Clearly wrong about hell: A response to T. Kurt Jaros

A number of months ago I had the honor of being invited by my friend Nick Ahern to participate in a written debate on the three major views of hell. I was asked to write promoting the conditionalist view; Jason Pratt, who debated pseudonymous blogger TurretinFan on my Theopologetics podcast, wrote promoting the universalist view; and T. Kurt Jaros, founder of Real Clear Apologetics, wrote promoting the traditionalist view. You can read the introduction to the written debate at Nick’s blog, Split Frame of Reference, which includes links to the three essays.
Joseph Dear, fellow contributor here at Rethinking Hell, will be responding to Jason Pratt’s universalism essay, whilst in this article I will be responding to T. Kurt Jaros’ traditionalist essay. As I hope to make clear, the presentation delivered by Jaros, like that of most traditionalists, is mistaken about hell.

Introduction

Jaros begins his essay with the following introduction:

I don’t believe that Hell will have literal fire. I side with the Eastern Orthodox Church on this issue. Hell is a place where either separation from God or the power of his presence is punishment. The way to understand biblical passages on hellfire is to understand them in a metaphorical manner (given that there are other instances of fire where literal fire is not meant [, , , , ]).

Conditionalists are often accused of being liberals who deny a literal hell and chided for parting ways with what the church of the west has historically taught on the subject, so it’s intriguing to encounter a traditionalist who denies a literal hell, parting ways with what western churches—that is Roman and Protestant—have historically taught on the subject. Conditionalists are further accused of taking the proverbial wind out of the sails of the gospel by giving unbelievers nothing to really fear, so it is again interesting to encounter a traditionalist who promotes a view of hell that is less likely to scare unbelievers into repentance than eternal torment in literal flames. (When I interviewed Edward Fudge he also noted the increasing tendency of Protestants to abandon the traditional view of final punishment in favor of a metaphorical, less terrifying view of hell.)
I don’t particularly object to Jaros’ biblical references in his introductory defense of a metaphorical view of hell’s fire. However, I find myself somewhat bewildered by his reference to . I must assume it was a mistake because fire and burning are not mentioned at all, let alone used metaphorically. What is said, however, qualifies as strong support for conditional immortality; for example, see :

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish.

Who will receive eternal life and will never perish? Christ’s sheep. Who will not receive eternal life and will perish? Those who are not Christ’s sheep, those who do not believe on his name. There it is, in black and white: unbelievers will not live forever and will perish. What a blow to traditionalism, which holds that unbelievers will in fact live forever and never die. Surely a mistake for Jaros—and in his introductory defense of the traditional view, too!
No, the consistent and repeated testimony of Scripture is that immortality and eternal life will only be granted to the redeemed. The unsaved will be resurrected unto judgment and will die. Fellow contributor Dr. Glenn Peoples lays this case out powerfully in Episode 4 of the Rethinking Hell podcast.

A Real Hell

The first section following Jaros’ introduction is captioned, “A Real Hell,” and begins as follows:

The Scriptures say eternal conscious punishment is real, and that it is a place you really don’t want to be in. This is the data supporting hell as a real place: , ,

Conditionalists do not deny that hell is real, nor do we deny that hell is the sort of place people generally wish to avoid ending up in. The question is: What is the nature of hell? Let’s see how the texts that Jaros references answer that question.

This is a strange verse with which to open this series of proof-texts, for it does not tell us anything about hell at all. read as follows:

“If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the Lord.”
As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

Clearly this passage says nothing about hell as a place of eternal conscious torment. Unlike most men who die and are subsequently buried, the ground opened up and swallowed these men alive as a testimony that they had spurned the Lord. What happened to them beneath the surface of the earth is not explicitly described, and so even if we were to assume that they descended into hell, we couldn’t conclude from this passage that they were eternally tormented there.
In point of fact, however, we do know what happened to these men in the belly of the earth, and we also know that this text has nothing whatsoever to do with hell in the first place, because the text says the men descended into Sheol. The Hebrew word Sheol refers to the grave, the pit, the abode of the dead. Its New Testament Greek counterpart is Hades, and likewise refers to the place of the dead. Assuming traditional dualist anthropology, Hades is “the common receptacle of disembodied spirits,” as Thayer put it.1 Robert Jamieson said it is “not the final place of the lost … but as we say ‘the unseen world’.”2
So the men who perished in died after the earth swallowed them alive. But, as Scripture clearly teaches, these men and all the rest of mankind will one day rise bodily from the dead, as believed and taught in orthodox Christianity since the beginning. In fact the apocalyptic imagery of —which Jaros will eventually refer to and we’ll look at it more closely then—tells us as much, depicting Hades or Sheol emptied of its resurrected dead, who are subsequently judged and thrown into a lake of fire. It is this lake of fire, not Hades or Sheol, that corresponds to the final punishment of the damned, as Jaros’ own citation thereof demonstrates.

The text Jaros points to next does appear to tell us something about the nature of hell; but what it tells us ends up flatly contradicting his position:

His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clear his threshing floor; and he will gather his wheat into the barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Jaros does not exegete the passage; he merely cites it. To a certain extent this can be forgiven since we were allowed a very limited number of words. Still, I can only hazard an educated guess as to why Jaros thinks this supports his position. Presumably he thinks that because the fire which burns up the chaff is called “unquenchable” it must be a fire which will never die out, and that therefore the unsaved must forever provide the fire with fuel to burn.
But the Bible consistently uses the idiom of unquenchable fire to refer to exactly the opposite. To quench does not mean to die out—at least not primarily.3 Rather, it means to put out. A fire that is unquenchable is one that we cannot extinguish, and therefore it relentlessly and completely consumes that which it burns. says, “I am about to kindle a fire in you, and it will consume every green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched.” And in we read, “I will kindle a fire in its gates and it will devour the places of Jerusalem and not be quenched.” These are not saying that trees and buildings will burn forever! When that Hebrew word translated devour or consume describes what fire does, it means to burn down completely.
Jesus uses the idiom in the same way. The Greek word translated burn up is katakaiō and means “burn down completely.” It is not a generic burning; it is an utter consumption by fire. Thayer points out its distinct meaning as evident from its use in the Septuagint translation of , wherein the bush was burning but was not katakaiō or consumed.4 Jesus says the chaff, however, will be consumed, will be burned down completely.
And so the first text which Jaros cites in support of his unique traditionalist view of hell as a place of everlasting suffering works in exactly the opposite direction, supporting the final annihilation of the wicked.

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell … If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Once again I can’t be certain as to Jaros’ intent in citing this passage. Perhaps he does so because of the repeated reference to being cast into Gehenna, with including fire. In itself, however, this passage tells us nothing about the nature of Gehenna or what the fire will do there.
Fortunately these verses don’t exist in a vacuum and Jesus’ reference to Gehenna tells us quite a bit about what will take place there. Gehenna is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew “valley of [the sons of] Hinnom,” also known as Topheth, which was once a place where idol worshippers burned children as sacrifices to their gods. But says that Gehenna would become “the valley of slaughter … The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away.” speaks of God’s fiery vengeance upon Gehenna, likening it to a funeral pyre, which is a pile of wood for burning up corpses.
Consistent with what Jesus said about the fate of the unsaved in the previous text we examined, his reference to Gehenna here warns about final punishment. Jesus says the lost will be slaughtered in hell and burned up. Once again Jaros’ own citations work against his position and support conditionalism.

… but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Yet again I can only assume that Jaros cites this text for the same reason that traditionalists usually do: the text doesn’t say the unredeemed will be destroyed, but rather cast into outer darkness which requires their ongoing existence. Right? And it says they will weep and gnash their teeth there, and if they had been annihilated then they wouldn’t be able to do such things. Right?
And yet one should immediately observe that the text never says how long the wicked will be in outer darkness, nor how long they will weep and gnash their teeth. If, as conditionalists contend, the unsaved will rise from the dead to face the judgment of God and be punitively executed, they will certainly weep in sorrow and gnash their teeth in anger up until their last breath leaves them.
As it turns out, at least one other text which speaks of weeping and gnashing does tell us how long the sorrow and anger of the wicked will last. But it happens to be the next text that Jaros cites so we will look at it in a moment. In the meantime, what about the outer darkness? Well, this passage doesn’t make the meaning of the phrase clear, but when Jesus uses it in we have a pretty good idea of what outer darkness refers to. In that passage it is explicitly identified as a parable, and in the earthly scene depicted Jesus says that the servant who is found improperly dressed in the wedding hall will be bound, hand and foot, and thrown out into the darkness. Now just ask yourself: In an earthly scene set in first century Jerusalem in the evening, if someone is bound, hand and foot, and thrown out of a wedding hall into the dark wilderness, what will happen to him (assuming he is not saved)? Well he is either going to die of thirst and exposure to the elements or be killed by beasts or robbers. This is a death sentence, not a life of eternal suffering.
So when we compare the outer darkness of with that of and how Jesus used it, we see that the text Jaros cites ends up again supporting annihilationism.

The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth … and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

As I had said, this text tells us how long the weeping and teeth-gnashing of the unredeemed will last, for in the immediately preceding verse Jesus says, “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.” The Greek word translated burned is again katakaiō, and he had used the word in the parable that he’s interpreting, back in wherein the tares are gathered up out of the wheat, bound into bundles, and burned up (katakaiō). What’s more, Jesus is harkening here back to and 3, in which the day of the Lord is likened unto a burning furnace and evildoers likened unto chaff, who are set ablaze and reduced to ashes beneath the feet of the righteous.
So quite the opposite of supporting his position, this text he cites clearly tells us how long the unrighteous will weep and gnash their teeth: until they are completely destroyed.

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.”

Since these verses do not explicitly state what this eternal fire will do in that fiery hell, again I cannot be certain as to how Jaros thinks these verses support his position. Chances are he’s citing it for the same reason most traditionalists do: the fire is called eternal so it must refer to a fire which burns forever, and consequently the unsaved must provide fuel for the fire forever.
Yet a fire being called eternal does not by itself allow us to conclude that what it burns will fuel it forever. The student of the Bible will recall that Sodom and Gomorrah were completely destroyed by fire which came down from heaven. Those flames were already burning before they scorched the buildings and inhabitants of the cities. The infamous lake of fire of was likewise burning before anything was thrown into it. Jesus’ reference to the eternal fire, therefore, fails to support by itself the traditionalist view.
The Lord himself is frequently referred to as a consuming fire.5 What fire could be more eternal than the consuming fire that is God himself? And what does this eternal consuming fire do to his enemies? Slaughters them, as he did to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah—which we’ll come back to momentarily.
If the phrase eternal fire had appeared in a vacuum, then this verse would not by itself support Jaros’ position against mine nor vice versa. But it does not appear in a vacuum. The word translated hell in this verse is again Gehenna and, as we have already seen, Gehenna is a place of slaughter where scavenging beasts and birds cannot be frightened away from fully consuming dead carrion, likened unto a funeral pyre for burning up corpses. This is then what eternal fire does: it slaughters and destroys.
So once again Jaros’ own citations work against him, with the text proving to be better support for conditionalism and the final annihilation of the wicked than for their eternal suffering.

But now we come to what one friend of Rethinking Hell referred to as one of the “big three”:6

“Then he will also say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels!’ … These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Having to rely once again upon an educated guess as to why Jaros thinks these verses support his position, I believe it is because the fire and punishment are called eternal and because of the reference to the devil who is seen tormented eternally in the imagery of . But as we have already seen, elsewhere Jesus uses the phrase eternal fire to refer to that fire which completely destroys. (And we will see this again when we examine the next text Jaros cites.) And while we’ll take a look shortly at the eternal torment of the devil in Revelation, Jesus’ use of eternal fire elsewhere is what should inform our understanding of its use here.
But what of the phrase “eternal punishment”? The only thing this tells us is that the duration of the punishment will be eternal. It does not tell us what the nature of that punishment will be. It certainly could refer to an everlasting process of punishing, but it could also refer to the everlasting punishment of irreversible death that annihilation amounts to. After all, as St. Augustine noted, the duration of capital punishment is measured not in the moments it takes to die but in its consequent lifelessness.7 Hence, even the infamous traditionalist Jonathan Edwards wrote that annihilation qualifies as an eternal punishment.8
So the fact that Jesus says the unsaved will go into eternal punishment does not favor Jaros’ position over against mine. Quite the contrary, since Jesus also refers to this punishment as eternal fire in this passage, a phrase he elsewhere uses to refer to fire which slaughters and destroys, this text if anything favors conditionalism. (For more, see my article, “‘Punishment’ and the Polysemy of Deverbal Nouns.”)

… just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

This is another text which baffles conditionalists when traditionalists cite it. As was the case with his citation of and 25:41, I can only assume that Jaros thinks eternal fire must refer to a fire which eternally burns the unsaved. Yet here Jude uses it to refer to the fire which came down from heaven and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah; thus the reference in which tells that Sodom and Gomorrah were reduced to ashes. And Jude says the destruction of the cities by fire serves as an example of what awaits the wicked, using the Greek word deigma which refers to a specimen of something, not a prefigure or type. Besides, in Jaros’ metaphorical view of hell the antitype that is hell—being neither brief nor involving fire—is in no way like the type that was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
So once more Jaros shoots himself in the proverbial foot by citing as if it supports the eternal suffering of the risen wicked, when in fact it demonstrates that eternal fire as used in and 25:41 refers to fire that completely destroys, as it did Sodom and Gomorrah whose fiery destruction serves as a specimen of what awaits the unsaved.

Another of the “big three” traditionalist proof-texts:

Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

So here Jaros has a text which, unlike all the other texts he cites, does appear on the surface to say that the unsaved will be tormented forever. Sure, it only says the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, but if that smoke rises forever, then surely what it rises from—their torment—must go on forever, right? Yet this is symbolic imagery. The ten horns and seven heads of the beast, for example, are interpreted by the angel as symbolizing hills and kings. So then we must ask ourselves what the imagery of smoke forever rising from torment communicates? And we must answer the question with the utmost of care, rather than read the text at face value.
In the imagery of the harlot Mystery Babylon is tormented as well,9 but as for the city she represents the interpreting angel has this to say in : “Babylon, the great city, [will] be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.” And at the beginning of the next chapter, smoke rises forever from the harlot, just like it does from the beast-worshippers of . So the imagery of smoke rising forever from the torment of the harlot symbolizes the permanent destruction of the city the harlot represents.
In fact, this language of “not found any longer” comes straight from , whose prophecy concerns the destruction of the city of Tyre: “You will not be inhabited … you will be no more; though you will be sought, you will never be found again.”10 And the ever rising smoke in both and 19 comes straight from describing the destruction of the city of Edom: “It will not be quenched night or day; Its smoke will go up forever.”
Now nobody thinks Edom will literally burn forever, that smoke will actually rise from its remains throughout eternity. The imagery of smoke rising forever communicates the permanency of Edom’s destruction and that of the city represented by the harlot, Mystery Babylon. Therefore, the smoke of the torment of the beast-worshippers rising forever is imagery communicating their permanent destruction.
And so we see that yet another of the texts cited by Jaros, and believed by his fellow traditionalists to be one of the most persuasive evidences in support of eternal conscious torment in hell, ends up favoring annihilation when it is looked at even a little more closely than when one takes it at face value—which, of course, is precisely what one must do with highly symbolic, vivid apocalyptic imagery.

This is perhaps the biggest of the “big three,” and its surrounding verses read:

And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The imagery here depicts the devil, beast, and false prophet “tormented day and night forever and ever”—the latter two having begun their torment a thousand years earlier—after which unbelievers are raised and thrown into the fire. And I suppose it’s somewhat natural to take it at face value, in isolation from the rest of the Bible, ignoring that this is apocalyptic symbolism, and come away thinking it supports eternal torment. I certainly used to.
Well we’ve already seen how Revelation uses the imagery of the harlot’s torment to communicate the permanent destruction of the city she represents. The eternal torment of the devil, beast and false prophet is likewise symbolism communicating their permanent destruction.
This is why the beast is seen thrown into the fire. John’s readers would have immediately recognized it as the fourth beast of with characteristics of the previous three beasts, imagery foretelling the same events as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue in . Taken at face value the images contradict one another. The statue is shattered to pieces. Daniel’s beast is killed and its body destroyed in a river of fire, while John’s beast is thrown alive into a lake of fire and tormented eternally. But for Daniel’s visions the angel interprets the fate of the beast or the statue as communicating the permanent end to the dominion of the kingdom it represents, succeeded by the kingdom of the reigning saints—a kingdom which John also sees, immediately after the beast is thrown into the fire, further supporting that the same events are being foretold in the imagery.
John also sees death and Hades thrown into the fire. Yet death and Hades are abstractions, incapable in reality of being tormented to begin with. And if we suppose that they aren’t tormented given that John does not mention their torment, then we must also suppose that the risen wicked aren’t tormented and for the same reason. But these abstractions, death and Hades, can and will come to an end. There’s a reason we call it the intermediate state. And in Paul says death will be abolished, a word meaning “to make completely ineffectual.” Death is rendered ineffectual insofar as no one will experience it ever again; it cannot continue to exist powerlessly, having thus come to an end.
You see, the lake of fire can be treated consistently within Revelation and Daniel only if we accept that eternal torment symbolizes in the imagery a permanent end in reality. Death and Hades come to a permanent end. The beast’s dominion comes to a permanent end. Consistent application of the imagery demands that the same be true of the devil and the risen wicked: they likewise come to a permanent end. And this really should come as no surprise, since both John and God himself interpret the lake of fire imagery for us in and 21:8, respectively. We are told that it symbolizes “the second death.” Whereas the first death is temporary, insofar as it is reversed at the general resurrection, the second death is permanent. (For more on this, see my articles, “Consistency in Preterism: Annihilation and Revelation 20:10,” and, “Traditionalism and the (Not So) Second Death.”)
So these two passages in Revelation serve as support for the traditional view of hell only if one reads them at face value, which is precisely what we shouldn’t do with apocalyptic text. On the other hand, when we treat the imagery consistently, taking into account the interpretive explanations and clues offered to us in the text itself, this imagery proves to better support the final annihilation of the risen wicked rather than their eternal torment.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Why Jaros thinks this text supports his position is beyond me, given that we are told within the text itself that this symbolizes the second death of the unsaved. But doesn’t this verse nevertheless depict the wicked continuing to exist and sin after judgment?
No, it does not. In fact, it doesn’t portray any wicked people at all. It depicts the one on the throne speaking to John from the imagery, telling him who in John’s future will experience that which is communicated by the imagery. In other words, from within symbols portraying the future God tells John who will end up in that fiery lake. After all, he just promised in that those who overcome will inherit these good things previously described, the same promise he told John to pass along to the church of Ephesus prior to this.11 So then contrasts that promise to the faithful with the doom awaiting the unfaithful: those who remain wicked in the present will in the future be consigned to the second death. (For more, see my article, “No Penitent in Hell: A [Reformed] Response to D. A. Carson.”)
Lazarus and the rich man
Thus we have seen that none of the texts Jaros cites support his view, and nearly all of them actually favor conditionalism. But Jaros doesn’t end his list there:

is perhaps the most detailed account of hell. It is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Jesus’s teaching here is that all men have enough knowledge accessible (the Law and the Prophet) [sic] to be held accountable for their eternal residence. Interestingly enough, the rich man is in Hades is conscious, [sic] and is holding conversation [sic] (contrary to what we might think happens when we are in excruciating pain) with Abraham, who is in paradise.

On the one hand, I honestly don’t want to be rude or insulting. On the other hand, the obligatory citation of Lazarus and the rich man by traditionalists frustrates me to no end. One would think that by now I wouldn’t be surprised when traditionalists point to this passage, and yet, despite how frequently I’ve seen them do so in the past year and a half during which I became convinced of conditional immortality, I find myself surprised to this day.
Quite simply, this text is practically irrelevant, for it’s not talking about final punishment at all. The rich man and Lazarus are dead and buried; the rich man is in Hades which, as we’ve seen, is not the place of final punishment at all, but the so-called “intermediate state” from which the wicked will one day rise to judgment; and the rich man’s brothers are still alive. But Hades will, as we saw previously, give up its dead and itself be thrown empty into the lake of fire (in the imagery of Revelation). This text simply tells us nothing about the nature of final punishment. (For more, see my article, “Lazarus and the Rich Man: It’s Not About Final Punishment.”)

Eternal Destruction

Having failed to offer compelling evidence for his understanding of hell as a place of eternal conscious separation from God—and having offered a ton of evidence in support of annihilationism!—Jaros moves on to his second section titled “Eternal Destruction.” He writes,

Annihilationism doesn’t make sense of the biblical data or seem consistent with our knowledge of the character of God.

We have seen, so far, that annihilationism actually makes better sense of the biblical data. As for Jaros’ claim that it is inconsistent with God’s character, he offers no substantiation of that claim, either exegetical, theological or philosophical. As such, there is no argument here to which I may respond, although many conditionalists would argue that the permanent annihilation of the unsaved is more consistent with the character of God than the traditional view which has them suffering for eternity. Personally, I don’t make that argument. But it’s worth noting that many do.
Jaros goes on:

Verses used to support annihilationism such as and don’t refer to the cessation of existence, but rather the wasting of a thing (the same word is used in but refers not to the cessation of existence).

Sometimes the word rendered destruction in refers to a waste of sorts, but that’s certainly not the final definition of the word. In , where it refers to a person—unlike the example Jaros gives of its use in —it refers to his death. The word apollymi12 belongs to the same word group and, with no demonstrable exception, everywhere it is used in the synoptic gospels to describe what one person does to another it means to slay or kill,13 and it refers to death in , , , and Jude and 11. One cannot just pick and choose one’s desired meaning from a word’s semantic range and assume it in anywhere it appears.
That said, is not a text that I would myself cite in favor of conditionalism. I fail to see anything in the context that would lend it to my view over Jaros’ (or vice versa). , on the other hand—the passage I assume Jaros meant to cite, and instead of 7 since the latter doesn’t use the word destruction—is a different story. Sodom and Gomorrah and their inhabitants were not wasted; they were completely destroyed, slaughtered by fire, reduced to ashes—in Peter’s own words! And Peter goes on to say that they were so destroyed as an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter, just as Jude does in Peter’s parallel.
Alternatively, perhaps Jaros intended to cite , which tells us that “by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” Again, the word rendered “destruction” does not refer to wasting. Peter uses it in the immediately preceding verse, saying, “the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.” Note the parallel between the two verses: refers to the heavens and the earth, followed by ungodly men; likewise refers to the heavens and the earth, followed by the world. The world that was destroyed with water, then, being the parallel to the ungodly men destroyed by fire, are the people who were destroyed by the flood. They were killed, not wasted, just as ungodly men will one day be killed by fire.
You see, the question isn’t whether destruction refers to a cessation of existence or not. Conditionalists believe that the unsaved will rise from the dead to be judged and sentenced to execution. The slaying of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah and the reduction of those cities to ashes, therefore, serves as the perfect example of what conditionalists believe awaits the wicked.
Jaros goes on:

and are also used in support, but it seems the conclusion must be presupposed to gather that Paul is referring to the ceasing of existence.

Again, I would not myself cite as support for annihilationism, but is powerful support for it. Consider that in the preceding verse—or verses, depending on the translation—Paul says Jesus will be revealed “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance.” As traditionalist G. K. Beale points out, “ [is] the only place in the Old Testament where this combination of terms is found,”14 and both passages talk about God rendering recompense to the saints’ oppressors. is a picture of God violently slaying his enemies, reducing them to rotting, smoldering corpses. This is the everlasting destruction that Paul says awaits the wicked: being destroyed and rendered lifeless, never to live again.
Jaros concludes his case against annihilationism, writing,

Aside from the biblical data, annihilationists must show they have a full understanding of the severity of sin. Annihilationists believe that the soul ceases to exist. But how do we really know that annihilatoinism [sic] will be a punishment that fits the crime? It seems that very evil men like Hitler and Stalin will get off the hook here, and perhaps men who were unrepentant, but not sinful to such an extreme (perhaps like Ghandi) would be given a punishment they didn’t deserve. This one-size-fits-all punishment also seems to deny Paul’s words that God will judge “each man according to his deeds” ().

Capital punishment is the penalty reserved for the most heinous of crimes. As the ultimate realization of capital punishment, annihilation clearly accounts for the severity of sin. In fact, for that reason an argument could be made that conditionalists view sin as more severe than do traditionalists. Many atheists are terrified of death, and first century Greeks were more terrified of annihilation than they were of eternal torment.15 As such, annihilation is a just punishment for sins committed against the perfectly holy God.
But what of degrees of punishment? How can annihilation account for differences in degree between the sinfulness of one person and another? Aren’t there passages which talk about different degrees of punishment? Well it does seem like there are, but they don’t really tell us how those different degrees of punishment will play out in hell. The Hebrews and other middle eastern cultures cared deeply about their legacy, how they would be remembered after their death. Even for many of us, in cultures where honor and shame are not as important, we still care about how we are remembered. So perhaps degrees of punishment are accounted for by differing degrees of shame left behind in the wake of one’s final death.
But even if we really think that degrees of punishment can only be accounted for by differences in suffering, conditional immortality is still compatible with that. God can execute a sinner in hell using any one of an infinite number of combinations of intensities and types of suffering. A criminal’s execution by lethal injection is, for example, relatively painless, whereas the electric chair is quite violent. I’m not suggesting that God will use lethal injection or the electric chair in the end, but I am saying that the means by which one sinner is executed may be much less painful than the means by which Hitler will be. Thus, Jaros’ objection simply holds no water.

Conclusion

Jaros’ third section discusses universalism, and so I won’t comment on it here. He concludes his essay, however, with the following:

For these reasons, I believe eternal conscious punishment is the best view that fits with the biblical data both explicitly and implicitly (meaning, compatibility with our biblical knowledge of the character of God).

Jaros introduced his essay by pointing to a passage which strongly implies that the wicked will not receive eternal life, and will instead perish. Of the texts he cited in support of his view of hell as a place of eternal, conscious separation from God, all but two of them proved to better support the final annihilation of the wicked, and the two which remain have nothing to do with final punishment in the first place. Jaros claimed that annihilationism is inconsistent with the character of God and doesn’t account for the severity of sin or for degrees of punishment, claims which do not hold up under scrutiny. And when he very briefly addresses passages indicating that the risen wicked will face capital punishment by means of violent execution, he dismisses them by arbitrarily selecting one particular meaning of a Greek word from its semantic range and applying it where it doesn’t fit the context.
As I became increasingly convinced of conditional immortality over the past year and a half or so, I’ve often said that two things more than any other convinced me of its truthfulness. Although I respect Jaros, and am confident that when it comes to other areas of doctrine he is a sound exegete, his essay on the topic of hell serves as a clear example of those two things that so powerfully convinced me of the view I now hold. First, with virtually no exception, all of the proof-texts traditionalists typically cite in support of their position are, in fact, far better evidence for the final annihilation of the wicked. Second, the challenges traditionalists typically raise against conditionalism tend to be, well, rather bad. (For more such bad arguments, listen to episode 8 of the Rethinking Hell podcast, “A Message to Traditionalists from Glenn Peoples.”)
I fought tooth and nail to remain a traditionalist. I spent much time in prayer, pleading with God that if the traditional view of hell (or a variation thereof, like Jaros’) is the biblical one then please reveal that to me. I am deeply committed to the authority and infallibility of the scriptures and as such I must believe what it clearly teaches. And today I believe there are fewer doctrines taught more clearly in the Bible than that of the annihilation of the risen wicked. I encourage you, the reader, to take a closer look at the relevant texts, taking context, genre, and background into consideration and trying as best you can to not assume that the traditional interpretation of those texts is the correct one. I’m confident that, if you do that, you too will see how clearly the Bible teaches conditional immortality.

  1. Dictionary and Word Search for hades (Strong’s 86).” Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012. []
  2. Jamieson, R. “Commentary on Luke 16.” Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. []
  3. The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of quench lists many more definitions consistent with putting out than dying out (quench, v. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, September 2007; online version September 2012; accessed 23 October 2012), and the Hebrew and Greek words translated as quench in the Bible are far more often used transitively (put out) than intransitively (die out). []
  4. Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for katakaiō (Strong’s 2618)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 22 Oct 2012. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2618&t=KJV. []
  5. See ; ; . []
  6. Date, C. (Host). (2012, September 18). “Episode 6: Erasing Hell with Preston Sprinkle.” Rethinking Hell

    . Retrieved 22 October 2012. http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/09/episode-6-erasing-hell-with-preston-sprinkle-part-2/. []
  7. St. Augustine (2011-10-04). The City of God – Enhanced (Kindle Locations 16804-16805). Kindle Edition. []
  8. Edwards, Jonathan. The Works of President Edwards: With a Memoir of His Life (G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1830), 401. []
  9. []
  10. []
  11. []
  12. Peoples, G. (2012, October 27). “The meaning of “apollumi” in the Synoptic Gospels.” Rethinking Hell [blog]. Retrieved 27 October 2012. http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/10/the-meaning-of-apollumi-in-the-synoptic-gospels. []
  13. , , []
  14. Beale, G. K. 1-2 Thessalonians, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (IVP Academic, 2010). 189. []
  15. Date, C. (2012, July 12). “Wind Out of the Sails: A Response to Greg Koukl.” Rethinking Hell [blog]. Retrieved 22 October 2012. http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/07/wind-out-of-the-sails-a-response-to-greg-koukl. []

In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.

25 So he poured on him the heat of his anger
and the might of battle;
it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;
it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold
shall be able to deliver them
on the day of the wrath of the Lord.
In the fire of his jealousy,
all the earth shall be consumed;
for a full and sudden end
he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

John 10:26-30

26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

30 But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 5:22

22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Matthew 5:29-30

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Matthew 8:12

12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13:41-42

41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:50

50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 18:8-9

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

Matthew 25:41

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:46

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

Revelation 20:15

15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8

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.”

30 But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

31 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

31 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

47 Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it.

27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.’”

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.

22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Matthew 5:29-30

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere.

33 For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:50

50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

4:1  “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 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.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.

24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 9:3

Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the Lord your God. He will destroy them and subdue them before you. So you shall drive them out and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

29 for our God is a consuming fire.

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:46

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 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.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.

if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
She has become a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
For all nations have drunk
the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
and repay her double for her deeds;
mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see.’
For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
death and mourning and famine,
and she will be burned up with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas! Alas! You great city,
you mighty city, Babylon!
For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.

14 “The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
are lost to you,
never to be found again!”

15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

16 “Alas, alas, for the great city
that was clothed in fine linen,
in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,
with jewels, and with pearls!
17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”

And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

“What city was like the great city?”

19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

“Alas, alas, for the great city
where all who had ships at sea
grew rich by her wealth!
For in a single hour she has been laid waste.
20 Rejoice over her, O heaven,
and you saints and apostles and prophets,
for God has given judgment for you against her!”

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;
22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
will be heard in you no more,
and a craftsman of any craft
will be found in you no more,
and the sound of the mill
will be heard in you no more,
23 and the light of a lamp
will shine in you no more,
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
will be heard in you no more,
for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slain on earth.”

As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see.’

Revelation 18:10

10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas! Alas! You great city,
you mighty city, Babylon!
For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

Revelation 18:15

15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;

14:1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

26:1 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,’ therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. And she shall become plunder for the nations, and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10 His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. 11 With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. 13 And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord; I have spoken, declares the Lord God.

15 “Thus says the Lord God to Tyre: Will not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when slaughter is made in your midst? 16 Then all the princes of the sea will step down from their thrones and remove their robes and strip off their embroidered garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground and tremble every moment and be appalled at you. 17 And they will raise a lamentation over you and say to you,

“‘How you have perished,
you who were inhabited from the seas,
O city renowned,
who was mighty on the sea;
she and her inhabitants imposed their terror
on all her inhabitants!
18 Now the coastlands tremble
on the day of your fall,
and the coastlands that are on the sea
are dismayed at your passing.’

19 “For thus says the Lord God: When I make you a city laid waste, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you, and the great waters cover you, 20 then I will make you go down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the world below, among ruins from of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set beauty in the land of the living. 21 I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord God.”

20 then I will make you go down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the world below, among ruins from of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set beauty in the land of the living. 21 I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord God.”

14:1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch,
and her soil into sulfur;
her land shall become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;
its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
none shall pass through it forever and ever.

15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

“As I looked,

thrones were placed,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
its wheels were burning fire.
10 A stream of fire issued
and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened.

11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. 16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

19 “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
24 As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
25 He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
26 But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
27 And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’

28 “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”

2:1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.” The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm— if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22 he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.
23 To you, O God of my fathers,
I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”

24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.” 26 The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: 29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. 30 But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.

31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. 47 The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

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.”

The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked

And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?

19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

16 I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him.

And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

Matthew 12:14

14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

Matthew 21:41

41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

Matthew 22:7

The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Matthew 27:20

20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.

The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Mark 9:22

22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Mark 11:18

18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.

Mark 12:9

What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.

27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Luke 17:29

29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—

Luke 19:47

47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him,

Luke 20:16

16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!”

37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered.

We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,

19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

15 “For behold, the Lord will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.

66:1 Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.

“He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man;
he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood;
he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
and their soul delights in their abominations;
I also will choose harsh treatment for them
and bring their fears upon them,
because when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke, they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my eyes
and chose that in which I did not delight.”

Hear the word of the Lord,
you who tremble at his word:
“Your brothers who hate you
and cast you out for my name’s sake
have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified,
that we may see your joy’;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.

“The sound of an uproar from the city!
A sound from the temple!
The sound of the Lord,
rendering recompense to his enemies!

“Before she was in labor
she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her
she delivered a son.
Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor
she brought forth her children.
Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”
says the Lord;
“shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”
says your God.

10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her;
11 that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from her glorious abundance.”

12 For thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,
and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.

15 “For behold, the Lord will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment,
and by his sword, with all flesh;
and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord.

18 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord.

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

He will render to each one according to his works: