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(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Revelation is a book of symbols. It is symbolic language.
The earth and the heaven represent respectively the mortal rulers and people of the earth. This symbology is first seen when Moses speaks to the rulers and people of Israel.
Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
The white throne represents righteous judgment. This is the final resurrection and judgment. Mortal governments and the mortal population of the earth are to be brought to an end.
The final judgment will take place at the end of the one thousand year reign of Christ over the mortal population of the earth. After this judgment those accepted will receive the divine nature and be immortal; those rejected will die again.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
There is no literal lake of fire – it represents complete destruction. It is called the second death because those who are raised from the dead to be judged and are rejected will die a second time and perish forever.
Death cannot apply to those who are given immortality and as a consequence hell (hades – the grave) will no longer be necessary; so both are symbolically destroyed forever at the second death.
Note that there is no place here for the false doctrine of hell as a place of eternal torment.
After this judgment there will be no mortal population. When all are immortal, God will dwell amongst mankind.
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 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.
Paul describes what is to happen; taking us through the return of Christ to the end of his millennial reign, when God will be all in all. This is a future state of indescribable joy that we cannot begin to imagine.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
It will be the fulfilment of God’s stated purpose:
Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
This is the hope held out to those who believe and obey the gospel.
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,