TW Viewpoint | Am I Going to Hell?January 24, 2018 | Jonathan Riley
Are you going to burn in hell for eternity or have you been good enough to go to heaven as your reward? Most religions have been misrepresenting what the Bible says and neither of these outcomes is true.
How many times have you heard that if you are bad you will go to hell? Or that the ones you loved, who were good people, are now in heaven? These concepts form the main structure of belief for most Christians but it's simply not true if you go by what the Bible says.
The word "hell" appears in both the Old and New Testaments but in every example it is a translation from one of these four Hebrew or Greek words:Hades, Sheol, Gehenna or ge hinnom, and Tartarus.
Hades and Sheol literally mean grave or pit. Gehenna is the Greek name for a place in Israel, the Valley of Hinnom, where they used to burn unwanted children in a ritual sacrifice, and Tartarus is a place of confinement where fallen angels are being held (1 Peter 3:19).
Nowhere does it say that you will burn in hell for eternity. At the same time heaven is not a place where good people go as a reward. When you die, you die, and your remains will end up in the ground one way or another. Ecclesiastes 9:10 states "...for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.".
The Bible speaks of a later period of judgement, but for all of humanity that has lived and died; all are in the grave with one exception. John 3:13 states that "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven."
Finally, consider this scripture: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Notice the word 'perish'? It comes from the Greek word "apollymi" and means to destroy fully, abolish, bring to an end and render useless. It doesn't sound like eternal damnation to me. Christian churches have been using fear tactics to persuade people to pay up for their sins for centuries. They have also been dangling a weird carrot in telling people that we will spend an eternity on white fluffy clouds. The future is much more exciting than that.
While the Bible also speaks of a lake of fire, the twisted ideas conjured up by unstable minds of the eternal suffering of wicked men in hell fire is not found in the Bible.
For more information on what the Bible really says about the fate of mankind please read our free booklet on John 3:16.