Book Look · Church · Eschatology · Hell · Kingdom of God

Book Look – Heaven’s Doors – The Lake of Fire – A

In oversimplified terms, universal reconciliation speaks of the eventual redemption of every soul ever created through the work of the Messiah and His sacrifice on the cross. This teaching does not remove the existence of hell, or the suffering associated with it, but it does challenge it’s never ending duration, and the purpose of the flames.

This series of posts, on the book “Heaven’s Doors” will be my last on the topic of universal reconciliation (not universalism). I am thankful to my Calvinist friend for directing me to this “heresy”. The teaching of universal reconciliation has more Scriptural support than I imagined and is worth considering if you are of an open mind and willing to consider alternate views to expand your understanding of the Word.

Of course if you are convinced you are completely right, without error, and doctrinally pure, this topic would be a waste of your time. Please move on!

This post will address The Lake of Fire

and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. – Revelation 20:10

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8

Much needs to be said on the last few chapters of Revelation in regard to the topic of Universal Reconciliation, but for this post, we will be addressing two questions regarding the Lake of Fire.

  • The Duration – Is it forever and ever? (Carl – the text says it is. Why even ask? Are you gonna twist the Scripture again?)
  • The Purpose – Is it for retribution of past sins? Is it to punish for temporal sin committed in this life?

Let’s consider a few items that Mr. Sarris brought out to discuss in his book.

The Duration of the Lake of Fire

Revelation 20:10 speaks of the Lake of Fire and the duration of the torment of the beast and the false prophet. (Similar descriptions of the torment inflicted upon those who accept the mark of the best may be found in Revelation 14:10 and 14:11.)

Torment day and night, forever and ever. How utterly horrible. No matter how you view this, the experience of torment, in any sane persons mind, is to be avoided at all costs! No matter what we may find in our study, any torment, any destruction, any suffering must be avoided at all costs! Do not continue in your rebellion against the loving Savior, who took the suffering, abandonment and death, in order that you may have joy in knowing the true God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Note that the term “forever and ever” is the same term we have dealt with earlier in the post Book Look – Heaven’s Doors – Unpardonable Sin Within this post I would like to consider forever and ever. The term John uses is aiōn. (we seem to keep running into this term, don’t we!)

Strongs definition

αἰών aiṓn, ahee-ohn’; from the same as G104; properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):—age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end). Compare G5550.

Find a few verses below to assist in our understanding of this term.

Jesus defined the time He was living in as an age, but used the same term (aiōn) we find in Revelation.

And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age (aiōn) marry and are given in marriage, – Luke 20:34

Should we consider the time Jesus was in, as an eternal never ending period of time?

“The sons of this forever and ever period of time?

I suppose it depends how we understand this word.

So it will be at the end of the age (aiōn). The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous – Matthew 13:49
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (aiōn).” – Matthew 28:20

First thing to notice that this word allows for the time to be defined with an end. That is definitely not fitting in with my understanding of everlasting or eternal. Also, why wouldn’t this term be translated as the end of “forever and ever” if that is the only correct understanding of aiōn.

Let’s move on

who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. – Mark 10:30
who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” – Luke 18:30

Jesus describes an age to come. What? Another forever and ever? Now I am confused! What in tarnation is going on? Hang on, it gets worse, especially if you are trying to hang on to the idea that aiōn is strictly defining an eternal everlasting state!

far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. – Ephesians 1:21 ESV

Paul speaks of one “forever and ever” following another “forever and ever”, or that a “forever and ever” was yet to come, from his standpoint. So he is referring to one coming “forever and ever” after the one he is in. Got it!

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:7

Come on Paul. Now there are coming ages, that is more than one age coming after the one you are writing in? This is bonkers! How can I reconcile this with the concept of eternal or everlasting that is embedded in my thoughts?

But to the point, does this teaching allow for the possibility that the “forever and ever” we find in Revelation 20:10 may have an end to it, may be prior to an age after it and may mess my thinking up more that it already has?

I’ll tell you right now, that my thinking about eternity and everlasting is perty messed up right now! But that is alright! Remember the Word is not a cartoon or comic that we simply read for a few seconds and walk away from. It is a message we need to understand and have our minds adjusted to in order to see the Lord and His ways a bit clearer every day.

I have grown a bit long in the tooth with this post and will continue with the Purpose of the Lake of Fire in the next installment. I hope you can join me then.

As always, if you have a comment or question, please take advantage of the comment box below. I look forward to your ideas and thoughts! Thanks for reading and hope to see you again next time.

For other books on this same topic, I would refer you to Jesus Undefeated – a 10 part series, and The Inescapable Love of God. One additional book that I have not posted on is by David Artman, Grace Saves All.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Follow Considering the Bible on

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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