THE HELL DEBATE
A RESEARCH PAPER SUBMITTED TO
PROFESSOR MASHALL WICKS
IN COMPLETION OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
When trying to have a conversation about hell Hendrikus Berkhof says concerning the dominant ecclesiastical idea of hell as eternal punishment that ”there has always been a reluctance to engage in a deeper probing of this frightening conviction.” In other words no one wants to talk about hell some churches have even avoided this topic for fear of losing members. Nevertheless, hell has been a hot topic debate for centuries, and there are many different views regarding hell and the nature of hell. This paper will address two of the most common views in the hell debate. One view called “The Classic View- says that hell is a place of unending torment for the wicked. The Annihilationist view-says that hell is a place where the wicked shall be no more”. In regards to the hell debate there are some who believe that we are living in hell right now here on earth. However, hell is viewed there is always several questions that is often asked. How could a God who is so loving and caring, treat his people this cruelly by banishing them to hell for eternity? How could a God who says that he loves everyone be this mean? Is this how God shows his love for his children? Why would God create us just to torture us? These are all legitimate questions and finding an answer that will please everyone is not an easy thing to do. However, as a Christian we are bound by our faith to believe that hell does exist, and if it does exist what really happens once a person is sent there? There are those who are bold enough to stand up and tell you that there is no hell it’s just something made up by man to scare people into becoming a Christian. “The fear of hell is the basis for the Christian faith.” “Evangelical Christians disagree over whether this punishment is eternal in duration or in consequence. That is, when the Bible speaks of “eternal destruction,” does it mean rebels will eternally suffer a process of destruction, or does it mean that once rebels are destroyed, it is eternal (namely, permanent, irreversible)?”
What is Hell?
“The Bible tells us that God created hell, preparing it in part for the devil and his angels, and that Satan will one day end up there.”  So we see from the beginning hell wasn’t created for people, once sin came into the picture all bets where off. It all came down to choice. The bible tells us in plain english to choose for yourself whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15 (NKJV). “Hell is a place where real people will suffer real punishment for a real eternity.” Hell has been given several names such as Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Geheena. “Sheol is known as the place of the dead” or more specifically, “the place of the unrighteous dead” according to the Hebrew bible.” “Hades is a Greek noun used 61 times in the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) to translate the Hebrew term she’ ol, which refers to the grave or the realm of the dead” “Tartarus was regarded by the ancient Greeks as that abiding place where rebellious gods and other wicked ones were punished. Its only New Testament use is in 2 Peter 2.4” “The New Testament uses Gehenna to speak of the place of final punishment. In Gehenna worms are constantly at work in a fiery environment that burns forever (Mark 9:48) Only God can commit people to Gehenna.” Yet with all these descriptions this is still not enough to convince people of the realization of hell. As the debate about hell continues there are many people who will argue you and down because they believe that there is no such place as hell. As I stated in the introduction many people have a problem with a God of love condemning people to such a deplorable place like hell. However there are others who...