Read Matt: 13:42  and try that on for size. 

Matthew 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Dear "Onfire4jesus,"

I am not sure what you mean by "try that on for size." Do you not understand this verse and are asking for an explanation?

Many spiritually ignorant people believe that Jesus is saying that He will torture people in a "furnace of fire" for all eternity. I don't know why they think He would do that. Perhaps they think Jesus is a trillions billions times meaner than Saddam's two terrorist sons were.

The Scriptures speak many times about a furnace of fire melting, purifying, and burning off the unwanted dross when refining such metals as silver and gold.  In I Cor. 3:12-12 Pauls gives us this same analogy of purifying gold, silver, or precious stones, while burning off the dross of wood, straw, and stubble. But Paul is clearly speaking of PEOPLE'S WORKS being tried and purified in this fire. The result of ALL that go through this purifying fire of God is that THEY ARE ALL SAVED! "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but  he himself SHALL BE SAVED, yet so as BY FIRE." There is the wonderful good news about the outcome of God's divine judgments.

And so Jesus also alluded to this endtime judgment of the lake of fire when everyman's work would be tried in the lake of fire (or furnace of fire). And we know just what the fire is, because it purifies as brimstone, which is DIVINE!  God HIMSELF IS a "consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). God even prophesied of this purifying fire of judgment back in the book of Malachi. I don't have the time to prove to you from the Bible that "Levi" is representative of ALL HUMANITY, but with that in mind, let's read Malachi 32-3, "But who may abide the day of His coming? and sho shall stand when He appears? for He is like a REFINER'S FIRE, and like fullers' sope: and He shall sit as a REFINER AND PURIFIER [need I even comment that we do not torture or punish silver and gold in a furnace?] of silver: and He shall purify THE SONS OF LEVI, and purge them AS gold and silver, [why? for the fun of torturing them for all eternity? No, read on...] that they may offer unto the Lord an OFFERING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Oh how so many Christians despise these marvelous words of God! God's judgments bring RIGHTEOUSNESS, NOT ETERNAL TORTURE! That's SATANIC! God IS righteous and when our Righteous God brings judgment upon the world, they TOO will become righteous! Sure they will. The fires of God's spiritual furnace will PURGE AND PURIFY all mankind. We read of it EVERYWHERE in His Word:

"...For when thy [God's] JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD will learn RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Isa. 26:9).

And so, if I may borrow your words, "TRY THAT ON FOR SIZE"!!

Sincerely,

L. Ray Smith

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