Did Jonah Go to Hell?

Did you realize that Jonah went to “hell” (King James Version) and got out? That’s right – he went straight to the womb or “belly of hell” (Jonah 2:2, KJV) and then God brought him back again! These words come directly from a version that many people consider to be very authoritative.

Jonah 2:2 “… out of the belly of hell cried I …” and 2:6 “… Thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.”

Jonah chapter two proves that whatever “hell” in the King James Version may be, it is a place where God gets people out, as in the case of Jonah (2:6).

Whatever “hell” really is, its door outward is open to ultimate salvation.

From The Ultimate Reconciliation of All by George Howe

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The Works of the Devil

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Satan is the author of sin and rebellion, and he “has sinned from the beginning.” The result of that rebellion was death.

This verse states explicitly that the purpose for which Jesus came into the world was to destroy the works of Satan. In order to destroy the works of Satan, Jesus must destroy death and the rebellion that leads to death. If billions of people were to remain forever in a “devil’s hell,” how would that fit with the fact that Satan will be rendered powerless and his work will be destroyed?

From The Ultimate Reconciliation of All by George Howe

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God Will Not Cast Off Forever

The Lord will not cast off forever. But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, for He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” (Lamen. 3:31-33)

O, what a precious declaration is this! Though God cause grief, yet He will have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, for He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. This is the principle of the divine government. God does not afflict for the purpose of afflicting, but for the good of the sufferer. How, then, can endless torment be inflicted?

From 100 Scriptural Proofs That Jesus Christ Will Save All Mankind by Thomas Whittemore.

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Weekend Wisdom – David Hayward

One of the most difficult things to do as we deconstruct our beliefs is letting go of ones we’ve held for our whole lives.

Take Hell for instance.

I remember the night when I quit the ministry. I was lying on my bed in the dark. Lisa, being a nurse, was at work. I was lying there thinking about what I’d done… the decision I’d made and the announcement I’d given. I was finished. It was over. Suddenly, waves of fear swept over me… fear not just over what I was going to do with my life, but fear in having angered God, or at least disappointed him, and the terror of the very punishments I had stopped believing in. Even though I didn’t really think that way anymore, the residue of the power of belief stuck to me like glue.

My rational mind told me that this whole mythology was a clever tactic to terrify me into compliance. But my religious mind didn’t want to let it go. Or, rather, it was afraid to let it go in case it was true. The battle that took place in my mind was not imagined but very, very real. I broke out in cold sweats as absolute existential terror gripped me in the dark night.

So, as the cartoon suggests… with his smile but also his concerned eyes… deconstructing our beliefs can be a momentarily worrisome time, but also an eternally happy one.

Read the complete post at Naked Pastor.

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Danger of Hell Fire

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [Gehenna] fire.  Matthew 5:22

Gehenna, also known as the Valley of Hinnom, was once the garbage dump of the city of Jerusalem located just outside of its walls to the southwest in a deep, narrow valley. It was also the place where the bodies of executed criminals, denied a burial, were disposed. Fires were kept in a constant state of burning there to destroy the rubbish and the bodies, and to minimize the awful smell. This explains why it was called an “everlasting fire,” and whatever the flames didn’t devour, the maggots finished. This explains the place of “hell fire.”

Gehenna is not another name for the imaginary fiery hell of religious tradition. The mistake that religious teachers in general always make upon seeing the word “ judgment” in Matthew 5:22, and other verses similar to it, is that they think that this judgment is the one that follows death. However, it is not that judgment. The judgment in Matthew 5:22 simply refers to the temporal judicial process that was in place in the days of the apostles to punish convicted lawbreakers, as well as the judicial process that will exist in the theocratic Millennial Kingdom – but it still won’t have anything to do with the judgment that occurs beyond death.

From Issue 290 of the Bible Student’s Notebook.

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God is Love, Is Infinitely Good

There is none good but one, that is God. Mark 10:18

On the words “God is love,” Dr. A. Clarke, the celebrated Methodist Commentator, writes as follows: An infinite Fountain of benevolence and beneficence to every human being. He hates nothing that he has made. He cannot hate, because he is love. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good; and sends his rain on the just and the unjust. He has made no human being for perdition. It has been well observed that although God is holy, just, righteous, etc., he is never called Holiness, Justice, etc. in the abstract, as he is here called Love. This seems to be the essence of the Divine nature, and all other attributes to be only modifications of this.” God, then, never created a soul knowing it would be miserable forever.

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The Lord is Good to All

The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psalm 145:9

God is glorified when His love, goodness, mercy and grace are proclaimed; when His goodness is seen to embrace all; His grace shown to abound ‘much more’ than sin; His mercy declared to ‘triumph over judgment’, and His love known to be, not simply one divine attribute among many, but the very essence of His Being, the motivating principle and power behind all His works (Ps.l45:9; Rom.5:20, 21; Jam.2:13:1 John 4:8,16).

From The Larger Hope by Anthony Johnson

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God Will Judge the World With Righteousness

“He shall judge the world with RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Psalm 96:13)
“Because He [God] hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Acts 17:31)
Next I present a Scripture that many fundamentalists hate. I’ll bet if you attended a fundamentalist church, you never heard a sermon on this verse. We read that God has appointed a day (a period of time) in which He will “JUDGE” the whole world. Revelation 20:10-15 IS THAT DAY OF JUDGMENT! Now we know that those not found in the book of life will be put into FIRE, and they will be TORMENTED. This is certainly part of this judgment. But it is not literal fire. Literal fire burns up physical things and literal fire cannot harm spiritual things So what does the fire do or accomplish? MUCH!
This judgment in Revelation 20 IS that worldwide judgment spoken of in many prophecies. But is the purpose of this worldwide judgment to torture people by burning their flesh in real fire for all eternity? Is that HOW God judges in “righteousness”? Absolutely not. We just read where God burns up our fleshly WORKS, and this is “tormenting” for sure. But God does not torture our flesh for all eternity. Don’t get me wrong, there will be severe chastisements on those who despise God and His Savior and His Gospel. But out of their ashes will come salvation. Here is another marvelous Scripture which answers what happens to sinning humanity when God JUDGES THE WORLD in righteousness.
“For he [GOD] bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low, HE LAYETH IT LOW, even to the ground, he bringeth it even to the dust” (Isa. 26:5)
Make no mistake, God will judge the wicked with great severity. However, ALWAYS FOR A BENEVOLENT PURPOSE:
“With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Isaiah 26:9)!!
From The Lake of Fire by L. Ray Smith.
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God’s Promises Will Not Fail

…God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

The word “world” In II Corinthians 5:19 (“God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself) shows that God will ultimately reconcile all those who have ever lived, including those who died outside of Him—something that is to be accomplished in God’s own timing. If the people who die in a lost condition were not ultimately reconciled, then the whole world would not be reconciled, indicating that (the un-conditionality of) verse 19 (is flawed and) was not fulfilled. The unthinkable would have taken place (the impossible): one of God’s absolute unconditional promises would have gone unfulfilled’. According to Joshua 28:14, not one of God’s good promises will ever fail.
From The All Mankind Bible Commentary by Ross Marshall
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Weeked Wisdom – George MacDonald

The notion that a creature born imperfect, nay, born with impulses to evil not of his own generating, and which he could not help having, a creature to whom the true face of God was never presented, and by whom it never could have been seen, should be thus condemned [to everlasting torment] is as loathsome a lie against God as could find place in a heart too undeveloped to understand what Justice is, and too low to look up into the face of Jesus. It never in truth found place in any heart, though in many a pettifogging brain.

From Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonaId (1824-1905)

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