The Fires of Hell

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." (James 3:6)

Since the tongue can be a "world of iniquity" if it is "set on fire of hell," this implies that hell itself is not merely a "lake of fire" but is essentially a world of iniquity where "he that is unjust" and "he which is filthy" are unjust and filthy still (Revelation 22:11), separated forever "from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9). This is the destiny of all who "obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 8).

Their resurrected bodies presumably will be quickly consumed by the very real fires of the fiery lake, but their spirits are eternal, created in the image of God, and will continue to exist eternally in a world of iniquity, having spurned Christ's free gift of righteousness and love. This will not be mere physical suffering but spiritual suffering.

The hell described in Islam's Koran is quite different. It consists of physical tortures of all kinds, described frequently throughout the book, seemingly with relish by its author as the destiny of all "infidels" (meaning all who refuse to become Muslims and submit to a god called Allah and his prophet Mohammed). On the other hand, a very sensual paradise is repeatedly promised to all faithful male Muslims, with dozens of "dark-eyed" nymphs available to serve them (little is said about rewards for faithful women).

Christians and Muslims have some beliefs in common, of course, but the overriding consideration in comparing them must always be the fact that Christ alone has defeated death and can save all who come to Him in faith, promising eternal life in a real heaven with no more tears and no more pain (Revelation 21:4). HMM


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