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Non-regret sinners will spend a whole eternity in hell. Will Lucifer get the same destiny as well?

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  • Which denomination's views are you interested in?
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 24 '21 at 23:39
  • Will lucifer feel pain from fire? Aug 24 '21 at 23:51
  • Non-regret sinners will spend a whole eternity in hell - I think you should research exactly where modern day Christians get their concepts of Hell from. I think you'll be surprised.
    – TKoL
    Aug 25 '21 at 8:55
  • I dont like using subjective interpretation of christianity even dont being christian. I think you mean I should look through christianity as subjective. If the bible is really right so it should be as clean as possible in every aspect of their life-teachings without left subjetivism open behind beacuse if it'd do so I was able to interpret christianity in the way I'd like to even if I wanted make something pretty wrong in moral sense. I still am looking over zanarkand's answer. Aug 26 '21 at 3:42
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The answer to your question depends on how you interpret Revelation 20. Is this passage describing an actual lake of fire or is the lake of fire symbolic of complete destruction? My personal take is that it is symbolic because we see that death itself is thrown into the lake of fire, but death is an abstract idea. You can't literally throw death around.

There are also different ways to interpret the Book of Revelation. It can be interpreted as symbolic of the battle between God's Kingdom and worldly powers, an outline of historical events mostly from the past, or an outline of historical events that occur throughout history. How you read it will have a large impact on how you understand Revelation 20.

Revelation 20:7-15

The Judgment of Satan

7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The Judgment of the Dead

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Different Views of Hell

The problem with the English word 'Hell' is that it is not even a direct translation of any word in the Bible. It is not a Biblical word. There are 4 words used in the Bible that are sometimes translated 'hell' and none of them are equivalent to what unbelievers I have met often mean by the English word 'hell'. They are:

  • Gehenna or Valley of Hinnom (New Testament)
  • Tartarus (New Testament)
  • Sheol (Old Testament)
  • Hades (New Testament)

Gehenna was a trash pit that was once a site of great idolatry. Tartarus and Hades were actually Greek terms describing the abode of the dead or a place of judgment. And Sheol was a Hebrew word used to describe the place where both good and bad people go upon death.

But what do English speakers mean by the word 'hell'? They think of Dante's Inferno and paintings from the middle ages of people being tossed into a burning pit screaming while little beings wait to torment them.

So, a Greek/Aramaic/Hebrew equivalent of the English word 'hell' was never used by Jesus. And certainly not the way most modern people understand it.

Within historic Christianity, there are 3 views of how God ultimately handles sin. The three views of how God handles sin ultimately are:

  1. Eternal torment - some form of eternal suffering or separation from God
  2. Conditionalism - those who reject God are judged and then cease to exist
  3. Universalism - sin is real, but all people will eventually be brought to repentance

See Steve Gregg's book "All You Want to Know About Hell" for a good analysis of the pros and cons of each view.

I came to the conclusion that conditionalism/annihilation is the best explanation of the Biblical texts and have yet to hear a rebuttal I find convincing. Here are some reasons that I find annihilation convincing.

  • At this point, I’m of the opinion that the idea of an inherently immortal soul is just not in the Bible. It was common in pagan philosophy, but I do not think it can be found in Scripture. The idea of an inherently immortal soul is one of the lynchpins of the argument for eternal torment/separation - if the soul is eternal then obviously God will not be destroying anyone, hence Lewis’ book ‘The Great Divorce’. If Hell is eternal and we do not think God tortures people and we do not think the human soul can be destroyed - what then becomes of the wicked? Lewis basically argues they become their sin, which is an interesting perspective.
  • The word for eternal in Greek - ‘aion’ or ‘aionios’ - does not necessarily suggest endlessness like its English equivalent. Bruce Waltke says, “That neither the Hebrew nor the Greek word in itself contain the idea endlessness is shown both by the fact that they sometimes refer to events or conditions that occurred at a definite point in the past, and also by the fact that sometimes it is thought desirable to repeat the word, not merely saying “forever”, but “forever and ever”…Both words came to be used to refer to a long age or period.” G. K. Beale says, “The context of the passage and of the book must determine whether this is a long but limited time or an unending period”. It can also mean ‘age’ or ‘of the age to come’ according to Steve Gregg.
  • Eternal fire could be eternal in consequence - it destroys permanently - rather than eternal in duration (Jude 1:7). In fact, this is the very image often used - Jesus talks about the branches that do not produce fruit being burned up and John the Baptist about burning up the chaff with ‘unquenchable fire’. These images suggest the chaff/branches are destroyed.
  • Jesus’ reference to worms not die/fire not quenched is from Isaiah 66 and the people are very much dead in that description
  • The book of Revelation is apocalyptic literature and pressing the images too far is poor exegesis/method - Rev 14:10-11 and 20:10 are often used in support of eternal torment. But I think this is a misapplication of the apocalyptic genre.
  • Jesus talks about both soul and body being ‘destroyed’ in Matthew 10:28 in reference to Gehenna. I am aware of a counterargument that destroyed here can mean ‘ruined’, but I do not find it convincing given Jesus’ other talk of chaff and branches being burned up.
  • In Ezekiel 18:33 God says He ‘takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked’ and we see zero instances of God inflicting torture on people as punishment. I am not appealing to our personal emotions here - but rather saying that God never uses torture on His enemies throughout the OT. Why is He suddenly torturing people in the NT? I think you can make a Biblical - rather than emotional - argument that this is simply inconsistent with God’s character - even His wrath. Our God is a consuming fire - yes - and does allow people to suffer the evil they have devised for others (Haman in Esther or Matthew 18:34), but He Himself does not seek to inflict torment.
  • The idea that because God is infinitely holy He must punish sin with infinite punishment does not make sense to me. It makes an assumption about what God’s holiness means. Whenever an unholy person entered the holy of holies without being clean - like Nadab and Abihu - they were consumed - destroyed. Holiness to me is about being able to enter God’s presence and live - about being set apart - not about the duration of punishment. So I think this argument begs the question/involves circular reasoning by assuming one view of how a holy God responds to sin.

I do believe everyone will be resurrected to a Day of Judgment and that there will be terror/shame for the wicked, but it is unclear to me what that means. After that, I believe the wicked will be destroyed. I am always open to changing my mind if I am presented with good evidence.

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  • Zanarkand, Great job at defining the word hell and the four Greek words that are often mistranslated hell. Great job as well with the word aion mistranslated as eternal. Here is the answer to the question that was originally asked. >and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross.< Col: 1:20
    – Sherrie
    Aug 25 '21 at 5:00
  • Thanks Sherrie - it is definitely a commonly misunderstood topic.
    – Zanarkand
    Aug 25 '21 at 11:36
  • Zanarkand, your are right, God's ways are so much higher than our ways. All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD. All the families of the nations will bow down before Him. Ps:22.7 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before Him— even those unable to preserve their lives. Ps:22.9 For from Him and through Him and unto Him are all things. To Him be the glory to the ages! Amen. Rom. 11:36
    – Sherrie
    Aug 25 '21 at 13:21
  • Good answer Zanarkand even though Revelation 20:7-15 have answered me you brought up a pretty discussion in respect What the 'hell' really is? That's one of my main personal questions about christianity. Thank you a lot. Aug 26 '21 at 22:39
  • I found it interesting that some of the approaches that you brought up, for example Lewis, 'What the hell really is' have the appearance of the definition of 'obsessors' coming from spiritualism. Aug 26 '21 at 22:43

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