REVOLTING BELIEFS FORMERLY TAUGHT
Believing it will be helpful to briefly note to what lengths men have gone in the past to uphold the belief of the natural immortality of the soul, connected with the pagan belief in hell, we will give a few quotations before considering what the Scriptures really teach. These quotations are taken from creeds and sermons of such illustrious preachers as Jonathan Edwards, Isaac Ambrose, Samuel Hopkins, John Whitaker, Spurgeon, Ebenezer Erskine, and others:
"Those wicked men who died many years ago, their souls went to hell,...those who went to hell in former ages of the world have been kept in hell ever since, all the while suffering torment; ...they are kept in being for no other purpose."
"The damned shall be packed like brick in a kiln, and be so bound that they cannot move a limb, nor even an eyelid; and while thus fixed, the Almighty shall blow the fires of hell through them forever."
"Only conceive the poor wretch in the flames. See how his tongue hangs from between his blistered lips! How it excoriates and burns the roof of his mouth, as if it were a firebrand! Behold him crying for a drop of water. I will not picture the scene, ...When the damned jingle the burning irons of their torments, they shall say `Forever.'"
"The bodies of the damned will be salted with fire, so tempered and prepared to burn the more fiercely, and yet never consume."
"Think now, O sinner, what shall be thy reward when thou shalt meet thy Judge?...The drunkard shall have plenty of his cups, when scalding lead shall be poured down his throat, and his breath draw flames of fire instead of air...The wicked shall be crowded together like bricks in a fiery furnace....What wailing, weeping, roaring, yelling, filling both heaven, earth, and hell!"
"The smoke of their torment shall ascend in the sight of the blessed forever and serve as a most clear glass always before their eyes to give them a constant, bright and most affecting view....This display of the divine character and glory will be in favor of the redeemed, and most entertaining, and give the highest pleasure to those who love God, and raise their happiness to ineffable heights....Should this eternal punishment and this fire be extinguished, it would in a great measure obscure the light of heaven, and put an end to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed."
Remember, dear reader, that these quotations are only the wild, misguided blasphemous ravings of men lost in the mazes of their own speculations. I am sure it will be a relief to turn to the blessed truth of the sacred Scriptures, and sit at the feet of the One Who spoke as never man spoke, and learn the truth of the subject.
Having learned the original meaning of the word hell, let us note that the word has been used to translate four different words in the Scriptures--one Hebrew and three Greek--sheol, hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus. We will now give study to each. http://www.gtft.org/Library/loudy/GodsEonianPurpose/GodsEonianPurpose00.htm