Study – Hellfire   

 Hell-fire – Is it a Farce or a Furnace?

Traditional idea:
Its down somewhere …
Its Hot!
The Devil stokes the fire …
If you go there, be prepared for a long stay!

If this is true

a. God looks after heaven, the Devil looks after hell – are they in partnership?
b. God tortures people forever for the bad things they do in less than a hundred years?  He puts them there before He has a judgement?  He is unjust
c. Some people will be punished longer than people who lived later and did worse things!
d. God keeps people alive so he can torture them?  or  He is not able to destroy them?

The teaching of Eternal Torment has turned more people from God than any other teaching!  But does the Bible teach it?
What does the Bible say about God

God is  love  1 John 4:8   John 3:16

What does the Bible say about the fate of the unsaved?

Whoever believes in Jesus will not perish    John 3:16
The wages of sin is death  –  The gift of God is eternal life   Romans 6:23

When will the wicked be punished?

No sinners are suffering in hell at present  2 Peter 2:9
Rewards and punishment will be at the end of the age  -Matthew 13:40-42

Where will the wicked be punished?

On the earth Revelation 20:9
By fire  2 Peter 3:10 -12

For how long are the wicked punished?

Psalm 37:
v.9   Evildoers shall be …
v.10 The wicked shall be …
v.20 The wicked shall …
The enemies of the Lord …  shall vanish into …

Will the fire be hot?   Malachi 4:1-3

To what type of fire is it compared?
How much is left?

What about where the Bible talks about:

“Eternal fire”?   Matthew 25:41
Jude 7  says God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with everlasting or eternal fire. Peter says in 2 Peter 2:6  that the fire turned those cities into ashes as an example to those who live ungodly.   Eternal or everlasting fire turns things to ashes and then goes out.  It is everlasting in its EFFECT, not its DURATION.

Tormented forever and ever?  Revelation 20:10
FOREVER in the Bible is a period of time, limited or unlimited, depending upon what is being described. The word FOREVER in the Bible is like the word TALL. Tall has different meanings depending on what is being described, such as a dog, or house, or a mountain. The word FOREVER is used 56 times in the Old Testament in connection with things already ended. In the case of man, the Bible teaches that FOREVER means MAN’S LIFETIME or AS LONG AS A MAN LIVES. In the case of Samuel, FOREVER meant “AS LONG AS HE LIVES” -I Samuel 1:22,28    Burning FOREVER in the fire means that man burns until he dies.

 Unquenchable fire  Luke 3:17
Jerusalem was destroyed with unquenchable fire – Jeremiah 17:27   but it is not still burning today. 2 Chronicles 36:19,21  says Jerusalem was burnt with fire to fulfil Jeremiah’s prophecy. Unquenchable fire cannot be PUT out, but it GOES out when everything is burned up.

Everlasting punishment  Matthew 25:46
It is not everlasting PUNISHING but rather PUNISHMENT.  Paul says that the punishment for sin is DEATH – Romans 6:23   Revelation calls this death the SECOND DEATH which the wicked die in the fire (Revelation 21:8)  That death or destruction will be eternal because there is no resurrection from it.  2 Thessalonians 1:8,9
What happens to the Devil?

  • Destroyed  Hebrews 2:14
  • Burned  Revelation 20:10  (He fuels the fire rather than stokes it – traditional idea)
  • Gone forever Ezekiel 28:18, 19

How does God feel about the destruction of the wicked?

  • Ezekiel 33:11
  • John  3:16
  • 2 Peter 3:9

Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels.  Mathew 25:41
Heaven is prepared for people. John 14:1-3

Any person who ends up in hell goes where God never intended people to go

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