- Is Hell A Place Of Eternal Torture?

The traditional view of what "Hell" is is not what is taught in scripture. It is a tradition passed down from Greek mythology that is read into certain proof texts. God certainly would be a monster if he assigned people to eternal torture. Let's take a closer look at what God's word actually says about what hell is. It is simply the grave. People die and they are no more. Our blessed hope as that Jesus will return to raise us out of our graves to eternal life in his Kingdom. We will have no concept of time while dead in the grave. We will have no conscienceness while dead in the grave. Our next moment of conscienceness after death is at the resurrection when Christ returns. It will be like a time worp. To receive the 2nd death in the lake of fire is to be destroyed of all conscienceness. You will be no more. We are not immortal. You will not be assigned to eternal torture.

Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna are all translated as “Hell.”

Sheol = “the grave,” this is the Hebrew word used in the OT

Hades = this is the NT Greek word for Sheol, which means “the grave”

Gehenna = the Valley of Hinnom, a geographic location just outside of Jerusalem used to burn the bodies of criminals who had suffered capital punishment. Pagan deities were worshiped there and it became a garbage dump and a place of abomination where fire burned continuously. Gehenna became synonymous with “a place of burning.” Most of the occurrences of the word 'hell' in the New Testament refer to this 'place of burning' outside of Jerusalem.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt. 10:28 (To “destroy” something isn’t to continually torture.)

Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Psalms 104:35

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. Psalms 37:20

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matt. 25:41 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matt. 25:46 (The punishment of death is everlasting.)

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell(gehenna), into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell(gehenna), into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire(gehenna):  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:43-48  (Gehenna is an actual place outside of Jerusalem called “The Valley of Hinnom.” It is referenced in Neh. 11:30, II Kings 23:10, and Jer. 19:6. The people Jesus was speaking to knew of this place and understood what Jesus was saying. So a study of this place is required to understand what Jesus was saying.)

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 1:7 (But those cities are obviously not still burning today. Their destruction was eternal. They are still gone to this day. But they are not still burning.)

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:13-15 (All who enter this lake suffer permanent death. They suffer complete destruction—a final punishment that is everlastingeternalpermanent! It is not punishing but is rather punishment that is everlasting. Christ understood this just as anyone that knew of the fires in the Valley of Hinnom recognized that the bodies of criminals and animals thrown there burned up.)

In certain places the Bible actually translates Sheol as “the grave.” But if they were to insert “hell” as they do in other places, the verse would not make sense if we think of hell as the eternal destination of the wicked. Here is one example of many: If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me!  Job 14:13 Job is asking God to send him to hell to avoid God’s wrath, in hopes that he would be remembered at the resurrection. This only makes sense if we understand what hell truly is.