By Ron Boatwright
Man has tried to explain away eternal punishment with various false theories such as: Universalism, Purgatory, Annihilationism, etc. But Jesus says in Matthew 25:46, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Everlasting punishment in Hell will last just as long as eternal life in Heaven. Revelation 14:11 says, "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night." The torment goes on day and night, forever and ever, without end.
In eternal torment there will be no relief. In Luke 16:23-24 Christ is telling of a certain rich man, "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." There will be no relief. People will be begging for even just one drop of water, but they will not get it.
Jesus is trying to warn us of Hell. He says in Mark 9:43-44, "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to Hell, into fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." It will be horrible to be constantly eaten on by flesh eating maggots. In Hell people will be "cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 22:13, 13:42). The pain is indescribable and unbearable. No one has to go to Hell, but if one goes there he will only have himself to blame. Hell is not a fictitious place. Hell is a real place in which the vast majority of people will be thrown into (Matthew 7:13-14). It will be a nightmare that will never end. There will be no second chances. Today we must be serious about the eternity of our souls. Letís make going to Heaven our number one priority in this life.