Torture is here to stay
While hell for unrepentant and unredeemed mankind and the great abyss (bottomless pit) for fallen angels (demons) are temporary, torture (torment) for both is everlasting.
At the end of this current age the tribulation will begin. During that seven year period many occupants of the great abyss will be loosed from their prison for a short time to torture men on the earth who will not repent but reject God’s free gift of redemption.
“And he (angel) opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit…Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power…They were commanded not to harm any green thing…but only those men who do not have the seal of God…they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months…In those days men will seek death and will not find it…” Revelation 9:1-6
Remember hell is for unredeemed man as the abyss is for fallen angels. During the tribulation period demonic beings were commanded under the ultimate sovereign power of God to torture unrepentant mankind for five months but could not kill them. The torture would be so severe that men would want to die but could not.
Shortly thereafter 200 million more demonic beings are released from the abyss, which is located at the river Euphrates, to kill one-third of mankind living on the earth at that time.
At the end of the tribulation when Christ returns to earth to rule the nations the anti-Christ and false prophet are cast directly into the lake of fire which was created for the devil and his angels.
“Then the beast (anti-Christ) was captured, and with him the false prophet…These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Revelation 19:29
At the same time the devil himself is imprisoned in the abyss (bottomless pit) for 1000 years while Christ rules all nations from Jerusalem.
The devil (Satan) is subsequently released at the end of the 1000 years to deceive and tempt the nations one last time. Of course he is quickly defeated and then is also cast into the lake of fire.
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations…And fire came down from God…and devoured them. The devil who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire…where the beast (anti-Christ) and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:7-8a, 9b-10
So it is seen that the devil and his cohorts, i.e. the anti-Christ and false prophet, were cast into the lake of fire where they will be tormented (tortured) throughout eternity.
But how about mankind who are presently in hell and those from this time on through the millennial kingdom that reject God’s free gift of redemption?
At the end of the millennial kingdom all those in hell will be raised to stand before God. They will all be adjudicated guilty and cast into the lake of fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them…The sea gave up their dead…and Death and Hades (hell) 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 second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11, 13-15
Therefore, while hell is temporary, the lake of fire is forever.
Torture as defined as severe pain inflicted intentionally by another for punishment under the consent of one acting in an official capacity will endure forever.
All mankind has a choice, i.e. eternal rest or eternal torment. There is no in-between.
Jesus was tortured on the cross so those who believed in Him could escape eternal torture.
This two part column could very well have been entitled: ‘The Sermon Seldom Preached.’
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