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What we know about heaven and hell

What happens in hell?

Postby Pokemon » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:29 pm

Im curious to what happens. Does everyone just suffer forever for the rest of eternity, or is it more complicated?

Re: What happens in hell?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:41 am

Not all Christians, you should know, believe in the traditional concept of hell. There are theories about reconcilationism, semi-restorationism, modified eternalism, and annihilationism, all with some kind of scriptural backing. In other words, hell isn't necessarily eternal for all who enter it. It may only be eternal for those who refuse to be reconciled.

I also don't believe that hell is fire. Hell is not "One Fire Tortures All." Fire is just the image of untold suffering, which is what one will experience when separated from God. We have strong hints that there are different degrees of punishment in hell (totally unlike the different levels of hell as in Dante's Divine Comedy, which is not Scripture).

- Matthew 11.22-24 & Luke 10.12: Jesus says it will be “more tolerable” for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than for the people of Capernaum. That would indicate to me a more harsh punishment and a less harsh punishment.

- Matthew 23.14: Jesus tells the Pharisees they will be punished more severely for the way they are deceiving the people and living as hypocrites.

- Revelation 20.13: Each is going to be judged according to what he has done. Since that is the case, then the punishments and rewards can’t be the same for everybody.

- and finally, Luke 12.47-48 (workers are punished with more or fewer blows). There are degrees of punishment, and even sins of ignorance are treated differently than sins of intention.

Why I bother to point this out is because often those who consider hell to be unfair are picturing the same punishment for all, which is most likely not the case, and infinite punishment for finite crimes, which may also not be the case. People will be punished according to the works they have done (2 Corinthians 5.10).

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