Q. Thank you so much for your website. You have cleared up so many points of confusion for me, I hope you can set me straight on this.
Concerning the fate of the lost: Punishment does not mean the same as punishing. If one is burned up and ceases to be, the punishment is eternal. If the burning was to go on for that individual forever, would it not be called “eternal punishing? The death penalty is different from life imprisonment with no parole.
It has been said that Adam was created with eternal life but lost it for all of us. Since then, all humans are born with a body and soul but have to believe (born again) in order to receive eternal life. How then can the unsaved then live forever?
Also, Eve told Satan in the garden that God had said that if they ate of the fruit they would die. Satan contradicted God by saying, “You will not surely die”. If the lost live forever being punished in Hell, Satan told the truth … but Jesus said he was a liar from the beginning.
A. Remember that physical death and spiritual death are different. Physical death is when the body ceases to function, and Spiritual death is eternal separation from God. A person can be physically dead but very much alive spiritually. This is why the Bible talks about the second death as the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14).
So the second death is being punished forever. Isaiah 66:24 says “their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.” This means they won’t cease to exist and the fire will never go out.