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Becoming Less Important

Shane Willard

Page 2 of 9
They kept the fire going, and they threw dead bodies that couldn't afford a tomb. There were wolves and stuff, that would scavenge for food and they'd bite each other; so it became known as: the place where the fire doesn't die, and there's weeping and gnashing of teeth. It was an actual place on earth.

15/18 times He used the word ‘Hell’, it was Gehenna - hell on earth. 3/18 times, it was hell in the afterlife, Hades. This is the one you really want to avoid.

Hades is the one in Revelation. Death and Hades get picked up thrown into the lake of fire. This is the eternal one - and He only used this word three times, and only one time in regards to a person going there.

The 2 other times: one was when He said: woe to Capernaum, how can you state the condemnation of Hades?

The other was when He took His disciples to a place called Caesarea Philippi, the place of worship of the goat-god Pan. The goat-god Pan received worship through intimate acts with goats. There was a temple to the goat-god Pan on top of this rock, and the weight of the temple cracked the rock. There was a hole at the bottom, and they called it the Gates of Hades. People in Caesarea Philippi believed that if you didn't worship Pan properly, that the gates of Hades would open up, and you'd be swallowed into hell.

24 hours a day, seven days a week, there were people around the road, around the temple of the goat-god Pan, having intimate acts with goats, in order to keep Pan from swallowing them up into the gates of hell.

Jesus took His disciples there, and He stood over the Gates of Hell, and He said: upon this rock we can build a church, and not even the gates of Hades will prevail against it.

He only used the word Hades one other time, once - so it's really worth investigating.

Luke 16:19 – “There was a certain rich man, who was customarily clothed in purple and fine linen, and making merry in luxury every day.”

So there's this guy, and he's dressing every day like only special people get to dress once or twice (7 times a year) – “...and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full or sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. But even the dogs licked his wounds, and it happened that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side; and the rich one also died, but was buried.

“And in Hades, he lifted up his eyes, and being in torments; and he saw Abraham afar off, with Lazarus at his side. And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me - send Lazarus - that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I'm tormented in the flame.”

“But Abraham said: son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil - but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. And besides all this, there's a great chasm fixed between you and us, so that they desiring from here to you cannot, nor can you pass from there to us”.

“And he said: I beg you therefore father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham said to him: they have Moses and the prophets - let them hear them.”

“And he said: no Father Abraham, but if one should go back from the dead, then they would repent; and he said: if they do not hear Moses and the prophets they will not be persuaded - even if one raises from the dead.

What an odd story. Jesus is totally breaking His modus operandi, totally breaking the way He normally does things. He's using the word Hades instead of Gehenna - that was breaking the mould. He's actually using the word Hades in terms of somebody going there.

His disciples, anybody standing there, who knew His teachings, would be going: that's a first! He starts the parable by saying: there's a certain rich man... so you it's not going to end good?

It's very easy for us to say: oh well - it's a rich man; I'm not rich. No, no, no - we're all rich.