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*** When the
wicked have once received their punishment, how enduring will be its
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the
righteous into life eternal.” Matt. 25:46.
*** What is
the punishment for sin?
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23.
NOTE. This is the
very opposite of eternal life. Everlasting punishment, then, is
everlasting death, a death that lasts forever.
*** How many
deaths are there for the wicked?
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and
murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars,
shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which
is the second death.” Rev. 21:8.
NOTE. Good and bad
men are alike subject to the first death, but this is a temporal death,
which lasts only till the resurrection. After the cases of all men are
settled in the judgment, the wicked then die the second death, which is
eternal in its effects.
*** In this
fire will there be torment? and how long will it last?
“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 up forever and ever.” Rev. 14:10, 11.
NOTE. The Greek term
translated in this text “forever and ever,” has different
meanings; according to the connection in which it is used, such as,
duration, finite or infinite; unlimited duration, past or future; time,
age, lifetime; the world, universe. Greenfield.
*** How is the
term understood in the case of certain Hebrew servants?
“His master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he
shall serve him forever.” Ex. 21:6.
NOTE. He could not
serve his master longer than he lived.
*** For how
long a time did Samuel’s mother lend him to the Lord to serve in the
“I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and
there abide forever.” “Therefore also I have lent him to the
Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord.” 1 Sam. 1:22, 28.
NOTE. In this case
it is definitely stated to be ’’as long as he liveth.” Had Samuel
lived only a week or a month, the “forever” would have been
limited to a week or a month. It is evident that the term “forever” often means “limited duration.”
*** How long
was Jonah carried in the whale’s belly through the depths?
“I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her
bars was about me forever.” Jonah 2:6.
NOTE. In this case
“forever” is limited to three days.
*** What is
the nature of the fire into which the wicked will finally be cast?
“Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, De- part from
Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and
his angels.” Matt. 25:41.
*** What is
said of this fire in another place?
“He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into
the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matt. 3:12.
NOTE. The fire is
said to be everlasting because it is not “quenched.” If fire is
quenched after taking hold upon a house, the structure is saved; but if
the fire is unquenchable, it does for the house just what the last quoted
text says it will do with the chaff (the wicked) namely burn it up. Such a
fire is called “everlasting,” because it lasts as long as there
is anything for it to prey upon, and because its results are everlasting.
everlasting or eternal fire ever been visited upon men in the past?
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like
manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange
flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of
eternal fire.” Jude 7.
*** What was
the result of this eternal fire upon those cities?
“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes
condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that
after should live ungodly.” 2 Peter 2:6.
“Everlasting” fire converted these cities into ashes, and the
apostle says they were made an ensample to those who should after live
ungodly. We cannot for a moment suppose that those cities are now burning;
for the saline waters of the Dead Sea rollover the very spot where they
*** What will
be the final effect of this fire on the wicked?
“Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thess. 1:9.
*** Where must
one go to escape from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power?
“Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into
heaven; thou art there: ...if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell
in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead
me.” Ps. 139:7-10.
NOTE. A time is
coming when the glory of the Lord shall fill the earth as the waters cover
the sea (Hab. 2:14). That the wicked will have been punished (in the lake
of fire surrounding and purifying our earth) “with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His
power,” Then the righteous shall occupy the new earth, and shall
“delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Hab. 2:11; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Rev. 21:1, 5).
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