Hi fellow believers! When we walk with Jesus, we realize that we are living in momentous times, defining times, exciting times, and heart stopping times. We know that God is with us so who can come against us with any success. We know that we must allow Jesus to perfect our characters because we know that He is coming soon and we want to be eagerly awaiting. Yet, we know that these are terrible, heart stopping times because of the daily events happening around the world. Our hearts cry out to many friends and loved ones – if they would only hear what we say and give their lives to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit lead them into all truth. We tremble because we know that Satan is waging a last chance war of unforeseen evil and destruction. We have a promised hope of eternal life, but first we must endure, withstand, and hold strong through the last spiritual battle for our souls. We must remember that the war was won upon the cross of Calvary, that the victory is God’s. Hallelujah!
Today, I want the discuss the Biblical stand on where the Satan, his angels, and human minions end up. Do they burn forever or are they forever gone? Before we get started, let’s pray. 🙏 Holy and Righteous Heavenly Father, we come before your throne, pleading that all our sins be forgiven, our family and friends be saved, and the very end events be shortened by Your great mercy. We thank You for our salvation, how You have led us in the past and how You will lead us in these perilous times. Be our guide and direct our thoughts and understanding as we study Your Word concerning the second death and what happens to the wicked after they are cast into the lake of fire. Praise You in the holy name of Jesus, Amen!
The scriptures I will be sharing uses words like grave, sheol, and hades – therefore I think it is important that we understand the Biblical definition of these words as they relate to death. These words can be very confusing. For example, the Biblical understanding differs greatly from the mythological understanding. Then we add the different understandings found in Hollywood, spiritualism, and half truth lies taught in many religions. “The word sheol means “grave” or “pit.” When Hebrew authors wrote about sheol they were thinking about a hole in the ground in which dead bodies were laid. It does not represent any sort of afterlife experience.” (redeeminggod.com/sheol-hell/) “Hades is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term “Sheol,” which refers in general to the place of the dead.” (www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/h/hades.html)
These terms can be used interchangeably to refer to the place a person is buried. Let’s look at several scriptures that refer to sheol and hades. Also, I want us to focus on the state in which the person is found in the burial place. (https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Sleep,-And-Death)
- Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.
- Job 14:12 So man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens are no longer, He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep.
- Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
- Daniel 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
- Isaiah 26:19 You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.
- 1 Kings 2:10 Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.
- Acts 7:60 Then falling on his (Stephen) knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
- John 11:11-14 This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.
- Genesis 37:34-35 “So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him. For Jacob this was not a heaven or hell debate… it was merely saying that the loss of his son would kill him; it would put him in his grave, (not send him to hell).” (https://hebrewwordlessons.com/2019/10/27/sheol-the-grave-gehenna-hades-hell/)
From what I have shared, we can get a very clear picture that the first death is likened to a sleep. The righteous and wicked alike fall into the death/sleep at the end of their lives. Here they stay until Jesus comes to redeem them in the near future. We do know, through scripture, that some of God’s children are already dwelling with Him in heaven – Moses, Enoch, Elisha, and the many elders rose with Jesus. Enoch and Elisha represent those that are living in Jesus when He comes and Moses and the elders represent those who died in Jesus – which will be raised up from their graves when He comes.
When we look at death in this light, we begin to understand that death is a permanent state of being – whether it be the first death or the second death, it is forever. We understand that death is not a state of consciousness, but rather it is more like REM sleep. We have all experienced falling asleep only to feel like we just fell asleep when we wake up hours later. The books of Revelation and Thessalonians tells us that God is the only being that can interrupt the sleep of death – as demonstrated when Jesus called Lazarus from death – and He will when Jesus returns to take us home.
So let’s take this same understanding and these same principles and apply them to the second (eternal) death. Can God insert His will upon the second death? Yes He can, as He raised Jesus from the second death – which gifts us with eternal life. But He will not because evil, sin, and those who perpetuate evil must be forever destroyed. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) I can’t picture Heaven on earth being a tear free, pain free place if there are souls being forever tortured. Could the righteous find peace and comfort with such a scenario?
Let’s looked at this logically, calling upon the Holy Spirit to touch our hearts and minds with Biblical truth. First, the lake of fire death is called the second death not the second life. Second, the wages of sin is death (the punishment for sin) not a brutally pain filled existence for sinners. “These (wicked) will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46) Third, Revelation 20:14 states that hades and death are thrown into the lake of fire, therefore sheol/hades/hell is forever consumed – not being consumed forever. Fourth, In His Word, God gives us an example of eternal fire. “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7) Is their evidence that Sodom and Gomorrah are still burning to this day? No, it was consumed by fire and brimstone from Heaven, never to exist again – forever gone.
To sum it up, death is polar opposite of life. When a human chooses sin over Jesus the cost of his choice is death – being tortured forever is still a form of life NOT death. When we embrace the concept of eternal torture we are embracing Satan’s first lie to Eve. “You shall not surely die.” (Genesis 4:3) The father of lies has cast blame and called God a liar long enough! Come soon Lord Jesus! Amen!
May God give you the peace that passes all understanding! (Philippians 4:7)