Lesson 17 - God’s Love in the Fires of Hell
If you were God, would you delight in tormenting sinners in hell for millions and millions of years? Could you be truly happy in heaven if you knew an unsaved relative or friend was intensely suffering in the fires of hell at that very moment? How could a loving God burn sinners in hell for eternity? If God knows everything, wouldn’t these suffering sinners be continually on His mind? Most of us would not want to torment our worst enemy that way. Is it logical that a loving God would keep His enemies in a continual state of suffering for eternity? Is hell a hot spot in the center of the earth, some burning, fiery chasm with millions crying out for deliverance right now? This is no small matter. The concept of an eternally burning hell has led many to reject God altogether. The Bible presents a clear answer for the question of God’s love in the fires of hell.
1. What does the prophet Isaiah call the destruction of the wicked? Isaiah 28:21
Answer: His work, His strange work, and perform His task, His alien task.
2. Where do the fires of hell originate? Hebrews 12:29
Answer: Our God is a consuming fire
3. Where are both the righteous and the wicked rewarded? Matthew 5:5; Proverbs 11:31
Answer: The earth. If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!
4. When do the wicked and the righteous receive their final rewards? Is hell a hot spot burning in the center of the earth now with the devil in charge? 2 Peter 2:4, 9
Answer: The day of judgment
5. How completely will the fires of hell destroy the wicked? Will they burn through millions of years? (Summarize the Bible passages listed below.)
a. Malachi 4:1-3: Answer: not a root or a branch will be left of them
b. Psalm 37:10: Answer: The wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
c. Job 20:5-9: Answer: He flies away, no more to be found, will not see him again-his place will look on him no more
d. Proverbs 10:25: Answer: The wicked are gone
e. Isaiah 47:14: Answer: Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up
6. What does God call the destruction of the wicked? Matthew 25:46
Answer: Then they will go away to eternal punishment
7. According to the Bible, how long does an "eternal fire" burn? What example does God give of two cities burned with eternal fire? Jude 7
Answer: An everlasting punishment completely destroys. Fire that destroys completely that it fully consumes! Sodom and Gomorrah
8. How completely did the eternal fire that came from heaven destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? 2 Peter 2:6
Answer: Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes
9. How does the prophet Jeremiah describe the fire which consumed Jerusalem? Jeremiah 17:19-27
Answer: Kindle an unquenchable fire...consume her fortress
10. What happens to the wicked who are consumed in the fires of hell? Revelation 20:9
Answer: Fire came down from heaven and devoured them
11. What is the ultimate fate of the earth? 2 Peter 3:13
Answer: His promise...looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth
12. Will the flames of hell consume this planet forever? What will God finally do with sorrow, suffering, and pain? Revelation 21:4, 5
Answer: No more death, or mourning, or crying or pain. I am making everything new
13. Will sin ever rise up again? Nahum 1:9
Answer: Trouble will not come a second time
14. What is the fate of Satan and his followers? Obadiah 16; Isaiah 47:14; Ezekiel 28:17, 18
Answer: Be as if they had never been. The fire will burn them up. Fire consumed...reduced you to ashes on the ground
15. Does God desire to destroy wicked men and women? Ezekiel 18:32
Answer: Take no pleasure in the death of anyone
* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.