Sorry, but there is no ladder or stairway out of Hell or the lake of fire once this life is over. But today there is a way, and His name is Jesus.

Matthew 25:41 “Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels! (GOD’S WORD)

Satan and the angels before they fell, were created as eternal beings before the creation of the heavens and the earth. So does this verse mean that every man who will come out of Great Tribulation and stand before Jesus on that day will experience the same justice as Satan himself?

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 NASB

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Psalm 1:6

The endgame for most men seems to be according to these verses, that they would perish, but perishing must come after their having paid the price for their own sin, because of the outright rejection of Jesus’ payment for that sin. The following verse would seem to agree with this conclusion.

Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.

Proverbs 13:15 NIV

Scripture tells us to train up our children in the way they should go. The following verse tells us why.

If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

Proverbs 23:14 ESV

So what is Sheol?

Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the abyss, the place of eternal punishment) lie open before the Lord — How much more the hearts and inner motives of the children of men.

Proverbs 15:11 AMP

If the object is to keep our children from Sheol the place of the dead, then is Abaddon the place of eternal punishment really in consideration by God for most men when they are judged?

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21:8 NASB

dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 NASB

And then there is the promise that in a Coming day destruction will cease.

Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you; be their shelter from the destroyer.” The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it— one from the house of David — one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.

Isaiah 16:4-5 NIV

Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

Isaiah 38:17 NIV

When destruction ceases in the pit of destruction, does that mean that those who remain including Satan and his angels will remain alive forever. Seems that way.

Do not be a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster. Let my persecutors be put to shame, but keep me from shame; let them be terrified, but keep me from terror. Bring on them the day of disaster; destroy them with double destruction.

Jeremiah 17:17-18 NIV

We see destruction spoken of several times in these verses.

Why does this last verse speak of double destruction? Could it be that the purpose of destruction (number one) might be to destroy this physical life of the wicked from the face of the earth, and (a second) destruction then would end the life following the second resurrection great white throne judgment. In this judgment it is understood that there will be pronouncements of the terms of punishment leading up to this destruction in the lake of fire.

I will make her officials and wise men drunk, her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake,” declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.

Jeremiah 51:57 NIV

It would seem that at some point the second death would take place for all forever, except for those who may be worthy of a sentence to eternal life in the pit itself. There are those who worship the beast in Revelation who are told that they will live forever in torment. Others of the past such as Stalin and Hitler might also be judged worthy of this same punishment.

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?…

Hosea 13:14a NIV

As believers our deliverance is from this second death and destruction. But:

The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.

Psalm 9:17 NASB

Remember Sheol is the place of the dead. Prob. 15:1

There is an interesting truth taught in scripture which would seem to govern the maximum sentence to be incurred by the vast majority of hells residents. That truth is the destruction of man’s last enemy — death. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15, that the last enemy to be destroyed is death itself. We see death thrown into the lake of fire after the Great white Throne Judgment. The obvious question is if death is destroyed upon entrance into this lake of fire, then would this same fire not also bring destruction to the souls of mortal men who are thrown there as well?

50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:50 NASB

A place of ongoing punishment is well described in this verse.

Matthew 25:41 “Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels! (GOD’S WORD)

Another angel, a third one, followed them, and said in a loud voice, “Whoever worships the beast or its statue, whoever is branded on his forehead or his hand, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured unmixed into the cup of God’s anger. Then he will be tortured by fiery sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the lamb. The smoke from their torture will go up forever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast or its statue, or for anyone branded with its name.”

Revelation 14:9

So there seems to be ample evidence to conclude that even though these suffer forever, yet, most will not suffer eternal punishment. Once death is destroyed there then can be no more death for man no matter where he resides be it in heaven or in the lake of fire — destruction of the many does not negate the fact that some will endure the lake of fire forever. But destruction will come to an end once it has done it’s designated deed.

So there is evidence that God the Just Judge does not intend nor want all men to suffer eternally. This seems to be contained in the language used in these words — perish; destruction; destroyed. But for me the clincher is in the next two passages, one recorded early on in scripture.

And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), knowing [how to distinguish between] good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take from the tree of life as well, and eat [its fruit], and live [in this fallen, sinful condition] forever”— therefore the Lord God sent Adam away from the Garden of Eden, to till and cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

Genesis 3:22-23 AMP

Then God took precaution to keep man from eating of that tree.

So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:24 NASB

Paul then in the New Testament tells us very clearly that man is mortal, not immortal.

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “ Death is swallowed up in victory.

1 Corinthians 15:50,53-54 NASB

It goes without saying that the only way that God will violate His own word and cause man who He does not want to live forever to actually then live forever in the lake of fire, would be for Him to Judge one worthy of that punishment and then pronounce for those deserving souls immortality as part of His punishment.

Hell is the one place that no man should want to spend even one moment, but without Christ all men will experience their own version of this torment. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved from such a pronouncement.