It is often the case when discussing matters of eschatology that a variety of terms will be used to argue for one’s position. Subtle nuances drive the need for additional terms, and our position of conditional immortality (“conditionalism”) is no exception. The primary reason that we prefer that term over “annihilationism” is that the study of eschatology involves much more than a narrow focus on what happens to the risen lost. While it is certainly true that the majority of our effort is often spent arguing for the annihilation of the risen lost, that’s not the full scope of what conditional immortality is.
With that in mind, I would like to offer a biblical case for the compatibility of conditionalism and what is often called “new creation” (NC) theology. For my purposes here, I will define that as the belief that the new heavens and new earth mentioned in Isaiah, 2 Peter and Revelation refers not to some other plane of existence where we will dwell after this world is destroyed, but rather to this world fully redeemed (even if possibly recreated), in which risen humanity will dwell with God, enveloped by His glorious, manifest presence—the final realization of God’s purposes for creation.

While many non-conditionalists agree with this much, it does arguably entail a number of elements that some may reject, so I will make them explicit from the outset. NC theology is most compatible with a conditionalist reading of Scripture, and taken together they imply the following:

  • The risen lost and saved alike will physically rise from the dead, on earth, to be judged by God.
  • The manifest glory of God will fill the earth during and after this Judgment.
  • Those in Christ will partake of this divine nature in a glorified state, never to die again.
  • Those not in Christ will be undone by God’s presence and for their sins will be put to death, never to rise again.

As such, according to NC theology and conditionalism taken together, heaven and hell are not so much different geographic locations as they are different encounters with the divine nature. For those in their sins, the fear of death will grip them, and the presence of God will destroy them. Once the risen lost are destroyed with fire (2 Pet 3:7), God will be “all in all” (1 Cor 15:28), giving His saints their inheritance of immortality (1 Cor 15:51-55), and then death shall be no more (Rev 21:4).

Sin in the Presence of God

These concepts are not mere speculation or clever crafting of imagery; they are well-supported throughout Scripture and extra-biblical literature. For example, gives us the contrast between a person in sin, and one whose sins are cleansed in the presence of God:

  1. In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
  2. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
  3. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!
  4. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
  5. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!
  6. Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
  7. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.
  8. And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.

What we see in this passage is Isaiah being brought into the presence of God. Beginning in , God displays His power by shaking the whole place with His voice, as it fills with smoke. Isaiah, understanding that he is a sinner, has a telling realization in : “Woe is me! For I am lost…for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” It is in this moment that we have the clearest example in all of Scripture of the response of a sinner once they encounter God’s presence: fear of death.
The presence of God causes even the seraphim to cover their faces (v. 2). This veiling of God’s presence is reminiscent of God covering Moses in part from His presence as he passed by (Exod 33:22). Isaiah, however, does not experience God’s glory in part, as Moses did—nor is he shielded from it, as the seraphim are—but is fully exposed, and completely vulnerable. Knowing his sin and seeing God’s holiness, Isaiah becomes overwhelmed with a fear of death. So while both of these cases is an experience of God’s presence, it is Isaiah’s experience that is portrayed as a face-to-face encounter, where he fears impending judgment, for he declares, “my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!
It is not until the seraphim touches the coal to Isaiah’s lips, cleansing him, that this fear subsides (v. 6–7). We then see the contrast sharply in the following verse: whereas Isaiah beforehand feared death, once cleansed of his sin he is emboldened in the presence of God. This is remarkable, as just a moment ago he was in fear of his complete destruction, yet he now boldly proclaims, “Here am I! Send me” (v. 8). The significance of this detail may easily be overlooked, but Isaiah’s boldness here is not normative behavior throughout Scripture for a prophet. An overwhelming majority of all those called by God throughout Scripture offer reluctance and excuses, rather than eager participation. However, Isaiah, able to approach the majestic King in a purified state, volunteers to go as God’s prophet.
In the commissioning of Isaiah, then, we see both the potentially destructive power of God’s presence in , as well as the enlivening power of God’s presence in . The cause of Isaiah’s transformation was not a change in location or proximity; he was not sent to a different place, or separated from God’s presence. According to , It was a change in relationship, resulting from God cleansing Isaiah of his sins.
Just like the Passover, when the presence of God sweeps through Egypt, only those who are covered by the blood of the lamb do not fear destruction. So, too, do those covered by the blood of Christ fear no destruction from the presence of God upon judgment. This concept is not unique to Isaiah, though, as –3 states:

  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.
  2. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
  3. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

This passage reveals to us a few important things. In , we are given a clear picture of the fate of the wicked: they will be destroyed by fire. This common imagery of burning stubble—or dead and discarded vegetation—is carried into the New Testament, and is one of Jesus’ more frequent illustrations of the fate of the risen lost (Matt 3:12, 13:30, 40–42; Luke 3:17). Jesus likewise warns His followers to discard that which may cause them to sin and similarly be committed to the flames (Matt 5:30, 8:18; Mark 9:43). This is contrasted in verse two with the fate of the righteous, those who fear God’s name, whom the “sun of righteousness” will rise upon to heal. The context suggests that the “sun” mentioned in is in fact God Himself (cf. Ps 84:11), as indicated both by the following verse referring to God’s action, and the fact that this is an eschatological event. also presents us with a point of significance: the proximity of the righteous and wicked. Upon the destruction of the wicked, the righteous will tread upon their ashes. This conflicts with the usual theological musings of heaven and hell as separate spheres of existence in the hereafter, instead indicating that they are part of the same location. So, we can reasonably infer the following:

  • The fate of the risen lost is destruction (v. 1).
  • The fate of the risen righteous is bliss (v. 2).
  • The righteous will be in close proximity with the destroyed wicked (v. 3).
  • The presence of God (the “sun of righteousness”) is the source of destruction for the wicked, and healing for the righteous.

Jesus confirms this teaching when he explains the Parable of the Weeds in :

  1. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
  2. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,
  3. and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  4. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Jesus uses almost identical language as Malachi in his explanation here. The wicked are burned with fire, and afterwards righteousness will “shine” for God’s people. His teaching in essence is the same doctrine as , and both serve as prophetic confirmation of Isaiah’s different responses to God’s presence in . Just as sinful Isaiah feared being undone (Isa 6:5), so it will actually be for the wicked according to Malachi (4:1, cf. ). Just as forgiven Isaiah was emboldened and encouraged by the Lord’s presence, so it will be for the righteous according to Malachi (4:2, cf. ). Isaiah’s two very different responses to the same presence of God typify what we see on the day when God acts: the “sun of righteousness” heals God’s people and burns up God’s enemies as chaff.
This interpretation is not novel, but has appeared throughout history. One such example is from the Babylonian Talmud—a piece of Jewish teaching from around the 5th century AD—which provides vivid imagery that echoes many of the passages discussed above. In language derived from , this historical example from within the Judeo-Christian tradition conveys the idea that God Himself is the source of both the destruction of the wicked and of the healing of the righteous:

R. Simeon b. Lakish says: There is no Gehenna in the Future World, but the Holy One, blessed be He, brings the sun out of its sheath, so that it is fierce: the wicked are punished by it, the righteous are healed by it. The wicked are punished by it, as it is said: For, behold, the day cometh, it burneth as a furnace; and all the proud, and all that work wickedness, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall set them ablaze, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. It shall leave them neither root—in this world, nor branch–in the world to come. The righteous are healed by it, as it is said, But unto you that fear My name, shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings. Moreover, they will revel therein, as it is said, And ye shall go forth, and gambol as calves of the stall.1

Relevance to Conditionalism

One may read all of the above and agree with it in its entirety, but still ask the famed question, “So what?” In the spirit of answering such curiosity, I will now show how NC theology fits into the standard arguments for conditionalism.
To start, we must examine the primary passage which teaches the division of the righteous and the wicked at the final judgment. This is espoused by Jesus in –33:

  1. When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
  2. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
  3. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

Those who follow the shepherd (the “sheep”) will be placed on God’s right side, and those who reject the shepherd (the “goats”) will be placed on God’s left. Once these two groups are divided, each are judged. The righteous are judged in and 40:

  1. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’
  1. And the King will answer them [the sheep], ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

The unrighteous are judged in –46:

  1. Then he will answer them [the goats], saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
  2. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

We see all of humanity in God’s presence at the judgment. They are divided into two groups, from where they will receive their just deserts. To those on His right He grants eternal life, while those on His left He condemns to eternal punishment.2
Here, Jesus’ words describe a separation of the nations as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. This pastoral example is telling; in order to separate wolves from sheep, there must be wolves among the sheep. They are located together on the day of judgment, while the process of judgment separates the groups to either side of God, and issues their just reward or punishment. With this image of the Last Day, and fit well together. We are given a picture of the general resurrection, where the nations are divided (), a judgment is pronounced consisting of consuming fire for the wicked and joyful healing for the redeemed coming from God’s presence (; ). The result of the judgment is carried out in the destruction of the wicked, trampled under the feet, as it were, of the glorified in Christ (; ).
This final, positive stage in the sequence is commensurate with the age to come—the new creation. As so puts it, we look forward to “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells,” following the destructive fire to appear on the “day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” ().
Another important passage to examine in this connection is that of Paul’s words in , where he writes:

  1. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—
  2. since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
  3. and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
  4. in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
  5. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
  6. when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

In this passage, we are told of Christ’s coming in judgment of this world. God is just, so will punish those who afflict his people (v. 6), and He will do this as he is revealed “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance” on the enemies of God (v. 8). As such, the wicked will suffer “the punishment of eternal destruction” that comes from the presence of the Lord.
Astute readers may notice that the above rendering utilizes the ESV’s footnoted alternative (“punishment…that comes from the presence of the Lord”) as opposed to “punishment…away from the presence of the Lord.” While the Greek preposition (ἀπó) is the word for “from,” the translators have suggested “away from,” which it can also mean on rare occasion, when context dictates. In the case of , however, no such context presents itself. The word actually appears twice in this verse, but while in the first instance the ESV adds the word “away” (“away from the presence of the Lord”), in the second instance it does not (“and from the glory of his might”). Even on the surface this seems inconsistent, as it is reasonable to assume that if context warranted ἀπó be translated “away from” with regards to God’s presence, indicating separation, then it would also warrant a translation of “and away from the glory of his might.” The translation of ἀπó as “away from” is unique to this passage for translations like the ESV, while for many others, like the KJV, NKJV, and HCSB, the translation does not have the additional wording. This debate has already been captured well in articles here on Rethinking Hell, so I won’t give an exhaustive treatment here.3 Suffice it to say that the case for understanding ἀπó as a locative statement—“away from”—instead of a causal statement—“from”—for this passage is a weak one. On this point, even traditionalist C. L. Quarles agrees:

The locative interpretation of ἀπo in is not as incontrovertible as some modern interpreters assume. The common adjectival force of the preposition, the OT background, and the parallels from both the NT and Pseudepigrapha lend strong support to the causal interpretation. The implications of the causal interpretation are significant for understanding the author’s eschatology. His view of divine wrath is active rather than passive. Eternal destruction does not consist of the Lord’s evacuation but of his confrontation with the unrepentant sinner. . . The exegetical evidence clearly stands in favor of the causal view as opposed to the separative view.4

With a causal reading of , we can see the text flowing logically. God comes in fire to destroy the wicked by the power of His presence, the same glorious form in which the people of God will worship Him. This verse provides better proof of conditionalism than it does traditionalism, just as it fits better with NC theology than it does the alternative view of a final dualistic heaven and hell; a combination of NC theology and conditionalism therefore draws out the clarity of this passage more so than any competing theological view.
Furthermore, a causal reading of can be supported by turning to the underlying Greek construction—ἀπὸ  προσώπου τοῦ κυρίου, “from the presence of the Lord”—as it appears elsewhere in the Bible, namely , which states, “…that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you.” In this passage, the exact same prepositional phrase is used, and the context is clear. The refreshment spoken of in comes from God’s healing presence. To suggest that a locative reading is normative for this construction would lead one to conclude that such redemptive refreshment would come from a place located away from the presence of the Lord. That doesn’t make any sense, and as such, we have a direct line of evidence suggesting a source reading of ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ κυρίου, giving us additional reason to reject a locative reading when it appears later in .
Lastly, builds upon the foundation laid above. Just as and illustrate the opposing fates of the risen wicked and righteous, so too does illustrate that it is the presence of God itself that punishes the wicked and draws the worship and praise of those in Christ.
The destructive power of God’s presence is further illustrated as God sitting on a throne of fire, where “A stream of fire issued, and came out from before him” (). This fits well in conjunction with Jesus’ teaching that “everyone will be salted with fire” (). John the Baptist—echoing the words of as he speaks of Jesus—says, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 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” (b-12). While much has been said of the phrase “unquenchable fire,”5 it is not far-fetched to take the biblical data regarding the final judgment and understand this fire as coming from God’s presence. In fact, when Jesus speaks of the final judgment scene in , indicates that He is talking about (so the “eternal fire” of His teaching may be associated with the fire flowing from God’s throne).  It may also be more satisfying to understand this fire as connected to God’s eternal presence, for those who insist that the unquenchable fire will never go out (though this question has been thoroughly addressed by others at Rethinking Hell). The Bible describes it as such in passages like and 12:29, and it fits the context of final judgment very well.
One final passage to examine is –10, which reads:

  1. 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,
  2. 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.

In stark contrast to being separated far away from God’s presence, this passage teaches us that the full force of God’s wrath will be poured out upon the unrighteous in the presence of the Lamb.6

Concluding Remarks

While eschatology will remain a complex field where debates get heated (no pun intended), for proponents of new creation theology, conditionalism has many appealing elements that complement it well. Similarly, those who hold to conditionalism may learn well from the great minds which have helped to shape a modern view of new creation theology, N. T. Wright and J. Richard Middleton among them. Each position takes seriously the biblical data, is heavily focused on the power of God’s manifest presence, and properly exalts God and gives Him glory. Though some of these concepts are difficult to process, it is my hope that this article can encourage readers to dig into Scripture and be edified in their faith as they see the power of God at work in shaping a new heavens and new earth, establishing justice by removing the unjust forever, and healing the just for eternal life.
 

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  1. Tractate Avodah Zarah 3b–4a. []
  2. Joseph Dear, “ Does Not Prove Eternal Torment—Part 1,” Rethinking Hell [blog], January 15, 2014, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2014/01/matthew-2546-does-not-prove-eternal-torment-part-1. []
  3. Peter Grice, “Annihilation in (Part 1): Destroyed by the Glory of His Manifest Presence,” Rethinking Hell [blog], November 14, 2016, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/11/annihilation-in-2-thessalonians-19-part-1-destroyed-by-the-glory-of-his-manifest-presence.
    Ronnie Demler and William Tanksley Jr., “Annihilation in (Part 2): Separation or Obliteration?—The Present Controversy,” Rethinking Hell [blog], December 5, 2015, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/12/annihilation-in-2-thess-1-9-part-2-separation-or-obliteration. []
  4. C. L. Quarles, “The ἀπὸ of 2 Thesslaonians 1:9 and the Nature of Eternal Punishment,” WTJ 59 (1997), 201–11. []
  5. Matthew 3:11–12 (cf. Luke 3:16–17) in Rethinking Hell’s EXPLORE section.
    Chris Date, “The Fire Is Not Quenched: Annihilation and ,” Rethinking Hell [blog], November 20, 2012, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/11/the-fire-is-not-quenched-annihilation-and-mark-948-part-2.
    Glenn Peoples, “What the Qal? Revisiting the Unquenched Fire,” Rethinking Hell [blog], June 14, 2013, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2013/06/what-the-qal-revisiting-the-unquenched-fire. []
  6. Joseph Dear, “A Primer on –11,” Rethinking Hell [blog], April 5, 2017, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2017/04/a-primer-on-revelation-149-11. []

6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

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.

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.

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 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. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

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. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10 Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
without inhabitant,
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
12 and the Lord removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remains
when it is felled.”
The holy seed is its stump.

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

43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

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. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

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

25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Matthew 25:33

33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

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.

Malachi 4:2

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:45

45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

Malachi 4:3

And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

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

3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 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, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 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 do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2 Peter 3:7

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.

1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

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

1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10 Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
without inhabitant,
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
12 and the Lord removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remains
when it is felled.”
The holy seed is its stump.

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. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

49 For everyone will be salted with fire.

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. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.

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.”

27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

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,

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,