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Where did hell go?
Over the past week I have been expelled from 2 different internet message boards that were supposedly meant for Christians. My offense... is that I insist that it is a Christians duty to issue a clear warning to sinners that if they dont repent and be born again, God will send them to Hell. I was accused of being too confrontational. I was accused of not having any Christian charity. I was accused of ignoring the Gospel of Christ since according to these net Christians Hell is not part of the Gospel message.
One poster on the last board insisted that the Bible seldom ever mentions Hell- certainly not often enough for Hell to be the Bibles central message. But when this person quoted Scripture to me it was from the NASB. I am King James Only (but not a follower of Riplinger or Ruckman) and this use of the NASB has made me wonder if these net Christians dont want to warn sinners about Hell because they dont believe in Hell and they dont believe in Hell because the Bibles they use either disguise Hell or simply ignore it altogether. Has anyone done any kind of study regarding how modern English translations of the Bible treat the subject of Hell? How do these modern Bibles, which are now in the majority compared to the AKJ, contribute to the fact that, according to research by Barna, only 32% of adults in the U.S. believe that Hell is a physical place where souls are punished?
I would appreciate any light that you could shed on this issue.
It was Jesus Himself who gave the account about the rich man in hell. Luke 16:19-31 says, "19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."
Many of the new translations have removed the word "hell" and instead of translating the word, have transliterated it (brought the Greek word sound for sound into the English language). The reason for their change is obvious, they want to be less offensive (less confrontational). So versions like the NASV now read, "In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom." What child knows what "hades" is? How is that easier to understand? How many adults really understand what "hades" is? Many do not. The outcome of their tampering with the Word of God is that a generation is rising up that does not even want to talk about the word "hell" (and everyone knows where hell is and what it is like there). 2 Timothy 4:1-5 says, "1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
It was Jesus who said in Matthew 23:15, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Jesus preached about hell, and warned the hypocrites they were going there. I guess that means that Jesus was confrontational. I guess that means that we better be the same.
Jesus did not preach hell fire to everyone, because some were coming in humility to Him, and already knew they deserved judgment. To the hypocrites and self-righteous, hell needs to be preached. To the humble and repentant, compassion and forgiveness needs to be preached. Jude 1:22-23 says, And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
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