Well, here we go again! Some Baptist pastors (and others) are again saying there is no eternal punishment and hell. This denial of biblical doctrine makes its rounds from time to time in our Evangelical circles! The lack of Bible doctrine amazes me! How can they say they've been to a good seminary and tune out what the Scriptures teach?
Without going into all the passages here are a few that just can't be ignored. Matthew 25:46 makes it all as clear as it can be. Just as there is eternal life there is eternal punishment. Life from the Lord is eternal (aiwnion) just as punishment lasts forever (aiwnion). The same Greek word for "eternal" is used to describe both punishment and life. If punishment does not last forever then neither does the new life with the Lord.
There is an eternal destruction that is part of the penalty for rejecting the gospel that Paul writes about in 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9. These are verses that are often forgotten. The apostle writes:
God will deal out "retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."
Again, the apostle Paul uses the Greek word for eternal ("aiwnion") to describe the forever nature of the destruction that goes on and on! Some scholars have translated this as: "Right now they do not know the gospel and probably never will."
In my Thessalonian commentary I write: "The 'penalty' ("dike," punishment, condemnation) is only just and right. "Dike" is used to describe a court case or the process of law. The lost are storing up disobedience that will receive such a legal response before the bar of God's justice."
—Dr. Mal Couch (4/11)