No Place to Hide - Part 2

No Place to Hide - Part 2

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:7, Revelation 22:12, Isaiah 47:14
Where is hell and how big is hell? The Bible talks about the reality of hell at the end of the world. This broadcast looks at some of the aspects of hellfire and when it will take place. Will the fire ever go out?
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Today let's go a little further and see how the Bible describes the destruction of the wicked. There's a very graphic picture of it given in Revelation 20:7. "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." That fire is hell-fire. They are smitten immediately and destroyed by God's great fiery, atomic blast. Did you notice the word "devour"? "Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." Have you ever devoured a candy bar? What happened to it? It was gone, wasn't it? That's what will happen to the wicked.

Now let me very quickly give you some additional Scriptures on this point. Here is one in Ezekiel 18:4. It says that the wicked shall "die"-D-I-E. They shall suffer "death" (Romans 6:23). They shall suffer the "second death" (Revelation 20:14, 15). They shall be "destroyed" (Psalm 145:20). They shall suffer "destruction" (Job 21:30). They shall "perish" (Psalm 37:20). They shall be "burned up" (Matthew 3:12; Malachi 4:1). They shall be "not be" (Psalm 37:10). They shall "come to an end" (Psalm 37:38). They shall be "consumed" (Psalm 37:20). They shall be "devoured" (Psalm 21:9). They shall be "slain" (Psalm 62:3). They shall be "cut off" (Psalm 37:9). They shall be "as though they had not been" (Obadiah 16). They shall be "silent in darkness" (1 Samuel 2:9). They shall be "no more" (Psalm 104:35). They shall be "blotted out" (Psalm 69:28). We could give many more. There are many, many, many more. Now does this sound like life to you? No indeed, dear friends. It is just the opposite. The wicked receive D-E-A-T-H as punishment.

The next question: "How big is hell going to be?" Well, I'm thankful we don't have to theorize on that. I've heard some amazingly wild guesses, and some very rash statements made about this, but I'm so thankful that God has given us the answer. It is found in 2 Peter 3:10. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." No it doesn't say "burned," it says "burned up." that little word "up" denotes completion. And according to this Scripture, it is the whole earth on fire. Now how big will hell be? Why it will be just as big as the earth-23,000 miles around, 8,000 miles through, because God is going to set this earth on fire with His great, fiery atomic blast. And the earth will melt, and the works and the people in the earth will be burned up. That's what the Scriptures teach.

You know, I think we need to remember, friends, that God has fiery atomic power stored for immediate use. He knows much more about the atom than man ever will discover. We need to ever keep that in mind. We can't help but be reminded of God's power when one of these volcanoes erupts somewhere. Have you ever read about the giant volcano Krakatoa? I'm sure you have sometime or other. That volcano is just off the coast of Java. It erupted in 1883. It made the loudest noise that's ever been recorded. It was heard for 3000 miles. It took a solid cube of material, dirt and rock, etc., a mile each way, ripped it loose and threw it up in the sky seventeen miles, blew it to smithereens, so that it just scattered everywhere. Darkness covered great sections of the earth, and finally those ashes stretched completely around the circle of the earth. The concussion was so terrific that great waves of water fled from its presence, fifty feet high, and with tremendous force struck the coastlines of Java and Sumatra, so that 1295 villages and cities were completely wiped out. We talk about the power of the hydrogen bomb and the atom bomb. We'll have to go some yet to approach God's power as manifested in Krakatoa. God has these things stored for immediate use not only in the earth but in the heavens, because the Bible teaches that fire would come down out of heaven-but it's also stored in the earth. That's what we find in 2 Peter 3:6, 7. In verse 5 it's speaking of the flood and verse 6 says "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." And so the Lord has fire stored in the earth and in the heavens, and when God strikes the earth with that great, fiery atomic blast of His, the elements will melt; the wicked will be burned up, and there will be no place for the wicked to hide. No place at all, because everything will be destroyed.

Another question asked: "How long will the wicked burn in this fire?" Friends, we do not know that. The Bible does not give the answer. It is not wise to theorize about things if God is silent on the question. We do know this, however, the wicked will not burn the same length of time. They will be punished according to their works. The Bible is specific on that: "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12. So the Lord is going to punish a person according to the amount of his evil, or reward him according to the amount of his good. He has to, because He said He would in Revelation 22:12. And so some people will burn longer than others. But remember this: In the final end, every person in the fire will be devoured, destroyed, annihilated, completely put out of existence. They will not live on and on throughout the ages burning for eternity.

Now the next question: "Well, then, will the fire go out?" Yes, we can be positive, because once again God gives the answer in Isaiah. The Gospel Prophet gives the answer in Isaiah 47:14, speaking of the destruction of the wicked: "Behold, they shall be as stubble;" (you know, dry grass) "the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it." Now there's a lot in this verse; there's many a sermon here. You see how logically it goes right down through the steps-the fire will burn them; they will not be able to escape from it-and then the fire is going to go out, because there will be nowhere left even a little coal glowing that you could sit before or warm your hands at.

What will be left then, when the fire goes out? Turn to Malachi 4:3. Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament, the last chapter, and verse 3: "And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." What will be left? Ashes. I don't see how anyone could misunderstand that, do you? It's so clear and plain-there'll be nothing left but ashes. And the Lord says the righteous will tread down the wicked; they'll be ashes under the soles of their feet.

Here's something else of interest. You have often heard it said and often talked, and often read that the devil is in charge of hell, haven't you? Yes indeed, he's pictured as a monstrosity, half-beast, half-man, with a tail and split hooves, holding a pitchfork, telling people they'll never get out of the fire-poking them every once in awhile with his pitchfork, stoking up the fire-isn't that right? Yes, you've heard that many, many times. Well, I don't know where that comes from, but I'll guarantee you one thing, it is not from the Bible, because here's what the Bible says about that in Revelation 20:10. Notice how clear and how plain it is: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. ..." Don't ever let anyone tell you that he'll have anything to do with keeping up the fire; he'll be in it. Now what will it do to him? Well, let's see. The Bible gives the answer to that, too. Ezekiel 28, and I'm going to read parts of several verses here, beginning with verse 18. Ezekiel 28 is the story of Satan and his fall and his final end. "... therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee ... and never shalt thou be anymore." Instead of the old devil living through the ceaseless ages of eternity and being on God's payroll as a trusted employee to keep the fires burning, he'll be turned to ashes in that fire, just like the rest of the wicked. God says so.

Here's another Scripture. This is Psalm 37:10, 20: "But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." Did you ever hear anyone say something went up in smoke? That's what the Bible says will happen to the wicked. They'll go up in smoke. That's Psalm 57, verse 20. Here is verse 10: "For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be." It says, just a little longer and one thing is for sure, you'll not be able to find any wicked. You can look ever so diligently, but you'll not find them. Why? Well, because they've been turned into ashes; the earth has been made new out of those ashes, and God says the righteous will go out and tread down the wicked, for they'll be ashes under the soles of their feet. "They shall not be." That's Psalm 37. You ought to remember that chapter; it's a very good one on this topic.

Another question: "Will people be real in that fire?" Many have thought that only the disembodied soul (whatever that is) will go into the fire. Well, let me read you God's answer. This is the gospel of Matthew chapter 10, verse 28, the last part of the verse: "... but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Hell destroys both the soul and the body. The Lord specifically spoke of this in Mark 9 also, where He spoke of the dangers of having "two feet" to be cast into hell, and "two hands" to be cast into hell, and having "two eyes" to be cast into hell. He said if that hand offends, you'd better cut it off, and enter into life with one hand rather than have two hands and be cast into hell. Christ specifically taught that when men enter hell it will be in bodily form, and the fire will destroy both soul and body.

Now, I want to answer a few questions. I wish I had time to answer all the questions you have in your minds, but I know I won't. It's too big a subject. I know there are a few things you're wondering about, though, and one of them is: What is meant by everlasting destruction. The Bible speaks of "everlasting destruction" in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-9. Yes it does. I would like to remind you that the Bible does not call it, however, everlasting destroying. It is everlasting destruction. Destroying is an act that continues on and on and on. But destruction is one act that takes place and then it's done. There's all the difference in the world in destroying and destruction. In the ninety-second Psalm, the Lord makes this clear in speaking of the wicked. He says in verse 7: "When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed for ever." If I have a little piece of paper here in my hand, and decide that I'm going to take this paper and destroy it, I could strike a match and destroy it forever. It will never be one piece again, it's burned up. It is destroyed forever, or forever destroyed. It is done once and for all. It will never have to be done again. God will take care of it by one single act. I have visited upon that paper eternal destruction. It has been destroyed once and for all.

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