The Punishment of the Wicked
Brief overview: The wicked will be destroyed by fire. The punishment will be everlasting but the punishing will not. The wicked will die instead of being tormented for all eternity. See John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Obadiah 1:16, Matthew 10:28, Ezekiel 18:4, 20.
Why it is important to know the truth about the punishment of the wicked:
I have a friend who is involved in a prison ministry that visits a juvenile detention center. My friend was telling me that they had recently shared the truth about hell with the young men there. My friend said the Chaplin at the jail got very upset with him for letting the young men know that the punishment of the wicked is not an eternity spent in hell but rather death just like the Bible says in John 3:16 and Romans 6:23. The reason the Chaplin did not want them to know the truth about the punishment of the wicked was because he wanted the fear of being tormented for all eternity to motivate them to behave.
The teaching of people being tortured throughout all eternity is the most satanic false doctrine of all! It totally misrepresents the love and character of God making it impossible to love and know Him the way He loves and knows us.
Why it is important to understand the punishment of the wicked in the light of the cross:
Many churches use hell and fear as a motivation for doing good because they do not properly understand the love motivation. They do not understand the depths of Christ’s sacrifice in dying the second death. They make the Cross out to be a mere pain endurance marathon instead of seeing a Savior who was actually willing to say goodbye to life forever in order to save the world. When the early church saw the depths of Jesus’ love and sacrifice it turned the whole world upside down! Meaning it changed everything! It was God’s love that constrained, empowered and motivated them. This love is the only motivation that will actually succeed. Galatians 6 talks of a faith that works by love, not a fear of punishment. In John 14 Jesus says, “If you love Me keep My commandments”, not if you don’t want to go to hell you better keep my commandments. We must uplift the cross and the truth about the cross like never before. Young men in juvenile centers and people everywhere else need to know that there is a God who did way more than suffer for six hours on a cross. He faced the second death for them. He loved them more than He loved his own life. He loved them so much that when tempted to come down from the cross and go back to heaven He chose to die instead. Simply put, Jesus stayed on that cross for the young men in the juvenile detention center because the thought of heaven without them was hell to Jesus! When the love motivation receives its due power it will accomplish so much more than the fear motivation invented by men. Some people quote John 3:16 all the time while preaching of an eternal torment of sinners while that verse clearly says those who do not believe will “perish” instead of being tortured throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.
Further study on the punishment of the wicked:
What is the opposite of eternal life?
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
What is the wages of sin?
For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
What becomes of the souls that sins?
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4
How long does the devil have?
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12
What will happen to him?
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more. Ezekiel 28:18,19
What happens to both body and soul in hell?
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
What do the wicked become?
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 4:1-3
What is the lake of fire called?
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:14
What is God’s promise?
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.And 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 21:3, 4
Can we trust that promise?
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:5