What Is The Lake Of Fire In Hell Like – Spiritual Reading

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What Is The Lake Of Fire In Hell Like – Spiritual Reading.



Is the lake of fire a place of conscious torment, or is it a place of annihilation, i.e A place of non-existence or is it a place of non conscious existence?


There is one other question that remains to be answered, and that is, is the lake of fire a place of conscious torment, or is it a place of annihilation, i.e., a place of non-existence, or is it a place of non-conscious existence? There are those who believe in a literal hell, but they do not believe that those who are consigned to it will consciously suffer there for any great length of time.


They hold either that those who are sent to hell are annihilated, or else that they exist there in a non-conscious state. Of course, this would be an everlasting hell, and everlasting punishment, but is it the hell that is taught in the Bible? Is the lake of fire a place of continued conscious torment, or is it a place of non-conscious existence? In answer to this question let me call your attention to the fact that the punishment of the wicked is spoken of in the Bible most frequently as “Death” and “Destruction.” What do these words mean in biblical usage?


Let us look first at the biblical usage of the word “Death.” Many tell us, time and time again, that death means non-existence, or at least non-conscious existence, and therefore that is what it must mean in the passages where it is spoken of [as the future punishment of the impenitent. But does “death” as used in the Bible mean either non-conscious existence, or annihilation?


Look first at 1 Tim. 5:6; here we read, “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” Death here certainly does not mean either non-existence, or non-conscious existence. The woman that lives in pleasure still exists, and she certainly exists consciously, but she is “dead.” Death means wrong existence rather than non-existence. It is just the opposite of life, and life in the New Testament usage does not mean mere existence, it means right existence.


God-like existence, holy existence. It means the ennoblement and glorification and deification of existence; and death means just the opposite, it means wrong existence, debased existence, the ruin, the shame, and the ignominy and the despair of existence. In a similar way we are told in Eph. 2:1, that men until they are quickened, or made alive, by the power of God are “Dead in trespasses and sins.” It is perfectly clear then that death does not mean either non-existence, or non-conscious existence.


But even more decisive than this is the fact that God Himself has defined death very accurately and very fully in Rev. 21:8: “But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” 


Here we are told in so many words that the “death” which is [the final outcome of persistent sin and unbelief is a portion in the place of torment, the lake of fire. That this lake of fire is a place of conscious suffering is made clear in the preceding chapter, Rev. 20:10, where we are told that “the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” The beast and false prophet had already been there a thousand years when the devil was cast into the lake of fire, and they were tormented consciously, without rest.


Now let us look at what “Destruction” means in the New Testament. We are told by a certain school of religious thought that “destruction” means destruction. Yes, “destruction” means destruction, but what does destruction mean? They say it means annihilation, or ceasing to be, but the Greek word so translated never means that in the Bible, nor even out of the Bible.


In the best Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament extant, Thayer’s translation of Grimm’s great work, we are told that when a thing is said to “perish” (and the verb from which the noun commonly translated “destruction” and “perdition” is derived, is the one translated “to perish”) it is not meant that it ceases to be, but that it is “so ruined that it no longer subserves the use for which it was designed.”


Furthermore, here again God has been careful to define His terms. He Himself has given us in the Bible a definition of “destruction.” We read in Rev. 17:8, 11: “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition; and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder . . . and the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” 


Here we are told that the beast goes into “perdition.” The word here translated “perdition” is precisely the same word that is elsewhere translated “destruction” and should be so translated here; or else in the other instances it should be translated, as here, “perdition.” Now if we can find what the beast goes into, then we shall know exactly what “destruction” means, for we are told that he goeth “into destruction.”


In the 19th chapter of Revelation, the 20th verse, we are told exactly where the beast goes: “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” 


Now looking forward to the next chapter, the 10th verse, which I have already quoted, we read: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” 


Putting these passages together we see that the beast goeth into “destruction,” and the destruction into which he goes is a place in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, where for a thousand years he is in conscious torment, and where after the thousand years are over he is still there and is still tormented. So then “destruction” is clearly defined in the New Testament in the same way in which “death” is defined, as the condition of beings in a place of conscious torment.


Again in Rev. 14:10, 11, we read regarding those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands: “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” 


The Bible makes it clear as language can make it that the lake of fire to which “whoever is not written in the Lamb’s book of life” is consigned, is a place of continued, conscious torment. There is no escaping the clear teaching of the Word of God unless we throw our Bibles away and discredit the teaching of the Apostles and the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself.


Sherman said, “War is hell.” Of course, in the way in which Sherman meant it, this is true. It is far more true of war to-day than it was in the worst and most inexcusable phases of our Civil War—Libby and Andersonville, for example, on the part of the South, and the march through Georgia on the part of the North. But even war to-day as carried on by Germany in all its appalling frightfulness, is not hell.


Hell is incomparably more awful than the war now raging in Europe, and this awful hell of which we have been studying to-night is the destiny of some of you here in this room, unless you soon repent and accept the Lord Jesus Christ. Other appalling facts about hell we will take up next Sunday night, but we have already seen enough to make any true Christian determine to work with all his might to save others from this awful hell. And we have seen enough to make every honest and sensible person here to-night determine to escape this awful hell at any cost.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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Is The Lake Of Fire In Hell, Real And Literal Fire – Spiritual Reading

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Is The Lake Of Fire In Hell, Real And Literal Fire – Spiritual Reading.


This is not so vital a question as the question, is there a literal hell, but nevertheless it is an important question, and I believe the question is plainly answered in the Bible, and plainly answered by Jesus Christ Himself. 


To turn again to the passage already referred to, Matt. 5:22, we read: “But I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.” 


These are Christ’s own words. He not only speaks of hell, but a “hell of fire,” and this too is from the Sermon on the Mount. In Matt. 18:9 the Lord Jesus says again, “And if thine eye cause thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire.” 


And again in Mark 9:43-49, the passage read a few moments ago, we read, “And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire. And if thy foot cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life halt, rather than having thy two feet to be cast into hell. And if thine eye cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is good for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” 


Here again some may say the fire is figurative. Turn to Matt. 13:30, 41, 42, we read these words: “Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather up first [the tares, and bind them in bundles to barn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” 


Now here is a parable and we have figures and there would be warrant, if this were all that we had, for saying that the fire was figurative, as other things in the verse are figurative; but in the 41st and 42nd verses of the same chapter we read, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and they that do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 


Here we have the interpretation of the parable. Now in parables, as already said, we have figures, but in the interpretation of parables we have the literal facts which the figures represent, but we see clearly that here in the interpretation as well as in the parable, we have fire.


Everything else in the parable is explained, every item in the parable except the fire, but that remains fire in the interpretation of the parable as well as in the parable itself. We find the same thing in another parable in verses 47 to 50, the parable of the net cast into the sea. Here, also, in the interpretation of the parable as well as in the parable itself we have fire.


Every other figure of the parable is explained by the literal fact that it represents, but in the interpretation of the parable we have “fire.” In the light of these facts we cannot deny the literal fire of hell without doing violence to every reasonable law of interpretation.


Furthermore [still, we read in Rev. 20:15 that at the judgment of the great white throne, “and if any was not found written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the lake of fire.”There is nothing in the whole context that suggests a figure. And in the 21st chapter and the 8th verse we read: “But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.”


Remember furthermore that the wicked in the eternal world are not mere disembodied spirits. This is plain both from the Old Testament and the New. We read in Dan. 12:2: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”


Now this says “them that sleep in the dust of the earth.” The soul departs into Hades. It is the body that crumbles into dust, and it is the body that is to be raised. In the New Testament, in John 5:28, 29, our Lord is recorded as saying: “Marvel not at this; for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.”


Now it is not the souls of men that are in the tombs, it is the bodies of men, and this passage teaches the resurrection of the bodies, both of the good and of the wicked. In I Cor 15:22 we read, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” What Paul is talking about in this entire chapter is the resurrection of the body, not merely the immortality of the soul, and we are here distinctly told that every child of Adam gets resurrection of his body in Christ.


Furthermore, in Matt. 5:30 Jesus says: “If thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell.” Here in the plainest possible terms the body is spoken of as going into hell, and in a similar way in Matt. 10:28, the Lord Jesus says: “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” 


From these plain and definite words of our Lord it is plain as day that in the future life we are to have bodies, and that the bodies of the lost are to have a place in a literal physical hell of fire. While the bodily torments of hell fire are not the most appalling feature of hell, while the mental agony, the agony of remorse, the agony of shame, and the agony of despair, is worse, immeasurably worse; nevertheless, physical suffering, a physical suffering to which no pain on earth is anything in comparison, is a feature of hell.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.


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