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When speaking of eternal life and eternal death it is necessary to begin in the beginning and define what life and death is. In Genesis 2:7 we find the beginning of the life of man. God formed the body of man out of the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life. Man did not have life until God breathed it into him. What is it that God breathed into him other than his life giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45)? When the spirit of man entered him then he became a living soul?
Many over the years have been confused with the words found in Gen 2:17. God told Adam in the day he eats of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he shall surly die. Adam lives on for hundreds of years after he had eaten of the tree, so how can this be? If this is to be understood than one must understand the difference in the physical body and spirit. The physical body came from the earth and has no life without the spirit. The spirit comes from God and is the life of man. God is eternal so to be with Him is life. To be separate of God is to be spiritually dead. When Adam sinned, spiritually, he fell out of fellowship with God. Spiritually Adam died at that very moment. Physically he lived on suffering slow physical corruption until eventually his spirit departed his body and his body returned to the dust from where it came.
The true meaning of life is being in fellowship with God. The true meaning of death is separation from God. Therefore eternal life is everlasting life with God and eternal death is everlasting separation from God.
There are many views on the eternal existence of man. Some believe in eternal life and do not believe in eternal condemnation. It seems to me those who do not believe there is an eternal hell share their beliefs based on scripture taken out context or with words cleverly changed which have the effect of changing what the Word is saying.
Jesus Himself taught both, eternal life and eternal punishment. ( Matt 25:46). In the verse Matt 25:46 the words everlasting (used with punishment) and eternal (used with life) both in the original is "aionios" which means perpetual, eternal, everlasting, for ever.
In Mark 9:43-48 Jesus speaks of hell (GK "geenna" meaning a place or state of everlasting punishment.) Jesus speaks of hell as being a place where their "worm" never dies and the fire is never quenched in Mark 9:44. These verses makes it clear to me there is an eternal hell.
There are a few interesting facts found in the book of Revelation:
In Rev 19:20 the beast (most define as the anti-christ) and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire "ALIVE."
In Rev 20:3 the devil is bound up and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
*** In this it is easy to understand that the Lake of Fire and the bottomless pit are two separate places.
Keep in mind the last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Cor 15:26).
**** In this verse the original for the word "destroyed" is "katargeo" which means: to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively:-abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.
In Rev 20:7-8 we see after the thousand year reign of Christ on earth the devil is released from the bottomless pit and goes out to deceive the nations again.
In Rev 20:10 we see the devil being cast into the Lake of Fire where the beast and the false prophet are and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. How long is forever and ever? Everlasting, it is eternal.
*** Remember, the beast and the false prophet were cast into the Lake of Fire a thousand years prior to this time. Therefore the teaching of instantaneous destruction by fire is not holding up when compared to scripture.
In Rev 20:13 we find the resurrection and judgment of the unjust.
*** Remember there is a resurrection of both the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15). The redeemed will come out of their graves and put on glorified spiritual bodies which are immortal in the first resurrection. The unjust will put on bodies which are indestructible as well and will face judgment.
**** Now it is important to take notice of the order of things ***
In Rev 20:14 death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. In the original death is "thanatos" which literally means death and hell is "hades" which is the grave. Death (no one will ever die again) and the grave (no one will ever be in a grave again) were cast into the Lake of Fire. Death and Hades being cast into the lake of fire is THE SECOND DEATH.
In Rev 20:15 everyone not found in the Book of Life is cast into the lake of fire. Death and Hades has already been done away with therefore they (those who are cast into the Lake of fire) will exist forever. There is an eternal hell.
*** THIS IS NOT MEANT AS A HELL AND BRIMSTONE MESSAGE but a rendering of the truth of the existence of an eternal hell. The knowledge of this truth should place within each of us more of an urgency to reach the lost. It is not Gods will that any should perish. We are sent out to reach them all.
Blessing to all,