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Enjoying God Blog


So, I want to talk a moment about hell. That’s right, hell. Let’s pause for a moment and give thanks that those who know and love Jesus “will not be hurt by the second death” (Rev. 2:11). This promise is found in our Lord’s letter to the church in Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11) and calls for our careful examination. Continue reading...

So, I want to talk a moment about hell. That’s right, hell. Let’s pause for a moment and give thanks that those who know and love Jesus “will not be hurt by the second death” (Rev. 2:11). This promise is found in our Lord’s letter to the church in Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11) and calls for our careful examination.

The “second death” is mentioned three other times in Revelation, each of which reinforces the fact that this is Jesus’ (and John’s) way of referring to eternal punishment in the lake of fire. We read in Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Later in the same chapter (20:14), we are told that “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Finally, in Revelation 21:8 we read, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Clearly, then, the “second death” is the lake of fire, the place of eternal torment for those who do not know and love our Lord Jesus Christ. The “first death” would be physical death, the death that Jesus said some in Smyrna would suffer because of their faith in him (Rev. 2:10). The point of his promise, then, is this: no matter how much you may endure physically in the present, you will never suffer spiritually in the future. Therefore, be faithful if you should be called on to die now, for you will never die then!

The contrasts couldn’t be more vivid. Those who know and love Jesus and remain faithful to him will be granted the “crown of life” (v. 10). They will never, by no means ever (such is the literal force of the double negative in Greek), taste the “second death” (v. 11).

Now, hear me well. There is nothing of which I am more deserving than the second death! There is nothing more fitting, more just, more righteous than that I should suffer forever in the lake of fire. And the only reason why I won’t is that Jesus has endured in himself the judgment it entails. Jesus has exhausted in his own person the wrath of God that I otherwise would have faced in the lake of fire.

As I reflect on that reality I can’t help but feel complete dismay at those who reject penal substitutionary atonement, or flippantly (and blasphemously) dismiss it as “cosmic child abuse”. What hope have we for deliverance from the “second death” if not the suffering of its pains, in our place, by the Son of God? If I receive the “crown of life”, which I don’t deserve, in place of the “lake of fire”, which I do deserve, it can only be for one reason: Jesus Christ, by a marvelous and merciful exchange, has died that I might live, has suffered that I might be set free, has for me faced and felt the wrath of God and absorbed it in himself.

Many today deny that Jesus ever believed in or taught, much less endured in his own person, the reality of hell’s torments. What “gospel,” then, can they preach? In what does the “good news” consist if not that Jesus has died, the just for the unjust, having “redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13)?

As for the Christians in Smyrna, no sweeter words were ever spoken than these. Tribulation was tolerable, knowing that the “second death” died in the death of Jesus. Slander and imprisonment, yes, even martyrdom, were but “slight momentary affliction” when compared with the “eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17) that is ours because Jesus died and rose again on our behalf.

Yes, thinking about hell and the “second death” has immense practical benefits! In his famous Resolutions, Jonathan Edwards put it succinctly: “Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell” (no. 10).

It is remarkable how tolerable otherwise intolerable things become when we see them in the light of the “second death”! Think often, then, of the pains of hell. Think often of the lake of fire. It puts mere earthly pain in perspective. It puts “tribulation” and “poverty” and “slander” and “imprisonment” and even “death” itself in their proper place. The collective discomfort of all such temporal experience is nothing in comparison with the eternal torment of the “second death” in the “lake of fire.”

The one who conquers, said Jesus, “will not be hurt by the second death.” Not even when Satan viciously accuses me of sins we all know I’ve committed? No, never, by no means ever will I be hurt by the second death. Not even when others remind me of how sinful I still am, falling short of the very standards I loudly preach and proclaim? No, never, by no means ever will I be hurt by the second death. Not even when my own soul screams in contempt at the depravity of my heart? No, never, by no means ever will I be hurt by the second death.

And that for one reason only: Jesus, in unfathomable mercy and grace, has suffered hurt by it in my place. So, be faithful, Christian man or woman. Rejoice, oh child of God. And give thanks that you will never, by no means ever, suffer harm from the “second death”!



From the article: "As I reflect on that reality I can’t help but feel complete dismay at those who reject penal substitutionary atonement"

I have personally found that penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) has little biblical support because all the best arguments I've heard for it 1) assume what is to be proven (e.g. God's wrath must be satisfied), and 2) rely on assumptions or arguments that are not in the Bible (e.g. an offense against God is an infinite offense, or an eternal/infinite being can pay an infinite penalty in a finite amount of time). In order to cut away the fat of the various arguments, I found a reasonable definition of PSA and developed a set of 20 questions that look at the pieces of PSA. I've not yet been able to find a PSA advocate who has been able or willing to answer the questions without getting into circular arguments or reading into biblical passages interpretations that are either not there or are disputed (e.g. I've heard that "the wages of sin is death" means death is the punishment for sin, but "wages" does not mean punishment - it's been read into the text instead of being read out of the text). The bottom line for me is I am hoping someone will prove PSA from a "sola scriptura" approach rather than starting with assumptions that are not directly from the Bible.

Here is a reasonable definition of PSA
"Penal substitutionary atonement refers to the doctrine that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners. God imputed the guilt of our sins to Christ, and he, in our place, bore the punishment that we deserve. This was a full payment for sins, which satisfied both the wrath and the righteousness of God, so that He could forgive sinners without compromising His own holy standard."

Here are questions that PSA-advocates should address:
1. Where does the Bible explicitly state that on the cross Jesus bore the punishment that we deserved?
2. Where does the Bible explicitly state that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins? To whom was the penalty paid?
3. Where does the Bible explicitly state that Jesus satisfied the wrath of God?
4. Where does the Bible explicitly state that God’s wrath can and must be satisfied?
5. Where does the Bible explicitly state that God cannot forgive without first being appeased?
6. Where does the Bible explicitly state that God cannot simply forgive without compromising His own holy standard?
7. How is it justice to punish the innocent in place of the guilty? (see Deuteronomy 24:16 - Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin)
8. How can an infinite being, who needs or lacks nothing, be unsatisfied based on human sin and then consequently satisfied by sacrifice? If God’s wrath can be satisfied, how does it not imply that God lacked something prior to being satisfied? What did the satisfaction change about God (e.g., His mood?, His attitude?, His disposition?)?
9. Was God’s wrath fully satisfied or partially satisfied? Where does the Bible state this?
10. If fully satisfied, why does the Bible describe it as something that remains for unbelievers? (see John 3:36 - He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.)
11. If fully satisfied, why does the Bible describe it as something that will still be poured out in the last days? (see Rev 16:1 - Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”)
12. How does full satisfaction not logically lead to universalism, since there is no wrath left for anyone to endure if it was fully satisfied?
13. If not fully satisfied, what distinguishes the wrath that was satisfied from the wrath that was not satisfied? Where does the Bible most clearly state this?
14. If not fully satisfied, what was “finished” on the cross? (see John 19:30 - Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.)
15. Since we have been crucified with Christ, did we also participate in satisfying God’s wrath by being punished with Him? Why or why not? If we were not punished with Him, in what essential way were we united with Christ in the likeness of His death? (see Romans 6:5 - For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death; see also Romans 6:6 - knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him; and see Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ)
16. Was our debt fully paid by Jesus or fully forgiven by God? If fully forgiven, what was left to be paid and what was accomplished on the cross? If fully paid, what was left to be forgiven? Or was it partially paid and partially forgiven. How is it just to forgive a debt by requiring payment? Doesn’t forgiveness negate the requirement for payment?
17. If the penalty for our sins is eternal separation from the Lord (see 2 Thessalonians 1:9 - These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power), how could Jesus pay that penalty? How would it not require Him to be eternally separated from Himself? Where does the Bible say that Jesus paid an eternal debt or suffered eternal destruction or suffered eternal separation from Himself or the Father?
18. What does it mean for God to command us to forgive others in the same way that He forgave us? (see Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.) Does God needing to vent His wrath as payment before He can forgive us mean that we must also vent our wrath as payment in order to forgive others? Does God hold us to a higher standard than He holds himself? Why or why not?
19. What was the role and activity of the Holy Spirit during the crucifixion? Was the Holy Spirit united with the Father in pouring out the full cup of his wrath on the Son, or united with the Son in paying the full penalty for our sins, or with neither? Where does the Bible best describe this?
20. What was the state of the Trinity during the crucifixion? Where does the Bible best describe this?

Death, Hell and the Grave.

The concept of death of the flesh and where your spirit goes after you die is one of the most widely misunderstood subjects in the Bible.
The concept of hell is the most misunderstood of all. If you tell a person that their going to hell, you better know when, where, what and how there going to get there.
Ignorance about this subject turns more non-believers away from Jesus than any other subject in the Bible, in my opinion
First of all hell is not a place, it does not exist. In order to look at this subject properly, you have to enter the mind of the spirit. Paul said we have two bodies in Corinthians 15:44: one flesh and one spirit. The whole chapter is devoted to this subject.
Your spirit is not bound by dirt, meaning: when you die you don’t go lay in a hole in the ground after you die. Why? Because Ecclesiastes 12:6 and 7 and 2nd Corinthians 5:1 and 5:6 tell us to absent from this flesh, is to be present with the LORD. God is a God of the Living, not the dead. As Luke 16:22 describes Lazarus and the rich man after they entered into paradise. Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham and the rich man went to hell.
2 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Strong’s G5020
Pronounced: tär-tä-ro'-ō
Root word Etymology: From Tartaros (the deepest abyss of Hell)
1) the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna of the Jews
2) to thrust down to Tartarus, to hold captive in Tar
> The word hell is made up of basically of 3 English words and that is one Hebrew word, (shĕ'owl).
Strong’s H7585 שְׁאוֹל ,
Tranliteration: shĕ'owl
Pronounced: sheh•ōle'
Root word Etymology: From שָׁאַל (H7592)
sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit
a) the underworld
b) Sheol - the OT designation for the abode of the dead
1) place of no return
2) without praise of God
3) wicked sent there for punishment
4) righteous not abandoned to it
5) of the place of exile (fig)
6) of extreme degradation in sin
In the Greek, 2 words, Hades and Geena
Strong’s G86 ᾅδης
Pronounced: hä'-dās
Root word Etymology: From ἄλφα (G1) (as negative particle) and εἴδω (G1492)
Strong's G1067 γέεννα
Pronounced: ge'-en-nä
Root word Etymology: Of Hebrew origin גַּיְא (H1516) and הִנֹּם (H2011)
>Hell is the place of the future punishment call "Gehenna" or "Gehenna of fire". This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

Hebrews 12:29
For our God is a consuming fire.
Exodus 24:17
The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 4:24
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 9:3
Therefore understand today that the Lord your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you.
Hebrews 12:29
For our God is a consuming fire.
>This word “buried” is Strong’s Concordance #6912 in Hebrew and 2290 in Greek and simply means to “enter” or an event, ie burial. Not in the literal sense “with dirt” You have to think in the spirit. Is there dirt in heaven? Not in the literal sense.
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
>How could he see Abraham if he was literally “buried with dirt? They are both in Heaven, or “paradise” as Jesus said in Luke 14:23. “This day you will be in paradise”
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
>The rich man was not burning in a cavern of molten lava while everyone in paradise stood by and watched. He was in a state of torment, because he knew he had failed. Have you ever heard some say: it’s hotter than hell as a metaphor? The word hell as it is used here is (Geena) Strong’s # 1067 (Greek} meaning: a garbage pit outside of Jerusalem at that time. You could say he felt like a piece of garbage for the way he had lived his life. He wasn’t buried in dirt, he wasn’t burning in hot molten lava, he was tormented by his own failure. He was in a state of degradation. He knew he had missed Heaven in a sense.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

>There can be no hell in Heaven. Lazarus and the rich man were both in paradise with a large Gulf between them. Luke uses a medical term “gash”. Paradise is a holding place for all souls, good and bad. The great white throne judgment will determine who gets the second death from God the consuming fire. That has not happened yet and will not happen until after the Millennium.Now that we know where everybody is that has died in the past as Jesus Himself said in
1st Corinthians 4:13, But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
>This word “sleep” throws everybody off. Sleep is Strong’s # 2837 which means to be dead in the body, but with Jesus in the spirit. They will come back with Him when He returns and we who are alive and remain here on earth can not precede them because they are already with Him at His return.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
>If you believe Jesus rose again, you better believe that those who have died in Him are raised also and are with Him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain
>Because they are with Him, we on earth cannot precede them because they are already there.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
>“Dead in Christ shall rise first” is another one that throws everyone off. Why do they rise first, you ask? Because they are already there with Him, they are not out here lying in a hole in the ground waiting to rise out of the ground like a bunch of Zombies. They will rise with Him in Heaven at His return to earth at the Second Advent.
>Not one soul has actually perished yet sense the beginning of time. Only flesh has died. All who have died in the past are with the Lord in Paradise, weather on the good side of the gulf or the bad, their all there. All will have to go through the millennium and then to the Great White Throne Judgment after satan is released for a short season, for one more test of God’s children.

>The concept of hell is a hard one to grasp, but at the same time it is very simple. Think of a fire burning a house, how long does it take to burn a house? Forever? No…What happens when a fire burns something? It consumes it right? What is left? Nothing but ashes forever and ever, right? Why is God called the consuming fire in Hebrews 12:29? Why does the Bible say in Matthew 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.
Why does it say in Revelation 2:11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.?
>What is the second death?..... It is the death of your eternal soul. God the consuming fire will consume all those who hate and oppose Him at the Great White Throne Judgment. You will be gone forever as if you never existed, Eternal damnation. Wow!.
This concept of hell that has been taught in the mainstream church is flawed to the core and needs to stop.
They teach that in heaven where there is supposed to be no more tears and we have this lake of fire over here and over here we have heaven with everyone floating around on clouds watching all the poor dumb sinners fry like bacon screaming “help me Im burning”! Sound like heaven? I don’t think so……
In the first place, in the spirit, pain cannot be felt. Fire would have no effect on a spiritual body. Hell is not a literal place!. Is there fire in heaven? or will all of the material norms we know of in the flesh be null and void while in the spirit. Yes they will. It will be glorious. We cannot fathom what He has in store for us. Heaven or hell can not be looked at in a carnal mind and it is sad that the mainstream church has missed the mark so far on this very important subject.
The only ones who will suffer eternally are the fallen angels and satan in Jude 1 in a place called Tartaroo Strong’s #5020 it is a different hell.
We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made in the flesh and the spirit.
Our soul can only be destroyed by God Himself.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Words for death

Strong's Concordance#2349
thnétos: subject to death
Original Word: θνητός, ή, όν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: thnétos
Phonetic Spelling: (thnay-tos')
Short Definition: mortal
Definition: mortal, subject to death.
From thnesko; liable to die -- mortal(-ity).
see GREEK thnesko
Strong's Concordance#861
aphtharsia: incorruptibility
Original Word: ἀφθαρσία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: aphtharsia
Phonetic Spelling: (af-thar-see'-ah)
Short Definition: indestructibility, incorruptibility, immortality
Definition: indestructibility, incorruptibility; hence: immortality.
incorruptibility, immortality
From aphthartos; incorruptibility; genitive, unending existence; (figuratively) genuineness -- immortality, incorruption, sincerity.
see GREEK aphthartos

Strong's Concordance #862
aphthartos: imperishable, incorruptible
Original Word: ἄφθαρτος, ον
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: aphthartos
Phonetic Spelling: (af'-thar-tos)
Short Definition: imperishable, incorruptible
Definition: indestructible, imperishable, incorruptible; hence: immortal.
incorruptible, immortal.
From a (as a negative particle) and a derivative of phtheiro; undecaying (in essence or continuance) -- not (in-, un-)corruptible, immortal.
see GREEK a
see GREEK phtheiro
Philippians 1:23 - For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; … Now what did that say? “If I depart”, meaning “If I
“Fear not those that can kill your flesh, but He that can kill your soul.” Only God can do that. So Jesus, Himself, taught that the souls of people do not go into a hole in the ground, but quiet to the contrary, they return to the Father.

MV 2015 TheRemnantSeed

I disagree with you and the mainstream on this subject as the church has used this false doctrine to beat people into Church for way to long. Hebrews 12:29 tells us that our God is a consuming fire. Psalms 37:20 is an acrostic that is one of the clues that tells us what will happen to unbelievers. The second death is the death of the soul when God Himself consumes your soul and yes it can be likened to a lake of fire. The lake of fire is very simply a metaphor that many fail to understand. This concept also is wrong in that in heaven when we are all with God in eternal bliss there is a lake of fire where people are tormented forever. It goes against the statement of "no more tears in heaven". For there to be torment there has to be awareness of this torment by others in heaven. Also, would you want your own children to be tormented for eternity? Just because they rejected you? The church has got this wrong for way to long.

We need to be reminded of such powerful and assuring messages like this when Godliness is declining and it seems evil is taking over from the good. The sad thing is that many churches no longer talk about heaven and hell but about living on earth only as if we will live forever on earth. Thanks for such a timing message for a struggling world. Many blessings.

Thank you for this post, sharing. What a marvelous and extravagant God and Father we have in giving us the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. I was the chief of sinners, and truly deserve the hottest place in hell. I am, and will be eternally grateful - forever - before the throne of God giving thanks! I long to worship more closely the King of kings and Lord of lords!

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