Engaged: Eternally Dwelling In Hell?

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Becker discusses a JP article where one verse of Mark has Jesus using an idiom which might be misunderstood by translators. Becker purports that the discovery should engage our readers on the topic of death after death.

It’s one of those questions that every person wants to ask and every bible scholar cringes to hear:

When an unbeliever dies, will they be tormented in hell forever? Or is there death-after-death?

The basic undercurrent of the question is clear: Can a God of love actually cause eternal pain upon someone? Check the shelves of your local bookstore in the “afterlife” section and you will see that death is a very profitable topic.

For those who read the Bible, there is plenty of information to scare one from the woes of hell with images of where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth; where the worm never dies; where the fire is unquenchable; where the rich man begs for permission to have Lazarus dip his finger in water and quench his tongue across the great divide. The list continues as well as the interpretations regarding an unending and eternal suffering.

I’ll be honest with you, the concept of an eternal soul damned to painful separation from an all-knowing God is something that plagued my theology for years. When I ran across Weston Field’s article “Salted With Fire” almost 15 years ago, it gave me some relief as I, to this day, continue my own limited study on this topic. Fields points out that, in at least one place, Jesus’ words directed the keen listener to the soul’s overall termination once God’s judgment of their disobedience was enforced.

From Salted With Fire by Weston Fields

I propose a new translation of the verse, based on the retroversion to Hebrew. In the verses preceding verse 49 (Mark 9:42-48), Mark records that Jesus warned those offending “these little ones,” and declared that one would be better off to rid himself of offending parts of his body than to be cast into hell, where the fire never goes out and “their worm does not die.” It would fit this context to translate verse 49, “Everyone [who is cast into hell] will be completely destroyed,” that is, destroyed by fire.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Fields did not intend for this article to be the end-all of discussion on the un-redeemed-soul’s fate…however, I challenge you to read the article and be engaged!

Comments 3

  1. Salted with fire meaning a reference to total destruction makes a good deal of sense since there is that double meaning to salt throughout scripture—bringing flavor and representing destruction. I believe that is what Christ is doing here—showing both sides of the coin as another idiom which would apply.

  2. It might be interpreted as the ones of fire will be salted, I have heard.
    I also have heard the Jews believed that even the ones that didnt believe in God and went to Hell never was there for over a year. And Yeshua was a Jew.
    I believe that the reason Jesus was sent to be born of Mary and Joseph, was because the ones of the promise who were guaranteed they would see Heaven, wasn’t obeying the laws of God. And Joseph and Mary who had the blood of the Fallen Angels (Satan) had no chance to see Heaven at all. But they were obeying God’s commandments. That’s why the blood of Satan the blood of Christ isn’t sacreligious. And, that’s why secret societies kept track of Jesus’s bloodline. Because we’re the ones who will be salted. Who have to follow the commandments, not just believe in God, like the ones of the Promise (the Covenant)

  3. The leader of Heaven’s Family, David Servant, actually had an extensive discussion of this topic recently in an e-teaching entitled “The Hell Debate”. An evangelical, he admitted that he had switched his interpretation of this topic of eternal damnation from that of the unrepentant person being tortured for eternity, to the opinion that the unrepentant one would be completely destroyed. One of the Scriptures backing that up was Matthew 10:28. Only God can destroy the human soul. Mostly I was struck by the fact that he had made a complete turn around of his theological thinking, and that gave me hope that people can keep their minds from getting hardened into concrete!

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  • Brian Becker

    Brian Becker

    After graduating from Mizzou with Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering degrees in 1985, Brian Becker spent a decade on the road as a recording artist performing Christian Rock. In 1990, he signed a recording contract with Benson Music Group of Nashville. Brian produced 5 albums…
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