Thursday, March 05, 2009

Reasons for Unbelief

The words at the bottom of the cartoon are Ted Rall’s. His comment may have been inspired by “official” explanations like the following: Believe in God or you may end up in not one but two lakes of fire, pelted by fire and brimstone, or “broken on the wheel.”

Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7, pages 875 and 876
"‘A lake of fire'. Or 'The lake which is fire.' This phrase immediately turns to the reader's mind to an identical phrase in Rev. 20:10, which in turn seems to call for the conclusion that these phrases refer to the same a fiery event, namely, the destruction of the wicked at the end of the thousand years. But to do so presents a problem.

"Revelation the 19th chapter is most evidently discussing events in connection with the second coming of Christ. Hence to hold that the lake of fire mentioned in Rev. 19:20 describes an event at the close of the millennium is to lift this verse out of its contextual sequence. It is always better, if possible, to find an explanation that allows any given statement to maintain its historical sequence in a passage of Scripture. As regards Rev. 19:20, this is possible on the reasonable premise that there is a fiery judgment from God both at the beginning and at the close of the millennium. This is no inconsistency and certainly no contradiction in speaking of a lake of fire at the beginning and the lake of fire at the end of the millennium.

"James White wrote thus on this point: 'So, if you please, there are two lakes of fire, one at each end of the one thousand years' (RH Jan. 21,1862)."

The Week magazine, February 27, 2009, reported on page 6:

“Confession, after the Vatican announced that men who go to hell—likely for sins of lust—will have their souls pelted with fire and brimstone, while women’s souls will be punished—probably for sins of pride—by bring “broken on the wheel”.

cartoon from Search and Destroy by Ted Rall
(click to enlarge)


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