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2 Resurrection and Life Heaven and Hell

2 Resurrection and Life Heaven and Hell

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Published by Jay Winters
The second in a five week Bible study on the Resurrection and our hopes as Christians after our mortal lives
The second in a five week Bible study on the Resurrection and our hopes as Christians after our mortal lives

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Published by: Jay Winters on Sep 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Resurrection and Life
Heaven andHell
Final destination
In George Bernard Shaw’s play, “Man and Superman,” there is ascene called “Don Juan in Hell”, where we see Don Juan having aconversation with the Devil and Don Juan’s traditional loveinterest, Donna Ana. One of the things that comes up their discussion is if it is better to be in hell, which is not nice to be inbut has “the right kind of company” or if it is better to be in heavenwhich is nice, but the people you’re there with a dreadfully boringgoody-two-shoe types. It all begs the question of who we think isgoing to be with us in heaven.
Read Matthew 25:31-46
Who goes to heaven? Who goes to hell?
The Bible uses 2 concepts that often get lumped into the sameEnglish category of Hell. The first of those is the Hebrew word“She’ol”, translated into Greek as “Hades”. The second is theHebrew word “G’hinom”, translated into Greek as “Gehenna”.Surprisingly, neither of these words are as clear as some of theother language in the Bible that doesn’t get translated into theEnglish word “hell”, such as “the second death.” (read Rev. 20:6-14)
The Hebrew concept “She’ol” is really more like “the place of thedead.” It is not value specific, everyone ends up there it seemsfrom David to Jonah to evil people. When translated into Greek inthe New Testament, it seems to take on the characteristic of beingthe place of God’s enemy (Matt 16:18, throughout Revelation).The other word for hell, “G’hinom” is actually a place outside of Jerusalem. It’s a garbage dump where trash is burned and isJesus’ favorite use of “hell”. It is with this word where we get thepicture of hell being a “fiery place” and lasting forever. (readMatthew 5:22-30)Revelation never uses the word “G’hinom”, but replaces it with theconcept of “the second death” – which is a sort of blending or combination of She’ol’s “place of the dead” concept and G’hinom’s“place of everlasting torment.”
Use of “she’ol” in Hebrew OT – over 60 times. Use of “Hades” in Greek NT – 10 times.
Use of “G’hinom” in Hebrew OT – 13. Use of “Gehenna” inGreek NT – 11 times.
Use of “second death” in Revelation (only used inRevelation) – 4 times.To make things even more confusing, a well meaning poet fromItaly named Dante Alighieri confused us even more with his book“The Divine Comedy” where he blended Christian, Jewish, andRoman ideas about Hell together in two of that book’s volumes,“Inferno” and “Purgatorio”. Unfortunately, when people thinkabout hell, they think about it more in terms of Dante than they doof even what Jesus has to say about the place.
What are the common ideas that you see in our cultureabout hell and where do you think they come from?
Our word “heaven” is the translation of the Hebrew word for sky,“Shama’im”. It is mentioned as a partner to earth in Genesis 1:1,and is one of the first things to get created and named by God(Genesis 1:8).

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