Previously: Fire came down from heaven – Revelation 20:9
Rev. 20:10 – The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (HCSB)
The lake of fire
At last we come to the end of the father of lies. John records, “The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (v. 10). The lake of fire and sulfur is, of course, hell, or gehenna in the Greek. The name is drawn from the Valley of the Son of Hinnom just outside Jerusalem, a place where apostate Israelites in Old Testament times sacrifice their children to the pagan god Moloch. Hell is a place of conscious existence where Satan, demons and the wicked spend eternity apart from Christ.
This passage should be seen in light of Rev. 14:9-11, which describes the destiny of the one who worships the beast: “he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, which is mixed full strength in the cup of His anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name.”
Jesus calls hell “the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). People who reject God’s gracious offer of eternal life join Satan and his demons in the lake of fire. Jesus also calls hell “outer darkness” where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is place where the worm does not die and the fire is never quenched, meaning that the resurrected bodies of unbelievers do not die and are not annihilated.
Hell is a place to be avoided at all costs, yet a place where no person or demon goes beyond his or her will. As C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’”
John Shore recently authored a commentary for Patheos entitled, “What Christianity Without Hell Looks Like.” Patheos is a website providing information about various religions.
Reprinted in TIME Ideas and complete with a photo of a dove soaring in the sunlight, the article’s main point is that Christianity without hell “would allow Christians to point upward to God’s love.”
Shore is a popular Christian blogger and author, yet his column features a string of shockingly bad theological statements that nevertheless resonate well in today’s relativistic culture.
Let’s look at just four of his false statements.