The Greatest Lie Ever Told

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The Greatest Lie Ever Told

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One of the greatest lies told against God is that He takes pleasure in watching sinners in a fiery, tortuous eternal punishment in hell. I recently watched a YouTube video on a lady who had left a controlling religious group. She had been very devout and fasting weekly to ask God to change the circumstances of her parents' marriage, and feels she never got anything for all her prayers and devotion. She also said she would not subject anything to even a tiny amount of fire as punishment, so how could she worship a deity that took pleasure in eternal fiery torment?

She is so right! I could not worship that deity either and am so thankful I don’t have to! She did say she was open to God showing her someday that He is there and does care.

It made my heart hurt for her. I wanted to reach out and hug her and tell her she has been taught a vengeful, hating god. I would show her the loving God who does not tolerate evil but takes no pleasure in destroying the wicked. She feels she has now found peace by rejecting God and making her own way, which has led her to embrace things she once was against.

There is cause and effect, and we do reap what we sow, which causes much suffering on earth, but worldwide obedience to the law of love will put an end to all of it.

What does God actually say? "Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). Note, the word is "die," not torment throughout eternity because of an immortal soul.

Romans 6:23 shares, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." This says eternal life is a gift of God! We are not born with it. We do not have a soul that shoots straight up to heaven or straight down to a fiery eternal punishment at the death of our physical body.

"'Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?' saith the Lord GOD: 'and not that he should return from his ways, and live?'" (Ezekiel 18:23). We also read, in Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

I can’t think of anything more evil than taking enjoyment in the torment of immortal souls with no avenue out. God does not harbor any such thoughts! Read John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

What does it mean to perish? What does it mean to be given everlasting life? See Acts 24:15: "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust." Why would Paul be speaking, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, of a need for a resurrection of the just and the unjust if they had a soul already being sent to heaven or hell?

God is a loving God who cannot tolerate what causes harm to His creation. He will not allow life to continue in those so warped that they embrace evil, but it will not be eternal punishment. It will be eternal death and even a memory of them will disappear. There is a death common to all men and all will be resurrected, but the second death will be forever with no more resurrection to come.

Revelation 20:6 explains this: "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." We can also read that "The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth" (Psalm 34:16).

“'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'" (Malachi 4:1). This speaks of a day coming, not an eternity and it says it will burn up the wicked! "They are dead, they will not live; they are deceased, they will not rise. Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish" (Isaiah 26:14).

There is coming an unquenchable fire that will destroy the wicked from the face of the earth for all eternity. It will not be a slow, torturous, eternal punishment, but a quick cleansing of the land of all that is evil. It will burn so hot that nothing can quench it—much like an atomic blast cannot be quenched, but death is instantaneous in its presence.

Our loving God will not tolerate those who torture and murder and destroy. Their life will end and their mental torment along with it. Peace will abide as never before because there will be none who hurt or destroy in all His holy kingdom, "for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).

I look forward to that day when all like this woman so harmed by hearing such a false representation of God will get to know the real loving God who does not participate in or enjoy the torment of those created in His image. He will put an end to tormented, demented, unstable minds that have inflicted harm on the innocent and are not able to change. The same as we would not take pleasure in having to put down a rabid pet we have loved, He will not take pleasure in doing what must be done to ensure peace in His kingdom and will do it as lovingly and with as much kindness as possible. What an awesome God we serve!