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Paul Washer often uses the following quote

The last thing the accursed person will hear when they take their first step into hell, is all of creation standing to its feet and applauding God because God has rid the earth of them. ~Paul Washer


Now, although this quote sounds logical, I can't find the biblical support for this. The closest I can find is:

Revelation 14:11

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Revelation 19:1-6

1And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

but neither really support what has been said.

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That sounds like the opposite of the gospel message. According to Luke 15:7, "there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." I can't imagine ever applauding someone being sent to hell. –  Bruce Alderman Aug 14 '12 at 2:41
@Bruce: I interpret Paul Washer's quote as being in the context of the final judgment -- which has to make sense, for why would the saints/angels grieve over a decision made by God? –  user1694 Aug 14 '12 at 2:54
I expect God himself would grieve at such a decision. –  Bruce Alderman Aug 14 '12 at 3:12
From the perspective of pre-destination, I don't see how that is possible, given that God picked who to save / who to not save. –  user1694 Aug 14 '12 at 3:14

1 Answer 1

Sometimes we may be quick to judge another brother, not knowing exactly what they mean, so I will not argue for or against this quote, but will show in what way it is not true, and in what way it could be true.

First, if it is implied that God, or the saints, rejoice in the destruction of sinners that can’t be true.

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (NIV Ezekiel 18:23)

Second, if it is merely implied that creation is nature and has been put into bondage by the sin of Adam and groans to have sinners and sin to be taken out of it, this is a personification of nature that seems to be supported by the Bible:

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (NIV Romans 8:20-22)

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I actually believe in PW's statement, I just can't find proof for it. The reason for my Belief is that -- for heaven to be fully joyous, it requires either (1) God wipes human memory of those in hell or (2) people in heaven are happy over God's justice that those in hell are indeed in hell. To me (2) seems more likely, which would make PW's statement consistent with scripture. Unfortunately, I can only derive this through logic rather than a scripture verse. –  user1694 Aug 14 '12 at 10:28
I do have to admit, now that I look at Ezekiel 18, I'm not sure how to resolve this. –  user1694 Aug 14 '12 at 10:38
@Matthew7.7 - God delights on everything he does, as his will is perfect and delightful, including sending the Devil and sinners to hell (you could put it that way – delighting in justice) - but we can never say he ‘delights in their suffering’ on its own, that would be cruel and vengeful in an evil sense. It is contrary to his great love for which he sent his Son into the world. Possibly this would help you sort it out: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/8830/… –  Mike Aug 14 '12 at 11:45
This was the rationale that prompted Origen to suppose that eventually all people would eventually be reconciled to God. How could God be at all "victorious" while evil still existed? I think it is quite compelling, personally. –  jackweinbender Aug 14 '12 at 11:59

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