Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190023A
00:01 If the lake of fire is the second death,
00:05 how can it burn forever?
00:32 The subject of hell fire has been one that has had a
00:36 great deal of controversy.
00:38 People say, "How is it that a God of love
00:43 could burn people for a little tiny life here
00:48 forever and ever and ever, into eternity with no end?
00:54 How could that be?
00:56 It doesn't match this God of love we talk about.
01:00 How could Jesus do something like that?
01:04 It doesn't add up."
01:07 Well, let's go to the Scripture today and see
01:10 if it really says that.
01:13 So if you have your Bibles, if you're nearby and you have one,
01:17 maybe on your phone or something,
01:19 I invite you to turn with me to Hebrews 12.
01:23 Now we're going to go back to the book of Revelation,
01:25 of course, in just a little bit because there's where
01:29 some of the language gets people very interested and confused.
01:34 And you can see why when you ready it sometimes.
01:37 So I want to go to Hebrews 12,
01:40 and we're looking at verses 28 and 29.
01:44 Now the apostle Paul is speaking here, and he's saying,
01:48 "For consider Him who endured such hostility
01:51 from sinners against Himself..."
01:53 So there's no question that Jesus has endured
01:56 a lot of hostility.
01:58 In fact, sin has caused a lot of hostility among human beings,
02:01 and trouble and sorrow and heartache.
02:04 "Therefore," he goes on to say, "since we are receiving
02:08 a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace,
02:13 by which we may serve God acceptably
02:17 with reverence and godly fear."
02:20 Now the next thing I want you to notice about this,
02:24 first of all he's saying that Jesus
02:25 has received a lot of the hostility.
02:27 I suppose, if anybody deserves eternal punishment,
02:31 and we'll talk about that eternal business in a moment,
02:35 would be those who really created great problems for Jesus
02:38 who is so kind and so good.
02:40 I mean, you think about the crucifixion,
02:42 you think about Caiaphas and Annas and the Sanhedrin.
02:47 Think about all the mocking, and you think about all He
02:49 went through at the hand of sinners.
02:53 I mean, He could have some serious concerns
02:57 about the way He was treated.
02:58 If you want to put it that way.
03:00 But let's listen to this.
03:01 It says we should serve God with reverence and godly fear.
03:03 Godly fear.
03:05 Fear of a fire that burns forever?
03:09 No, no. Listen to what he says.
03:12 "...with reverence and godly fear.
03:14 For our God," says the apostle Paul, "is a consuming fire."
03:21 What does the word, "consume," mean?
03:26 Well, if you consume a nice Mexican meal, for instance,
03:32 at some nice restaurant, or Italian restaurant,
03:35 or something, what's left when you get done consuming it?
03:41 It's gone.
03:43 There's an old saying that says,
03:44 "You can't have you cake and eat it too."
03:46 You can't consume the cake and still have the cake.
03:52 God is a consuming fire.
03:56 So in other words, it burns things up.
04:00 He destroys things. Puts an end to things.
04:04 The apostle Paul borrows that expression, "a consuming fire,"
04:09 "Our God is a consuming fire," he borrows that from Moses.
04:12 And he gets it from Deuteronomy 9:2-3
04:17 where the apostle, not the apostle Paul, but Moses says,
04:21 "...of whom you have heard it said," talking about God,
04:26 'Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?'
04:31 Therefore understand today that the LORD your God
04:36 is He who goes over before you..."
04:39 Now these were the giants, Anak, and he was saying,
04:42 "Your God is going to go before you."
04:46 He's going to fight against these people
04:49 as they were entering Israel.
04:50 Notice what he says, "He who goes over before you
04:54 as a consuming fire.
04:58 He will destroy them and bring them down before you."
05:04 So when God destroyed the enemies of Israel,
05:08 He destroyed them as a consuming fire.
05:11 And they weren't still living when He was done
05:14 with the consuming fire part.
05:17 So our God is a consuming fire.
05:20 Now that word again, "consuming," in the Greek
05:24 means to utterly destroy.
05:29 Were the giants that stood up against Israel,
05:31 were they utterly destroyed?
05:33 Of course they were.
05:34 How about their other enemies?
05:35 The Canaanites, were they utterly destroyed?
05:37 What about the people in Jericho?
05:39 Were they utterly destroyed? Of course they were?
05:43 Well at the end of the 1000 years we're brought face to face
05:46 with a great white throne judgment.
05:50 Now the last time, of course, we talked about the 1000 years.
05:53 And I'm going to review that a little bit
05:56 here so that we still have the setting,
05:59 because context is always important.
06:02 You've got to look at that context.
06:04 It's crucial.
06:06 So we want to look at that context again.
06:08 So I'm going to review that 1000 years.
06:11 Well that 1000 years, sometimes called the millennium,
06:13 which simply means 1000 years, that 1000 years starts
06:18 when Jesus comes back in glory.
06:21 Now the judgment that's going on in heaven right now
06:25 decides between the wheat and the tares.
06:27 But this white throne judgment judges the wicked
06:32 and gives them their sentence.
06:34 And that's what the judgment in heaven is about
06:37 during the 1000 years, is the righteous are the jury.
06:42 So this coming of the Lord Jesus starts this beginning.
06:47 And we have, of course, the saints, the resurrected saints
06:52 are resurrected, they're with Jesus in heaven.
06:54 And the righteous living are changed
06:57 and you get that new body.
06:59 Isn't that going to be a wonderful thing?
07:00 And we won't be old age.
07:01 Positive. That's going to be marvelous.
07:03 So we'll all be eternally young.
07:06 And all the righteous from all the ages
07:08 are going to be resurrected.
07:10 And the living righteous caught up with the Lord,
07:13 to the Lord to meet Him in the air.
07:15 The wicked who are alive on the earth,
07:17 the Bible says they're going to slain by the
07:19 brightness of His coming.
07:21 And of course, you've got that sober picture
07:24 in Revelation 19.
07:26 So during the 1000 years there is this judgment of the saints,
07:29 as I mentioned it earlier.
07:31 Deciding the severity of the punishment for the wicked.
07:34 And also getting all their questions answered
07:36 about God's justice.
07:38 They're going to have all the information when that's done.
07:40 Now at the end of the 1000 years, just doing this review,
07:45 at the end of the 1000 years, Revelation 20:7-8 says this,
07:50 "Now when the thousand years have expired,
07:52 Satan will be released from his prison
07:55 and will go out to deceive the nations
07:58 which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog,
08:02 to gather them together to battle,
08:04 whose number is as the sand of the sea."
08:08 Now God and Magog was, I think, Ezekiel's code word
08:12 for Babylon.
08:14 And so the whole wicked dead that are resurrected
08:18 are kind of described as Babylon,
08:21 even though they come from all the ages.
08:24 And they're gathered now.
08:26 Now they're like the sand of the sea.
08:29 And the devil is back in business, if you please.
08:32 He's going to deceive them.
08:33 He's got somebody to deceive now.
08:35 Of course the question is,
08:37 what is he going to deceive them about?
08:39 Well first of all, they're coming from all over the earth.
08:42 And he has to deceive them into gathering together.
08:46 Now what are they going to gather together for?
08:49 Well, because the camp of the saints has come down.
08:53 The New Jerusalem has come down.
08:55 And it's there now on the earth.
08:58 Because the great white throne judgment,
09:00 everybody stand before God's great white throne;
09:03 the righteous and the wicked.
09:05 The nice thing about the righteous is
09:07 they've already been cleared.
09:09 They're covered with the blood of Christ.
09:11 So when the great white throne Judge looks at them,
09:14 all He sees is the Lord Jesus.
09:17 It's that wonderful?
09:18 He sees that beautiful, powerful character,
09:21 that righteous character of the Lord Jesus.
09:25 But with the wicked who are not covered,
09:27 that's another story.
09:29 So at the end of this 1000 years,
09:31 Satan is released from his prison because
09:33 the wicked dead now are resurrected.
09:37 And as soon as he's got a crowd, he starts deceiving.
09:40 And he gathers them from all over the earth.
09:42 Now the Bible says in Revelation 20:9,
09:47 "And they went up on the breadth of the earth
09:49 and surrounded the camp of the saints, the beloved city."
09:55 The beloved city. The camp of the saints.
09:58 That's the New Jerusalem.
10:00 And John says in chapter 21 verse 2,
10:03 "I, John, saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem..."
10:08 Not old Babylon. Hallelujah.
10:11 The New Jerusalem.
10:13 Let me tell you this.
10:14 That there's nothing in Babylon, with all of its cities
10:17 and its electricity, and all of its comforts,
10:19 there's nothing that compares to the New Jerusalem.
10:22 We're going to talk about that in another session.
10:24 "I saw the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven,
10:29 prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
10:32 Now question and answer, where is now the New Jerusalem?
10:36 The New Jerusalem is on the earth.
10:39 Don't lose that.
10:40 The New Jerusalem is on the earth.
10:46 Keep that in mind.
10:47 So it comes down from heaven, and now it's sitting here.
10:52 And the wicked dead have been resurrected.
10:54 Satan has deceived them, that they can take the city.
10:59 Now obviously he would like to have the New Jerusalem.
11:01 Now he doesn't want the unselfish people who are
11:04 full of God's unselfish love who are in the city
11:07 and protected by its walls and its mighty gates.
11:11 He doesn't want them, but he wants the city.
11:15 So they're not going to blow this up with an atom bomb.
11:19 No, they want to take the city, they want to kill all the
11:23 righteous, and live in it themselves.
11:26 And Satan convinces them that he's their leader
11:30 and that he can lead them into it.
11:31 Now I don't know what kind of deception he uses,
11:34 but he uses some kind of fancy footwork, I suppose.
11:38 He's cunning. And they buy into it.
11:41 Well, they've been buying into Satan's lies all their life.
11:45 And they buy into it.
11:47 But let's go on with the story.
11:51 Revelation 20:9-10, and let's see what happens.
11:55 And the Bible says, "And fire came down from God
11:59 out of heaven and devoured them."
12:06 Devoured them.
12:08 "Devoured," means to consume.
12:11 It goes back to that part that our God is a consuming fire.
12:15 Just like He destroyed the enemies of ancient Israel.
12:19 The consuming fire.
12:21 He devoured them.
12:23 They're over, they're finished, as it were.
12:27 He goes on to say, "And the devil who deceived them
12:31 was cast into the lake of fire
12:33 where the beast and the false prophet are."
12:36 The lake of fire is actually right there on the earth.
12:40 It's right there.
12:43 "And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
12:48 Now that's the little phrase, and there's about three of
12:51 those phrases in the Scripture, particularly in the book
12:53 of Revelation, that describe this fire.
12:58 They'll be tormented day and night,
12:59 and their smoke goes up forever and ever.
13:03 So it sounds contradictory.
13:05 It sounds contradictory.
13:07 But let's finish the story before we get into that.
13:09 The next few verses give us a picture
13:12 of the final judgment.
13:14 Revelation 20:11-15
13:17 "Then I saw the great white throne and Him who sat on it,
13:22 from whose face heaven and earth fled away.
13:26 And there was no place found for them."
13:29 In other words, God didn't have any place
13:31 in His universe for the resurrected wicked.
13:34 They're now going to be judged.
13:36 There's not going to be any place for them.
13:40 Don't forget that as we go into that.
13:43 "And the books were opened."
13:46 And God has a record of absolutely everything.