"The Doctrine of Eternal Torment" as opposed to the Doctrine of Final Destruction
anguish, contrapasso, hellfire, eternal torment
"Eternal Torment is the historically Pagan Belief that following Death and Particular Judgment, or the Resurrection of the Dead and Final Judgment, the lost will be tormented in Hell forever"
Proof-Texts and Cross-References
Mt. 19v16 , 25v31-45 [13|24], v46 ; Mk. 10v17 ; Lk. 10v25 , 16v19-31 , 18v18 , 23v42 ; Jn. 5v28-29 ; Acts 24v15 ; Rom. 2v7 ; 1 Cor. 15v51-53 ; 2 Cor. 5v8 ; Philip. 1v23 ; 2 Thess. 1v7-9 [3|24]; Tit. 3v7 ; 1 Jn. 2v25 , 3v15 ; Jude v6-7 ; Rev. 6v9-11, 14v10-11 , 20v10-15 [3|24]
I grew up in a Dutch Reformed Church, transferred to an independent Church following my conversion, and later attended Bible School. I was taught throughout my life that following Death and/or Final Judgment, the lost will be tortured in hell for ever and ever and ever and ever.
Unlike some of my conditionalist friends, I never had any problem with this believe. "Considering their evil disposition", I thought, "they probably deserve what they get".
Yet, as the years went by, and as my Bible Study skills developed, I discovered that this doctrine were nowhere to be found, except in a handful of highly debatable proof-texts, namely Matthew Chapter 25 Verses 31 to 46 , Luke Chapter 16 Verses 19 to 31, John Chapter 5 Verses 28 to 29 , Acts Chapter 24 Verse 15  and Jude Chapter 1 Verse 7.
This led me to the following.
The following beliefs are foundational to the Doctrine of Eternal Torment.
THE BELIEF THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT
The proof-texts, often sighted in defence of Eternal Torment, include Matthew Chapter 25 Verses 31 to 46 , Luke Chapter 16 Verses 19 to 31, John Chapter 5 Verses 28 to 29 , Acts Chapter 24 Verse 15  and Jude Chapter 1 Verse 7.
On closer inspection, however, none of these verse conclusively teach Eternal Torment.
» Canon of Westminster Abbey and Dean of Canterbury, Frederick W. Farrar (1831-1903), "could not find a single text in all Scripture that, when fairly interpreted, teaches the common views about endless torment." [7|8|9]
» Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of Great Britain, Dr. William Temple (1881-1944), asks "Are there not, however, many passages which speak of the endless torment of the lost?" and then answers "No; as far as my knowledge goes, there is none at all." [7|10|11|12]
THE BELIEF THAT MAN'S SOUL IS INNATELY AND UNIVERSALLY IMMORTAL
The Doctrine of Universal Immortality is foundational to the Doctrine of Eternal Torment. If the first is true, so are the latter. If the first is false, so are the latter.
» On the one hand, if the souls of all mankind are created, by default, universally and innately immortal; it would follow logically that they will [being indestructible] remain in eternal torment in unquenchable fire. See, The Doctrine of Universal Immortality.
» On the other hand, if the souls of all mankind are created, by default, universally and innately mortal; it would follow logically that they will [being destructible] perish for ever in unquenchable fire, unless immortalized by God's Grace. See, The Doctrine of Conditional Immortality.
Scripture, however, is very clear that immortality [eternal life] (Rom. 2v7) is not universal to all (1 Jn. 3v15), but promised to those that would be saved (1 Jn. 2v25), as an inheritance (Mt. 19v16; Mk. 10v17; Lk. 10v25, 18v18; Tit. 3v7), to be sought (Mk. 10v17; Rom. 2v7), and granted only at Christ's Second Coming (1 Cor. 15v51-53).
» Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) firmly believed "that the state into which both good and bad men pass at death is one of real and intense consciousness ... that at death the righteous go immediately to a state of bliss and the wicked to a place of torment.... that saints at death pass into a state all joyful, but the wicked into one of unutterable torment!" .
» Dr. John F. MacArthur, Jr. (1939-) believes that God "sends the soul [of the lost] to eternal hell" .
» Aaron Maners* of Canvas Church, believes in an "eternal destination of either heaven or hell" .
» Erwin McManus* of Mosaic Church refers to the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message , which concludes that "The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment." 
» Mike Adant of Live The Life Church in Hermanus believes that "Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ will be raised to eternal punishment" .
» Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspective Ministries believes that "The souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." 
* All part of the Emergent Church Movement.
1. Charles G. Finney. The Rich Man and Lazarus (The Gospel Truth; 9 November 1853)
2. L. Ray Smith. Lazarus and the Rich Man (Exposing Those Who Contradict; 29 September 2010)
3. Our Beliefs (Eternal Perspective Ministries; 11 October 2010) ✔
4. Contrapasso (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; 22 October 2010)
5. Mission Statement (Canvas Church; 9 November 2010) ✔
6. F.A.Q. (Mosaic Church; 9 November 2010) ✔
7. Champions of Conditional Immortality in History (Specialty Interests; 15 March 2008)
8. Frederick W. Farrar. Eternal Hope (1877)
9. Frederick W. Farrar. Faith and Mercy, Mercy and Judgment (1881)
10. William Temple. Christian Faith and Life ( 1954); p.81, 464, 472.
11. William Temple. Drew Lecture on Immortality (1931)
12. William Temple. Nature, Man and God (1953) p.460
13. Mike Adant. Doctrinal Statement (Live The Life; 10 December 2010) ✔
14. Protestant Realizes There Is No Eternal Torment (Church of God News; 12 July 2007)
15. John MacArthur. VIDEO: The Rich Man and Lazarus (YouTube; 21 October 2009)
16. Thirty Questions for Teachers of Eternal Torment (The Harvest Herald; 26 October 2011)
17. 1963 Baptist Faith and Message (The Baptist Start Page; 9 May 1963) ✔
18. EJ Hill. The Doctrine of Conditional Immortality (Ejays; 7 November 2011) ✔
19. Tim Barnett. Endless Hell Ended (1987)
20. Doug Smith. A Christian’s Apology To Atheists (Afterlife; 8 November 2011)
21. Samuel M. Ohmart. Facts About Hell.
22. Silas P. Whitney. Future Punishment (Walton, West Virginia)
23. R. Leon Custer, Jr. Is Hell Where Lost Souls Suffer Forever?... all of them? (Kernersville, NC: 216 Cokesbury Street, 27284)
24. Eternal Torment or Annihilation? (The Interactive Bible; 23 November 2011)
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