Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Outer Darkness

But many Israelites--those for whom the kingdom was prepared--will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 8:12, NLT

I told a nice lady that the whole idea of hell was bunk, and I did not believe in it. She asked, "What about the weeping and gnashing of teeth?" First, I confess that I have not studied the three scripture references to outer darkness. But I will discuss various ideas concerning it.

That the lady would use outer darkness as a defense of hell is revealing, because that seems to be interpretation number one. A feast is going to be held and those who do not deserve to attend will be bound and cast into hell. This hell is "outer" and "dark".

Sound logical? Is hell--located somewhere in the lower earth--outer darkness? I could criticize the idea of one's soul's teeth being gnashed as ludicrous, but I won't.

For those who insist on the idea of hell, (why Jesus ever used the Norse term "hel" or "hell" is not explained) let me offer an alternative interpretation. A literal feast will be held. Those who thought they would be guests are thrown outside into darkness. The guests are not killed. Where does it say they are? They are ejected, living, into darkness. Being alive, they will gnash their teeth. All literal, nothing added.

I forgot to say that one interpretation of outer darkness is that it is in heaven! A dark region in heaven, where bad potential guests are thrown. This idea is gaining in popularity.

So, if you're up to it, look into interpretations of "outer darkness". You will see the hell boys at work and the"dark region of heaven" people each arguing over their injected falsehoods. What a terrible state of ignorance has befallen the church.

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