What is the lake of fire?

Here is a description of the ‘lake of fire’: the circle of the earth as seen from space in flame:

Lake of fire – the end of the world!

lake of fire2 Peter 3:7 “but the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men.”

2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away in a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up”

2 Peter 3:12 “looking for and hastening the coming day of God because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Lake of fire – Final punishment

This is what Jesus refers to in Matthew 25:41 as the judgement at the end of the age or the day of God.

YLT “Then shall he say also to those on the left hand, Go ye from me, the cursed, to the fire, the age-during, that hath been prepared for the Devil and his messengers;”

46 “And these shall go away to punishment (pruning) age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.” YLT

This same event is described in Malachi 4:1:

lake of fire“ 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 that is coming shall burn them up says the Lord of hosts that will leave them neither root or branch. But to you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet!”

Malachi 3:2 “But who shall endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like launders soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. He will purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer to the Lord and offering of righteousness”

This event is also described in Daniel 12:1

YLT ‘And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the ground do awake, some to life age-during, and some to reproaches — to abhorrence age-during.

Lake of fire – The great white throne

These events are described in Revelation 20:

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him who is sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven did flee away, and place was not found for them; and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and scrolls were opened, and another scroll was opened, which is that of the life, and the dead were judged out of the things written in the scrolls — according to their works; and the sea did give up those dead in it, and the death and the hades did give up the dead in them, and they were judged, each one according to their works; and the death and the hades were cast to the lake of the fire — this is the second death; and if any one was not found written in the scroll of the life, he was cast to the lake of the fire.

A new heavens and earth

angelsIf you turn over now to Revelation 21 we find the promise of a new heavens and new earth just as in 2 Peter.

Revelation 21:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”

In this new world there isn’t a hell, hades or lake of fire. How do I know? Because, as the following verse makes clear, there is no longer and pain or death including the second death (lake of fire).

Verse 4 : “ and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes there shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”

Therefore, in the age to come there isn’t a secret concentration camp where the wicked are tormented for ever and ever! Indeed, the Bible is clear in several places, that God is never angry for ever:

Psalm 103:8 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. “

This is a glorious Gospel because it presents Christ’s ultimate victory through the cross. The whole creation reconciled.

Colossians 1:20 “and by him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of his cross”

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Further reading:

Christ descended into hell

A hellish confusion

Why don’t we talk about hell

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