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The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment:
By John MacArthur

What is all this talk about a place called "Hell" ?

While some believe it does not exist at all or that it is simply a state of mind, others look at Hell as a literal place where your soul goes if you are bad, or don't believe in God.

Others teach that there is a place like Hell that your soul goes to when you are bad, but only long enough to pay for your sins. Kind of like the purgatory concept.

But what does the Bible teach? Specifically, the final book of the Bible….The book of Revelation? Is there a Hell and is it forever?

In The Book of Revelations, Chapter 14 Verses 9-11 we read this:

Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "if anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 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, and whoever receives the mark of his name (Revelation 14:9-11)

This description of Hell as a place where the smoke of the torment of the wicked goes up forever and ever is consistent with the rest of Scripture. Isaiah (Isa. 66:24), Daniel (Dan. 12:2), John the Baptist (Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17), and the apostle Paul (2 Thess. 1:9) also affirm that Hell is eternal.(1)

But no one taught that sobering truth more clearly than did the Lord Jesus Christ. He spoke of hell as the place of "eternal fire" (Matt. 18:8; 25:41), of "unquenchable fore" (Mark 9:43), where "the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48). And in Matthew 25:46, Jesus clearly taught that the torment of the lost in hell will last as long as the blessedness of the redeemed in heaven.(1)



1). The John MacArthur New Commentary on Revelation 12-22 p.92

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