Is Hell Eternal?

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Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

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.

Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

The above list of verses are just a small sampling of scriptures that speak of Hell being a place of eternal punishment and damnation. If a person is to take the Bible at it’s word he must accept the eternality of Hell. Many professing “Christians” despite the clear teaching of the Bible still reject the eternality of Hell or reject the doctrine of Hell entirely. This is an emotional reaction and not a logical or Biblical one. Let us examine for a moment if the doctrine of an eternal Hell is rational.

The Bible clearly states that we are sinners incapable of saving ourselves. If we die in our sins our own death is not a sufficient sacrifice for our own sins. If our death was a sufficient sacrifice then everyone who died would go to Heaven and Christ would not have had to die for our sins. Hell is eternal for several reasons. God is eternal, perfect, righteous, just and holy and a transgression (sin) against Him that is not washed away by Christ’s perfect sacrifice is not forgotten or paid for by the annihilation of the sinner. The sinner is not a perfect sacrifice therefore his death and annihilation does not pay for his own sin against God. An example of this on earth would be when a murderer gets put to death for his violation of the law. Does the murderer’s own death make perfect the sin against the victim’s family and loved ones? No, of course it does not. Even after the murderer is put to death, the victim’s family will have a lifetime of hurt and sorrow for the loss of their loved one at the hands of the murderer. In the same way a sin against God does not simply go away because the sinner is annihilated. The sin against Him is still there, God has not forgotten it and it must be punished because God is just. The believer’s sins have been forgotten (as far as the east is from the west) because God found Jesus’s death to be sufficient for our sin because Jesus had lived a perfect life. The believer is gifted eternal life with God because of Christ perfect sacrifice and not because of anything the believer has done.

Hell also must be eternal because man being created in the image of God is an eternal being. If an eternal being dies in their sins there is no way to have their sins paid for therefore they will have to pay for their sin for eternity because God is just. God cannot simply pardon them after a period of time in hell because their sin is not washed by the blood of Christ and therefore still exists as an offence against an eternal God. The unbeliever has rejected the free gift of Christ’s sacrifice which would have been sufficient to wash away their sins therefore they go into eternity with their sins.

The professing Christian should use the reality of an everlasting Hell as a motivator for evangelism instead of emotionally rejecting an eternal Hell despite it’s Scriptural and rational foundation. The professing Christian who rejects the reality of Hell is placing his own heart and emotions above the authority of God’s Word. This is the sin of idolatry and is breaking the first of the Ten Commandments. Erecting a god that does not punish sin for eternity is creating a god in our own imagination.

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