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Does the Bible teach that there are different degrees of punishment in hell?

I believe the Bible does teach that there are degrees of punishment in hell, but only by implication. For instance, compare the statement of Jesus in Matthew 11:21f.

Jesus said, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 “Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. 23 “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 “Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” (Matt. 11:21-24)

The statement, “it will be more tolerable” certainly suggests degrees of some sort, but this is not spelled out for us. However, the issue seems to revolve around the matter of the amount of revelation received and rejected, not the goodness of the person. Regardless, they will be in hell because they never trusted in Christ. The greater the revelation, the greater the responsibility to receive it and thus the greater the condemnation as well.

Related Topics: Hell

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