One of the most puzzling topics in the Bible, for many Christians, is the topic of hell fire. Many find it very hard to reconcile the character of a loving and merciful God to the punishment He gives His enemies. How can a God who commanded us, “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44), not show love to His enemies, by letting them burn for all eternity? Many have become infidels because they have not properly understood God’s character as revealed in the popular teaching on this topic of hell.
The sanctuary reveals death for the sinner
The sanctuary has the key to understanding this topic correctly. And if we start from here and proceed to the rest of the Bible, everything falls in place, and the puzzling verses can be easily understood as well.
The fate of the sinner was clearly portrayed in the Sanctuary. The first thing we learn in the sanctuary is that sin kills the sinner. The wages of sin is death was clearly taught when the sinner killed his substitute—when an animal was put to death instead of him.
Leviticus 3:2, “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation”
The concept that a sinner will suffer forever for his sins cannot be seen at all in the sanctuary. Just the opposite is seen—sin leads to death and not eternal suffering.
The last book of the Bible that describes in detail the fires of hell, clearly specify that death will be the lot of sinners at the end.
Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”