What does the Bible say?
In Malachi we read, For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, that will leave them neither root nor branch. ... 'For they [the wicked] will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,' says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 4:1-3. The Bible does not teach a never-ending hell fire. It will bring what it burns to ashes.
I know you're thinking, What about this verse or that verse? There are texts in the Bible that would make it appear that hell fire is without end. For example, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:45, KJV. We should not get hung up on isolated and rare verses. The overall tone of the Bible on this subject is that the fire is unquenchable, but when it has done its work, it goes out and God recreates the heaven and the earth.
God is never contradictory. What He has told us about the second death will not contradict "forever and ever." (Rev. 14: 11). What John meant by these terms when he said the smoke ascends forever and ever is different from our modern meanings. He is talking about a period of time of unspecified duration. The limit of duration depends upon what the time period is applied to. God's laws stand for eternity. But "forever" applied to mortal, perishable man, in a devouring fire (Rev. 20:9) means "as long as he lives." But eventually they will be as stubble and reduced to ashes as we read in Malachi 4 above.
In Jude 7 it says that Sodom and Gomorrah ... are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. But are they burning today? No, they suffered the results of eternal fire.
So where does this fire come from?
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