followers believe that they are in obedience to the commandments. Still, the truth is they never even bother to observe it themselves with luxury living, no signs of helping the poor and visiting widows and some are lustful.

The idea of hell as the abode of the wicked opposes heaven as the place where never-ending happiness exists. Real or myth, it is already made as part of our lives.  It seems we cannot live without it in our minds. How can the Bible lead us to the truth without the guidance of the Holy Spirit?  It appears to be next to impossible. Since many generations and influential people have passed and have their hands on the written words, we can only find the truth through God’s revelation while reading His word.  Does hell exist in the Garden of Eden? If not, where is hell when Adam and Eve still owned paradise?

Hell was never mentioned in the Old Testament as a destination for the wicked, specifically the Prophets of God. The Hebrew word for Sheol means the grave, either good or bad; people go to their grave. As true as it is in the New Testament, using the Greek word Hades also means the grave.  Gehenna, as mentioned by Jesus, is not meaning it but just an illustration. Hell should not be taught in Bible studies since there is no firm foundation in the Bible. Why do we have to listen to a make-believe story that might influence our minds in the long run?

Maybe the translator at the time did not have enough knowledge of the translation, or they were paid to do evil things. Then, if hell is absolute, there will be an accurate definition, explanation of their origin, and the purpose why there will be eternal torment instead of just giving them their wages and perish; but that is not God’s plan for them because no one can understand God’s decision, and no one can question Him either.

If hell exists, the Prophets of God already mentioned it, and most probably, the New Testament writers would have felt their works were incomplete if they had not mentioned that exciting idea. So the idea is there but not the hell as being laid down to us as a tormented place for the wicked. We are misled that Sheol from the Hebrew Bible means hell; likewise in the New Testament, our understanding of Hades is hell.

There was no clear evidence of the origin and purpose that describe, explain and define hell except during the time of the Italian Poet Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy, a three-part epic poem published in 1320; Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso).  Imagine what he went through during his time with the hardship due to political abuses.  As we are experiencing now, the powerful and influential politicians that can get away from all their wrongdoings, the Oligarch of our time controlling our ways of living, which seems like the origin of hell?

Would you not think comparing the experience and hardship of the people before our time makes no difference today being taken advantage of by the powerful?  Isn’t heaven just for the rich, famous, and influential, and hell for the unfortunate, homeless, and forgotten citizens?  If the wicked rich people think they have heaven on their hands, what would they feel when we give them hell?

When God gave Moses the Law to follow, disobedience is a sin, and transgressions of the law have consequences. In today’s living, politicians or some influential people push politicians to make a law that will favor them both, and they even become people above the law. They made the Law and violated the law without consequences. The same feathers flock together. Sometimes we can say that these people are the ones that gave us hell to live.

God is very transparent, and there are no surprises. God should have told us already if there is hell waiting for us.

The Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek Hades means grave— the abode of all the dead, either good or bad, has one destination, the tomb. So whoever told us in the ministry that we go to hell if we disobey, that’s how they control our mind; even the people before us, through the doctrine of fear, use torture to brainwash people.

The Hebrew word Sheol means grave: Job 14:13, Psalm 49:15, Genesis 37:35. These verses tell a grave (the abode of all the dead).

The Greek word Hades means grave and not hell.

Greek word Tartarus (Tataroo) means hell, only used once by Peter (2 Peter 2:4). – This verse is about fallen angels awaiting judgment and not for human souls; it is a place where Satan and his angels will eventually be judged.

Today Gehenna is unrecognizable, and no trace of its darkest past and now a lovely park that attract tourists. Archeological findings in the area, such as the Siloam pool where Jesus healed the blind man was discovered in 2005, and the Bethesda Pool back in the 19th century, where he healed the paralytic, as stated in the Gospel of John 5:2-9.

The oldest Bible findings in the area have inscribed God’s benediction: “The LORD bless thee and keep thee; the LORD make His countenance to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.” If these findings are in hell by this benediction by the LORD, it erases hell and should also erase the fear of hell.

Go forth and spread that there is no hell to fear but the wrath of God when we keep doing wicked things.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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