1. What did Jesus especially say about Hell while He was on earth?
“And if thine eye offend thee pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” Mark 9:47, 48.
2. Where is Hell further mentioned in the New Testament, as pertaining to the judgment?
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works,” Revelation 20:12, 13.
NOTE: It does not show justice on the part of God, to put people in a lake of fire, or a hot place known as hell, and leave them there for several thousand years, and then take them out and judge them. Therefore the place referred to in the above text cannot mean the lake of fire where the wicked go. All earthly courts of justice judge people before they punish them, and not afterwards. For us to suppose that the word “hell” in the foregoing text means a hot place of torture and misery, is to suppose that God inflicts punishment before people are even judged, as they are taken from hell to judgment. In such a case there would be many people who suffer the punishment of hell unjustly, if after having been there for a few thousand years, they would be judged and found innocent. As we do not hold such unjust actions as this against our loving Creator, some other explanation must be sought.
3. Did Jesus go to a place called hell when He died?
“He seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption,” Acts 2:31.
NOTE: As the word hell is descriptive of a place where the good people as well as the bad go at death, this explains how it is that people are taken from hell and judged, in the day of judgment. A careful study of this subject will reveal to the reader that in the two above cases the word “hell” refers to the grave, as it is taken from the Greek word “Hades,” always rendered grave in the Greek. If you will note also in your own Bible, if it is a reference Bible, and most Bibles are, that this word is explained in the margin, as meaning the grave. Look in your own Bible at Revelation 20:13, where the word hell occurs, and see if there is not a small figure placed by the word. Then examine the reference in the margin and find this same figure, and you will see that explanation is given as meaning the grave. The same Greek word “Hades,” is translated grave many times and in that language, from which our Bibles were translated. It is the word used, always, for our word “grave.”
Notes on hell:_The word “hell” is translated from three Greek words, viz., Tartarus, Hades, and Gehenna. Tartarus only occurs once in the original Greek text, from which our English was translated, and that is in II Peter 2:4, relative to the angels that sinned, being cast down to Tartario, to be reserved in chains unto the day of judgment.
The Greek word Tartarus, means the regions just above the earth. It does not mean the same as Hades or Gehenna.
The word Hades, as previously mentioned, means the grave and nothing more nor less. Just as Jesus went there, and was resurrected from it, so are many people to be taken from this hell, the grave, and judged in the day of judgment. The word Gehenna is used about twelve times in the New Testament, and the apostles and people to whom Jesus was speaking well knew that this was the name of the valley just to the south of Jerusalem, into which all of the carnage and filth of the city were hauled and dumped. It was where the carcasses of horses, mules, cows and sheep and all dead animals were taken as well as the bodies of transgressors and criminals. It is well known as the valley of Hinom and Gehenna. Here fires were kept burning day and night, one year following another, and this carnage and filth were burned. Many writers have given vivid descriptions of the place. They say around the edges worms were constantly consuming the flesh of animals and bodies of people, where the fire did not burn, hence the expression of Jesus “where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.” Jerusalem was a city of one hundred and sixty thousand people, with all lines of commerce carried by horses, mules and cattle. Therefore, a city so large without a sewer system, kept fires constantly burning to consume the refuse. Today, since Jerusalem is being restored, reports from there state the fires of Gehenna are again burning day and night. Look up the word “hell” in a Bible dictionary, or concordance and you will note quite a vivid description of this valley of Gehenna. The teaching of Jesus relative to people going to Gehenna only proves that the place to which He referred was a place of destruction, and not one of everlasting life in endless torture, as some try to infer.
4. Is there not a real hell fire of brimstone, into which wicked people are finally cast?
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death,” Revelation 21:8.
NOTE: It will be seen that the real hell of the Bible is a hot place surely enough, and this book describes a hotter hell than most denominations believe in today. It teaches a hell so hot that it burns up and consumes everything that is placed in it. The Bible nowhere teaches that God fries, singes and burns people throughout all eternity, but the hell set forth in the Word of God is a place so hot that it devours the wicked, as will be clearly seen in the lesson under the heading, “The Punishment of the Wicked.” See the index for this lesson.