“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in
the first resurrection. On such the Second Death hath no power.”
It is generally understood that the
wicked, after death, are cast into the tormenting flames of Hell. However,
the final destination of the wicked is far more fearful than that. Their
eternal judgment is so horrible, so full of unimaginable terror and torment,
that clear description of it eludes all human expression. In Revelation, it
is simply called “The Second Death”. This Second Death is not Hell; it
is a place of such pain and terror that Hell itself will be cast into it
(Rev. 20:11-15)! Hell is now used by God only as a holding place for the
unrighteous dead until the Final Judgment is completed. After that, all who
are in Hell--and Hell itself--are cast into the “Lake of Fire”. This Lake of
Fire is “The Second Death” (Rev. 20:11-15).
The word of God reveals frighteningly
gruesome details of this Second Death which awaits the damned. Of the awful
judgment of the wicked, the; Psalmist wrote, “They shall never see light”
(Ps. 49:19). What a terrifying thought, to be tightly bound forever, unable
to die, in a sepulchre of pitch blackness! The Lake of Fire burns with a
flame which gives no light! Three times, Jesus referred to this as “outer
darkness” (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30), adding, “There shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.” Solomon called this miserable place “obscure darkness” (Prov.
20:20). Peter (2Pet. 2:17) referred to the suffocating thickness of the dark
as a “mist of darkness”. Jude used the phrase, “blackness of darkness” (Jude
13); With the inadequate tool of earthly language, these wise men attempted
to describe an indescribable, chilling fact of eternity.
Of the Second Death, Jesus suggested a
dreadful element beyond the darkness when he said, “Bind him hand and foot,
and cast him into outer darkness” (Mt. 22:13). In the Lake of Fire there
will be no choices. No, not so much as to lift a hand or turn the head. The
damned will be tightly bound in blackness forever.
But the Second Death is more than this.
More than the thick, terrifying blackness. More than the eternal absence
of all choice. More than the terrifying hopelessness. For there is also in
the Second Death the element of unimaginable torment, described in the holy
Scriptures to being burned alive. It is a place of ‘everlasting punishment”
where “the fire is not quenched” (Mt. 25: 4 1-46). Jesus told those who
would listen that the torment of the damned would be so insufferable that,
if necessary, it would be better to cut off parts of our bodies to avoid it
(Mt. 18:8-9; Mk. 9:43 -48).
After Christ’s millennial reign on earth,
the Devil shall be cast into “the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone, and
shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Rev. 20:10). Then,
following the great White Throne Judgment, death and Hell “and whosoever was
not found written in the Book of Life” are all cast into the Lake of Fire,
“which is the Second Death”. We can scarcely imagine such horror. There is
nothing in this world like it.