What did Jesus say about hell and the final judgment? In order to find out, I went to my Bible program which allows me to limit my search to the words of Christ. It was easy to enter certain words and find every verse that Jesus spoke that contained those words. The words I searched for were agony, fire, hades, hell, judge, perish, and torment. Also, I used the New American Standard Bible because of its literal translation from the Greek. Sometimes I'll take the Greek words and do searches with them, but since the NASB is such a good literal translation I decided to use the English to see what I might discover.
This is what I found
Jesus considers hell to be a place of judgment (John 5:24, 29), of fire (Matt. 5:22; 13:40, 42; 18:9; John 15:6) that was originally prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). That fire is eternal (Matt. 18:8; 25:41). Jesus references the wicked descending into Hades (Matt. 11:23; Luke 10:15) who are in flame (Luke 16:24). This punishment occurs at the end of the age (Matt. 13:40). They are thrown into this place bodily (Matt. 5:29-30; Mark 9:45, 47). He says that people are destroyed there (Matt. 10:28) and perish there (John 3:16). They will experience torment (Luke 16:23-24, 28), agony (Luke 16:24-25), with weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42, 50). It is eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46) in a fire that is unquenchable (Mark 9:43, 47-48). Finally, there are also sons of hell (Matt. 23:15). Hell is a sentence (Matt. 23:33) and God ought to be feared since he sends people there (Luke 12:5). It would appear in the service that Jesus' position on how and eternal conscious torment is not consistent with annihilationism.
Every Scripture reference listed is found below so you can check them out for yourself.
Now, it would seem evident that on the surface, Jesus taught that hell was a very bad place to go to where people consciously experienced torment in everlasting fire. Nevertheless, those who hold to annihilationism are not without their responses and interpretive twists. Some of them are as follows.
- Eternal punishment is eternal non existence
- Where both body and soul are destroyed means nonexistence
- Eternal fire isn't eternal, but that the source is eternal
Now, I've written about many topics in the annihilationism section, and you are free to go through various articles to find anything of interest to see if my arguments merit abandoning annihilationist philosophy or retaining the traditional view of eternal conscious torment. Nevertheless, I offer the following few articles for your consideration as they relate to this topic. I hope that you consider them.
- Philosophical challenges to the conditionalist view of eternal punishment being nonexistence
- Conditionalism and conflating eternal punishment with non-existence
- Matthew 10:28, destroy both body and soul in hell
- Conditionalism and begging the question
- Conditionalism and conflating eternal punishment with non-existence
- Conditionalism and degrees of punishment
- What is punishment according to the Bible?
- Why is the nature of the soul so important in conditionalism?
- In conditionalism, there is a logical problem with the soul ceasing to exist then being resurrected
- Problems with anthropological physicalism/materialism
- Conditionalism and the anthropological monism, physicalism and Jesus problem
- Soul sleep, Jesus' human nature, and conditionalism
- Examining soul sleep and its problems
- Matthew 5:22, "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."
- Matthew 5:29–30, "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell."
- Matthew 10:28, "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
- Matt. 11:23, "You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day."
- Matthew 13:40, "So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age."
- Matthew 13:42, "and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
- Matthew 13:50, "and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
- Matthew 18:8–9, "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. 9 “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell."
- Matthew 23:15, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."
- Matthew 23:33, "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?"
- Matthew 25:41, "Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;"
- Matthew 25:46, "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
- Mark 9:43, "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,"
- Mark 9:45, "If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell,"
- Mark 9:47–48, "If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 48 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED."
- Luke 10:15, "You will be brought down to Hades!"
- Luke 12:5, "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!"
- Luke 16:23–24, "In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’"
- Luke 16:28, "for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
- John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
- John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."
- John 5:29, "and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."
- John 15:6, "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned."