CHAPTER XLIV – Revelation 启示录 20:14-15 – 地狱与火湖 HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE

 

启示录的信息 The Message of the Book of Revelation by Rev. Carpus Yip 葉華牧師 / Bilingual Edition  ( 简体中文 Simplified Chinese  and English).

CHAPTER XLIV

地狱与火湖 (启示录 Revelation 20:14-15)
HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE

在这时代讲地狱,似乎是不合潮流的。有很多人已经不相信有地狱 的存在。神学家、主日学老师也都尽量少讲这个题目。很多人不相信有 地狱,是因为觉得与神的爱相违背。 地狱的惩罚太严厉了,就算罪大 恶极的人,也不应该受永远地狱的惩罚,何况很多人不算得是大坏人, 只是因为不认识基督,就要永远灭亡,像是太过份的惩罚。这都是受了 错误的地狱观影响。
It seems that nowadays speaking about hell is not the trend. Many people do not believe that hell exists. Theologians and Sunday school teachers avoid speaking about this topic. Many people do not believe there is a hell because they feel that it goes against the portrait of a loving God. The punishment of hell is too severe; even the greatest of criminals should not be condemned to go to hell for eternity, much less those who do not believe that they are bad people. How could these people be sent to hell forever just because they do not know Christ? It is because they all have been influenced by the wrong view of hell.

中国人接受了从印度来的佛教已经有二千年之久,有关於十八层地 狱的描写,甚麽上刀山、下油镬;西方有但丁对地狱的描写,说地狱里 有鬼魔把人分屍,施行种种残酷的刑罚。这些都是不正确的观念,将异教的神话故事,杂在圣经的真理中间。
For more than 2,000 years the Chinese have accepted the beliefs of Buddhist religion from India about the 18 layers of hell, the mountain of knives, cauldron of boiling oil; the West has Dante’s description of hell, describing how demons tear the bodies apart, carrying out all kinds of cruel punishments. Those are all incorrect view of hell, mixing pagan mythology with the truth of the Bible.

有人不相信地狱存在,有人都不想谈它。没有人知道在哪里?但不 知道不等於不存在。今天用几个常问的问题来看圣经对於地狱的描写。
Some people do not believe that hell exists and others don’t want to talk about it. Nobody knows where it is, but not knowing doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Today, we will ask a few questions to find out what the Bible says about hell.

甚麽是地狱?
WHAT IS HELL?

希腊文有叁个字常翻作地狱,其实都指不同的地方。
In the Greek language there are three words that mean “hell”, actually they refer to different places.

(一)tartarus(彼後2:4; 犹6):是囚禁恶天使,等候审判的地方。应 该翻作「无底坑」。是囚禁特别兇恶鬼魔的地方。可能在另外一个空间, 称为无底坑,表示它深不可测,没有边界,像太空之大,爬不出来。这 并不是囚禁人灵魂的地方,更不是人灵魂永远归宿之处。
(1) Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6): It is a place where the evil angels were sent to be held for judgment on the Great Day. It should be translated into “bottomless pit”. This is a place where the especially ruthless wicked demons are imprisoned. Perhaps in another place called the bottomless pit which is deep and unmeasurable, without boundaries, as big as the outer space, where it is impossible for them to climb up and get away. This place is not where people’s souls are imprisoned, nor it is the final destination of people’s spirits.

(二)hades阴间:不信的人死後暂时停留,等候末日白色大宝座审 判的地方。天主教的炼狱从这发展出来,给人第二次的机会,只要受够 熬炼,就可以上天堂。耶稣讲过财主与拉撒路的故事,财主在阴间受痛 苦,非常热与渴。难怪天主教说是炼狱,但天主教所讲的炼狱,与圣经 所讲的阴间不同,乃是错误教义,不应该相信人有第二次悔改的机会。
(2) Hades: This is the place where unbelievers will be kept temporarily after they die. This is the place where they will wait for the last judgment of the Great White Throne. The idea of purgatory that the Catholics believe in developed from this place. They think they will get a second chance after suffering enough to be able to get to heaven. When Jesus spoke about the story of Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man was suffering in Hades, he was extremely hot and thirsty. No wonder the Catholics said it is purgatory, but the purgatory that Catholics talk about is different from the Hades that the Bible speaks about. It is false teachings, do not believe that people have a second chance to repent.

(叁)gehenna地狱:来自旧约欣嫩谷(书15:8; 王下23:10),是耶路 撒冷城外低洼之地,烧垃圾的地方,是肮髒、有蟲、有火之处。所以主 说:「蟲是不死的,火是不灭的。」现在以色列已经把这地方修辑好了, 成了做生意、热闹的地方。不过那地方仍然称作「地狱」,有些餐馆、商店仍然用地狱这名字。犹太人不读新约圣经,不相信地狱,甚至不相信 阴间,认为只是坟墓的同义词。我们知道有地狱,因为耶稣说得最多。
(3) Gehenna: Comes from the Old Testament, the Valley of Hinnom (Joshua 15:8, 2 Kings 12:10), a small valley outside of the city of Jerusalem, a place where garbage is burned, it’s filthy, full of worms and there is fire. That is why the Lord said: “Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” Nowadays, Israel has made this place into a lively place of business. However, that place is still called “Hell” as well as some restaurants and stores that are in the area. The Jews don’t read the New Testament, don’t believe in hell and don’t believe in Hades, they think it is a synonym of the word tomb. We know there is a hell, because Jesus talk about it the most.
(四)lake of fire火湖:「死亡和阴间也被扔在火湖里,这火湖就是 第二次的死。」启示录特别用上一个新字:「火湖」,或「硫磺火湖」。那 时还没有火药的时代,硫磺是最易燃烧、烧得最猛烈的东西。「硫磺火 湖」告诉我们那是烈火包围的地方。我们只知道这是痛苦的地方,像烧 垃圾的地方一样,有不灭的火、不死的蟲。人间无论多苦都不会像它。 灭亡的人昼夜在良心煎熬下,永远带著後悔的灼热、燃烧感。
(4) Lake of Fire: “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation specifically uses a new word: “Lake of fire” , or “Lake of burning sulfur”. In those times gun powder was not discovered yet, sulfur was the most flammable substance which burned very fiercely. “The lake of burning sulfur”, tells us that is a place surrounded by blazing fire. We only know that it is a place of suffering, like a garbage incinerator. It is a place of unquenching fire and worms that don’t die. Nothing on earth compares to that place. Those who perish will be tortured by their consciences day and night, burning with regret forever.
其实中文的「天堂、地狱」,都是从佛教挪用过来,可以说是不準确 的。将来的天国不在天上,是在新天新地的地上。圣经没有一处告诉我 们将来上天堂。地狱更明显不合圣经描写。可能用「火湖」比较贴切。
Actually, the notions of “heaven and hell” of the Chinese people come from Buddhism, and is not accurate at all. The future kingdom of heaven will not be established in heaven but in the new heaven and new earth. Nowhere in the Bible mentions that we will go to up heaven. And the description of hell by the Chinese is completely different from how the Bible describes it. Using the words “Lake of fire” may be the closest.

不要误会神用火来惩罚人。火表示人与神隔绝,没有神恩典的焦虑 难过。今不信者虽有痛苦仍然享有主恩典,神降雨给义人,也给不义的 人。神所给人普遍的恩典他们都享有:家庭、朋友的爱、食物、健康、 娱乐,他们都不缺少,还有各种艺术才能、眼光,能够唱歌、跳舞、绘 画,可以陶醉在艺术享受中。所以不信的人今天仍然享受神的恩典。
There is the misunderstanding that God uses fire to punish people. Fire represents the isolation of humans from God, the anxiety and grief of not having the grace of God. Today, unbelievers, even though they may have sickness and sufferings, they still have the grace of God, God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. They can all enjoy the universal grace that God gives to everyone: A home, the love of friends, food, health, entertainment, they don’t lack these things, there is also the different kinds of artistic talents, insights, they can sing, dance, draw and paint, they can immerse themselves in the enjoyment of art. Today, all the unbelievers can still enjoy the grace of God.

火湖在哪里?
WHERE IS THE LAKE OF FIRE?

14死亡和阴间也被扔在火湖里,这火湖就是第二次的死。
14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

到底火湖在宇宙中哪个部份?在星球上抑或地球上?还是在太空某 处?这是一个特别的範畴,姑且用dimension来描写。有人用另一个 dimension来描写灵界,就是天使、魔鬼活动的地方。因为圣经说神 创造「诸世界」(希伯来书一章),或多个不同性质的世界,但在启21章 说的「新天新地」,却是一个单数字,就是说,将来只有一个天地,再没 有其他世界。再没有人觉得灵异、神怪的事发生,再没有玄妙的事,从 另一个世界传过来。因为再没有别的世界了。
So, where is the lake of fire in this universe? Is it on a star or on the earth? Or where in outer space? It is a special category which can be described as a dimension. Some people use another dimension to describe the spiritual realm, the place where angels and demons live because the Bible says that God created the “worlds” (Hebrews 1), or a world of a different nature, but in Revelation 21 it talks about “a new heaven and a new earth”, which are singular words, which means that in the future there will be only one heaven and one earth, there will not be other worlds. No one will feel supernatural or strange things happening, no more mysterious things passing from one world to another.

也告诉我们地狱不是一个世界。它不在新天新地里面。有人认为那 是太空中的黑洞,是密度比重最大地方,整个地球可以被吸去变了它的 一部份,没有东西能逃得过这黑洞。人的灵也被压缩到看不见,比火烧 还要难受。真的是这样吗?不得而知。
Also, it tells us that hell is not a world. It is not in the new heaven and the new earth. Some people believe that it is the black hole in space, a place where the gravitational field is very intense, the whole earth could be sucked into it and become part of it, nothing can escape from the black hole. The spirit of man can be compressed in such a way that it cannot be seen, burned with fire and suffering pain. Will it be really like this? Don’t know.
我们只知道,这是第二次的死,就是说,他们复活的身体也死了, 被扔在火湖里的,有旧的阴间、无底坑等世界,有鬼魔的灵及所有的污灵,并所有罪人的灵。人的灵与鬼魔的灵不一样。因为当天使被造是一 种称为灵,但又能单独存在,可以工作与活动的。人却不一样。人是身 体先被造,再加上神的灵吹进去。就成了有灵的活魂。人的灵像软件, 放进硬件里,就是身体中,使这身体能够作工与活动。
We only know, it is the second death, that is, their resurrected body will also die, thrown into the lake of fire, there is the old Hades, other worlds like the bottomless pit, there are demons and all evil spirits, also the spirits of the sinners. The spirits of a people and the spirits of demons are different because the angels were created as spirits with powers that can exist by themselves, they can work and move. People are different. The man’s body was created first, then God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life then he became a living thing with a spirit. The spirit of man is like a computer software which is placed into a hardware, which is the human body, so the body can work and move around.

在阴间里,人的灵是静止的存在,「没有工作、没有谋算、没有知 识、也没有智慧。」(传9:10)有意识却没有活动。像没有了硬件的软件 一样。没有人的脑袋、手脚配合,存在在一个没有时间、空间的非世界 中。是静止不动,再也接触不到任何神所创造的东西,再没有神的恩典 跟随。但意识中充满悔恨、内疚,如被不灭的火所烧一样。
In Hades, the spirit of man exits in stillness, ” there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) There is consciousness but there is no activity. Like a computer software without a hardware. Arms and legs without a brain, existing in the netherworld without time or space. Completely still, never again being in contact with the things that God created, never again having God’s grace following you, yet the consciousness remains full of regret and guilt like a fire that never stops burning.

现在活著的所有人,都活在神恩典之中,能够吃到美味的食物,觉 得快乐,那是神的设计,神给人的恩典;觉得与朋友谈心觉得很快乐, 也是神设计的恩典;能运用艺术的细胞,享受到艺术创作之乐,享受视听之娱,也是因为神的创造,神的赐与。当人死去,失去了身体,一切 快乐活动全部停止,一切神所创造的东西,无法再接触,活在没有时间 空间,完全静止不变的状况,没有宴会、娱乐、朋友。只有悔恨。
Right now, everyone who is alive lives under the grace of God, we can enjoy delicious food, feel happiness, that is what God planned for us, that is God’s grace towards all human beings. When you can talk heart-to-heart with a friend and feel happy, that is the grace of God under His plan. To be able to use your artistic abilities, enjoy a piece of art, enjoy audio-visual entertainment, those are the things that God has given us through His creation. When a person dies and leaves the body, all those activities stop, the dead will not be able to be in contact with all the things that God created, but will be in a complete still condition, existing in a place without time or space, where there are no parties, no entertainment, no friends; a place where there is only remorse.

甚麽人被丢进火湖?
WHO WILL BE THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE?

15若有人名字没记在生命册上,他就被扔在火湖里,这是 第二次的死。
15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

生命册上有名,表示有基督的生命,那是天国公民活人的名册。不 是死亡册,他就可以活在基督的国里。
Those whose names are written in the book of life are those who have the live of Christ, that is the book of those living who are citizens of heaven. Whoever is not in the Book of the Dead will be able to live in the kingdom of Christ.

没有主生命的人,在今世不喜欢过基督徒的生活,会觉得作基督徒 非常苦闷,受捆绑没有自由。这样想,是因为他们没有主的生命。有鱼 的生命会喜欢水里的生活,没有鱼的生命,活在水里太多不便。
People who do not have the life of the Lord do not like to live as a Christian, they will feel that being a Christian is very boring and that there is no freedom. They think that way because they do not have the life of the Lord. If you had the life of a fish, you would enjoy living in the water, but if you didn’t have the life of a fish you would feel that being in the water is very inconvenient.
教会里的生活,弟兄姊妹坦诚相交,讲心灵里面的话,非常快乐。 在其他团体跟人谈话的主题,环绕著成功、财富、孩子,讲话也要很小 心,免得给人轻看。听人说话也要小心,怕讲的人有其他目的。你比他 好,他会嫉妒;比他差,他会轻视。甚麽时候都会戴著假面具来生活。 但是他们会乐此不疲。他们不会喜欢教会的生活,不会喜欢有神的灵的看管,所以到後来,唯一可以去的地方,就是没有神恩典的地方。
It is a joy for brothers and sisters in the church to be able speak with each other open-heartedly. When speaking with people in other group settings people have to be very careful of what they say so that others will not look down at them. The topic of their conversations is usually about success, wealth or their children. And when listening to someone talk, they have to be very careful also, they never know what the other person is up to. If you are better than them, they will be jealous of you; if you are worse than them, they will look at you with contempt. They are never tired of wearing a mask. They will never enjoy church life, they will not like how a person who has the Spirit of God views things. Therefore, at the end, the only place they can go will be a place where the grace of God is no more.

火湖本来不是为人预备的,乃是为魔鬼与牠的使者预备的。这里看 好像是为人预备的,其实十节说魔鬼先被丢进火湖,十四节死亡阴间也 被扔进去,罪人是因为跟随魔鬼而去,是人自己的选择,自己做决定, 愿意跟随撒但的道路,喜爱牠的生活方式,就会永远与牠在一起。
Originally, the lake of fire was not intended for human beings, but for the devil and his emissaries. Here it seems that it was prepared for mankind. Actually, verse 10 says that the devil was first thrown into the lake of fire and verse 14 says that Death and Hades were also thrown into the lake of fire. Sinners were thrown into the lake of fire because they chose to follow them, it was their own decision. Willing to follow the way of Satan, loving Satan’s lifestyle, will make anyone end up with him for eternity.

有人觉得在世界上受很多苦,世界就像地狱,打仗、衝突、仇恨、 鬥争,加上不景气,肉身心灵都受痛苦。其实现在虽然痛苦,只是肉体 的苦,还有礼拜堂可以去,有人传讲福音,还有机会悔改,可以祷告, 祈求主的帮助,心灵可以得到主的力量,胜过痛苦,还有回头的机会。 在火湖中就再没有机会,没有回头的可能,也没有出路。
Some people feel that when they suffer a lot in this world, this world becomes like hell, wars, conflicts, hatred, struggles, plus depression, body, soul and spirit suffering. In fact, even though at the present there is suffering, it is only the physical body that suffers, there are still churches that people can go to, there are people who preach the Gospel, there is still a chance for repentance, you can pray for God’s help, the spirit can be strengthened through the Lord, to overcome the pain, there is still an opportunity to turn back. In the lake of fire there will not be a second chance, there will not be the possibility of turning back, there will not be any way out.

恶人甚麽时候到火湖?
WHEN WILL BE WICKED BE THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE?

很多人的想法是,死後马上进地狱。人死之後是否马上到火湖去? 当然不是。人的灵魂要在阴间等候末日的身体复活,经过白色大宝座的 审判之後,纔有第二次的死,纔被丢进火湖里。
May people believe that people go to hell right after they die. Do people go directly to the lake of fire after they die? Of course, not. The spirit of a human being will be in Hades awaiting the resurrection of the body at the end of the world, after the judgment of the Great White Throne, then the second death and finally thrown into the lake of fire.

基督徒死後,也不是马上到天堂去,是到暂时停留的乐园里。乐园 与阴间无法相通,主所说的「财主与拉撒路」的比喻中,财主在阴间受痛 苦,远远看见生前所认识的拉撒路与亚伯拉罕在一起,没有痛苦,享受 回家的温暖。但他不能过去,因为两处有深渊相隔。其实不信的人,不单到不了乐园,他们在阴间,也是单独的,再不能与生前的好友叙旧。
After Christians die, they do not go directly to heaven, they go to Paradise temporarily. Paradise and Hades are incommunicated. In the parable that the Lord spoke about, “The rich man and Lazarus”, the rich man was suffering in Hades forever seeing Lazarus, whom he knew when they were alive. Lazarus was together with Abraham, not suffering anymore, enjoying the warmth of being at home. But he could not cross to the other side because both sides were separated by an abyss. Actually, unbelievers not only don’t get to go to Paradise, but they are isolated in Hades unable to reminisce the good old times with their friends.

为甚麽要有火湖?
WHY IS THERE A LAKE OF FIRE?

有人认为火湖的惩罚太过份,没有机会听信福音就下地狱,像犯了 交通规则,要被判死刑一样。如果许多人没有机会听福音,神怎麽能这 样残忍,让这些无辜的人被丢进火湖里?要记得人在进火湖之前,有一 个白色大宝座的审判。神必定有最公平的处理方法。
Some people believe that the punishment of the lake of fire is too much. Being sent to hell because someone did not have the opportunity to hear and believe in the Gospel is like someone receiving the death penalty because of a traffic violation. How could God be so merciless as to send innocent people to the lake of fire just because they did not have the opportunity to hear the Gospel? Remember that before people enter the lake of fire, there is the final judgment at the Great White Throne. God will certainly have the most impartial way to handle each case.
要知道灵是不灭的,魔鬼原是天使,是灵,不能消灭,只能放在火 湖里。人的灵也是不能消灭,既然他们不要神的国,就只好在神的国之 外。在没有时间、空间、活动的静止里。这已经是最仁慈的解决办法。
Know that the spirit is immortal, the devil was originally an angel, he is a spirit, he will never died, he can only be placed in the lake of fire. People’s spirit will never die either and since they do not want the kingdom of God, the best place for them is outside the kingdom of God, in the stillness where there is not time, space or activity. This is already the most merciful solution.

如果没有火湖,人人进入天国,那是不是好事?我们要记得主的心肠最柔软,祂整天没有吃饭,人来求祂帮忙之时,祂一个也不推辞,从 来不说:「办公时间已过,明天请早。」这样好心肠的主,怎会折磨人? 但耶稣论地狱最多,新约共提地狱12次,11次是主耶稣说的。火湖乃 是爱的设计。
If there was no lake of fire and every body enters into the kingdom of heaven, would that be a good thing? We must remember that the heart of the Lord is the most kind one, he had not eaten the entire day, but when people came asking for His help, He did not reject anyone, He never said: “Office hours are over, come back tomorrow.” A Lord with such a kind heart, how could He torment anyone? But Jesus spoke about hell the most, 12 times in the New Testament, Jesus Himself spoke about it 11 times. The lake of fire was set up because of love.

当法院宣判患爱滋病的小孩可以回到学校唸书。但同校很多小孩马 上转校。其实他们不一定会受到感染,但人还是不愿意与爱滋病患同在 一起。如果新天新地里面有传染罪与死的可能,那怎能还算是天国?许 多人因为某罪犯出狱後,住在隔壁,他们第一件事就是想要搬家。
When the court pronounced that a child with AIDS could go back to school. Many kids transferred to another school. They might not get infected with the disease, but people still do not want to be with kids who have AIDS. If in the new heaven and the new earth there is the possibility of sin and death to be contagious, then how could it still be the kingdom of heaven? Many people want to move away when they know that a criminal that was released from prison lives next to them.

如果邪恶、诡诈的人进入天国,天国岂不是变了地狱吗?让死囚、 神经病人、或兇残的野兽,与孩子、家人同住,那不是破坏了可爱温暖 的家了吗?他们不是应该有自己的地方吗?所以火湖乃是最仁慈的方式 来处理邪恶的问题。
If wicked and treacherous people enter the kingdom of heaven, wouldn’t the kingdom of heaven become hell? If we permit a convict sentenced to death, a psychopath, or a brutal savage beast to live with our children and family, wouldn’t it destroy a loving and tender home? Don’t they ought to have their own place? Therefore, the lake of fire is the kindest way to deal with the problem of wickedness.

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