One always unpleasant but ultimately necessary task that comes into play when discussing the nature of final punishment is digging into the specifics. Historically, Christian writers have not shied away from expounding on hell beyond just the basic question of whether hell is a place of eternal torment, annihilation, or temporary discipline that that leads to universal salvation. And this is the case today as much as ever, as more and more who hold the traditional view expound upon the specifics of it in a way that I argue makes it increasingly untenable (and less traditional).

Increasingly among evangelicals (though not only among evangelicals), hell is seen not as a place of eternal conscious burning, of the unsaved being tormented by fire and manifestations of God’s wrath, but as a place where the chief element of the suffering is sadness from being separated from God. The fire is seen as a metaphor. The torment is described as emotional and spiritual, not physical torture inflicted by God or his agents. An attempt is made to depart from the common pop culture trope of the eternal torture chamber.



For example, according to JP Moreland:

Well, for one thing, hell is not a torture chamber…God doesn’t torture people in hell.1

Frank Turek further elaborates on the idea of hell not being “torture” but rather passive, non-physical “torment.”

God Tortures People in Hell – No, the Bible never describes hell as “torture.” Hell is described as a “place of “torment,” which is the anguish one experiences being separated from God. And those in hell have made their choice and do not ask to get out.2

This distinction between the English words “torture” and “torment” is a fairly common refrain among advocates of the form of eternal conscious punishment in question – more on that below.3

Similarly, according to William Lane Craig:

I don’t think that hell is what is depicted in medieval paintings of torture racks and pictures of red hot irons and things of that sort. It seems to me that the essence of hell is what Paul describes in  [sic] when he says “they shall suffer the punishment of exclusion from the presence of the lord and from the glory of his might.’ And I think that is the anguish of hell, the separation from God, from all that is good and beautiful and lovely. To be left with one’s own crabbed and selfish heart forever; I think that is the essence of what hell is.4

I could not even attempt a guess as to what percentage of believers view hell this way. It may actually be very high, or it may just be overrepresented in certain circles. But based on the teachings of numerous apologists, high-profile preachers, and other important figures, it is at least common enough to be considered mainstream.5

I take issue with this view of hell for a number of reasons, both biblical and otherwise. Some of these reasons have been expounded upon here and there elsewhere at Rethinking Hell, so the following serves mainly as an overview that brings together the multiple reasons I find this view of hell especially weak, with numerous notes and references for further study (see below).

This Modern, Metaphorical View Isn’t Biblical

Needless to say, I don’t think the doctrine of eternal torment in any form is biblical. Nevertheless, this view of hell is especially problematic.

First of all, their isn’t much of a positive case for it to begin with. No passage actually spells out a fireless, metaphorical eternal conscious hell. No passage negates the idea of fire or physical torture. At most, passages believed to spell out eternal conscious hell do not go one way or another.

Even worse for this metaphorical view, a number of the passages commonly appealed to in order to demonstrate the doctrine of eternal conscious hell also explicitly speak of fire (e.g. , , ).678 Obviously, fire itself does not prove eternal conscious burning. After all, in nature, fire kills all living creatures and destroys many inanimate objects. In fact, one could argue eternal conscious burning in hell would involve a very strange fire indeed.9 But a doctrine is never helped when key passages needed to prove a doctrine (i.e. fireless eternal torment) also have elements that, on their face, contradict said doctrine (i.e. fire).

Appeals to “torment” instead of “torture” are also problematic because they aren’t based on anything in the actual Greek of the New Testament. Both are usually translations of the same word, basanizo. And even in English, although there can sometimes be different connotations they both mean largely the same thing. For this reason, even English translations use “torment” when describing the infliction of physical pain by an external agent. One example is where, whatever is ultimately meant by John’s vision, within the vision what John is told is that people will be tormented by fire (which means they are caused physical pain).

Speaking of , this single verse pulls together several biblical weaknesses with the modern, metaphorical view in one place. As noted above, is problematic because the “torment” is clearly physical pain, physical pain that is inflicted by an external agent out of wrath. Not only that, but it is caused by fire. Rather than a place of no fire and only non-physical “torment,” this passage pictures physical pain caused by fire.

And just to make matters even worse, at least in many translations, this torment (i.e. torture) with fire takes place in the presence of the Lamb (i.e Jesus)! Now, I understand that the Greek word enópios (“in the presence of”) is sometimes rendered “in sight of” or “before” in other passages, but in most contexts that still presumes some sort of presence. I suppose it is possible that the point is that Jesus and the angels are watching from far away, but that at best provides a possible out, not a real reason to actually doubt the presence of God.

Traditionalists of all stripes readily appeal to this passage to prove that hell is a place of eternal conscious suffering. But it seems rather inconsistent to cite a passage describing people being physically tortured by fire in the presence of God (or at least “in the sight of” God) to prove your belief that hell is place of fireless, non-physical emotional torment caused by the lack of God’s presence…

At the very least, someone who takes that non-literally is not in a position to out-of-hand dismiss annihilationist interpretations of this passage (and others) that rely on relevant symbolism and Old Testament background.10

Of the fire passages, is sometimes appealed to as evidence that hell is really just about separation from God. After all, Jesus tells the wicked to depart from him. However Jesus doesn’t just tell them to depart from him; rather, the very next words after “depart from me” are “into the eternal fire” (emphasis added).

It has also been said that hell was created for the devil and his angels and therefore, the fire must not be literal since spiritual beings would not be affected by fire.11 Admittedly, there is something to this. Physical fire ostensibly would not affect spirits. However, someone who believes that hell will consist of literal fire that was made to be able to affect spiritual beings, perhaps a special divine fire, could easily respond that doesn’t just say that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. It says that the fire itself was prepared for the devil and his angels! It isn’t as though the Bible mentions demons in one place and fire in a different context. It specifically says the demons will be subject to fire, and even that the the fire was specifically prepared for them.

To put into a nutshell, arguments used to show that hell is not fire are largely diminished by the fact that the verse describes hell as eternal fire.12

requires a moment of special attention. It is often appealed to because some translations imply an element of being away from the Lord. For example, in the NASB the passage reads, “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (emphasis added).13

However, two things should be noted. First of all, not all translations imply a sense of being apart from God. For example, the King James simply reads “…everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (emphasis added). There is reason to believe that the passage may not necessarily indicate a separation from God, but rather destruction coming from the presence of God as its source.

Secondly, even if it is correct to say the eternal destruction takes place “away from the presence of the Lord,” and this destruction is meant in a non-literal manner consistent with eternal torment (as opposed to actually meaning destruction), that does not mean there is no fire or physical torture involved. In fact, the prior verse spoke of Jesus coming in fire and flames, and dealing out retribution. Of course, this fact further calls into question the idea that separation is in view here at all, since Jesus himself is actively bringing the fire and vengeance that the wicked suffer. But even if there is separation in view, this supposed metaphorical hell passage still can’t get away from connecting hell with fire. And separation would be consistent with the Lord casting people away from himself and into a raging fire – just like talks about.14

Fire and Darkness Do Not Necessitate Metaphorical Fire

A common refrain of those who hold to firelless forms of hell is that the Bible speaks of hell as fire in some places and darkness in others. These two entities are incompatible, and therefore, we shouldn’t take the fire references literally. Instead, both fire and darkness should be seen as metaphors for emotional or otherwise non-physical realities.

However, this argument has a number of weaknesses. As Ronnie Demler of The Consuming Fire blog points out, fire and darkness can exist at the same time in the same general place. Just imagine a brush fire that burns at night. You see both fire and darkness in one area. It isn’t absolute darkness, but the Bible never says there is absolute darkness to begin with. There are also a number of different ways how hell could consist of fire that is not visible. These include supernatural fire or fire that is enveloped in thick smoke.

Perhaps of most significance is the fact that believers throughout millennia not only have believed that hell was literal fire, but they also have written specifically about how hell could consist of fire and darkness. It is not as though past believers failed to put together the problem of fire and darkness. They were aware of it and have already addressed it successfully.15

All Forms of Fireless Eternal Conscious Hell Fail to Make Sense in Light of Certain Biblical Descriptions

One problem with any form of hell that consists of eternal suffering but no fire is that the Bible, in several places, speaks of hell as not only fire, but also as fiery destruction. It speaks of the incineration of Sodom and Gomorrah being an example of what will happen to the wicked (). Jesus spoke of hell as a fiery furnace where people are burned (up) like tares (). paints judgment as a fire that burns the unsaved to ashes.16

On its face, these passages and others like them are great evidence of annihilationism. But at least a traditionalist who believes there is literal fire can say that hell is like these descriptions because there is fire, even if the unsaved don’t actually burn up. But how can being burned up to ashes be reasonable metaphor for a fate that involves no fire and also involves eternal conscious existence?17

It Is Historically Novel (Despite Its Adherents Still Appealing to Church History)

I have previously written at length about how, among those who believed in eternal torment throughout church history, the dominant view of eternal conscious hell was very much the fiery torture chamber that an increasing number of evangelicals are trying to distance themselves from today. Therefore, traditionalists who hold the fireless, tortureless view of hell that is in focus here go against the dominant view in church history. They are at odds with everyone from Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, medieval traditionalists like Thomas Aquinas and Peter Lombard, early church traditionalists like Tertullian of Carthage and Augustine of Hippo, and many, many more.18

Although I certainly don’t consider the church history aspect a dealbreaker – being a conditionalist puts you in a relatively small historical minority, after all – I do believe that the church history argument is the strongest argument traditionalists have (by far). This strongest argument for eternal conscious hell is lost when your own view of eternal torment varies so substantially from the bulk of believers throughout history.

Of course, this does not stop those who hold this non-traditional form of traditionalism from appealing to church history. For example, in his chapter on the afterlife in Reason for the Hope Within, Michael J. Murray, after reminding the reader that he has argued in his chapter that a view of “eternal physical torture” is “mistaken,” begins his conclusion with the following:

The Testimony of the Lord, the Scriptures, and the tradition of the Christian church speak almost with one voice in favor of the traditional doctrine of hell” (emphasis added).19

Murray is not alone in appealing to church history in advocating eternal torment while himself departing substantially from what traditionalists in the church have taught throughout most of church history.2021 But it’s hard to justify appealing to church history to support your view over an opposing view when your view itself is not consistent with church history.22

It Often Relies On A False Dilemma

This modern, metaphorical view of hell often relies on a false dilemma, especially when put forth by Christian apologists reaching out to unbelievers. The discussion is framed as though any hell of physical suffering inflicted by God and his agents (such as by burning people alive in literal fire) amounts not only to torture (which many past traditionalists openly said hell is), but torture done to give God a sadistic joy.2324

Obviously, I am no fan of eternal torment for many reasons, but I grant that the idea of eternal torture in hell has typically been based on it being done for justice, out of God’s just wrath against the unrepentant wicked. One does not have to view God as a sick and twisted deity who laughs at pain for its own sake to see eternal torment the way the vast majority of those who have believed in eternal torment have seen it.25 It is a false dilemma to say that eternal conscious hell must either be without any fire or active infliction of suffering by God or else God is a cruel sadist who tortures people unjustly because it makes him smile.

It is true that past traditionalists have expressed a belief that God and the redeemed would get joy out of seeing the wicked tortured in hell.262728 Traditionalists today who find that idea repulsive have all the more reason not to try to appeal to church history to convince people of their view…But even past traditionalists who took things that far weren’t rapists or serial killers who got sick pleasure from making other people suffer for no just reason. They believed that the physical, horrifying torment that God inflicted on the unsaved was the just and right punishment for the sins of the unrepentant. And praising God for justly avenging not only himself but also his people is a thoroughly biblical concept (even if eternal torture is anything but).2930

This View Softens Hell (Which We Conditionalists Are So Often Accused Of)

The fact that this view softens the narrative of hell that has traditionally been preached does not in and of itself bother me. If it is biblical then it is biblical. And it is not as though I had to be dragged away from the traditional view kicking and screaming because I just loved the idea of people being burned alive for ever and ever. While there are conditionalists who disagree, I do believe that being killed fully and completely (i.e. annihilation) is a less terrible fate than eternal torment (at least in most of its forms). It is still terrible, but less terrible.31

It just annoys me when those who hold this eternal but metaphorical view still see themselves as being just as much defenders of tradition and of the hard doctrine of hell as the traditionalists of old whose view was actually traditional.

They aren’t. And if you hold this view, then you aren’t. Charles Spurgeon openly mocked those who believed there was no literal fire in hell.32 Reformed theologian A.W. Pink even questioned their salvation.33 And historically, the view is novel (especially the more passive, “separation from God” model of fireless hell). You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

I am aware that some who hold to a fireless, tortureless eternal conscious hell will say their view is even worse than being burned alive.34 But to me, that largely comes across as lip service. I’m not saying that I think that anyone is intentionally lying, but that it is something people feel compelled to say so that they can still be part of the club and not be like those people who simply aren’t tough enough to accept the hard truth and who therefore deny eternal conscious punishment entirely.

It is reasoned that hell just simply has to be as absolutely horrible as is absolutely possible. So, although humans are simply not wired to imagine abstract despair with the same level of primal, instinctual fear and horror as the thought of incredible physical pain that goes on for ever and ever (and being burned alive is probably the worst physical pain one can imagine), it just simply has to be the case that the abstract despair of this modern version of hell is still just as bad or, for good measure, worse.

I just don’t think most people of any belief really internalize the claim that hell as envisioned by many today is as terrifying as the hell of old and truly believe this claim deep down. It seems more the case that those who hold such a belief deduce that logically it should be the case, and therefore choose to accept it. It certainly isn’t intuitive, and it is based on assumptions about abstract concepts (the Bible certainly never lays it out).

The eagerness of apologists to put forth their belief that hell is not a torture chamber is not consistent with a belief that hell is actually worse than a torture chamber. Trying to make God’s role in hell less active doesn’t solve the problem of hell, since God is sovereign over all creation and must therefore at least allow what happens in hell to happen. So what is the point of appealing to unbelievers who think an eternal torture chamber is too harsh if your view is really and truly that hell is worse than an eternal torture chamber?

Like I said before, I freely admit that I believe my own hell is not as hard as what has traditionally been believed. I’m not concerned about softening hell because I am convinced that the “softer” view of evangelical conditionalism is biblical and therefore true. But if the thought of softening hell does give you pause, then can you honestly tell me, if you really think about it, that the modern, metaphorical view of hell is not softer than what has traditionally been believed?

Concluding Thoughts

I am somewhat surprised that this view of hell has become as common as it is among otherwise conservative traditionalists. Many of the reasons people have for objecting to conditionalism also apply to this view. Many of the same passages of scripture often used to prove eternal torment also speak of fire and weigh against this view. Some go even further against the idea of it all just being a metaphor. This view goes against the bulk of church history (I believe much moreso than conditionalism). This view also goes against the culture-wide paradigm of what “hell” means. No doubt conditionalism seems suspect to many at first because it goes against the conventional wisdom. But the conventional wisdom also says that hell is fire and torture.

Whatever the case, the view that hell is eternal conscious suffering without fire, torture, or active wrath is just not a strong position. It ultimately seems to me like an unstable middle ground between evangelical conditionalism and the fiery, torture chamber view of hell historically held by most traditionalists, a view they held based on their reading of the handful of scripture passages believed to prove eternal conscious hell.

At the end of the day, if you are going to hold to eternal conscious punishment within a broader historical and biblical Christian framework, you have to own what that really entails.

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  1. J.P. Moreland, “Objection #6: A Loving God Would Never Torture People in Hell,” The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel (Zondervan, 2000), 173. []
  2. Frank Turek, Stealing from God, (Navpress, 2015), 225. []
  3. For example, see also J. Warner Wallace, “Can The Existence and Nature of Hell Be Defended? (Free Bible Insert),” Cold-Case Christianity, July 1, 2014, http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/can-the-existence-and-nature-of-hell-be-defended-free-bible-insert/ (accessed September 10, 2018). []
  4. Peoples, Glenn, “William Lane Craig on Hell,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted March 3, 2013, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2013/03/william-lane-craig-on-hell/ (accessed November 13, 2015). []
  5. For more on this, see “The Not-So-Traditional View: Does Your Particular Belief About Hell Really Have Church History On Its Side? (Part 1).” []
  6. For more on evangelical conditionalism and the phrase “eternal fire” (used in ), see “What the Bible Actually Says about ‘Eternal Fire’ – Part 1” and Part 2. []
  7. For more on evangelical conditionalism and , see “Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism – Mark 9:48.” []
  8. For more on evangelical conditionalism and , see “Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism: Luke 16:19-31 (The Rich Man and Lazarus). []
  9. For more on this, see “Strange Fire: Distorting a Biblical Symbol. []
  10. For more on evangelical conditionalism and , see “A Primer on Revelation 14:9-11. []
  11. For example, see oneminuteapologist (Bobby Conway feat. Frank Turek), “946. Should We Take The Descriptions Of Hell Literally?” YouTube video, posted March 23, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C73t-dgfG2Q (accessed September 12, 2018). []
  12. For an explanation of why the phrase “eternal fire” does not imply eternal conscious experience in hell, see “What the Bible Actually Says about ‘Eternal Fire'” – Part 1 and Part 2. []
  13. The NIV translation is is very non-literal and adds multiple words not in the actual Greek when it says “and shut out from the presence of the Lord.” See Glenn Peoples, “Why I Am an Annihilationist,” 24, Right Reason, n.d., http://www.rightreason.org/article/theology/annihilationist.pdf (accessed July 26, 2017). []
  14. For more on evangelical conditionalism and , see “Annihilation in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 (Part 1)” and Part 2. []
  15. For more on this, see Ronnie Demler, “Yes, Fire and Darkness Can Coexist,” Consuming Fire [blog], Patheos, posted July 11, 2016 (accessed May 27, 2018). []
  16. For more on evangelical conditionalism and , see “Malachi 4:1-3 and the Final Destruction of the Unrepentant. []
  17. For more on this, see “Why the Modern Version of the Eternal Torment Doctrine Falls Short.” []
  18. For more on this, see “The Not-So-Traditional View: Does Your Particular Belief About Hell Really Have Church History On Its Side? (Part 1)”, Part 2, and Part 3. []
  19. Michael J. Murray, “Heaven and Hell,” Reasons for the Hope Within, (Eerdmans, 1998), 316. []
  20. See also Jerry Walls rebuttal to conditionalist John Stackhouse in Four Views on Hell (Second Edition), (Zondervan, 2016), 96.

    Note that Walls not only denies that hell is a place of physical torment, as has historically been taught, but he also believes that people in hell, throughout eternity, will be able to leave at any time if they choose to, and many will. Some will remain simply because they, out of their free will, will continue to reject God forever despite the option of repentance and salvation always being available to them. One has an easier time finding full universalists than finding such a view as this in past epochs of church history. See Wall’s chapter “4. Hell and Purgatory: Jerry Walls” in Four Views on Hell. []

  21. See also J. Warner Wallace, “What Did Early Christians Believe About Hell?” Cold Case Christianity, January 19, 2018, http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/what-did-early-christians-believe-about-hell/ (accessed June 17, 2018). []
  22. For more on early church fathers who did not believe in eternal torment, including among those sometimes listed (incorrectly) as traditionalists, see the following:
    – “Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism: The Doctrine of Eternal Torment Was Not Universal in the Early Church.”
    – Glenn Peoples, “History of Hell: Hell before Augustine,” Afterlife [blog], posted May 20, 2013http://www.afterlife.co.nz/2013/church-history/history-of-hell/(accessed June 7, 2017). []
  23. J. Warner Wallace, “Why Would God Punish Finite, Temporal Crimes in an Eternal Hell?” Cold Case Christianity, September 6, 2017, http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-would-god-punish-finite-temporal-crimes-in-an-eternal-hell/ (accessed June 10, 2018). []
  24. Dr. Sean McDowell, “Is hell A Divine Torture Chamber?” Youtube video, posted August 22, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__OqEFm7JDQ (accessed June 10, 2018). []
  25. For more on the use of the term “torture” by past traditionalists, including among English-speaking theologians, see Ronnie Demler, “Torture,” The Consuming Fire Blog [blog], posted October 5, 2012, https://conditionalism.net/blog/2012/10/05/torture/ (accessed June 10, 2018). []
  26. Tertullian, De Spectaculis, , trans. S. Thelwall, Ante-Nicene Fathers: Vol. 3, ed. by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, (Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), reproduced at New Advent, n.d., http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0303.htm (accessed June 19, 2018). []
  27. Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas 3s:94:1 Second and Revised Edition, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1920), reproduced at New Advent, n.d. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4027.htm#article4 (accessed June 19, 2018). []
  28. Matthew Henry, “,” Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, n.p., reproduced at Bible Study Tools, n.d., https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/isaiah/66.html (accessed June 19, 2018). []
  29. See ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; . []
  30. I go into this a bit more in my free ebook: Joseph Dear, The Bible Teaches Annihilationism, 1st edition, Section XLIV, Subsection C, found at 3-Ring Binder, n.d., https://www.3ringbinder.org/uploads/1/9/1/0/1910989/the_bible_teaches_annihilationism__1st_edition_pdf_version__final.pdf (accessed June 16, 2018). []
  31. Lest anyone confuse the idea of an outcome being less terrible with being good or desirable, see “The Unsaved in Hell Would Want To Be Annihilated to End their Suffering!’: Why This Argument Completely Misses the Point.” []
  32. Charles Spurgeon, “Sermon 66, 67,” [Sermon], London, UK, February 17, 1856, The Complete Works of Charles Spurgeon: Vol. 2, (Delmarva, 2014), Kindle edition, Locations 13191 to 13215. []
  33. A.W. Pink, Eternal Punishment, (n.p., 1940), 36, reproduced at archive.org, n.d., https://archive.org/details/EternalPunishment (accessed January 30, 2016). []
  34. For example, see Timothy Keller, “The Importance of Hell.” Redeemer.com, n.d., http://www.redeemer.com/redeemer-report/article/the_importance_of_hell (Accessed on October 17, 2015). []

because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

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.

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

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.’”

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.

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

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.’”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.

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

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;

40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.

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.

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.

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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.”

24 Pour out your indignation upon them,
and let your burning anger overtake them.
25 May their camp be a desolation;
let no one dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27 Add to them punishment upon punishment;
may they have no acquittal from you.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.

23 Yet you, O Lord, know
all their plotting to kill me.
Forgive not their iniquity,
nor blot out their sin from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
deal with them in the time of your anger.

19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

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.

10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

20 Rejoice over her, O heaven,
and you saints and apostles and prophets,
for God has given judgment for you against her!”

19:1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Once more they cried out,

“Hallelujah!
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”