Why in heaven’s name does it seem that most Christians are hellbent on not being open to the idea that Hell may not be eternal? This one really befuddles me. It’s right for Christians to believe that God can redeem even the most seemingly irredeemable thing. It’s also right for Christians to reiterate how they are redeemed by God’s grace and that no matter how righteous they live, they are still undeserving of God’s grace. I’m then left with the question: is it so inconceivable that God would choose to redeem all things to Himself, including the most seemingly irredeemable thing – Hell and everyone and everything in it?
Since I was a young boy, I was taught that Heaven and Hell are eternal. It wasn’t until my late college years that I began to really question whether or not that teaching is true. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe my recalibration on this matter began after reading Colossians 12:19-20: “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Of course I could be wrong, and I’m open to being convinced otherwise and changing my position (an impeteus for The Discursionists because “we all have every incentive to be corrected”), but I believe that God will redeem all things to Himself – including Hell and everyone and everything in it.
Someone may be inclined to say if Hell isn’t eternal, then what’s the point of living good, or righteous, here on earth if there are no permanent consequences. To this I would say read my previous article The Pit of Despair – the focus on Heaven and Hell is misguided and that separation from God, for however long, would be tremendous torture. Someone also may be inclined to say if Hell is not eternal, then where’s the justice in that? To this I would say what about the person who lived unrighteous everyday of their life until their last when they truly repented and received God’s grace. At any rate, it’s in God’s hands. Is it not? He will take care of it. Will He not? After all, He is The Great Judge.
I’ll leave you with this as the anti-scapegoat way of thinking: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” – Romans 6:15-18.
*Origin of Discursion: Read my previous article The Pit of Despair.