W. Austin Gardner
Is there Eternal Punishment of the Unsaved?
Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Revelation 20:10 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. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Several doctrines that we should know about
Universalism is the idea that all people every where will eventually be saved, forgiven, and in God’s presence
The idea is that God loves everyone
How could God send anyone to Hell because He is too good
It would be cruel of God to not save all people
This idea leads almost to a protestant purgatory meaning that God may punish man for his sin for a time but He will eventually consider the punishment sufficient and grant all eternal life
Annihilationism is the belief that sinners are destroyed, rather than tormented forever in hell as in the lake of fire.
If God isn’t going to save everyone then He certainly wouldn’t allow them to suffer forever
God is not that cruel
Hell, punishment or whatever it is that God does is only to convince people to believe in Him and repent of their sins. Otherwise He would just do away with them rather than watch them suffer for eternity
The only way we can know truth is to see what the Bible says whether we like it or not
Men always think out what should be right in their opinion rather than simply believing the Bible Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.
The Bible says that all men will be judged! Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
The Bible says that there are people without hope I Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
You can get to a point that there is no remedy Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, Shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
A day is coming when there will be no mercy Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, And would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, And your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; When distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; They shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
A day of punishment is coming II Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
They cannot escape the punishment Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: But the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.
Jesus and Paul referred to the punishment as lasting forever
Everlasting fire Matthew 25:41 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:
Everlasting punishment Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Eternal damnation Mark 6:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
It will never be quenched Mark 9:43 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:
No way for those in torment to get to the other side Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Paul also called it everlasting II Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power
There are two resurrections John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
For some it is eternal fire Jude 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
It is the lake of fire Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Darkness for ever Jude 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.