When you study the Bible, it is helpful to also look up some of the original Greek and Hebrew words that accompany it, but have often been lost in translation to today’s English versions. When you do this, it will help bring clarity to some parts of Scripture and provide a much deeper understanding of it.
The Greek word for Hell is “Gehenna.” Outside of Jerusalem was a place called Gehenna were people took their trash. It was a garbage dump that burned twenty-four hours a day in order to fully dispose of the trash, according to Dr. Tony Evans in his sermon entitled “Dynamite in Your Dentures.”
In James 3, James writes about the power of the wrong words to set ablaze a nightmare.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
When we talk, we have the power to speak life or death into the lives of another human being. If we choose to use words of death, then Hell is looking for that opportunity or spark to ignite a larger fire and create some serious damage with it.
If your tongue is already lit by negative emotions, then Hell is going to dump some fuel on the fire so that it becomes much larger than you ever imagined. And this in turn sets in motion over the course of your life, according to James’ writing.
The Greek word for course means “wheel.” Dr. Evans explains that the word is much like a bicycle wheel that has different spokes coming out of it. These spokes are attached to the central part of the wheel in order to get it to move. So these spokes can be looked at as part of our own circle of life.
When our tongues are lit by the fire of Hell, it can send sparks out over all the spokes. This is why when one thing goes wrong in our lives, the rest of it spins out of control because of all the spokes that are attached.
In closing, Dr. Evans provides a great analogy with Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite in 1867. Dynamite can be used in the construction of new roads and buildings where land needs to be cleared. It can serve a useful purpose in this regard. However, on the flip side, it can also be used for death and destruction in a war context. Recognizing this potential for evil, Nobel created the Nobel Peace Prize before he passed to award those who develop things for good.
So realize the potential you have with such a powerful tool at your disposal. You have more power than you think—to either set into motion something great—or something terrible. How will you choose to use the dynamite in your dentures?