Non-Christians go to hell
Hell - is that the just punishment for mass murderers, sadists and rulers?
In Christian theology, hell has long been regarded as the place to which the damned come afterwards when God has judged humanity on the last day. Many altarpieces show the righteous being lifted up into heaven and the damned being drawn down into the fires of the underworld.
The image of hell makes use of the ancient oriental conception of a realm of the dead in which the deceased eke out their existence as shadow beings. “It is not the dead who praise the LORD, not one who descends into silence,” says the somewhat older Psalm 115:17. That the underworld is reserved only for the wicked is not mentioned here yet. According to ancient oriental beliefs, heaven was reserved for the gods only.
In later psalms the hope is echoed that the realm of the dead is only intended for those who do not believe in God. "The wicked are to be put to shame and fall silent in the realm of the dead," says Psalm 31:18. The New Testament builds on this idea and expands it with the punishing fire. According to Matthew 5:22, Jesus of Nazareth declares "guilty of the infernal fire" who calls his brother "You fool!" This ethical rigor is continued in Matthew 18: 8: It is better to chop off the hand that seduces you than to be thrown into "eternal fire" with two hands. And in its last chapters, the Revelation of John describes the fall of the devil, who also awaits hellish torments: “And the devil who seduced them was thrown into the pool of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were also; and they will be tormented day and night, forever and ever. "
For Origen, the doctor of the church, who lived at the end of the second and beginning of the third century AD, the idea of eternal damnation did not suit the goodness of God. He represented the doctrine of so-called universal reconciliation. However, the rejected souls would first have to be purified in purgatory. This would cleanse everyone, even the devil in the end.
For their doctrine of purgatory, the medieval church appealed to 1 Corinthians 3:15: “If someone's work is burned, it will be harmed. But he himself will be saved, but just as through fire. ”The reformers in the 16th century rejected this doctrine. The sinner is saved by faith alone - by God's grace. No other power could free him from the criminal court.
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Do mass murderers, sadists and rulers go to hell?
Answer: According to the evangelical understanding, all people have to face God's judgment at some point. There all deeds of men will become visible before God, in all their scope. The judgment of each individual is reserved to God. Christians are called in the New Testament not to judge others but to leave judgment to God. Already in the Old Testament it says: “A person sees what is in front of his eyes; but the LORD looks at the heart. ”(1 Samuel 16: 7) At the same time, the Bible promises God's grace to those who trust in it and confess their sin in this faith.
The Apostles' Creed says that Jesus Christ “descended into the kingdom of death”. This passage is sometimes interpreted as "Christ's descent into hell".
In the Evangelical Church in Germany this interpretation of the originally Latin text "descendit ad infernos" is rejected. According to the evangelical understanding, this passage refers to the fact that Jesus went through death and, in this sense, “went down into the kingdom of death”. What is meant is that Jesus Christ broke the power of death, but not that he went to a certain place.
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