After bodily death, Jesus, in several places describes being punished in fire, Gehenna fire, aionian flames, etc. This is further described in 1 Cor 3:15
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.Know ye not that you are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in you?
Here at least, the fire purges and the person emerges, "saved" (which is sozo, grk- delivered, healed, saved)
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1Co 5:4-6)
Here again, the destruction "saves"(delivers)
Notice the "know ye not?" at the end of both portions- serious warnings to BELIEVERS.
Jesus says EVERYONE will be salted with fire (Mt 9:49)"For everyone(all beings) shall be salted with fire, & every sacrifice(all believers) shall be salted with salt".KJV That's the way I read that parable- it is my opinion. That whole portion In Mt 9 39-49 is telling BELIEVERS that they can find themselves experiencing Gehenna fire- Yet nowhere does it say it lasts forever. The unquenchable nature of the fire is related to the "unquenchable fire" with which Jesus will "thoroughly purge His threshing floor", He burns the chaff until it is consumed and only wheat remains, which He gathers. Not many of us are being gathered because so much chaff remains upon the threshing floor of our lives- and that is why we see so much fire :o)
Here again, the person is delivered for the "destruction of the flesh"- that the spirit may be saved "in the day of the Lord Jesus".
This, one may accept, is the same day that reveals the substance of our works in 1 Cor 3:15- it is a day that is dawned in believers and will swallow all the darkness in the world eventually, for the "light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it" Jn 1
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Jesus declares that many "believers/Christians" will be cast into this fire- "Lord Lord did we not do many works in your name and prophesy in your name?....etc,etc.
These are categorized within 1 Cor 3 13-15, in my opinion, and it is only our previous teaching and resulting doctrinal prejudice that causes us to think these people burn "forever".
Remember, "His eyes are as flames of fire" and a "two edged sword comes out of His mouth"(Revelations) and "the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword dividing asunder bone and marrow, flesh and spirit, and all things are open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews)
"Every sacrifice will be salted with fire"(Jesus)
The light is fire to darkness, and as Jesus said, "There is nothing hidden in darkness that will not be brought to light". Paul said, in Ephesisans I think, "Every thing that is brought to the light becomes light".
In my opinion( and some would disagree) the lake of fire and Gehenna are referring to the same thing- it is the experience of the light of God that burns through any darkness that has not been brought under the blood of Jesus by confession and repentance until every goat yields and every tare is consumed-until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord- to the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2)
For some it is already accomplished in this life(the overcomers and the broken and contrite of heart), For some there will be more work to do in the age to come, when the Day of the Lord reaches the full noon(in my opinion, upon His return at the end of this age, and at the Great White Throne)
In Rev 5:13 we see Phillipians 2:10 fulfilled, again, in my opinion, at the end of the ages, the conclusion of the dispensation of the fulness(completion) of times(Eph 1:9-11)
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
In 1 Cor 15 :23-28 we are told that after every enemy is "subjected", Jesus will return "all things" to the Father, that God may be ALL IN ALL". It does not say that they(the adversaries) will burn forever.
For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Oh My God Praise Be To You For Your Glorious Plan, Your Kind Intention, The Mystery Of Your Will, The Restoration Of All Things!