Second Death, Pt. 4

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:10, Galatians 6:7, Romans 14:11
Why is there a hell that destroys the wicked? We look at the doctrine of the judgment in the Bible for our answer. God will not destroy the wicked without everyone will have opportunity to show their ways. In the end, every knee will bow and acknowledge God is just.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible to deepen our understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk, where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw.

Gary Gibbs: And I'm Gary Gibbs.

John: We've been talking lately on Bible Talk about the subject of Hellfire and we've learned some tremendous things. Here's what we've learned about hell. We've learned that the Bible calls it "The Second Death". The Bible doesn't say anywhere that it's going to burn on forever and ever and ever. Although we know hell is a real place. It's definitely there. It's going to take place. It's hot, hot enough to reduce people to ashes. Last time we were here, we talked about the two resurrections, one to life and one to damnation. I wouldn't call it a philosophical question, an important theological question we need to address. We haven't looked at this really, maybe by inference, but the question is why is there a hell? Why would there be one? I've had people ask me this. This is something that puzzles us, especially unbelievers. Why would God go through all of this and burn people up?

Particularly when you stop and think that a lot of the people that God burns up... In fact, maybe most, definitely most people that He burns in hell. He wakes up from their sleep in the grave, gets them out of the grave, reforms their bodies just so He can burn them again. Now is that really necessary? How do we read that in the Bible, Gary?

Gary: Well, the Bible makes it clear. Number one, there is a hellfire.

John: Yeah.

Gary: And so we have to reconcile as you said why would God do this? I think there's insight in this in 2 Corinthians 5:10, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in his body. According to that he had done whether be good or bad." Our whole life is being recorded in the books of heaven. I don't know what those books look like. John, in his day, they understood record keeping on parchment.

John: Sure.

Gary: Today, we look at record keeping in video and sound. I think the books of heaven probably are going to be more like that. They're going to be in living color.

John: You think 3D color?

Gary: 3D detail and multi-dimensional. Not just the outward just showing what you did but actually reading the heart at the same time.

John: Yeah, that's a bit of a worry when you stop and think about a God reading the heart. I shouldn't say it's a worry. I mean it shows the seriousness of this business, doesn't it? God wants to give us a new heart. Well, frankly, that's what we want. We don't want to just paint over something. My house recently had to replace a piece of wood around the door. It was in bad shape, one of the doors. The previous owners, what they've done is chipped out some of the wood and they filled it up with some plastic wood and painted over the top. They hadn't really fixed it at all and the thing was still as bad when they hacked to it in the first place. Just tried to make it good on the outside.

That's not what we want for ourselves. We want that experience that goes to the heart and makes us clean and pure inwardly and outwardly. Let me not say it's a bit of a worry but let me underscore that it shows the seriousness of this business and the depth of the work that God can do in the human heart to make us like His Son, Jesus.

Gary: It's good news but the fact of the matter is we will receive what we've done in the body.

John: Yeah, true.

Gary: I think that text there "in the body" is actually pretty significant because when we sin, we actually cause pain to other people. If I'm angry at somebody... I'll give you an example. The other day I went to a well-known American retail outlet.

John: OK.

Gary: There I was checking out, this lady was absolutely rude to me, just completely rude. She was embarrassing me in front of everyone and what I did is I took my credit card. Most places, they ask you debit or credit. They tell you to hit these buttons, debit or credit and all. I just pulled my card out. I said, "Credit." She said, "I know. Put it through the thing." Just like that.

John: OK.

Gary: I said, "OK, I'll do that." And then something else was said. Again, she came back, she said, "I know." I said, "You must think that I'm a real idiot." She said, "Why, I'm not going to say that." [laughs]

John: That's not what you are wanting me to hear.

Gary: The people around me are raising their eyebrows saying, "I can't believe this lady." This went on through the whole transaction. I got my little girl with me. At the end, I said, "I just want to wish you a good day and I hope I didn't totally ruin it because I've been such a terrible customer but you have a good day." She said, "Well, we just got to let those things go by us. We got to go on with life." I mean she was just cutting me the whole time. I let that roll off of me because I love the Lord and this lady is really the one with the problem.

John: And just having some bad day for some reason.

Gary: But I could see some weak soul just being hurt by that sin. Whether it's anger, rudeness, it hurt someone else. Certainly murder hurts other people and lying and stealing hurt other people. John, people get away with these things all their life. This lady doesn't realize the hurt that she's causing to customers. But if she's unrepentant, one day, the Bible says that in the judgment, she will meet all this pain again and that's why I think Paul says in Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows, that he shall also reap."

John: Yes, he will.

Gary: What the deed you've done in the body and the pain you've caused to other bodies, you're going to reap one day in your body in the fires of hell. That's why there needs to be hellfire. You need to feel the pain that you've caused others so that you realize "I caused this much pain to other people? This was bad."

John: There's something else, too. This helps me understand the reason for hell a whole lot better. Firstly, let me tell you we've got a great offer for you today. The offer today "Is The Devil In Charge of Hell?" We want you to have that. We'll give you a number, an email address and so on. Contact us and get this please. It's free. We'll send it to you at no obligation. You'll be blessed. It will bless your understanding of the Bible, your understanding of God Himself. Now, when somebody goes and is sentenced to death, there's something very final about that. When somebody goes to the electric chair... Well, that was the old days, I guess... Goes and gets that needle or whatever that is, however they're going to die, and they go to their death protesting their innocence. Now, there's something really disquieting about that, isn't there? You may believe what you want to believe. "Oh, I think she did it." "I think he did it."

But if they go to their death saying "I didn't do it. It wasn't me, I didn't do it", there's something about that that's just not right. God is not going to block people out of existence without giving them a chance to admit their fault and to acknowledge that He was right.

Now, when somebody goes to the electric chair, to the death penalty. I seemed to be hung up on electric chairs for some reason. When somebody goes to receive the death penalty and they say "I feel like I deserve this, I'm guilty, I did it", that doesn't make the death penalty nice all of a sudden but it puts it in a different light that makes it a little easy to accept, a little easy to deal with. At least the person is not protesting.

When people are blotted out of existence in hellfire, God is not going to blot them out without giving them an opportunity to say, "I was wrong, God was right." This is what the Bible says in Romans 14:11, "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God." People will acknowledge God was right. God is not going to have people languishing in the grave for all eternity, who went down in the grave saying "I don't believe in God. There was no God. I oppose God and stand against everything that God stands for."

Instead, before the whole thing is done, everybody will have the opportunity to say God was right and for some reason, they will. Everyone will acknowledge the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ and the divinity and the absolute rightness and holiness of Almighty God.

Gary: All the living, all those who are saved, the saints who will live forever and ever, they'll never question whether God was right or wrong because they will see in that second resurrection when all the wicked come up that these people are unsafe to live alive.

John: Or can you imagine those people who are so hard and they bring them into heaven? It would be chaos.

Gary: It would be. And so, they're going to see these people rush up against the city and they're a threat to everything that is good, everything that is a threat to the very throne of God and then they're going to see that final judgment when the wicked see their life in Technicolor and the wicked actually say, "You're right. We're not safe to live forever."

John: That's right.

Gary: And that's going to answer every question so that sin will never rise up again.

John: Nahum talked about that in Nahum 1:7, "Affliction shall not rise the second time." It's important that God does not allow it to go on. I spent a little time living in England and I was living there when they had a major mad cow disease scare. Man, talked about instant vegetarianism. This thing did more to advance vegetarianism than anything else, I think. Well, anyhow, it was decided that the only safe thing to do was to euthanize tens of thousands of herds of cows. Lots of cows were put to death and burned up. It was important to do that. It seems like pretty stern medicine. No one was happy about it and pleased that was taking place. But it was necessary to get rid of the disease. God is going to recreate the earth and make the universe perfect again. He needs to eradicate the disease of sin before this earth can be returned to its perfection.

Gary: Now, when God does that, we're talking about real people that were originally created in the image of God, that God loves, He cares for, He died to save them. The Bible says that this act of destroying them is not an easy act for God because God is God of life.

John: Correct.

Gary: In Isaiah 28:21, it says, "This is His strange work, His strange act." He doesn't delight to do this, does He, John?

John: No. You'll read it again and again through the Bible. "Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways and live why would you die, O house of Israel? I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked," God says. The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God doesn't just flip a coin. Hell, heaven, what should I do with this one? People secure their own destiny by the choices they make and the way they relate to Jesus Christ and the truth of God's Word. God simply would help acknowledge people's choice and give them what they ask for.

"I don't want to follow God because it's OK. You can't live on earth throughout eternity." There's going to be an eternity. Are you in or out? I don't want to cheapen the analogy but it's a bit like a game. Are you in or are you out? God says to the individual, "Heaven awaits. Are you in or out?"

If the person says "I want sin. I want immorality. I want licentiousness. I want all of that foolishness", God says "OK, all right. I'm going to make it hard for you if you choose. I'll plead with you. I'll show you the Cross. I'll have people bring Christ to you but if you continue to shut me out, I'll honor your choice." I believe though that causes great pain to the heart of God.

Gary: It does. There's this interesting text in Revelation 21. After the destruction of the wicked, verse four says "God will wipe away all tears from their eyes and there'll be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying." I believe that when we see these wicked people die, we're going to share the heart of God. We're going to weep over that but at the same time, God is going to wipe it away because now we're going to get back to what God originally intended when He gave life to mankind. He wants us to live unmolested by sin, unbothered by temptation.

And now we're going to enter that period again. This little time we've been on this earth has been a hiatus of sin but soon it will fade into the distant memory because God's goodness is going to reign forever and ever and ever.

John: I think if we only see what the time is really like, we wouldn't have such a taste for the things in this world and our heart would be that much more open to God. It's wonderful news. God isn't that tyrant people have said that He is. He's not a cosmic cop just waiting to rub people out and exterminate people. He's doing everything He can to save us.

Gary: "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."

John: My friend, are you willing to believe in Jesus Christ today? Oh, He believes in you. He knows that you're worth saving. He wants to save you if only you'll say yes. Listen, join us for more next time. That's all for now here on Bible Talk. [music]

Male Announcer: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible Study Guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free, informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email and ask for "Is The Devil In Charge of Hell?" The toll-free number is 866-BIBLE-SAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678. Or email us at Bible Talk is being produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of Life Talk Radio.

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