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Is hell eternal?

Caller: I have a question. This is my first time calling, and I caught the tail end of the conversation earlier about the discussion about hell. From what I gathered, the concept of, I guess, eternal torment, is that something that’s not Biblical? I was kind of confused. You made it sound like basically that people that are definitely going to hell are simply living – or their existence is –

Pastor Doug: There are two principle views among even orthodox Christians about hell. Now of course, the Bible is very clear that the wicked are punished, that there is a lake of fire.

On one side you can stack quite a few Scriptures that talk about the wicked being mortal, not immortal, that they perish, they die, they’re consumed, they are no more. Then there are some Scriptures that we feel are more nebulous, where it talks about Satan being tormented day and night forever and ever in the lake of fire.

Caller: Right.

Pastor Doug: And that of course is Revelation 20. When you put all these Scriptures side by side, it seems like the bulk of evidence is on the side that the wicked are not immortalized in hell, so that 50 billion years from now they’re still burning, and they’ve just begun.

Caller: Right.

Pastor Doug: The history of that doctrine can be traced to the Dark Ages and the church during the Dark Ages found it was very lucrative to scare people. And they were told that they could pray even after someone died and get them out of purgatory, or they could make offerings and the priest could pray that they would not go to hell.

And the doctrine really grew out of Greek Mythology where the Jewish belief was people are going to be punished according to what they deserved and then they would perish.

There are two choices for the Christian: life and death. Satan said to Eve, ‘you will not really die.’ God said, ‘you will die.’ How many Christians, even Preachers, have taken the devil’s side? They say you don’t really die – you live forever in heaven or you live forever in hell. Eternal life does not go to those who are thrown in the lake of fire.

Caller: Ok thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: And now we have a lesson that explains this. It’s the one that Pastor Dick offered. It’s Are The Dead Really Dead. No I’m sorry it’s the one – well you can have that one too. It’s Is Satan In Charge Of Hell.

Caller: Are The Dead Really Dead – I can get that one online.

Pastor Doug: Yes you can. You can read them online for free or you can order them for free too. The price is half of that tonight ?

Caller: Ok thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: All right, God bless.

Co-Host: Thanks for the call Harry, and to anybody who’s listening, if you go to the Amazing Facts website – AmazingFacts.org – the lessons, the resources that we make available are available there.

Pastor Doug: We’ve redesigned the website to make it a little easier. At the top bar it’ll say “Free Library.” All they have to do is click on “Free Library” it’ll take them to a preponderance of material.

Amazing Facts’ Resource Number: 800-835-6747


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Hell in the Bible

The word “hell” is used 54 times in the Bible. It is translated from several different words with various meanings, as indicated below:
In the Old Testament:
  • 31 times from the Hebrew “Sheol,” which means “the grave”
In the New Testament:
  • 10 times from the Greek “Hades,” which means “the grave”
  • 12 times from the Greek “Gehenna,” which means “a place of burning”
  • 1 time from the Greek “Tartarus,” which means “a place of darkness”


What is Purgatory?

A tradition held by the Catholic Church that teaches people who are not good enough to be worthy of heaven, but not bad enough to deserve hell, suffer in an intermediary state until their sins are purged.

But is it in the Bible? Click here to learn more.

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