Final judgment for the unsaved is the Lake of Fire– what the Bible calls the “second death.” It is a place of torment, not annihilation.
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. ~ Revelation 20:14-15
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever [not annihilated]. ~ Revelation 20:7-10
This “lake of fire and brimstone” burns its victims without decomposing them. There is a difference between pain and injury. Pain is discomfort. Injury is damage. The lake of fire and brimstone brings discomfort without damage. It burns without decomposing that which it burns upon. God gave us a preview of this with the burning bush.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” ~ Exodus 3:1-3
The lake of fire and brimstone brings pain, not injury. Its victims live on.
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice,”If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone [not "annihilated with fire and brimstone"] in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment [not "the smoke of their annihilation"] ascends forever and ever [not "ascends until they are annihilated"]; and they have no rest day or night [not "they have no rest until they are annihilated"], who worship the beast and his image , and whoever receives the mark of his name.” ~ Revelation 14:9-11
In Part III, I showed that the temporary holding facility for unsaved souls is a place of torment, not annihilation. In Part IV, I have shown that the permanent holding facility for unsaved souls is also a place of torment, not annihilation. The wages of sin is indeed death.
- 1st Death: For the unsaved, the first death occurs when the body dies. This death results in the soul being delivered to a place of torment (hell).
- 2nd Death: For the unsaved, the second death occurs at the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. In this second death, the resurrected body is sentenced and transferred to its place of eternal torment (the Lake of Fire).
For the unsaved, the first death results in soul torment, and the second death results in bodily torment. Neither at the first death, nor at the second death, do we see annihilation. As I pointed out in Part II, the fear of this horrible fate has led many a sinner to repentance. I am convinced that Satan removes this fear by removing the possibility of torment from peoples’ minds. This (in my opinion) is how the poison of Annihilationism got injected into the body of Christ (the church).
The Bible repeatedly warns us to fear God, but instant annihilation evokes no fear at all. It is no deterrent to fallen man, and God knows it. Even if annihilation took days, weeks, months, or years in the Lake of Fire to complete, who cares? Our prisons are full of people willing to do time for crimes that satisfy their urges for money, pleasure, and power. How much more so from an eternal perspective? It is eternal torment, not annihilation, that scares the hell out of people.
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” ~ Revelation 21:8
Who among us does not fit into at least one category in this verse? For fallen man to care about his actions, there must be consequences that get his attention. Death must have a sting. Eternal torment is that sting, and Annihilationism takes that sting away. Taking the sting out of death takes away the need for the One who actually took the sting out of death, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus Christ):
- The Son of YHVH
- The Messiah of the physical Jewish people living in the physical land of Israel that YHVH gave them as an eternal possession (a fact that drives the world demonically insane, and a fact opposed by many “Christians” who openly advocate to divide the land of Israel and create a Palestinian state).
This is why we find such a preponderance of Annihilationists among “Christians” advocating to divide God’s land and create a Palestinian state. As I stated in Part II, if I were advocating a Satanic political position that puts me directly in the Bible in God’s crosshairs (Joel 3:2), I would be pretty motivated to convince myself and others that eternal torment were not an option. However, self-delusion does not change reality. The unsaved will be tormented for all eternity, not annihilated.
And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. ~ Matthew 25:46
Finally, the idea that God would resurrect the unsaved dead at the White Throne Judgment only to put them right back to sleep by annihilating them is not only unbiblical, it is nonsensical. To demonstrate this point, I end this post with a classic Three Stooges bit in which Moe slaps Larry out of a sound sleep and tells him, “wake up and go to sleep.”
The Bible tells us the seriousness of eternal torment. The Three Stooges tell us the silliness of Annihilationism.
Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.