It is shocking to see how far folks will go in their quest to attract people. We suppose it shouldn’t be shocking, since we can see illustrated thousands of years ago, this same difficulty. In Isaiah, the prophet lamented how the people rejected the truth, and coerced the prophets to "See not; and. . . . Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). In order to explore the principles the title suggests, we are going to have to assume some basics. We believe there is a God, and that He has communicated His will for us through the Bible. If you differ with these assumptions, this writer would be glad to discuss them with you. However since we assume there is a God, and the Bible clearly teaches there are two places reserved for the good and evil, let’s examine whether we can establish both Heaven and Hell reasonably and logically as well! Recently an "evangelical” preacher, Rob Bell, published a book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived that affirms that all are going to eventually go to Heaven thus eliminating Hell completely! Most of his arguments are from an emotional perspective. An effective writer or speaker can always generate emotional responses when they desire. What really is important is simply this: What is reasonable, and what does the Bible really teach? 

First of all, it is imminently reasonable, if one believes in an eternal heaven, to believe in an eternal Hell. Think about it. Every concept of the praise of the good, also requires the thought of discipline, or punishment which is the opposite. A human parent loves and praises his child whenever he does good. On the other hand, when he does that which is wrong, or will hurt him, we must correct that behavior. If a small child starts toward a busy street, we first of all admonish him, and tell him how he could be hurt or killed if he wanders into that street. If he stubbornly continues to resist every effort to persuade him to not do that, what do we then do? Do we simply shrug our shoulders and just let him wander into the street? Certainly not! We may have to spank him to demonstrate to him consequences if he continues to try to go into the street. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament (12:4-11) points out how the love of God treats those whom He loves. He chastens them. This is a demonstration of the love of God for His children. It is reasonable to believe He who rewards will also punish. 

Secondly, God demonstrates His love for us over and over in the Bible. He created us in His own image, (Genesis 1:27), and gave us this marvelous earth to live in and use (Genesis 1:28-31). In the New Testament He allowed Jesus to die in our place, (Isaiah 53:4-6). Our Father in heaven doesn’t wish anyone to perish, (2 Peter 3:9) and has given us every motive to obey Him. However, He will allow us to do whatever we desire! Since in His wisdom He gives us every incentive to love and obey Him, He also warns of the justice and punishment that will await those who ignore or violate His will; everlasting punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46). Although many believe that at death the wicked will simply be annihilated or extinguished and cease to exist, the language of the Bible clearly speaks of everlasting torment in Hell! Note that it is described as "eternal fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Again, we have the unprofitable servant cast into "outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30). Jesus described the fate of those who caused one to stumble is "…to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-44). The most severe language is found in the Book of Revelation, where those who worship the beast "shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night,” (Revelation 14:10-11). In Revelation 20:14, 15 death and hades were cast into the "lake of fire.” And in Matthew 3:12 Jesus said that fire would be "unquenchable fire.” To argue that the Bible teaches that hell isn’t "everlasting” (Matthew 25:46) is to deny the clear teaching and is ludicrous. No serious Bible student would even consider it! 
Ed Rodgers, Muskogee, OK (edanddj@yahoo.com)