What Did Jesus Say About Hell?

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Bill Wiese

Time magazine published an article on May 8, 2020, titled, “What Jesus Really Said About Heaven and Hell.” In it, the writer references Matthew 7:13b (NKJV), which reads, “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.” The writer of the article then explains that the word “destruction” means “annihilate,” thus explaining that the wrong path does not lead to eternal torture but annihilation.

The actual definition of the word “destruction,” as used in this Bible verse, is explained in the following authoritative reference books:

Strong’s Concordance, No. 684 explains, “The word ‘apoleia’ or ‘destruction’ means ‘ruin, waste, damnable, die.'” There is no mention of the word “annihilate.”

Vine’s Dictionary, page 164-165 reads, “The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well being, loss of well being of the unsaved.”

The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek word for “annihilate” is ekmidenizo. The word for “destruction” is apoleia, which does not mean “annihilate.” It means “ruin, waste or die.” Why would the writers of the New Testament neglect to use the word for “annihilate” if that were their intended meaning? Why would Jesus Himself use the word that describes eternal torment if it were not the truthful description? According to several Greek scholars, including Dr. Joseph R. Nally, who has a Master of Divinity degree, the word “annihilate,” or ekmidenizo, is found nowhere in the Bible.

The Time article also mentions Matthew 13:48. noting, “After sorting through the fish, he keeps the good ones and throws the others out.” The writer adds, “He doesn’t torture them. They just die.” But the writer neglected to add verses 49b and 50, which read, “The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

A person would have to exist to experience “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Annihilated people experience nothing.

Regardless of how much the world may water down the truth about hell, or even try to convince people that hell does not exist, there is one important fact that cannot be overlooked. Jesus Himself spoke about hell in 46 separate Bible verses. Will you believe those who misuse the Bible, or even ignore Scripture altogether, or will you believe what Jesus said?

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