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Richard F. Ames

Grace: Freedom to Sin?

Grace: Freedom to Sin?

Grace is a wonderful gift from God. Yet it is much misunderstood. What is grace? How can you be sure that you are making the most of God’s grace in your life?

Five Keys to Answered Prayer

In a time unlike any other we have experienced in generations, the world's mental health has taken a hit. Could honest, genuine prayers help our mental health? Tune in for these five keys to answered prayer!

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Prayer is Our Lifeline to God

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed hundreds of thousands. And it has affected the mental health of millions who have faced dangers in their city, state, province, or nation. One report by KFF, the Kaiser Family Foundation, reveals the negative effect on people’s mental health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. In a recent KFF poll, nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus” (“The Implications of Covid-19 for Mental Health and Substance Abuse,” Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF.org, April 21, 2020).

Are you one of the millions stressed and worried? Are there strategies to cope with the crises affecting all of us? Believe it or not, your Bible gives solid keys for facing these global problems with faith and confidence.

The KFF report explains the problem further:

“Though necessary to prevent loss of life due to COVID-19, these public health measures expose many people to experiencing situations that are linked to poor mental health outcomes, such as isolation and job loss. Additionally, feelings of anxiety are increasingly common, as people are fearful of themselves or loved ones falling ill and are uncertain of the repercussions of the pandemic” (ibid.).

My friends, help is available, and it may be as close as your bed stand or bookshelf. It’s this book, the Holy Bible, that reveals a powerful solution to the stresses of our day. That solution is the power of prayer! On today’s program, we’ll offer you an inspiring FREE study guide, Twelve Keys to Answered Prayer. Be sure to write down the contact information to order your free copy. You may have neglected one of the most powerful solutions to life’s challenges. Now is the time to seek the help of the greatest power in the universe, your Father in heaven. What are the keys to answered prayer? You need to know the five keys to answered prayer!

Stay tuned!

SEGMENT 2: Learning to Pray

Warm greetings to all our friends around the world!

Nearly every nation on earth is facing historic health and financial crises. Just half-way into 2020, more than 8 million people had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. More than 400,000 had died. Economies are devastated. How many countries will survive the global economic meltdown? The Washington Post featured this headline: “More than 90 countries plead for financial lifelines as coronavirus wreaks economic havoc across the globe.”

The Post describes the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Global financial leaders are facing calls to speed emergency help to roughly one-half of the countries on the planet, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to wreck the health and finances of billions of people in the developing world. The United States, Europe and Japan are sinking into what many economists say will be the worst global recession since the 1930s amid efforts to halt the runaway respiratory illness. But deteriorating conditions in dozens of emerging markets could add to the industrial economies’ pain and complicate their eventual recovery. If left unchecked, the catastrophe descending upon countries such as South Africa, Brazil, India and Lebanon could shake the industrialized world.” (“More than 90 countries plead for financial lifelines as coronavirus wreaks economic havoc across the globe,” The Washington Post, WashingtonPost.com, April 13, 2020).

My friends, we need God’s coming Kingdom to bring peace and prosperity to the whole world. And, as we pray for that kingdom to come, we can also find great comfort, peace of mind, and faith to face the dangerous world. In its 2019-20 bushfire season, Australia’s wildfires killed more than a billion kangaroos, koalas, and other animals. Subsequent floods did further damage. In the first half of 2020, the COVID-19 virus killed more than 400,000 around the world, while millions more suffered loss of jobs and livelihoods and even the loss of once-prosperous businesses. Governing authority has come into question after severe apparent abuses of police power. Even the best governments struggled to cope with the chaos, while others lost control and watched helplessly as angry citizens turned from peaceful protest to looting, plundering, and deadly violence.

How can we cope with the stress and turmoil around us? Your Bible gives us keys to face the challenges in our lifetime. And we are living in the prophesied period of time called in your Bible, the end-time. God has given us a way to succeed even in times of trouble. One vital gift God gives to those who follow His instructions is the power of prayer. On today’s program we’ll reveal, from the Bible, FIVE keys to answered prayer, and we’ll be offering you an inspiring free booklet titled: TWELVE KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER. My friends, you can learn to pray in a way that will bring results from your Father in heaven. In spite of daily stresses, you can have peace of mind through daily prayer! Our inspiring free booklet TWELVE KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER will give you biblical principles for effective prayer. This inspiring free booklet will help you and your family in your study of the Bible and your relationship with your Father in Heaven, and with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Be sure to write down the phone number or address to request your free copy. You can also order this free booklet on our Web site at TOMORROWSWORLD.ORG.

Despair over our troubled world is nothing new. Sixty years ago, all I could see on the international horizon was potential nuclear war between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The world had some solace in the strategy of MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction. Both powers had enough nuclear weapons to destroy all life on earth! We still face that same world danger, today! Back then, I personally became depressed at the prospect of seeing the world totally destroyed. Then I heard a radio program called The World Tomorrow. The speaker, Herbert W. Armstrong, powerfully proclaimed the good news from the Bible, that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will return to save the planet from cosmocide! I began to study Bible prophecy and grew in faith and hope for the future.

I was encouraged by God’s promise in JEREMIAH 29:10, “For thus says the LORD:… For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and FIND Me, when you search for Me WITH ALL YOUR HEART. I will be found by you, says the LORD….”

Seeking God felt awkward at first, but I persisted in prayer. God kept His promise, and I began to have peace of mind. You, too, can have peace of mind, IF you seek God with your whole heart and mind. We need God’s love, protection, and guidance as we near the end of this age. Our world will soon face increasing cataclysm and turmoil. Jesus stated in Luke 21:25, “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; [LISTEN TO THIS] men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken” (Luke 21:25–26).

Prayer will keep your heart free from fear in the times ahead.

What Are the Five Keys?

In the remainder of this program, I want to share with you five keys to answered prayer.

Key Number One to Answered Prayer is: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WORRIES YOU.

Are you anxious? Turn in your Bible to Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Our Father in heaven wants you to share with Him your worries and anxieties. When you face your concerns, you need to pray and talk in detail with God about your problems. Ancient King David was very open with God in his prayers. Turn to Psalm 6, for example. David was suffering and prayed to God from his heart. Psalm 6:1, “O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—HOW long? Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?” (Psalm 6:1–5).

Read the Psalms and see how David prayed from the heart. You need to share your problems with God in prayer. And what will be the result? Listen to this comforting promise in Philippians 4, verse 7: “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Yes, you can have peace of mind through prayer. Key Number One: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WORRIES YOU. Key Number Two is: CLAIM GOD’S PROMISES. If you have your Bible, turn to 2 Peter 1:2. Notice here that God has given us through His word, the holy Scriptures, not just “promises,” but “exceedingly great and precious promises.” 2 Peter 1, verse 2. The Apostle Peter writes: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (vv. 2–4).

The Bible is a goldmine of guaranteed promises. But there’s a requirement. You must BELIEVE that God will give them to us if we pray according to His will. Jesus chided His audience as He explained God’s willingness to provide our every need. He told His listeners in Matthew 6:28, “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (vv. 28–30).

We need to trust God to provide for us. He has all power in the universe. He owns everything that exists. Consider His promise to you, in your own Bible: He has promised:

  • To answer our prayers (Matthew 7:7–8);
  • To fulfill all our needs (Philippians 4:19);
  • To guide our lives (Proverbs 3:5–6);
  • To grant us long life, if we honor our father and mother (Ephesians 6:2–3);
  • To fulfill the desires of our heart, IF we delight in Him (Psalm 37:4–5);
  • To give us peace of mind (Philippians 4:6–7);
  • To strengthen us to endure trials (1 Corinthians 10:13);
  • To give us the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Luke 11:13);
  • To give us the gift of His love (Romans 5:5);
  • And to give us eternal life (1 John 2:25).

My friends, study these promises. Remind God that He has given YOU these promises. Ask God in faith to fulfill these promises in YOUR LIFE, and you’ll begin to have a greater peace of mind! And, you’ll be fulfilling one of the keys to answered prayer.

How Did Jesus Pray? “Your Will Be Done”!

There are many, many more promises in the Bible for you and your family, and for all human beings on earth. Be sure to make your own list as you read them in your Bible. Key Number Two: CLAIM GOD’S PROMISES. Key Number Three is: THANK GOD CONTINUALLY.

Where do your blessings come from? The source of everything good in our lives is the Creator of all things. When we ask God for anything, we need to ask with an attitude of appreciation for His blessings and His promises. Remember, when you pray about your anxieties, fears and worries—that’s the first Key we discussed—to pray with THANKSGIVING. Again, Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God.”

When you pray with thanksgiving, you exercise faith that God is listening to your requests! When was the last time you thanked God for your blessings? Some of you may be familiar with the old nineteenth century hymn, “Count Your Blessings.” Here are some of the words: “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done” (1897, Johnson Oatman, “Count Your Blessings,” Hymnary.org).

When you COUNT your blessings, when you THANK God for all the blessings you’ve experienced or WILL experience in your life, you can have peace of mind! Again PHILIPPIANS 4:7, “And the PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

My friends, count your blessings and express heartfelt gratitude to God. King David even thanked God in the middle of the night. Psalm 119:62, “At midnight I will rise [and] give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments.”

Key Number Three to answered prayer is: THANK GOD CONTINUALLY. Key Number Four is: SEEK GOD’S WILL. How would you characterize human nature? Not only is it UN-thankful, but it is also vanity, lust, and greed! Just a simple review of world history demonstrates humanity’s selfishness. Most people seek their OWN WILL and not God’s! Often, even professing Christians pray selfishly. They want to GET, more than they want to GIVE. Remember Jesus’ statement in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Or as the Moffatt translation has it: “To give is happier than to get.”

Yes, we should pray and claim God’s promise that He will provide our every need (Philippians 4:19). Yes, we can even rejoice in claiming God’s promise to give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4), but our attitude must always be, “Your will be done”! What did Jesus teach us to pray? MATTHEW 6:10, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

My friends, this is an extremely important key to answered prayer. Human beings are on the whole extremely selfish. The world’s way of life is one of greed. But Jesus sought to do His Father’s will. When Jesus prayed in agony the night before His crucifixion, He asked that the cup of suffering be passed from Him—IF it were God’s will! In LUKE 22:42, Jesus prayed, saying, “‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Jesus was willing to suffer for YOU and Me. He surrendered HIS will to His Father’s will! Let me tell you. When you’re struggling over some problem or trial, ask for God’s deliverance, but ALSO pray that His will be done. God strengthened Jesus to endure the sacrifice He was to make, and he will strengthen you. When I prayed to visit Jerusalem years ago, I prayed that God’s will be done. But He knew WHEN it would be best for me to fulfill the desires of my heart. So, 17 years after my first request, God gave me that wonderful blessing. Key Number Four to answered prayer is: SEEK GOD’S WILL.

Staying Connected to God as a Family

Key Number Five concerns our relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. By whose authority do you pray to God in heaven? Notice what Jesus told His disciples. Turn to John 16. Our Lord and Savior gave this instruction in John 16:23, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

Key Number Five to answered prayer is: PRAY IN JESUS’ NAME. Jesus the Christ is at the right hand of God in heaven. He is our great High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us, as it tells us Hebrews 7:25. He gives us the authority to pray to God in heaven. We pray in Jesus’ name and authority. Since He’s given us that authority, we can pray boldly. Notice that in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We can pray with confidence because Christ is our High Priest and Savior. He sympathizes with our weaknesses. He knows what it’s like to suffer. He was tempted in all points, as we are, yet without sin, as it tells us in verse 15.

My friends, God wants you to be His begotten son or daughter. He loves you and has demonstrated that love by giving His son to pay for your sins. Most of you know the precious verse or golden verse of the Bible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

My friends, you can rejoice in God’s love for you as He answers your prayers! On today’s program, we’ve briefly discussed five keys to answered prayer. You need to apply these keys and others as well. Be sure to request our inspiring free booklet, TWELVE KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER. You need this inspiring free booklet.

We invite you to join us every week on Tomorrow’s World. As the world becomes more stressful, dangerous, and challenging, you need to practice the way to true and lasting peace and life revealed in your Bible. Gerald Weston, Wallace Smith, Rod McNair, and I will continue to share with you the revelation of Jesus Christ, the gospel or the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and the exciting end-time prophecies and their meaning. So, be sure to join us again next week, right here, at this same time!

Thanks for watching this Tomorrow’s World video. Be sure to subscribe to our channel and click the notification bell. You can also click the link in the description to order our free booklet on answered prayer. See you next time.

Holidays or Holy Days?

Holidays or Holy Days?

What do you celebrate—and why? Has today’s mainstream Christianity obscured vital truths about the biblical feasts and celebrations God gave His people? The truth about God’s own Holy Days can bring you closer to your Savior and change your life forever!

Will You Go to Hell?

You may be surprised to learn that the Bible doesn’t say people go to an ever-burning hellfire immediately after they die.  Discover the amazing plan of God, including His plan for those who died in ignorance, and the actual “second death” talked about in the Scriptures.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Hell A Terrifying Mystery

Atheists, agnostics, and secular materialists ridicule the religious concepts of heaven and hell. To them, and other non-religious people, it appears totally illogical to condemn people to an ever-burning hellfire when they had no way to avoid it. Why do the vast majority of professing Christians believe that sinners who never even heard the name of Jesus Christ are being tormented forever?

Today’s common idea of hell comes mostly from the famous poem by Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia or The Divine Comedy. It was written more than 700 years ago. Dante’s poem consists of three parts, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso—or Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. His vivid description of souls writhing in agony colors the beliefs of millions even to this day.

What does your Bible really teach about hell? Are there immortal souls even at this moment writhing and screaming in the flames of hell? You may be shocked to learn from your own Bible that no one is burning hell right now! That’s right! And you can prove it from your own Bible!

Perhaps you have wondered about your future. Have you asked yourself, “Will I go to hell when I die?” Perhaps someone has even cursed you and told you to go to hell. My friends, let’s understand! The Bible refers to three conditions or three states of hell. But what is hell? And will you go there? Stay tuned for the surprising answer!

Who Believes in Hell?

Warm greetings to all our friends around the world!

What happens to you when you die? Will you go to heaven, or hell? Or will you just sleep in the grave until the resurrection? Think of all the billions who have ever lived. Did their lives have any purpose? Will they have a future hope? What is the truth? Is death the end? Is there life after death?

On today’s program, we’ll answer those questions. And we’ll be offering you an inspiring free booklet titled, Is This The Only Day of Salvation? My friends, you need to know the truth about life after death! This booklet reveals from the Bible the inspiring hope we ALL have beyond death! Are all those who never heard the name of Christ burning in hell? Wouldn’t that be unfair? This booklet explains the truth about those billions of people blinded over the past several thousand years, and reveals their future hope of salvation! This free booklet, Is This the Only Day of Salvation?, answers that question and explains the resurrection from the dead, and the amazing White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20. Relatively few professing Christians understand the inspiring truth of the White Throne Judgment. You need to understand! This free booklet will give you comfort and encouragement from your own Bible, and it’ll give you hope for the future. Contrary to what many believe, there is hope for the thousands of disaster victims whose life was cut short. And there is hope for your deceased loved-ones. You need this inspiring booklet. You need the truth about hell and what happens when you die! Just request YOUR FREE booklet, Is This the Only Day of Salvation? You can order this free booklet on our Web site at tomorrowsworld.org, or you can call the number on your screen. Be sure to write down the address and phone number to order your free copy. Just ask for the booklet on salvation.

The idea of a tormenting hellfire can be troubling to anyone. What do people believe regarding the existence of hell? According to a 2015 Pew Forum report, 58 percent of Americans believe in Hell (“Most Americans believe in heaven … and hell,” Pew Research Center, PewResearch.org, November 10, 2015).

That’s a big drop since a Gallup Poll in 2007 found that 69% believed in Hell. The Pew study found that 82 percent of evangelicals profess a belief in Hell. Even 27 percent of “nones”—people claiming no particular religious affiliation—say they believe in Hell (“Americans More Likely to Believe in God Than the Devil, Heaven More Than Hell,” Gallup News Service, News.Gallup.com, June 13, 2007).

But where did their beliefs come from? The most common idea of hell today was popularized in the famous poem by Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia or the Divine Comedy written in the 14th century AD. The poem consists of three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso—or Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. The poet Virgil guides Dante on his journey through hell. At the entrance to Hell is the foreboding sign, ABANDON ALL HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER HERE (Elio Zappulla trans., Inferno, A New Verse Translation, Canto III, p. 39).

Virgil tells Dante about his tour of hell: “I’ll be your guide, and you will follow me / And I will lead you through a world of pain / Where dead souls writhe in endless agony / And clamor, as they cry, to die again” (Canto I, p. 24).

My friends, what is the source of your belief? Is it the colorful imagination of a medieval poet? Is it from ancient doctrinal traditions with pagan roots? Is it something you heard from a preacher, taken from a false idea of the Bible that you’ve never proved for yourself? What does your Bible really say about hell?

What really is hell? The word “hell” in your Bible, actually has three different meanings! From the biblical perspective it’s three different places or conditions: FIRST: Sheol (in the Hebrew) or Hades (in the Greek) means “pit” or “grave.” SECOND: Gehenna means the valley of Hinnom. Symbolically, it refers to fiery judgment, the lake of fire. And THIRDLY: Tartarus, which signifies the confining of fallen angels.

So you see, to use the word “hell” for all three meanings does NOT accurately communicate the truth of the Bible! You need to ask, “What particular hell are you talking about?” We’ll discuss the truth about biblical hell in the next part of our program, but first I’d like to offer you our free eye-opening booklet, Is This The Only Day of Salvation?

Who Goes to Hell, According to the Bible?

In the first part of our program we saw that today’s POPULAR idea of a tormenting hell-fire came from a 14th century poet, Dante Alighieri. My friends, false ideas of life after death come from a false premise. The false premise and teaching of an immortal soul leads to all kinds of wrong conclusions.

Jesus told us that God is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna fire, that’s in Matthew 10:28. But can the soul be destroyed? Don’t you have an immortal soul? You may be surprised to learn that the early Roman Catholic teachers such as Origen and Tertullian adopted, from ancient Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato, the philosophy of the immortal soul. The philosopher Tertullian wrote: “For some things are known, even by nature: the immortality of the soul, for instance, is held by many…. I may use, therefore the opinion of Plato, when he declares: ‘Every soul is immortal’” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, p. 547).

My friends, we believe in the Bible, not Plato! Let’s see what Jesus said in the most famous verse in the Bible. It’s called the golden verse of the Bible. The most precious verse of the Bible. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should NOT PERISH but have everlasting life.” Jesus came that we might NOT perish or be dead for eternity. He came that we might NOT be destroyed forever or lose our life forever! Yes, the Bible teaches that humans are Mortal, not IM-mortal. As it states in 1 Corinthians 15:53, “[T]his mortal must put on immortality” at the Resurrection.

So, what happens to the mortal body at death? Does it go to Hell? First, remember that there are four words (one in Hebrew and three in Greek) translated “hell” in the English Bible. And each has a different meaning. What’s incredible in most discussions of the subject of Hell, is the assumption that the word “hell” automatically means eternal fire! It does not!

In the New Testament, there are three Greek words translated “hell”—and each has a different meaning. They are: Hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus. The Greek word “hades” also means “grave” or “pit” as does the Hebrew word Sheol. It does NOT mean a place of fire. So when someone says the word “hell” it COULD SIMPLY MEAN (based on the Bible) THE GRAVE—NOT an ever-burning fire. In fact, both the NKJV and the NIV, as well as other more up-to-date translations, often leave the word “hades” un-translated. Be sure to underline those words in your Bible as you study this subject. Listen! The word Gehenna refers to the fire that will destroy the soul—that’s what Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” or Gehenna fire.

The fourth word translated “hell” in the Bible is based on the Greek word “Tartarus.” This denotes a condition of restraint—and it does NOT apply to humans, but to fallen angels. Notice 2 PETER 2:4, “…God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment….” Tartarus is the hell for fallen angels.

But what happens to humans? Where does the body go when it dies? In the King James Version of the Bible, the Hebrew word often translated “hell,” is Sheol—which simply means pit or grave. It does not mean a place of ever-burning Hell fire! The Hebrew word Sheol occurs 65 times in the O.T. and in the King James Version it is translated as “grave” 31 times; “hell” 31 times; and “pit” 3 times. The New International Version of the Bible translates the word SHEOL as “grave” and never translates SHEOL as “hell.” The word SHEOL simply means a “pit” or a “grave.”

So, if we ask the question, “Who is BURNING in Hell?”—if we mean SHEOL, or THE PIT, or THE GRAVE—the answer is: “No one!”

We asked the question, “Will you go to hell?” Let’s realize, my friends, that every human being who has ever lived AND died, IS STILL DEAD. As it tells us in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment….” Yes, generally speaking, unless one is cremated, every human being who dies will be buried in a grave, or the hell of hades or sheol. So, in one sense, we all go to the hell of the grave, waiting a future resurrection. And no one right now, is burning in the hell of Gehenna or the lake of fire described in Revelation 20:14–15, which takes place at the end of the White Throne Judgement period.

Again, what is hell? As we saw, from the biblical perspective, it’s three different places or conditions: FIRST: Sheol (in the Hebrew) or Hades (in the Greek) means “pit” or “grave.” SECOND: Gehenna means the valley of Hinnom. Symbolically, it refers to FIERY judgment or the lake of fire. And THIRD: Tartarus, which signifies the confining of fallen angels.

But certainly there is a fire that will destroy the incorrigibly wicked?

What Does it Mean to Be Cast Into the Lake of Fire?

We’ve seen that the word hell in the Bible refers to three different places or conditions. The Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades in your Bible simply refer to the grave. But when the Greek word Gehenna is used, it refers to a fiery judgment as in Matthew 10:28. When and where is that fiery judgment? Long time viewers of Tomorrow’s World are familiar with God’s plan for all nations. First, we look forward to the Kingdom of God in the near future with the return of Jesus Christ to rule all nations for a thousand years. At the end of the Millennium or the thousand years, God will resurrect billions of people to physical life in the general judgment referred to as the White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20. At the completion of the judgment period, a full lifetime, every human being will have been given his or her full complete opportunity to be saved from eternal death. Read about this judgment in Revelation 20. Revelation 20:11, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, [this is the Resurrection to Judgment] and books [Greek, biblia, meaning the Bible] were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:11–12).

Yes, billions of people will have their first opportunity for salvation, to be saved from eternal death. The Book of Life will be opened to them! However, at the end of that judgment period, those who refuse to obey God, those who have sealed their character as evil, will be thrown into the lake of fire. Read that in Revelation 20. “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14–15).

My friends, incorrigibly wicked human beings will be resurrected from Hades, the grave, given their final judgment, and completely destroyed in the lake of fire. They will perish. They will die the SECOND death, from which there is no resurrection. As Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, God is “able to destroy both soul and body” in Gehenna fire. That lake of fire will eventually encompass the whole earth, and it will purify the earth as you read in 2 Peter 3. God will prepare the earth for the New Jerusalem that will come down from heaven as you read in Revelation 21. Let’s read about that fire that will purify the earth, and how we should respond to that warning, 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

The hell of Gehenna fire will eventually encompass the whole earth, preparing us for the NEW heavens and NEW earth. And who will be in that lake of fire? Turn in your Bible to Revelation 21. Faithful Christians will have inherited the earth, and eventually “all things” or the entire universe, as we’ve explained on previous programs. But the wicked will be destroyed. Revelation 21:7, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. [And WHO will be in the lake of fire? Verse 8] But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

My friends, you will not want the lake of fire. If you strongly desire to change your life, if you want to repent of your sins and be baptized according to Acts 2:38, we have representatives in many regions around the world. Just contact the nearest regional office listed in Tomorrow’s World magazine, or contact us at Tomorrowsworld.org.

The Apostle Peter gives us encouragement, and a warning. “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:11).

But what about the scriptures that talk about an eternal fire?

Hope for the Dead

We’ve seen that the Bible plainly speaks of the SECOND death, the death from which there is no resurrection. The wicked, both their soul and body, are destroyed forever. They experience “everlasting punishment,” as Jesus said in Matthew 25:46. They will be dead forever. But some may ask about the expression in the epistle of Jude, the seventh verse. Jude writes concerning the judgment of evil people. Jude 7, “…as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

So, isn’t there an everlasting or eternal fire? Obviously, the fire is not still burning in the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Greek word for “eternal” in this verse is aionion, meaning age-lasting. This is the way Young’s Literal Translation renders it: “as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, having given themselves to whoredom, and gone after other flesh, have been set before—an example, of fire age-during, justice suffering.” In other words, the fire of judgment lasts only for the age in which it was intended.

After the earth is finally purified with fire, the fire will cease and the new heavens and earth will prevail. There will be a fire burning on the earth throughout the Millennium, which will eventually engulf the entire planet. That is the fire into which the beast and false prophet will be cast, as you read in Revelation 19:20. A thousand years later, Satan the devil and his demons will be cast into that fire also—and they, Satan and his demons, will be tormented forever as it states in Revelation 20:10. “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are….” Notice that the word “are” in the NKJV is in italics. It should read, “where the beast and false prophet WERE CAST.” Yes, Satan the devil and his demons will be tormented forever. Revelation 20:10 “And they [Satan and his demons] will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Yes, the lake of fire was “prepared for the devil and his angels” as it states in Matthew 25:41. By contrast, the wicked human beings thrown into it will perish and be destroyed!

Thank God for His awesome plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. One of the most amazing truths of your Bible is the White Throne Judgment. It gives hope for billions now in their graves. Our inspiring free booklet Is This The Only Day of Salvation? will help you understand the true hope of the resurrection. Be sure to request your free copy. Is there an ever-burning hellfire? No, there is not! My friends, the good news is that no one is now burning in hell. All are in the grave awaiting the resurrection. God is just! Eventually, the incorrigibly wicked will be thrown into the lake of fire and will be destroyed forever. We pray that all of you will choose God’s way of life, and receive the GIFT of eternal life!

A 2015 Barna Research report polled people who said they had made “a personal commitment to Jesus” and discovered: “About one in seven admit they don’t know what will happen after they die (15%)” (“What Do Americans Believe About Jesus? 5 Popular Beliefs,” Barna, Barna.org, April 1, 2015).

But YOU CAN know! You need to know the truth about hell and the afterlife! Again, this inspiring free booklet Is This The Only Day of Salvation? is vital to understanding life after death. You need this booklet. Call now for your free copy.

Are You Unforgivable?

Out of forgiveness sign on window

Have you committed a sin so serious that you can no longer be saved? Are you afraid that you will “get what you deserve” after you die? Is there an unforgivable sin? What does your Bible really say about forgiveness—and whether God still considers you eligible to receive it?