SWM 108 – What does the Bible say about hell?
One of the most confusing subjects in Christianity is the topic of hell. I think it’s so confusing because most base their beliefs on a handful of passages and then a heavy dose of pop culture.
And the popular view is that hell is a place of eternal torment where vengeful God sends you for all of eternity for not obeying Him. People use this belief to try and scare people into being Christians. The “If you don’t, you’ll go to hell and be tortured for eternity” type of evangelism.
Unfortunately, this makes the basis of your salvation one of fear rather than love and also turns God into a sadist rather than a loving Father. Because what sort of loving God would create trillions of people, knowing the vast majority would reject Him and then keep them alive for eternity to torture them?
That is a difficult question for Christians to answer, and they usually resort to an argument that amounts to “He’s God and can do what He wants.”
If you read certain parts of the Bible the way you must justify this view, it also makes heaven a front-row seat of the torture of hell, making all saints sadists who will revel in the agony of the lost for eternity.
It’s no wonder people look at Christianity and think you must be insane to follow such a God.
You cannot support this view without leaving out large portions of the Bible. Instead, I think the Bible shows that even hell shows a loving and merciful God who gives us a choice between eternal life or eternal death. Then He grants us our selection like a loving father would.
So, let’s see what the Bible says about hell. Do people get tortured for eternity? Is it just an infinite existence of everlasting torment? Is God really that sadistic?
Now, I know this subject is going to upset some people. I challenge you to read it until the end. Check the Bible verses for yourself. This post will be mostly Bible verses with my thoughts interspersed so you can know what I’m getting from those verses.
Do your own study. I don’t require you to agree with me, and I’m more than willing to be challenged on this so long as you do it in good faith. We had quite an interesting discussion about it in our supporter’s forum.
If you have questions, please post them in the comments below so others can participate. If you’re feeling shy, you can email me as well.
Why does it matter?
Some will say – what does this have to do with marriage?
Your view of God will impact how you treat others.
God’s creation tells us a lot about who He is. For example, we know God is orderly because creation is very well-ordered. We know He cares about rules and laws because creation is ruled by laws – laws of physics. We also know that He cares about free will.
I also believe that God calls us to love our spouse in the same way that He loves us. If you believe God forces us to love Him or be punished – what does that translate into for a marriage? If you believe God keeps records of our wrongs and will torture us accordingly – what does that mean for how we treat our spouses?
This post is what I believe the Bible teaches us about how much God loves us regarding the end of our lives and what happens afterwards.
It shows God’s character, and that’s important because it shows us how to love.
What is a soul?
We will start by answering the question – what is a soul? The soul is what most people believe goes to hell. So, what is it?
We can go right to the beginning of the Bible and find out.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.Genesis 2:7
Some translations will instead say he became a living being, person or creature. They’re trying to translate the Hebrew word “Nephesh,” which means the entire living created being.
When God created the animals, he called them “Nephesh” – they were living beings. God called all the “Nephesh” to Adam to be named.
After the flood, God tells Noah he may now eat animals, but not to eat “Nephesh” – that is, a living being. Kill it first.
A “Nephesh” is a living, breathing being. You cannot have a dead “Nephesh.”
So, a soul (“Nephesh”) is the body God created for us, plus the breath of God – whatever God puts in us to make us alive. But this breath is not a soul in how people think of it. They use “Neshama,” meaning “breath,” not a soul, spirit, or anything else. It has no consciousness, no thought, no autonomy. It is not alive. It is merely a function of something that lives. If something does not have breath (“Neshama”), it is not a soul (“Nephesh”). If that breath is removed, you die, and nothing survives.
“If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath (Neshama), all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.”Job 34:14-15
So, this breath is what is keeping people alive, but it is not man’s soul in an of itself.
Sometimes the word “Ruach” is also used to describe this “breath.” This word means “wind” which can symbolize both breath and spirit. For example:
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit (“Ruach”) of God was hovering over the face of the waters.Genesis 1:2
Then they heard the sound of Yahweh Elohim walking about in the garden in the windy (“Ruach”) part of the day, and the human hid himself with his wife from the face of Yahweh Elohim among the trees of the garden.Genesis 3:8
In many cases, these are used interchangeably to denote that “part of God,” that “spark of life” that makes us alive. Without it, we do not survive.
And the Lord said, “My Spirit (“Ruach”) shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”Genesis 6:3
“and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”Ecclesiastes 12:7
God uses the same word when telling Noah which animals to bring – living ones with the spirit still in them. Don’t kill them and bring them into the ark – that won’t work for repopulation.
But, sometimes, it’s also used to refer to an emotional state or mental stance:
And they were a grief of mind (“Ruach”) to Isaac and Rebekah.Genesis 26:35
Now it came to pass in the morning that his spirit (“Ruach”) was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.Genesis 41:8
But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit (“Ruach”) of Jacob their father revived.Genesis 45:27
The point is that this word cannot be translated one way or another in all situations – we have to determine the best translation based on context and keeping it in line with the rest of the Bible.
Now, when we come to the New Testament, we have new words in Greek. The primary one is “psyche,” which is the part of you that thinks and is the Greek version of a soul (“Nephesh”). When we look at these two verses, they show the translation reasonably well:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul (“Nephesh”), and with all your strength.Deuteronomy 6:5
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul (“psyche”), and with all your mind.’Matthew 22:37
“Psyche” It’s where we get the word “psychology” from. All life has a “psyche,” similar to all life has breath.
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life (“psyche”) a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:28
Jesus did not give up some ineffable “soul.” He gave up his mortal life. He breathed His last and died.
So a soul is a living being – it has a body, it has breath, and it has a mind. If you lose any one of those, you are no longer a soul – you are something that used to be a soul but is now dead.
Are souls immortal?
So, then if a soul is a body that is breathing and thinking – can a soul be immortal? No, it cannot. The idea of an immortal soul runs contrary to the Bible.
“The soul who sins shall die.”Ezekiel 18:20a
“For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing,”Ecclesiastes 9:5a
For evildoers shall be cut off; … For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.Psalm 37:9-10
But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.Psalm 37:38
He has brought back their wickedness upon them And will destroy them in their evil; The Lord our God will destroy them.Psalm 94:23
That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.Psalm 92:7
The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.Psalm 145:20
This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved.Philippians 1:27-28b
or many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their God is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.Philippians 3:18-19
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.1 Timothy 6:9
What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?Romans 9:22
The Bible tells us that only God is immortal:
God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal1 Timothy 6:15b-16a.
So, if God is the only immortal being, how can people’s souls be immortal? They can’t. When Jesus returns, the righteous will be granted immortality, but it is not an innate condition of the human being or soul.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.1 Corinthians 15:52-55
And the timeline is evident here. Our resurrection will happen at the last trumpet call when Jesus returns in glory during the second coming. That is when we will put on immortality. Not before.
So human beings, human souls, are not immortal.
Are angels immortal?
No. As the Bible says, only God is immortal; humans will only “put on immortality” like we would clothing. It won’t be an innate part of us but rather something bestowed upon us by God. Satan will get no such treatment.
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.Hebrews 2:14-15
“You defiled your sanctuariesEzekiel 28:18-19
By the multitude of your iniquities,
By the iniquity of your trading;
Therefore I brought fire from your midst;
It devoured you,
And I turned you to ashes upon the earth
In the sight of all who saw you.
All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you;
You have become a horror,
And shall be no more forever.”
So, even Satan is not immortal and will be destroyed.
Who gets resurrected?
There are two resurrections listed in the Bible. The first is the resurrection of the righteous:
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.Revelation 20:6
When does this happen?
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.1 Thessalonians 4:16
If you go to a funeral, many will teach that the dead are in heaven now, meeting Christ, looking down, watching over us, waiting for us to join them. But this is not true.
There is no one in heaven yet. There has not been a resurrection. There has not been a judgment. All who have died are dead. They know nothing.
“But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.“Job 14:10-12
“The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence.”Psalm 115:17
And they will not until Christ comes again.
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.John 14:1-3
So, if you have loved ones who have passed – don’t worry about them. They are not watching over you seeing all your mistakes. They are not waiting for you wondering when you’ll show up. They are sleeping, unaware of the passage of time. Our society knew this at one point. We still have the cultural memory of writing “Rest in peace” (RIP) on tombstones. They knew their Bible and that people would rest peacefully awaiting Judgement Day.
But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.Daniel 12:13
These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.John 11:11
All believers will wake simultaneously and be transformed into immortal, sinless, perfect humans.
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.John 5:28-29
The first resurrection will be a singular, massive, global event.
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Those who are alive in Christ will be instantly transformed. Those who are dead will be raised into this new transformation.
The 2nd resurrection of the lost receives no such treatment. When Jesus returns, he will sit on the throne of judgment.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.Matthew 25:31
We will see all the deceptions unveiled, and God will destroy all who have not been granted immortality.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.2 Thessalonians 2:8
If you are dead in Christ, you will be raised immortal. If you are alive in Christ, you will put on immortality. If you are dead outside of Christ – then you stay dead. If you are alive outside of Christ, then you die.
In short, the only ones still standing will be the believers.
And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.Jeremiah 25:33
Again, this will be a massive, global event.
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.Revelation 20:5
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.Revelation 20:1-3
They will stay dead for 1000 years, leaving Satan without anyone to deceive. The righteous will have been renewed without a sinful nature, and he has noone left to turn against God.
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.John 5:28-29
After 1000 years, the second resurrection will happen, the resurrection of the condemned.
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.Revelation 20:7-8
Satan will be released from the prison of having noone to deceive and will deceive all the unrighteous.
They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.Revelation 20:9
They’ll surround God’s people, and then God will destroy them with fire (He said He’d never use water again in Genesis 9:11). This is the event we call hell. God will, in His mercy, destroy them.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.Revelation 20:14-15
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.Revelation 21:8
And that’s it. They are dead. Destroyed. There is no third resurrection. They do not have immortal souls. They are not tortured for eternity.
But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the Lord, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.Psalm 37:20
They are gone.
“For behold, the day is coming,Malachi 4:1-3
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“That will leave them neither root nor branch.
But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
You shall trample the wicked,
For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
On the day that I do this,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
That event will be painful, literally being burned alive, but it will not continue for eternity. It can’t because this event happens on Earth. Earth is the set of this entire arc of the salvation story. We live on Earth. We die on Earth. We will be resurrected on Earth. Satan will be imprisoned on Earth. The corrupt will rise on Earth.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.2 Peter 3:10
They will surround the camp of believers on Earth, and God will destroy them with fire – on Earth at the same time that He destroys everything except the believers. God will consume the earth, the heavens and everything contained in both with fire.
But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. – 2 Peter 3:7
For a fire is kindled in My anger, And shall burn to the lowest hell; It shall consume the earth with her increase, And set on fire the foundations of the mountains. – Deuteronomy 32:22
Now, don’t be confused here; the word they used for “hell” literally means “the unseen place .”This is talking about how deep the fire will burn on earth, not about some mythical place we think of as hell.
The point is that the fire will melt the earth down to the rock creating a worldwide lake of fire. Only the believers will be saved.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.Revelation 21:1
He will reform it into a new heaven and a new earth, so hell can no longer exist at this point because the new earth is in place of the old, and even if it did, there would be no one left to fill it as all the condemned will have been destroyed.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.John 3:16
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23
The dead do not get everlasting life – not even eternal life in hell. Without Christ, you no longer live. You cease to be.
What about the verses that say they’ll be tormented forever or for eternity?
“Forever” in the Bible doesn’t mean “forever,” as we think in English. It means “forever” within the context of the situation, the person, or the object.
Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him forever.”Exodus 21:6
Will the servant serve his master even after death? In heaven? Of course not. He will serve as long as he lives. The “forever” is dependent on the life of the servant.
I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”1 Kings 9:3
Solomon’s temple no longer stands, and so, of course, God isn’t still focused on it. The “forever” has ended because the temple no longer exists.
The forts and towers will become lairs forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks – until the spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field.”Isaiah 32:14-15
This one is my favourite because it says it will be “forever,” but it also tells you that forever has a limit.
So, when you have a verse like:
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.Daniel 12:2
How long will the contempt last? Well, for the person’s life – which isn’t going to be very long in a lake of fire without immortality.
“just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”Jude 7
Sodom and Gomorrah are no longer burning. God destroyed them outright. There isn’t a burning fire still in the middle east that everyone points to and says, “Oh, yeah, that’s been going on for millennia .” Eternal fire,” in this case, means the same thing – for the life of the object of the sentence. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, the unrighteous will be consumed by fire.
I’ve had some say, “Well, they’re still burning in hell,” but that contradicts the Bible.
If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;2 Peter 2:6
Even Sodom and Gomorrah, as bad as they were, will not suffer forever. They were wiped out and made extinct. This is an example of what will happen – destruction and extinction – not eternal torture.
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.Matthew 25:46
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.2 Thessalonians 1:9
What would you do if I gave you a glass cup and asked you to destroy it eternally? Would you start with little cracks or chips? Then move to bigger ones? How long could you keep destroying it before there’s nothing left to destroy? Certainly not an eternity. No, you’d destroy the glass so that it would be eternally destroyed – that it’s so broken and the parts ground down that you could never put it back together again. That would be eternal destruction. The punishment (destruction) is eternal. They don’t come back from it.
where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.Mark 9:48
The fire is not quenched – it consumes everything and goes out because there is nothing else to consume. Quenching a fire means putting it out before the fuel is consumed. So, God will throw them into the lake of fire, and all will be consumed until nothing is left.
Next, let’s look at some confusing stories in the Bible that have led people to believe the other narrative.
What about the thief on the cross?
One common question when I discuss this topic is, “What about the thief on the cross?” Jesus tells him that he’ll be in heaven that day. This sentence in English is owing to a simple grammatical error with a misplaced comma. Greek has no commas, so translators insert them where they think it makes sense when translating them into English and other languages. But it ends up with Jesus lying if you put it in the wrong place, as many Bible versions did. So, it should be moved to keep it consistent with Jesus’ actions.
And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”Luke 23:43
And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise.”Luke 23:43
It cannot be that Jesus said that the thief would be with him in heaven that day because Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection.
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'”John 20:17
So, if Jesus didn’t go to heaven, how would the thief be there with him? There are other similar grammatical errors in the Bible. For example:
So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.Acts 19:12
According to this verse, the handkerchiefs were sick, not belonging to the sick.
What about the rich man and Lazarus
The first thing to realize is that this is a fictional parable. It is there to teach a specific point – not to be true in all the facts. Jesus tells us the purpose of the story:
If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.Luke 16:31
If you take the story as teaching about the nature of heaven and hell, then you have a significant problem – that hell is within sight and earshot of heaven. Your paradise will be a front-row seat of eternal torment and punishment of the damned, becoming a vision of a sadistic God with sadistic followers.
As well you have other issues, which I mentioned before. There is no second coming in this story, no resurrection, the opening of books, no 1000 years, no new heaven or earth. It’s just you die and go straight to heaven or hell based on – well, we have no idea. I suppose how poor you are.
It’s not a parable about heaven, hell, salvation or anything else except what Jesus told us it was about.
What about my parents/siblings/children/spouse/friends/etc that died?
Unfortunately, Christianity has lied to many people about what happens when you die to give false hope. But we’re told what our hope should be, how to comfort people about those who have died before us.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
The comfort is that they rest from all the pains and struggles of this life. Not only do they not experience their own, but they don’t experience or see ours either. From their perspective, they “fast-forward” to the point when Jesus returns, and we are all caught up with Him. That is our comfort. That is what we should be preaching at funerals. It should be hope for the believers and a warning to the non-believers.
More Confusing verses
Another verse that commonly comes up is this one:
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul (“psyche”). Rather fear him who can destroy both soul (“psyche”) and body in hell (“Gehenna”)”Matthew 10:28
I read this as: don’t be afraid of the first death but instead be afraid of the second death, which only non-believers experience. While in both, you die, only in the second death is your chance for resurrection gone.
“let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul (“psyche”) from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”James 5:20
I think many people place the focus on the wrong person. If you bring a sinner back into the fold of believers, then that sinner will be saved from the second death. He will acknowledge Christ who paid for his sins and so cover the multitude of them.
I think a lot of people think that if you bring back a sinner, it will cover your own sins – but that would make salvation works-based instead of grace-based.
If hell isn’t eternal torture – why would people follow God?
This is the question I get from many I talk to about this. They see the verses, and they can’t argue against them, but their reason for following God is because they’re afraid of Him. It’s also how they convince others to follow God – to be scared of hell.
But the Bible doesn’t tell us we should love God because we fear hell. Instead, it tells us to love Him because He loved us first.
We love him, because he first loved us.1 John 4:19
God created us, knowing that we would sin, and then allowing us to understand how damaging and hateful sin is (see my sermon It’s all worth it). If we get it, choose to want a life without sin, and recognize we need a saviour because we can’t do it on our own – then we get to go to heaven, which God desired for us in the first place.
If we don’t, we return to where we came from – nothingness. Yes, there will be some pain – if we don’t let Jesus die for our sins, then we’ll suffer that lake of fire as we die the 2nd death – but the Bible shows that it will be quick and not unduly extended. Frankly, it’s more merciful than what Jesus got from us.
This is our loving Father – that even in the second death, there is no malice or hate for us, only for the sin in us. For us, there is only mercy. Those who choose to live apart from God will have their desire granted – they will cease to exist as nothing can exist apart from God.
The alternative traditional view speaks of a God who is sadistic, who creates us, knowing we will fall, knowing most will not accept Him, and then chooses to torture them for eternity. If you take the story of the Rich man and Lazarus at face value, heaven is front-row seating to the sadistic torture of humans for eternity. This doctrine is not reconcilable with believing in a loving God or the rest of the Bible.
So, even hell speaks of the love of God.
I hope that helps you understand the character of God a bit more. If you’ve learned something from this, I’d love it if you would leave a comment below. If you have further questions, please, leave them as well. If you want to take this study and share it, you may, with my blessing. If sharing our website or podcast makes you uncomfortable, you don’t even have to attribute it to me. Please, use it, share it, just don’t sell it.