How many lost souls are being punished in hell “today?

2Pe 2:9 Yahuweh knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

No one until the day of Judgment

When will sinners be cast in to the lake of fire

Matt 13:40-42; John 12:48

On the last day. Would it be ‘just‘ for Yahuweh to burn someone in the lake of fire who committed murder 5,000 years ago, and a person today for committing the same crime? The one murder would have been punished 5,000 years longer.

Where are sinners (who have died) now?

John 5:28,29; Job 21:30,32

Both the righteous and the wicked who have died are in the their graves “sleeping“ until the resurrection day.

What is the end result of sin?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of Yahuweh is eternal life in Messiah Yahoshua our Master.

Jas 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

The wages or punishment for sin is death, not everlasting torment in a lake of fire. The wicked ‘perish‘ or receive ‘death‘. The righteous receive “everlasting life.”

What will happen to the wicked in the lake of fire?

Rev 21:8 The wicked die the second death in the lake of fie. If the wicked lived forever being tortured in hell, they would be immortal.

An angel was posted to guard the tree of life so that sinners would not eat of the tree and “live forever.” Gen 3:22-24. The teaching that sinners are immortal in hell originated with Satan and is completely untrue. Yahuweh prevented this when sin entered this earth by guarding the tree of life.

The Wicked will be obliterated.

The bible says the wicked suffer “death” Rom 6:23, will suffer ‘doom’ (destruction) Job21:30, shall perish (Psalm 37:20), will burn up (Mal 4:1), shall be destroyed together (Psa 37:20), shall be cut off (Psa37:9), shall be slain (Psa 62:3), Yahuweh will destroy them (Psa 145:20), and fire shall devour them (Psa 21:9). All these references makes it clear that the wicked die and are destroyed. See also James 5:19-20 ‘saved from death” not hellfire.

The one passage in the entire Bible that seems to imply an eternal punishment is Rev 14:11 I’ll send something separate on that “one” passage.

When and how will this fire be kindled?

Mat 13:40 "So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.

Mat 13:41 "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,

Mat 13:42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Rev 20:9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.

Pro 11:31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!

At the end of the world, Yahuweh Himself will kindle a fire.

How long will the wicked suffer in the fire?

Rev 22:12 "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

Mat 16:27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

Luk 12:47 "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes,

Luk 12:48 but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

The bible doesn’t tell how long, but it does tell us there will be different degrees of punishment according to people deeds. Some will receive greater punishment than others based upon their works (sin)

Will the fire eventually go out?

Isa 47:14 "Behold, they have become like stubble, Fire burns them; They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; There will be no coal to warm by Nor a fire to sit before!

Not a coal to warm at nor fire to sit before.

What will be left when the fire goes out?

Mal 4:1 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says Yahuweh of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."

Mal 4:3 "You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says Yahuweh of hosts.

Will the wicked enter hell in bodily form and be destroyed both soul and body?

Mat 5:30 "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Eze 18:20 "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

The word Hell “IS NOT” a translation of any word in the Bible.

It was substituted for one Hebrew word ‘Sheol’, and 3 different Greek words: Hades, Gehenna, and Tartaros (or Tartartus).

31 “Sheol meaning the grave

New Testament

10 times from Hades, which means “the grave’

12 times from Gehenna which means “the place of burning’ 1 times from Tartarus which means ‘a place of darkness.

54 times total in the KJV

Note the Greek word Gehenna is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Ge-Hinnom. Which means the “Valley of Hinnom. Located south of Jerusalem was a place where dead animals, baggage and other refuse were dumped. Fire burned constantly, as it does at modern sanitation dump sites. The fire in Gehenna of course does not did not burn for ever. (see the other article on Hell for a fuller explanation of Gehenna and Hell.)

Does Yahuweh take pleasure in tormenting someone forever and ever?

Ezek 33:11 "Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Sovereign Yahuweh, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?'

He doesn’t even take pleasure in their death let alone tormenting them forever.

Why then destroyed with unquenchable fire?

Unquenchable fire is fire that cannot be put out, but which goes out when it has turned everything to ashes. Jer 17:27 say Jerusalem was to be destroyed with unquenchable fire. In 2 Chron 36:19-21 the Bible says this fire burned the city to fulfill the word of Yahuweh by the mouth of Jeremiah and left it desolate. Yet we know this fire went out, because Jerusalem is not still burning.

Doesn’t Matt 25:46 say the wicked will receive “everlasting punishment”?

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

No, this is ’punishment‘ not ‘punishing‘. Punishing would be continuous, while punishment is one act. The punishment of the wicked is death and this death is everlasting.

Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The word “soul” has three meanings in the Bible:

1) a living being Gen 2:7

2) the mind Psa 139:14

3) life 1 Samuel 18:1, which here refers to eternal life that God guarantees all who reach His Kingdom.

The last past of Mat 10:28 says both soul and body will be destroyed in hell.

Matt 25:41 speaks of “everlasting fire” for the wicked. Does it go out?

Yes, according to the Bible, it does go out. WE must let the Bible explain itself. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with everlasting or eternal, fire (Jude , and that fires turned them “into ashes” as a warning to “those who afterward would live ungodly” (2 Pet 2:6). These cities are no turning today. The fire went out after everything was burned up. Likewise, everlasting fire will go out after it has turned the wicked to ashes (Mal 4:3). The effects of the fire are everlasting, but not the burning itself.

Lazarus and the Rich man Luke 16:19-31 doesn’t this teach eternal hell of torment?

No, it is simply a parable used to emphasize a point. Many facts make it clear that this is a parable.

Abraham’s bosom is not heaven (Heb 11:8-8-10, 16)

People in hell can’t talk to those in heaven (Isa 65:17

The dead are in their graves (Job 17:13; John 5:28, 29)

Men are rewarded at Messiah’s second coming, not at death.

The lost are punished in hell at the end of the world not when they die (Matt 13:40-42)

If we take parables are to be taken literally then we must believe that trees talk (Judges 9:8-15) and worms never die (Mark 9:44).

Doesn’t the Bible say the wicked will be tormented “forever”?

The term ‘forever’ , as used in the Bible, means simply a period of time, limited or unlimited. It is used 56 times in the Bible in connection with things that have already ended. It is like the word “tall,” which means something different in describing men, trees, or mountains. In Jonah 2:6 “forever” means “three days and nights (see also Jonah 1:17). In Deut 23:3 forever means ‘10 generations‘. In the case of man, this means “as long as he lives” or “until death” (see 1 Sam 1:22, 28; Exo 21:6; Psa 48:14) so the wicked will burn in the fire as long as they live, or until they die (death). This fiery punishment for sin will vary according to the degree of sins for each individual, but after the punishment, the fire will go out.

Next to sin itself, the teaching of eternal torment has done more to turn people away from loving heavenly Father then any other one thing the devil has ever contrived. To think that our loved ones, family and friends, will tormented for all eternity in a Lake of Fire is not the kind of Elohim that many people would choose to follow. Yahuweh tells us at least 3 different times that He takes no pleasure in the “death” of the wicked (Ezek 18:23, 32; 33:11), how much more displeasure would He take in burning someone alive in a lake of fire for all eternity? The wages of sin is “DEATH” not everlasting torture in a lake of fire.

Because I’m so thoroughly convinced that the Elohim I know, Yahuweh, is not going to burn the Hindus, Buddhist, Christians or Jew, in a lake of fire for all eternity, that I never wanted to take the time to write an article on Hell. I’ve always thought to myself, and have said to others, that if someone wants to believe their punishment for sin will be an eternity of torment in a lake of fire then so be it. Maybe that’s a good thing, it could be, or at least should be, a powerful deterrent for people to stop sinning. But personally, from the time Yahuweh got a hold of my life until today never for a moment did I entertained the idea of eternal torment, nor was any other kind of punishment ever a motivation for my loving and obeying Yahuweh and follow the Messiah. The thought of Yahuweh opening my eyes to His Word and to the Love that He had for me in that His Son, Yahoshua, suffered as he did so that I might be reconciled to Yahuweh and be offered the opportunity of Eternal Life in Paradise was and is more than I’ll ever understand. But I’ll be eternally grateful that He did give me that opportunity. - Reuven