Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190023B
00:01 Of course, God knows everything, but He's got it also recorded.
00:03 Now I don't know how He does all of that.
00:06 We have video recording today.
00:08 We understand you can just record a person's life,
00:11 as it were.
00:12 We're all on camera, it seems, everywhere we go.
00:14 But God is watching everybody's life.
00:16 It's all recorded.
00:17 There's not going to be any question about who did what.
00:20 Let's go back to verse 12 of Revelation 20,
00:23 the great white throne judgment.
00:25 "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God,
00:29 and the books were opened.
00:31 And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life."
00:35 Now that's the one you want to be in.
00:38 "And the sea gave up the dead who were in it,
00:41 and Death and Hades..."
00:42 Or the grave.
00:43 Hades is another word for the grave.
00:45 "...delivered up the dead who were in them.
00:48 And they were judged, each according to his works."
00:52 Now people are going to be judged fairly.
00:55 They're going to be judged righteously.
00:57 That means that some are going to be judged
00:59 more severely than others, according to their works.
01:02 In fact, these text say that twice.
01:05 Verse 14 says, "Then Death and Hades
01:08 were cast into the lake of fire."
01:12 The lake that's on this earth.
01:14 "This is the second death.
01:19 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life
01:22 was cast into the lake of fire."
01:27 So this is a repeat and enlarge picture of the preceding verses.
01:31 The one who sits on the great white throne
01:33 is none other than the Judge of the universe.
01:37 And at the resurrection of the dead at the end
01:41 of the 1000 years...
01:42 I'm just recapping here what the Scripture said.
01:45 The dead come from anywhere they were buried.
01:49 None of these people who are judged have taken advantage
01:54 of the blood of Christ.
01:56 None of them have taken advantage of the gift of life
01:59 that Jesus has offered to all of us.
02:03 And since there's a careful record, the Bible says
02:06 that some will be beaten with many stripes
02:09 and some with few.
02:10 So if you punish everybody for eternity,
02:14 aren't you punishing them basically the same?
02:17 No, the Bible says God is a just God.
02:21 He's a fair God.
02:23 And He takes no delight, by the way.
02:25 The Bible calls this in one place, His strange act.
02:28 It's not something He likes to do.
02:31 So we want to notice that the lake of fire, once again,
02:34 is here on the earth.
02:37 It's on the surface of the earth.
02:39 They're cast into this lake of fire.
02:43 And the lake of fire is the end of death and the grave,
02:48 because it puts an end to sin.
02:52 It's also, as I call it, the dreaded second death,
02:57 from which there's no coming back.
03:00 So is there a contradiction between these phrases,
03:02 "forever and ever," and the declaration that this is
03:06 the second death?
03:09 It seems like it's a contradiction,
03:10 but it's not really.
03:13 We need to look at the context.
03:16 Now I want to say this, that this burning forever ends
03:20 the second death.
03:22 Hell fire does come to an end.
03:25 In fact, we'll look at that word, "forever,"
03:28 and we also want to look at the context.
03:29 The context is crucial.
03:33 I always say to people, "What is the context saying?"
03:37 Well let's look at the context.
03:39 Now the next chapter, the chapter divisions
03:43 were not inspired.
03:44 When John wrote this, he just wrote it right through.
03:47 He moved from chapter 20 to 21.
03:49 And he just keeps moving after he talks about
03:52 death and hell being thrown into this second death
03:55 and this forever and ever business.
03:57 Now listen to what he goes on to say.
03:59 "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
04:04 for the first heaven and the first earth..." Were what?
04:08 "...passed away."
04:10 So he sees a new heaven and a new earth,
04:13 for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.
04:16 So you can't have it both ways.
04:17 You can't have this earth where the devil and his evil angels
04:21 and the wicked are judged with fire that comes down from God
04:25 out of heaven, they're standing on the earth
04:27 in front of the New Jerusalem,
04:29 this thing creates a lake of fire,
04:32 and it's called the second death,
04:34 and then this thing passes away.
04:36 Of course, the apostle Peter describes that,
04:39 how that the earth burns like an oven, as it were.
04:43 It becomes a molten mass.
04:45 And then he says the same thing, that you get a new heavens
04:48 and a new earth made out of the old earth
04:52 and the old heavens, if you please,
04:54 that have been burned up.
04:56 They've been destroyed.
04:58 And when they're destroyed, they're destroyed with the
05:00 wicked in it.
05:01 Just like the flood destroyed the antediluvian world,
05:04 so now a flood of fire destroys these wicked people
05:10 at the end of time.
05:13 So the context does not allow you to have a forever and ever
05:18 burning hell fire here,
05:21 because you have a new heavens and a new earth.
05:23 The first heavens, the first earth have passed away.
05:25 The apostle Peter says it's all been consumed away, so to speak.
05:30 So what is going on here?
05:33 Since the lake of fire is on this earth, that means
05:36 the earth is going to pass away.
05:39 It can't be the smoke of their torment ascending up
05:42 forever and ever because it's coming to an end.
05:46 Well let's look a little bit at that phrase, "forever and ever."
05:48 I got very fascinated by that.
05:50 And I can give you a lot of text in Scripture
05:53 that will tell you that the wages,
05:56 and we'll talk about that, the wicked are going to die.
05:59 That the penalty of sin is death.
06:02 We'll look at maybe one or two of those before we're done here.
06:05 I mean, there's just mountains of those text in Scripture
06:09 through the Old Testament, through the New Testament.
06:12 This is an eternal fire, meaning its effects are eternal,
06:15 but it's not an eternal punishing.
06:18 It is a fire that has an end, but not an ending.
06:24 Meaning, the results never end.
06:26 It's an eternal decision.
06:29 These people are not coming back.
06:33 I also did some looking, and the early church fathers,
06:36 I'm talking about real early before the popes,
06:39 they didn't believe in this ever burning hell part.
06:44 But let's go back to this phrase, "forever and ever."
06:48 I did a little look to that, and actually the literal translation
06:53 is, "to the ages of the ages."
06:57 In other words, the smoke of their torment ascends up
07:00 to the ages of the ages.
07:02 That's what John actually wrote.
07:05 And it can be translated, "forever and ever."
07:09 But when you look up the word in Strong's Analytical commentary
07:14 and lexicon, and so forth, or dictionary, it will tell you
07:18 that the word also allows for a period of time.
07:22 But let's look at it a little different.
07:24 Let's look at it the way John wrote it.
07:27 "To the ages of the ages."
07:29 What ages of the ages is he talking about?
07:33 Well, I think that...
07:35 Let me give you some other translations.
07:38 Because I think sometimes our translations have been
07:41 influenced by Roman Catholicism that basically
07:44 invented this ever burning hell.
07:46 We'll talk a little bit about that in a moment maybe.
07:49 But let me give you Young's literal translation.
07:52 He says, "Tormented day and night to the ages of the ages."
07:57 That's different.
07:59 "...to the ages of the ages."
08:01 And that, "to," is a very fair translation.
08:03 I looked it up.
08:05 And here's Weymouth's New Testament.
08:06 He translates it, or they translate it,
08:08 "The day and night they will suffer torture until..."
08:12 That's even better.
08:14 And it can be translated that way.
08:16 "...until the age of the ages."
08:19 So this literal translation then makes a lot of sense,
08:23 given the context.
08:25 Let's just take a look at this literal sense.
08:27 First of all, the punishment goes on until
08:32 the ages of the ages,
08:33 or until the beginning of the new age
08:37 which starts with the new earth.
08:40 Now let me give you some of the insights to this
08:44 from the teachings of Jesus.
08:46 In Matthew 12:32, Jesus says, "Anyone who speaks a word
08:54 against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him;
08:59 but if he speaks against the Holy Spirit,
09:01 it will not be forgiven him..."
09:03 Now notice what else He says.
09:05 "...either in this age or the age to come."
09:11 And that's a theme that runs through the New Testament.
09:14 This age that we're in is coming to an end.
09:18 This age.
09:19 But there's another age that's coming.
09:22 And that's the age of the ages.
09:25 That age of the ages will never end.
09:27 That's the age we want to be part of,
09:29 because this age that we are in, it's coming to an end.
09:36 So notice again in Matthew 13:37-40.
09:43 In Matthew, He's talking and telling the parable of,
09:47 and He's interpreting here, of the sower who went out to sow.
09:50 "And He answered and said to them,
09:53 'He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
09:56 The field is the world...'"
09:58 That's the world we're living in right now.
09:59 This is the interpretation.
10:01 "...the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom,
10:04 but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
10:09 The enemy who sowed them is the devil..."
10:12 Now listen carefully.
10:14 "...the harvest is at the end of the age..."
10:18 This age is coming to an end.
10:21 But hallelujah, there's another age that's coming.
10:24 "...the reapers are the angels."
10:26 Verse 40, "Therefore as the tares are gathered
10:30 and burned in the fire,
10:35 so it will be at the end of this age."
10:40 If the translators had translated
10:42 the way John wrote it, it really wouldn't have been a problem.
10:45 No, he's saying it's going to continue until the
10:48 start of that new age.
10:50 The context is very clear about that.
10:54 So Revelation 19:3 gives us again a picture of that.
10:59 It says, "'For true and righteous are His judgments,
11:01 because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted
11:04 the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her
11:07 the blood of His servants...'
11:09 Again they said, 'Alleluia!
11:11 Her smoke rises up forever and ever.'"
11:15 In other words, her smoke rises up to, or until,
11:19 the new age.
11:21 The age that will last into eternity.
11:24 This age, though, is coming to an end.
11:28 "Strong is the Lord who judges her."
11:31 She will be utterly consumed.
11:34 And by the way, the Bible says in Revelation 18:8,
11:38 "She will be utterly burned with fire."
11:40 "Utterly," means to be utterly consumed, to be done away with.
11:45 So there's really no contradiction,
11:47 if they had translated it the way that John
11:50 had really written it.
11:52 The book of Malachi, I'll give you this one really quick,
11:54 Malachi 4:1-3.
11:56 "For behold, the day is coming that shall burn as an oven,
12:00 And all the proud and all that do wickedly shall be stubble."
12:04 And then it says that they will be like ashes
12:07 under the feet of the righteous.
12:08 Why? Because they are burned up.
12:12 It was Voltaire, that atheist, that helped bring on
12:16 the French Revolution, who hated God.
12:19 And the way he learned to hate God was he
12:21 sat on his father's knee, and his father told him
12:23 if he didn't be good, that God would burn him
12:25 forever and ever without ceasing.
12:28 That little boy looked at his father and he says,
12:30 "Then I hate God."
12:33 God is a God of justice.
12:35 This whole idea of an ever burning hell
12:37 was invented by a church that was cruel in the Dark Ages
12:41 in order to keep people in place.
12:44 In order to make them so fearful that they could control them.
12:48 But God doesn't want that kind of control.
12:51 God wants you to respond to Him because you love Him,
12:54 because you choose Him.
12:56 No, if you are lost, it will be your own fault.
13:01 And I pray that you won't be.
13:03 But I have a question to ask.
13:05 If you're lost, God is going to wipe away the tears
13:08 of the righteous, but if you're lost,
13:11 who is going to wipe away God's tears?
13:15 He really loves you.
13:16 He gave His Son so that you would never have to go
13:20 to this place.
13:22 He cares about you.
13:24 Who is going to wipe away, if you're lost, God's tears?