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A belief that gained ground is that,’ this doctrine (wicked men will be kept eternally alive in torments) has kept more people away from and driven them to  disbelief of all future punishment or infidelity, than any other doctrine that was ever promulgated.... that it has done more to destroy souls than all other errors put together.....’.  Then they set about to  establish it interpreting verses from the Bible. Now this is a fearfull practice. God’s words does not have to accept every  thought that comes to the human mind.The Bible cannot be expected to corroborate whatever one thinks is right.We would do well to accept, even blindly whatever the Bible says.Their argument is ‘They could not beleive that God whose words declare that ‘he is love' could inflict punishment on even the worst and most  bitter of his enemies’. God, indeed, is love.For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’. John 3:16.But ‘it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’. Hebrew 10:31. ‘Fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him’. Luke 12:5.

If the Bible says there is hell then there is hell and if it says there is great torment awaiting the wicked then so it is. ‘Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.’ Proverbs 30:6. ‘Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you’ Deuteronomy 4:2. Deuteronomy 12:32. ‘For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book’. Revelation 22:18 &19.

The argument is that ‘death which is the wages of sin is not immortality in misery but an actual extramination of being’. ‘For the  Wages of sin is death’ romans 6:23. Yes. But have we forgotten that there is also resurrection after that and that is both of good and evil? Acts 24:15. ‘The dead know not anything’ Ecclesiastes 9:5. No they don’t, not until they are resurrected. Consider the verse at Luke 12:5. ‘Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell’. First, why cast someone into hell if there is nothing more to it than death? Again, why fear if there is nothing more horrible to it in hell after death? John 5:29 says, ‘All that are in the graves 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 damnation.’ It does not speak of ressurection unto ‘actual extramination of being’.

The argument continues  ' "The soul that sinneth it shall die"  (Ezekiel 18:4,20) refers to its final doom' . But ‘whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a milestone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.’ Mark 9:42.There is a sorer punishment than death. ‘He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace?’ Hebrews 10:28 and 29. ‘Once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself’.’ Hebrew 9:26. ‘For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.’ Hebrew 10:26 and 27.

Does this suggest that not all sinners will be resurrected and cast into hell. Read Daniel 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’. But resurrection is either to life (for the good) or to ‘shame and everlasting contempt’ or to ‘damnation’ or into ‘the lake of fire’ (for the evil) but never to death. Refer to Daniel 12:2 and to John 5:28 & 29 ‘Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto resurrection of damnation’, and also Revelation 20:13 & 15. ‘And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works...And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire’.

But wait, there is more to it.Read all the verses from 42 to 50 of Mark chapter 9. Do they give us a reason why an iniquitious man should be cast into hell fire ‘where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.’ ‘For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another’. Mark 9:49 and 50. Read Mathew 5:13: ‘Ye are salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men’. and Luke 14:34 and 35: ‘Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out.He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’

There is indeed a place called Hell. Mt. 18:9 :'cast into hell'. Mt. 10:28:'in hell'.

The word Gehena (hell) used by Christ in Mt. 23:33, we are told refers to Gay Hinnom or the Valley of the Hinnom -- the place of idol worshipping? Jos.15:8; 18:16; 2K23:10; 2Chr.28:3; 33:6; Je.7:32; 19:2. [Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. 2 Chr,28:3.]

What connection do we make?  How do we understand it? What did Christ mean then if he referred to Gay Hinnom? Did he not simply mean that a great punishment is awaiting the Pharisees in hell?
The other idea we are given is that Gehena refers to the public incinerator outside the city of Jerusalem.Dead bodies were thrown into the valley and brimstone thrown down on the bodies to burn them. That is the explanation to 'the fire that never shall be quenched' Mk.9: 45 & 48. Some bodies got stuck in the ledge Maggots ate these bodies. That is the explanation to 'where their worm dieth not' Mk. 9: 46 & 48. Clever explanation and worldly wise.But never Biblical.

ECC, 9:5 says 'the dead know not anything'. So they can not be tormented in hell. True. The dead know nothing, not untill they are resurrected. If they can not be tormented because they do not feel anything they can not be bothered either  whether their bodies are given a decent burial or whether they are thrown into the incinerator into which murderers and outcasts were thrown ? Is the disgrace of their dead bodies being with the dead bodies of the criminals any punishment? Do we fail to note the cry of despair when Christ, after he has made a list of the transgressions of the Pharesees against God, says, 'ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?' Mt. 23:33. And the horror of it? Mt.5:29; 18:9; Mk. 9:43 & 47.

There is this parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Surely, like all other parables it too carries a message. Lk.16:19-31. First the rich man died. 'The rich man also died' (v22).And then  he is tormented :: being in torment' (v23). 'I am tormented in this flame' (v 24). Read also Lk.12:5. 'after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell'. How do we still say that casting into hell is simple death? Doesn’t this verse suggest that being cast into hell is more horrifying than death? Why cast a dead body in hell at all if it doesn’t mean a punishment more severe than death?

Second death is not in any way the same as the death we understad. ‘Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it’. Ecclesiastes 12:7. Second death is the wicked’s having their part in the lake which burneth with fire and with brimstone. Read Revelation 21:8, and Revelation 20:14. ‘But the fearful and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and the murderers, 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’. ‘And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This the second death’.

For the wicked there is another place of punishment spoken of in the Bible: the outer darkness. Consider the following verses:
But the children of the
kingdom shall be cast out into
outer darkness: there shall be
weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mathew 8:12.
The son of man shall
send forth his angels,
and they shall gather
out of his kingdom all
things that offend, and
them which do iniquity;
and shall cast them into
a furnace of fire: there
shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth.

Mathew 13:41 & 42
Then said the king to
the servants, Bind him
hand and foot, and take
him away, and cast him
into outer darkness;
there shall be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 22:13.
And 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.

Revelation 20:10
Clearly hell is the outer darkness and torment in the fire is the weeping and gnashing of teeth.There is this place of punishment, call it hell or outer darkness, where the evil after they are raised (there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust Act 24:15) will be subjected to everlasting punishment or everlasting fire or weeping and gnashing of the teeth ( And these shall go away into everlasting punishment. Mathew 25:46. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. Mathew 25:41. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 25:30). And why this great regret? Why is this weeping and gnashing of the teeth? That, I presume, is when they will learn what real righteousness is and regret for not being righteous. ‘ ...for when thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness’ Isaiah 26:9. ‘And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage’. Jude 14,15 & 16.

Now 1 Corinthians 15:35 reads: But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Verses between 35 and 55 speak of the manner of resurrection. Verse 42 reads: So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption: it is raised in incorruption. Verses 49 & 50: ‘And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly’. (‘For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection’. Roman 6:5). Now this I say, brethren that flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Verse 53 to 55: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? And then ‘there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. Act 24:15.

When new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven ( Revelation 21:2 ). ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men’ ( Revelation 21:3 ) and ‘they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life’ (Revelation 21:27) ‘they that do his commandments...may enter in through the gates into the city’ (Revelation 22:14). ‘And nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it’ Revelation 21:24 & 25. But without the city is the outer darkness. ‘And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire’. Revelation 20:15. ‘And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie’ Revelation 21:27. ‘For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie’. Revelation 22:15.

Are the wicked immortal?
 
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