Hell. The mere mention of this word conjures up various images in our minds, most very unpleasant. It is often difficult to think of Christianity without remembering an instance where a zealous Christian has approached us with the ultimatum: Repent now or you will burn forever in Hell! But what exactly is Hell? We must allow the Bible, and only the Bible, to be our guide as we search for an explanation.
First, 2 Peter 2:9 tells us that the wicked will not be punished until the day of judgment; “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” The Bible tells us, in both John 12:48 and Matthew 13:40-42, that the Judgment Day has not already happened… it will be “in the last day” and “in the end of this world”. This means that, according the the words of Jesus Christ Himself, no one is being punished in Hell right now.
Is death really a mystery? For centuries, our ancestors held various beliefs on death. Where do the common phrases, Dead men tell no tales and Rest In Peace, come from? Today many denominations believe and teach that men have a physical body and a spiritual soul, but that is not what the Bible says.
We must put all of our doctrines and ideas to the ultimate test: does it stand up to Scripture? We cannot interpret the Bible to prove our ideas; we must allow the Bible and only the Bible to interpret itself for us! But how? How does the Bible interpret itself? Let us ask the Bible.