Here's my 4th Point in My 95 Theses.
Does Scripture say Hell is eternal punishment?
Or does it teach that the wages of sin is death, perishing, being destroyed, a second death, or not getting to live for eternity.
If Scripture was clear, I don't think I'd be asking this question. But there are enough verses to give me doubt. I'd rather admit I don't know for sure one way or the other, than give someone a potentially false image of God.
Here are some questions to consider:
- If God chooses to destroy (or allow to perish) those who do not choose to love Him.. is that not just and fair? The death penalty is pretty severe... why do some think it is not harsh enough?
- Would God find pleasure in torturing the wicked for eternity? (Does God hate sinners?)
- A loving parent will often use forms of punishment or consequences because they want their children to learn something and make better choices next time. Our choices sometimes bring consequences that last forever. But what would be the benefit to an eternal conscious punishment in hell? There may be a difference between a consequence lasting forever and punishment lasting forever.
- Why the threat? Does God need to threaten us with eternal punishment to win our love and devotion?
- Does religion need this threat to manipulate people with fear?
- Is Christianity about getting and selling fire insurance?
- Is Jesus going to hell?
I think the traditional teaching on hell deserves a second look, and is worth discussing.
Other Related Posts: