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Dinosaurs during early life on earth before God created Adam
PURPOSE: Helping Christians engage in intelligent conversations with doubters and unbelievers
FOREVER?
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Thinkers Bible Studies / Topic 3.4.1

HEAVEN AND HELL

Will people burn in hell FOREVER?

FIVE INSIGHTS
for an informed answer
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Insight 1: Bible credibility
INSIGHT 1

Why time in hell matters

The primary reason why we have to be careful in the way we speak about hell is that it defines God's character in the minds of other people. The image of a cruel and vengeful God who condemns people He says He loves to the most horrible torture imaginable is a huge barrier to Christian faith.
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Insight 2: yō·wm is Hebrew word for Bible creation day
INSIGHT 2

What the Old Testament says

The Old Testament doesn't say much about hell, but here are all four verses from the Hebrew scriptures that mention a time aspect of punishment in an afterlife. The verses say must die ... will be no more ...forever destroyed ... will be ashes. There is no hint of any eternal conscious existence.
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Insight 3: What God created in each 'day'
INSIGHT 3

What the New Testament says

Here are all 16 verses [excluding words of Jesus] in the New Testament that say something about the duration of punishment in an afterlife. The descriptive words are burning up ... perish ... death ... destruction ... destroyed ... does not have life ... second death. The verses say that the fire prepared for Satan and his demons will burn forever but not that people will burn in it forever. [All the words of Jesus regarding time in hell are shown in Insight 4.]
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INSIGHT 4

What Jesus said about burning in hell

Here are all 14 verses in the New Testament that quote what Jesus said about hell. His words are thrown into hell ... thrown into the fire ... throw into the blazing furnace ... eternal fire ... burned in the fire ... destroy ... destruction ... perish. Like all the other verses in the New Testament on this subject, Jesus says the fire will burn forever but not that people will burn forever.
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INSIGHT 5

Tradition vs. Bible

See the four major views about hell: orthodox, symbolic, purgatory, and annihilation. Common Christian belief about burning in hell forever comes more from tradition than from the Bible. Churches have used it as a scare tactic. Hell has become a joke to most people. Most Christians have never studied this subject for themselves direct from the Bible.
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COMBINE

Here's where we combine the five Insights to get an informed biblical answer: Will people burn in hell FOREVER?

The Insights here are like pieces of a puzzle. Put the pieces together and see the big picture! Now you'll be prepared to engage intelligently and coherently with anyone about what the Bible actually says about time in hell. See list of seven reasons why hell is not FOREVER. Also see reader comments.
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Helping Christians engage in intelligent and coherent conversations with doubters and unbelievers
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