In I Peter 4:17 the Word of God poses a very sobering question: "What will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?"
Let's discover the actual fate of those who reject the mercy and salvation of God.
Multitudes believe that God torments sinners in an eternally burning hell. They perceive hell, perhaps, as a deep chasm within the earth with millions screaming in torment for deliverance. This has led many to hate God. But what does the Bible really teach regarding the destruction of the wicked?
1. Where do the fires of hell originate? Hebrews 12:29; Revelation 20:9.
MY BIBLE SAYS: "For our God is a consuming fire." "And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them."
2. Where are both the righteous and the wicked rewarded? Matthew 5:5; Proverbs 11:31.
MY BIBLE SAYS: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." "If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner."
3. How completely will the fires of hell destroy the wicked? Will they burn through millions of years?
MY BIBLE SAYS:
A. " 'For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who
do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which
is coming shall bum them up,' says the Lord of hosts, 'That will leave them neither root nor
branch. . . . You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet. . . " Malachi 4:1-3.
B. "For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look diligently for
his place, but it shall be no more." Psalm 37:10.
C. "The eye that saw him will see him no more, nor will his place behold him anymore." Job 20:5-9.
D. "When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, . . ." Proverbs 10:25.
E. "Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves
from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before!" Isaiah 47:14.
4. What does God call the destruction of the wicked? Matthew 25:46.
MY BIBLE SAYS: "And these will go away into everlasting Punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
The destruction of the wicked is everlasting; they do not remain alive in the fires of hell forever.
God, in one act, destroys them forever. The destruction never need be repeated.
5. According to the Bible, how long does an "eternal fire" burn? What example does God give of two cities burned by an eternal fire? Jude 7.
MY BIBLE SAYS: "As Sodom and Gomorrah, . . . are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
Sodom and Gomorrah are not burning now! In fact, they were completely destroyed and, some believe, are under the Dead Sea. The eternal fire of the Bible is one which destroys so completely that it fully consumes.
6. How completely did the eternal fire which came from heaven destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? II Peter 2:6.
MY BIBLE SAYS: ". . . And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; . . ."
As Sodom and Gomorrah were turned to ashes and thus destroyed forever, the wicked will be completely destroyed, never to live again.
7. Does God desire to destroy wicked men and women? Ezekiel 18.32.
MY BIBLE SAYS: " 'For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,' says the Lord God. 'Therefore turn and live! "
God longs to save every individual, but those who reject His loving invitation to salvation and persistently spurn His mercy will eventually be destroyed. The cancer of sin must be completely removed from the universe.
8. What is the ultimate fate of this planet? 11 Peter 3:13.
MY BIBLE SAYS: "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."
9. Will sin ever rise again? What is the fate of Satan and his followers? Obadiah 1:16; Nahum 1:9.
MY BIBLE SAYS: "And they shall be as though they had never been."
"What do you conspire against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time."
The choice is yours! Where will you spend eternity? Every man, woman and child must decide. Choose to spend eternity with Jesus, rejoicing in the New Earth.
MY DECISION: I choose to spend eternity in the New Earth with Jesus.