Hell Exist? Pope Francis Says No
In New Interview That Could Change Catholic Church Forever
Pope Francis made a startling revelation Thursday by stating
that hell did not exist, in an interview with a leading liberal
an article entitled "It is an honor to be called a revolutionary,"
Repubblica editor Eugenio Scalfari acknowledged the pontiff's
previous remarks about how "good souls" who sought
repentance from God would receive it and then asked: "What
about the bad souls?". Seemingly going against centuries
of core Christian belief, Pope Francis said the souls of sinners
simply vanished after death, and were not subject to an eternity
of punishment. (Tom O’Connor, Newsweek, March 29, 2018)
Say the Scriptures regarding Hell?
of the theories about hell, be it noticed, are based upon the
assumption that death does not mean death -- that to die is
to become more alive than before death. In Eden it was God who
declared to our first parents, "Thou shalt surely die"
(Gen. 2:17). It was Satan who declared, "Ye shall not surely
die (Gen 3:4). Notice that the heathen, as well as the Christians,
have accepted Satan's lie and correspondingly rejected God's
truth. Do they not all agree with the serpent's statement, "Ye
shall not surely die"? Do they not all claim that the dead
are alive -- much more alive than before they died? This, dear
friends, has been our common point of mistake. We have followed
the wrong teacher, the one of whom our Lord said, "He abode
not in the Truth," and that he is the father of lies. --
false doctrines have prevailed amongst the heathen for many,
many centuries, but they gained an ascendancy in the church
of Christ during the "dark ages" and had much to do
with producing the darkness thereof. If our forefathers had
believed God's testimony, "Thou shalt surely die"
(Gen. 2:17), there would have been no room for the introduction
of prayers for the dead, masses for their sins, frightful thoughts
respecting their torture. The scriptures agree from first to
last that "the dead know not anything" (Ecc. 9:5)
and that "His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not;
and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them"
(Job 14:21). It is the scriptures that tell us where the dead
are and their condition; that they are experiencing neither
joy nor sorrow, pleasure nor suffering; that they will have
no knowledge of anything done under the sun until their awakening
in the resurrection. Remember the wise man's words, "Do
with thy might what thy hand findeth to do, for there is neither
wisdom nor knowledge nor device in (sheol) the grave, whither
thou goest." (Ecc. 9:10) Both in the Old Testament and
in the New Testament it is written of both the good and the
bad that they fell asleep in death. The apostle speaks of those
who "sleep in Jesus," (1 Thes. 4:14) and of those
who have "fallen asleep in Christ" (1 Cor. 15:18)
who, he declares, are perished, if there be no resurrection
of the dead. Could they perish in heaven or in purgatory or
in a hell of torment? Assuredly no one so teaches. They are
already in a perished condition in the tomb; and the perishing
would be absolute, complete, unless a resurrection be provided
for their deliverance from the power of death. Hence we read,
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life."
a word, then, the Bible teaching is that man was made superior
to all the brute creation -- in the image and likeness of his
Creator; that he possessed life in a perfect degree in Eden
and might have retained it by full obedience. But in his trial,
his testing, he failed and came under the death sentence. "In
the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die."
(Gen. 2:17) There the dying began, which, after nine hundred
and thirty years, brought father Adam to the tomb and involved
all of his children in his weaknesses and death sentence. He
died in the very day, which the Apostle Peter explains was not
a twenty-four hour day but a thousand-year day, saying, "One
day is with the Lord as a thousand years." (2 Peter 3:8)
During six of these great days the death sentence has brought
man down in some respects to the level of the brute and left
him without hope of future life, except as God might take compassion
upon him and bring him some relief. This was hinted at in the
statement that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's
head. It was yet further elaborated to Abraham saying, "In
thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be
blessed." -- Gen. 28:14.
Not Torment, the Penalty
well the mistake made in assuming eternal torment the wages
of original sin, when the scriptures explicitly declare that
"The wages of sin is death" -- not eternal torment.
(Rom. 6:23) We search the Genesis account of man's fall and
the sentence imposed, but find no suggestion of a future punishment,
but merely of a death penalty. Repeating it the second time
the Lord said, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou
return." (Gen. 3:19) But he said not a word respecting
devils, fire and torment. How, then, did the Adversary deceive
our fathers during the "dark ages" with his errors,
which the apostle styles "doctrines of devils" (1
Tim. 4:1)? Note the fact that none of the prophecies mention
any other than a death penalty for sin. Note that the New Testament
likewise declares the same. St. Paul, who wrote more than one-half
of the New Testament, and who assures us that he did not shun
to declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), says not a
word about torment. On the contrary, discussing this very matter
of sin and its penalty, he says, "Wherefore, as by one
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Rom. 5:12)
Note that it was not eternal torment that passed upon one man
nor upon all men, but death. If some one suggests that death
would not be a sufficient penalty for sin, all we would need
to do would be to point him to the facts and thus prove his
suggestion illogical. For the sin of disobedience Adam lost
his paradisaic home -- lost eternal life and divine fellowship,
and instead got sickness, pain, sorrow, death. Additionally
the billions and billions of his posterity, disinherited so
far as the blessings are concerned, have inherited weaknesses,
mental, moral and physical, and are, as the apostle declares,
"A groaning creation." -- Rom. 8:22.
Penalty a Just One
no one think the death penalty unjust and too severe. God could
have blotted out Adam, the sinner, thus fulfilling the sentence.
He could have blotted out the race instantly. But would we have
preferred that? Assuredly not. Life is sweet, even amidst pain
and suffering. Besides, it is the divine purpose that present
trials and experiences shall prove useful as disciplines; to
prepare us for a wiser course than father Adam took, when we
shall be privileged to have a further individual trial. Our
race would have been without hope of future existence, just
as agnosticism claims, had it not been for divine compassion
and the work of redemption.
again why our Lord died for our redemption and see in that another
evidence of the penalty. If the penalty against us had been
eternal torment, our redemption from it would have cost our
Lord that price. He would have been obliged to suffer eternal
torment, the just for the unjust. But eternal torment was not
the penalty; hence Jesus did not pay that penalty for us. Death
was the penalty and hence "Christ died for our sins."
"He by the grace of God" tasted "death for every
man" (Heb. 2:9). Whoever could pay Adam's penalty could
settle with divine justice for the sins of the whole world,
because Adam alone had been tried -- Adam alone had been condemned.
We, his children, were involved through him. Behold the wisdom
and the economy of our Creator. The scriptures assure us that
he condemned the whole world for one man's disobedience, in
order that he might have mercy upon all through the obedience
of another -- Christ. We were condemned to death without our
consent or knowledge. We were redeemed from death without our
consent or knowledge.
one may inquire, "Are we, therefore, without responsibility?
Will there be no individual penalty upon us for individual wrong
doings?" We answer, "A just recompense of reward"
(Heb 2:2) will be meted out to all. But our eternal destiny
can be settled only by ourselves, by our individual acceptance
or rejection of the grace of God. The scriptures clearly inform
us that every sin, in proportion to its willfulness, brings
a measure of degradation which involves "stripes,"
chastisements, corrections to regain the lost standing. (Luke
12:47,48) Thus the more mean and more wicked a man or woman
may be, the greater will be his or her disadvantages in the
resurrection time, and the more he will then have to overcome
to get back to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by Christ.
here for a very detailed study on the topic "Where are