I once asked on a question on social media: “If the wages of sin is eternal torment as taught by the majority of Christendom and the non-Christian world, did Jesus really pay the price of our sins?” As you would expect, a number of responses were given, and after getting the exact reaction I was expecting, I had to explain myself. I asked those who cited their seemingly scriptural but pagan beliefs about eternal torment to please follow the sequence below for a proper understanding of the root of my question:
• The Bible says the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
• God does not contradict His word, so He tells man in the garden that if he sinned, he will surely die (Genesis 2:17).
• Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3:1–7).
• The devil tells his first lie to humanity and says they will not surely die (Genesis 3:4).
• God tells His angels to henceforth block the way to the tree of life lest man becomes an immortal sinner. In order words, lest man becomes a sinner that lives forever, or a sinner that does not surely die, using the devil’s term. “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22). Otherwise, man will surely die because the Bible says only God has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16).
• Adam and Eve surely died (spiritually and physically) and so is everyone till today according to God’s word.
• God stepped in by sending His Son to pay the wages of our sins so that those who believe in him can have everlasting life (John 3:16). How? Remember the tree of life God blocked Adam and Eve from gaining access to? Jesus says He will give those who believe in Him to eat from it (Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2).
Now let us say that the doctrine of sinners burning forever in hell without surely dying is truly what the Bible teaches as a punishment for their sins, how come those who believe in Jesus Christ do not partake in the punishment? Is it because they believe in the price Jesus Christ paid for their sins? That answer shows a fundamental error. This is because the price Jesus Christ paid for our sins was not eternal torment of being punished forever. Yes, Jesus was tormented, but He died so that we can escape the torment of hell and the eternal death that follows. Bottom line is everlasting fire, eternal torment, and unquenchable fire, etc. has to be understood in context, instead of bringing pagan beliefs into Christendom, where the devil and sinners never die, but the devil has a fork and turns sinners with it in hell; where one finger burns for a million years and then another burns for another thousand years. Such absurdity! The book of Jude says Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the vengeance of eternal fire, and they were set forth as an example (Jude 1:7). Sodom and Gomorrah are not still burning today. I believe in hell fire, unquenchable fire, sinners being tormented day and night (the Bible speaks in figurative terms such as saying the blood of the saints cried out to God), but I don’t believe in sinners having the gift of immortality, so that they never die. The gift of immortality is only meant for believers in Christ who will have access to the tree of life. That sinners will not surely die, is a six-thousand-year-old lie the devil has been telling.The gift of immortality is only meant for believers in Christ who will have access to the tree of life. Click To Tweet
Some will wonder if this biblical truth about the eternal destruction of sinners and the denunciation of the traditional pagan-inspired doctrine of hell that crept into the church during the dark ages, as extensively exposed in my new book (see below), will not lead people away from God, since there will be no fear of eternal punishment in the mould of sinners burning forever in the lake of fire. On the contrary, except for the tremendous success of the Church of Rome during the dark ages in winning believers into the church through the fear of “eternal torment” in hell fire; a financial success in itself, since the church was able to enrich herself by requiring the people to purchase indulgences for their family members as the only means to escape the torment of purgatory and the eternal torment of hell fire, the doctrine of sinners burning forever in the lake of fire has done more harm than good to Christianity. Despite the misguided fiery sermons from the pulpits, billions of souls are still swimming in a pool of iniquity, with some even willing to face the music, in a staunch rebellion against a God that can bear the thought of allowing any of His creatures to burn forever for whatsoever reason.
This calamitous misinterpretation of the Bible on the fate of sinners has led millions, maybe billions, to denounce the God of the Bible as anything but just. This is because amongst many other unflattering errors that the doctrine courts, the inevitable conclusion in the face of exceeding evidence from the Bible that states the contrary is that, some sinners will burn for hundreds of thousands of years while some will burn for just a few years, depending on the time of their death before the second coming of Jesus Christ. Then, somehow, in order to be judged, they will be recalled from their misfortunes, and will return to it, to continue to burn throughout eternity under the supervision of the devil in the lake of fire, who, alongside his angels, is supposed to be erased from existence throughout eternity. In this, Satan’s desire to paint God as an unjust sadist and one who derives pleasure in the unending pain of His creatures is greatly accomplished, when even our most unjust rational earthly parent cannot stand the thought of us burning for a day, no matter what we have done and whom the fire was made for. The greater implication of this is that, in teaching that man has an immortal soul and will not surely die, the devil has made God a liar (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:19; Malachi 4:1, 3), and the matter of judgement, death, resurrection, heaven, and hell, as succinctly portrayed in the Bible and in my new book below, is thrown into total disarray. But the Bible teaches that “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor the son of man, that He should repent” (Numbers 23:19). So when God says unbelievers will surely die, it means they will surely die.
In the face of many dilemmas that may arise from reading certain portions of the Bible on the nature of man and the state of the dead, one has to first fully understand the nature of man at creation in Genesis. When this is properly understood, many of the dilemmas begin to fade out, especially considering the fact that Jesus Christ had to die and give us access to the tree of life in the New Jerusalem, which God denied man continued access to in Genesis in order to withhold immortality from man (John 3:16; Compare Genesis 2:22–24 and Revelation 22:14). At creation, did the Bible say God put a soul in man or God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul? Of course, the Bible says the latter (Genesis 2:7). Thus, if the Bible teaches clearly that at creation, man became a living soul after God breathed into him the breath of life, then the doctrine of man having an immortal soul has no basis even in creation, because man does not have a soul; man is a living soul. The combination of the breath of life from God and the body God formed from the dust gave birth to a living soul. And if that breath, called the spirit of God (See Job 27:3; Ecclesiastes 12:7; James 2:26), leaves man, man ceases to live and returns to the dust, in a reverse of the creation process (see Genesis 3:19). Thus, man does not have a spirit, unless we are referring to the breath of God, which is spirit, or the Holy Spirit indwelling in man, or the mind of man which is also referred to as spirit as seen in the root word pneuma. Yet, you will not hear this simple solemn liberating truth from the vast majority of preachers today who point at certain scriptures that seem to prove their point. But we must remember that even the devil quotes scriptures as seen in the temptation of Jesus Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13). Ultimately, Satan has covered a lot of ground both in ancient times and now, in aggressively selling his first lie to humanity which is, “You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4; Revelation 12:9), against God’s own words, “You shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16, 17). And when God says you shall surely die, it means you shall surely die.When God says you shall surely die, it means you shall surely die. Click To Tweet
This is how Satan has set his stage for his final deceptions on mankind in order to deceive many, if possible, even the elect, before the second coming of Jesus Christ. By selling to humanity his first lie of, “You shall not surely die” in various forms such as in the immortal soul, reincarnation, ghosts, spirits, and other life after death deceptions, it will pave the way for him to perpetuate his evils and more deceptions, for it would be exceedingly easier for him to deceive and enchant the billions of souls upon the earth by appearing to them in the form of their deceased loved ones as he did in the time of Saul (1 Samuel 28:2–19), to tell them what he wants them to believe in the face of the returning Christ. Jesus Christ warns us sternly about this reality in Matthew 24:23–27, telling us, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it . . . ‘Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” But Satan knows that humans trust more in their experiences and has thus consistently built a dynasty from his age-old lie.
When the ultimate time comes, he is going to deceive millions, possibly, billions, by appearing and presenting himself to the world as the returning Jesus Christ, and his demons appearing as deceased loved ones to deceive humanity that they should believe whatever Satan says. Apostle Paul, under inspiration, warns of this reality that many believers must wake up to now before it is too late, saying, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8, 9). And it gets even more interesting when we realise that virtually every religion on earth is expecting someone to come again, including Islam which teaches that Jesus Christ, Prophet Isa, will come back!
Friend, what are your thoughts? Kindly leave a comment below.
*The content of this post is based on my new book, “The Believer’s Dilemma: Questions that beg for answers” which is available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N044LKV and Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/671686 and other major online retail stores.