The word "Forever" in the Bible
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'.
Let’s also 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.'
We already learned from another page 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!