Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

What does “eternal” mean? – Why Hell Must Be Eternal – 4

Tetyana Kovyrina via Pexels

Frequently, when Bible readers discuss the subject of eternal punishment, it is assumed that such condemnation meted out on the unredeemed is eternal—meaning ongoing and never ending. The descriptions that we see of future wrath to be dispensed upon the wicked certainly seem to bear this out. Daniel 12:2 states, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.” Yeshua the Messiah speaks of “the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41) and of “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). Paul says that the condemned “will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), with the author of Hebrews referencing “eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:2) as an elementary teaching of faith. Probably the most notable verses encountered are how in the Book of Revelation we witness that “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever” (Revelation 14:11), and “they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Why Hell Must Be Eternal



Why Hell Must Be Eternal

While it is unfortunately very true that there is a level of controversy present in today’s theological studies, over what happens to the deceased between death and resurrection—a much higher debate takes place regarding what occurs to unrepentant, unrighteous sinners. Do these people experience a never-ending, ongoing eternal punishment? Or, do these people experience an obliteration from existence? Strong and firm disagreements between those who affirm some sort of ongoing eternal punishment, versus those who believe in annihilationism, have been present in Christian theology for the past century. These debates have been taken up by many people within the broad, contemporary Messianic movement—with more than a few not quite knowing what to believe.

This volume of Messianic Apologetics’ Confronting Issues series, Why Hell Must Be Eternal, necessarily takes up some of the uncomfortable discussion that has gone on in evangelical Christian theology regarding eternal punishment, and how it affects our contemporary Messianic faith community. Annihilationism is not a viable form of eternal punishment, as it constitutes the same basic belief of any atheist or agnostic, who thinks that after death he or she will enter into total nothingness. At the same time, there have undoubtedly been exaggerations and over-exaggerations of hyper-literal models of eternal punishment that exclusively focus on descriptions of it being fire and smoke, as opposed to outer darkness or banishment from God’s presence. How should today’s Messianic Believers approach the widespread, metaphorical view of eternal punishment, present in theological studies since the Protestant Reformation—but not often known to the normal layperson?

This volume should hopefully stimulate some critical thinking and evaluation, regarding the uncomfortable subject of eternal punishment—and above all motivate each and every one of us to see that none of our fellow human beings has to experience it!

available in both paperback ($12.99) and eBook for Amazon Kindle ($7.99)

Email Update List
Apple Podcasts