Fudge's conclusion that hell is a place of destruction, not torture, got him fired from his pulpit. The fact that he asked a black preacher to pray at a revival didn't help. I've just kind of been along for the ride. To outsiders and even some Christians, the debate over the nature of hell may seem like splitting theological hairs.
But for Christians who orient their lives around a literal understanding of biblical teaching, the belief in eternal hell is seen as an essential truth. Hell can be the third rail of Christian teaching -- step on it and you're bound to get jolted. Last year, Michigan evangelical megachurch pastor Rob Bell found himself on the cover of Time magazine when his book, "Love Wins," questioned traditional notions of hell. Many conservative leaders swiftly denounced him.
Fudge's independence of mind and determination to dig deep into the Bible -- and then to stand for what he believes despite vehement opposition -- is what makes the film transcend narrow questions of theology, said Pat Arrabito, director of the Angwin, Calif. And then he had to stand up for what he believes. Fudge never expected to change his mind on the topic of hell, he said. But then the renegade former Seventh-day Adventist minister Robert Brinsmead saw some of Fudge's articles and paid Fudge to research the topic of hell in the Bible and historic Christian writings.
For dramatic effect, the movie has Fudge's character played by Mackenzie Astin already agonizing over the doctrine after a young friend dies in an accident. In reality, Fudge said, he may have wondered about it, but he hadn't given it much study or much anguish. An eternally burning hell for the "lost" was one of the accepted assumptions of everyone he knew. In his research, Fudge expected to merely assemble information that would verify what he had always taught and been taught on the topic.
But, he found out, he didn't know what was in the Bible, not when he took passages on the topic of the fate of the wicked at face value, in their own linguistic and historic contexts.
How do you sell God in the 21st century? More heaven, less hell
Fudge's research became the basis for his page text on the topic, "The Fire that Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment," which was released in and is now in its third edition. In it, he argues that hell is a place of annihilation, not endless torment, while heaven is a place where God grants the gift of immortality for those who are saved.
The doctrine outlined in the book is now fairly widely accepted by leading evangelical preachers and Christian scholars. Reading the scores of precise and clear scriptures the Lord provides, how can Christians who have even casually read the Bible, deny the location of hell? In the popular book, Whatever Happened to Hell? This word "outside" is the one that Jesus used frequently when speaking about hell and almost certainly lays to rest the notion that hell is located somewhere in the center of the earth.
What Happened to Hell? How can anyone who has read the Bible truthfully say, "As to its location, we are given no details. The answer is simple. The human psyche of mankind, even among Christians, refuses to accept the reality of hell. If they ignore the evidence long enough and loud enough, maybe it is not really there. But it is there. How can Blanchard write, ". Why did God write them?
No wonder they ripped the Bible from our schools -- preachers have been ripping it apart for years. The three verses in the Bible that mention "outer darkness" plainly refer to earthly judgments during the millennium. Not hell. Here are the verses:. Matthew , says, "That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. The "kingdom of heaven" refers to the earthly millennial reign. Matthew Matthew has someone Friend walking into a wedding without the proper garment salvation.
Again, we are plainly dealing with the earthly millennium. And he was speechless. The last "outer" occurs in Matthew The context of verse 31 , "When the Son of man shall come in his glory. Verses teach "earthly rewards" by working and talents. Again, this can only be the millennium. The Lord Jesus gives the "key" to understanding the Bible in Matthew , ".
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Baxter conveniently dismisses the reality that God placed hell inside the earth with feeble human logic:. If this revolving physical orb could imprison purely spiritual beings, then contradictorily enough it would burn them to nothingness by the intense internal fire which becomes increasingly hotter toward its center. How can a Christian reject the scriptures with the mindless reasoning of, "I cannot see. Beloved, there are many amazing things the Lord says and does that humanly speaking "I cannot see. I cannot see the infinite wisdom of creation.
I cannot see why He loved me so much to die for my sins. But what I cannot see with these frail physical eyes, the boundless spiritual eyes of faith can clearly see in the Word of God. Does not our Lord admonish us in 2 Corinthians to, "walk by faith, not by sight :"? Baxter also writes the reckless humanistic statement that the "intense internal fire" inside this earth would "burn them to nothingness.
I wonder has Mr. Baxter ever heard about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego of Daniel 3. These three Jewish boys were thrown alive into a furnace of literal fire that was heated seven times hotter than normal. Yet their hair was not even singed! The Bible says in Daniel , ".
To reject the scriptures on pathetic human rationale is disgraceful. In Numbers chapter 16, the Lord silences all skeptics to the location of hell. In Numbers 16, the Bible records the rebellion and destruction of Korah.
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As a consequence of their rebellion, the Lord opens the earth and they go down alive into the pit of hell. Verse 33 also states, they ". What could the Lord possibly write in the scriptures that He could make the location of hell any clearer? For you to reject the fact that God prepared hell inside this earth, you must intentionally ignore many, many plain and detailed scriptures. The evidence of the scriptures is convincing. It is conclusive.
And it is real. Author and Bible-Believing scientist Dr. Henry Morris deduces from the scriptures, the present hell "is somewhere in the heart of the earth itself. It is also called "the pit" Isa. Henry M. Morris, The Bible Has the Answer , p. This star, like Wormwood, is a messenger from God, but the judgment it brings is even more terrible. It does not strike the earth or poison the waters, but with the key to the shaft of the Abyss v.
From the pit, or Abyss, comes smoke like the smoke from a gigantic furnace, darkening the sun and sky IVP New Testament Commentaries :: Revelation Christ, as Lord of all, took possession first of the earth the unseen world beneath it some conjecture that the region of the lost is in the central parts of our globe , then of heaven Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Bible Commentary, Ephesians Though they dig into hell-- though they hide ever so deeply in the earth Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Bible Commentary, Amos Hades [Hell] is a place in the created system, rude, a locality beneath the earth , in which the light of the world does not shine; and as the sun does not shine in this locality, there must necessarily be perpetual darkness there.
And in this locality there is a certain place set apart by itself, a lake of unquenchable fire. By ourselves the lower regions of Hades are not supposed to be a bare cavity, nor some subterranean sewer of the world, but a vast deep space in the interior of the earth, and a concealed recess in its very bowels; inasmuch as we read that Christ in His death spent three days in the heart of the earth, that is, in the secret inner recess which is hidden in the earth , and enclosed by the earth, and superimposed on the abysmal depths which lie still lower down.
Hence he says , If they dig for themselves passages to hell, that is, to the center of the earth. The Workes of John Boys. Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them,.
The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering. At the same time it provides against that despair into which men would be otherwise plunged, when convinced of their sins, by revealing the immense love of God, the glory and grace of Christ, and inviting all to come to him, that they may obtain pardon, life, and happiness.
Clarence Larkin Estate, , pp There is no doubt in my mind that hell is in the center of this earth. Amos describes hell in these words: "Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to Heaven, thence will I bring them down" Amos Certainly when we think of digging, we think of going down in the earth - we do not dig UP, we dig DOWN: we do not dig in the air, we dig in the dirt.
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Amos tells us as the Holy Spirit leads him to write - "Though they dig into hell, thence shall my hand take them. Without a shadow of a doubt, hell is in the center of this earth. Greene Evangelist, author and Bible teacher of popular radio broadcast called The Gospel Hour. I personally believe that Hell is in the heart of the earth. Scientists say that beneath the earth there is a boiling volcanic disturbance constantly going on in the heart of the earth. And so I personally believe Hell will be in the heart of the earth.
Jack Hyles, To Hell and Back, sermon. It is under your feet. Hell is down under your feet, Isaiah There is no doubt where hell is. Peter S. Ruckman Ruckman, Peter S. Hopeless immortals! For more info on hell see our tract The Truth About Hell. Terry Watkins, Th.
Dial-the-Truth Ministries. He whispers all this into our ears, and he exults when he hears a layman, and much more when he hears a clergyman, deny these things, for then he hopes to make them and others his victims. The Los Angeles Times writes in, "Why a Fiery Hell Gets Cold Shoulder": "Hell's fall from fashion indicates how key portions of Christian theology have been influenced by a secular society that stresses individualism over authority and the human psyche over moral absolutes.
The rise of psychology, the philosophy of existentialism and the consumer culture have all dumped buckets of water on hell. True, it originally was created for the devil and his angels, but Isaiah 5 8 Woe unto them that join house to house, All times are GMT The time now is PM. Contact Us AV Mark Forums Read. Current Events Current events, including politics and culture. Page 1 of 2. Thread Tools. Does God have a special place in Hell for those of you who believe that God has a special place in hell for one kind of sinner over another.
Visit chette's homepage! Diligent Forum Administrator. Posts: Quote: Originally Posted by chette All who reject him go to hell. Join Date: Feb Posts: Quote: Originally Posted by Diligent That is not correct. Find all posts by tonybones Find all posts by greenbear. Quote: Originally Posted by chette people are sentenced to prison everyday. Find all posts by JaeByrd.