The Christ in Prophecy Journal

The Conditionalist View of Hell: Eternal Punishment

Rethinking Hell


If the Antichrist is going to suffer forever in Hell, why not all unbelievers?

I was recently interviewed about my book, Eternity: Heaven or Hell?, by Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date. We discussed what has become a very controversial topic among many Christians, and that is the duration of time those in Hell will spend. Eternal or limited? I share from the Bible why I am convinced that Conditionalism is the biblical view of final punishment. Tempers can flare over this topic, so I ask you to read this interview in blog format as a good Berean, testing the Scriptures to see what God will teach us.

Punishment of the Antichrist

Chris Date: In each chapter of your book you conclude with some questions and answers. I want to talk about a couple of those. Question number four reads, “What about the Antichrist and the False Prophet? Doesn’t the Bible say they will be subjected to eternal torment?” How do you answer that question?

Dr. Reagan: Yes, Revelation 20:10 does say that the Antichrist and False Prophet are going to be subjected to eternal torment, but doesn’t mean that you and I are going to be subjected to that. For one thing, you have to keep in mind that these two individuals are going to be responsible for the death for half of all the people on planet earth, plus two-thirds of all the Jews. The Bible teaches unbelievers are going to be punished in proportion to our sins. These two people are going to kill more people than Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot and Mao all put together, so their punishment is going to be much greater.

There is also a possibility that this verse is talking here about demons who possessed the human flesh of the Antichrist and False Prophet. We know that the angelic world can take on flesh from time to time, and they talk about how they are called beasts in the book of Revelation who arise from the Pit. So, it could very well be that these are demonic beings who are going to be punished forever anyway in Hell.

Regardless, no verse says anything about humans being punished eternally.

Chris Date: That’s right. Rethinking Hell interviewed another person who holds your end times view. His name is Robert Taylor and he wrote a book called John 3:16 Salvation Rescue from Death. He agrees with you on this point about that the mention of the Antichrist and False Prophet are representative of the demonic beings who had possessed them. He points out that there is no reason why we should see the wicked — the unsaved — being thrown into the fire as having the same meaning as demons beings thrown in.

The Apostle John does this thing in the text of Revelation where he separates each vision with “then I saw, then I saw, then I saw,” so there is a difference from each vision to the next. One of those “then I saw,” appears between the Devil, the Beast and the False Prophet being thrown into the fire, and then between that and the unsaved.

There are also those of us Conditionalists who don’t believe that the Devil, the Beast, and the False Prophet are actually going to be eternally tormented to begin with, like Edward Fudge for example.

Eternal Punishment Versus Eternal Punishing

Chris Date: I really appreciated your answer to the eighth and final question: “What do you consider to be the single most powerful argument against the Traditional concept of eternal torment and Hell? I appreciated it so much that I cited it in an article that I wrote at Rethinking Hell. What is your answer to that question?

Dr. Reagan: Very simply, it’s the fact that the Bible says that Jesus paid the price for our sins. That’s taught over and over again. What was that price? Well, it was extreme suffering followed by death, but it was not eternal torment. Unrepented sinners I think are going to experience the same thing that Jesus experienced, and that is suffering and then death.

One thing that I think is very important when I talk about this is when people often say to me, “The Bible says there are is going to be eternal punishment? How in the world can you get around eternal torment?” I always like to make the point that there is a difference between suffering and eternal punishment and then suffering eternal punishing. There is a big difference. Yes, destruction or annihilation at a certain point is an eternal punishment, but there’s a difference between eternal punishment and eternal punishing. So, I just think we need to keep that in mind.

The Bible speaks of the fact that we are going to have an eternal judgment, but that doesn’t mean that judgment is going to go on eternally. It means that judgment has eternal consequences.

Chris Date: You point out in your book that the author of Hebrews talks about how Jesus attained eternal salvation and eternal redemption for everybody. I would go as far as to say it is heretical to even claim that for eternity Jesus will be saving and redeeming the elect, even after our glorification. It was finished on the cross.

Under Grace or Wrath

Chris Date: I enjoy giving our guests an opportunity to leave with a parting message; something that they hope gives us something to think about and which sticks in our minds later. What would you leave us with today?

Dr. Reagan: Remember that God is the God of grace, mercy and love, but He is also a God of justice and holiness and righteousness. That nature compels Him to deal with sin. The Bible teaches that God deals with sin in one of two ways: either by grace or by wrath. Every person is under either the grace of God or the wrath of God.

It’s a glorious thing to be living under the grace of God. It’s a terrible thing to be living under the wrath of God. The Bible says when Jesus returns, those who are living under wrath will crawl into holes in the ground and pray for the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them. But, it says those who are living under grace will go forth like calves released from a stall. I’m from Texas and I’ve seen calves released from stalls. They don’t like stalls, so they run out into the pasture and they roll in the grass and they kick their feet in the air because they are happy.

We are all living under either grace or wrath. So, if there is any person who has never received Jesus as Lord and Savior, I would urge them to do it now because the time is late. We are living on borrowed time.

Another point I would like to make is the prospect that judgment gives life meaning. If there is no judgment that we are going to face in the future, then life has no meaning whatsoever. We are going to face judgment, so we need to keep that in mind.

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan is the Founder and Evangelist Emeritus of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher and he led over 45 pilgrimages to Israel. Dr. Reagan was the host of the radio then television program Christ in Prophecy for nearly 40 years.

36 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • "Regardless, no verse says anything about humans being punished eternally."

    Wrong. Please be very careful about making these kinds of blanket statements.

    Revelation is very clear how long those who take the Mark of the Beast will be punished – forever. And I'm pretty sure those who take the Mark are human.

    In addition, Mark 9:47-48 says,

    "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."

    {bolding mine}

  • I find it interesting that I'm sure there are those out there (based upon previous comments in other articles by people) that think a Christian can do ANYTHING once they are "saved", including rape and murder, yet still recieve eternal life BUT an unsaved person whose worse offense may have been slapping someone in the face in anger will have to burn in hell for eternity.

    Where's the justice in that?

  • I love the teaching Dr. Reagan has given. It has given voice to belifes I have been trying to reconcile for years. Thank you Dr. Reagan.

    The traditionalist view to me is almost sinful as it impunes a perception of God that is just plain false. It makes God out to be a character who is completely opposite of the merciful/loving and just nature we attribute to Him.

    As I was thinking this through a modern day culture anology came to my mind. There is a show on AMC called "The Walking Dead." It's a zombie survivalist story. Now don't laugh this off just yet, it's an analogy. The nemesis in the past season of the show is a character called "the Governor."

    At first glance, you'd think the Governor is a hero and a decent guy. He has taken a sizable group of survivors and created a safe community walled off and secured from the menacing zombies. It has electricity, food, farming, and a clinic. It's a utopia in a distopia world. The Governor takes good care of his little community.

    However, the other side of the Governor is that he hunts down surviors that aren't part of his community. He even collects and preserves the heads of some of his foes. One of his, forgive the pun, hellish punishments is to have made a zombie pit in which he intends to throw his victims into.

    When I think of the traditionalist view of God, I think they are making God the equivalent to this Governor character. That's how I see it.

  • Matt. 25:41 – everlasting fire. Matt. 25:46 – everlasting punishment.
    2 Thess. 1:9 – everlasting destruction.

    If the word "everlasting" in these verses does not mean everlasting, then how can you be sure what everlasting life means (John 3:36)?

  • Nathen
    It may be that both you and Dr. Regan need to remember what he always says: If the plain sence makes commonsence, anything else is nonsence.
    With all due respect, it's starting to sound like just because the word "rapture" isn't in the Bible, it won't happen. argument

  • Anonymous, the plain sense is interpreted differently by different people. Though I'm not a Conditionalist, I read those passages you gave me and in each instance "eternal" is clearly about the elements of Hell, not the length of time people are there. I'm not seeing how you're getting the "never ending burning of the body in torment in perpetuity" from those verses. Which of us is right?

  • Revelation 20:15 says anyone not found in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 21:8 says the lake of fire IS the second death. Nothing about getting out of it. Dead or alive.

  • Exactly, right! Nobody gets out of Hell. It's eternal punishment ie punishment forever. Does that mean the punishing goes on forever or that the state of punishment is what lasts forever? Can you see now why there's debate?

  • Leslie here:
    My plain reading of everlasting punishment tells me that the result of the punishment will be eternal. Did you read this article Anonymous? Everlasting judgment and everlasting salvation do not go on forever, these once off activities however have eternal consequences. John 3:16 quite plainly reads that people will perish, Peter tells us (2 Peter 2:12)quite clearly that people will be destroyed and utterly perish. My plain reading of these scriptures tells me that the tragic fate of the unbeliever is that they will eternally loose their potential for eternal life. They will never realise their eternal destiny because they have rejected the only Person God has ordained to offer the gift of eternal life.

  • Hi Billy
    A person will not be punished in the eternal lake of fire for merely slapping someone’s face. We are all condemned due to the fall but Salvation is gained by exercising faith in Christ; salvation is denied by refusing to put their faith in Christ to save.

    People are not saved by good works neither are they kept saved by good works. Once a person initially puts their faith in Christ to save, at that one moment in time the Holy Spirit indwells them and baptises them into the body of Christ. Regardless of how many sins they commit as did the Corinthians, they are said to suffer loss but still be saved. Once in Christ we are KEPT in Christ for eternity

    Christ knows the end from the beginning and still accepts a persons faith knowing only too well they are going to fail miserable. At the Bema seat they will escape its fire for the destruction of works, not sins, they will be brands plucked from the burning but they shall still be saved.

    If Christ, The Father and Holy Spirit were not able to present the saved sinner safe and sound into God’s eternal presence, then I am certain His love is so great that Christ would take our lives immediately to keep them saved.

    Paul made it clear it is not acceptable for us to know God’s saving Grace, then act as the pagan. We shall face the consequences both here and at Christ’s Judgment Seat by suffering great loss concerning the rewards laid up for all. This will mean our work with Christ in eternity will be severely curtailed.

    And the smoke of their burning goes up forever and ever!

    God rules forever on the everlasting throne. If everlasting has a time limit, then God does not rule forever and ever, there will come a time when His eternal rule shall end…which makes Him out to be a liar.

    Revelation 14:6-
    Vs9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If ANY MAN
    worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
    10. the same (MEN) shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and HE SHALL BE TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
    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 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.

    If the torment of the unsaved does not actually ascend for EVER AND EVER; then it follows THE LORD AND HIS CHRIST, SHANT LIVE FOR EVER AND EVER either!

    It’s a very sad indictment for this level of Scripture twisting coming from older Christians who aim to teach others. Do you realise how serious an infringement this false teaching cuts against God’s plain teaching of Grace through faith not works?

  • Charis said "A person will not be punished in the eternal lake of fire for merely slapping someone’s face."

    I say "I agree. You took my slap in the face comment out of context. I was using it as example that there are many unsaved people who live much better live than a lot of Christians, yet they have no salvation and a Christian does which is exactly your point."

    The context of my comment was I believe a just God will make the punishment fit the crime, unless one is saved, then you get a "get out of hell free card".

    Remember when the Israelis made the golden calf. What did God want to do? Destroy them or torment them forever?

  • Charis said "Unlike L&L, ExP only deals with prophetic events in passing. Mostly it is to encourage the saints in the grace of God and make a stand against the man made teachings of Calvinism and Arminianism which obviously includes all thing purpose driven."

    I say…

    Prophetic events are covered "only in passing" to "encourage the saints"???!!!

    Do they not cover any of the prophecies about Jesus? Do they not know that to understand Bible prophecy, about the Rapture and the return of Christ and the defeat of evil and millenium and the eternal state IS to give one much more encouragement than NOT knowing of these thing to come?

    Sorry, I won't be visiting that site any time soon.

  • Ron quoted Matthew 9:48:
    "where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched"

    When a traditionalist attempts to use this verse to "prove" their theory of eternal torment of humans they show that they really do believe that to "die" means to "cease to exist". We are expected to believe that the "worm" continues to live forever because it does not die. If it died then the torment would obviously cease.

    If death in the context of Isaiah 66:24/Matthew 9:48 means ceasing to exist then why do traditionalists expect us to believe that "death" elsewhere in the Bible means "eternal existence in torment". Traditionalists show themselves to have two contradictory definitions for "die" or "death" and seem to use each wherever it supports their theory.

  • Billy

    No, I took your view as stated, I did not remove it from context. Please re-read what you wrote.

    My comment 'in passing' meant that unlike L&L they are not a dedicated site to end time prophecy, not that it isn't spoken about – the main concern is spreading the TRUTH of God's Free Grace Gospel through Faith alone by Christ alone. You may not be aware that there exists 'another gospel, another Jesus and another spirit' riding rampage in these last days. ExP is more concerned about the saving of souls and avoiding the deception of the saints. L&L may speak ‘in passing’ of these matters, but they are dedicated to end time prophecy.
    ExP is not, but is non-the-less 100% PRE-trib. Don’t be afraid to visit, to read or comment, you will be made most welcome.

    Yes the God of the Bible is totally Just and there should be no reason to suspect Him of poor management of His affairs. Please be kind enough to point out the Scriptures supporting the Conditionalism view and I will compare Scripture with Scripture and consider it further. Theories, personal opinions and feelings about what God, in your opinion, SHOULD do about eternal punishment HAS to stand up to Biblical scrutiny, not from scraps of incomplete verses. From my personal studies, Conditionalism is folly and lacking sound judgment as nothing I have read through Scripture gives it any credence what-so-ever.

    Blatantly Conditionalism, like its close mate Anhiliationism, are both dead wrong based on man’s inability to read Scripture in a consistently literal manner. Possibly even a lack of faith in God to rule His own concerns without man’s dime of advice to guide Him.

  • Matthew 10:28
    New International Version (NIV)

    28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    This has already been referenced…go ahead…explain the verse away without "Theories, personal opinions and feelings about what God, in your opinion, SHOULD do about eternal punishment…"

  • "They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish."

    Animals don't have souls and will perish. This verse is describing evil doers to animals, which perish, as in cease to exist.

    Please comment.

    btw…I am NOT a conditionalist!!! NOT, NEGATIVE, NOPE, NEIN, NO, UH-UH. I think there are valid arguments for eternal or conditional punishment. I know all the eternal arguments as I've always believed this…but in considering conditional viewpoints I'm kind of arguing for them as part of a thought process.

  • Thank you billy! And you make your case with out all the self aggrandizement and lamblion belittling that characterize charis. Why would I got to his website dude acts like a knowitall?

  • Concerning Matthew 10:28

    It’s amazing what theories evolve when removing a verse from the context of the surrounding passage.

    God is capable of a great deal more than the destruction of the soul and the body which is spiritual death. He is to be greatly feared with deep reverence! This is the whole point of this passage. Dredging more from it than stated is a fundamental error; which many do even with the Parables producing a self imposed fallacy not of God’s directive.

    The exact point being made by Jesus to His followers, including us, was not to fear the religious leaders, who could have His followers executed on a trumped up charge. Don’t fear them, go ahead and preach the eternal Gospel come hell or high-water! Men can only torture and kill the body. (Absent from the body, present with The Lord – oh joy) Man has no power over the soul which is the life of men when the body is connected to the spirit of man. Only God is capable of that destruction IF He should choose to.

    If God had decided He wanted to go ahead and annihilate the people, He would have stated it plainly. Nowhere does He ever claim this is His desire for His creatures. What God is capable of doing, gives way to what He has actually told us in His Word He would do, which is to send those who have not trusted in Christ, by His Grace to save from the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death for eternity. (as opposed to ‘giving their lives to Him’ which is another gospel)

    Within the context of the passage, Jesus is explaining how important the disciples, and we are to Him; comparing with the little, and insignificant (to us) little sparrow. Yet God knows every thing about the sparrow and us. So do not fear the Pharisees, or anyone else who are only capable of killing their bodies. What happens to us after physical death depends upon our willingness to accept, and to abide, in Christ’s eternal Word. It is spiritual death that is to be feared, not physical, as it is better to be with The Lord.

  • Charis, so the whole supposition you make on Matthew 10:28 is based on that you feel God would not be feared enough unless He provides unending torture? What, being consumed in the flames of Hell is not enough to fear God?! I'm sorry, but you are working off the same eisegesis that you are accusing the rest of us of.

    Nobody needs to make a list of verses to review, as they're already addressed in the article series.

    There's not enough evidence Traditional or Conditional to draw an emphatic conclusion about the duration of Hell. To do so with such "assurance" means it's how the individual interpreter WANTS it to be.

  • An important point!

    Christ paid the penalty for ALL sin when He said “It is finished”.

    Therefore the un-saved are NOT in the lake of fire paying for their sins. If this was true, then Christ did not die for the sin of the whole world.
    When born, we are all under condemnation. Without faith in Christ, there can be no saving from condemnation.
    Unbelievers are in the lake of fire because of their refusal to accept Christ’s Atonement.

    Their refusal means they do not have Christ’s imputed, (put on) Righteousness. He has been unable to take on their Un-righteousness. This is why they are in the Lake of Fire, not because of sin, but their lack to put their faith in Christ to save.

    To say otherwise, limits Atonement, which is Calvinism.
    An important point!

    Christ paid the penalty for ALL sin when He said “It is finished”.

    Therefore the un-saved are NOT in the lake of fire paying for their sins. If this was true, then Christ did not die for the sin of the whole world.
    When born, we are all under condemnation. Without faith in Christ, there can be no saving from condemnation.
    Unbelievers are in the lake of fire because of their refusal to accept Christ’s Atonement.

    Their refusal means they do not have Christ’s imputed, (put on) Righteousness. He has been unable to take on their Un-righteousness. This is why they are in the Lake of Fire, not because of sin, but their lack to put their faith in Christ to save.

    To say otherwise, limits Atonement, which is Calvinism.

    I have already given the evidence of Scriptures in Revelation that states MEN will be in the lake of fire for eternity. Eternity means never ending. Check the Greek, it isn't difficult, Dr Reagan is creating a non-existing problem. Otherwise how do we know our Eternal life would not end – either we trust God's simply stated word or we follow the ramblings of insanity. (or Calvin)
    See above.

  • Can't add any more to Nathan's last comment.

    So I will just say our thoughts and prayers for the victims and their loved ones today due to the terrible Boston event (I haven't heard if accident or terrorism yet).

  • Apologies for the repeat.

    Christ was making a COMPARISON. No more than that. He was encouraging His disciples to obey and respect God NOT men.

    It is God who says what happens to the unbelieving in the Lake of Fire. As He is totally Just, how dare we question His chosen methods suggesting He is too cruel to obey or love.

    John Knox’ epitaph reads “Here lies one who feared God so much that he never feared the face of any man”

    In the middle of all our trials, Jesus is encouraging us all to have confidence in God’s ability to care and provide for us in all circumstances. Spiritual death is separation from God and THAT is what all unbelievers should fear. Believers can thank God with grateful hearts that He sent His only Son to die in our place – a substitute for the sin of all the world.

  • Dr.Reagan is concerned that God must act fairly with the LENGTH of time souls stay in the Lake of Fire for fair judgment (let the punishment fit the crime was mentioned). This is at the nub of this argument – the length of time for the punishment of individuals.

    Please take careful note. There is no ‘length of time’ in Eternity; and crime and punishment is NOT the reason why souls are in the Eternal Lake of Fire.

    Jesus suffered and died for ALL the sin of the entire world. No-one will be in hell for crimes of sin as Jesus suffered and died in their place and paid the debt in full.

    The free grace offer of Salvation has to be accepted by faith to receive Christ’s Righteousness in exchange for our UN-righteousness. Without application of faith, the soul that refuses cannot receive the free gift so REMAINS in their ORIGINAL state of condemnation.

    That’s why the souls of men end up in the Lake of Fire. God does not send them there, they send themselves by refusal to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from the penalty of sin which is ETERNAL death – separation from God for eternity.

    Now the sun shines on the righteous AND, by extension, also the un-righteous. In Eternity they will exist without the benefits of living with the saved, as now. Their Eternity will consist of a Son-less, God-free zone where there will be a weeping and gnashing of teeth in regret for their faith-less CHOSEN lot.

    Matt10:28 is encouragement to have no fear of man who can only destroy the body. God says He will take care of us as He does a little sparrow. God is greater than any man, so Fear God instead, is His instruction here, no more.

    Yes, FEAR God which is the beginning of wisdom. Hell is where God doesn’t go. Ignore Jesus’ multiple teachings on hell at your peril! Such is the folly of the social gospel by all things driven by purpose rather than trusting implicitly in Christ ALONE for Salvation. By Grace through FAITH alone in Christ alone not by any works done in the flesh.

  • I think only God knows what eternity is about..and if the soul dies or not.. I hope they aren't punished for ever, but only God knows..
    As for the Boston bombing.. Fox news said it was a terrorist attack even if from home or another nation… of course MSM won't call it a terrorist attack.. Fort Hood is still a work related murder..

    The only thing we need to make sure we are right on, is that we are saved and don't have to worry about hell at all..

  • Postscript

    Dr. Reagan: Very simply, it's the fact that the Bible says that Jesus paid the price for our sins. That's taught over and over again. What was that price? Well, it was extreme suffering followed by death, but it was not eternal torment. Unrepented sinners I think are going to experience the same thing that Jesus experienced, and that is SUFFERING AND THEN DEATH..

    Man is given ONCE to die, and then comes THE Judgment. Not die, be judged and die again . Dr Reagan confuses the conviction (imprisonment) with the Judgment itself, which is to determine the conviction when the books are opened; it is a short period before sentence is carried out and the prisoner is taken down.

    Hades would have kept Jesus if it weren’t for the fact that He was without personal sin and was not ‘deserving’ to be awarded the wages of sin of eternal death. Man is sinful, we are declared to be righteous by decree, non the less, we are still sinners but saved by Grace. Christ paid our debt in full.

    Unsaved sinners ARE subject to eternal condemnation after judgment has been made. It is their ‘wages’ for being in sins condemnation and refusing to faith in Christ.

  • Annihilationism and Conditionalism are from the errors formed by the cults including Seventh Day Adventist

    The immortality of both the body and the spirit.
    Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum deals studiously with all the Scriptures used by Annihilationism, and Conditionalism in Appendix V11 in his book The Footsteps of the Messiah.

    The word appollumi does NOT mean utter destruction to the point of ceasing to exist. It simply means to be in a ‘lost state’. The same word is used to refer to the living.
    Likewise ‘apuleia’ . Elsewhere used to mean ‘in a wasted condition’
    ‘phuthora’ means ‘corruption’ the victim is seen to be in a state of corruption (rotting)
    ‘holephros’ the state of destruction of the physical world during the 7 years Tribulation. It does not refer to the destruction of the soul and spirit. None of these words refer to annihilation as in ‘ceasing to exist’.
    ‘katargeo’ means to render inoperate – not ceasing to exist.

    The word ‘death’ never means ceasing to exist. Death only means a ‘separation’ as the spirit from the physical body.
    Genesis 2:7; 3:19 It is the body, not the soul, that returns to dust. It was Adam’s body that came from the dust, not his soul.
    Luke 16: 19- 31explains what happens to the soul at the time of physical death.
    Sheol and Hades does not mean ‘oblivion and death’; the true story of the rich man was in Sheol and only too aware of his surroundings.
    2Tim 1:10; 1Cor15:26,27 speaks of death being abolished, or done away with in connection with its affects on the physical body. It is the first death which is physical, that is done away with. The second death which is spiritual is NOT done away with. It is the abolishing of physical death that makes the Resurrection possible, the second death is spiritual and eternal separation from God.

    Daniel 12:2 prophesied some are to be resurrected to everlasting life and others to everlasting contempt. Consistency in interpretation is a must.
    Matt25:26 some go into everlasting life others into everlasting punishment. (Not to pay for their sins, but the refusal to accept, God’s free gift of Eternal life)
    Mark 9:47,48 unbelievers suffer in the fire that is NOT quenched.
    Hebrews 2:16 salvation is not provided for fallen angels yet they continue in existence and are never reconciled by the eternal punishment.
    Hebrews 6:2 speaks of eternal judgment. ‘eternal’ is the same word used for eternal life. Eternal for the believer means immortality. Referenced to an unbeliever must also mean immortality.
    Jude 7 the punishment of eternal life. The fire is eternal, the punishment is eternal. If only temporary, then it wouldn’t be eternal.
    Revelation 14 The Lake of Fire for ever and ever; the same word used for God who is for ever and ever – is God only temporary.


  • If your name is not in the Book of LIFE then you don't get LIFE. What is the opposite of LIFE? DEATH!

    What do WE do to the most evil ones in our judgement via trials? We KILL their bodies. I can see the agrument that God will KILL the souls of the most evil ones and non-believers after an appropriate punishment for their sins which were not covered by the blood of Christ.

    Is that so hard to at least CONSIDER such a concept?


  • My former nephew (I deny any relation now) who has become a loser liberal pro-Muslim Jew hater (who has twittered sympathetically for the evil terrorist Boston surviving bomber) is the best argument for an everlasting hellfire! You've made your choice against the God of Abraham. Get ready to forver sing "I fell into a burning ring of fire…"

  • Before anyone raises red flags and alarms…let me clarify that my nephew's "sympathty" for the Boston bomber was not direct…but rather an indirect general statement about protecting the "religious freedoms" of non-Christians.

    But he is more direct in his sympathy for the Palestinians!

  • Hi Charis,
    Leslie here:
    I notice you posted the same comment here so I will do the same.
    You make a lot of claims with very little substantiation. I believe your definitions of words are highly influenced by your presuppositions. I have looked at all these words in the Greek and they can mean what you say, but they do not exclusively mean those things. You make a choice for their definitions because of the belief you hold. I make different choices because I believe they are more consistent with scripture (eg appolumi = destroy fully). You refer to Gen 3:19 but only a few verses later (3:22) we find Adam and Eve have lost access to that which made them immortal. From the beginning of time humanity has been mortal (1 Tim 6:16) and claims for immortality belong to eastern religions not Christianity.

    I do not believe your assertions concerning cults being the source of annihilationism, I believe this idea predates the eternal torment doctrine brought into the church in the early centuries. I came to this belief through reading the Bible and prayer, in the same way I came to belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. I didn’t know any Christians when I became a Christian and I have always been a Beroean. After I formed my views on the biblical teachings on hell I found other people had come to the same conclusions. Whether the SDAs believe the same thing is irrelevant, if the traditional church has been influenced by Greek philosophy rather than scriptural teaching I am going with the scriptures, irrespective of which group does or does not agree.

    It is quite clear from the parable of Lazarus and the rich man that Jesus is using the Greek idea of hell to illustrate the point that our actions in this life will determine our eternal destinies. Hades is the brother of Zeus in Greek mythology. He was the ruler of the nether world, which was referred to as the domain of Hades. In Greek thought Hades was a place for the dead, which was divided into two compartments, one for the wicked and the other for the blessed. It is significant that Jesus uses the term Hades here.

    Although the Greek view of these two compartments in Hades was a very common concept of hell in Jesus’ time, it was not a concept His listeners would have found in the OT. Even today most would agree that it is very unlikely that believers will ultimately be found seated on Abraham’s lap, while looking down upon those suffering torment in the flames after their death. The parable was not meant to be a teaching on hell, it’s about God looking on as people live their lives here, and this is what will determine their eternal destinies.

    You quote:
    Daniel 12:2. This everlasting abhorrence is from God’s perspective. If God did not eternally abhor rebellion against Himself and all that it created, He would not destroy the objects of His abhorrence.

    Mat 25:46 I have answered elsewhere. As Dr Fudge explains:
    Of the 70 occurrences of the adjective "eternal" in the NT, six times the word qualifies nouns signifying acts or processes rather than persons or things. The six "eternal" acts or events are:
    1. salvation (Heb 5:9)
    2. judgment (6:2)
    3. redemption (9:12)
    4. sin (Mark 3:29)
    5. punishment (Matt 25:46)
    6. destruction (2 Thess 1:9).
    In four of the six, "eternal" refers to the results or outcome of the action and not the action itself. "Eternal judgment" does not mean that the judging will last forever, but that its outcome will. "Eternal redemption" does not mean that the process goes on without end—for the redemptive work was done once and for all—but that its issue will have no end forever. "Eternal salvation" is the result; we do not look for an eternal act of "saving." And the "eternal" sin is called that because its guilt will never be forgiven, not because the sinning continues throughout eternity.

  • Leslie Part 2
    Mark 9:47-48. There are other unquenchable fires mentioned in scripture that quite obviously went out after they accomplished their divinely appointed work. Jeremiah (Jer 17:27) warned Israel that if they rejected his words and refused to keep the Sabbath holy, a fire that “will not be quenched” would be kindled in the gates of Jerusalem. This prophecy was later fulfilled by the Chaldeans (Jer 52:13) when fire utterly destroyed the city. The fire did the work God had decreed it would do, it could not be quenched until its work was done and it finally went out. Ezekiel also spoke of an unquenchable fire that would burn the forest of the south, burning every green tree and every dry tree (Ez 20:47,48) in its path. This image is not of an eternal, ongoing judgment, but rather a judgment that will endure until its consuming work is completely accomplished. The emphasis here is that these fires cannot be put out, they will not be quenched, they will do the work God has decreed of consuming the fuel set before them, in this case, carcasses.

    Heb 2:16. Not sure what point you are making here but Heb 6:2 is covered in Dr Fudge’s quote above. It is clear “eternal” for the believers means eternal life, because that is what we are given by and because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Without this gift of eternal life we are mortal and will die, first the death of the body and then, after the resurrection of the wicked, the second death of the resurrected body and the soul (Mat 10:28). The soul is not immortal, it is the same essence as that of all sentient life (psuche) and the spirit returns to God (Ecc 12:7), He gave it and He can take it back. There is no mention of it going on eternally in the fires of hell.

    Jude 1:7 is a perfect example of reading something into the text that is not there. The fire that consumed Sodom and Gomorrah did not endure forever, but the consequences of that fire were eternal, just as the consequences of eternal punishment will be eternal. Gen 19:28 reveals that this fire did the work God decreed it would do, early the next morning all that was left was smoke, but Sodom and Gomorrah were eternally annihilated.

    You say “Eternal Punishment is a MUST for a Holy and Righteous God.” I don’t know what you base this concept on but I know the Bible tells us that the eternal punishment that awaits unbelievers will indeed be eternal. These poor, lost souls will never, ever experience life again. They will never, ever know what their eternal destinies might have been had they only accepted the Father’s gracious and wondrous gift of eternal life.

  • I have enjoyed this forum. As a minister of the gospel of over thirty years I believed the traditional view for most of those years and I preached eternal conscious torment. I have always tried to only preach exactly what the bible said. I began to change my view by digging into the bible to preach sermons on hell and discovered conditionalism has much more support in the scriptures. I desire to tell others how I interpret the scriptures but I know it could cost me my pastorate. I know this time will come but I want it to be God's timing. I have not told others of my belief in Conditionalism but I have found that I can preach it just like I believe it from the bible and no one knows the difference. Personal I don't think anyone really believes in eternal conscious torment anyways, at least I don't know one person who lives their life like they believe it.


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