1. WHAT question does Peter ask regarding the wicked?
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the
house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17.
Die: “To pass from physical life; to suffer a total and irreparable loss of action of the vital functions; to become dead; to expire; perish.”- Webster.
3. What will be the character of this death?
“Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thess. 1:9.
Destroy: “To unbuild; to break up the structure and organic existence of; to demolish; to spoil utterly; to bring to naught; to put an end to; to annihilate.”- Webster.
5. What does Christ say will befall those who do not repent?
“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3.
Perish: “To be destroyed; to pass away: to become nothing; to be lost; to waste away; to die.”- Webster.
6. How does the apostle Peter say they shall perish?
“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in, their own, corruption.” 2 Peter 2:12.
7. To what are the wicked in their punishment compared?
“But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” Ps. 37:20.
Consume: “To destroy; as by decomposition, dissipation, waste, or fire.”- Webster.
8. How does John the Baptist describe the destruction of the wicked?
“He that cometh after me is mightier than I, . . . whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matt. 3:11,12.
9. For whom does Christ say the fire which will finally destroy the wicked was originally prepared?
“Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matt. 25:41.
NOTE.-This fire is called “everlasting” because of the character of the work it does; just as it is called “unquenchable” because it cannot be put out, and not because it will not go out when it has done its work.
10. What will be the result of this punishment?
“As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.” Prov. 10:25.
11. Will any part of the wicked be left?
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Mal. 4:1.
12. What will then be their condition?
“For as ye have drunk upon My holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.” Obadiah 16.
13. Where will the place of the wicked then be?
“For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” Ps. 37:10.
NOTE.-It would be difficult to keep the wicked in eternal torment without any place for them, even, in which to exist.
14. Where are both the righteous and the wicked to be recompensed?
“Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” Prov. 11:31.
15. Do the wicked go directly to their punishment at death, or wait till the day of judgment?
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 2 Peter 2:9.
16. To what are the present heavens and earth reserved?
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7.
NOTE.-Both the present heavens and earth and sinners await the fires of the last day.
17. What will be the result of the fires of the last day? “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of
God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” “The earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Verses 12, 10.
18. By what means does Christ say His kingdom is to be cleansed from sin and sinners?
“The; Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” Matt. 13:41,42.
NOTE.-Satan and the wicked now have this world as their “place.” In due time Christ will have it. He will cleanse it from sin and sinners, and restore it, that He may give it to the saints of the Most High for an everlasting possession. See Dan. 7:18,22,27.
19. When are the wicked dead to be raised to receive their final punishment?
“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Rev. 20:5.
20. Whence will come the fire that will destroy them?
“And they went up on the breadth of the earth. and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Verse 9.
NOTE.-This is called God’s “strange act” and His “strange work,”- the work of destruction. Isa. 28:21. But by this means God will once and forever cleanse the universe of sin and all its sad results. Death itself will then be at an end- cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:14.
21. To what will this fire reduce the wicked?
“And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Mal. 4:3.
NOTE.-The wicked are to be utterly destroyed- consumed away into smoke, brought to ashes. Having inseparably allied themselves with sin, they have forfeited the right to life and an immortal existence, and chosen the way of death and destruction. By their choice they have proved themselves worthless. For this reason they are compared to chaff, briers, thorns, etc. Their destruction will consequently be no real loss. “They will themselves have lost their opportunity to obtain eternal life; but by the way in which they used their probationary time they proved themselves unworthy of it. Their destruction will, in fact, be an act of love and mercy on the part of God; for to perpetuate their lives would only be to perpetuate sin, sorrow, suffering, and misery. Terrible, therefore, as this judgment will be, there will, in consequence of it, be nothing of value lost,- nothing lost worth saving. The experiment of sin will be over, and God’s original plan of peopling the earth with a race of holy, happy beings will be carried out. 2 Peter 3:13.
22. What is this final destruction of the wicked called? “This is the second death.” Rev. 20:14.
23. After the burning day, what will appear?
“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for
new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13.
24. Where will the righteous then be found?
“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matt. 13:43.
25. What promise of the Saviour will then be fulfilled?
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matt. 5:5. See also Ps. 37:11,29; Isa. 65:17-25; Dan. 7:18.
26. What universal song of praise will then be sung?
“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” Rev. 5:13.