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Does God Punish People Forever?

1A The possibilities (five viewpoints)

1B. Denial: “There is no such place. Christians just made it up.”

2B. Earthly suffering: “Hell is what you go through on earth.”

3B. Annihilation: “It refers to the final destruction of all evil persons.”

— II Thessalonians 2:8: “Destroy (“katargeo”) with the brightness of His coming” (cf. Romans 6:6; I Corinthians 13:8).

— Matthew 10:28 (Hell—”Gehenna,” “apolesai”— cf. Romans 14:15).

— II Thessalonians 1:9 (“olethros”— cf. I Corinthians 5:5).

4B. Restoration: “All persons will ultimately be saved.”

— Primarily centers the attention on the usage of words translated “eternal” or “forever” (age).

— “Aidios” used two times: Jude 6 and Romans 1:20. Stresses permanence and unchangeableness.

— “Aionios” used 68 times— unmeasured time. Contrasted with the word “temporary” (“proskaira”) in II Corinthians 4:18.

— Used of God in Romans 16:26; I Peter 5:10; I John 5:20; (and of God’s power: I Timothy 6:16).

— Used of blood of Jesus: Hebrews 13:20.

— Used many times of the eternal life of the believer: Romans 6:23.

— Used of the Holy Spirit: Hebrews 9:14.

— “Aion” used 102 times— refers to the moral and spiritual characteristics of a particular period of time. Greeks used this word to contrast with that which comes to an end.

5B. Unending torment: “Hell is a place of eternal suffering.”

2A. The proof that he does punish people forever in a place called hell.

1B. The biblical description of hell.

1C. Hades used 11 times (“unseen”); refers to dwelling place of the wicked dead.

2C. “Tartaros”: II Peter 2:4—abode of certain wicked angels (cf. Jude 6-7).

3C. Lake of fire used five times in Revelation. Revelation 20:15; 21:8 (second death).

4C. Bottomless pit: pit of the abyss. —Used nine times; refers to lower regions as the abode of demons, out of which they can be let loose at times.

5C. “Gehenna” used 12 times: Aramaic form of Hebrew Gehinnom of Valley of Hinnom—dump.

— Valley of Hinnom, where children were burned with fire as sacrifices to Molech Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:31 (cf. Matthew 23:33).

6C. Outer Darkness: Matthew 8:12: 22:13; 25:30 (weeping and gnashing of teeth).

7C. Place of torment: Luke 16:28 (also called “Hades”—verse 23).

2B. The specified duration of hell.

1C. Everlasting punishment: Matthew 25:46.

2C. Eternal condemnation: Mark 3:29 (sin).

3C. Eternal judgment: Hebrews 6:2.

4C. Everlasting destruction: II Thessalonians 1:9.

5C. Eternal fire: Matthew 18:8-9. (“Gehenna”); Matthew 25:41; Jude 7.

6C. Unquenchable fire: Mark 9:43-38 (cf. Isaiah 66:24).

7C. Eternal torment: Revelation 19:20; 20:10.

The Biola Hour Guidelines, What We Believe, by David L. Hocking, (La Mirada, CA: Biola Univ., 1982), pp. 11-14

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