Sunday, March 16, 2008

The meaning of words

It occurred to me that since Jesus did not speak English, what was He saying, what word was He using, when He is said to say, "Hell", an English word.
Well, one of those was Gehenna, which was a burning garbage dump, in Jerusalem, where refuse of all kinds was burned, including the bodies of criminals (which, of course, no self-respecting Jew would want for his end). It didn't burn "forever", for today, Gehenna is a lovely can even have a picnic there, or go for a stroll.
The other word He used was Hades, which means, simply, "unseen", the place where all who die, go. No burning, eternal torture - simply, unseen. (In the OT, the word is Sheol - again, the unseen, the grave.)
The final word, spoken by Peter, was Tartarus, which he gleaned from mythology...where angels were "reserved for judgment."
Interestingly enough, Paul, who had his teaching from the ascended Christ, never once uses any of those words.
Food for thought for those who prefer to think of "sinners" (whom Jesus called "the lost") being tormented for eternity (another word it would be wise to check out as to its meaning in scripture).
How thankful I am tht Jesus Christ is the Saviour of ALL - that He truly IS a Saviour, and not just a Saviour who wanted to save, or hoped He would be able to save...who had to confess to His Father that He had failed...
In Is. 53:11, we read, "He shall see the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied..." How could such a think be? Because, praise God, He knew that He would draw ALL to Himself: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth [and He was, on the cross]. will draw ALL unto Me..." John 12:32, 33.
I rejoice in that day when ALL shall know this, and the "glory of the LORD shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea." Amen.

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