In “Jeremiah’s unquenchable fire” Jefferson Vann explains what an unquenchable fire does.
Jeremiah 21:11-14 (JDV)
Jeremiah 21:11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say this: ‘Hear the word of Yahveh!
Jeremiah 21:12 House of David, this is what Yahveh says: Administer justice every morning, and rescue the victim of robbery from his oppressor, or my anger will flare up like fire and burn unquenchably because of your evil deeds.
Jeremiah 21:13 Beware! I am against you, you who sit above the valley, you atop the rocky plateau – this is what Yahveh declares – you who say, “Who can come down against us? Who can enter our hiding places?”
Jeremiah 21:14 I will punish you according to what you have done – this is what Yahveh declares. I will kindle a fire in your forest that will consume everything around it.'”
Jeremiah’s unquenchable fire
The theological know-it-alls tell us that God wants to torment the wicked perpetually in hell. They tell us that there is no other way to read scripture because the New Testament describes the final punishment of the wicked as an unquenchable fire.
These theological know-it-alls do not understand what the Bible is saying when it describes hell as an unquenchable fire. Jeremiah used the concept of an unquenchable fire here to describe God’s anger against the king of Judah for his disobedience. But Jeremiah’s fire would not torment the king and his kingdom perpetually. The result of that fire which God kindled was to “consume everything around it.” An unquenchable fire is a fire that cannot be put out until it destroys all its fuel. That is what hell will do.
Lord, help us to think biblically about your final punishment of the wicked.
For more on the destruction of the wicked, see: