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June 25, 2018

Ep.1027: Is the Hell of Christian Tradition Taught in the Bible? (Part III)

Difficult texts explained

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What is the Rich Man suffering in the hell about?

What about the flame and no water?

What about other difficult New Testament texts?

What's the bottom line? Without hell, does God just give everyone a free ride?

Theme Scripture: 1 John 2:2

See Episode #1021 Part I and Episode #1024 Part II.   Understanding the truth of the hellfire teaching is difficult. On one hand, we have powerful Christian tradition that has for over 1500 years emphatically taught that all who do not come to Jesus will suffer eternal torment and torture for their sins. Hard teaching - strong stand. On the other hand, we have those (including ourselves) who stand against this tradition with all of the force we can muster. We don’t challenge it because it is not convenient. It isn't that we can't emotionally accept it. We speak out because we believe that it has no legitimate place within Christian teachings and believe it to be wholly false. Today’s part 3 of this series will feature our hopefully clear responses to those who uphold the Hellfire doctrine and have presented their scriptural challenges to our view.

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Lots of sincere and dedicated Christians have not been awfully happy with our approach on this difficult topic.  Such responses raise some simple questions – why would we dedicate a three-part series to such a controversy?  Why would we, by expressing our view that hellfire is NOT taught in the Bible, intentionally raise the ire of so many people?  Why would we subject ourselves to so much criticism?  These are valid questions, so here are some answers.

First, why a three-part series on such a controversial topic? 

Because it’s important.  Because we firmly believe there is provable scriptural and historic evidence that the doctrine was adopted after the fact.  Part I focused on Old Testament Scripture and the correlating pagan history of those times.  Part II addressed some New Testament Scripture and parts of the history of Christianity in the post-New Testament era.  All of the history is documented, and once in their appropriate context, all of the Scriptures are understandable.

Second, why raise the ire of so many people?

Because as Christians (and I know this sounds so very idealistic) we should be able to reason with one another when we disagree.  This is why Part III was born. It was designed to take some of the passionate scriptural arguments presented to us and respond to them step-by-step with reason and respect.  How did we do on that?  Well, you need to be the judge. Check out our June 25, 2018 podcast, “Is the Hell of Christian Tradition Really Taught in the Bible? Part III” and let us know what you think.

Third, why subject ourselves to so much criticism?

Because we believe that such a course of action is in harmony with the way Jesus and the Apostles would have acted.  Jesus was defiant against those who misrepresented the Law and he let them know it.  The Apostles were clear in their mission to preach the Gospel even when the authorities told them to stop.  For us it is the same thing with one major exception.  Jesus was perfect, the apostles were called by name to be the apostles and we, well, we are just a group of Christians who are focused on finding scriptural truth and talking about it.  We are just like you.  So, give the podcast a listen and let’s talk!


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