Are the wicked in hell today?

The Scriptures teach that no one is burning in hell fire today. Both the wicked and the righteous that have died are in their graves “sleeping” awaiting the Resurrection (John 11:11-13). “The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29). “That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? … Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb” (Job 21:30, 32).

Rewards and punishments will be given at the Second Coming not at death

Jesus said, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Rev. 22:12). The evil doers will be sentenced to hellfire at the great Judgment at the end of the world.

The good Lord would not punish a person in fire until his or her case has been examined and decided in the heavenly court. “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” (Matthew 13:40–42). “The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

The Bible teaches that the wicked will die the second death in hellfire. “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” (Revelation 21:8).

Hell will also destroy every trace of sin on earth

Peter affirmed, “the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved to fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). And he added, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (v. 10).

Hell will not be forever

If the wicked lived forever being tortured in hell, they would be immortal. But this is impossible because the Bible says, God “alone has immortality” (1 Timothy 6:16). When Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden, the Lord set an angel to guard the tree of life so that sinners would not eat of the tree and “live forever” (Genesis 3:22–24). God prevented this when sin entered this earth by guarding the tree of life.

The doctrine that the wicked will be tormented forever is an invention of Satan and is a slander upon the loving character of our heavenly Father. God’s will has always been to save people. Destroying sinners in hell is so strange to God’s heart that the Bible calls it His “unusual act” (Isaiah 28:21). The truth is that the Creator will be deeply pained by the death of His created beings.

God will finally end hell

“He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time” (Nahum 1:9).  God will wipe away every tear from the redeemed eyes. And there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. The Lord promised, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:1-5).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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