Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The winds are your messengers, and flames of fire are your servants.
Psalm 104:3-5

My words are a powerful fire; they are a hammer that shatters rocks.
Jeremiah 23:28-30

The LORD himself has promised to be a protective wall of fire surrounding Jerusalem, and he will be its shining glory in the heart of the city."
Zechariah 2:4-6

Everyone must be salted with fire.
Mark 9:48-50

I came to set fire to the earth, and I wish it were already on fire! (Jesus speaking)
Luke 12:48-50

The disciples then remembered that the Scriptures say, "My love for your house burns in me like a fire."
John 2:16-18

Dear friends, don't be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire.
1 Peter 4:11-13

When the crowd of people saw the fire and the Lord's glory, they knelt down and worshiped the Lord. They prayed: "The Lord is good, and his love never ends."
2 Chronicles 7:2-4

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
Revelation 20:13-15

The Bible talks about fire a lot.  (roughly 353 times...if "Biblegateway.com" is right)  These are just a few scriptures I found interesting, and hopefully get you thinking that maybe fire is not such a bad thing according to the Bible.  God led the Israelites with fire, the Holy Spirit baptizes with fire, Jesus eyes are described as flames of fire, and so on.  But I certainly understand why it's seen as bad, especially after looking through them all...because most the time the fire was coming from God's wrath and burning everything up.  It's so terrifying, and so no wonder people blame Satan and say he's the one in control of the fire.  But I want to make a strong point that the fire God punished with always destroyed things...not tortured things. 

Fire is described as causing torment in a few places, like the parable of the wheat and the weeds and the parable of Lazarus. (a different post, but I really don't think these parables are teaching about what hell is or isn't) I've been in torment a few times in my life-- I look back at those times and can honestly say I'm thankful, because I know I would not have changed without that pain.  So many people believe the lake of fire and hell are the same thing, but how can that be when it says hell is thrown into the lake of fire?  And if  "God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29) then shouldn't that mean that hell is destroyed?

The Bible is a difficult book, and it's even more difficult if we think of all these images as being literal.  (especially in Revelations)  If you need to believe there is an actual lake of fire, then you need to believe that Jesus is an actual lamb that stands before an actual throne.  To believe these images are conveying spiritual and not literal truths does not mean they are not speaking truths at all, it just means we have to be humble enough to admit that maybe we don't understand them, because we are spiritually blind.  May God open our eyes, so we can see Him for who He is.