God's love... "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." (Joh 3:16)

  H E L L   F I R E   

The answer is the soul was already dead, and has no conscious existence after death. 

But in the Bible, it clearly shows you that all the allegorical passages of hell has to do with spiritual and physical annihilation:  

De. 32:22  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. De. 32:23  I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them. De. 32:24  They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. De. 32:25 The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs. De. 32:26  I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: 

you see the idea of fire in these verses is associated with God's wrath that brings destruction. God is a consuming fire. 

Job 26:6  Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering:

By comparison, hell has a naked aspect as well as the aspect of destruction. So, the equation is: Hell = destruction

The idea is when your sins are not covered by Christ's blood, you are in hell that ends up destroying your existence.

Psa 86:11  Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. Psa 86:12  I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. Psa 86:13  For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. 

You see, when you become a child of God, you are removed from hell or destruction. Christ, the eternal life, lives in you for ever. 

Isa 14:15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 

Think about this subject seriously, earth planet is suspended in the space as all the galaxies in the firmament. If we leave earth by the ground or the sky direction, the final destination is the space. God uses the language down to identify hell with the dust. The location of hell is down to the ground; that's the grave! Or, for those who believe in physical hell;  if the space is hell, everything would stay in hell until God makes the new creation. 

Jer 17:27  But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. 

Do the people of Israel never violate the Sabbath day? If they did even once, after that warning, where is that fire? It clearly says "it shall not be quenched". So, since this eternal fire has to be at the palaces of Jerusalem, this country would never be destroyed. This earth would never cease to exist. Unfortunately, That is not what the Bible teaches. According to 2 Peter 3, this creation will be dissolved, and God will create a new heaven and earth. But the fire that shall not be quenched at the places of Jerusalem will always exist because it is a spiritual fire. It means God's judgment on the unsaved religious world. 

Isa 34:1  Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. Isa 34:2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Isa 34:3  Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. Isa 34:4  And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. Isa 34:5  For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. Isa 34:6  The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. Isa 34:7  And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. Isa 34:8  For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. Isa 34:9  And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. Isa 34:10  It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. Isa 34:11  But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. Isa 34:12  They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. 

You see, the fire that shall not be quenched night nor day is the indignation of the Lord upon all nations. As a matter of fact, God will not eternally experience anger on people in a physical hell. What do you think people would do in a eternal burning place? As sinners, they would curse, blaspheme, and rebel against God. Do You really think desperate people will continue to hate God, in eternity future? I do not think so, because God says He will put an end to sins:

Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 

The verse clearly teaches that God will put an end to sins. If hell is physical, I read that it will be in God's presence for ever:

Rev 14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, Rev 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: Rev 14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 

The Bible is not a contradictory book.  there should be one truth: Sins have to be destroyed or would still exist in eternity. Nevertheless, the Bible can only be harmonized when we understand the spiritual implication of these verses. 

Everlasting righteousness will be the nature of life after this present creation. Only, the annihilation of sinners can agree with that. Otherwise, like we said,  sins would still be existed. God's wrath will be eternal in a sense it burns the sinners that sins, and destroyed them for ever. by God's grace, I hope you understand the spiritual meaning of the fire that shall not be quenched. Again, Jesus is the fire, as He says: For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell. De. 32:22

There is another verse in Revelation 22:15 that literally teaches contrary to Revelation 14: 10. 

Can you imagine people burning for ever in the presence of the Lord? Will God truly do that? God is love, and will never impose such horrible treatment on his creature. These literal and difficult passages in the Bible are also put because of our sinful condition. But when God opens our heart to truth, we realize how blind we were. And we thank him for his mercy. 

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Rev 22:15 

2Th 1:9  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 

Mat 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 

Those people will be away from the Lord and the holy angels. Sins cannot be in the sight of the Lord. God has no choice, He will destroy the sinners. 

2 Th 1:9 says "everlasting destruction", while Mat 25: 46 says "everlasting punishment". When the Bible is harmonized, you know that it cannot say two different things. The everlasting punishment means that the wicked will be annihilated eternally. 

Eze 32:27  And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living. 

Ah! I see, these verses teach me, since there is a physical hell, the wicked will go down with the weapons and their swords. If you disagree because you might say that the language is spiritual, what about hell? 

Jer 7:20  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched. 

will the beast, the trees of the field, the fruit of the ground be cast into a fire that shall not be quenched? If you say the language is spiritual, what about hell? All of these metaphors are expressing unsaved mankind condition, religion, local church,  under the wrath of God. 

Jon 2:2  And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 

Was Jonas in hell? But when Jonas was released from the belly of the fish, there was no sign of  burn over his body.

I think the three following verses of the Bible prove that hell gives a sense of torment and fire too: 

De 32:22  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. 

Mar 9:47  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire

Jas 3:6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 

But, the problem is that the Bible gives no evidence of any physical damage caused by fire when Jonas came out from the fish's belly. Jonas had conscious existence while he was in hell (the depth of the earth), because he was not dead. Nevertheless, when a dead person goes there, he remains a dead person. Only somebody who is alive in Christ can escape hell to be with Christ, even if his body is buried. 

Also in James 3:6 it says our tongue is a fire. Wow! Did you feel, even once, fire in your tongue? It is not only this. our tongue is fire because of the fire of hell. If so, when our tongue will cease to be in hell fire? I guess when we will stop to use it for evil purposes (to be born again). Also when we die physically. So, we are already in hell, unless Christ changes our sinful nature. 

Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 

I see. So, death and hell will deliver the dead. Where will the dead person get the new body? The dead is not supposed to have a body since he was in hell fire. Someone might persist to say that his soul was in the fire, not the body. But any soul without Christ is dead and destroyed in hell:

Mat 10:28  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.

People also believe that God will give the sinner a new body like He will give a new tent to the child of God. unfortunately, there is not even a literal Scripture to suppose that. Because in the biological evidence of the resurrection of the body that is found in 1 Corinthians 15, I do not see the miracle of the wicked to become alive. The seed in itself, before it was sown in the ground, lost its capability of reproduction. This is why the Bible does not talk about that process.

As a natural fact, this process does not exist. But with the true believer's seed, life has not ceased to be. That's where resides the power to become alive:

1Co 15:35  But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 1Co 15:36  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 1Co 15:37  And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 1Co 15:38  But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 1Co 15:39  All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 1Co 15:40  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 1Co 15:41  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 1Co 15:42  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 1Co 15:43  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 1Co 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 1Co 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 1Co 15:48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 1Co 15:49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1Co 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 

But someone might say what about Daniel 12:2

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 

Again, the Bible needs to be harmonized. This verse does not prove that they will have life. The resurrection of fallen man into life is already explained in 1 Corinthians 15. If someone does not have Christ as Life, you cannot be resurrected. Jesus, the essence of Life, and many other people who have Life were resurrected. But we never see a wicked resurrected to life and continue in his rebellious life. This is absolutely impossible! All the resurrection in the Bible was for the glory of God. 

In Daniel 12:2, the wicked who died shall only awake in a sense that their dead bodies will be exposed on the ground, on judgment day. What about the wicked who will still be alive? Those people too shall awake in a sense that they will truly experience the full reality of God's eternal wrath upon them. It is very important to know, even if the wicked is alive or dead, he is still identified with the dust, as dead people:

Mat 8:22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. 

As 1 Corinthians 15 explains it, the resurrection of the last day will happen for both believers who are alive and those who are sleeping. That's the same thing for the wicked, either alive or dead, they shall awake. Now, we know that the word "awake" cannot be understood like the Bible describes the resurrection of Christ's people. Otherwise, you can never harmonize the Bible that fundamentally says, the wicked shall never awake till eternity future: 

Job 14:12  So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 
Job 14:13  O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! Job 14:14  If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 

Now, what can we say? 

Rom 3:4  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. 

Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 

Now, according to some people, since hell is a physical place of fire, will God cast fire place into the lake of fire? 

For those who understand the Bible as a literal book, yes God will cast hell fire into the lake of fire. For those who understand the Bible as a spiritual book, they know that hell fire is associated with that cursed and sinful creation, which will cease to exist. How do they know that? After the fall of Adam, God identified the first condition of man with hell fire. Man became mortal until he experiences the miracle of God's salvation. The Hebrew word "Sheol" or the Greek word "Hades" is the word hell describing the death condition of mankind. The definition for these two words is grave or pit. And the grave or the tomb is the final place to put a dead. Man, without Christ is finished right there. Only by Faith, a new born in Christ has eternal life. As we see, physical death is the final destination for a sinner. 

Since the lake of fire is death again, God says in 1 Corinthians 15, verse 26 : "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." now we see even the lake of fire will be terminated. Why? Because everything shall return to normal before the existence of sins:

1Co 15:26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 
1Co 15:27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 1Co 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 

This is why there will not be any ongoing pain in eternity future. All of those completed passages are parables, because that is the nature of the Bible. Finally, in these verses below, I would invite you to read carefully and see how God declare these language as parables

Eze 20:45  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Eze 20:46  Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; Eze 20:47  And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. Eze 20:48  And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched. Eze 20:49  Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?