Hell: annihilation or eternal punishment



There are different theories among Christian theologians about the period of punishment in hell. Some people believe hell is a kind of purgatory that cleanses people of their sins before they go to heaven. Others align with annihilationism, in which, after a period, the souls in hell perish into nonexistence. The traditionalists believe that those who are in hell experience torment for eternity.


The annihilationists and the traditionalists differ about the immortality of the human soul. Annihilationists do not believe in the immortality of unrighteous humans. So, they believe that the souls of the impenitent sinners will cease to exist in the lake of fire, or that they will be annihilated forever.


Traditionally, Christians believe that all people, whether saved or lost, will exist eternally because the human soul is immortal. The soul is spiritual and thus has the quality of immortality. And so, the souls of the wicked will suffer in hell eternally.

Is hell real?

As I was typing this sentence to prepare this study, "While the damned endure hell endlessly, believers enjoy the endless perfection of Christ forever", MS Word gave me a warning, "This language may be offensive to your reader". And I fear that they are right about it. Though hell is just as real as heaven, all those who believe in the existence of heaven do not believe in the existence of hell. But the Bible clearly and explicitly teaches that hell is a real place to where the unbelieving wicked are sent after the final judgement.


In theology, the doctrine of hell relates to personal eschatology. Eschatology is about the end-times as described in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. The Book of Daniel, some parts of Isiah, Ezekiel, Zachariah, and Revelation are considered eschatological writings. They describe in prophetic language the end of the world and human beings.