Lake of Fire

Lake of Fire

What is the lake of fire? What is the second death? I consider this one of the most important topics in Christianity, because understanding this gives us a big picture of what God is really all about. The lake of fire is mentioned several times in Revelation:

Revelation 19:20 – and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast – the two to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone; (YLT)

Revelation 20:10 – and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [are] the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night – to the ages of the ages (YLT)

Revelation 20:14-15 – and the death and the hades were cast to the lake of the fire – this [is] the second death; and if any one was not found written in the scroll of the life, he was cast to the lake of the fire. (YLT)

Revelation 21:8 – and to fearful, and unsteadfast, and abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the liars, their part [is] in the lake that is burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (YLT)

Interpretations for the Lake of Fire and the Second Death

There are several possibilities of what the lake of fire is. Let us break it down simply:

1. The lake of fire and the second death are both literal, so victims are thrown into the lake of fire and then die.

2. The lake of fire is a literal, but the second death is symbolic, merely a separation from God, which is the common Christian view.

3. The lake of fire is symbolic, but the second death is literal, which makes no sense.

4. The lake of fire and the second death are both symbolic.

A Logical Argument

Revelation 20 says that the beast and the false prophet were thrown into the lake of fire where they were tormented day and night. If the beast and the false prophet are human, their bodies would burn up, thus they cannot be tormented day and night. If they are supernatural, then the fire cannot burn them, thus they cannot be tormented at all. Using this simple logical argument, the lake of fire and the second death are both symbolic.

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