In the last lesson we learned that the dead sleep in their graves until Jesus resurrects them. When the righteous are resurrected they will go to heaven, and when the wicked are resurrected they will go to the lake of "everlasting fire." Yet, how could a God of LOVE torture sinners forever? It seems inconsistent with His character! In this lesson, as we compare "Scripture with Scripture," letting the Bible explain itself, we will find the truth of this matter, and you will understand the love of God as never before.
- How does the Bible describe God?
1 John 4:7, 8 [The Further-study verse is Eze. 33:11.]
- Will God's love excuse those who neglect or refuse to let Jesus take away their guilt?
Num. 14:18 [Note: God does not hold the children accountable for their parents' sins (Eze. 18:20), but the results of sin are often passed on. God will forgive the sins of the penitent, but He will not excuse sin in those who try to justify themselves. Ex. 34:6, 7; Luke 12:47, 48; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7]
- When and how will the wicked be punished for their deeds?
Matt. 25:31, 41, 46 [John 5:28, 29; Matt. 16:27; Rev. 22:12]
- Thus the wicked will be cast into hell after the judgment of the last days. Some people, not comparing Scripture with Scripture, misinterpret 1 Peter 3:18-20 that says that Jesus was "put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient . . . in the days of Noah." What is a "soul in prison"?
Isa. 42:6, 7 [Luke 4:18; John 8:34, 36; Isa. 61:1]
- When did Jesus preach with the power of the Spirit to the souls who were prisoners of sin in Noah's day?
Gen. 6:3 [Rom. 8:11; Matt. 24:38, 39]
- When the wicked are cast into hell, will there be any rest during the time they are burning, and will their smoke or memory or anything about them ever return to earth again?
Rev. 14:11 [Rev. 20:10]
- Who has already suffered "eternal fire" as an example of the hell fire in the last days?
Jude 7 [Note: "Eternal" or "everlasting" fire was a common Hebrew expression for a fire that could not be put out but burned until everything was consumed. Even today, if you say a fire could not be put out, it does not mean that it continues to burn even after everything has been reduced to ashes. 2 Peter 2:6; Eze. 20:47, 48; Jer. 17:27]
- What will be left when the fire is through burning?
Mal. 4:1, 3 [Isa. 47:14]
- Is man immortal?
1 Tim. 6:15, 16 [Note: The Bible never calls man or his soul or his spirit or anything else about him, immortal. It says: God "alone has immortality." 1 Cor. 15:51-55; 2 Tim. 1:9, 10]
- What will happen to the "soul" of the unrepentant person?
Eze. 18:4, 20 [Obadiah 16]
- How will the soul be destroyed?
Matt. 10:28 [2 Peter 3:9-11]
- What is death in hell called?
Rev. 20:12-15 [Ans. The Second Death. Nahum 1:9]
- Will every sinner receive the same punishment?
Luke 12:45-48 [Rom. 2:6; Matt. 16:27; Rev. 22:12]
- What will happen to Satan in the fire of hell?
Eze. 28:18, 19 [Note: Though the Hebrew verbs here can technically be translated in either the past or future tense, the King James Version correctly translates this as future, for Satan obviously hasn't died yet! -- "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" (KJV). Rev. 20:9, 10]
- After the wicked are through burning, where will they be found?
Ps. 37:9, 10 [Ps. 145:20; Obadiah 16; Prov. 24:20]
- What is the wages of sin?
Rom. 6:23 [Rom. 5:21]
- If we believe in Jesus, from what will we be saved?
John 3:16 [John 17:3; John 4:14; John 6:27, 47]
Isaiah 28:9, 10 says that anyone who clings to a preconceived interpretation of an isolated text, without comparing everything else the Bible says on the subject, cannot be taught truth! As we compare ALL that the Bible says on hell, it is evident that a God of love will not burn people forever. Satan has slandered and misrepresented the character of God! Aren't you glad that you can enjoy heaven without worrying about one of your relatives being tortured throughout eternal ages, while you are trying to be happy regardless? Does this wonderful truth help you to understand God's love more?
Will you respond to that love by accepting Christ as your Savior?