From Here to Eternity: How Long is Forever?

The evidence that destroys the doctrine of “Eternal Conscious Torment” for the wicked:

Eclectic Orthodoxy

[A revised and much expanded version of this article now exists: “Sometimes Eternal Isn’t Forever.”]

When discussing the question of universal salvation, the immediate rejoinder one encounters is appeal to our Lord’s teaching on hell. For defenders of the traditional construal of hell, it is simply obvious that Jesus taught that hell is eternal, everlasting, endless, interminable. Certainly that is how almost all the English translations render the various texts. The classic text is Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31-46). The parable concludes with these words (Matt 25:46):

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)

And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (RSV)

And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during. (YLT)

And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just…

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