Belief in Hell?


#1

I’ve been wrestling with how to communicate what I’ve come to believe concerning “Hell”. The traditional understanding of Hell being a place of ECT that people go to after death if they don’t…whatever, that it’s challenging to speak of what I believe is actually scriptural.

I believe that there is a “Hell”, per se, but I don’t understand it to be the endless state of the damned, but what Paul calls it “this Present Evil Age.” And this “Present Evil Age” will ultimately come to an end when all are saved and reconciled to God. I mean, even Death and Hades are ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire (the all-consuming presence of God).

It’s similar to drowning; if a life guard saves 100 out of 100 people who are drowning in a lake and then drains and fills in the lake with dirt making it a beautiful park, it in no way lessens the reality, the threat of drowning. In like manner, my faith that Jesus ultimately saves 100% of humanity from “this present evil age” and brings “this present evil age” to an end and brings all into righteousness and life with Him, in no ways lessens the reality of “this present evil age”.

In this present evil age, people are increasingly oppressed, tortured, vexed by evil from within and without, surrounded by death, slaves to unrighteousness, separated off from God. This is a present reality that is only experienced fully after one sheds one skin in death. In fact, I believe that our physical bodies act similar to a “space suit” in that they sheild us to a greater or lesser degree from the evil that we are born in through no choice of our own. When a person who does not know Christ dies, he comes into experiencing the full reality of this present evil age. The protective suit (physical body) is shed and the reality of this present evil age is experienced - until one is saved.

And salvation is translating one from this kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, whether one is translated/saved before or after they physically die, shedding their physical bodies. So when people ask me if I believe in Hell, I really struggle with how to respond. I do not believe in their understanding of “Hell”, but I do believe in this present evil age which one day will come to an end.

What say you?


#2

You might ask them to define “hell”, and then you will be able to say whether or not you believe in it.


#3

I don’t know why you struggle to respond, as you seem to have a pretty clear idea here of what you think :smiley:

I say that I believe in hell, but that isn’t the end of the story/road and that it’s a place of greater intensity where God continues to work to bring people to repentance and faith. Although you & Bell have helpfully shown me “hell” has already begun, and depending on who I was talking to, I might mention this too.