THE WORD FOREVER
Before we look at the verse dealing with the 'worm that never dies', let's look at some Bible verses concerning the word 'forever', so that we can get some good Biblical background concerning this concept.
1 Samuel 1:22 ...'But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.' ... Hannah pledged to God that she would take her infant son Samuel, to serve in the temple at Shiloh, where he would abide 'forever'. Now no one would take this to mean that Samuel would abide in the temple for a literal eternity. Hannah herself interpreted what she meant by forever ... 1 Samuel 1:28 ...'Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.' ... Forever meant 'for as long as he lives'.
Jonah 2:6 ...'I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever.' ... Jonah is describing being swallowed by the whale. He says he was down there 'forever'. How long was he there? 3 days!!
Exodus 21:5-6 ...'And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.' ... How could the servant serve his master forever? What about when the servant dies? Does he still continue to serve him? No, forever means, for as long as that person is still alive, until death.
So the word 'forever' in certain circumstances means, as Strong's describes it; 'A period of time' or 'An unbroken age'. And what we see above also applies to the lost in the lake of fire. The fire from God to burn the lost will be for an 'unbroken age' because no one will be able to put the fire out. It will keep burning 'forever' or 'for an unbroken age' until it has done it's job of devouring the lost and they 'perish', 'burn up' and are 'devoured'.
What does the Word of God say are the 'wages of sin'? Eternal burning in hell fire? No, DEATH.
Now something we must do with regards to this teaching is use LOGIC. If we are teaching something that has no logic, then there is something wrong with that teaching, because our Heavenly Father is a God of Logic, not confusion. So with that in mind, take a look at the following verse:
Revelation 21:1,4 ...'And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away ... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.'
Now we already learned on the page DOES HELL BURN FOREVER that hell fire is ON EARTH. So logic tells us that if hell for the lost is on earth and 'heaven and earth' are made new, then that means hell fire does NOT burn forever and the lost will be completely destroyed. They have 'passed away', never to be any more. Satan and the wicked are no more!
There is no more pain or suffering in all the universe. Praise God! THAT is good news!
THE WORM THAT NEVER DIES
Those who hold on to the eternal hell fire teaching, use the well known 'the worm that dieth not' verse, to back up their claim. But in light of all the evidence we have gathered so far, what does this verse really mean?
Mark 9:43-44 .....'And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.'
Let's first compare the above with the verse in Isaiah 66:24 ...'And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.' ... This is just what Jesus said. But notice how Isaiah applied this scene to the 'carcasses' of the lost that God's people will look upon at the end. The righteous will see the dead bodies of the lost, and the worm will eat away at the dead bodies UNTIL there is no more. Think about what Jesus said in Mark above. It would be better to lose one part of your body and enter heaven, than for your whole body to be cast into hell fire, where you would be devoured and eaten up by the worm.
The meaning of the 'worm that dieth not' is the same as 'everlasting fire'. They both continue UNTIL they have done their job of destroying the lost.
There are those who believe that it is the 'soul' that is forever in hell, and not the body. But how can a worm chew away on someone's "soul", if there is nothing to eat at? Do you see how completely illogical this is?
Are we now going to say that there will be actual worms chewing on the bodies of the lost for eternity? Many of those who believe in this eternal hell fire believe that it is the soul of the person that is in hell for eternity. Well, how are the worms going to eat someone's soul? When you really think about this, you can see how absurd this eternal hell fire teaching really is.
In Bible days, outside Jerusalem, there was a dump where the carcasses of dead animals and criminals ended up. Worms continually crawled there eating up the rotting flesh. Jesus used this imagery, quoting Isaiah, to illustrate the fate of the lost. But, it's DEAD bodies, not eternal torment being described.
LIFE OR DEATH
Friend, there are two options ... John 3:16 ...'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not PERISH, but have EVERLASTING LIFE.'
Perish or everlasting life! The Word of God could not be any clearer on this. 'The wages of sin is death', not everlasting life in hell fire.
Nahum 1:2,6,9 ...'God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.' ... The new Heaven and earth must be a place of peace and happiness, with no evil. If this is to happen, then the wicked, including satan, must be wiped out and come to an end.
Friend, this is the truth of God's Word in the Bible. Hell fire will burn the wicked, there is no disputing that fact. But, the fire will destroy them and they shall be no more. Sin cannot be allowed to carry on in the new heaven and earth, it has to be completely wiped out. God will make an utter end of sin and the wicked. The worms will eat away at the DEAD bodies of the lost UNTIL there is nothing left. This is the Bible truth about the worm that never dies.
Do we REALLY have an immortal soul that lives on when the body dies? See WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE for the truth!