The Eternal Reality of Hell
To conclude, the doctrine of an eternal hell has been shown to be theologically, philosophically, and morally consistent. The Old and New Testaments present a unified view of the final destiny of the unbeliever, one that makes it unnecessary to retreat to a belief in annihilationism or universalism. The nature of humanity as expressed in Thomistic dualism is also accurate to the biblical account of hell, agreeing with the need for a final destiny for each individual. Further, the nature of God and salvation make hell not only possible, but necessary. Finally, the patience of God in delaying judgment on the unbeliever is an invitation for the Christian to evangelize and for the sinner to repent. Indeed, “His patience stands between the offending creature and eternal misery a long time, that men might not foolishly throw away their souls.” This doctrine of eternal hell must motivate God’s people to spread the message of salvation, and so help men decide not to throw away their souls. For, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” May our attitudes and actions reflect that the desire of our hearts is for the salvation of the world.
|. || Charnock, Stephen, The Existence and Attributes of God (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996), 504.|