A Deeper Understanding About Hell

We hold to the traditional view of Hell, however in order to have an accurate understanding of “Hell” we need to go deeper than the simple platitudes. If you bear with this study and look carefully at it, you will be blessed with a more correct understanding of this subject.

In the original languages, the Old Testament (written in Hebrew) consistently uses the Hebrew word “Sheol” for the resting place of the dead, while the New Testament (written in Greek) consistently refers to this same place using the Greek word “Hades”. The best way to see all this is by using a concordance which shows all these original words. Then read each of the scriptures in context of the situation. In this way a clear understanding about the subject emerges. Using a modern Bible computer program is the easiest way to do this.When we do this, a clear understanding emerges that Sheol and Hades were the resting place of the dead, good and bad. The wicked and unbelieving have been kept there in pits and punishment but the righteous, through faith, have been kept there in a place of rest.

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In the Old Testament, different saints referenced their going to Sheol. It was this way until Christ's death in which He descended into Hades and took those who were trusting in God up into Heaven (Ephesians 4:8-10). The Bible clearly teaches that now all those who die in Christ go immediately into His presence in heaven. See Jesus’ teaching about this in Luke 16:19-26. Now Jesus holds the keys to Hades and has broken the power of death for us (Revelation 1:18).

The subject of "Hell" has been confused due to inconsistent translations, since translators could not justify saying a saint went to “Hell” (Sheol) they would often translate “Sheol” then as death, the grave, the nether world, etc. The newer translations are better to consistently use the word Sheol or footnote it. As we simply use the word "Sheol" in every reference, a clear picture is presented. (Genesis 37:35; Psalm 31:17; Isaiah 38:10; Ezekiel 31:15-17)

Some people have picked up on this inconsistency some translations have had, to say there is no hell because, where it talks about sinners, it is translated, "Hell", and where it talks of the Godly, it's translated, the grave. They build an argument saying, "Hell is a later, medieval idea, not true to God and His Bible. This comes simply from a full lack of true understanding about Sheol/Hades.

Jesus used many different methods to speak on the fiery punishment of the ungodly, what is commonly thought of as hell. This concept is clearly developed by Jesus and the New Testament. We see then, that, in Hades, the wicked dead are kept under punishment while the godly dead are in rest and comfort. Luke 16:19-26 is an example (vs. 23 says they are in fire in "Hades"). Even some wicked angels have already been imprisoned II Peter 2:4 says in "Tartanoo" (this word is only used one place in the Bible) which is a Greek word and concept meaning the lowest prison abyss of Hades.

One other Greek word used often in the New Testament is "Gehenna", which is the Hebrew Valley of Hinnom, which was the chief garbage dump of Israel where fires were constantly burning and all manner of refuse, including animal's and criminal's bodies, were burnt. It is the New Testament picture of the final residing place of the unrepentant ungodly.  Gehenna is often translated, “Hell”.

Jesus and the New Testament writers often warn of the fiery punishment awaiting the wicked. Jesus, often, in His parables, pictures the sorting out of the good and bad with the wicked being thrown into the fire (Matthew 13:30; John 15:6).

It is believed that Jesus brought out of Sheol, at His resurrection, the godly, who were trusting and waiting for their redemption, and took them to heaven. (Matthew 27:52; Ephesians 4:9-10) Christ has now, the keys of Hades. (Revelation 1:18). Now, all who have received Christ, go immediately to Heaven when they die (Philippians 1:23).

A time of judgment is coming when God will judge all the living and the dead. Then Hades itself and all the unrepentant wicked will be thrown into a vast lake of fire to remain there for eternity (Revelation 20:12-15).

Bible Study on Hell

"If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life,

he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15

The Apostle Peter, on Pentecost, (Acts 2:27) preached Jesus and the resurrection by quoting

from David (Psalm 16:8-11) What was the hope?


Who was this prophesy for? (Acts 2:29, 31) _________________________________________

Jesus says in Matthew 16:18: " The gates of Hades shall not overpower the church." Have you

ever seen a gate jump off its hinges, run down the street, and beat up someone? ____________

What does this mean? _________________________________________________________

Jesus speaks of a coming judgment in Matthew 25:31-46. Who will judge? (vss. 31,32)


What two groups will be separated? _______________________________________________,


What will be the fate of the two groups? ___________________________________________,


How real will this be? Is it a dream or physically real? What do the following verses say?

John 5:28-29 _________________________________________________________________

Matthew 10:28 _______________________________________________________________

Matthew 5:29-30 ______________________________________________________________

Mark 9:48 ___________________________________________________________________

Matthew 13:41-42 _____________________________________________________________

Daniel 12:2 __________________________________________________________________

Some teach that the fire will instantly annihilate those put into it. What do these say:

Revelation 20:10 ______________________________________________________________

Revelation 14:10-11 ___________________________________________________________

Mark 9:48 ___________________________________________________________________

Daniel 12:2 __________________________________________________________________

Matthew 25:46 _______________________________________________________________

A time of judgment is coming. Rev. 20:11-15 describes it. While God is a God of love, He is

also a God of justice and judgment. If we repent and believe and obey Jesus Christ, we shall

have (John 3:36)


If we don't. (John 3:36)___________________________________________________________

What was God's primary purpose in sending Jesus. (John 3:17) __________________________


Those who keep faith in Jesus will inherit good things, but others will inherit the Lake of fire.

Who are some of these? Revelation (21:7-8) ______________________________________

According to Jude 1:23, what is our evangelistic responsibility?


This Study is one taken from Rev. Shea's Study Book:  

Foundational Christian Teachings.  

To order email pastor at Pastor@obf.cc

or call pastor Shea at   515-306-1144.

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