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The Christian Counter

   

Fate of the Transgressor

 

Cause of the Sinners Destruction

 

What question does the Apostle Peter ask regarding the wicked?

 

“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17.

 

What does the Bible say is the wages of sin? What is to be the fate of one person who persists in sin?

 

“For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23.

“For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son  - both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.” Ezekiel 18:4.

 

Completeness of the Destruction

 

What will be the character of this death?

 

“They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9.  

 

What will befall those who do not repent?

 

“I tell you no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13:3. “But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.”

2 Peter 2:12. 

 

How does John the Baptist describe the destruction of the wicked?

 

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear the threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:11, 12.  

 

For whom was this fire originally prepared?

 

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41.  

 

Note – This fire is called “everlasting” (Greek, aionlon, “age lasting”) because of the character of the work it does; just as it is called “unquenchable”) because it cannot be put out, and not because it will not go out when it has done its work. “Eternal fire” reduced Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes. (Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:6.)

 

Will any part of the wicked be left?

 

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. Al the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or branch will be left to them.” Malachi 4:1.

 

How completely will man be destroyed in hell?

 

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28. 

 

Note – This scripture proves that the soul is neither immortal nor indestructible. The everlasting punishment – “destruction” of the wicked is this destruction of soul and body in hell (Greek, Geenna [Gehenna]).

“Hell” in the New Testament is from three Greek words:

Hades, 10 times. Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14. (Hades is also translated “grave” once, 1 Corinthians 15:55.)

Geenna (Gehenna), 12 times. Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47: Luke 12:5; James 3:6.  

Tararoo, 1 time (the only occurrence in the Bible), 2 Peter 2:4.

Hades (the lower world, place of the dead, the grave) is the equivalent of she’ol.

Tararoo, describing the fall of Satan’s rebel angels, is a verb, meaning to “cast down to Tartarus.” This is a striking figure of speech, alluding to the Tartarus of Greek mythology, an abyss deeper than Hades, the prison of the Titans, who fought against the gods.

Gehenna, the only other word for hell, is the valley of Hinnom, used symbolically of the fires of the last great of judgment. This is the word that is used in Matthew 10:28 to describe the place where the wicked will be destroyed body and soul.

 

Where, When, and How

 

When will the wicked be punished?  

 

“By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”  2 Peter 3:7. 

 

Note – The present heaven and earth and sinners await the fires of the last day. The Greek for “perdition” is apoleia, “loss,” destruction.”

 

What will be the result of the fires of the last day?

 

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.As you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.”    

Verses 10, 12. 

 

How does Christ say sin and sinners will be eliminated?

 

“The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13: 41, 42.

 

When are the wicked dead to be raised to receive the final punishment?

 

‘The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.”

Revelation 20:5.

 

Where will come the fire that will destroy them?

 

“But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” Verse 9.

 

Note – This may be called God’s “strange act” and His “strange work” the work of the destruction. (Isaiah 28:21.) But by this means God will once and forever cleanse the universe of sin and all its results. Death itself will then be at an end – cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14.)  

 

By what figure does Malachi describe the destruction of the wicked?

 

“Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,” says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 4:3.

 

Note – The wicked are to be utterly destroyed. Through sin they have forfeited the right to life and an immortal existence, and chosen the way of death and destruction. By their choice they have proved themselves worthless, like chaff, briers, thorns, etc. They will themselves have lost their opportunity to obtain eternal life, by the way in which they used their probationary time. Their destruction will in fact, be an act of love and mercy on the part of God; for to perpetuate their lives would only be to perpetuate sin, sorrow, suffering, and misery. Terrible, therefore, as this judgment will be, there will, in consequence of it, be nothing of value lost – nothing lost worth saving. The experiment of sin will be over, and God’s original plan of peopling the earth with a race of holy, happy beings will be carried out. (2 Peter 3:13.)

 

What is the final destruction of the wicked called?

 

“The lake of fire is the second death.” Revelation 20:14.

 

After the burning days and weeks, what will appear?

 

“But in keeping with this promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13.

 

How will the righteous be rewarded in the new earth?

 

“Blessed are the meek. For they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5. “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:43.

 

Note – Satan and the wicked now have this world as their “place.” In due time Christ will inherit earth as His right as King of kings and Lord of lords. Christ will cleanse it from sin and sinners, and restore it, that He may give it to the saints of the Most High for an everlasting possession. (See Daniel 7:18, 22, 27.)  



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