Sodom and Gomorrah

Chapter 8: The Final Judgement

Chapter 8 - The Final Judgement - the Lake of Fire

The Judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah has an important prophetic role, serving as a SIGN, WARNING and EXAMPLE of the future coming final and eternal Judgement on all those who reject God.

Jude 7 tells us that God’s Judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah by FIRE and BRIMSTONE was a picture and warning of His coming eternal judgement of sinners which will also be by FIRE: 

“As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an EXAMPLE suffering the vengeance (punishment) of eternal fire.” 

2Peter 2:6: “Turning the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an EXAMPLE to those who AFTERWARD would live ungodly.” 
This confirms that the condemnation of Sodom and Gomorrah to complete destruction by FIRE was an EXAMPLE and PICTURE of a future Judgement of FIRE coming upon all the ungodly. Thus it was not just a one-off judgement, but the basis for future judgements.

The first major judgement of the Bible was by WATER (Noah’s Flood), but immediately after God said He would not use a Flood of WATER in that way again as an instrument of Judgement. This was because God plans to use FIRE instead for His final Judgement. 

The final destiny of the wicked is the Lake of FIRE. Those who reject Christ and His Salvation will end up in the Lake of FIRE: 

Revelation 20:11-15: “I saw a Great White Throne and Him who sat on it (Christ), from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the (spiritually) dead (all unbelievers), small and great, standing (resurrected) before God, and books were opened (with the record of their lives). And another book was opened, which is the (Lamb’s) Book of Life (with the names of all those saved by His Blood). And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the 2nd death. Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the LAKE of FIRE.”

Matthew 25:41,46: “He (Christ) will say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels...these will go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT....”

*The Lake of Fire is the final state and eternal destiny of the lost. It is called the 2nd death, eternal separation from God’s goodness. 
Jesus believed in the Lake of Fire, in fact He spoke on it more than 

anyone. When He referred to the Lake of Fire He called it GEHENNA, named after the Valley of Hinnom, a deep and narrow valley south of Jerusalem (Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mark 9:43-47; Luke 12:5, see also James 3:6; Matthew 3:12; 13:41,42) where children were sacrificed in fires to Molech (2Chronicles 28:1-4, 33:6; 2Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:31-33). 

It had become the City Rubbish Dump, where the rubbish was burnt in a perpetual fire and where worms thrived. It was the place for the dead bodies of animals and criminals, with continual fire without, and worms working within. Hence, Jesus used it as a picture of the everlasting fires of Hell where God burns His rubbish - those who refuse to be salvaged (saved), and turned (changed) into something worthwhile as subjects in God’s Kingdom. 

Isaiah 30:33: “For Tophet (the Place of Fire - Gehenna) was established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; its pyre is FIRE with much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of BRIMSTONE, kindles it.” Since he threw children into Fire, he will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. 

Fire and Brimstone: Notice that the Lake of Fire also contains BRIMSTONE (Sulphur). Thus this final Judgement is a Judgement of both FIRE and BRIMSTONE, just like that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The only difference is that Sodom was destroyed by a 
quick shower of Fire and Brimstone, whereas the coming 

Judgement will be an everlasting Lake of FIRE and BRIMSTONE. 

Psalm 11:6 confirms this vivid description: 
“Upon the wicked He will rain coals; FIRE and BRIMSTONE and a burning wind will be the portion of their cup.”

Revelation 14:9-11: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the Cup of His Indignation. He shall be tormented (punished) with FIRE and BRIMSTONE in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 
And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Notice their torment (conscious punishment) with fire is endless, they have no rest from it. They never cease to exist. This is clear proof their punishment is conscious and unending, forever and ever. 

Revelation 19:20: “These two (the beast and false prophet) were cast alive into the LAKE of FIRE burning with BRIMSTONE.”

Revelation 20:10: “The devil who deceived them was cast into the LAKE of FIRE and BRIMSTONE, where the beast and false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” This Lake was actually prepared for the devil 
and his angels (Matthew 25:41). But anyone who follows satan in 

his rebellion against God will have to share his punishment! 

Revelation 21:8: “the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the LAKE which burns with FIRE and BRIMSTONE, which is the Second Death.” 

Other references to the Lake of Fire in the Old Testament are:
Nahum 1:6, Isaiah 26:11, 33:14, 66:24, Daniel 7:9-11. 
Malachi 4:13 describes a Judgement by FIRE, with the wicked being turned into ASHES, just as with Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Then in Matthew 3:10-12, John the Baptist warned: “Every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the FIRE...He will BAPTISE you with the Holy Spirit and FIRE.” 
The BAPTISM of FIRE is full immersion in the Lake of Fire:
“He (Christ) will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat (believers) into the barn (Heaven); but He will BURN up the chaff (the unbelievers)
 with unquenchable FIRE.”

Jesus gave many warnings about the Lake of Fire, for example: Matthew 10:8: “Do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell (Gehenna).” 

Matthew 13:40-42 (The Parable of the Tares): “As the tares are gathered and BURNED in the FIRE, so it will be at the end of 

this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will CAST them into the FURNACE of FIRE. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” 

Matthew 13:50 (The Parable of the Dragnet): “CAST them into the FURNACE of FIRE. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

In Mark 9:43,45, He describes Gehenna (Hell) as: “the FIRE that shall never be quenched.” In v47, He warns against being:“cast into Hell (Gehenna) FIRE”, and to emphasise His point 3 times He quotes Isaiah 66:24 in a poetic repetition (v44,46,48): “Their WORM does not die, and the FIRE is not quenched.”

This phrase describes both internal torment and external punishment.
“The worm that does not die” is their accusing conscience of guilt, regret and remorse expressed in: “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This will continue to ‘eat away’ inside their soul - this is the inner part of their eternal conscious punishment. The FIRE denotes God’s external restraint and punishment of their sin.

2Thessalonians 1:7-9 confirms this warning: “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in FLAMING FIRE taking Vengeance, on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
These shall be punished with Everlasting Destruction from the Presence of the Lord and from the Glory of His Power.” 

Jude 23: “Others save with fear, pulling them out of the FIRE.” 

There is a Heaven to gain, and a Hell to shun! The Bible is clear: Without Christ we all stand as guilty sinners under the Wrath of God, destined for the Lake of Fire. But thank God, Christ died for our sins and provided a way out for us, so that we could have Salvation and everlasting life, instead of everlasting destruction! 

John 3:16-18: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (to die for us), that whoever believes in Him (as the Son of God) should not perish (eternal destruction in Hell), but have everlasting life (in Heaven).  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world (because the world was already condemned as guilty), but that the world through Him might be saved.  He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

He who believes in Christ and receives His Salvation is forgiven and justified (declared not guilty on the basis of the blood of Christ), and so will not be condemned, but instead have eternal life with God in Heaven. Jesus confirmed this in John 5:24: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into Judgement, but has (already) passed from death into life.”
However anyone that does not believe in Christ, as God’s Son, 
but rejects Him and His Salvation, remains under condemnation: 
John 3:36:
 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; 
and he who does not believe the Son shall not see Life (Heaven),
 
but the wrath of God abides on him (for ever).” 

To save us from Hell, Jesus had to bear the equivalent of eternal Hell for all of us on the Cross. That's why in Gethsemene, He did not want to drink the cup of God’s wrath upon our sin and pleaded “if there be any other way to save man, let it be.” But there was no other way for us to be saved. That means if He did not die for us, we would have no other hope of salvation. We were destined for God’s Judgement of Fire! If we could be saved by doing good works or by being a nice person then surely God would not have put Jesus through the agony of the Cross, but it was necessary, for there was no other way to be saved from eternal Judgement. If not for Christ and what He accomplished on the Cross, all of us would automatically go to eternal Hell and destruction, for by nature we are all sinners under the righteous wrath and condemnation of God. So it is not the case that you have to do something terrible to go to Hell, but you are already going to Hell, unless you take drastic action to escape it. Unless you do something about it, you are heading for Hell. The only effectual thing you can do about it is to call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus to save you and He will: “for all who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Our only hope of escaping Hell is to trust in Christ alone, receiving Him as our Lord and Saviour. But if you do nothing, you will continue in your sins on the road heading to certain destruction. 

God has given us this life on earth as a time of grace to give us an opportunity to repent and receive His Salvation. In this lifetime, He is patiently holding back His judgement and He offers us His free-gift of forgiveness, but once this life is over it will be too late to receive it. This life is the Acceptable time of the Lord, the Day of Salvation, but if you do not receive Him, upon your death you will have to start facing the Day of Vengeance (Punishment) of our God. 

Hell is real, but Jesus died so you don’t have to go there. Your sin can and will take you to Hell. There is only one remedy - the Blood of Christ. His death provided an Atoning Sacrifice for you, so that God can freely forgive you, if you come to Him and receive His forgiveness. Believe and receive His offer of eternal life. Justice demands somebody must pay the price for your sins. You can either pay it it yourself (in Hell) or let someone else. Jesus has done it. You just have to trust in Christ and His Blood, and come to God, asking His forgiveness and receiving His Salvation as a free-gift. But if you refuse His offer to take the penalty for your sins, you will have to pay it yourself, and you will be eternally paying it in the Lake of Fire! How urgent it is that you trust in Christ as your Lord and Saviour! You must run to Him how for your eternal Salvation from sin and Hell. Why refuse such a wonderful offer!

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