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How long will heaven and hell last?

Pastor Doug: Thank you for your patience and your question.

Caller: It's a double question. How long does Heaven last and how long does Hell last?

Pastor Doug: Okay, well I can't answer them together because they are two diametrically opposite places. The Bible tells us that eternal life is the gift of the redeemed. As I said a minute ago, Jesus said, "He that has the Son has life". Eternal death is the reward of the lost. Jesus said, "The wages for sin are death but the gift of God is eternal life", and so the Bible tells us, and this may be new for some people of course, paradise lasts for ever and ever, ceaseless ages.

The Bible tells us that the wicked will be burned in the fires of Hell according to what they deserve and it is they are consumed, they shall be devoured. We have a study guide -- As a matter of fact we have two study guides. We've got one on Heaven, Mrs. Bryant and we've got one on the other place. If you don't mind calling the resource number, we have one study guide and it's called, Is the Devil in Charge of Hell? We have another study guide dealing with the reward of the righteous and it's called, The Revelation or The Space City.

Pastor Dick: Space City, yes.

Pastor Doug: Glorious Space City? You think I would know these things after these years, right.

Pastor Dick: After three and a half years right?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Pastor Dick: We have to know these things. We have to look at our little -- Go ahead.

Pastor Doug: It's a glorious city in space.

Pastor Dick: A Colossal City in Space.

Pastor Doug: That's it. I was close. [crosstalk] It's a lesson on Heaven but it will talk about the duration of both those events. Many people are surprised Pastor Dick, that the Bible does not teach that Hell does not burn through all eternity. It tells us that the wicked are burnt up in Hell since they're devoured, they are consumed and then the righteous, Malachi chapter four, go forth and walk on the wicked that are ashes under the soles of their feet and God creates a new Heaven and a new earth where there is no more pain. Now if there are people tortured forever how can there be no more pain?

Then the Word says in Revelation, all things are new. Well if you got old sinners screaming in torment, then they're not new, and so everything is new and ultimately the wicked will be burnt up in Hell. The Bible says the wicked will be burnt up and so there are some other scriptures that people have used and maybe misused and the lesson addresses all of that.

Pastor Dick: Might explain Gehenna and the --

Pastor Doug: Yes, well I could talk about the four words that are used for Hell. The word Gehenna, well, the shield which is a Hebrew word that means grave. It's a place of darkness and that sometimes translated Hell. Then there's Gehenna which was the Valley of Hinnom just outside Jerusalem. It was the city dump and Jesus said it's a place where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched, meaning that they allowed it to burn because it was the city dump.

That's the word that sometimes people assume that meant that people are going to be tortured in Hell through all eternity for the sins of one’s lifetime, which is something that came into the church from Greek mythology. It doesn't come from the Bible. It comes from -- You know the idea of the devil being in charge of Hell? You ever heard that Mrs. Bryant?

Caller: Yes, I've heard that.

Pastor Doug: Nowhere in the Bible does it's say that the devil has red leotards and the bat wings and a pitchfork. That all came from Greek mythology, a god name Pluto who was in charge of Hades and it measured out the torment of the wicked. Those pagan teachings found their way into the church during the dark ages. It’s not biblical. Read the lesson and it'll answer all your questions. Okay?

Caller: Fine, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much.

Pastor Dick: Thanks.


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Hell in the Bible

The word “hell” is used 54 times in the Bible. It is translated from several different words with various meanings, as indicated below:
In the Old Testament:
  • 31 times from the Hebrew “Sheol,” which means “the grave”
In the New Testament:
  • 10 times from the Greek “Hades,” which means “the grave”
  • 12 times from the Greek “Gehenna,” which means “a place of burning”
  • 1 time from the Greek “Tartarus,” which means “a place of darkness”


What is Purgatory?

A tradition held by the Catholic Church that teaches people who are not good enough to be worthy of heaven, but not bad enough to deserve hell, suffer in an intermediary state until their sins are purged.

But is it in the Bible? Click here to learn more.

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