Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Long Will Hell Fire Burn?

The Bible clearly shows us that on the day of judgment at the end of time, the wicked will be punished with Hell Fire. Many Christians believe that this Hell Fire will last forever and that the wicked will be eternally tormented in pain and anguish. Is this really what the Bible shows?
Jesus said Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" He also said John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". In the one verse it would seem that the wicked will live forever in everlasting fire and yet the other verse tells us that only those who belong to Jesus will not perish. This means that wicked will perish.
The only conclusion we can come to is that the everlasting fire, is not actually fire that is everlasting, but rather fire which consumes with everlasting consequences.
Are there other places in the Bible where it says forever, but the event mentioned has finished? There are actually many examples of this. Just as today people will often say things like "The show was so boring it went on forever" and "It took forever to get the house painted". These same type of expressions were also used in the Bible for events that lasted a long time, but not actually eternally or for events that had everlasting consequences. For example the Bible describes the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha as eternal fire. Jude 1:7 "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire". This fire is not still burning today. It had eternal consequences, as the cities were forever destroyed and the fire was not extinguished. This fire was allowed to burn until it had consumed everything away and then it went out.
This is the same type of fire that "death and hell" will be thrown into and the same type of Fire from Heaven that will consume the wicked after the judgment. Depending on their sentence they will be either consumed quickly with little pain, or else have to suffer longer for more severe sins. The Bible shows us that they will not live forever burning in Hell, because we are told that they will be as ashes under our feet. Malachi 4:3 "And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts".
Many Christians think that Satan will be thrown into eternally burning hell fire and yet the Bible shows that he too will be consumed and will be no more. Ezekiel 28:18-19 "Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more".
The Bible further clarifies that fate of the wicked Malachi 4:1 "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch".
Our awesome and loving God who abounds in mercy is not going to torture and torment the wicked forever and ever in the agony of an eternally burning Hell. He will justly deal with them and they will perish for their sins. For the Wages of Sin are death.

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