written by Clifford Scott


This is an extremely important
and totally misrepresented subject.

Some groups maintain the unbiblical concept
that Hellfire will burn the wicked eternally.



All Bible quotes are from the NASB
unless otherwise noted.


























Burning for Eternity
Would Require an Eternal Soul

Does the Bible indicate whether or not Adam had an eternal soul? Let's look at Genesis 2:7 and see what it says. "Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." Notice several things in this verse:
    1. God formed Adam.
    2. God gave Adam the Breath of Life.
    3. Then Adam became a living being. ("Being" in Hebrew is nephesh which also means soul).
    4. The definition of become means to come into being.

Therefore, Adam did not have a soul, or was not a soul, until he had the Breath of Life from God.

But what about Psalm 139:13-16? It seems to indicate that you are a living soul when you're in the womb, before you're born. Let's read the text and see what it says. Verse 13 says, "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb."

In verse 13 David says that God formed him, just as it says that God formed Adam in Genesis. And the Adam that God formed in Genesis was dead clay, dead matter. Read on through verse 16. In those verses David says that God knew him before he was born - doesn't that mean that David had a soul before he was born? No. What David is saying in the latter part of the text, put in other words, is that God knows the end from the beginning, because He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knew what David would become after he was born, and after he grew into manhood.

Man does NOT have an eternal soul! Man has a body that was formed by God. Then man receives the Breath of Life. And finally man becomes a living soul. BODY + BREATH OF LIFE = SOUL. When the Breath of Life leaves the body, the soul ceases to exist.

A person does NOT go immediately to Heaven or Hell when they die. If that were the case, then Jesus did a bad thing to make Lazarus (Martha and Mary's brother) leave Paradise and come back to this dark ugly world when He, Jesus, raised him from the dead! No. Lazarus was in death's sleep for four days when Jesus raised him from the dead.

Then consider what is said about David in Acts 2:29+34, "... the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day...For David did not ascend to heaven..." Righteous people do NOT go immediately to Heaven when they die. They sleep in death until the resurrection at Jesus' Second Coming.

However, it is not the intent of this webpage to discover what happens to the righteous immediately after they die. Our purpose is to learn from the Bible, and using good logic, whether or not wicked people burn for eternity in Hell. So let's proceed ...

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Bible Passages that Some Claim
Support Eternal Hellfire

There are several passages in the Bible that a few denominations claim for their support of the doctrine of eternal Hellfire.

Let's examine them in the order they appear in the Bible:

Daniel 12:2. "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." This says absolutely nothing about eternal Hellfire. The second group suffers disgrace and contempt, not eternal torment.

Matthew 13:50. "... and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Again, nothing about eternal suffering.

Matthew 25:46. "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Eternal punishMENT, not eternal punishING. The PUNISHMENT is eternal, not the punishing. The verse even makes a distinction between the two groups. One gets PUNISHMENT, the other gets eternal life. Notice only the second group gets eternal life. The first group would also have eternal life if they were burning eternally.

Mark 9:43-48. "... to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, [where their worm does not die ...]" The FIRE is unquenchable. It will not go out, it cannot be put out, until it does its work. The worm being talked about is the worm that feeds on dead bodies, not the "worm" or essence of a person. Check the original Greek.

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PARABLE of Rich Man and Lazarus

Luke 16:19-31. This is the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. In the story, there is a great chasm between the Rich Man in Hell and Lazarus in Heaven. If this were an actual account of Heaven and Hell, Lazarus' Heaven would be hellish, because he would have to watch and listen to people being tormented in Hell. Also, please note that this is a PARABLE. It is very obvious that this story is a parable. The story comes right after the parables of: the lost sheep, the lost coin, the prodigal son, and the unrighteous steward. At the end of the parable, the Rich Man begs father Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers so they won't end up in Hell. But Abraham says no, and reminds him that they have the words of Moses and the prophets. The Rich Man tells Abraham that if someone goes to them from the dead, they will listen. Abraham says that if they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, then they wouldn't be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.

There are a number of things to note about this PARABLE.

      1. IF someone were being tortured by being burned in flames, they would not have the presence of mind to be able to carry on a rational conversation with another person.

      2. Both the Rich Man and Abraham compare the Rich Man's torment with being dead. Rich Man: "... if someone goes to them from the dead, they will listen." Abraham: "... they wouldn't be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead."

      3. In Jesus' parable, "Abraham" made a "prophecy" about Lazarus being raised from the dead, which did happen shortly after this parable when Lazarus (Martha and Mary's brother) was raised from the dead by Jesus himself. We have NO Biblical record of Lazarus relating anything that "happened" in Jesus' parable. This was another "object lesson" that Jesus was teaching from this parable. The listeners no doubt recalled this parable when Lazarus was resurrected, giving them absolute proof that it was a parable, not an actual account of Heaven and Hell.

      4. The Rich Man called out to Father Abraham for salvation, but got none. This was a reminder to the Jews listening to Jesus that their heritage from Father Abraham was not what would save them.

Following is a partial sampling of websites which include the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus in their lists of Biblical Parables: of Parables.htm



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Biggest Departure of Sound Bible Study

The biggest departure from sound Bible study is constructing a doctrine from a PARABLE. Claiming that people burn for ever based on this parable is unwise to say the least. If parables were absolute truth, one could say that trees talk to each other, and that the king's brother could understand them, based on the story told in the book of Judges 9:7-15.

by Edmund Rogol
25755 Rogol Dr
Hillsboro, OR 97123

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More Claims for Eternal Hellfire

John 3:36. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." This one is self-explanatory. To not see life is to be dead. How can one "not see life" if they are living for ever in eternal torment?

John 5:28-29. "... those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." Nothing about eternal torment. Just judgment. The judgment can even be eternal. But this is entirely different than eternal judging, or eternal hellfire.

The last of the "eternal Hellfire" passages in the Bible are found in the book of Revelation. Revelation 14:9-11 says, "... tormented with fire and brimstone ... and the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever ..." Notice carefully that the people are not being tormented for ever ... the SMOKE goes up for ever!

Revelation 20:10 says, "And the Devil ... was thrown into the lake of fire and ... will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." The Greek word "ever" is "aion" from which we get our word "eon" that means "a period of time."

So in other words, the smoke goes up for a period of time. The RESULT of the fire is eternal. The Devil will be tormented day and night, possibly indicating he will be burning for at least 24 hours. He will be tormented for a period of time. This could be long or short, but it will definitely have an end.

Revelation 21:8. "... their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." This shows that the end of the lake of fire is the second DEATH. Not eternal burning. This is a VERY important point to understand. It clearly states that the "lake that burns with fire and brimstone" ENDS with the second death! It does NOT go on and on for ever and ever!! It is NOT burning eternally without end!!!

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Everyone has read accounts or seen movies in which an extremely EVIL person wants something from someone. The most EVIL thing he can think of is to torture the person's daughter in front of their eyes. The person cannot take this and does whatever the EVIL person wants. These accounts make us all hate the EVIL person more than anything! We can't wait for the vindication part of the account where the EVIL person gets what he deserves!

And yet there are church groups who make our loving and kind God into this EVIL person who is going to torture someone's daughter in front of their eyes, not just for several minutes, but for eternity! And we are supposed to love this "god" ?! This is the most heinous and reprehensible doctrine anyone has ever come up with! AND IT IS NOT TRUE !!!

How can we think that our loving God and Creator could possibly torture someone for eternity to pay for, at the most, a hundred or so years of sin? This is totally illogical and goes against everything God stands for. The one who came up with this idea of eternally burning Hell is the exact opposite of a loving God, someone who hates God so much he would do anything to impugn His character. You can be sure that it was the Devil who came up with this idea. Don't follow this line of thinking! Do not go along with the Devil's logic!! Do not perpetuate this LIE!!!

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Texts Supporting that Hell Has an END

Look at the last book of the old testament, Malachi. In chapter 4, Malachi states "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace ... and every evildoer will be chaff ... You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet ..."

Obviously the wicked cannot be suffering eternal Hellfire if we will be walking on their ashes!

Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death ..." Death is not death if you are alive for ever in eternally burning Hellfire!

In Luke 13:3 Jesus says, "... unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." He did NOT say you will all likewise burn for ever. The definition of the word perish is quite obvious and needs no explanation, but I will explain it anyway. "PERISH: verb - to die or be destroyed, to pass away or disappear."

The great GOSPEL verse, John 3:16, states: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." It does NOT say, "shall not burn eternally, but have eternal life." It says PERISH. "PERISH: verb - to die or be destroyed, to pass away or disappear."

Many times in the New Testament the Greek word translated "Hell" is the word "gehenna" which refers to the "Valley of Hinnom" a place where trash was burned. If you check, you will find that the trash that was burned in the Bible times is NOT still burning. It has BURNED UP, has turned to ashes, and is now mixed into the surrounding soil.

Read Jude 7. It says that Sodom and Gomorrha suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. Are the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha still burning? No. They are buried under the salty waters of the Dead Sea. 2 Peter 2:6 says, "... He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes ..." The result of their fire was eternal. They are eternally burnt! They are eternally ashes!

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Texts Explaining the Fate of the Wicked

Psalm 37:10
"... the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there."
If you can not find someone they are totally gone - not burning somewhere!

Psalm 37:20
"But the wicked will perish ... they vanish - like smoke they vanish away."

Psalm 37:38
"But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked will be cut off."

Psalm 92:7
"That when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore."

Psalm 104:35
"Let sinners be consummed from the earth and let the wicked be no more."

Psalm 145:20
"The Lord keeps all who love Him, but the wicked He will destroy."

Matthew 10:28
"... but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

1 John 5:12
"... he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

ALL these texts emphatically state that the wicked will have an end, they will be no more, they will vanish like smoke, they will be destroyed, they will not have life, they will PERISH. PERISH: verb - to die or be destroyed, to pass away or disappear.

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Jesus Paid the Penalty of Sin

If the penalty for sin were eternal torture in Hellfire, and Jesus paid the penalty for our sin ... you can see where this would lead. Jesus would be in eternal Hellfire, suffering eternal torture. This is impossible. Jesus paid our penalty by going into the second death, by being eternally separated from God. Jesus came back from the second death. But He will always be a human now. He will never be what He was before He gave His life for us! This is the greatest love!

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Hell is NOT Burning Now

As for eternal Hellfire ... Hell is not even burning right now. In Revelation 20:7-10 the Bible teaches that after the 1000 years (millennium) are finished, Satan will be released from prison and then fire will come down from God and devour all the wicked. And the Devil will be cast into this "lake of fire" to be tormented for ever and ever. In Revelation 20:14 this is called the "Second Death" - the Death that no one comes back from. Revelation 20:13 states, "... and they were judged every man according to their works." This means that some will suffer for just a short time, while others will suffer longer, "every man according to their works."

In Revelation 22:12, Jesus says the same thing again. But notice the word reward - "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done." The word reward is the Greek word misthos which according to Strong's Concordance means, "pay for service (literally or figuratively) good or bad: hire reward wages."

God's reward (good or bad) is being brought by Jesus when He comes back to Earth, at The Second Coming.

Therefore NO ONE can be in Hell suffering right now or at any time in the past!

The reward (good or bad) will be rendered to everyone according to what they have done. Being tortured for eternity to pay for 80 or 90 years of sin does NOT fit this statement!

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Meaning of Greek Word "Ever"

As we mentioned before, the Greek word "ever" in Revelation is "aion" from which we get our word "eon" meaning a period of time, or an age. The literal translation of "for ever and ever" is "unto the ages of the ages." Please note that whether the Bible uses this term for God or for humans - it means "a period of time, a lifetime, or until life is over." Since God cannot die, for "ever" (eon), when applied to God does mean ETERNAL, without end. But for wicked humans it means they will be tormented for a period of time until their life is over. And since these wicked humans have NOT been given the gift of ETERNAL life, they CANNOT burn eternally. They will only burn until their life is over. Most likely the term applies the same way to the Devil.

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Hell Accomplishes Three Things

Hellfire accomplishes three things.
      1. It brings justice.
      2. It destroys the wicked.
      3. It purifies the Earth.

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The Fate of Satan, the Devil

Ezekiel 28:12-18
This text is talking about the King of Tyre, but from the context and the specific things said, it is obvious that it is actually referring to Satan, the Devil. Starting in verse 13, "You were in Eden, the garden of God ... You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there ... You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you ... And you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you ..."

2 Thessalonians 2:8
"Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end ..."

Hebrews 2:14
"... that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil ..."

(emphasis mine)

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God Wipes Away All Tears

After the 1000 years, the wicked dead are resurrected and judged. They come to the realization that God is just. Their punishment is just. But they are in such agony of spirit, that fire falls in mercy from God and destroys them. This same fire then purifies the Earth. God wipes away all tears. And we get to watch as He re-creates the New Earth where we will spend eternity with Him in peace and love!!!!!!!!

In Revelation 21:4 we read what it will be like in the New Earth, "God will wipe away all tears ... there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying ..." If you are in the New Earth, but one of your loved ones was being tortured for ever and ever in Hell, would this be heavenly? The New Earth would be hellish! But after everything dealing with sin is burned up and purified, God will do something to wipe away everything so we can live eternally at peace.

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"Behold I Make All Things New"

Revelation 21:5 says, "And He that sat upon the throne said, 'Behold I make all things new.'" God says He will make all things new. If old sinful people and the old Devil are still around being tortured for ever in Hell, then not all things are new. And that would make God a liar. And that is impossible. When God says He will make all things new, He means exactly that. There will be a new Heavens and a new Earth. There will NOT be an old Hell with old people in it somewhere.

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Vengeance Belongs to God

Romans 12:19 states, "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.' says the Lord." If vengeance belongs to God, then He will decide how long the punishment will be for those who have done unspeakable things to His saints. But their punishment will have an end.

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Are You a Saint?

No SAINT would want to see
even their worst enemy
burned and tortured
for ever and ever without end.

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Eternal Hell Makes a Liar out of Jesus!

The false doctrine of eternally burning hellfire torturing the wicked for eternity without end makes a liar out of Jesus on at least three counts:

    1. In Matthew 5:44 and in Luke 6:27, Jesus tells us, "Love your enemies." Then He is supposedly going to torture His enemies in the most heinous manner imaginable - by burning them in fire for eternity without end?! One of the worst things I ever read about man's horrible inhumanity towards his fellow man, was an account where white supremacists burned a black man at the stake. But then, instead of letting him die, they took him out of the fire and left him on the ground to suffer his third degree burns for hours and hours before they put him back in the fire and let him burn to death! And this horrendous thing is merciful compared to what Jesus is supposedly going to do to some of His creatures! To possibly your child!! And all the while you are in Heaven proclaiming your love to this monster?!
    2. In Romans 6:23 Paul tells us, "For the wages of sin is death." He makes a liar of God and Jesus if the wages of sin is actually burning alive in Hell for eternity! You can NOT be dead and burning alive for eternity at the same time!
    3. Also in the same verse Paul tells us that "the free gift of God is eternal life." This is contrasted with the wages of sin being death.


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Don't Follow the Biggest Liar!

Satan's first and biggest lie was when he told Eve, "You surely will not die." (Genesis 2:4). This BIG LIE is found in the doctrine of Eternal Hell! In order to burn forever without end, one would have to never die. "You surely will not die." Don't believe Satan's biggest lie! The Bible tells us, "The person who sins will die" Ezekiel 18:20. Who are you going to believe? Satan or God? "...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15.


A Scare Tactic

Anyone who teaches eternal Hellfire is trying to scare you into believing what they do. God is not like that. He came to Earth and became a human and died the second death and rose again and came back from that second death so that we can be saved and love Him for eternity in peace.

THAT is an awesome God.
THAT is a God I can love!


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Sticking Points

Paul seems to have believed that we have an immortal soul when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:8, "We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."

Then in Philippians 1:23-24 he says, "But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake."

One answer to these statements is that Paul knew that death is like a sleep. The Bible states this many times. So he knew that as soon as he died, his very next thought would be seeing Jesus. Just as when you fall asleep (and if you don't dream) your very next thought is waking in the morning.

Also, some people quote Jesus' words to the thief on the cross in Luke 23:43, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." However if we take this statement as it reads here, it makes Jesus a liar. Because Jesus did not go back to Paradise until after His resurrection, therefore He could not have been in Paradise with the thief that day. Another point - it is very probable that the thief did not die that day. People usually did not die the same day they were crucified. A much better reading of Jesus' words is: "Truly I say to you today, you shall be with Me in Paradise." Just moving the comma (which was not in the original text) completely removes this problem.


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