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By Brian Price 12/1/2013

Watch/Listen to 'The Everlasting Fires Of Hell'!

"1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." - Genesis 3:1-4
It's quite odd to see history repeat itself when it comes to the subject of death. In Genesis chapter 3, the Bible shows us the first lie ever spoken was, "Ye shall not surely die."

Today, the subject of hell is now in question. Skeptics and so-called Christians question God's character by saying that no loving God would send anyone to Hell for an eternity. But friend...

...nothing could be further from the truth.

An eternal hell is meant for an eternally wicked being, namely the devil and his children.

When studying the subject of Hell, there are approximately four views on Hell.

1. There is a hell and it is forever.

2. There is no hell.

3. There is a hell, but it is temporary.

4. There is a hell, but could be forever for most, but temporary for few.

Let us first examine the third option.
3. There is a hell, but it is temporary.

According to Greg Boyd, Pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, he said this:

"If in the very end, someone refuses to turn and is hopeless, then that same love burns them up. I believe that whatever punishment God's justice requires will be meted out... At that point, in my view, the wicked are as though they never were. They're as smoke that arose in the night. Like a dream when one awakes."

- Greg Boyd, Pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEtjZDU19aY

Doug Batchelor, director of Amazing Facts, is attributed with the following quotation. He said:

"The teaching of eternal torment has done more to drive people to atheism and insanity than any other invention of the devil. It is slander upon the loving character of a tender, gracious heavenly Father and has done untold harm to the Christian cause."
Doug Batchelor, Amazing Facts, Q: 'Forever And Ever'?
http://www.helltruth.com/q-a/forever-and-ever.aspx

Another skeptic of the Lord Jesus Christ and his teaching on an eternal hell said:

"I feel that the time has come when I must declare my mind honestly. I believe that endless torment is a hideous and unscriptural doctrine which has been a terrible burden on the mind of the church for many centuries and a terrible blot on her presentation of the gospel. I should indeed be happy if, before I die, I could help in sweeping it away. Most of all I should rejoice to see a number of theologians ... joining ... in researching this great topic with all its ramifications."
- John Wenham, Universalism and the Doctrine of Hell, p190,191

According to the men who were just quoted, Hell is nothing more than a bad idea, and that instead of torment, God lovingly annihilates them, or causes transgressors to be no more. As Greg Boyd put it, they would be like smoke that appears and then vanishes, or as a dream after one awakes.

Since these men do call themselves Christians, let us first see what Jesus had to say since he is the one these men claim to follow:

"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." - Matthew 5:29
And just in case if you say that this verse does not show the eternity of hell, let me show another couple verses from the very same gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus told a parable of the unfaithful steward who had wasted 10,000 talents. The steward requested mercy from his lord and received pardon for his debt, but he later refused to give mercy to his fellow servant when he owed only 100 pence.

When the lord found out that the unmerciful steward had cast his debtor into prison, the lord commanded that the same unmerciful steward be given to the tormentors until the debt of 10,000 talents was paid.

"And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." - Matthew 18:34-35
Now, considering the fact that no one is able to work for any sort of wage while being tormented, the safe assumption is that the debt of 10,000 talents is never going to be repaid.

And to further illustrate the seriousness of Hell, Jesus said in the same chapter:

"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 18:8
In regards to Hell, apologist Dr. Terry Watkins had this to say:

"Jesus Christ spoke more on hell than any other subject."
- Dr. Terry Watkins, The Truth About Hell, http://www.av1611.org/hell.html

And much to his credit, Dr. Watkins was not far off in his conclusions. In fact, the only subject he spoke more on was heaven. Aside from heaven, hell is the most talked about subject of the Lord Jesus Christ!

   Just listen to his words:

Mark 9:43-48 says,

"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 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:
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 25:41 says,
"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."
vs. 46 says,
"And these shall go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT: but the righteous into life eternal."
For anyone to make the claim that Hell is not eternal in any sort or fashion is ignoring the clearly spoken words of Jesus Christ.

And Jesus should know because he created both heaven and hell.

Let us now look at the fourth possibility on the subject of Hell.

4. There is a hell, but could be forever for most, but temporary for few.
It is a completely absurd thing to believe that all men are eventually saved from the fiery pits of hell. In fact, it's downright heresy. There is a hell, and it is eternal. Just as God will grant eternal life to the saints, he will also punish the wicked with eternal damnation.

Some believe that the Bible contains "exceptions" to the matter of Hell fire. Some argue that there are people who go to hell, but are kept reserved in some sort of prison within hell.

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison." - Revelation 20:7
As we can read here in Revelation chapter 20, the Bible says that Satan is loosed from his prison for a brief time. Later he is cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever and ever.
"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." - Rev. 20:10

This prison which is mentioned in verse 7 is referred to as the bottomless pit in verse 3. This 'bottomless pit' most likely refers to some place beneath the earth. And if we make the safe assumption that hell is beneath the surface of the earth, then it is likely that this bottomless pit is perhaps part of hell, or even hell itself.

This word prison also appears in 1 Peter chapter 3.

"18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in PRISON;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." - 1 Peter 3:18-20

Jesus also mentions a sort of prison in his sermon on the mount:

"25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into PRISON.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." - Matthew 5:25-26

In verse 26, Jesus said that a man would by no means come out of this prison until he had paid the very last mite. Going back to his parable about the unmerciful steward, paying back 10,000 talents from prison would take a very, very long time. So long that it would literally feel like an eternity.

One could speculate that depending on how much knowledge a person had during his lifetime, an exception might be given that he could serve a lesser sentence in hell.

This is known as a 'parole exception.' Although good behavior may not be the parole standard for a temporary (or even permanent) release, believing the gospel of Jesus Christ and repenting of sins could very well be the means of exiting the prison of hell for those whom God would deem worthy of the exception.

"For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." - 1 Peter 4:6

So although the sentence being carried out is by biblical definition, eternal, it very well could be argued that a parole exception may be granted to special circumstances. In this case of 1 Peter ch. 4, we are led to believe that this exception was granted to those who died in Noah's flood, which was before the giving of the law of Moses.

CONCLUSION
To wrestle with the doctrine of hell and say that it is temporary is to wrestle with the scriptures. Basically, one is calling God a liar. And as you can see, this subject of hell being taught as it is in truth, eternal, is not the driving force for making atheists and unbelievers. On the contrary, it is this bogus heresy of hell being temporary that is emboldening the lost to continue living in their sin. It is reinforcing the first lie ever spoken by the devil, "Ye shall not surely die."

If we are going to win unbelievers to Jesus, we cannot comfort them with a lie. Instead, we need to warn them wth the truth.

"A wise man FEARETH, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident." - Proverbs 14:16
According to the Proverbs, the fool rages and is confident that nothing will happen to him, and thus refuses to depart from evil. And who is a fool, you might ask?

"The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God." - Psalms 53:1

-------OTHER QUOTATIONS OF INTEREST----------

"If I had a 9 month old, I don't care if it was born without limbs, when I look at that child, I'm going to say that child is perfect. And if you can look at your baby, and say, 'This baby is so flawed that it deserves nothing less than eternal torture,' I can only hope that when she gets older, she doesn't internalize your contempt for her.'"

- Tracie Harris (atheist), The Atheist Experience, Episode #607

**BRIAN's NOTE**
As you can see from Tracie Harris who is a staunch God-hater, she makes the assumption that Christians believe that little children who die in their original sin are immediately sent to the flames of hell. No where in scripture does God say little children will be cast into hell. Even the Catholic Church teaches that children are assumed into Heaven due to their innocence and because of God's mercy. Only people who have no real understanding of scripture or church tradition tell lies like this one by saying the Bible teaches little children deserve eternal torment. Below is actually a quotation from the Vatican website that explains this view held by nearly every church all over the world.

"As regarding children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism." - The Necessity of Baptism, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pt 2, Section 2, Ch. 1, Article 1, vs. 1261
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a1.htm

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