We believe that unbelievers go to Hell for eternity. They do not vanish or get released into Heaven after a time. Jesus said in Matthew 25:45 “Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Jesus also tells us in Mark 3:29 “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” Punishment cannot be everlasting if those being punished do not also last forever. Jesus Himself said they will go into, “everlasting punishment,” or, “eternal damnation” therefore those who go to Hell will neither have an end to their existence, not to their punishment. To say that Hell is eternal torment, but it does not torment eternally is a self-refuting statement.
Mark 9:43 “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” He also said in Luke 12:4 “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
Notice that these are not the words of the Pope or some religious dude, they are the Words of Jesus Himself! So Jesus clearly taught that People who go to Hell are there forever without ever vanishing away.
Hebrews 6:1”Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” So according to Hebrews, the fact that Hell torments eternally is basic foundational doctrine.
Jude 1:7 “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
Revelation 14:11 also tells us, “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.” Last, but not least, 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.” These verses make it clear that the torment of Hell is eternal. There is no point at which a spirit is consumed or destroyed and the torment ends, nor any get out of Hell free card to get a person into Heaven after they have served their time in Hell.
Written by Hank Hanegraaff.
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT- Introduction
“How can a loving God send people to hell forever and ever?” Is hell really everlasting, or will it eventually “freeze over?”
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT- Annihilationism
You’d expect cultists to annihilate the concept of hell, but today, more and more evangelical Christians are buying into this idea of annihilation as well. Rather than believe that unbelievers are going to suffer forever and ever, they claim a just God would never allow infinite suffering for finite sin. But for this argument to be consistent, we would be forced to say that God shouldn’t extend eternal bliss to finite creatures. See this argument is self-defeating because annihilationism teaches that finite wrongdoers will be zapped into unconscious oblivion for an infinite amount of time.
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT- Sins are Minimized
Let me also add this, if there were no hell, the atrocity of sins against the very character of God would be minimized. And in light of crimes committed by Nazi war criminals and things like that, the horror of eternal, conscious punishment may not be so inconceivable after all.
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT- Scriptural Support?
Annihilationists try to use Scriptures like Malachi 4:1 and Matthew 10:28 to argue for extinction rather than everlasting punishment. But the consummation of evildoers, which is spoken of in these passages, does not at all infer extinction. Rather, it clearly means that evildoers will undergo conscious destruction forever (Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:19-31; 2 Thes. 1:8,9; Jude 7-13; Rev. 14:9-11).
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT- Conclusion
Remember, a text without a context is a pretext. So let’s look at the clear context of Scripture — passages like Matthew 25:41,46 and Rev. 20. Here we see without equivocation that the Bibles states hell is both conscious and never ending. Like the anti-Christ and the false prophet, evildoers will be tormented “forever and ever.” The bottom line is this, since the Bible confirms that hell is forever, we ought to confirm that hell is forever as well. On the annihilation of hell, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.
Originally co-written by a friend and myself, edited by a friend
[ hel ]SHOW IPA
- the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna or Tartarus.
4. the powers of evil.
- the abode of the dead; Sheol or Hades.