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Eternal Fire, Eternal Punishment, Eternal Destruction and Eternal Judgment in the New Testament

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

"the lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved." C.S. Lewis - The Problem of Pain - p. 115

Dear Readers: Because some claim that a loving and good God would never cause the lost and rebellious to experience His judgment and the horrors of hell in an ongoing way; and they and others claim that God’s judgment will be immediate, once and for all, and will be over in a matter of minutes or hours, and will not continue throughout eternity, I’ve listed the scriptures below. Because I am attempting to work my way through the gospels and then the rest of the New Testament methodically in my ongoing series about the reality of hell and related topics, I am not going to comment much on the passages below. I merely wanted to put them all in one document so it can be seen whether this is a theme/doctrine that runs through the New Testament or not.

Matthew 3:12 “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

"If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire." Matthew 18:8 The context in vs. 1-7 is warning against being a stumbling block to children.

"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;" Matthew 25:41 There is a contrast here between the lifestyle of the righteous (vs. 37) and the accursed or wicked ones mentioned in vs. 41.

"These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:46

“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.” Mark 9:43

Luke 3:17 “His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

In Jesus’s parable or story about the rich man and the poor man (Lazarus), immediate annihilation does not seem to be the rich man’s plight as he is said to be “….in torment,…” Luke 16:23 and “….in agony…” vs. 24, 25. The rich man’s plea is relief from such.

II Thessalonians 1:9, speaking of those "who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs. 8). "These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."

Hebrews 6:2, "of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment." The writer seems to say in vs. 1 that these things are "elementary teachings about the Christ."

Jude - one of Jesus's brothers, who along with His other brothers and sisters rejected His claims until after His resurrection, says this, "just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire." vs. 7

Revelation 14:10,11 John the apostle, speaking of those who in the last days “…worship the beast and his image”, says this of their plight, “he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image…”

Revelation 19:3 “And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her Smoke Rises Up Forever And Ever.” (see vs. 1,2 for context)

Revelation 20:10 “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

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