Popular views of eternal punishment violate the gospel—the gift of Jesus himself. People without Christ will “perish” (John 3:16)—not suffer eternal life in hell. According to 1 John 5:12, only those in Christ have eternal life to spend anywhere, in heaven or in hell. Besides, God alone has immortality (1 Tim. 6:16). How could those without Christ obtain life to spend eternity anywhere? No wonder more and more Christians embrace annihilationism. (Visit the fascinating website www.rethinkinghell.com.)
Another concern about eternal hell is its denial of Christ’s finished sacrifice. Evangelicals say Christ took all punishment for sin on the cross—but He hung there for just part of one day, not for all eternity. So if eternal torment (whether in flames or darkness) is the penalty of sin, Jesus failed to suffer adequately for our sins. This denies the gospel!
Amid popular confusion, Adventists stand united in proclaiming that our loving God will not eternalize punishment for a few decades of unbelief. There will be merciful closure, with peace on the new earth forever.
In light of such grace and truth regarding the end of evil, Adventists could be the happiest Christians in town, knowing that God is not a vindictive tyrant but a loving Father.