Eternal Damnation

<<unending suffering>>   

This sobering punishment, also called a lost eternity, everlasting death or more commonly hell, is for all the unsaved who reject the truth of Christ, for the Bible clearly states, “If anyone’s name is not found in the book of life, they are thrown

Christ is the only means of escaping this calamity. Seek His saving grace

into the lake of fire” – that is, permanently separated from God (Mt 13:49,50; Rom 2:5-11; 2 Thes 1:8,9; Rev 20:14,15, 21:8).  Unfortunately most people are on the road to eternal damnation (also called hell), not on the path that leads to life (Mt 7:13,14; Mk 9:43). This place, was prepared for the devil and his angels but will also be the destination of all who are cursed because they did not live as Jesus directed – this includes not serving those in need when it was within their power to do so (Mt 25:41-46). Only those who have accepted the gift of salvation that Jesus offers will be exempt, “escaping the wrath to come” (Jn 3:18; Rom 6:23; 1 Thes 1:10). It is probable there are varying degrees of suffering depending on the level of sinfulness during a person’s earthly existence, yet whatever the degree of punishment this is a place to be avoided.

God is loving, kind, and merciful yet He is also holy and righteous and can’t tolerate sin (Prov 6:16-19; Isa 5:25; Hos 8:5; Zech 10:3). Sin entered into the human race when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instruction and has remained ever since “because all sinned” (Gen 2:16,17; Rom 5:12). David wrote, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5). We are sinners by the sin nature that came from Adam and by our continuing actions – reflected by our personal choice.

Some question how a loving God could banish people to an eternity of suffering in the lake of fire with never any hope of escape. However, God has provided an opportunity for people to respond to the ‘light’ or truth they have, for He has given everyone a conscience and an awareness of who He is ( Rom 1:19,32). God will not condemn anyone to hell that

Warn others to flee from this eternal and avoidable place of torment

hasn’t had the opportunity to know Him. The evidences of the existence and power of God are self-evident to humanity and each person must choose whom to serve (Josh 24:15; Ps 19:1-3). Christ has provided a way of escape, the offer is freely available to all (Jn 1:12; Rom 5:8). If people continually reject Him, insisting and persisting in living a sinful life, wanting to be separated from God for eternity they must endure the consequences of that choice and God will honour that decision. As God in human flesh Jesus said, “My judgement is fair” (Jn 5:30). Believers are those who say to God, ‘Your will be done’, while to the unbelievers God will say, ‘Your will be done’ and effectively they send themselves to this terrible existence.

Every sinner in hell will have the full realization that eternal punishment for a lifetime of sins is justified and deserved. In the parable of the rich man in hell he never protested or questioned being in the place of torment (Lk 16:22-31). Those who go into eternity without Christwill continue in their own sin-infected nature for all eternity, forever

If His gift of eternal life is rejected there is no other option

unredeemed and unregenerate. God’s righteous judgment sends people to hell because of their continual rejection of Christ and His offer of salvation; in effect those who are in hell choose to be there. The Bible declares, “Shall not the judge of all the world do what is just?...He judges the world with righteousness; He judges the peoples with uprightness (Gen 18:25; Ps 9:8). Christ suffered in our place knowing there is unthinkable punishment awaiting those who sin against God. Jesus said, “yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (Jn 5:40).

God is a God of justice (impartiality doing what is right) and so will administer justice on those who violate His laws (Ps 50:6; Isa 30:18). Although fellow sinners may be implicated, sin is always directly against God, “Against you and you only have I sinned” (Ps 51:4). There is a penalty and His judgment is the soul that sins must die (Rom 3:23). This death extends far beyond the physical dimension (which everyone, saved and unsaved experience) to spiritual death which is separation from Him and all that is good and pleasant for all eternity. To our human minds sin is limited in time, yet to God (who is outside of time) the sin goes on and on. Our sin is eternally before Him and must be eternally punished in order to satisfy His holy justice.

Our earthly existence and its rewards are very insignificant compared to eternity. An important question arises, “What profit is there if a person gains the whole world and misses out on eternal life?” (Ps 39:5; Mt 16:26). Nothing can compensate for being excluded from the Kingdom of God. Is my heart’s focus towards the temporary things of this life or on the things that will last forever?

The Bible's teaching of everlasting torment and damnation is unpalatable to many people, yet to reject the doctrine of hell will not make it go away or lessen its flames. Many are offended at what they consider the harsh and insensitive topic with the inflammatory condemning statement that without knowing Jesus as Saviour they are headed to hell.

Placing human opinion over divine revelation is a major mistake

Jesus is the only way to heaven, with no other means by which we can be saved, and as eternal life comes from Him, to refuse Him is to refuse life (Jn 14:6; Act 4:12; 1 Jn 5:11,12). While most accept they have done wrong they justify it with they are basically good people so will as a matter of course go to heaven and can't reconcile an eternity of eternal punishment for the 'odd' misdemeanour in this life. God is love yet also righteous and sin must be judged. There is no pleasure for God for the judgment of the wicked but wickedness must be judged (Ezek 33:11). Justice demands punishment. No punishment means no justice. Who are we to tell God what is fair? He is the One who determines what justice demands. Evidently, God thinks it just to punish human beings who rebel against Him and His holiness with everlasting hell. Is it really our place to call this unjust? After all Jesus went to the cross to save us from the fate of hell. There are two false theories propagated by man: universalism (which says all people will ultimately go to heaven) and annihilationism (that after a period in hell these people will cease to exist).

Satan's first lie was a denial of judgement "You will not die" (Gen 3:4). This is still a tactic he uses to blind the human mind and convince them there is no judgement so just to live for the here and now, unconcerned about the future (2 Cor 4:4). However, as there is no second chance to accept Christ after death it is imperative we do so in this life for those who don’t believe and obey Him will never see heaven but God’s anger remains on them (Jn 3:36; Heb 9:27). 

See also: annihilationism, divine judgment, election, eternal/eternity, eternal life, eternal security, freewill, justice, perish, salvation, second chance, sin/sinners, tension, unbelievers, universalism.