Etikettarkiv | gehenna

Bible verses about eternal LIFE or DEATH for the souls

death2What the Bible says about spiritual DEATH

Our choice when it comes to our permanent future seems to be a) eternal life, or b) eternal death. If the first realm is eternal (staying alive for ever in the kingdom of God) it makes sense to assume that also the latter realm is equally eternal (staying dead and non-existent for ever). Note that I do not believe that the process of dying will last for ever but rather the duration of being dead – as in a permanent irrevocable death and complete non-existence. If the whole process of dying would last for ever, then this too could be labelled ”eternal life”, albeit in agony and torture. The Bible, however, explains that our choice is either life or death. Not life or life.

There is no doubt, however, that unbelievers risk being burned in the fire that we call hell (see verses below) unless they repent. Nevertheless, the exact duration (and degrees) of this suffering is unknown and up for debate. We do know that books will be opened and proper judgments will be made, and also that the place called Hades will finally be thrown in the lake of fire (often called Gehenna). The lake of fire is the second death. Hades appears to have two sections (and good and one bad) and this is where Lazarus ended up, as per Luke 16:20-25.

The Greek adjective αἰώνιος (aiónios, Strong’s 166) derives from the noun aiṓn (Strong’s 165), and even though it is often translated ”eternal” it does not always refer to something that will last non-stop. Even God’s covenant with Israel was ”eternal”, and yet it no longer applies.

Bible verses where everlasting life is contrasted with death and corruption

The Bible contrasts ”everlasting life” with corruption and death. If you live in shameful sin you will end up with death, and if you are the servant of God you will end up with the opposite, which is everlasting life.

Gal. 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap CORRUPTION; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap LIFE EVERLASTING.9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Rom. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of SIN UNTO DEATH, OR OF OBEDIENCE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS? — 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is DEATH.22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and THE END EVERLASTING LIFE.23 For THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.— 6 For TO BE CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace. — 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. — 13 For IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE: BUT IF YE THROUGH THE SPIRIT DO MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YE SHALL LIVE.  

John 6:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. —  24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. — 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE; and they that have done evil, UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION. 

Matt. 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,  — 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matt. 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:—41 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:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:—46 And these shall go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT: but the righteous into LIFE ETERNAL.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. — 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. — 36 He that believeth on the Son hath EVERLASTING LIFE: and he that believeth not the Son SHALL NOT SEE LIFE; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Matt. 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into LIFE halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into EVERLASTING FIRE.9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto EVERLASTING LIFE, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. — 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. — 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. — 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are DEAD.50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, HE SHALL LIVE FOR EVER: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. — 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. — 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. — 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. — 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves UNWORTHY OF EVERLASTING LIFE, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Matt. 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. –—  26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Matt. 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. — 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matt. 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Matt. 10:28 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 (Gehenna).

Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Rev. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.13 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.14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev. 21:He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Clues from the old testamentdove 2

Gen. 2:1 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Below are two long sections from Ezekiel which are key to understanding the issue of life and death, particularly from the perspective of the old testament before Jesus’s entrance on earth. All souls are God’s souls and everyone must give an account before God in the future, but the soul that sins – and that does not repent before it is too late – shall apparently die. This is naturally not about a physical death since ALL human beings will eventually die one day (sinners or not), but the below verses have a focus on a spiritual death.

Ez. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,— Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,—13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,—17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Ez. 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby

Contempt” below is a translation from the Hebrews noun deraon, which can also be translated aversion or abhorrence (Strong’s 1860). It is also used in Is. 66:24.

Dan. 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Is. 66:21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the Lord.22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Eccl. 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

heavenThe kingdom of God is only for those who repent

You will only enter the kingdom of God if you repent and become born again.

Matt. 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Luke 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Matt. 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Rom. 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. — 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. — 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. —  48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

1 Tim. 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Annonser

If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off (Matt. 18:8)

Did Jesus exaggerate when he asked us to cut off body parts which cause us to sin? 

Jesus wasn’t joking in the below listed verses in Matt. 18:1-9. One could say he was using a ”hyperbole” (Greek hyperbole ”exaggeration”) which means to exaggerate to create emphasis or effect as a rhetorical device or figure of speech, or one could also suggest he meant exactly what he said.

Matt 18:1 1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 8Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Mark 9:42–48 describes Jesus’ words in a similar way, and Gehenna is described ”Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched”.

Jesus speaks to his own believing disciples. He doesn’t say that sinning results in reduced gifts in heaven but rather that we are risking to end up in hell which is rather serious. Maybe we prefer a Jesus who turns a blind eye to our sins, but this only works IF we repent from them (and thereafter live in righteousness). Only then are the past sins removed. It’s amazing that God has arranged so that we can be completely cleansed from our sins and get access to his Kingdom! Jesus went through a lot of suffering to make this possible. So, does Jesus suggest that we should cut off body parts if they make us sin? Yes, I believe he does, but think about it…When we stand there ready to chop off a hand with an ax, wouldn’t we rather CONFESS our sins, REPENT and avoid sinning?! Wouldn’t that be a much better alternative? This is an offer provided to us by Jesus. John says:

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Now, THAT is a much better alternative and it doesn’t contradict what Jesus says in Matt 18:8. Note that Jesus doesn’t say ”If you have sinned you must as a punishment cut off that body part that made you sin”. We shouldn’t think that Jesus wants us to cut off body parts when we have sinned because that is not what he is saying. That wouldn’t make the sin be undone. He rather means that there are no acceptable excuses to sin IN THE FUTURE. Whether we are talking about kleptomania, mythomania, pyromania, gluttony, fraud, adultery, outlived homosexuality or alcoholism, there are no valid excuses to continue with those sins, and we can’t blame our sins on anyone or anything. We can never excuse our sins with ”I’m born this way” or that we don’t have a choice because we just obeyed our bodies. Paul says:

1 Kor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Who in their right mind would say ”I know I could confess my sins and repent and I would be cleansed from all my sins BUT I prefer to chop my hands off to make absolutely sure I won’t sin with them again”? That would be rather foolish. It’s not certain that it will always be easy to avoid living in the flesh, but all things are possible for Jesus. Without the aid from the Holy Spirit it might be difficult to bring our bodies into subjection, but if we let ourselves be guided by Him we can make it. Prayers, fasting, persistence and support from other christians might very well be needed.

Matt 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Notice that it’s a sin ”to lust” after a woman. It’s not a sin to accidentally meet a woman and find her amazingly attractive, and you might be forced to be around pretty girls on a daily basis at work or somewhere else. It’s a sin to look at a woman in reality or on pictures/films with the aim ”to lust”, and it’s a sin to intentionally seek situations that can make you be tempted and which can lead to sin. Even if we avoid clear traps and tempting situations, Satan might still present them to us. We can’t escape from living in this world. A tempting thought doesn’t have to be a sin in itself. Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert and I’m sure he desired to get something to eat and had such pictures in his head when the devil brought up the topic. It would have been a sin for Jesus to eat during a time when eating was not allowed, but despite the tempting thought he still chose to not give in for it and sin. God sees our hearts and he knows very well what we do or don’t do to avoid tempting situations, and also what we do to get out of difficult situations that we are already in and which we never even asked for.  God doesn’t ask for the impossible.

Om din hand eller din fot förleder dig till synd så hugg av den och kasta den ifrån dig (Matt 18:8)

Om din hand eller din fot förleder dig till synd, så HUGG AV DEN och kasta den ifrån dig. Det är bättre för dig att gå in i livet stympad eller halt än att ha båda händerna och båda fötterna i behåll och kastas i den eviga elden

Överdrev Jesus när han bad oss att hugga av kroppsdelar om de förleder oss till synd?

Jesus skojade absolut inte, men visst skulle kunna säga att Jesus beskrivning i ovan vers är en ”hyperbol”, (grek. hyperbole) som betyder att en medveten och demonstrativ överdrift används för att få fram en poäng. Hyperboler kan användas i både förstorande eller förminskande sammanhang. Man skulle också kunna säga att Jesus menade precis det han sade.

Matt 18:1 I samma ögonblick kom lärjungarna fram till Jesus och frågade: ”Vem är störst i himmelriket?” 2 Då kallade han till sig ett barn och ställde det mitt ibland dem 3 och sade: ”Amen säger jag er: Om ni inte omvänder er och blir som barn, kommer ni inte in i himmelriket. 4 Den som ödmjukar sig som detta barn, han är den störste i himmelriket. 5 Och den som tar emot ett sådant barn i mitt namn, han tar emot mig.6 Men den som förleder en av dessa små som tror på mig, för honom vore det bättre att en kvarnsten hängdes om hans hals och han sänktes i havets djup. 7 Ve över världen som förför. Förförelser måste komma, men ve den människa genom vilken förförelsen kommer. 8 Om din hand eller din fot förleder dig till synd, så hugg av den och kasta den ifrån dig. Det är bättre för dig att gå in i livet stympad eller halt än att ha båda händerna och båda fötterna i behåll och kastas i den eviga elden. 9 Och om ditt öga förleder dig till synd, så riv ut det och kasta det ifrån dig. Det är bättre för dig att gå in i livet med ett öga än att ha båda ögonen i behåll och kastas i det brinnande Gehenna. 10 Se till att ni inte föraktar någon enda av dessa små.

Markus 9:42–48 beskriver Jesus ord likartat, och Gehenna beskrivs ”där deras mask inte dör och elden inte släcks”.

Jesus talar med sina egna troende lärljungar när han säger detta. Han säger inte att synd innebär reducerade gåvor i himlen, utan snarare att vi riskerar att hamna i HELVETET. Vi kanske föredrar en Jesus som ser mellan fingrarna på vår synd, men det fungerar bara OM vi omvänt oss och sedan lever i rättfärdighet. Endast då kan synden raderas. Det är fantastiskt att Gud gjorde det möjligt för oss att bli helt renade från vår synd och få tillgång till hans rike! Skulle alltså Jesus mena att vi måste hugga av oss kroppsdelar om de får oss att synda? Ja, jag tror det, men tänk efter…När vi står där med yxan lyft och beredda att hugga av oss en hand, kommer vi då inte på tanken att i stället för att stympa oss hellre ÅNGRA vår synd och OMVÄNDA oss och SLUTA synda? Det måste väl ändå vara ett bättre alternativ? Detta är ju också ett erbjudande vi har ifrån Jesus och ett alternativ som vi kan välja.  Det är ju bara om vi INTE vill sluta synda som Jesus föreslår alternativet med att hugga av oss kroppsdelar, och förmodligen så vet han mycket väl att ytterst få personer skulle välja det alternativet. Vem som helst skulle föredra alternativet omvändelse, men problemet är förstås att många kristna är övertygade om att de inte ens behöver välja något av dessa två alternativ för de tror att Jesus accepterar dem ändå. Johannes säger:

1 John 1:9 Om vi bekänner våra synder, är han trofast och rättfärdig, så att han förlåter oss våra synder och renar oss från all orättfärdighet.

Detta är ju helt klart ett bättre alternativ, och det motsäger inte Jesus ord i Matt. 18:8. Notera att Jesus INTE säger ”Om ni syndat måste ni som ett straff hugga av er den kroppsdel som fått er att synda”. Vi ska alltså inte tro att Jesus vill att vi hugger av oss kroppsdelar när vi insett att vi syndat för det är INTE vad han säger. Det skulle ju inte få synden att bli ogjord! Han menar att det inte finns någon godtagbar ursäkt för att synda i FRAMTIDEN. Oavsett om det gäller kleptomani, mytomani, pyromani, frosseri, bedrageri, otrohet, utlevd homosexualitet eller alkoholism, så finns det ingen ursäkt för att fortsätta med dessa synder och vi kan inte skylla på någonting. Vi kan aldrig urskulda oss med att vi är ”födda så” eller att vi inte har något val. Gud har gett oss en väg ut ur varje frestelse så att det inte behöver leda till synd, så då kan vi inte ursäkta oss med att ”jag kan inte hjälpa det”. Om vi vägrar sluta synda på eget bevåg så säger Jesus att vi hellre bör hugga av oss en kroppsdel så att vi slutar synda,  så att vi inte hamnar i helvetet. Paulus säger:

1 Kor 9:27. Utan jag tuktar min kropp och kuvar den, FÖR ATT JAG INTE SKALL PREDIKA FÖR ANDRA OCH SJÄLV INTE HÅLLA PROVET.

Det är inte säkert att det alltid är lätt att bemästra köttet om vi har både arv och miljö emot oss, men allt är möjligt för Jesus. Utan den Helige Andes hjälp kan det vara svårt att tukta våra kroppar men om vi låter oss vägledas av Honom så går det. Det kan dock krävas mycket bön, fasta, envishet och support från andra kristna.

Matt 5:27 Ni har hört att det är sagt: Du skall inte begå äktenskapsbrott. 28 Jag säger er: Var och en som med begär ser på en kvinna har redan begått äktenskapsbrott med henne i sitt hjärta. 29 Om ditt högra öga förleder dig till synd, så riv ut det och kasta det ifrån dig! Det är bättre för dig att en av dina lemmar går förlorad än att hela din kropp kastas i Gehenna. 30 Och om din högra hand förleder dig till synd, så hugg av den och kasta den ifrån dig! Det är bättre för dig att en av dina lemmar går förlorad än att hela din kropp kommer till Gehenna. 31 Det är sagt: Den som skiljer sig från sin hustru skall ge henne skilsmässobrev. 32 Jag säger er: Var och en som skiljer sig från sin hustru av något annat skäl än otukt, han blir orsak till att äktenskapsbrott begås med henne, och den som gifter sig med en frånskild kvinna begår äktenskapsbrott.

Notera att det som är en synd är att MED BEGÄR se på en kvinna. Inte att råka stöta på en kvinna och anse att hon är rasande attraktiv. I KJV står det att det är en synd att se på en kvinna ”to lust”. Det betyder att det är en synd att se på en kvinna i verkligheten eller på bilder/filmer med syftet att ”lusta”. Det är synd att medvetet söka upp situationer som får oss att bli frestade och som kan leda oss till synd. En frestande tanke behöver inte vara ”synd” i sig. Jesus var frestad av djävulen i öknen och tyckte säkert att det skulle smakat bra med något att äta, och fick säkert en sådan bild i sitt sinne när djävulen förde detta ämne på tal. Det hade varit en synd för Jesus att äta vid ett tillfälle där det inte var påbjudet att äta, men Jesus valde trots den frestande tanken att inte ge efter för den och synda. Gud ser våra hjärtan och vet mycket väl vad vi gör och inte gör för att inte hamna i frestande situationer, och vad vi försöker göra för att komma ur sådana situationer som vi redan hamnat i.

Hades kastas i Gehenna som är den brinnande sjön

Teorier om Helvetet

”Hades” har (minst) två avdelningar – övre och lägre. Se till exempel liknelsen med Lazarus och den rike mannen som hamnade i olika världar i Hades men som ändå kunde kommunicera med varandra. Övre delen av Hades är synonymt med Paradiset och ”Abraham’s sköte” i skriften och är en temporär ”Himmel”. Det var här Jesus kom efter att han dött. Nedre Hades är ett tillfälligt helvete. Det är temporärt eftersom det kommer att kastas i den brinnande sjön vilket är det slutgiltiga helvetet.

Namnet ”Gehenna” refererar till det slutgiltiga helvetet vilket vi kan se i Skriften. Eftersom både Den brinnande sjön och Gehenna beskriver samma sorts slutgiltiga eld så vet vi att de samma sak. Gehenna och Den brinnande sjön är alltså två olika namn även på grekiska men vi kan inte anta att det är två olika ställen av det skälet eftersom  beskrivningen visar att de är synonyma. Inte heller kan vi göra motsatsen när det gäller Hades och Gehenna som ju är två olika ord på grekiska, och anta att de är samma ställen TROTS att det handlar om olika ord. Vi måste i stället se om orden är synonymer eller beskriver olika ställen. Förutom att detta är vad Bibeln lär, så är det dessutom vad de äldre kyrkofäderna lärde och trodde. Idén om Skärselden kom mycket senare.

Gehenna är i grekiska grundtext ett lånord från hebreiskan som anses vara namnet på en dalgång, Hinnomdalen, söder om Jerusalem. Några av de israelitiska kungarna hade där enligt 2:a Krönikeboken (28:3, 33:6) ägnat sig åt en hednisk kult för Molok som bland annat krävde barnoffer i eld (brända levande). Hinnomdalen kom därefter att bli synonymt med en fruktansvärd ondska och namnet Gehenna användes som ett namn på helvetet. Det har uppstått förvirring och mycket missförstånd på grund av att de tidiga bibelöversättarna har återgett hebreiskans Sheol och grekiskans Hades och Gehenna med ordet helvete. Nedan är de Bibelställen där Gehenna kan läsas. På svenska framkommer inte alltid originalordet ”Gehenna” så jag väljer KJV engelska:

Matt.5:22 whoever calls someone ”you fool” will be liable to Gehenna.

Matt.5:29 better to lose one of your members than that your whole body go into Gehenna.

Matt.5:30 better to lose one of your members than that your whole body go into Gehenna.

Matt.10:28 rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

Matt.18:9 better to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna.

Matt.23:15 Pharisees make a convert twice as much a child of Gehenna as themselves.

Matt.23:33 to Pharisees: you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to Gehenna?

Mark 9:43 better to enter life with one hand than with two hands to go to Gehenna.

Mark 9:45 better to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.

Mark 9:47 better to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna.

Luke 12:5 Fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into Gehenna

James 3:6 the tongue is set on fire by Gehenna.

Tartarus i NT används för att beskriva platsen för de fallna änglarna i 2 Peter 2:4. Det här grekiska ordet verkar inte ha någon Hebreisk motsvarighet.

Den brinnande sjön i NT (som är den andra döden) nämns fem gånger och alla i Uppenbarelseboken:

19:20. Och vilddjuret blev gripet tillsammans med den falske profeten, som hade gjort tecken inför honom, med vilka han bedrog dem som tog vilddjurets märke och dem som tillbad dess bild. Dessa två blev levande kastade i den brinnande sjön, som brinner med svavel.

20:10. Och Djävulen som hade bedragit dem blev kastad i sjön av eld och svavel, där vilddjuret och den falske profeten var. Och de skall plågas dag och natt i evigheternas evigheter.

 20:14. Och döden och dödsriket blev kastade i den brinnande sjön. Detta är den andra döden. 15. Och den som inte fanns skriven i livets bok, blev kastad i den brinnande sjön.

21:8. Men de fega, otrogna och avskyvärda, och mördare, otuktiga, trollkarlar, avgudadyrkare och alla lögnare, de skall få sin del i den sjö som brinner med eld och svavel, som är den andra döden.

Sheol i GT kan vi hitta i exempelvis 1 Moseboken 37:35, 42:38, 44:29 och 44:31. I den hebreiska Bibeln (Tanakh) så är Sheol samma plats för både rättfärdiga och orättfärdiga som vi kan se i t ex Predikaren och Job, och precis som NT beskriver indelningen av Hades. I Enoks bok (refererad till i Bibeln) ca. 160 fKr beskriver författaren Sheol som en plats som är delad i fyra avdelningar: en där de rättfärdiga väntar på domedagen (såsom i ”Abrahams sköte”), en där de ganska goda väntar på sina belöningar, en där de onda är straffade och väntar på domedagen och den sista där de onda plågas som inte ens berättigas en uppståndelse. I skriften ”The Apocalypse of Zephaniah” (ca.100fKr – 70eKr) representerar Sheol/Hades också en avdelad plats men där finns skillnaden gentemot Bibeln eftersom platserna i Sheol kan överträdas.“Triumph, prevail because thou hast prevailed and hast triumphed over the accuser, and thou hast come up from Hades and the abyss. Thou wilt now cross over the crossing place.” (Apoc. Zeph. 7:9)

Hades Matteusevangeliet 11:23 16:18. Lukasevangeliet 10:15. Apostlagärningarna. 2:27,31. 1 Korinthierbrevet 15:55. Uppenbarelseboken 1:18 6:8 20:13,14. NT följer Septuagint och översätter Sheol som Hades (jämför Apg 2:27, 31 och Psaltaren 16:10). NT gör en skillnad på Sheol and Gehenna. Det förstnämnda beskrivs som ett ställe där de döda hamnar tillfälligt för att invända de dödas uppståndelse medan det sistnämnda är den slutgiltiga eviga döden i den eviga elden. I Uppenbarelseboken så är Hades sammankopplat med döden (Upp 1:18, 6:8) och i den slutgiltiga domen så är de döda uppförda ur Hades och de onda är kastade i den brinnande sjön vilket representerar Gehennas eld. Hades själv kastas till slut i den brinnande sjön (Upp 20:11-15).

Helvetet KJV-översättare har valt att översätta både Hades, Gehenna och Tartarus i NT som ”hell” (helvete) som ett samlingsnamn på de platserna dit en person kommer efter döden. Men originalspråket använder sig av tre olika namn och det finns förmodligen en orsak till det. Även om det handlar om ställen dit en syndare hamnar efter döden så är det skillnader på dessa ”helvetesplatser”. Det svenska ordet ”helvete” kommer från tysk mytologi och används numera inom kristendomen för att översätta det hebreiska ordet Gehenna. Även om KJV översatte Hades med ”hell” (helvete) så verkar mer moderna engelska översättningar ha återgått till den ursprungliga skillnaden mellan de två orden Hades och Gehenna, och förknippar Gehenna som den brinnande sjön.

Himlen Himmelriket/Guds rike kommer att blir en plats på jorden eftersom vi då lever i det NYA Jerusalem som kommer att komma ner från himlen, och detta är den slutgiltiga himlen. Kristna kommer inte direkt till himlen om de dör innan Jesu återkomst. Inte heller flyttar Jesus paradiset till himlen och ser till att bara syndarna kommer till Hades och väntar Jesu återkomst. Hades kommer ju att frambringa de döda på Domedagen (Upp. 20:11-14). Sen kan vi läsa om livets skatt som vi strävar efter och som kommer att ges till oss den dagen som han kan skådas och inte innan; 1 Kor. 9:24-27 och 2 Tim. 4:1.