Hades, Death, Abyss, Gehenna, Outer Darkness, Tartarus, Lake of Fire

At least seven different words, yet traditionally consolidated into one–hell.

The word “hell” was engineered in this way from the 8th century Anglo-Saxon pagan word that spoke of an abode or nether world of the dead. It was not the same as what it came to be defined as. The word is not ever used in the Bible. Instead what you will find behind the translation is a lot of different words.

There are few Biblical words that have been so stretched, morphed, engineered, and entirely screwed up as these. It was thought that people were too stupid to think for themselves and learn to differentiate between the meanings of seven different concepts and so learn wisdom. So they created Hell. “Their fear of me is a commandment of men” (Isaiah 29:13).

The great revelation of the Bible is one of justice. It is said when all is fulfilled in the Day of the Great Consummation, the Judgement, people will marvel. Heaven’s justice will be unbelievable, perfect, and marvelous because it is based on true equity or evenness. It levels the field, straightens the plumb line, and makes straight the way. All those robbed, oppressed, down-trodden, etc. are repaid.

…and the whole of the people he-who-hears [participle masculine singular], and the tax collectors, justified the God, they-who-have-been-submerged [participle masculine plural] by the submerging of John…

Luke 7:29 literal

(Notice how the text switches between a masculine singular participle and a masculine plural participle for “the people”.)

and himself is judging the world in justice, he is governing the peoples in equity [evenness, uprightness, equity #4339].

Psalm 9:8 literal

The world at last obtains true equity. If God meant to say “He will damn all the peoples to eternity in hell” he sure did miss the opportunity right then.

There is nothing about the modern concept of hell that evens out or makes anything level. Being conceptually lost in an abstract concept, it is impossible to see anything just about the current contrivance of hell. But we are led to fear it more than God and then followers become committed thereafter to ambuscade ‘the hell’ out of their neighbors, seeking the most efficient, streamlined, mass-conversion ratios possible.

Every penny is said to be repaid in the coming age (Matt. 5:26). Revelation 20:13 shows that Death, Hades, Sheol, etc are not the same as the Lake of Fire. We learn that the Lake of fire and burning-stones is an eternal torment reserved for Satan, the beast, and those not written in the Scroll of Life. It is called the second death. But the Sea, Death, and Hades give up the dead and those people are judged according to their works. The dead, not the living, are judged according to their works as recorded in books. It seems to me that none of this is necessary if they are among the dead, in which case their judgement is already complete.

Not much is described about this lake of fire. It is likely that it is poetic in nature as is the case with the rest of the book of Revelation. Little in the book of Revelation can be taken in a literal-objective sense. But what can be taken as true and literal is the subjective sense of shame and contempt as Daniel described it:

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to enduring life, and some to enduring contempt and shame.

Daniel 12:2

A ‘Lake of fire and burning sulfur’ is a bit beyond our human experience and understanding. But shame and contempt is not. We know what that is like. So who is written in the Book of the Living? Those who are born again from above, obviously. But also, apparently, many others:

For when nations that have no law, by nature may do the things of the Law, these not having a law—to themselves are a law

Romans 2:14 LSV

Therefore it is also true, according to Paul, that people who have a conscience, meaning their own thoughts convict them of what the law requires (i.e. stealing, cheating, lying), become a law to themselves. These ones, though never having heard the gospel, would surely not be waking to eternal contempt and shame, and so we could understand the Book of the Living to account for them also.

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