Souls destroyed in Hell



I’m having a discussion with a friend about the destruction of souls after being sent to Hell. She is a protestant, and believes that there is no Biblical statement that says all souls will live eternally, only those that go to heaven. For “For God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not PERISH but HAVE ETERNAL LIFE” (emphasis hers).

I brought up a couple of things, such as Rev 14 and Matt 25:31-46, but quite frankly I was a bit taken aback, as I had never heard of this before. I did look up both Catholic Answers articles on the topic which proved very helpful. I guess what I don’t understand is the basis for this argument. It seems to center around, for her anyway, the meaning of the word destruction. Has anyone got a grasp on this belief and what it is based upon?



Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28


First, remember God: He does not change his mind.

If God creates something to be eternal, he does not change his mind and say, “Okay, now this thing will not be eternal that I created to be eternal”. That is absurd and, in fact, despicable to God, to be uncertain about his intent.

He created our souls to be eternal, and will raise our bodies to be eternally animated by our souls, whether in heaven or hell.

Destruction in hell does not equal annihilation. It means eternal frustration of knowing truth or God, and eternal frustration of satisfying sinful desire (which is all that those in hell do desire, for in hell they will completely call evil to be good and good they will call evil and feel infinite pain (death) in the presence of true good.

The righteous, however, will know truth truly, calling good what is truly good, and be fully satisfied because they will be united to true good, which is God, thus we will be “happy”, “satisfied”.


Here is an article by Dave Armstrong which includes Scriptural support.


Matt. 25 : 44-46 ( 46: “Then they will go away to ETERNAL PUNISHMENT, but the righteous to eternal life.” )

How can there be eternal punishment if the soul is destroyed? :shrug:


That’s exactly what I thought, truetofaith, with equal confusion. Seems that perhaps our definition of the soul is where my friend and I differ.s
Thank you for the article. I will share it with my friend.

What would be an adequate response to the soul and body being destroyed? Obviously it can’t mean erased, but what does it mean? What might be a suitable explanation of destruction?


This is annihilationism theolog, it is espoused primarily by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Another of their distinctives is that they o not worship Jesus Christ as God and so they are actually Christian. Christians acknowledge Jesus as God. See if she acknowledges Jesus is God, if not then she is not a Protestant and not a Christian.

I believe some actual Christian denominations may have begun picking up some of the JW beliefs over the last few years, very sad. You should start by finding out what particular denomination she agrees with.


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