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XIX. Does The Bible Teach Eternal Life In Hell?

A. Does “Forever” Always Mean Never Ending?

    Before this question is answered let’s look at the problem that is created by interpreting the term “forever” to mean never ending, ceaseless, eternal, etc.
    Compare the two sections of text below. The first section list all texts that, apparently, indicate that Hell Fire never stops burning. The second section of texts apparently indicate that Hell Fire will finish it’s work and then go out. The problem is that these two scenarios can not both be true. Which one is correct?

1. What Are Two Opposing Views Of Hell?

a. Are The Wages Of Sin, Eternal Life In Hell?

NOTE:
    In this section the original Greek or Hebrew (in italics and parentheses) follows it’s english equivilant.

Revelation 20:
    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 (aion) and ever. (aion)

Revelation 14:
    11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever (aion) and ever (aion): and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

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:
    45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut if 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.

Matthew 3:
    12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Isaiah 1:
    31 And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

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 (aionios).

Matthew 25:
    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting (aionios) fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting (aionios) punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Obadiah 1:
    16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

Isaiah 47:
    14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

Luke 16:
    19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
    20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
    21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich mans table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
    22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
    23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
    25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
    26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
    27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my fathers house:
    28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
    29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

b. Are The Wages Of Sin, Eternal Death?

NOTE:
    In this section the original Greek or Hebrew (in italics and parentheses) follows it’s english equivilant.

Malachi 4:
    1 FOR, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
    3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

Proverbs 2:
    22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Psalms 37:
    1 FRET not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
    2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
    9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
    10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
    20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
    22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
    28 For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
    34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
    35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
    36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
    38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalms 21:
    9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

Psalms 21:
    10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.

Nahum 1:
    9 What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.
    10 For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.
    15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

Romans 6:
    23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 3:
    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

1 John 5:
    12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

NOTE:
    The opposite of life is death. If one doesn’t choose God’s gift of eternal life then he chooses the opposite, eternal death. (see Romans 6:23, John 3:16,36 and 1 John 5:12 above)

Revelation 20:
    9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
    14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Isaiah 47:
    14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

Obadiah 1:
    15 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
    16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

Ezekiel 28:
    15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
    16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
    17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
    18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
    19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

NOTE:
    The “covering cherub” is Satan.

Matthew 10:
    28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Ezekiel 18:
    4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
    20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Psalms 92:
    7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

Ezekiel 33:
    11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Job 21:
    30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

Revelation 21:
    1 AND I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
    4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
    8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Genesis 3:
    22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever (owlam or olam):
    24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

NOTE:
    Apparently without access to the Tree of Life man does not have eternal life.

Psalms 145:
    20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

Psalms 62:
    3 How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.

2 Peter 3:
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Hebrews 2:
    14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Matthew 3:
    12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Isaiah 1:
    20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
    28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.

1 John 3:
    15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Luke 17:
    29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
    30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Proverbs 13:
    13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

Proverbs 10:
    29 The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

Philippians 3:
    18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
    19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Proverbs 19:
    9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.

Luke 13:
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

2 Thessalonians 2:
    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Peter 2:
    12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Hebrews 6:
    8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Psalms 104:
    35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.

Hebrews 10:
    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Isaiah 33:
    11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.

Psalms 68:
    2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

NOTE:
    At first glance the two previous sections appear contradictory.
    Which section contains the correct understanding of Hell Fire? Do the wicked burn forever and ever with no end to their suffering as the first section apparently states or do they burn up so completely that the fire goes out and only ashes are left as in the second section?

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