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Burning Questions: Where the hell is Hell?
In the old days, theologians would busy themselves debating how many angels could fit on the tip of a pin. Modern Chick fans, however, seemed burdened with a much more difficult question: Which way is hell?
The novice may think this an easy question. "Hell is down!" they shout. But this is the voice of inexperience. Like those who think the forbidden fruit in Eden was "obviously an apple", they are merely repeating a common misconception. The Bible doesn't say WHAT kind of fruit the forbidden fruit is, nor does it state exactly WHERE Hell is either.
A close reading of Chick tracts seems to add to this confusion. In Chick's most famous tract, "This Was Your Life", God points to left while shouting Matthew 25:41. But in other tracts, like "Flight 144," God points to the right while shouting Matthew 7:23.
So which is it? Exit stage left of right?
Hell is usually assumed to be below heaven, but God never points downward. (Nor does he point upward.) Hell could be below heaven yet still above Earth. Yet God points to only the left or right. Could hell be on either side? Is heaven in orbit around hell, so the direction changes depending on what time of day it is? (The fires of hell are supposed to be intense, perhaps they heat heaven like the sun?) Then again, heaven could be orbiting something else, and hell can be in the distant outer edges. (Hell is supposed to be very dark, so it could be like deep space beyond the heavenly solar system.) The direction of hell would still change depending on what time it was. Or it might SURROUND heaven on either side, like a giant donut with heaven being the hole in the middle. Or is it more like an eclair? Surrounding heaven in EVERY direction, so God could point anywhere and be accurate?
In most tracts, when God points, it's not only left or right, but it's usually a precise direction left or right. He points just a little bit downward. Not much, just about 10 degrees. The angel's arm has the identical slight bend when he points the sinner (from "This Was Your Life") to The Lake of Fire. We even get a glimpse of the hellish hallway, and it has a gentle decline, like a wheel chair ramp. So maybe hell isn't to the left or right, or up or down, but a little downward in one direction or another.
Then again, in "The Tycoon," he actually points just a little bit UP to the reader's right. And in "Titanic," God points straight out to the right. So who knows WHAT to think?!
The good news is that this is one mystery we will eventually solve when we die. But by then we won't be able to tell anyone! So if you have an opinion, you better share it now. E-mail it to us and we'll post it here.
RESPONSE FROM ICTHREE
Umm.. by scientific evaluation we have found hell to be directly left of God to the South. We have done this through many experiments and have found that warm weather comes from the southeast.. Hence our hypothesis was proven to be correct and we will discuss this at our catholic theology class next semester.
RESPONSE from EVAN:
Here is my take on is Hell left or Right. Perhaps when an angel or God or saint in a tract points and says something like "Get thee hence" or some such, the being in question isn't actually pointing directly to hell, but to the exit. For that matter, who says that the Judgment hall is always the same one? Imagine a structure like a modern courthouse, but with the exit to each courtroom being to the side instead of to the rear as it is in most American courtrooms. Which side depends on which room being used. Think about it, as of know I think there's at least 5 billion people on this planet, if not 6 billion. Even ignoring the people who have died before us, that's a lot of people to be handled by just one courtroom! Not saying that God isn't up to the task, but it would be easier if he had more then one room. Of course, there's only one God to judge, but I'd like to think that an omniscient and omnipotent being like God could be able to be in multiple courtrooms in the same time, he wrote the laws of physics, I have no problem with him breaking them on Judgment day. Anyway, that is my take, the direction he points is different because it's a different room in each tract.
Of course, this would mean that there's more then one Book of Life, one for each courtroom, but why not, can't God have a publishing house making more then one copy of these? (If nothing else, when Jack passes on, he can help publish a few editions, with comic book illustrations...imagine, being judged based on if your name is in a gigantic Jack Chick tract edition of the Book of Life)
You were inquiring in the Burning Questions section as to where hell is. Here you go.
Hell is in the center of earth:
Amos 9:1,2 - "I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and He said...Though they dig into hell, from there My hand shall take them"
Philippians 2:10 - "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth"
Numbers 16:31-32 - "Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit, the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly."
In light of the following scripture, it is highly plausible that the "pit" mentioned in the above scripture is hell itself, and not just a deep hole made during the earthquake:
Psalms 55:15 - "Let death seize them; let them go down alive into hell, for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them."
Matthew 12:40, Jesus speaking - "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Acts 2:31 - "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption."
Ephesians 4:9 - "(Now this, "He ascended" - what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?"
As soon as a sinner dies, he will go straight to hell where he will be tormented by fire and demons. After the Judgment, he will be cast into the lake of fire, which is a seperate part of hell.
There is a website which has a newspaper clipping of scientists who claimed to have dug into hell in 1989. Their findings scared them enough to quit the project. They also recorded screams they heard from within the hole. In 1998, a man managed obtained a copy of these screams and played them back on a radio station in the US. Both the newspaper article and the recording are available on this site:
I personally believe the newspaper article, though am still unsure about the recorded screams. They sound very real though, and I cannot think of anywhere else one could obtain such sounds.
Reply from Ramon:
David provided several Bible verses that appear to place Hell at the center of the Earth, and I've a few comments from Dr. Henry Morris's The Defender's Study Bible that would agree with that.
Matthew 5:22. "Hell" is gehenna, in the Greek, the place of everlasting fire. Almost certainly it refers to the ultimate lake of fire (Revelation 20:15), not to the great pit in the center of the earth known as Hades (this word is also commonly translated "hell"Matthew 11:23), where the spirits of the unsaved are confined as they await the final judgment. Note the divine principle of degrees of punishment implied in this verse.
Matthew 8:12. outer darkness. The ultimate destiny of the lost, even those who had the special privilege of birth in the chosen nation, is in the lake of fire. This is possibly a star far out in the outer darkness of infinite space since a star is, indeed, a vast lake of fire (II Peter 2:17; Jude 13).
Isn't that cool? As any Chick reader should recognize, Chick seems to think that the Orion nebula (a star cluster) "could well be the entrance into the glory of Heaven, that we'll pass through at the rapture" (Crusaders #5, Chaos, page 20). Though it's a long-shot, the prospect of one star being reserved for eternal punishment and another, or a group of others, intended for unfathomable pleasure, is quite an intriguing eschatological image.
Oh, about David's realaudio link to the alleged "sounds of hell," that is believed to be a hoax, as even the person who submitted it to radio talk-show host Art Bell, the narrator in that file who played those sounds, admitted on Art Bell's website. Both the recording and the newspaper article are fake, from everything I've read about them.
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