SIN FINALLY FINISHED
It is not God’s purpose with hell to give people what they deserve. One of the most basic aspects of His character is that He does not give sinners what they deserve, but rather tries to find ways to bring them to salvation, taking upon Himself the punishment they deserve. Hell is not a way of “getting back at” sinners, but is simply a way of bringing an end to sin and suffering.
If hell were for eternity, sin would never come to an end. But thank God, sin and evil will not be immortalized. "Death and Hades" will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14). All forms of death will be eradicated. This includes the first death—there will be no more people sleeping in the grave, oblivious to the reality of God. It also includes the living death of separation from God that the Apostle Paul describes as “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). And the second death, destruction of the soul, will also be abolished—no one will ever again face the wages of sin, because sin and everything connected with it will be destroyed. “For He [Christ] must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25,26).<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
God will create “a new heaven and a new earth” where “no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shal there be any more pain; for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1,3). These “former things,” which God promises will not exist, would exist in hell if hell were a place or condition of eternal punishment or separation. The “second death” is a “fire that shall never be quenched” (Mark 9:45)—no one will put it out until it has consumed everything that can die, both body and soul. “The elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). With sin permanently abolished, God will then renew His creation— “We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (v. 13). There will be no dark corner of the universe where sin, suffering and death will continue. Everyone and everything will live forever in harmony with God.
Since God will not force the unrepentant to love Him, but He will bring an end to all sin, there must be a hell, and sinners will be destroyed. But even this destruction is so foreign to God’s nature (He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9) that it is called His “strange act” (Isaiah 28:21). God’s great heart of love pleads with every soul to turn away from the destruction of hell, to allow their names to be “written in the book of life” so as to avoid being “cast into the lake of fire.” “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,’ says the Lord God. ‘Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies’, says the Lord God. ‘Therefore turn and live!" (Ezekiel 18:30-32).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> Those who claim that death is simply separation from God and the second death of hell is eternal separation overlook the fact that death itself (including separation from God) will be destroyed.