1 Cor. 15: 55: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" This is parallel to Hos. 14: 14, where the destruction of Hadees is prophesied. Whatever Hadees means, it is not to endure forever. It is destined to be destroyed. It cannot be endless torment. That its inhabitants are to be delivered from its dominion, is seen from Rev. 20: 13: "And Death and Hell delivered up the dead that were in them." This harmonizes with the declaration of David, that he had been delivered from it already. (Ps. 30: 3; 2 Sam. 22: 5,6). It does not retain its victims always, and hence, whatever it may mean, it does not denote endless imprisonment. Hence the next verse reads, "And death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire!" Can a more striking description of utter destruction be given than this? Of course the language is all figurative, and not literal. Hell here denotes evil and its consequences. It is in this world, it opposes truth and human happiness, but it is to meet with a destruction so complete that only a se of fire can indicate the character of its destruction.
Says Prof. Stuart: "The king of Hadees, and Hadees itself, i.e., the region or domains of death, are represented as cast into the burning lake. The general judgment being now come, mortality having now been brought to a close, the tyrant death, and his domains along with him, are represented as cast into the burning lake, as objects of abhorrence and of indignation. They are no more to exercise any power over the human race." Ex. Es. p. 133. 'And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; and in Hell (Hadees) he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." Luke 16: 22, 23. If this is a literal history, as is sometimes claimed, of the after-death experiences of two persons, then the good are carried about in Abraham's bosom; and the wicked are actually roasted in fire, and cry for water to cool their parched tongues. If these are figurative, then Abraham, Lazarus, Dives and the gulf and every part of the account are features of a picture, an allegory, as much as the fire and Abraham's bosom. If it be history, then the good are obliged to hear the appeals of the damned for that help which they cannot bestow! They are so near together as to be able to converse across the gulf, not wide but deep. It was this opinion that caused Jonathan Edwards to teach that the sight of the agonies of the damned enhances the joys of the blest!
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