The Bible warns that those who reject God’s mercy now will face him in judgment one day and be banished into hell. But did you know that many popular ideas about hell actually sprang from ancient pagan myths and not from the Word of God?
In the following quiz, see if you can spot the biblical truth and the traditions of men. After the quiz, you’ll find the correct answers — and references to appropriate biblical passages for further study.
1. According to the Bible, the human being is:
a. a mortal body housing an immortal soul;
b. a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury;
c. a perishable creature wholly dependent on God for existence.
2. Two historical events which biblical writers use most often to illustrate God’s final judgment against the wicked are:
a. expulsion from Eden and the collapse of the Tower of Babel;
b. the fall of Jerusalem and the defeat of the Spanish Armada;
c. the Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
3. Based on an actual event, the Bible uses the expression “eternal fire” to signify:
a. fire that destroys forever (Sodom and Gomorrah);
b. fire that cannot destroy what is put in it (Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego);
c. fire that continues to burn indefinitely (the Burning Bush of Moses).
4. The “brimstone” in “fire and brimstone” is:
a. a symbol of terrible torture;
b. burning sulfur that suffocates and destroys;
c. a preserving agent that keeps someone alive forever.
5. Throughout the Bible, “gnashing of teeth” denotes:
a. excruciating pain and agony;
c. extreme anger and hostility.
6. When the Bible portrays “smoke rising” to warn of judgment, we should think of:
a. people suffering horrible pain;
b. a completed desolation or annihilation;
c. a closed arena when cigarettes were still allowed.
7. When Scripture speaks of smoke rising “forever,” it signifies:
a. a destruction that will be irreversible;
b. conscious torment that never ends;
c. a battery-powered rabbit that short circuited.
8. The “worm” in the expression “worm that dies not” is:
a. a maggot that feeds on something dead;
b. a symbol for a pained conscience;
c. a figure of speech standing for everlasting agony in torment.
9. Throughout the Bible, the expression “unquenchable fire” always signifies:
a. fire which burns forever but never burns up what is put in it;
b. fire which comes from a volcano;
c. fire which is irresistible and therefore consumes entirely.
10. The Old Testament’s final description of the end of sinners states that:
a. God will put fire and worms in their flesh and they will feel their pain forever;
b. they will be ashes under the soles of the feet of the righteous;
c. neither of the above.
11. John the Baptist warned of “unquenchable fire,” by which Jesus would:
a. burn up the “chaff”;
b. torment the lost forever and never let them die;
c. purge sinners of all evil and then send them to heaven.
12. Jesus compared the end of the wicked to:
a. someone burning chaff, dead trees or weeds;
b. a house destroyed by a hurricane or someone crushed under a boulder;
c. all the above.
13. Jesus personally described Gehenna (hell) as a place where:
a. God is able to destroy both soul and body;
b. God will perpetuate the soul in everlasting agony;
c. Satan reigns over his evil subjects and tortures damned humans.
14. The phrase “eternal punishment” signifies:
a. punishment which occurs in the Age to Come rather than during this life;
b. eternal life in horrible agony and pain;
c. punishment which has everlasting results;
d. (a) and (c) but not (b).
15. The context and “punch line” of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus talk about:
a. what happens to the wicked after resurrection and judgment;
b. the urgency of responding to God while there is opportunity;
c. details about the “intermediate state” between death and resurrection.
16. Throughout his writings, Paul says that the lost will:
a. go to hell and burn alive forever;
b. die, perish, and be punished with eternal destruction;
c. go to heaven but hate every minute of it.
17. The New Testament uses the adjective “immortal” to describe:
a. the soul of every person, good or evil;
b. the resurrection bodies of the saved but not of the lost;
c. no human being now or hereafter.
18. The Jewish-Christian books of Hebrews and James contrast salvation with:
a. unending conscious pain;
b. inescapable destruction;
c. going “gently into that good night.”
19. Peter’s epistles say that the lost will:
a. be burned to ashes like Sodom and Gomorrah;
b. perish like brute beasts;
c. both the above.
20. John interprets his vision in Revelation of a “lake of fire” as:
a. a picture of indescribable, everlasting torture;
b. a place Eskimos might like to visit;
c. the second death.
Check out the answers tomorrow or if you can’t wait go to Edward Fudge’s website and scroll down to the bottom of the page