This is a blatant attack on the revealed Word of God concerning what God has said concerning the judgment of the unbeliever. You need to stop reading whatever foolishness you were reading. Sheol IS the grave, but it is not the end. There is a final ongoing
death for the godless which Jesus calls Ge-enna and John calls Lumne-Pur. Some will be quick to point out that Ge-enna (Gehenna) was the humongus garbage pit outside of the city of Jerusalem which was continually kept burning, and so it was. Jesus compared
the fate of the unbeliever to Ge-enna. John uses the term Lumne-pur to describe the fate of the unbeliever in the Revelation account of the Last Day. Lumne-pur means lake of fire.
There is also the Hebrew word Tophet (place of fire) used 9 times in Scripture, the most interesting of which (to me) is this one: Isa 30:33
For Tophet [was] established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made [it] deep and large; Its pyre [is] fire with much wood; The breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, Kindles it
Tophet is defined as:1)
a place in the southeast end of the valley of the son of Hinnom south of Jerusalem.
I think most of us could draw the conclusion that Jesus is referring to Tophet when using the term Ge-enna.
Notice that the Isaiah verse states that Tophet was 'established of old'. The word here is arak
and carries the idea of a place prepared or set in order. I believe he is referring to the created order here. All creation was done within the first six days, so Tophet is certainly consistent with the idea of God having created a place of fire at Creation and not as an afterthought.
Not only was Tophet ordained or established 'of old', but it was prepared for the king. Hmm. If it sounds a lot like this verse, it's because I believe they refer to the same thing
: Mat 25:41
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
The devil a king? You bet. He's the king of those angels who follow him. The word aggelos
doesn't always mean heavenly beings, it can also mean earthly messengers. Those who follow the devil are his angels in that sense.
The Isaiah verse conveys the idea that there is much wood in Tophet, as though the pile were being built up on a continual basis. Jeremiah 5:14 says this: Jer 5:14
Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts: "Because you speak this word, Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, And this people wood, And it shall devour them.
The word of God is like fire and those who fail to listen to it like wood. The two witnesses of Revelation 11:5 cause those who try to harm them to be devoured by fire. The word that they speak are the Law and the Prophets...God's Words, and that word causes their enemies to be devoured by fire on the Last Day.
The lake of fire is not non-existence. Is it literal fire and brimstone? Honestly, I think so. Scientists tell us that the core of the earth is molten lava. What better description of molten lava, than a lake of fire? But I also think it's more than a simple continual burning. Those Scriptures which an unbeliever hears are input into that computer between their ears called a brain. Scripture says that the inhabitants of the Lake of Fire are tormented 'day and night' (a comparative term meaning continually). What could be more of a torment than to have the very thing you despise the most
being replayed over and over and over in your conscience forever?
Both the CIA and the US military know you can torment a prisoner by replaying something they hate over and over. Do you think that the God of the universe doesn't know that as well?
The Isaiah passage also finally says that what ignites all that wood in Tophet is: The breath of God. It is the Word which judges men on the Last Day.
Is eternal punishment real? You bet. And if you're an unbeliever, you can count on it.