The popular theory [believed by most Christians] is that God created this earth for man to inherit in this life only; and that since His intention was to separate the good from the bad when their supposed immortal souls would, by death, forsake their bodies, two places must necessarily be provided. The place for the eternal abode of the good is supposed to be heaven, and that for the wicked is what has been called hell. [In the Bible] we have an account of the creation of the heaven and the earth, but not a word is said about the creation of that place people popularly call hell. Heaven is evidently the place where God dwells; and the earth was created as a place for man to dwell in. It is said, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens: God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18).
If God did create a hell...why is it that such an important place was not spoken of when the account of the creation of the heaven and the earth was given in the beginning and referred to throughout the Scriptures? It would be the first place that would come into use after the earth; for it is claimed that the sentence Adam brought upon himself and his posterity was one which consigned all to its everlasting torments, and that salvation is rescue from going there and transportation to heaven. Then, too, it would soon come into demand as a place in which to put wicked Cain and those like him. So that its importance, from the popular point of view, was such as to call for its mention along with that of the creation of the heaven and the earth; and the fact that no mention is ever made of its creation is a proof, among many others, that such a place never was created, except in the imaginative brains of heathen philosophers and used by them to frighten the unruly masses into subjection to their superiors. “With the masses it was equally true, with the philosophers equally false, and with the magistrate equally necessary;” and it was considered wrong not to deceive the masses with falsehoods, claiming that the end justified the means. While such a procedure may be excusable in heathen “philosophers” facts are seen to be more absurd than fiction when we behold civilized and educated people still clinging to such a pagan relic of savage superstition.
When God created the heaven and the earth we may safely conclude He did not create the popular hell; for it is not mentioned. When He placed our first parents in Paradise and pronounced everything “very good” there could not have been such an evil place. The Adamic race was, in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator, given a good start, both as regards Adam and Eve and the heaven above them and the earth beneath them. All they stood related to was “very good,” a fact which leaves no room for a hell of torment, nor an immortal personal devil whose business it was to deceive and torment and nothing else. If the creation of “hell” was an afterthought, arising from man’s sin, we surely would have had some hint of its beginning in that Book which is designed to teach man his origin and destiny: Genesis. The very time one might reasonably expect to find mention of it would be when the sentence was pronounced upon our first parents; but not a hint do we find there of the existence of such a place, or that they or any of their descendants were liable to the pains and penalty of such a horrible place. The end of the sentence [against our first parents was], “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return...” (Genesis 3:19). So we start with the Bible in our hands without a “hell,” and without a devil, and even after man’s fall no “hell” is revealed to us, and if there was one, we have only the assertion of prejudiced minds deluded by a hoary superstition in support of it.
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Author: Thomas Williams
Keywords: Annihilationism, After death, After life, Afterlife, annihilation, Cast to hell, Cast down to hell, Chains of darkness, Damned go to hell, Death, Death state, Departing soul, Departing spirit, Destroyed in hell, destructionism, Dieing, Dominion of the grave, Do the wicked go to hell, Eternal fire, Eternal judgment, Eternal judgement, Eternal punishment, Eternal torment, Eternal hell, Eternal pit, Everlasting fire, Everlasting judgment, Everlasting judgement, Everlasting hell, Everlasting hellfire, Everlasting hell fire, Everlasting pit, Everlasting punishment, Everlasting torment, Everlasting torture, Ever lasting fire, Ever lasting judgment, Ever lasting judgement, Ever lasting hell, Ever lasting hellfire, Ever lasting hell fire, Ever lasting pit, Ever lasting punishment, Ever lasting torment, Ever lasting torture, Eternal hellfire, Eternal hell fire, Eternal torture, Eternal soul, extinctionism, Fable hell, Fabled hell, Fiery hell, Fire not quenched, Gehenna, Gehena, Gehenna fire, Gehena fire, Go to hell, Going to heaven, Grave, Gravedom, Hell, Hellfire, Hell fire, Hell forever, Hell invention of the church, Hell real, Hades, Hinnom, Immortal spirit, Immortal soul, Life in hell, Lost souls in hell, Man's mortality, Never ending fire, Never ending hell, Placed in hell, Punished in hell, Punished for eternity, Punished in hell for eternity, Reserved in hell, Rich man Lazarus, Rich man Lazaras, Roasting in hell, Send to hell, Sent to hell, Sheol, Sleeping in hell, Soul in hell, Soul punished in hell, Soul sleep, Soulsleep, Spirit in hell, State of the dead, Tartarus, There is no hell, Torment in hell, Tormented in hell, Undieing worm, Undying worm, Unquenchable fire, Waiting in hell, Wicked punished in hell, What happens when I die, What happens when we die, When the roll is called up yonder, Where do the lost go when they die, Where do the wicked go when they die, Where do we go when we die, Wicked hell, Worm does not die, Worm won't die, Worm will not die, Worm dieth not, Worm do not die, eternal reward, reward in heaven, heavenly reward
Bible reference(s): Genesis 3:19, Genesis 37:35, Genesis 42:38, Genesis 44:29, Genesis 44:31, Numbers 16:30, Numbers 16:33, Deuteronomy 32:22, 1 Samuel 2:6, 2 Samuel 22:6, 1 Kings 2:6, 1 Kings 2:9, Job 7:9, Job 11:8, Job 14:13, Job 17:13, Job 17:16, Job 21:13, Job 24:19, Job 26:6, Psalms 6:5, Psalms 9:17, Psalms 16:10, Psalms 18:5, Psalms 30:3, Psalms 31:17, Psalms 49:14, Psalms 49:15, Psalms 55:15, Psalms 86:13, Psalms 88:3, Psalms 89:48, Psalms 116:3, Psalms 139:8, Psalms 141:7, Proverbs 1:12, Proverbs 5:5, Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 9:18, Proverbs 15:11, Proverbs 15:24, Proverbs 23:14, Proverbs 27:20, Proverbs 30:16, Ecclesiastes 9:10, Isaiah 5:14, Isaiah 7:11, Isaiah 14:9, Isaiah 14:11, Isaiah 14:15, Isaiah 28:15, Isaiah 28:18, Isaiah 38:10, Isaiah 38:18, Isaiah 57:9, Ezekiel 31:15, Ezekiel 31:16, Ezekiel 31:17, Ezekiel 32:21, Ezekiel 32:27, Hosea 13:14, Amos 9:2, Jonah 2:2, Habakkuk 2:5, Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:29, Matthew 5:30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 11:23, Matthew 18:9, Matthew 23:15, Matthew 23:33, Mark 9:43, Mark 9:45, Mark 9:47, Luke 10:15, Luke 12:5, Luke 16:23, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, James 3:6, 2 Peter 2:4, Revelation 1:18, Revelation 6:8, Revelation 20:13, Revelation 20:14, Baruch 2:17, Baruch 3:11, Baruch 3:19, 2 Maccabees 6:23, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 14:12, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 14:16, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 17:27, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 21:10, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 28:21, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 41:4, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 48:5, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 51:5, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 51:6, Tobit 13:2, Wisdom of Solomon 1:14, Wisdom of Solomon 2:1, Wisdom of Solomon 16:13, Wisdom of Solomon 17:14, 2 Esdras 2:29, 2 Esdras 4:7, 2 Esdras 4:8, 2 Esdras 4:41, 2 Esdras 7:36, 2 Esdras 8:53
Source: The World’s Redemption (Chicago: Advocate Pub. House, 1892-1908?).
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