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Eternal Fire


“Eternal fire” is a metaphorical presentation of eternal punishment for sinners. It represents the everlasting suffering of the wicked people in the afterlife. Jesus used the eternal fire in other instances as well. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the rich man landed in the netherworld, where he was in torment. “He cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames’” (Lk 16:24). While speaking of temptations to sin, Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire” (Mk 9:43). There are more references to the eternal fire in the gospels (Mk 9:48; Mt 3:12; 13:42).

The judgement whether it is for the wicked or the just is for eternity. Daniel had prophesied this: “At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since the nation began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; Some to everlasting life, others to reproach and everlasting disgrace” (Dan 12-1-2).


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