Friday, June 12, 2015

Who can dwell with everlasting burning?

Here is an interesting question posed in Isaiah 33:

"Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" (v. 14)

When we hear a description about people dwelling with everlasting burning, many of us think of hell. Because, of course, where else will people dwell with fire and burning, right?

Let's not guess about the answer. It follows in Isaiah 33:15-17 (and beyond) and describes in detail who can dwell with consuming fire and everlasting burning. The answer is:

"He who walks righteously and speaks what is right...

...who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes,
who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil -
this is the man who will dwell on the heights,
whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar."

What will happen to sinners and the godless in the face of the fire of judgment? The answer is also found in Isaiah 33 (among many other Scriptures), verses 11-12:

"You conceive chaff, you give birth to straw;
your breath is a fire that consumes you.
The peoples will be burned as if to lime;
like cut thorn bushes they will be set ablaze."

This is similar language to Luke 3:17 when John explains how Jesus will deal ultimately with His people (the wheat) and the wicked (the chaff): 

"His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable (meaning that it can't be put out) fire."

Who will dwell with the everlasting fire? Only the righteous born again in Jesus - everyone and everything else will be burned up.

For a more thorough study on God's fire, please see "Everyone will be salted with fire".

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I understand this is a difficult subject and there are different views from folks who all value God's inspired word. I value your feedback, corrections and questions. Please leave a comment!