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The Lake of Fire simplified.

Posted 07-15-2022 at 10:38 AM by legoman

Often Matthew 25:41-46 is brought up when questioning Universal Salvation. But you must understand this:

God is everlasting FIRE

First, let's ask some questions to help explain.

We are told God is a consuming fire. Do you think God is physical fire?
Everyone will be salted with fire. Is this a horrific picture of physical fire raining on everyone?
In 1 Cor 3, we are told "the fire shall try every man's work"... is this physical fire burning up people's works?
Yet continuing in 1 Cor 3, we see that we are SAVED by fire... how does physical fire SAVE us?
The fire is to burn up the wood and straw, and purify the gold and silver, like a refiner. Is this something physical or something spiritual that must happen to every person?

I think (and hope) you would agree that all of these are spiritual pictures, which can be thought of as a symbol or metaphor. God is LIKE a consuming fire. He is not literally physical fire, but He is like fire in the same way that he is LIKE a refiner. God is a refiner - not a literal refiner of metal, but a refiner of us.

The fire tries everyone's works - burning out the spiritual badness from our character, and refining and strengthening the gold and silver of our soul. That is how God is a refiner.

Does that make sense?

Now lets come to the lake of fire (or furnace of fire). But specifically Revelations - do you realize the ENTIRE BOOK is filled with symbols? It even says so in verse 1.

Rev 1:1 ... sent and signified it by his angel

"signified" means it is in signs and symbols. Certainly we can agree there are many symbols in Revelations - the beast, the harlot, the sea of glass, the horns, the lampstand, the horseman, the mark, the rod of iron etc. the list goes on and on; All symbols to show a picture of something else.

So given all this, why do you think the lake of fire is a horrific torture chamber of people burning in literal fire? In my experience, we only believe this because other people (pastors and ministers) tell us that's what it is. But that is a false teaching.

Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone

Have you ever thought, "why is there brimstone?" Is that to make the fires HOTTER? Is that to make the torment and torture WORSE? As if burning in fire for eternity is not bad enough, there has to be brimstone too! No. Brimstone is also a symbol. Brimstone is sulfur - sulfur is used in a purification process.

EVERYONE's work will be tried in fire. All liars, cowardly, unbelievers, abominable, murders, whoremongers, sorcerers have THEIR PART in this lake of fire (which is a symbol of God's refining fire which burns all of this up). They have THEIR PART, because it is according to their works - for it is every man's work which will be tried. All of these bad works will be BURNED UP and DESTROYED. That is the purpose. Not physically burned up. BUT SPIRITUALLY.

Notice it does not say in Rev 21:8 that they are in there forever, but they only have THEIR PART. What would be the purpose of eternal torture in physical fire? It would be horrific. And sadistic. God is NOT horrific or sadistic. God IS LOVE. And God is a consuming fire and a refiner of our souls.

That is the picture and symbol of the lake of fire - and it is GOOD NEWS, unlike the horrific news that most people are taught about an eternal torture chamber of being burnt for eternity.

I hope you understand.
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