In contemporary Christianity, many questions have arisen as to the reality of hell. While the Bible teaches a literal view of an eternal hell, there has been a widespread embrace of anything but a literal view. There has been much speculation about what the Bible actually teaches about nature and duration of hell. Rather than accepting the Scriptures literally, many deny a literal interpretation for some alternative approach. This issue is rooted in the denial of inspired Scripture, reinventing what God actually said in His Word, and a denial of absolute truth. From complete denial of Hell by liberal critics and “evangelical” scholars, many are not teaching a literal, biblical view.
In regard to literalism or some other view of hell people may ask the question, “What difference does it make?” In the introduction of Two Views of Hell we find some discussion on what is at stake. Robert Peterson believes that to alter the literal view of hell is to demonstrate a deficient picture of God and His glory, to repudiate the explicit teaching of the Bible, and to do “great harm to the task of world evangelism.” The differing views of hell that will be developed in this paper are Annihilation/Conditional, Metaphorical, and literalism.
In today’s evangelicalism, there exists a more recent view of hell that teaches Annihilationism. Annihilation is very similar to Conditional Immortality. The distinctions are easy to see. Many who are Annihilationists also hold a Conditionalist view. This is easy to understand. The main difference between the two terms is the time when one is made immortal. Is it at conception or is at the point of conversion? In fact, these two concepts are often thought of as the same. Those who hold this unbiblical view are most likely intending to “vindicate the character of God by their position.” Annihilationists appear to be trying to do God a favor. They strive to emphasize certain aspects of God’s person, while suppressing other vital truth. They emphasize that the suffering of unbelievers will come to an end because of God’s glory, love, mercy, and justice. “Personal emotions and desires combine with speculative reasonings about general ideas, and they take precedence over specific Biblical texts and teachings. You can see the process at work leading people to abandon other Biblical teachings that from time to time don’t fit the spirit of the age--and seem unacceptable to enlightened modern people.” Annihilation’s main thrust is that hell is temporary, not eternal. “Annihilationists believe that at the resurrection unbelievers will be judged and then put out of existence forever.” Millard Erickson identifies Annhiliationism as “the belief that at least some humans will permanently cease to exist at death or some point thereafter.” Mark Minnick writes “Annihilation… views the soul as inherently immortal but teaches that a person may forfeit that immortality by rejecting Jesus Christ.” “But the main problem with the view that unbelievers simply go out of existence is that the Bible teaches that those who do not trust in Christ will be punished with eternal suffering. In other words, annihilation leads the church away from Biblical truth. And that always hurts people and dishonors God.”
Those who fall under the umbrella of Annihilationists include Edward William Fudge, “F. F. Bruce, Michael Green, Philip E. Hughes, Dale Moody, Clark H. Pinnock, W. Graham Scroggie, John R. W. Stott and John W. Wenham.”
Clark Pinnock rejects and argues against literalism by asking the questions “How can one reconcile (the Scriptural doctrine of hell) with the revelation of God in Christ Jesus? Is he not a God of boundless mercy? How then can we project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness?” He further asks “Would God who tells us to love our enemies be intending to wreak vengeance on his enemies for all eternity?” Pinnock seems to be trying to place God in a box that Pinnock can understand. It is unwise to think that one’s reasoning is better than God’s is. Pinnock has the audacity to imply that Almighty God is worse than Adolph Hitler is if the literal view is true! Pinnock and other Annihilationists and Conditionalists are certainly on unsteady ground.
The average Christian may assume that those who hold to an Annihilationist position of hell do not use the Bible, but they have their share of Scripture references that seemingly strengthen their view. For instance in the Old Testament, they point to Psalm 37 where evil people are said to wither and be cut off. David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, then says that the wicked will be no more. They will perish like smoke and will be destroyed. Other passages Annihilationists typically use to emphasize their position are Malachi 4:1-2; Matthew 3:10-12; I Corinthians 3:17; I Corinthians 15:53-54; Galatians 6:8; and Philippians 3:19. These verses do not teach the termination of people in hell. Pinnock says “A fair person would have to conclude from such texts that the Bible can reasonably be read to teach the final destruction of the wicked.” “O how infinitely dreadful sin must be! How infinitely blameworthy it must be to treat the glory of God with contempt! How infinite must be the insult to God when we do not trust his promises! What infinite beauty and glory and purity and holiness God must have, that endless suffering is a just and fitting punishment for disobeying his word! Annihilationism reduces sin from high treason to a misdemeanor. Hell is meant to fill us with awe at the glory we have scorned.”
Another issue relating to those who hold to an Annihilation or Conditional view of hell is some believe in post-mortem “encounter,” evangelism or salvation. John Hartog III identifies post-mortem as an “idea that that after death… at least some people (if not all) have or will have an opportunity to believe and be saved.” Those who have held to a “second chance” view of salvation in the past include Marcion (ca. 160), Origen (ca. 185- ca, 254), Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834), and Isaac August Dorner (1809-1884).
The best example of a modern day supporter of post-mortem salvation is Clark Pinnock. From the closing pages of his book, A Wideness in God’s Mercy, it is obvious that he is not only suggesting the idea of post-mortem salvation, but that he actually holds this position. Pinnock’s understanding of evangelism does not make sense. On the one hand he believes Annihilation, the idea of unbelievers ceasing to exist rather than existing eternally; on the other hand, he teaches that people will be given an opportunity to receive Christ after they die. If there are opportunities to be saved after death, why bother accepting Christ before physical death? Why should believers take the time to witness to the unsaved here and now? Why bother sending missionaries to foreign countries to reach them with the gospel? Why take the trouble to obey the great commission? As Frame shows, “the idea of a second chance is inconsistent with the urgent call in Scripture to repentance and obedience now (II Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:7-19; 12:25-29).”
Pinnock’s propositions do not make sense, nor are they biblical. “The logic behind a postmortem encounter with Christ is simple enough. It rests on the insight that God, since he loves humanity, would not send anyone to hell without first ascertaining what their response would have been to his grace.” Would God really need to discover, determine, and figure out if people would trust Christ if they were provided a sufficient Gospel presentation? God knows all things and there is nothing that He must “ascertain.” His knowledge is complete. Pinnock continues “Logic aside, does the idea of a postmortem encounter have scriptural support? It seems to have some in Peter’s word about the Gospel being preached to the dead, where the text sounds as if the dead are given an opportunity to respond to Christ… Although the scriptural evidence for postmortem encounter is not abundant, its scantiness is relativized by the strength of the theological argument for it.”
Pinnock escalates his teaching by stating, “We know he will not cast away those who have had no opportunity to know how good he (God) is. God’s enemies will suffer condemnation, but innocent bystanders will not… Those who will suffer everlasting destruction will not be the unevangelized but those who neither obey the Gospel nor any other form of revelation they have been given.” Pinnock quotes II Thessalonians 1:8, but seemingly overlooks what the verse says. “Dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” Paul provides two characteristics of all unbelievers, those who do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel.
A second popular view of hell in evangelical circles is Metaphorical. This view teaches that “the images of heaven and hell are not to be taken literally, as if there were real gates of pearl and material smoke and flames.” This view “teaches that the unredeemed will never be restored but their punishment, while real and eternal, should not be understood in literal terms. Scripture (according to Metaphorists) emphasizes the seriousness of judgment not its nature and uses metaphors to explain the inexpressible judgment of God.” William Crockett says the aim of “the images of hell we find in the New Testament… (are) not to give the reader a literal picture of torment, but a symbolic one… The writers do not intend their descriptions to be literal depictions of the fate of the damned, but rather warnings of a coming judgment.” The very words of Scripture are the very words God intended us to understand. There is absolutely no reason why God would threaten such a truth as hell if it were not true. Hell, as described in the Bible, is not a picture of punishment, but it is the punishment.
The Metaphorical view is held by well-known evangelicals including Billy Graham, F. F. Bruce, C. S. Lewis, Kenneth Kantzer, and Crockett. For years Graham’s statements indicate he holds this symbolic view of hell. “I have often wondered if Hell is a terrible burning within our hearts for God, to fellowship with God, a fire that we can never quench.” “Could it be that the fire Jesus talked about is an eternal search for God that is never quenched? Is that what it means? That, indeed, would be Hell. To be away from God forever, separated from His presence.” Graham has also said, "The only thing I could say for sure is that hell means separation from God. We are separated from his light, from his fellowship. That is going to be hell. When it comes to a literal fire, I don’t preach it because I’m not sure about it. When the Scripture uses fire concerning hell, that is possibly an illustration of how terrible it’s going to be — not fire but something worse, a thirst for God that cannot be quenched."
Kantzer has also indicated his embrace for the symbolic interpretation of hell. “The Bible makes it clear that Hell is real and it’s bad. But when Jesus spoke of flames… these are most likely figurative warnings.” It is significant to note these evangelical leaders who have problems accepting a literal interpretation of hell. There is not sufficient reason to doubt that the Scriptures communicate a clear and precise picture of a literal hell.
Walvoord provides a helpful response to the Metaphorical position on hell. He says, “If the view be adopted that hellfire is not literal, what is the nature of punishment in hell? The most prominent description of both hell and the lake of fire (including gehenna) is the characterization that it is fire. If, for the sake of argument, fire be considered symbolically, of what is it a symbol?” Certainly, Walvoord points out that the symbolic view of hell is not a satisfactory proposition.
The main problem with the two previous views of hell is that the proponents do not interpret the Bible’s teaching of eternal punishment. The main attraction to these views is the lost will not face what the Bible says of hell, but God has clearly predicted that hell is indeed a real place of eternal consequence. Annihilationists and Metaphorists, believe God would never permit the lost to suffer an eternal hell because He loves them. “It is unreliable to base our views of the afterlife on what we, as human beings, think God should be like. We simply are not qualified to say what a loving God should or should not do. Humans are limited to what God Himself has declared in His word.” “Love itself – love in its highest exercise – could here do nothing more than forewarn of the coming evil, and provide the way of escape from it.” God has communicated that He takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” There should be absolutely no pleasure either for the believer to know that people are “dying and going to hell today.” “Those who have the largest hearts for heaven shudder most deeply at the horrors of hell.” Paul the Apostle revealed his heart’s desire for the lost when his stated, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Moses reveals the same attitude when he tells the Lord, "Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if You will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!" For unknown reasons, they have rejected the Bible’s clear teaching. The final view of hell to be identified in this paper is the literal interpretation of what the Scripture communicates about the eternal destiny of the lost. Believers need to return to a biblical understanding of hell.
The literal position has been defined with a variety of phrases. “Hell is an ultimate destiny where men and women experience eternal, conscious torment in fire that is nothing less than literal.” Hell is eternal conscious punishment of those who have not believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Hell is “unquenchable fire, where with body and soul united, the ungodly endure conscious suffering, without any lessening of its torment.” Each of these definitions contains the vital elements of literalism that are established in the Scripture.
Many authors of the literal persuasion highlight in their writing the passages of Scripture that teach and emphasize a literal hell. In the Old Testament, details about hell are introduced. “The Old Testament clearly teaches that there is judgment for the unsaved after this life and that this judgment continues over an extended period of time.” Sheol is a term that is used to designate “life after this life… (but) in many cases (sheol) means… the grave or the place where a dead body is placed.” There are references in the Old Testament that present a picture of blessing for the righteous. Likewise, there are references that state that “sheol was a place of punishment.” “Though it may be conceded that the Old Testament revelation is only partial and much confirming revelation is found in the New Testament, it clearly suggests that the sufferings of the wicked continue forever.”
In the New Testament, there are three Greek terms that are translated “hell.” The word hades, which appears eleven times in the Greek New Testament, is commonly seen to be compatible to the Hebrew term sheol. Minnick identifies two characteristics of the term as “the fiery destination of only the immaterial… rather than the material… portion of unredeemed men” and that which “confines the soul for only the intermediate time between physical death and final judgment… Hades holds the dead until it delivers them up to be reunited with their resurrected bodies for the Great White Throne Judgment following the Millenium.” The second term is gehenna is used twelve times in the New Testament and refers to unending punishment and the “final destiny of the lost.” The final Greek word is tartaros which is found in II Peter 2:4. The term is similar to gehenna. Minnick writes that tartaros “is the intermediate destination for some of the fallen angels between the time of their first sin and the time of their final judgment.”
The usage of the word gehenna always refers to the everlasting torment of the lost. “The term gehenna is derived from the Valley of Hinnom, traditionally considered by the Jews the place of the final punishment of the ungodly. (The Valley) located just south of Jerusalem… was used as a burial place for criminals and for burning garbage… Its usage in the New Testament is clearly a reference to the everlasting state of the wicked.” Minnick declares that gehenna is a place where the unsaved go in their bodies. Many writers indicate that the “lake of fire” is a synonym for gehenna because both point to an eternal place of torment and suffering. The words of Scripture prove the suffering of the unredeemed will endure forever:
"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.”
"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.”
“Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
“These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
“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.”
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… And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
“There will be no more an actual fire in hell, or burning brimstone, or gnawing worm, than in heaven there will be thrones of gold, amaranthine crowns, rivers of pleasure… The representations given in Scripture leave no room to doubt that there is a place for the finally impenitent, where pain shall forever urge them.” As God’s people, rather than doubting His truth of eternal punishment, we must press on to tell the Good News to the lost who are perishing.
“Help me win the lost and see them in their need.
Help me win the lost, salvation’s cause to plead.
He me win the lost. O, Spirit, please empower!
Help me win the lost. O, use me now, this hour.”
-- poem by John R. VanGelderen, Evangelist (2000).
Burggraff, David L., and Philip D. Burggraff. “Annihilationism: Why Is It Gaining Ground Among Evangelicals? The Hermeneutics of Annihilationism.” National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Church, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, February 23-26, 1999.
Cairns, Alan. Dictionary of Theological Terms. Greenville, South Carolina: Ambassador-Emerald International, 1998.
Crockett, William. (General Editor). Four Views on Hell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
Davis, Stephen. “The Extent of Salvation: What About the Unevangelized?” National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Church, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, February 23-26, 1999.
Elwell, Walter A. (General Editor). Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.
Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991.
Fudge, Edward William, and Robert A. Peterson. Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2000.
Geisler, Norman. Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.
Gerstner, John H. Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell. Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1998.
Gerstner, John H. Repent or Perish. Morgan, Pennsylvania: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1990.
Hartog III, John. “Post-mortem Salvation/Conditional Immortality: How Are They Getting ‘Second-Chance’ Salvation Out of Scripture?” National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Church, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, February 23-26, 1999.
Minnick, Mark. The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment. Woodridge, Illinois: Preach the Word Ministries, 1996.
Peter, Dan. “Hell – The Reality of It. Many Popular Preachers and Writers No Longer Believe in an Eternal Hell. How Do They (Re)Define It?” National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Church, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, February 23-26, 1999.
Pinnock, Clark H. A Wideness in God’s Mercy: The Finality of Jesus Christ in a World of Religions. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.
Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard. Chicago: Moody Press, 1995.
Wenham, John. Facing Hell: The Story of a Nobody. Carlisle, England: Paternoster, 1998.
1 The typical approaches to that reject literalism are annihilationism, conditionalism, and universalism. Usually there is a rejection of universalism by annihilationists and conditionalists (and of course, literalists.)
2 In many cases, there is a ridiculing effect of a literal interpretation of hell. “Literalists today are usually more circumspect… There are still people who insist on taking the Bible’s images in the most literal way… And herein lies the problem of the literal view: In its desire to be faithful to the Bible, it makes the Bible say too much.” William V. Crockett, Four Views on Hell (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996) pp. 49 and 54).
3 Edward William Fudge and Robert A. Peterson, Two Views of Hell (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000) p. 15.
4 Alan Cairns provides these beneficial definitions to Annihilation and Conditionalism. “All men are created immortal, but reprobates are by the direct act of God, or through the natural effects of their sin, put out of existence.” Conditionalism can be defined as follows: “While God confers the gift of immortality upon His redeemed people, He allows the rest of humanity to sink into nothingness” (Dictionary of Theological Terms (Greenville, South Carolina: Ambassador-Emerald International, 1998.) p. 27.
5 Herman A. Hoyt, The End Times (Winona Lake, Indiana: BMH Books, 1987) p. 237.
6 “Unending torment speaks to me of sadism. It is a doctrine which I do not know how to preach without negating the loveliness and glory of God” (a quote by John W. Wenham, found in Two Views of Hell, p. 12.)
7 “The idea that a conscious creature should have to undergo physical and mental torture through unending time is profoundly disturbing, and the thought that this is inflicted upon them by divine decree offends my conviction about God’s love” (Clark Pinnock, Four Views on Hell, p. 164). “I was led to question the traditional belief in everlasting conscious torment because of moral revulsion and broader theological considerations, not first of all on scriptural grounds. It just does not make any sense to say that a God of love will torture people forever for sins done in the context of a finite life . . . It’s time for evangelicals to come out and say that the biblical and morally appropriate doctrine of hell is annihilation, not everlasting torment” (Clark Pinnock and Delwin Brown, Theological Crossfire: An Evangelical/Liberal Dialogue (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990, pp. 226-227).
8 Clark Pinnock declares that the literal view of hell “poses a serious problem… because it depicts God acting unjustly… Sending the wicked to everlasting torment would be to treat persons worse than they could deserve” (Four Views on Hell, p. 151). We must remember that we are answerable to God, not the reverse! Pinnock’s attitude undermines that which God says He is going to do and forever. God’s work and ways are always just! “God will judge all people fairly and individually. To those who persistently do good God will give eternal life…” (Edward William Fudge, Two Views of Hell, p. 54). The heretical words of Fudge in italics are emphasized by me.
9 From a sermon entitled “Behold the Kindness and the Severity of God” by John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 14, 1992. http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper92/06-14-92.htm
10 “This was rarely taught before the mid-nineteenth century… Arnobius (fourth century A. D.) and Socinius (ca. 1539-1604).” David L. Burggraff and Philip D. Burggraff, “Annihilationism: Why Is It Gaining Ground Among Evangelicals? The Hermeneutics of Annihilationism” (Workshop Session One, National Leadership Conference, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, 1999) p. 1.
11 Millard J. Erickson, Concise Dictionary of Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986), 12.
12 Mark Minnick, The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment (Woodridge, Illinois, 1996) p. 3.
13 John Piper, http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper92/06-14-92.htm.
14 Edward William Fudge, The Fire That Consumes (Fallbrook, California: Verdict, 1982). “Fudge’s (book) is a conditionalist attack on the tradition biblical doctrine of hell” (John H. Gerstner, Repent or Perish. Morgan, Pennsylvania: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990, p. 66).
15 F. F. Bruce wrote the foreward for Fudge’s book, The Fire That Consumes. Bruce said he was not committed to the literal or conditional view of hell.
16 Michael Green, Evangelism through the Local Church (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1990). Green has called hell “a doctrine of such savagery.”
17 Philip E. Hughes, The True Image, The Origin and Destiny of Man in Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989).
18 Clark H. Pinnock, A Wideness in God’s Mercy (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992). “Originally, in the 1960s and early 1970s, Pinnock was a staunch defender of biblical inerrancy and wrote persuasively on the subject. Then in the mid-1970s he began to shift. First, he abandoned his position on inerrancy and said that there were historical and scientific errors in the Scripture… Pinnock (holds) that God is not omniscient, knowing all things past, present, and future” (Mark Sidwell, The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation (Greenville, South Carolina: Bob Jones University Press, 1998), p. 122.
19 John R. W. Stott and David Edwards, Essentials, A Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1988).
20 John Wenham, Facing Hell: The Story of a Nobody (Carlisle, England: Paternoster, 1998.) Wenham restated his view of hell in his autobiography. “I believe that endless torment is a hideous and unscriptural doctrine which has been a terrible burden on the mind of the church for many centuries and a terrible blot on her presentation of the gospel. I should indeed be happy if, before I die, I could help in sweeping it away” (p. vii). The list in quotation marks is commonly produced in other works as well. Two Views of Hell (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000) p. 21.
21 Four Views on Hell, p. 140
22 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NASB).
23 Four Views on Hell, p. 38. “I am baffled, knowing that John (Walvoord) is a kindly man, how he can accept a view of God that makes him out to be morally worse than Hitler.”
24 Four View on Hell, p. 146. Emphasis is mine.
25 John Piper, http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper92/06-14-92.htm.
26 Clark H. Pinnock, A Wideness in God’s Mercy (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.) p. 168.
27 John Hartog III,. “Post-mortem Salvation/Conditional Immortality: How Are They Getting ‘Second-Chance’ Salvation Out of Scripture?” Workshop Session Twenty-three, National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Church, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, February 25, 1999. p. 1.
28 J. M. Frame, “Second Chance,” in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984) p. 991-992.
29 J. M. Frame, “Second Chance,” in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. p. 992.
30 Pinnock, A Wideness in God’s Mercy. p. 168. Emphasis is mine.
31 Why should logic and reason be put aside?
32 Hartog provides an excellent response to this erroneous teaching. He provides differing views and supplies the preferred position. John Hartog III, p. 8-9.
33 Pinnock, p. 169. How can there be a theological argument for this view if there is a lack of biblical evidence?
34 Pinnock, p. 175. This reasoning is contrary to Scripture and nature.
35 Four Views of Hell, p. 76.
36 Dan Peters. “Hell – The Reality of It. Many Popular Preachers and Writers No Longer Believe in an Eternal Hell. How Do They (Re)Define It?” Workshop Session Eight, National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Church, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1999. p. 6.
37 Four Views of Hell. p. 52.
38 “Bruce is misleading when he writes that there is ‘no unanimity among evangelical Christians’ on” the doctrine of hell” (John H. Gerstner, Repent or Perish. Morgan, Pennsylvania: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), p. 64.
39 Identified with Christianity Today as associate editor and former editor.
40 Quote of Billy Graham is found in Minnick’s The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment. p. 16.
42 Time magazine, November 15, 1993.
43 Quote of Kantzer is found in Minnick’s The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment. p. 16.
44 U. S. News & World Report for Jan. 31 (2000) quoted a Jesuit magazine with close ties to the Vatican as saying: "Hell is not a ’place’ but a ’state,’ a person’s ’state of being,’ in which a person suffers from the deprivation of God." Pope John Paul II told a Vatican audience that "rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitely separate themselves from God." He said hell is "not a punishment imposed externally by God" but is the natural consequence of the unrepentant sinner’s choice to live apart from God. John Stott said in biblical imagery, fire’s main function is to destroy and that while the fire of hell may be eternal and unquenchable, "it would be very odd if what is thrown into it proves indestructible." (From http://home.hiwaay.net/~contendr/2000/2-15-2000.html).
45 Four Views of Hell. p. 80.
46 Burggraff and Burggraff, p. 13.
47 Patrick Fairbairn, Fairbairn’s Imperial Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1957. p. 86.
48 "Say to them, ’As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ’I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ (Ezekiel 33:11, NASB).
49 In the chapel services at Bob Jones University, Dr. Bob Jones III has often lead the students to say that “the most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to hell today.”
50 John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990, p. 91.
51 Romans 9:3, NASB.
52 Exodus 32:31-32, NASB.
53 Minnick, p. 8.
54 Peters, p. 8.
55 Cairns, p. 160.
56 Walvoord, Four Views on Hell. p. 15.
Walvoord reveals that the term sheol occurs sixty-five times in the Old Testament. Four Views on Hell, p. 14.
56 Genesis 5:24; Numbers 23:10; Psalm 73:24.
57 Walvoord, p. 16. Isaiah 14:9-10; 66:24; Deuteronomy 32:22; Job 21:30-34.
58 Walvoord, p. 17.
59 Minnick, p. 10. Luke 16:22-23; Acts 2:27, 31.
60 Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6.
61 Minnick, p. 11.
62 Ibid., p. 9-10.
63 Walvoord, p. 20.
64 Minnick, p. 13.
65 The Phrase “lake of fire” is found in Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 20:14-15.
66 Daniel 12:2, NASB.
67 Matthew 18:8, NASB.
68 Matthew 25:41, NASB.
69 II Thessalonians 1:9, NASB.
70 Jude 7, NASB.
71 Revelation 20:10, 15, NASB.
72 Fairbairn, p. 86.
73 John Van Gelderen, “Help Me Win the Lost” (2000).