What Is Sheol?

What Is Sheol?

      The Intermediate State   The great white throne judgment is when God will resurrect every un-regenerated soul from Hades (HAY-deez) to be judged as shown in this passage: REVELATION 20:13-15The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. We see plain evidence here that unredeemed people are held in a place called Hades after their physical death. This place is called Sheol (she-OHL) in the original Hebrew of the Old Testament. These...

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Sheol in the Bible: Psalms Part 2

Sheol in the Bible: Psalms Part 2

  Continuing with our study of Sheol in the Psalms, let’s consider this important question…   Did David Pray for His Ex-Friend to Go to a Hellish Torture Chamber?   Notice David’s statement in this passage: PSALM 55:15 (KJV) Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell (Sheol): for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them. David is obviously referring to his enemies in this text, yet it’s interesting to note that one of these enemies was once a very close friend of his. This is revealed in the preceding lines, verses 12-14 (as well as verses 20-21). At one time David had shared “sweet fellowship” with this person, but by the time of the writing of this psalm it appears that this one-time close friend had...

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What about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16?

The teaching of Conditional Immortality means that the soul of man is finally destroyed on the Day of Judgment–at the end of this age. Therefore, technically speaking, this scripture has no bearing on this doctrine. However, as a side note, there is sufficient reason for understanding this passage of scripture as a parable. The previous four stories were all parables (Luke 15:4, 15:8, 15:11, 16:1) so this story is obviously in a long string of parables. The parable in Luke 16:1, which He just told them, also began with the exact same words “There was a certain rich man,” (Luke 16:1). That story, “the parable of the shrewd accountant,” is clearly a parable (though not labeled as such). These two stories both have to do with...

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The Meaning of Sheol According to the Prophets

The Meaning of Sheol According to the Prophets

          Let’s now observe what the Old Testament prophets had to say about the nature of Sheol.   “Sheol Has Enlarged Its Appetite”   We’ll start with Sheol as used in the book of Isaiah: ISAIAH 5:11-14 (NRSV) Ah, you who rise early in the morning in pursuit of strong drink, who linger in the evening to be inflamed by wine, (12) whose feasts consist of lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine, but who do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands! (13) Therefore my people go into exile without knowledge; their nobles are dying of hunger and their multitude is parched with thirst. (14) Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure; the nobility of Jerusalem and her...

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The Bible and Hell: Supposed Proof Texts for Eternal Torture

The Bible and Hell: Supposed Proof Texts for Eternal Torture

          Since the Bible doesn’t teach that unredeemed people possess immortality or that they will suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire, the only way adherents of these beliefs can defend their position is by milking a small number of passages for details that the entire rest of the Bible refutes. This chapter is devoted to honestly examining these passages. Ironically, as you shall see, a close examination of these texts actually gives further support for literal everlasting destruction.   Daniel 12:2: “Shame and Everlasting Contempt”   Our first supposed proof text for eternal torture is this passage from Daniel: DANIEL 12:2-3 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting...

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The Rich Man and Lazarus

The Rich Man and Lazarus

              Let’s now look at the sole reason why Christians have traditionally believed that Sheol is a state of conscious existence where bad people suffer constant fiery torment hoping for a tiny bit of water for relief and Old Testament saints are comforted in paradise at Abraham’s side. I’m, of course, referring to Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus:  LUKE 16:19-31 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich...

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Answering the Critics and Supposed Scriptures That Teach Otherwise

Answering the Critics and Supposed Scriptures That Teach Otherwise

Thankfully, Conditionally Immortality is growing in belief among evangelicals. A great article was written by respected evangelical scholar Clark Pinnock who has come out strongly in favor of this position: The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent. The fact that it is gaining ground must be the reason why a few are writing responses to it. They usually all quote the same four or five verses in defense of eternal torment, so these are now going to be addressed in this section. First, in scripture, Jesus speaks definitively on the fate of the unsaved soul, it will be destroyed.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt 10:28) It is Jesus who gives us the...

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