Chris... just a few quick questions..
what do you think the lake of fire is?
What do you think it's purpose is?
What do you think judgment is/it's purpose?
Hi Sparrow, not sure I can give you a quick or easy answer, but I will try.
The only place that we see "the lake of fire" is in Rev 19 and 20. Most people say that the lake of fire is the second death. I don't quite see it that way. It doesn't seem to me as if it is "the lake of fire" (itself) that is called "the second death". As I read the passage, I understand it to say that it is being cast INTO the lake of fire that is "the second death". And who is it that is cast into the lake of fire? We have "the beast" and "the false prophet", right? And then we have "the devil" cast into it as well, right? What do the beast, the false prophet and the devil all have in common? And what do the three of them have in common with "the sons of men" (or the carnally minded)?
It seems to me that the purpose of the lake of fire is to consume that which is not fit for the kingdom of God, or "the natural man" (the first man / the outward man / the carnally minded man), that which is subject to this world and the things of this world, even the lust of the flesh, etc. Its purpose it to burn up all that "hay, wood and stubble" so that all that remains is the "gold, silver and precious stone" that is built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. Yet even gold is tried in the fire, right? So why should we assume that "this fiery trial which is to try you" of which Paul spoke is any other fire than "the lake of fire" into which the beast, the false prophet and the devil are cast? I see them as the same fire. I don't see one being applicable to believers and other to unbelievers.
I do not see the lake of fire as literal or physical punishment/torment but the working of God within us to burn up that which is not fit for the kingdom of God. We all died "in Adam" but we are "resurrected from the dead" by being buried (and raised) "in Christ". And Paul said HAVING BEEN buried with Christ - being baptized into HIS DEATH we shall also know the power of HIS LIFE through the resurrection of the dead.
Paul said "ye are dead" but we not only died "in Adam" we have been buried with Christ, having been baptized in Jesus Christ into His death. And our life is HID with Christ in God and when He (who is our life) appears (CHRIST IN YOU) then we shall APPEAR WITH HIM in glory (THE HOPE OF GLORY).
In the OT we read:
Psa 57:4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword
The way of LIFE IS ABOVE
to the wise, that he may depart from HELL BENEATH
!! (Pro 15:24)
The more I studied the more I came to see this division in the scriptures between that which is "above" and that which is "beneath", between "the sons of God" and "the sons of men", between "the heavens" and "the earth", between "life" and "death", "bodies celestial" and "bodies terrestrial", that which is "not of this world" and that which is "of this world", between "the inward man" and "the outward man", the LAST ADAM/MAN and the FIRST ADAM/MAN.
First then natural, then the spiritual. Right?
Scripture says that "the second man" ~IS~ THE LORD FROM HEAVEN. That, to me, is not just speaking about Jesus Christ. We are His body! Amen? Paul is comparing the natural/earthy to the spiritual/heavenly. He makes no distinction between "the head" and "the body"
"the second man" IS "the Lord from heaven".
We have all been baptized by ONE SPIRIT, into ONE BODY (the body OF JESUS CHRIST). He is "the perfect man"; the head that we (the body) need to grow up into until we all come to unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God
unto the measure of the stature of the fullness OF CHRIST. Amen?
As I see it right now, the second death is connected to the death (and resurrection) of THE SECOND MAN it's being baptized into HIS death and ""dying" WITH HIM (just as we "died" IN ADAM first. But by being found "in Christ" and being baptized into HIS DEATH, we can also know the power of HIS RESURRECTION, as death has no power over Him. He has the keys of both death and hell.
Christ came ONCE in the end of the world TO DIE ((as it is appointed unto men)) but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT.
So many quote this verse as if it applies to the death of "men", though it speaks specifically about the death OF JESUS CHRIST.
It is not until we "die in the Lord" that we can know the power of His resurrection (and LIFE) as it is only through Him that life and immortality come. Amen?
. two deaths
. (that we have all been baptized into)
Just as "in Adam" all died
even so "in Christ" (by being baptized into HIS DEATH) shall all be made alive.
As I see it, we all have to go through "the second death" in order to attain unto "the resurrection of the dead" and know LIFE.
Well, I didn't intend to say so much when I started typing, so I hope I didn't go off on too may tangents in trying to answer your questions. I just see judgment and the lake of fire (second death) in relation to the death of 'the second man' (the last Adam) "in" whom we are all found and "through" whom life and immortality come.