Video Library

separator

Hellfire Conspiracy Exposed!

Good evening, friends. We are going to study a subject that I think you'll find can be very liberating, very important. As I stated a few minutes ago, of course, our Bible study is Revelation's Lake of Fire. This is found in Revelation chapter 20 and some of the chapter 21. We have a study guide that goes along with it. Is the devil in charge of hell? A very interesting study guide. I'd like to begin by sharing some interesting facts with you.

The lowest point on earth, who knows where it is? It's called the basement of the planet, is the Dead Sea, which is part of the biblical land. Over 1,300 feet below sea level. I've been there before. Very hot, you even feel a more dense air pressure down there than you would feel at sea level. It's that much different. I don't know if I've ever mentioned that I'm a pilot and so when I start to climb, I feel the loss of air pressure, you can feel it in your lungs but I remember distinctly feeling how much denser it was.

For years, people wondered if the Dead Sea had a big chasm in it somewhere because all the water from the Jordan River runs out of the Sea of Galilee down the Jordan River into the Dead Sea but nothing never runs out of the Dead Sea. It always takes, it never gives, which could be why it's dead. That's a lesson for all of us, right? They actually sent a Navy lieutenant there once, I think it was Captain Lynch and they did some explorations and they sounded it to find out if it was a bottomless chasm and the water was just pouring into the middle of the earth and they found out, no, it's solid on the bottom.

It just evaporates faster than it can run in, because it's about 49 miles long and average of 9 miles wide. One of the hottest, driest, most desolate places in the world. Just a little bit south of the Dead Sea are some very interesting looking bad lands. They're these hills that are like this potash clay compressed. Embedded in these hills is something that you'll only find there and nowhere else in the world, they have these sulfur balls. I was talking to someone about if I could demonstrate this, I actually did it once.

These you can-- Just take a match to it. I got a match here but I'm not going to do it. You can take a match to it. Any of you ever smelt burning sulfur? What's the smell like? Rotten eggs. I did that one time and I learned my lesson. Everybody left the meeting. No, but it does stink quite a bit. You can come up and smell it later if you'd like to. Matter of fact, I am not going to want to put my fingers anywhere near my nose now. These sulfur balls are flammable, they burn very hot. I think one of my friends-- I want to thank Andrew Jones and Richard and others who had sent this to me.

You can see last night he took a picture of one burning and send it to me and says, "Don't set it on fire, Doug. We'll do it for you outside and send you a picture." They did that for me from California. You just put a match to the side, see how blue hot it's burning? These are embedded in that potash down there. How do you think they got there? I'll tell you the story. Genesis 13:3, the Bible says, "But the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly before the Lord and as a result of that, after years of patience, God sent two angels to Sodom."

I think you remember that they were poorly treated. They went to Lot's home. Lot was the nephew of Abraham who was praying-- uncle Abraham was praying for Lot because he knew that Sodom was doomed and they said, "Get out of town." I'm paraphrasing. "Escape for your life do not look behind thee. Escape to the mountain lest you be-" What? "- consumed. Lest you be burnt up." He went to visit his daughters-in-law and families and said, "God has told me this place is doomed, get out of town now." They mocked him like he was a religious fanatic.
Could that happen again? He seemed like one that mocked unto his sons-in-law.

Finally, the angel said, "We can't wait any longer. Escape for your life lest you be consumed." The Bible says, "He got out of town and the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." It rained down. Evidently, this is the very place where you find these sulfur balls embedded in the ash. Some of them came down on fire and they extinguish themselves on impact. They're still there today. It's kind of fascinating, isn't it?
The only place you can find these just like that. You know Jesus said, speaking of the last days, as it was in the days of Lot-- as a matter of fact I've got it here.

Luke 17:28, "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built. But on the day that Lot went out of Sodom, butterflies were flitting from flower to flower and business was starting as usual and folks were waking up and brewing their coffee and doing everything they did every other morning. It looked like another great day, and then suddenly everything changed." Jesus said as it was in the days of Noah, "Another beautiful day and then suddenly everything changed."

You know it's one thing that struck me about 9/11? It was a beautiful day. I think sometimes we are living under the delusion that God is going to send us some kind of advance warning. He has, it's called the Bible and He wants us to listen to it. The Bible tells us that, "As it was, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built but on the day they went out of Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven." Jesus uses the same words and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day he who was on his housetop and his goods in the house, let him not come down and take them away.

Likewise, the one who's in the field don't let him even come back for his clothes and then Jesus gives us these solemn words. Remember Lot's wife. Lot's wife heard the explosion or eruption or the roar behind her and maybe her heart was yearning for her things and her children, we don't know what was happening. She looked back and God said, "Don't look back." Does God mean what He says? Sometimes we think He says, "Remember the Sabbath Day" and it's optional. God means what He says. She turned around, she looked back, what happened? Turned into a pillar of salt.

The Bible says Abraham from his vantage point up in Hebron, he looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah and lo, the smoke of the country went up as a smoke of a furnace. God had not told Abraham not to look so he looked and it doesn't happen to him because he didn't know. It looked like a furnace, some have wondered if it was a nuclear explosion. No, a fire and brimstone. When you set this on fire, it's brimstone. Still there today. Isn't that fascinating?

Now when we think of fire and brimstone what Bible subject pops into your mind? Hell. That's our subject today. Hellfire which is exactly the same as the lake of fire that you find in Revelation. Some have tried to separate the two, it's the same subject that we're going to study. The Bible has a lot to say, not only about the reward of heaven. We have a study coming on the New Jerusalem, you're going to love that one.

We also have a study on something that is in Revelation, it is in prophecy, all the New Testament dealing with the punishment of the wicked. It's a sobering truth we need to be aware of and God wants us to know to avoid it but He also wants us to know the way He is dealing with sinners is a loving way. The love of God is revealed in this subject. Let's get right into our study.

Number one. How many lost souls are being punished in Hell today according to the Bible? Answer? 2nd Peter 2:9, "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, the godly are delivered, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." Where are the unjust? Reserved. Any of you ever made a reservation? It's something that is held for you. You don't want this reservation [laughter] but the unjust are- they're being reserved. They're being held for this day of punishment.

Again, John 12:48, "'The word that I have spoken,' Jesus said, 'will judge them in the last day.'" We read a lot about that in John chapter 6 today, right? When are they going to be punished? Rewarded? Judged? The last day. How many people are burning in hell now? Nobody. Some of you are getting riled up. You said, "Pastor Doug, you tell me you don't believe in hellfire?" I do believe in hellfire if that makes you happy. I do. I believe the wicked are going to burn.

That for our Baptist friends out there, none of you wanted to hear that. My dad was a Baptist. First time I was baptized in the mountains, remember that subject? Baptist. I understand this is a very integral part, I do believe in it. Nobody's burning yet according to the Bible, because the Lord says they are reserved. Haven't been judged yet. Resurrection hasn't taken place. Even the resurrection of damnation hasn't taken place, yet.

Number two. When will sinners, according to the Bible, be cast into hellfire? How many of you remember the parable Jesus told about the farmer who had an enemy that spread weeds tares in his wheat? In that parable, they're told to first gather together the tares, bind them in bundles and burn them, Matthew 13:40 is where you find this. Then later when Jesus explains this parable, He says in Matthew 13:40-42, "So shall it be in the end of the world." When?

The end of the world, the Son of Man will send forth his angels and they will gather together them that do iniquity and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. They're being cast into hellfire, lake of fire, furnace of fire, you can call it what you want. When? The end of the world is when they're going to be gathered and punishment is meted out. How many are burning in hell now?

Nobody's burning in hell now. Number three. Where are sinners who have died now if they're not burning? A lot of scripture. The Bible tells us, John 5:28-29, "The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear His voice. It's coming and they'll come forth." "The wicked is reserved--" Job 21:30, "The wicked is reserved unto the day of destruction. He's being reserved." Just like Peter said, "And again, yet he shall be brought to the grave, he'll remain in the tomb." Until when? The day of judgment. He's reserved in the until the day of judgment. If that's clear please say, "Amen."

Okay. Number four. What is the end resolve of sin? Now wait a second, you don't mind another scripture popped into my mind, I'm hoping that's the Holy Spirit. Daniel chapter 12, "At that time, Michael will stand up the Great Prince that stands for the children of thy people and there will be a time of trouble such as there never has been since there was a nation even unto the same time, and at that time thy people will be delivered every one that is found written in the book and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake."

When Michael stands up, great time of trouble, resurrection. "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake. Some to everlasting life, some to everlasting shame and contempt." When are the wicked going to get that? "When Michael stands up, great time of trouble." and that's synonymous with the plagues at the end of the world. Number four. What is the end result of sin? The Bible tells us penalty for sin is death. James 1:15 bears that out, "Sin, when it is finished brings forth--" What? How many know this one? John 3:16. Could you say this by heart?

"For God so loves the world, He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Now, this is something that some people they have an aha experience right about now. There are two destinies for everybody. There's two roads, there's two choices, there's two masters, life and death, good and evil, Christ and the devil. Either eternal life or perish. It is not eternal life in heaven and eternal life in the fire. Life and death is what He's offering us.

Are the wicked punished in hellfire? Yes. How long? Well, we'll get to that in just a minute. Again, Romans chapter 6. What does Paul tell us? The wages of sin is what? Everlasting life in the fire. Is that what it says? "The wages of sin are death but the gift of God is everlasting life." The gift doesn't go to everybody. It's those who-- the everlasting life is for everybody. The first lie that the devil told Eve was what? "You won't really die." You'll live forever in hell or you'll live forever in heaven but you're immortal. We looked at all the verses this morning dealing with immortality, did we find one? I asked the whole audience. No offers, right?

Is there a single verse in the Bible that says we have immortality now? Not one. God said, "You will die." The devil said, "No, you won't." The tragedy is that there are many Christian leaders that are repeating the lie of the devil. Why do you think God said to Adam? Genesis 3:22, "Chased them, evicted them from the Garden of Eden, lest he put forth his hand, take also of the tree of life eat and live forever." God said, "He's not going to live forever and I'm not going to let it happen because I'm not going to immortalize a sinner." God does not want to immortalize sinners. They will be exterminated, punished and eradicated from the universe. He's going to have a pure universe.

This whole concept, it came from medieval teachings. This subject, if you haven't noticed, I get excited about it. Part of the reason is I used to go to some Christian schools that taught this and my idea of God was-- I mean I was being told that if you're not baptized as a baby and you die, those babies go to hell and they burn. Forever and ever and ever or at least purgatory and burn a little bit there forever and ever and ever, but because they're immortal, they might burn in purgatory then make it. This idea that God would--
I've heard some sermons. Someone not too long ago sent me a sermon. He's an eloquent great preacher, I have a great respect for him. With this one sermon, Sinners in the hand of an angry God. Any of you ever heard of that one? Jonathan Edwards. Boy, makes your skin crawl. Talks about the doomed hanging above the fires of hell by a spider web that is ready to pop at any moment and get a plunge down into the sulfur and burning brimstone and after swimming through this molten lava for a thousand years, you find your way to the surface and you cry out, "Oh Lord, how long?" He says, "You've just begun." and He pushes you back under again to blister some more.

I'm paraphrasing, that's a very rough translation. I mean, really, a lot of people, this is their idea of God, is that he is a sadist and that He is going to enjoy watching these creatures that He created, that have these sinful tendencies be tortured through endless ages. You know how long eternity is? Can you figure this? A billion years from now, you swim to the surface of the brimstone and God says, "You've just begun." You get pushed back and your blistering and writhing and shrieking the whole time. It is a doctrine of devil's. It came from the Dark Ages.

I used to go to public school and they had a school play and my mother directed it, she was always into theatrics. It was on Greek mythology. You can have a school play on Greek gods but you weren't allowed to have a school play on Jesus. I was Pluto. I probably made a good Pluto. Not Popeye and Pluto, I was Pluto, the god of Hades. You heard in Greek mythology about Pluto the god of Hades and he had the hounds of hell. You've heard that expression, the hounds of hell? Where's that in the Bible? It's from Greek mythology and a lot of these concepts about the devil being in charge of Hell and Hades, they all come from mythology and they found their way into the church.

Remember how we learned how many pagan traditions came into the church? Things started getting corrupted but it was advantageous. The religious leaders found that fear is a very powerful mechanism. You can motivate people and you could get increased offerings by using fear. It was very successful. I better get back to my lesson here. If the idea that the penalty for sin is everlasting torment, did Jesus died on the cross for our sins? If the penalty for sin is to burn forever and ever and ever and ever, Jesus didn't pay our penalty. The penalty for sin is death. Did He die? He paid our penalty. The whole idea that the penalty for sin is eternal torment, Jesus did not take our penalty and then we're all in trouble.

He did die. It's like with Daniel, "The penalty for disobeying the king's command was death. He put him in the lion's den, he spent one night, he took him out, he said, "I've kept the law, the law has been satisfied."" Then he threw in Daniel's enemies and the Lions ate them. Daniel came back out alive, he didn't stay in forever. Number five. What will happen to the wicked in hell fire? The Bible tells us in Psalms 37:20, "For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be. But the wicked shall perish, into smoke they will consume away. Going to burn up."

"For behold--" Malachi 4, you know this. Verse 1, "For behold the day comes that we'll burn as an oven and all that do wickedly shall be stubble." How many of you have done farming before? You know what stubble is? After you harvest the rice, they've got this little stalks that looks like he's been mowed off, it's called stubble, and you burn it. It just smolders and that's all that's left. "It'll be stubble it'll leave them neither root nor branch." Malachi chapter 4, "The day that comes will burn them," say this with me, "talking about the wicked. The day that comes will burn them up." What does it say? They're going to be burned up. It's all gone.

You got to raise your voice when you say that. I'm showing you a picture there on the screen, anyone know where that's from? Pompeii. I've been there. At the foot of Mount Vesuvius. It used to be much taller, of course, so did Mount St. Helens. There was this Roman Las Vegas. It was a very lush seaport town for people to vacation. The towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were devastated during an earthquake in about 68 BC but the mountain finally blew its lid in 78 BC.

What many people don't know, and of course at least 2,000 bodies they found so far they, haven't finished excavating it yet, but some people were found, gladiator still chained up and a lot of Roman soldiers lost their lives during that time. Little amazing fact a lot of people don't know, the legion of soldiers that worked under the General Titus who later became the emperor that destroyed Jerusalem and sacked the temple in 70 AD were at that time vacationing as a reward for their service, took them years to move them around back then, they didn't have aircraft, and they perished. The soldiers that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple were there when it blew. Just interesting to think about.

What else does the Bible say about the punishment of the wicked? "But the fearful and the unbelieving and the abominable and the murderers and the whore-mongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death." I don't know, maybe I should light this up after the program, if you want to come outside and find out what brimstone smells. Hopefully, you'll never find out any other way, right?

If you're wanting to know, we'll do it that way. Number six, when and where and how will hellfire be kindled? Answer, Matthew, Jesus is speaking, chapter 13, "So shall it be at the end of the world, the Son of Man shall cast them into a furnace of fire." Again, Revelation 20:9, it says, "They went up on the breadth of the earth--" this is something we'll talk more about tomorrow night when we study the millennium of Revelation 20, the devil being chained. "They went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about the beloved city and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them."

Doesn't that sound a little bit like what we read about Sodom and Gomorrah?
The Bible writers tell us what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah is an example of what's going to happen in the last days and how God is going to deal with the wicked. It goes on, again, Proverbs 11:31, "The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth." Remember when Jesus said the meek will inherit what?

The way it is now or the earth made new? "I'll create a new heaven and a new earth. The righteous are going to be recompensed in the earth much more the wicked and the sinner." I don't know if you caught this, we just read three Scriptures here that told about hellfire, where is hell going to burn?

On earth, more specifically Washington DC. [laughter] Amen?

The idea that because-- comes from Greek morphology again, Hades lived in the underworld and this idea that the devil is down yonder. I remember walking out of the market one day, sometimes I just look for an excuse to go to the market so I can read as much of those tabloid covers as possible for entertainment. I remember checking out of the market one day and it said, "Oil well drillers in Russia drill too deep, demons escaped from hell."

[laughter]

Do any of you remember that one? There are preachers that still preach, "Way down yonder somewhere, the devil's got his condo. There's his whole office and he's got everything set up down in his caverns." In the book of Job 1, when the devil came to the Lord, the Lord said, "Where'd you come from?" He didn't say, "I came from a cavern down in hell within the earth." He said, "I came from walking to and fro on the earth." The devil's business isn't down yonder, it's up here. He's on the earth and that hellfire is going to rain down on the earth. God rains it on the earth. On the earth, they compass the camp of the saints. That's where it's going to happen.

Number seven, how big and how hot will hellfire be? The Bible tells us the day is coming that we'll burn as an oven. I'm sorry, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat." Now some think that when the Lord comes as a thief, life's going to go on for another seven years. This whole left behind secret rapture scenario, they've got the Lord coming like a thief and then life goes on for another seven years.

What does the Bible say is going to happen after the Lord comes like a thief? The elements are going to melt with fervent heat. They learned when the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima that even rocks will burn if you get them hot enough. 2 Peter 3, "The earth also and the works therein will be burned up, it's going to be burned up. There'll be nothing left of the wicked, God's going to purify." Fire purifies.

In Northern California where Karen and I had our home for 20 years now, periodically we see forest fires out there. I was flying home not too long ago, flying from our cabin up in the hills back to Sacramento on our small plane and had to fly over some forest fires, I had to negotiate around what looked like a mushroom cloud and I could barely breath in the plane because of the smoke. You just can't imagine what this planet's going to be look like when the Lord sets it on fire. Maybe something like that. That's actually a picture of the sun with some overactive sun spots. Revelations 20:14 and 15, "Then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire." Wait a second, some people are saying, "How can hell go to hell?"

[laughter]

Isn't that what that said? There's a lot of misunderstandings about what the word hell means in the Bible or Hades. More times than not, 54 times in the Bible do you find that word, I always feel like I'm cursing when I say it but it's in the Bible. Hell typically means the grave, that's what it means. It means death and the grave are cast into the lake of fire. No more death, no more grave, got it? Otherwise, it wouldn't make sense. Anyone not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire.

Here's a big issue, do you know how to get your name written in there? You come to Jesus and you ask Him to blot out your sins with His blood and enter your name in the book of life. Surrender your life to Him, you won't need to worry about the lake of fire. Number eight, how long will the wicked suffer in the fire? Some people think they're going to burn forever and ever. "Jesus said," Revelation 22:12, "'Behold, I come quickly and My reward is with Me to give to every man according as his works shall be.'" First thing, when do they get rewarded? When He comes.

How do they get rewarded? According to what they deserve. Does everybody get the same reward? If everybody burns forever and ever, then it's really not fair that Cain who killed one person, his brother, 5,000 years ago would burn 5,000 years longer than Adolf Hitler. I'm assuming Hitler's loss, is that okay with you?

[laughter]

I don't want to judge him or anything because someone is going to come up to me, but would that be fair? No, of course not. Everyone's going to get rewarded according what his work should be. Again, Matthew 16:27, it says, "And He'll reward every man according to his--" What? His works. "We're saved by grace but we're rewarded according to our works because your works will demonstrate whether or not you really are saved." That's why Jesus said, "Why do you say, Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?"

Luke 12:47 and 48, "That servant that knew his Lord's will and neither did according to His will shall be beaten with many stripes." In other words, if we know what God wants and we don't do it, we're punished more severely. "He that didn't know his Lord's will and didn't perform it, he will be beaten with few stripes." Does that sound fair to you? That's what Jesus said, people are going to get rewarding according to what they deserve. Christ said, "If you're not them that kill the body but are not able to kill the soul." Some people say, "Well, the soul's burned forever in hell and the body gets burned up." Have you heard that before?

"That's true, Doug, the bodies all get burned up and God makes a new heaven and a new earth but the souls burn forever." What did we learn about the souls today? A soul that sins will die. What does Jesus say about what happens to the soul in hell? "Fear not them that kill the body but are not able to kill the soul." He goes on and says, "Fear them that destroy soul and body in hell." Both. Number nine, I'm going to give that Scripture to you again later. Will the fire ever go out? Bible says, Psalm 37:10, "For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be but the wicked shall perish and the enemies of the Lord shall be consumed into smoke, they will consume away."

Again, Isaiah 47:14, "Behold the day shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them, they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame." These are prophesies and this is a prophecy code meeting. "They'll not be coal to warm at nor a fire to sit before." No coal, no fire to go on out. If you have any doubts, Jude tells us, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of--" What kind of fire? Eternal fire. Some people say, "There you have it Doug, the fire is eternal, it's going to burn forever and ever." Is that what it said?

Are Sodom and Gomorrah still burning today? They were burnt with eternal fire but they were burnt up. What it's saying, was Sodom and Gomorrah ever rebuilt? It's 4,000 years ago, you can go there today, it's still ashes. They were burnt with the eternal fire, the results of the fire are eternal. It doesn't mean that they're still burning. They were cities, not people. The idea that God's going to burn cities forever and ever is even more absurd. Now, sometimes there are some scriptures in the Bible, for instance Revelation 14:11, where it talks about the phrase forever and ever and people get confused.

I have given you a small sampling of the thousands of scriptures that they have in the Bible explaining that the wicked will be, let's repeat this, they're going to be consumed, devoured, burnt up, smoked, perish, never shall they be any more. These are some of the phrases that the Bible is using. Destroyed-- I mean, if you are the Lord and you try to use a thesaurus to communicate the fact that the sinners are going to be eradicated, annihilated, burnt up, destroyed, gone, no more, what words would you use?

Bear with me, I know none of you ever saw The Wizard of Oz. When I was preparing this study, some words from the Munchkins popped into my mind, but we've got to verify it legally. Talk about when the wicked witch was dead to see if she is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably dead. She's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead. For some reason, that popped into my mind. When I was thinking about it, how do you communicate that sinners will be destroyed? What other words does God want? People seize upon a few misunderstood phrases and they build a whole theology on that.

They completely-- They blind themselves to the bulk of evidence and they focus in on what they want to believe. Now there are a few difficult scriptures where it uses the word 'forever'. The word that's used there in Greek is Eon. Have you ever heard someone say, "Why I haven't seen them in eons?" That Eon is an unspecified period of time. It doesn't have a start or a finished per se. The reason God uses that word is because all the sinners burn different periods based on what they deserve. He couldn't give a specified period. There are other places in the Bible where you're going to find the word forever and it obviously had an ending.

You remember for instance when Jonah-- in Jonah's time and the fish was compared to the hell that Jesus went through and that Jesus quote is Matthew chapter 12. It says, "Jonah prayed from the belly of the great fish and he said, 'The earth with her bars was above me forever.'" He was imprisoned. How long? You think it felt like forever? What Jonah went through is a good picture of the darkness and separation from God. Here he is in the bowels of this sea monster at the bottom of the ocean and it's dark, and one day it occurred to me that if he was in there alive, maybe that fish and swallowed other things that were still squirming in there with him. Wouldn't that be awful?

Then if you ever do any diving at night, sometimes these fish flash bioluminescence and eels and a little flash octopus and on jellyfish. It must've been like hell in there, right? So this is how he talked and do you think it felt like forever? Three days and three nights in the digestive system of a sea monster? Was it forever? The Bible says, "He was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

Again, you can read in Exodus 21. "A Hebrew could have a servant for seven years and after that time, he could go through a ritual where he would stay with his master and it says he will serve him forever." How long would that be? Until he dies, right? When Hannah brought little Samuel to the temple, she said, "I'm going to leave him here forever." How long was that? Till he died? The rest of his life? Again, it specifies later for as long as he lives. When it says that the wicked are going to be burnt forever, it means, the word there don't forget, it's going from Greek to English, it's Eon. They're burnt up according to what they deserve until they die.

They're punished and they're burnt with not only everlasting fire because will they ever live again? No second chances. It's also called unquenchable fire. I'll get to that just a minute. Forever and ever is a biblical expression which means until the end of the age, not necessarily an infinite unending length of time. You must read that phrase in its context. Now, Donald Barnhouse, the theologian, when he considered this subject, and for those who are watching if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a Seventh day Adventist. I try not to brag about that because I want everyone to feel comfortable but we just want to stick to the Bible, right?

Barnhouse says, "We can't be too hard on the Adventist for believing this because after all Martin Luther believed it, the father of the reformation, as did William Tyndale and a more modern scholar kind of turned the world up on his ear, John Stott, who is a great scholar. He also believes that the Bible is very clear that the wicked will be burnt up in the lake of fire."

Pentecostal, Edward Fudge wrote a book that surprised everybody. He said, "If you're going to go by the Bible, there's no question, the wicked are burnt up in the lake of fire." There's a lot of people out there that know this and they're afraid to say anything because it's considered unpopular. Quick story. It must be 25, 30 years ago. I was driving my little Mazda GLC Japanese car across Texas to the home where we were living at the time and I saw Christmas eve. Car was broken down and I pulled over to see if they needed any help and the man said, "I'm not sure what it is. Lights just started getting dim and finally the car died." "I used to do mechanic work and as it sounds like your alternator."

We checked battery, was stone dead. The alternator wasn't putting anything out. So something very funny, he's driving this big old Texas Oldsmobile or something like that. I pulled his car several miles to our house with my Mazda GLC. It was Christmas Eve, couldn't get-- I took his alternator apart, it needed new brushes, you men know what I'm talking about, and couldn't do anything about it that night. I invited him, his wife, two girls to stay the night with our family and got to talking. He's a Baptist minister.

So I wanted to study. We started talking about some of the differences of what we believe and this subject came up. As I shared with him what I've just shared with you, he became very nervous and looking a little edgy. He said, "Brother Doug", he said, "I've seen these scriptures before and I realize if you're going to go strictly by the Bible, it is pretty clear that hell doesn't burn forever." But then he said, "If I told my church members that they wouldn't come to church anymore."

I said, "Brother is that why they're coming? Fire insurance? Trying to stay out of hell?" Granted, the bible does have some very sobering warnings about the lake of fire and wanting to avoid it, that may be a starting point for anyone in the right mind, right? I mean, fear of destruction, we all-- It's why we don't grab rattlesnakes, right? It's self-preservation. It might be a starting point but somewhere along the way, if the only reason you're going to church and serving God is you're trying to stay out of hell, should you ever arrive in heaven, you've lost your motivation.

Along the way we've got to learn to do it because we love the Lord and we know Him. The other reason this subject's important to me, before I learned the truth, I hated God. I wouldn't say that out loud, but in my heart of hearts I thought, "God is mean. He's going to torture his creatures who are all feeble and weak sinners and he's going to torture them through endless ages for the sins of this brief lifetime. Why he's a sadist?" It's what I thought. When I learned the Bible truth on this subject, it was one of the most liberating subjects I had ever studied because it helped me see the God is just and He's loving.

Number 10. What will be left when the fire goes out? Malachi chapter 4:3, very clear. "And you'll tread down the wicked for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet." The Bible says that, "When the redeemed go forth from the New Jerusalem, God's going to create a new heavens and a new earth. The meek will inherit the earth. If the wicked are burned by the fire that God rains down out of heaven forms a lake of fire, it burns until they're all burned up." I don't know how long that will be. Who do you think's going to burn the longest? Devil.

The Bible said day and night forever and ever and that means day and night until he's all gone. Eventually, the gates will be open. We'll walk out and underneath our toes will be the grass living green and underneath the grass will be the ashes of our persecutors. The wicked will become ashes under the soles of our feet. It is going to be quite literally that way. "There will not be a cold to warm at nor a fire to sit before it." We read this to you earlier. Again, another verse. I read you Jude, now listen to what Peter is about Sodom and Gomorrah.

"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes," He turned them into what? Ashes. "condemning them with an overthrow, making them an example to those who afterward should live ungodly." Why did I start out with this story about Sodom and Gomorrah? Because the Bible says that they are an example for anyone that has any question about what's going to happen to the wicked. It's sort of a combination of Noah and Lot, except instead of it being a lake of water, it's a lake of fire. They are drowned in fire and the world is purified by that same fire.

Number 11. Will the wicked enter hell in bodily form and be destroyed both soul and body? Yes, the Bible is very clear. I told you I'd read you this again. Jesus is speaking. Do you believe Him?

The Lord said, "Fear not them that kill the body but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear Him who is able to-" say it with me, "- destroy both soul and body in hell." That sounds like a dictionary definition to me. What's going to happen to the wicked? Soul and body destroyed in hell. There’s not going to be some part or ghost of them that's going to flutter around indefinitely.

And again Jesus said Mark 9:47, 'If thine eye offend thee pluck it out. It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'

The word that is used there when he talks about hell fire, he's talking about Gehenna. That is one of the words that you'll hear in a minute that we use for hell. It's four primary words. You've got Sheol is the Old Testament word for hell that means the grave most of the time just means a grave.

Then you've got Hades which generally means the grave. Sometimes it's referring to the Greek place of punishment. Then you've got Gehenna and Tartarus. Tartarus is use one time. It means a place of darkness.

The Valley of Hinnom was just outside of Jerusalem it was a very steep rocky ravine. it's still there today.

It was not a piece of terrain to build or develop because of its steep structure.
Another thing is they had set up pagan gods there at one time. To show their love for God, they decided to make that the city dump. They used to throw all their trash, unclean animals that died were thrown in there. They might have the old baskets and rotten clothes. I heard that sometimes criminals if they couldn't find anybody to cover expenses, they'd throw them in Gehenna. They tried to keep it burning to keep the stench down. It was full of worms and smoldering all the time.

Any of you ever live in Texas? You know every 10 miles there's a -- Texas is big. Matter of fact, if you drive across Texas and it says, "The sun has risen." A few miles later ,you'll see another sign, 'The Sun is set.' A few miles later, it'll say, 'I am still in Texas yet.' Big state.

Every 10 miles they got a town and a lot of them have their own city dump. On still days when there's no wind, sometimes you can spot where the towns are because you see little ribbons of smoke coming up from the dump. Somebody burnt their trash, they forgot that it was still smoldering, they threw it the city dump, whole dump cut on fire. They just smolder all the time. Those of you who've lived there you know what I'm talking about.

That's the word Jesus used. Better to go to heaven missing an eye or a hand or a foot and go to Gehenna the city dump where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die.

It goes on to say Matthew 3:12, "He will throughly, that means thoroughly, purge his floor and gather his wheat into the garner but he will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Oh Doug it says right there, "The fires of hell can't be quenched. They're going to burn forever and ever. It's not what that means. Let's read it some more.
Jeremiah 17:27 a prophecy. Jeremiah said-- and Nebuchadnezzar was going to destroy the temple if they didn't repent. They didn't repent and he destroyed the temple. This is before that happened. --"But if ye will not hearken to me to hallow the Sabbath day and not to bear a burden even entering at the gates of Jerusalem on Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in the gates thereof. It will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and it shall not be- what-quenched.

Was Jerusalem and the gates burnt my Nebuchadnezzar? Yes. Was it quenched? No. It burnt until it was all burnt up. God is very simply telling us there will be no firemen in hell quenching the fire. It's going to do its work. No artificial means can stop it.

Let me see if I can illustrate this. I did this with the wrong hand here. All right I'm burning. I'm bringing this match. I'm not going to quench it. I'm not going to quench it. Am I quenching it? I refuse to quench it. Did I quench it?

Is it still burning?

What does it become? You see that? It's ash. It was burnt with unquenchable fire. I'm going to make sure it's quenched here [chuckles] so I don't set the building on fire.

That's all its saying. It means that there'll be nobody taking any kind of active action to extinguish the fires of hell. It's going to do its complete work. There'll be nothing left, no root no branch. There'll be not a coal to warm at. Nothing left. Is that clear?

Matthew 5:30, Jesus said, 'It's profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.' He goes on and he says, 'The soul that sinneth, it shall -what- die.' Soul and body cast into hell. Is it just souls going in? Are people going in bodily form?

Number 12, will the devil be in charge of hellfire? What do you think? Can you trust that that's -- that comes from Greek mythology once again. That the devil, he's got his pitchfork to make sure everybody cooks evenly. He could flip them every now and then. That he's in charge.

Could you trust the devil to make sure everybody gets an even reward? No he'd be the -- that's asking the fox to guard the chicken coop, right? He's a sadist, you can't trust him to do that.

Matter of fact what does the Bible say about the devil's fate? Revelation 20:10, 'And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and burning brimstone.'

Satan is going to be cast into hell. He's not in charge of hell. He's afraid of it like every sinner ought to be. The idea that he's in charge of hell is, again, it's a fable from Greek mythology.

What does it say about the devil in Ezekiel chapter 28? 'I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of them that behold thee.' He goes on and he says, 'I'll bring forth a fire from the midst of thee and it will devour thee and I will bring thee to ashes on the earth in the sight of them that behold thee. Thou shalt be a terror and never shalt thou be any more.'

If anybody deserves to burn for ever and ever, who is it?

Satan. He's going to burn the longest and maybe even the hottest. If everybody's going to get different rewards, then obviously it must mean a difference in the duration or the intensity. Would you agree with that? And obviously there may be both. Some people are going to maybe burn a little hotter and a little longer but they're not going to burn forever. We are not going to sit on the walls of the New Jerusalem eating popcorn and watching the wicked burn.

For one thing, do you think that the Lord is going to erase all natural affection? You know it's very hard for us to sometimes consider this but I think most of us recognize there are going to be people lost that we know and care about. The Lord, does he love the sinners? Does he love the lost? Is God going to just remove all natural affections so that we could have a spouse or parent or child or someone we cared about and they're in the lake of fire and we're up there going, 'Well, too bad. We just don't care anymore. They're going to be burning forever and ever.'

I've talked to pastors and they say, "Yes and we'll say hallelujah." And they've got this distorted idea. God has no pleasure in the wicked being lost let alone suffering through the endless ages.

In Revelation 20:15, 'And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Two choices friends; life or death. Eternal life or perish. The book of life, lake of fire. Only two choices. Only two roads. I hope you're all choosing the right road.

We have a home, as I stated, a cabin way up in the hills in Northern California. We don't get there very often now but we sure miss it. For years-Now the house is solar electric and we've actually got a little satellite television. But for years, all that we had was a little radio. There was very few stations we could get because we're so remote but we used to get this Christian radio station. There on here in town, I've been listening to them. Been around for years.

Have some good programs, good music but one speaker comes on this Christian radio program on an all too frequent basis and he attempts to expound the Bible and answer Bible questions. I was up there in the hills 12 miles of dirt road from the nearest telephone listening to the radio.

A mother called in and she said, "Brother so-and-so," and I could tell by her voice that something heavy was happening. She said, "My son died this last week. Car accident. He was drinking. He was not a Christian. Struck a tree, died instantly. I just need to know where he is." And he tried to evade the question. She said, "No. I want to know. Is he in hell now?" And he said, "Well, if he wasn't saved, yes, he would be burning in hell right now. That will be his fate for eternity."

And you could hear the lady choke and hang up the phone. I started getting so upset because I knew it wasn't true and it made God look bad and that's what bothered me.

Then a college student called up almost next call and she said, "Brother so-and-so, I believe in Jesus and he seems so loving and good. I want to accept him but if he's going to torture the objects of his creation through ever and ever for the sins of one lifetime, how could I ever love him?" And he said, "Well, who are we to question God? He's God, he does what he wants." I got so mad, here it was like eight o'clock at night, I don't know. I hopped in the car. I drove 12 miles to the next telephone. I prayed all the way that I would get through because people are calling from all over the country.

I got in, I dialed the first time, got a busy signal. I prayed and dialed again. All of a sudden it said, "Welcome to the program, you're in the air." I didn't know exactly what I was going to say.

[laughter]

I hadn't prayed about that yet. Jesus said, 'In that hour, the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say.'

I said, 'Brother so-and-so," I said, "I am a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, I believe-" I wanted to get that in so people listening with nowhere to go. I said, "I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that the wicked are going to be devoured in the lake of fire, they'll be consumed, they'll perish, they'll go burn up. And I said, "Can I share a few Scriptures?" And I began to quote all these Scriptures and finally he hit a button or something because I listened on the radio in this person's house and all of a sudden I didn't hear my voice anymore.

[laughter]

He began to try to answer. Well then he paused again to let me try and rebut some of what he had said and I said, "Well, I can deal with that." And I began to answer all those Scriptures. He finally cut me off. He wouldn't take any other phone calls for the last 20 minutes of the program.

I was praying that those people who had called and were listening, who were reading, who had this distorted idea of God- You know somethings else? I prayed that day on my way home, I said, "Lord, would God that I can have a radio program some day where people could call up and I could tell them what the truth is?"

Praise the Lord, I have a program now.

[applause]

Isn't that exciting? It's growing.

[applause]

God has been blessing.

We're almost out of time and I've got a few more questions. Does the word hell as used in the Bible, what does it mean? Is it always referring to a place of burning or punishment? We've already covered this with you very quickly, you've got those four words, Sheol, Gehenna, Tartarus and Hades. They typically means the grave. Tartarus means a place of darkness, a few times Hades does mean, it's used with the Greek place of punishment, it means the place of punishment.

Someone write down a question about the rich man and Lazarus, I'll try and answer that for you tomorrow night. Number 14, what is God's real purpose in hellfire? Is it so he can get even with those who don't love him? Is that how God operates?

The Bible says, Matthew 25:41, 'He'll then declare depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for those who don't love me, no? Prepared for the devil and his angels.' If we choose to follow the devil and his angels it means we're his servants and we get his reward.

Romans 6, 'Don't you know whoever you obey that's whose servant you are.' If we choose to follow and obey the devil, that's whose reward we're going to share. God does not want us to have that reward, that's why Jesus died. He wants desperately to save us from that.

Again, Revelation 20:9, 'And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.' Those that join Satan in his final assault in the city of God will be devoured by the fire that rains down out of heaven.

Number 15, isn't the work of destroying sinners foreign to God's nature?

Absolutely, the Bible tells us God is love. He is not vengeance or sadism. The Lord is not willing that any should burn forever, is that what it says? He's not willing that any should perish, let alone burn forever and ever. He doesn't even want you to perish, he wants you to live. That's why he created you.

But they should all come to, friends if you're listening tonight, Jesus is pleading with you, the subject of hell is very real, just as real as what I've got right here. Sodom and Gomorrah are real, they were destroyed. The lake of fire is real, wicked will burn according to what they deserve.

Jesus died for your sins.If you do not accept his sacrifice on your behalf, there's only one alternative, you will then have to suffer for your own sins. That's a frightening thought for me.

You remember the parable of the unmerciful debtor in Matthew 18, when that man would not accept the king's forgiveness and when he would not forgive his brother, the king said, "Okay then, I'm retracting my forgiveness, you will now be tormented according to what you owe."

That's what will happen with those that do not capitalize on the incredible sacrifice that Jesus has made that we might live forever and be forgiven. What a foolish thing, what profit is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul? Another scripture, I didn't even think about that, you lose your soul, you don't burn forever and ever in hell.

Again, Isaiah 28, 'The Lord shall be wroth that he might do his work, his strange work and bring to pass his act, his strange act.' It is so out of character for God to destroy life, he wants to make life. How much more out of character is it for him to torture something through endless ages? When I lived up through in my cave, I used to cook on a fire, had a cat named stranger.

He just showed up one day, lived with me for a year and a half and then disappeared. He would catch the mice in the cave every now and then.
Cats are a little sadistic, you all have cats, you know what I mean.

[laughter]

They don't just catch them and eat them, they don't want them to die fast, they like them to die slow. They beat up on them and they let them go and say, "I dare you to hop away." They start to hop away, they pounce on them again and bite them and beat them up a little bit but don't kill them, they like to torture them. Stranger caught a kangaroo rat, a little cute kangaroo rat there by my cave and I was cooking dinner and I felt bad for the poor little thing, but cat's got to eat.

[laughter]

He was beating the thing up and I've seen it a hundred times but this time the thing was so dazed it hopped right into my fire.

[ohhhhh]

Listen to you.

[laughter]

Listen to you.

[laughter]

No, I'm serious, look at that reaction, you don't want to see a rat burn.

[laughter]

Am I right? If you selfish, mortal sinners don't want to see a rat burn for three seconds, is mortal man more just than God? You think our heavenly father wants to see the objects that he died for tortured through ceaseless ages?

Absolutely not.

The Bible says at Ezekiel 33, 'As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.' They're going to die, that's they burn forever and ever. 'But the wicked turned from his evil ways.'

Then he goes on and God pleads he says, 'Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways.' Why would you die? He wants you to live, that's why Jesus came. For the son of man does not come to destroy men's lives but he came to save them. Again it says, Job posed the question, 'Shall mortal man be more just than God?'

What are God's plans for the post hell earth and his people? Nevertheless, according to his promise we look for what? 'A new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.' Now don't miss this friends. 'God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, there will be no more deaths.' How much death will there be?

'Neither sorrow, nor sorrow, nor crying, neither will there be any more pain.' He doesn't say just for the sake, he says, "I'm making a new universe, no more pain." How can there be a torture chamber somewhere where sinners are burning eternally if there's no more pain? No more pain, no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, he's not going to immortalize the devil or sinners. He'll make all things new. Amen?

And you and I need to let him make us new now. 'For behold I created new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. The former will not be remembered nor come into mind. Affliction will not rise up the second time.'
Friends if you would like to be in that kingdom, the Bible tells us in Revelations 20:14, 'Those that are cast in the lake of fire, this is the second death.'

If you are only born once, you're going to die twice, but if you're born twice, you'll only die once. Born physically and then accept Jesus, born spiritually. Born twice die once, if you're only born once physically you're going to die probably a physical death and then a spiritual death, eternal death in the lake of fire. God sent his son that you don't have to die that second death. Some of us might die of old age, we might go to sleep in Christ, Amen?

You don't have to fear that death but you don't want to die the second death and you don't want to be in the second resurrection either from which there is no reprieve. This is a very important message because it really is a Gospel message. The Lord is pleading with our good senses. He's saying, "I want you to live." There's two choices, perish or everlasting life. Choose ye life.

The Bible tells us that God's original plan for everything to be good, good, very good. He wants us to have life everlasting. He wants it so much that he was willing to die to provide the opportunity for you to live with him forever. He doesn't you to suffer for your sins because he already suffered for them. What a waste for him to suffer for all your sins and you to suffer as well?

He's appealing to you today friends to say, "Lord, I want to accept what you've done in my behalf and live for you." And he'll put you at his right hand where there are pleasures forever more. Is that your desire friends? He's calling you today to come to the cross and accept that forgiveness, eternal life or perish, those are our choices. Would you like to choose Jesus tonight friends?

Those who are watching, is that your prayer? Let's ask him once again. Father in Heaven, dear Lord we are so thankful that Jesus came and he suffered so intensely. He suffered for the misery and the guilt of all the sins in our lives, all the sins we ever have committed or could commit. All of all of humanity. We can't comprehend that. We're poured upon Jesus.

Lord we accept what he has done in our behalf. We want to embrace it and then I pray that we'll be transformed by your love. Help us to be new creatures now that we might have our new bodies when Jesus comes and live in that new earth. Lord I pray you'll work miracles in the lives of each person who is listening and watching now. Help them to embrace the truth and be liberated by the truth 'cause Jesus is the truth. It's in his name we pray, Amen.
 Comments
NOTE: If you have a Bible question, please submit it by clicking here. We cannot guarantee answers to Bible questions posted in the comments. Please limit your comments to 500 characters. Also, please be kind to each other!


Hellfire

Hellfire
Request your free book today and learn the truth about Hell
Get It Now!


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.

Back To Top