Part 01 – Is Hell eternal?
Part 02 – Scriptures used to support an eternal Hell
Part 03 – New Testament scriptures that dispel an eternal Hell
Part 04 – Old Testament scriptures that dispel an eternal Hell
Part 05 – Other resources about Hell
The doctrine of an eternal Hell has arguably caused more people turn away from God than any other. Many instinctively think that eternal punishment in Hell is cruel beyond belief for sins committed in a person’s short life. Consequently this doctrine has led many to reject God or to disbelieve the Bible.
But what scriptures do people use to justify this doctrine of eternal suffering in Hell? Before looking at these scriptures I would like to interject that the Bible clearly teaches us that that eternal life is exclusively for the righteous. Yet if we are to assume that the wicked will burn in Hell for all eternity in a conscious state, then we have a contradiction and we have to accept that the wicked also inherit eternal life. The only difference between the righteous and wicked in this view is where they spend this eternal life.
But scripture is clear on this matter; only the righteous inherit eternal life and the the wicked will suffer eternal death namely the second death. Even the most quoted scripture of all time clearly teaches us that only the righteous inherit eternal life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So from what scriptures do people use to support this idea that the wicked will also live eternally, albeit in Hell fire? We will now look at each scripture in depth.
Revelation 14: 9-11
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,
10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
At first glance this scripture seems to indeed teach that these sinners will be tormented forever for their sin of worshipping the beast and his image. But let’s delve deeper into the text, but first a bit of history.
‘Hell’ is the English word for Hades or Geena. Hades is the Greek word for the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’ In the Old Testament. The word ‘Sheol’ is never used to describe punishment or torment, rather it was used to describe the place or state of the dead or condition of the lost. Geena in the Old Testament was a valley where a fire burned day and night where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned. This is a fitting symbol for the fate of the wicked and their destruction.
So scripture teaches that all who reject salvation and continue to sin instead will be thrown into the Lake of Fire which is called “The Second Death”. In other words, it is the second and final death. An everlasting death. Final destruction.
Remember in Romans 6:23 it says:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Clearly the wages of sin is not eternal life in Hell, rather it is just death, final destruction, or eternal death in that you are dead or not alive eternally. Non-existent. So some uses of Hell and/or the Lake of Fire is about eternal destruction.
If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
NOTE: This page is still under construction
- Go to Part 3: New Testament scriptures that dispel an eternal Hell