[99] Mormons teach that it was for this purpose that Christ visited the Spirit World after his crucifixion (1 Peter 3:19–20, 1 Peter 4:5–6). [1] Theologians today generally see Hell as the logical consequence of using free will to reject union with God and, because God will not force conformity, it is not incompatible with God's justice and mercy.[1]. In this post, I want to summarize the best arguments for eternal conscious torment (ECT)—the traditional view of hell where the wicked will experience never-ending punishment. It’s the ONLY verse in the entire Bible where we find the word “eternal” beside the word “punishment”. Apart from one use in James 3:6, this term is found exclusively in the synoptic gospels. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) teaches that the word "hell" is used scripturally in at least two senses. The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent by Clark H. Pinnock, Jesus' Teaching on Hell by Samuel G. Dawson, at the Cornell University, PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography (Browse "Heaven and Hell" Category), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Christian_views_on_Hell&oldid=991983298#Eternal_conscious_torment, Articles with dead external links from August 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2011, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from May 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Maps with Christian views on Hell can be found in the, This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 21:20. Okay, so what are the best arguments for ECT? Therefore, the wicked will be annihilated. Contrary to Western Christianity, both Roman and Protestant varieties, the Christians of the East emphasize the mystery of God in his pre-eternal transcendence and maintain a tradition of apophatic theology, while the technical, cataphatic theology of scholasticism tends to be downplayed or viewed as subordinate. And they are different. Genesis 37:35; Numbers 16:30-33; Psalm 86:13; Ecclesiastes 9:10). Certain biblical texts have led some theologians[who?] Again, I haven’t had time to examine all of these arguments or the many texts in detail. [58], Writing in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia, Joseph Hontheim said that "theologians generally accept the opinion that hell is really within the earth. Q97 A4 flags discussion of the location of hell as speculation: As Augustine says (De Civ. [35] Paul Evdokimov stated: "Hell is nothing else but separation of man from God, his autonomy excluding him from the place where God is present. Before we proceed, here is an abbreviation: ECT = Eternal, Conscious Torment (the traditional view). Those who believe in terminal punishment very much agree that there will be suffering and punishment in hell. The basic meaning is that those who go to hell will hold on to their rejection of God and will suffer for their choice. Revelation 20:15). 116:3, Psalm 139:8, Prov. It takes a good bit of theological gymnastics to continually reinterpret these divinely inspired Words of God to mean the exact opposite of their natural meanings. It is useless to speculate about its true nature, and more sensible to confess our ignorance in a question that evidently exceeds human understanding. [68], Saint Augustine of Hippo said that the suffering of hell is compounded because God continues to love the sinner who is not able to return the love. Pages 66–69 of John-Paul Himka's Last Judgment Iconography in the Carpathians provides an illustrated description of some such 15th-century Carpathian icons based on a northern Rus' prototype (p. 193). [citation needed], By at least the late or saboraic rabbinical period (500-640 CE), Gehinnom was viewed as the place of ultimate punishment, exemplified by the rabbinical statement "the best of medicians are destined to Gehinnom." Second, Revelation 14:9-11 also seems to suggest never ending torment: And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. [6][23] In Revelation 20:13-14 hades is itself thrown into the "lake of fire" after being emptied of the dead. "[46] Some have interpreted these words as a denial that Hell can be considered to be a place, or at least as providing an alternative picture of Hell. 31:17, Ezek. Second, if Jesus is going ...". Yes. Different Hebrew and Greek words are translated as "Hell" in most English-language Bibles. Mormons believe that righteous people will rise in a "first resurrection" and live with Christ on earth after His return. [88], Another area of debate is the fate of the unevangelized (i.e., those who have never had an opportunity to hear the Christian gospel), those who die in infancy, and the mentally disabled. (Matthew 8:21, et al.) A moral objection to eternal conscious torment (ECT) is that if sinners are tormented in hell for all eternity (or, to be more precise, the lake of fire), then God’s justice is never satisfied. "[103] Mormons also believe in a more permanent concept of hell, commonly referred to as outer darkness. "Eternal judgment" does not mean that the judging will last forever, but that its outcome will. [citation needed] Thus, there is no single "official" teaching of the Church apart from apostolic doctrine received and, when necessary, defined by Ecumenical Councils. 31:15, Hosea 13:14, Hosea 13:14, Psalm 141:7, Mat. These words include: In ancient Jewish belief, the dead were consigned to Sheol, a place to which all were sent indiscriminately (cf. 7:27, Prov. [18], Apart from the use of the term gehenna (translated as "Hell" or "Hell fire" in most English translations of the Bible; sometimes transliterated, or translated differently)[20][21][22] the Johannine writings refer to the destiny of the wicked in terms of "perishing", "death" and "condemnation" or "judgment". "Hell is the place and state of eternal punishment for the fallen angels and human beings who die deliberately estranged from the love of God" (work by Fr. It is the final destiny of every person who does not receive salvation, where they will be punished for their sins. Eternal Conscious Torment cannot explain degrees of suffering.... No matter how much any given member of the damned has suffered in that view, there is always an infinite amount of suffering to be continuously endured. Eastern Orthodox icons of the Last Judgment, most notably in the Slavic traditions, often depict tormented, lost sinners in Hell. Wherefore—Eternal punishment is God's punishment. Conscious definition, aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc. In his recent book arguing for universalism, David Bentley Hart explains why he abhors the doctrine of hell as eternal conscious torment. Paul speaks of "wrath" and "everlasting destruction" (cf. 32:21, Ezk. I grew up believing that the final fate of the unrighteous is eternal conscious torment. ", Other Catholics neither affirm nor deny that Hell is a place, and speak of it as "a place or state". (Note that the "Smoke of their torment" rises forever, not their torment) However, the image of rising smoke, and even the claim of smoke rising forever, is in fact an Old Testament idiom that describes destruction, not ongoing burning (let alone ongoing torment… At all events the doctrine of conscious, eternal torment for impenitent men is clearly revealed in the Word of God. "[45], Pope John Paul II stated on 28 July 1999, that, in speaking of Hell as a place, the Bible uses "a symbolic language", which "must be correctly interpreted … Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy. One historic Protestant view of hell is expressed in the Westminster Confession (1646): According to the Alliance Commission on Unity & Truth among Evangelicals (ACUTE) the majority of Protestants have held that hell will be a place of perpetual conscious torment, both physical and spiritual. [98] The first is a place commonly called Spirit Prison which is a state of punishment for those who reject Christ and his Atonement. Rev. How can a relatively short lifetime of sin (some longer and/or more sinful than others) be rewarded with an eternity of suffering? A. DiNoia, Gabriel O'Donnell, Romanus Cessario, Peter J. Cameron (editors), "Nonfiction Book Review: Inventing Hell: Dante, the Bible, and Eternal Torment by Jon M. Sweeney. Eternal conscious torment is a fitting punishment for sin committed against a great and infinitely glorious God. ", http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html, http://godfire.net/eby/saviour_of_the_world.html, https://www.adventistreview.org/forever-and-ever, https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/how-long-does-hell-burn. 3:6, Science and Health with Key to the Scripture, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A8&version=ESV, "What the Bible says about Death, Afterlife, and the Future", "Bible Gateway passage: Luke 12:5-9 - J.B. Phillips New Testament", "Bible Gateway passage: Luke 12:5 - Amplified Bible", "Bible Gateway passage: Luke 12:5 - Young's Literal Translation", http://www.fordham.edu/academics/programs_at_fordham_/theology/faculty/aristotle_papanikola_26156.asp, https://web.archive.org/web/20110202043637/http://www.bu.edu/ir/faculty/alphabetical/prodromou/, "Lesson 37: On the Last Judgment and the Resurrection, Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven", https://web.archive.org/web/20110928085437/http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=69%29, "25 March 2007: Pastoral visit to the Parish of "Santa Felicita e Figli martiri", Rome - BENEDICT XVI", The Fires of Hell Are Real and Eternal, Pope Warns, Pope: Hell Is a Real Place Where Sinners Burn in Everlasting Fire, Hell 'exists and is eternal, ' Pope warns. ECT advocates say that “a punishment of eternal fire” refers to the eternal conscious torment of unbelievers. Also, send me the Evangelical Newsletter and special offers. [102] At these appointed times of resurrection, "death and hell" will deliver up the dead that are in them to be judged according to their works (Revelations 20:13), at which point all but the sons of perdition will receive a degree of glory, which Paul compared to the glory of the sun, moon, and stars (1 Corinthians 15:41). [17][18][19] Gehenna is most frequently described as a place of punishment (e.g., Matthew 5:22, Matthew 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-49); other passages mention darkness and "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (e.g., Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13). [1][2] Its character is inferred from teaching in the biblical texts, some of which, interpreted literally, have given rise to the popular idea of Hell. For those who do not love God, and who do not love at all, this same "consuming fire" will be the cause of their "weeping" and their "gnashing of teeth." It is unclear whether those in outer darkness will ultimately be redeemed. Matt 25:41; 2 Thess 1:9; Jude 13)? Rather, those who receive The Mark of the beast, and the rich man, have me fairly cemented that conscious torment exists. "[72] An article on the same subject by Sweeney that was published on the Huffington Post's religion page was liked by more than 19,000 people, including Anne Rice.[73]. Fox, "The Catholic Faith", p. 262 (1983). Even though these images are often used to support ECT, I don’t think they are very good arguments in favor of this view. First, they widely hold that immediately following a human being's physical death, his or her surviving spiritual dimension experiences a foretaste of either heaven or hell. Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. No verse actually says that. In his recent book arguing for universalism, David Bentley Hart explains why he abhors the doctrine of hell as eternal conscious torment. The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire", and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!" This transformation takes place during the higher level of the stage of illumination called theoria, literally meaning vision-in this case vision by means of unceasing and uninterrupted memory of God. But love acts in two ways, as suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed! The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs. 14:9-11. However, if you look at the whole context closely, you’ll see that it’s no so clear. In the Bible, in the Book of Revelation, John of Patmos writes about seeing a lake of fire where the 'beast' and all those marked with his number were placed. 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