If ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram are Not Going to Hell, Please Tell Me Where They are Going (Part 3)

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Revelation 20:11-15

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

This past week, acting partly in response to international demands and domestic critics, President Obama announced that he was expanding U.S. efforts to defeat the terrorist group known as ISIS or the Islamic State. I believe we all would agree that it is the right thing for our nation to do, and we support all other nations who are confronting this terrorist army, which the CIA has stated could be made up of as many as 31,000 fighters. Right now, it seems almost as though they cannot be stopped. In fact, just a few hours ago, they released the video of a third beheading — this time of a British aid worker. The governments of the world may not be able to deliver the complete justice that ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram deserve, but perhaps they can give these criminals a taste of the justice that is coming their way.

Other events, such as the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, have placed a spotlight on the issue of how much trust Americans have in their government. Many in our society don’t believe that the government is truly committed to justice for all people.

In a TIME Magazine article last month, basketball great, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, wrote, “Today, our belief that the government wants to help us achieve justice is lower than ever. Politicians make predictable flag-waving speeches about the bravery and sacrifice of our troops in order to get themselves elected, but allow the Veterans Administration to let vets die through deliberate paper shuffling inaction… As of June 2014, a Gallup Poll showed only 7% of Americans had confidence in Congress, the lowest of 17 institutions measured and down from 42% in 1973… The criminal justice system only got the support of 23%.”

He goes on to suggest that this perception Americans have about their government is shown in our pop culture and entertainment choices. Some of the most popular movies and television series of our day, including Dexter, Luther, Jack Reacher, The Dark Knight Trilogy, House, Ray Donovan, Persons of Interest, Sons of Anarchy, and Sherlock, feature characters who are vigilante heroes. “What these vigilantes have in common is that they take the law into their own hands, sometimes coldly executing those people they decide are too evil to live.”

Yes, there often seems to be a lack of fair punishment of evil in our society. But, as we have seen from God’s Word in the previous two messages in this series, there will come a day when every evil deed that was ever committed that was not washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ will be brought to the light, and the person who committed that deed will receive the punishment they deserve. “Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord, “I will repay.”

This event is known as The Great White Throne Judgment. Jesus is the Judge. And every person who did not receive Christ as their Savior while they were alive will be there. We also have learned that, at this judgment, books will be opened which contain a record of every evil deed each person at this judgment has committed.

Some years ago, there was a popular Chick gospel pamphlet called “This Was Your Life.” It told the story of a man who died, went to the Great White Throne Judgment, and was confronted with video recordings of every evil thing he had ever done: every lustful glance, every unethical business deal, every time he had shrugged off the preacher’s invitation to get saved. That’s what it will be like when the books are opened at the Great White Throne Judgment.

We also learned that while this judgment is described in terms of a courtroom, there will be no trial. Instead, there will simply be the sentencing of individuals to their punishment, and that is what we will look at today in our final message in this series.

1. First, we see that death and hell are eradicated. The Bible says, “death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.”

To understand what this verse is saying, we must look at the Greek words used for death and hell. The word for death is “than-a-tos.” It refers to the death of the body, or physical decay. At the Great White Throne Judgment, the punishment that has plagued the human race since the Garden of Eden — physical death — will finally be removed. There will be no more death in the universe after this judgment because death itself will die.

The Greek word which is translated “hell” in the King James Version is “hades.” It refers to the world of the dead. You might recall from the story of Lazarus and the rich man which Jesus told — and which many scholars believe to be an actual historical event, not just a parable — when the rich man and Lazarus died, they both went to the realm of the dead, or Hades. While Hades was divided into two compartments — Paradise, which was a place of peace, and the other side, which was a place of torment, Hades was not the final resting place of the dead. After Jesus Christ died on the cross, He went to Hades to announce his triumph over death and to take the righteous dead (such as Lazarus) from the Paradise side of Hades to Heaven. The dead who had rejected Christ would end up in the lake of fire.

At the Great White Throne Judgment, death and the realm of the dead will be removed from the universe because they will no longer be needed, and the world will no longer be under that curse.

2. Second, we see the final death. Our passage goes on to state, “This is the second death.” For those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, there is a life after this life — and that is eternal life in Heaven with God. For those who do not accept Christ as their Savior, there is also a life after this life — and that is eternal death and separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

British theologian, Henry Alford, said, “As there is a second and higher life, so there is also a second and deeper death. And as after that life there is no more death, so after that death there is no more life.”

What the Bible calls the “second death” is synonymous with eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. There is no escape from this death. There is no purgatory. There are no second chances. There is no atonement. And atheists will get their greatest wish — an existence that is truly without God.

God is a merciful God. God is a loving God. God is indeed a God of second, third, and fourth chances. However, if you do not take those chances while the blood is running warm in your veins, you will face the second death from which there is no deliverance.

3. Third, we see the lake of fire. The Bible says, “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” When we speak of hell today, what we are really referring to is the lake of fire. The Bible speaks clearly that this is a place of eternal punishment for the devil, the rebellious angels, the antichrist, the false prophet, and all of those who die without accepting Christ as their Savior.

This is the place where justice for heinous crimes and atrocities will be meted out. This is the place where groups of people such as ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, and other unrepentant, violent terrorists will receive retribution for the pain, suffering, and persecution that they perpetrated on others. Tyrants who caused endless grief on earth will suffer endless punishment in the lake of fire.

Many Christians have tried to get around Holy Scriptures which indicate that the Lake of Fire is a place of eternal punishment. Some find it difficult to reconcile a loving God with a place of eternal torment. However, we must not look at the Lake of Fire in a vacuum. We must always bring into the picture that there is an alternative — God has also provided a place of eternal bliss for those who turn to Him. But, those who reject Him, have chosen their own fate. They have sealed their own destiny. When the unrepentant dead are resurrected, they, too, will receive resurrection bodies, however, as one commentary notes, they will “continue to be sinful but will be indestructible and will exist forever in the lake of fire.” The 17th century English theologian John Trapp said, “The devil and the damned have punishment without pity, misery without mercy, sorrow without succor, crying without comfort, mischief without measure, torments without end and past imagination.”

Now, some would raise the question, will everyone be subject to the same intensity of punishment in the Lake of Fire? Well, the Bible tells us only that the Lake of Fire is eternal. However, because we serve a just and fair God, we can rest assured that each person’s punishment in the Lake of Fire will fit their crimes. Perhaps, John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost, was on to something when he described Hell as a place with seven levels — each of them, horrible, terrible, painful, and eternal — but the vilest of sinners went to the lowest levels while those who had committed less heinous crimes were condemned to higher levels.

Tim Lahaye writes, “Isaiah 45:21 tells us that God is a just God, and Hebrews 2:2 advises us that ‘every transgression and disobedience’ will receive ‘a just reward.’ Because God is just, we can be certain that He will not treat the heathen—those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ—with the same judgment as the person who has listened to the message before and rejected it. Neither will He recompense the so-called ‘moral citizen’ (doctor, teacher, or good neighbor) who has lived a comparatively decent life (though still short of the standard of God) in exactly the same way as He will Adolf Hitler, under whose regime six million of God’s chosen people were slain.”

So, friend, we have no need to worry about God’s fairness. God is more than fair. He provided a way of salvation for us when He did not have to. But, God is also just. The feeble, human-run governments of this world may not be able to carry out justice on this Earth. But, the Bible assures us that every atrocity, every beheading, every murder, every rape, every lie, every sin that is not washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ will be judged. Every violent extremist who participates in the actions of ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and others will receive just retribution for their deeds. God will ensure that justice is done.


If you are with us today, and you are not sure that your name is written in the Book of Life… If you are not certain that, if you died today, you would NOT have to appear at the Great White Throne Judgment… If you are not positive that if Jesus Christ returned today, He would take you back to Heaven to be with Him… allow me to share with you how you can trust Jesus Christ for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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