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paula July 12, 2013 at 5:57 am

Thanks, I have been wondering about this because when I try to evangelize the greatest resistence comes from those who say ” Well, if God loves us all and created us all then why would he create a punishment FOREVER!” They mean that while they can accept that some people may need a ‘timeout’ eternal torture seems too cruel.
I, honestly, have a hard time answering but have begun to think… well, maybe for some, it’s not forever. I mean, Jesus inferrs that there are ‘levels’ of reward in heaven, so perhaps there are ‘levels’ of punishment or length of punishment in hell.
But I see what you’re saying and I agree.
My response to those questions is usually that God is not just loving… He is just AND loving. No unclean thing, at all, can enter HIS kingdom.
Frankly, I’d like to hear more preaching on heaven.

Jack Wellman July 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Thank you Paula. Few people know that Jesus spoke about 5 times more often than hell than He ever did about heaven and many times He said “repent or you will likewise perish.” The gospel means nothing until the bad news of God’s wrath on sinners because the good news is useless until they see the need for it by use of the bad news of God’s judgment. You seen this even in Paul’s letters, like in Roman’s 6:23 ” For the wages of sin is death, [1st, the bad news0 but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord [only then the good news]. Does this make sense?

Here is the method that Jesus, Paul, Peter and all of the leaders of the New Testament church used:


Please let me know if this makes sense Paula.

marcy September 23, 2021 at 10:01 am

Hi Jack ….
i am curious your thoughts…. on
“aion” meaning the age without end… eternal
doesn’t the word itself … age…. mean there is an end ?

Jack Wellman September 23, 2021 at 10:23 am

The word implies eternity or age without end, so it does not mean there is an end, but as it says, time with no end.

Candice July 12, 2013 at 8:39 am

Hi Jack! I know that this is off-topic from your article, however I’m desperate and I need help. I feel as though God has completely forsaken me. Starting about two weeks ago I’ve fallen into a downward spiral of sin. (I have backslidden before but was restored.) I just want to give up, but God has brought me so far. But now I just don’t understand. Before when I would pray, I would feel God’s presence annd now nothing. I can barely even pray. I tried to read some of the Bible online and I just am so tired, I’m not understanding it. I haven’t touched my Bible in a while because I feel too guilty and filty in sin to touch it. I have been trying to confess but it always feels like it falls flat. I try to really be sorry and be ashamed (which I truly am) but I’m worried God doesn’t see a repentent heart in me. I also have been having a real attack in my mind with intrusive sinful thoughts (spiritual warfare?) which was a huge part of backsliding for me in the past and I’m scared it is going to take hold again. I’m upset and can barely sleep and the moment I wake up I am reminded of all my sin. I’m depressed because of this. I feel like it’s too late. I wish I was a new Christian who just started thier relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I feel like my relationship with God is scarred beyond repair. I am so heavy burdened right now. I wish I was just saved with a new clean start. I feel like it’s over. I am asking for your insight for this situation and any advice. Thank you so much for your time, it means a lot to me right now. Thank you for reading this long, exhausting comment. I look forward to future articles from you, because they are always great. God is good. May He bless you greatly.

Jack Wellman July 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Candice…as long as a person is drawing breath, there is time for repentance and confession of sin (1 John 1:8). Jesus came to die for us to forgive us of all our sins and to make us to be seen by God as having Jesus’ righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). Read these two and then Romans 8 to see how God saves to the uttermost and what He seals (Eph 1 & 2) stays sealed by the Holy Spirit. Find a pastor or talk to your own pastor and tell him just what you did me and I would venture to say he will say the same thing. The only unforgiveable sin is not putting your trust in Christ. There is no one beyond God’s forgiveness. Christ’s atonement is sufficient for all sins including yours! Trust God, believe God and don’t trust your own feelings or what you believe. Who is more reliable. God or your feelings?

Let me suggest two articles that will help you in this:



Candice July 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Thank you very much. I am now going to trust God and believe in Him and not my own feelings. I am also going to continue to confess and repent. Thank you for the Bible verses and the articles. You truly are a great servent of Christ.

Jack Wellman July 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Candice, the only thing that is great about me is that I am still a great sinner and need, myself, to repent and confess my sins daily but that is what David said the Psalms. We should keep a clean slate, a short account of our sins and be cleaned daily. Thank you for your encouragement. I am glad I could help give you peace of mind and that is why Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

paula July 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

Hi Candice,
Can I pray for you? i will write your name on n index card and ask God to give you strength to stick to the hard road.
DO NOT listen to satan or his minions. DO NOT allow them to even speak on word to you. This is NOT easy and when you say “I am now going to trust God and believe in Him and not my own feelings. I am also going to continue to confess and repent”
That sounds great and I know you mean it. But it is not easy. Watchman Nee wrote a wonderful book caled “The Normal Christian Life” in it he speaks of Christians who truly believe in Christ but act like they own a car and don’t understand the concept of fuel. They get in the car when it is on top of a hill and are thrilled to ride it down the hill but then they get out and push and push trying to go up the hill and finally give up saying “to heck with it, God is not making my life easier” then they backslide and it’s worse because they feel guilty as well and feeling like a Christian failure. Read Romans Chapter 7! “Especially this part I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
Have Faith Sister! you are not alone but stop feeling sorry for yourself and start looking at our Triune God! You have the fullness of Christ in you. Turn to HIM, die to self daily and reap the rewards…. you cannot be a soldier for Christ if you are constantly fearfull and self pitying!! HE shall be your strength! If God is for you who shall you fear, what can mere man do to you?
You ARE victorious! (Psalm 118:6) Hey you should also read Psalm 73!! One of my favorites!
I hope these words aren’t too harsh, I mean them in love and support because I, too, have been there!

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/is-hell-really-eternal-does-the-bible-say/#ixzz2aS8PgYVL

Randy Richardson July 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hello Candice, I am from Iowa and just now read your comment. I too have fallen into sin and sometimes backslide into the ways of the flesh. But, always remember as you feel that you have failed the Holy Spirit is still within you working. That’s why you feel guilt. I kn ow Ive been there many times. Im not perfect and no one is here on this earth. God will help you even when you feel He isn’t listening. You are special in Gods eyes and your name is written in the Book of Life, as is mine. Keep praying as the Lord hears your words and more importantly your heart. I will pray for you and please pray for me and others that are tempted. God Bless You, Randy

Candice July 29, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hi Randy, thank you so much for your advice. Backsliding is certainly something I struggle with a lot. I always regret moving away from God when I do and am not sure why I continue to fall into the ways of the flesh. However, God is so merciful, loving, and gracious! He is faithful even though we are not. If it helps you or anyone else, I remember a while ago when I had backsliden and was in complete desolation. All I could pray for the longest time was that God would “fix me.” I then know that God delivered, forgave, and completly restored me. God truly did fix me. Now that I am backsliding again, I remember the joy of this past deliverance and must now pray again for God’s help. ALL GLORY TO GOD! Just like you said, the Holy Spirit is always working in us. Please know, I will definitely pray for you and others. Thank you again for your advice. Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:41 are very true and will help us all who are tempted. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” May God bless you greatly.

Charles July 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I want to clarify that the effect of hell is everlasting not hell its self. So when somebody burns we turn to ash and that state of being dead is what it means as forever. When the wicked are judge they will have to be punished. The way of punishment is by being “consumed” by hell turning to ash and not being able to have a chance to salvation.


Jack Wellman July 13, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thanks Charles. Could you elaborate by use of the original Greek words Jesus used then? In fact, the noun, “aionon “ and the adjective “aionios” are as authoritative for the teaching of the word used in the New Testament “everlasting” and Jesus used the same words when he spoke of everlasting punishment and everlasting life. To use your argument or reasoning then is that life in Christ is also consumable and not eternal but only for some time. When Jesus says destruction, this does not mean annihilation. That is a different word altogether in the Greek and Jesus used destruction. If you had a vacuum cleaner and you destroyed it, does this mean that it ceases to exist? No, it continues to exist like a crop of corn that hailstorms destroyed…it continues to exist but in a destroyed state.

By you use of “turning to ash” then, Hitler will receive the same punishment as the good grandma who never put her trust in Christ….that they both will be turned to ash?

paula July 29, 2013 at 11:28 am

Thank you Jack, I have heard people say the same thing that Charles is saying and it sound very appealing. but , as you pointed out, looking at the translations it doesn’t make sense.
Thank you for this insight. jesus was not an easy, fluffy guy. As David Platt wrote in his book Radical… he was, well, RADICAL! LOL

Angie July 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

Very well explained. Rarely anyone wants to hear about hell but it is a reality that awaits us if we don’t get out lives right with the Lord. May the Lord help us to find the way to continue to share God’s message in today’s world.

Jerry July 27, 2013 at 11:31 am

I agree 100% . brother Jack do you think that where it says and ( their) worm dies not could be talking about there body soul or spirit in some way .

Jack Wellman July 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Thank you Jerry. From what I understand, Jesus said that all who are in their grave will be resurrected to life…some for to eternal life and some to everlasting destruction. Notice that the worm is called not “a” worm or “the” worm but THEIR worm, meaning that there is one worm, and it is their worm. Whether it is in flesh or soul, it doesn’t seem to matter as much as that it is in fact a worm that does not die. Spirit can not feel pain can it? So we can assume that pain in hell is from physical pain and so there must be some body of flesh and not only of spirit but both but only flesh feels pain.

paula July 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

Hi Jack,
Your response does make great sense. In the past few years I have been looking at Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s site _ the Way of The Master” and they say very much what you say.
If a person does not understand that they are sinners and that there’s a terrible price for that sin then they see no need to put their faith in Christ. Once we point out that sin is in ALL of us and that the smallest most minute transgression will keep them out of heaven then there’s not point in talking about salvation.
Just re: your comments about Hell and preaching… lol… I am lucky that at my church my pastor is constantly doing the hard preaching. i know we live in an area where many are off track and are not growing spiritually. There is so much drug abuse and single parents etc.. so he feels constantly led to push, prod, rebuke and admonish. I have suggested that it might be time (after 10 years of hard teaching) to put together a Sunday night or Wednesday night series on what the Bible says about heaven. I mean people want to know about the place they’ll spend eternity.
When he was 10 my son told me he wasn’t sure he wanted to go to heaven because it was going to be boring. Just bowing down and singing “Holy, Holy. Holy” forever.
My husband also thinks that Heaven is going to be no fun becuase he is an adrenalin junkie and if the fear of death or pain is gone( in heaven there is no death) then there’s no fun in mountain climbing , or race car driving etc…”

I think that people need to understand the stick…Hell, of course… but also understand heaven, the carrot, to set their eyes on the Glory. Paul talks about “the Prize”… and “running the race”… and in hebrews he (OK maybe not Paul) writes “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Or in Colossians (?) Setting our eyes on things above where Christ is seated at teh right hand of God”
People need to be fed the hope and beauty of Heaven and as you said, Jack, because it is not talked about very much by Jesus! I’ve read Randy Alcorn’s book “heaven” and loved it!

Jack Wellman July 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

Well said Paula. Just the other day I used the Law (Ten Commandments) with a Jehovah’s Witness and what I remember hearing once is that a pastor’s job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfort and preaching hell, repentance, sin, confession, and trust in Christ is not easy but Jesus said the path would be narrow and many are headed the wrong way. Thanks for your encouragement.

paula July 29, 2013 at 11:55 am

Hi Jack, You’re welcome… hey quick question here… My mother, sister, brother and all my nephews believe that when you die…. well, you just disappear. I can’t bring in the Bible becasue they do NOT believe it is anything but fairy tles (literally what my mom called it)
My sister is a lawyer so i appealed to her through the logic of Pascal’s wager… but since she doesn’t believe in hell or heaven that didn’t work. Any suggestions to break through the darkness.
I do not want to see them spending eternity in a lake of fire….Appreciate any suggestions. Oh i might mention that while my brother is open to listening my mother and sister get very apoplectic at the mention of Jesus or God.
When i tried to say a prayer at Christmas dinner my sister did an eye roll and (in front of cousins, Aunts and Uncles) said ” No one cares about your God just say it to yourself.”
how sad it that!

Jack Wellman July 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Paula, I would ask them where did they get their information about that they just dissapear? How can they be sure that is true? Also, John 6:44 may be one of the clearest indications of who does the seeking, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” The word “draw” used in this verse is the same word that is used when Paul and Silas were dragged to jail. The King James’ translators didn’t seem to like the idea of John 6:44 being read as, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me drags him. And I will raise him up on the last day” but that is what the literal language of the Greek is. This shows the effectual work of God in our salvation. If one reads Ephesians chapter one and two, we can see that salvation is fully the work of God. Even the fact that a person is born again as Jesus said in John 3:3 it is actually “born from above.” Does anyone have any choice in the matter as to whether they are born or not? Does the baby take part in the decision as to when they are born or to which parents? Certainly not and so similarly, a person who is born of God is done so by the express will of God and then pursued by what the poet Francis Thompson called “The Hound of Heaven.”

I would also pray for only the Holy Spirit can reveal Who Christ is and if you continue to witness over and over again, that will drive a wedge between them and you and you will never have another opportunity to share the gospel. We must trust God for He alone saves but He does use us. It is not our responsibility to save them…it is THIER response to HIS ability but it is our responsibility to tell them.

God can use the worst job of witnessing to save someone but as I told one young man that it takes a man (or woman) of God, using the Word of God (Bible) with the Spirit of God to make the children of God. Yes, it is God Who does the saving but He gives us the great privilege of participating in this glorious event.

paula July 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Hi Jack,
I have asked themon what they predicate their own particular ‘doctrine of disappearing’ (as I call it, but not to their face) and they look at me as if it’s completely obvious that you just.. disappear!!
My mother told me the last time I visited with her that it makes her very sad that i have become embroiled in thie “cult” as she called it. That i give my money and my time and my life to such a worthless, fairytale! I was shocked that hse felt so saddened.
but you’re right about continuing to witness. Fine! i won’t any more I’ll just pray!
you open a whole ‘nother can of worms with the John 6:44 verse. I have had discussions with many people about this. When I read Romans 9 that’s when it hit me between the eyes.
Most people use the verse that god wants none to perish but all to come to eternal life to say that it is NOT only those HE calls.
I agree with you. I bleieve God knocks and whoever opens and seeks HIM will be saved.
So that’s the key… Does he drag people to seek HIM or do they start to seek HIM sand then he is there for the seeker!!?
That verse ” I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, Esau I have hated, Jacob I have loved…” ( Malachi and Romans)very hard verse to put our little minds around. It just doesn’t seem fair!
I admit that I struggle with that whole concept of pre destination! But hey!! 🙂 you brought it up!!

one last question.. Why then Jeremiah 29:13 and several other verses like it that ead… seek after me with all your heart and I will be found by you!

Jack Wellman July 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thanks Paula…I too will pray for your family. As for John 6:44, yes, God does the seeking. Jesus told the woman at the well that God is seeking after those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth…and that He is seeking after such. We might think we all seek after God but the Bible is clear than no man or woman seeks after God but like the Prodigal Son says, the prodigal’s father said, “he was lost but now is found, he was dead but now is alive.” Like the song Amazing Grace, I was once lost but not I am found…God found us and we did not find Him.

As for Esau I hated, this is a contrasting verse meaning that in comparison to the love I have for Jacob, it is like hate in comparison or by hyperbole or extreme exaggeration to make a point. We all struggle with predestination because the tension between free will and predestination can not be comprehended by the human, finite mind because God is infinite and His mind is infinite, therefore the finite can not comprehend or wrap the mind around Someone Who is infinite.

As for Jeremiah 29:13, lets back up and get the context of this. Who was this written to? Jeremiah. Jeremiah 29:11-14 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” Here Jeremiah is told that God has plans for him and that he will call upon God and God will hear him. Jeremiah will seek Him and find Him because God had plans for Jeremiah and had already called him before birth. Does this help?

paula July 30, 2013 at 6:37 pm

It does help Jack. So God seks but if he doesn’t seek then we are lost? So does God seek ALL of us butonly some respond to His seeking.
As for Jeremiah 29:11 onward… Then You’ve answered a different question. For instance, Should I say “Oh, God will never leave me nor forsake me.” When in actuality that verse was spoken to Joshua?
I was looking for a verse to pray over one particularly precocious Youth group child and I felt Jeremiah 1:5 ring in my heart. But then I thought, “How can I pray that for her when god meant it for Jeremiah?”
So should I not pray those verses over others?

For instance, I take great comfort from isaiah 43:2-4 but because He was speaking to Israel does it not cover me as well?
Aghhh, I’m getting confused 🙂

Jack Wellman July 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Much of the Old Testament is written FOR us but not TOO us. For example, God will never leave you nor forsake you is also in the New Testament (Heb 13:5). Jeremiah 1:5 applies to us all though since God formed ALL of us in the womb.

One note is that promises made by God are almost always universally meant for all of us, so the Isaiah 43:2-4 is for us since God will go with us thru the trials and rivers and fires…etc. I believe you should pray these because praying back the promises to God are what He loves. I often open with prayer in the church with Psalms or other recorded prayers in the Old and New Testament.

paula July 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm

OK… Yes, I see what you mean. Got it and phew!! Because I really lean on much of the old testament verses.
I was forgetting that Jesus also told us that he would be with us until the end of the age!
I Love God… he is so patient with me! Thanks for speaking into my life Jack!
See you in heaven one day brother!~!!

Jack Wellman July 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I look forward to that day….and you are not alone in trying to construct how predestination and free will go together….yes, as you said, “Whew!” is right! LOL

I too look forward to that day my friend (soon? maybe, although no human knows when).

Vanessa August 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm

What about if eternal punishment means you will cease to exist for eternity , that punishment still means forever , doesn’t have to mean that you will be tormented forever .

Jack Wellman August 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Thank you Vanessa for your question. Punishment does not mean annihilation. Jesus said that all who are in their grave will be resurrected to life…some for to eternal life and some to everlasting destruction.

As I have said before, the noun, “aionon “ and the adjective “aionios” are as authoritative for the teaching of the word used in the New Testament “everlasting” and Jesus used the SAME words when he spoke of everlasting punishment and everlasting life. To believe that hell is not permanent is to reason then is that life in Christ is also consumable and not eternal but only for some period of time because the same, exact word used for the punishment and life are both “eternal” or ages without end. When Jesus says destruction in some translations, this does not mean annihilation. That is a different word altogether in the Greek and Jesus used destruction tied to the word “everlasting.” If you had a vacuum cleaner and you destroyed it, does this mean that it ceases to exist? No, it continues to exist but doesn’t perform like it was created to by God. It would be like a crop of corn that hailstorms destroyed…it continues to exist but in a destroyed state. The destroyed crops do not disappear or simply cease to exist.

Notice that Jesus said hell is where the worm never dies and that the worm is called not “a” worm or “the” worm but THEIR worm, meaning that there is one worm, and it is THEIR worm and it never dies. So we can assume that pain in hell is from physical pain and so there must be some body of flesh and not only of spirit but both but only flesh feels pain. Jesus said that all who are in their grave will be resurrected to life…some for eternal life and some to everlasting destruction and not ceasing to exist for eternity. That is not found in the text or the context nor do any of the Greek words allow for it to be temporary.

Eric September 5, 2013 at 8:07 am

Why Hell should be Eternal? 🙁
even Jesus forgave his enemies on the cross,
something is wrong. this is something that making God
a great Torturer! a monster more worse than Satan, yes he has the right to punish us, but no need for eternal punishment, hmm? I think the Idea of eternal hell is to
make people to repent and putting Godly fear on them,

worms cannot die in order to everyone to perish (this word is in the scripture), I THINK,
because I’m seeing that John said to people of the 2nd
resurrection, DEAD (I saw the Dead, small and great…)

well it needs interpretation,


Mike October 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Your analogy of the old lady next door and hitler makes absolutely no sense! You say the old lady next door who never hurt anyone will suffer equally, for all eternity , alongside Hitler! Concerning Matthew 25:46- eternal death means the death is eternal just as eternal life means the life is eternal!!! Where is the contridiction??

Jack Wellman October 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Hello Mike. Please quote for me where I said that the little old lady next door will suffer equally alongside Hitler? Hitler will suffer more because there are greater degrees of punishment in hell as Jesus insinuated in Scripture. What do you mean “Where is the contradiction?” What contradiction? Do you not believe in hell? Do you not believe it is eternal? Do you not believe that each one will recieve the fair justice from God for what we do in this life as it is written that each one of us will have to give an account for our lives? Jesus said that even every idle word and surely, every idle deed will all give an account for what we have done in this life. Do you not agree? Where have I said that the little old lady who was a very “nice” person will suffer equally with Hitler in hell? I read and re-read the article and could not find it. Do you not believe in hell or believe that it is eternal? Just curious where you see the contradiction.

paula October 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Hi Mike,
I am just really trying to understand your confusion here. Sin is sin, in God’s eyes, and while the punishment may differ it all becomes a seperation from God and the inability to step into the kingdom of heaven!
So little old lady or Hitler. Neither get to see Glory.
When I read Exodus 34:7 and it says “…Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…”
Or noticing in Proverbs 6:16-19 that little sins are as detestable to God as the big sins:
“haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community”
Then it is clear to me that God cannot allow ANY sin unpunished…

Jack Wellman October 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Amen Paula. Today we see thru a glass darkly but we must respond to the light that has been given and we are all worthy of eternal separation from God but God provided the cross thru Jesus Christ to bridge that gap so that none should have to perish. I love the Proverb because it is pride that makes most reject Christ and refuse to bend the knee. Your comments are spot on.

paula October 9, 2013 at 9:14 am

Hey Jack, DId you ever hear back from Mike about his comments on contradiction? I’d be curious to understand what he meant…

Mike October 9, 2013 at 10:16 am

I’m sorry , I’m afraid I was misunderstood. I was reffering to the comment made by Mr. Wellman.
“Matthew 25:46, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” If the righteous have eternal life which means that we will live forever, then we see that the same word for “eternal” means the same thing for punishment. Jesus can not mean that we will have life without end but then the punishment will have an end. That would be contradictory. “. How is that contradictory ? Eternal life is life forever, and eternal punishment is death forever! It’s eternal punishment NOT eternal punishing!! And then he goes on to say. “If this were so, then this would seem highly unfair as Hitler would be annihilated just the same as the nice lady next door who, even though she was not saved, never hurt anyone.
One! It sounds like your saying its unfair that the nice lady is punished the same as Hitler!!!

paula October 9, 2013 at 10:28 am

Hi Mike,
Oh, I see what you mean now. Hmmmm, I agree with your question and thought that if “life Eternal” means forever, why wouldn’t we see that ‘Punishment Eternal’ means forever.
Good point, Mike.
Jack, are you saying that the little old lady next door will NOT be punished for eternity or that her punishment will be a little less harsh?
I don’t really see scriptural backing for an end too punishment.
Even in John 3:18 Jesus is saying that just by not accepting Him people will stand condemned. correct?

Jack Wellman October 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Hi Paula. The Bible is clear that even a nice, little old lady who was so very kind that lives next door is not going to go to heaven if she, or anyone, refuses to repent and trust in Christ but I never said, nor does the Bible teach, that all receive the same punishment. Hitler will receive “more stripes” than those who deserve less so the little old lady and Hitler will both be in hell but Hitler receives the greater degree of punishment because of the books that were opened and they were judged by their deeds while done in the body on earth (Rev 20:11-15). Does that make sense. There is no Scriptural support for anything eternal coming to an end and it is eternal punishment not anhilation for anhilation is not eternal punishment but a one-time punishment. Make sense? thanks Paula….and thank you also Mike.

mike October 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

What scripture in the bible do you find that says, clearly, that sinners will be tortured forever and ever in a place called hell?
Jesus tells us to love our enemies.( Matthew 5:44)But He is going to burn His for all eternity?
Jesus commands us to forgive our enemies(Matthew 18:22)but he is going to torture his forever and ever?
Jesus tells us to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)But He is going to overcome evil with more evil?
Where sin abounds , Grace abounds much less…hmmmmm?

Jack Wellman October 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Mike, where do you find verses that say, in the original text, that hell is a one time event and hell ends? The definitions that are given for the noun, “aionon “ and the adjective “aionios” are accepted as authoritative for the teaching of the word used in the New Testament “everlasting” when used with “punishment.“ The Greek word for everlasting or eternal is “aionios” and is always restricted to the use of time in its adjective form in three ways that essentially mean the same thing; “without end,” “without beginning,“ and “without end or beginning.” This is used in Matthew 12:32 when Jesus said “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age [aionon ] or in the age [aionon ] to come.” This verse then clearly indicates that a person’s forgiveness in this case “will be without end.” That is, it means that it will be something that they will never, ever, and for ages without end, be forgiven. The Greek term “aionas ton aionon” means and is literally translated as “ages of the ages.”

The word “eternal” is the same as everlasting and it means that it is without end when the context is about judgment. It never indicates that it is a temporary state that will end because by definition “aionon ” or “aionios” is always without end. Apparently you believe that heaven and hell have an end for the same Greek words are used for both. What verses do I use to say that hell is for all eternity? For lack of space, I have only included about a dozen;

Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17; Matt. 3:12, Mark 9:43; Matt. 18:8; Matt. 25:46; 2 Thess. 1:9; Jude 1:7; Jude 1:12-13; Rev. 19:3; Rev. 20:10, Rev 14:11.

You quoted Jesus about forgiving our enemies but this has NOTHING to do with hell…that’s bad exegesis (drawing meaning out of text) but actually eisegesis (forcing meaning into text) and when you do that you make it a pretext and a false one at that. Rom 12:21 is written to who? Unbelievers? No, the church, those who are saved.

Your belief that hell is not permanent would have what you accuse me of believing that the little old lady and Hitler have the same punishment…both are burned up and that’s it! That is not the justice that God will demand Mike.

paula October 10, 2013 at 9:43 am

Hi Jack,
I absolutely DO believe (how could I not) that hell is eternal, and that even that little old lady will not enter heaven if she chooses to deny Jesus. I’m a little less sure about the different levels of punishment but I think what you have said makes sense because many times Jesus coments on those who have much much more will be expected of them. YOU ARE RIGHT… there is NO scripture verse that mentions and end to the punishment of hell (read Luke 16:19-31) Totally agree with you there!
You ask if there are verses which support the eternal nature of damnation… well here are a few which I believe say exactly that. When Jesus says we are to love our enemies it is for just this reason. through our love we may be able to save them from eternal fire. You must see that one can love a person but still have to punish them for behaviors. I lvoe my son but if he is disobedient he will be punished. Read John 3:18…
BTW, I would be very careful to call God’s justice “evil” and I quote you here “Jesus tells us to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)But He is going to overcome evil with more evil?”
Was God’s decision to kill ALL the amalakites, men women, children and animals, evil??? Choose ye this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house , we will serve the Lord.
Well, here are some verses I have researched for you.
Jude13 ” Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”
Jude 23 ” Snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by currupted flesh”
2Peter 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
Revelation 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet [are.] And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
“And 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 having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire,” (Matt. 18:8)
Matthew 25:46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
•”And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” (2 Thess. 1:9).
•”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” (Jude 7).
Rev 14:11 “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.”
Matt. 3:12 says, “And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (See also Luke 3:17.)

Anthony October 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I don’t know what’s wrong with these heretical annihilationists , they don’t get the fact that Jesus is gonna torture worthless sinners forever!!! Jonathan Edwards had it right with this quote
“When the saints in glory, therefore, shall see the doleful state of the damned, how will this heighten their sense of the blessedness of their own state, so exceedingly different from it! When they shall see how miserable others of their fellowcreatures are, who were naturally in the same circumstances with themselves; when they shall see the smoke of their torment, and the raging of the flames of their burning, and hear their dolorous shrieks and cries, and consider that they in the mean time are in the most blissful state, and shall surely be in it to all eternity ; how will they rejoice!”

Hey Jack , when we get to heaven , look me up ! Me , you , and Jonathan Edwards can laugh and point our fingers at those losers in Hell!!! Peace be with you !

Jack Wellman October 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thank you Anthony. I just wished that they took Jesus’ words more seriously for Jesus spoke about 4-5 times more about hell than He ever did heaven. If He believed that it was like burning up someone in a flash, then why all the eternal, forever, without end, etc. references that are speaking specifically about hell and time!? Imagine how this would make non-believers feel…if they realized that there is a God but then they can do as much sin as they want to since they’ll be anhiliated and burnt up just like that! If we understand that there is a hell that lasts forever, then it is much more fearfulsome and that is why Jesus said “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28). What is there to fear if there is an extinguishing and ceasing to exist? Thanks Anthony…Jonathan Edwards will be one of the first I look up among the brethren.

paula October 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Hi Anthony,
Jonathan Edwards was definitely making a point and painting a frightening picture to shake people up. They say that when he was preaching men and women alike fainted. BUT, I do not think I will be rejoicing when I see my unbelieving family and friends suffering. Yes, they will be losers but will I find joy in it? I think not. When I read Malachi 4:3 “Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.” It gives me chills and a knot in my stomach thinking that I may be trampling on the ashes of loved ones. No, I am broken hearted and even angry when people wave their hands casually at attempts to discuss God and say ” Glad that works for you but leave me alone, I don’t need your God!”
Remember in Luke 19:41 Jesus wept when he saw the multitudes because He knew they would reject Him and choose hell. He called them his chicks and likened Himself to a mother hen.
No, I will not rejoice except in my glory but not in the suffering of others!! Although i am in agreement that there will be eternal suffering and that we should all be doing whatever we can to address that issue now, while it is still day (as Jesus says in John 11)

DocReits November 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm


“Hey Jack , when we get to heaven , look me up ! Me , you , and Jonathan Edwards can laugh and point our fingers at those losers in Hell!!! Peace be with!”

I think your comment might have been “tongue-in-cheek”. In case not, I remind us all, including me, about Jesus’s words to James and John known as “The sons of thunder” because of their desire to call down fire and brimstone upon the Samaritans when they would not allow Jesus’s troupe to pass through their city.

Jesus’s rebuked them and reminded them that, “You know not what Spirit you are of”(Lk 9:55). I think anyone rejoicing over others misfortunes need a Bible reality check. If I make it, I envision myself in worship, on my face before the Lord of Hosts, The Holy of Holies, The Living God, trembling in awe that He has saved a wretch like me.

Folks who think they will have their blue jeans and sneakers on, with their baseball hats on backwards walking down the streets of gold arm in arm with God jumping up and down slapping each other high fives need to read their Bibles.

“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:10,11)



paula November 7, 2013 at 7:39 am

Hi Doc,
I was just ignoring that comment because it’s obviously either really ignorant or a great big joke. Of course we will not even want to gloat or make fun of those in hell, once we are in eternal glory,
One of my constant thoughts is how will I not be sad that my family and many friends are not with me. Since Jesus says there will be no saddness in heaven i will assume that I will understand to a greater level either that or forget???

DocReits November 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Hi Paula,

“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Rev 21:4

I personally think “the first things” will include the memories of those loved ones who have perished. Otherwise, how could there “no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain”? It is sad, in itself, to think of those dear memories being removed, but the devastating reality of our loved ones in hell would, I think, be much worse.

We know God will make the best choice, so we trust in Him. In the meantime, I send my unsaved loved ones reminders of our need to place our trust in the Savior. It seems so often that there is a stone divide between my pleading and the lack of response.

We must keep praying and speaking the truth in love. I am beginning to be persuaded that there is this Divine division between the wheat and the tares, the sheep and the goats, and although we do not know which are which(the reason we keep pleading), there is such a stony recalcitrance to the wonderful truth of the Gospel by far too many, IMO, that I have to believe there is some truth to election.

That does not excuse us from witnessing or give us the right to feel like we are better than anyone… on the contrary. It is a great mystery to me why God saves those, such as myself, and does not save those who could make such a greater impact on the lost…like an Oprah Winfry, for example.

What I am learning more and more though, as time in this life ebbs, is that God is Sovereign, so incredibly above my intellectual reach, that I cannot possibly hope to understand His ways. He gives me a glimpse and I think I’ve become a genius. Right.

Thank God for Jesus! God reaching down into our hearts to adopt us…the foolish things of this world.



paula November 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

hahah, you are so right about feeling like you’re “all that and a bag of chips” when God gives us these teensy glimpses of glory!!
But on a more serious note, I feel your pain and you have put your finger on the most difficult question.. the question of election. I mean Jesus even says that no man comes lest he is drawn by the Father but then there’s that ‘for God wants none to perish but all to come to the saving knowledge of Christ.’
I also deal with scorn and anger when i bring up God to my mother and sister and brother… all are convinced there is nothing beyond this life. So there is no fear of hell because they do not believe in anything.
Ah well, I still keep praying and asking God to change their hearts. I don’t know who the tares are or who is the wheat… only God can tell. Obviously even the angels couldn’t really know for sure as Christ mentioned that they may pull up the wheat along with the tare!
So we wait, and we pray and we try to love on our lost family…

Luc VD February 26, 2014 at 7:14 am

For Paula,

I remember a few months ago a testimony on Sid Roth (sidroth.org) where a man testified about his encounter
in hEaven (an Near Death Expirience).

A certain moment Sid Roth asks this man that when he was in
heaven, if he did not think and grieved about the family and friends who where not saved or not interested in the Gospel of Jesus.
The man answered that when you are in heaven, the joy is sooo big, that you even not think about that.
Personally I believe also and I learned that everybody has his own responsability in this life. And God said me on a moment:
“There are many people that go lost for ever, because of their ignorance!” We have been given big resposability as the letter of Hebrews states.

I am nothing special, but I found God years before I learned to know Pentecostal and evangelic churches. Just by searching upright for God. After 3 days I had a manifestation and I (or better God from within me) said: “I have to accept Jesus”, several times while i was shaking over my whole body” The weeks after that I began to see clearly what the sin in my live where (“the Holy spirit confirms about sin” the bible says).
THIS ALL whitout knowing a church as I know it now. I was 15 then. 7 years later I met Bibleschool students in Belgium who showed me the way to Jesus.
And than on my 22 year I went on my knees “official” for the Lord..
So, since then I have met also people with a sortlike testimony.
Just searching God and finding Him without the help of another Christian.. So, Jesus said: “THOSE WHO SEARCH WILL FIND (Him).”
I really can not have compassion with people who are not saved, because it is their own responsability.
If I had compassion, this would include that I take the yoke of anotherone’s responsability.
Another thing: If you and your partner have a super loving relationship with each other and both go to heaven..
While Jesus said that in heaven there will be no married couples in the NT. How can you be happy then in heaven?
Well, I believe it is the same as with above mentioned testimony: The weight of happyness and glory is soo big in heaven that it is of no importance and nothing, ZERO, compared to the actual state you will have in heaven..
Hope this is somehow helpfull..
Do not get me wrong on the other hand; we as christians have great responsability in testifying to the lost and try to bring them to God.
Especially for the none believer-people in our family it is important that we build our personal relation with God AND GROW IN THRU LOVE and hearing his.
If you are a christian and go to church weekly and do all kinds of good deeds etc..
But you search not for God in your personal time (READ: the time besides your so called one hour a day with God, while you are i.e. shopping). Chances are little that they will come to faith, through you. I know what I am speaking about: I built a relation with God, but fel back in smoking. But in that period that I was judged by my church fellows about that failure. My family came one by on to christ. Why? because they had tasted God’s love through me and where not confronted with a so called holy, but religious attitude of a so called “perfect christian”.
Luc from Belgium.

Paula February 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

Thank you very much for your kind and wise words. I know you didn’t mean that you have no compassion but that you cannot be sucked into a pointless agony over a non believer’s sin. I feel very strongly Jude’s warning to us in verse 22-23
“be merciful to those who doubt, snatch those from the fire and save them, to others show mercy, MIXED WITH FEAR- hating even the clothing stained with corrupted flesh.”
We really must be cautious not to fall into their sin while we try to evangelize to them.
You have been chosen for something amazing Luc!! God bless you as you walk with Jesus!!!

Ryan Lennon September 20, 2016 at 4:47 pm

If you’re listening to this I sincerely am asking for your help here. I don’t remember if I did this or not but I’m worried that when I was depressed and suicidal after being baptized, I even tried to turn my Hindu friend to Christianity one night when I went up to my room alone as a thirteen year old I fell to the floor and cried. I think I might’ve asked “Why are you being so cruel to me God?” I can’t remember if I said this but I’m panicking right now thinking that I might burn forever for this and that there’s nothing I can do about this. I was also once frustrated with God’s judgement of somethings such as this such as homosexuals, people who tell a small lie such as “How are you doing today?”, “I’m good” or eternal hell because of blasphemy against the holy spirit. I’ve freaked out so much that I’ve repeated the verse in the New Testament that said no one can say “Jesus is lord” without being of the Holy spirit as far as I can remember it. I’ve vomited over this and cried and cried. Please God. I’m in more terror than I’ve ever been before.

Ryan Lennon September 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm

If you’re listening to this I sincerely am asking for your help here. I don’t remember if I did this or not but I’m worried that when I was depressed and suicidal after being baptized, I even tried to turn my Hindu friend to Christianity one night when I went up to my room alone as a thirteen year old I fell to the floor and cried. I think I might’ve asked “Why are you being so cruel to me God?” I can’t remember if I said this but I’m panicking right now thinking that I might burn forever for this and that there’s nothing I can do about this. I was also once frustrated with God’s judgement of somethings such as this such as homosexuals, people who tell a small lie such as “How are you doing today?”, “I’m good” or eternal hell because of blasphemy against the holy spirit. I’ve freaked out so much that I’ve repeated the verse in the New Testament that said no one can say “Jesus is lord” without being of the Holy spirit as far as I can remember it. I’ve vomited over this and cried and cried. Please God. I’m in more terror than I’ve ever been before.

Jack Wellman September 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Thank you Mr. Lennon. My friend, if you read Romans 12, we are told (actually commanded) to “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:14-21).

Now, please read this my friend. Also, I don’t think you really understand what blaspheme is. Please read this and I will pray for you sir. http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-does-blasphemy-mean-when-used-in-the-bible/

Anna October 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Jesus said clearly, only BELIEVERS will have eternal Life. He didn’t say that unbelievers will have eternal life too.
Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Again, God warned Adam that he will die, not he will have eternal torment.
The Bible never said about immortal soul.
Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
Besides, eternal torments came up with Plato.

LXV May 7, 2020 at 5:31 am

Jack, you like to invoke Hitler. But Hitler was a Catholic who believed in the name of Jesus Christ and Hitler had the support of the Catholic church.

The Jews however reject Christ.

Hitler tried to save Germany from the grips of a Jewish cabal which sought to destroy the church and biblical morality.

Hitler sinned, just like all men have sinned. But according to the Bible Hitler has a much better chance of getting into heaven, than any Jew. Some food for thought.

Maybe you should stop believing Jewish lies and start researching the truth about Hitler.

Jack Wellman May 7, 2020 at 9:40 am

Hello LXV. Hitler was not Catholic and in fact, he dealt in the occult, so he was no Christian or Catholic. The Jews were no threat to Germany or to any nation. How does Hitler stand a better chance than Jews of going to heaven. Why the hatred against the Jews? Those are God’s people! Maybe you should stop the anti-Jew propoganda (Which is JUST what Hitler did) and repent of your hatred of the Jews. Jesus was a Jew. Stop believing Satan’s lies and see that salvation is for Gentile and Jews. You are clearly so wrong it’s hard to know where to start. Are you a neo-Nazi?

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