Answer: Nobody is burning in Hell right now. Those who have ever lived and died are asleep in the grave waiting for the return of Christ and the resurrection. Notice that the Apostle Paul does not describe dead Christians as being active or alive in heaven. They are asleep—dead—until they are resurrected at Christ's second coming. See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Paul used sleep as a metaphor for death. Yet, from an early age, most of us have been taught that sinners who died were right now being tormented in eternal hellfire.  Who’s right? Paul or your Sunday School teacher?  The Bible says… Paul got it right!

But what about Revelation 20:10?  Many use this scripture to “prove” that at least two human beings—the “Beast” and the “False Prophet”—will be tormented eternally in Hell.  So let’s take a closer look:

“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Look closely at that verse.  Do you notice that one word—are—is in italics? That means it isn’t part of the Greek text, but was added by translators trying to “make clear” what’s in the verse. The problem is, the translators made it clearly wrong!  Satan the Devil will go to the same destination as the Beast and the False Prophet… but he will go there as a spirit-being, and will be there long after the Beast and False Prophet—like other unrepentant sinners (Revelation 19:20; 20:15) have been burned up and destroyed (Matthew 25:41).

We understand that this does not represent a comprehensive answer on this topic. Comments? Suggestions? Discuss with a minister?

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CD: Is There Life After Death?

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