Is Hell Everlasting? Questions

If punishment must fit the crime, how could it be everlasting?

Is the soul everlasting (from its creation on)? 

Is one locked in hell from the inside, as C.S. Lewis taught (one chooses separation from God and God honors one’s freedom) or does God send people and demons to hell, while sustaining its existence?

Does the doctrine of Purgatory mitigate trouble in understanding the doctrine of hell? Purgatory is for purging one’s sins, purifying souls of the saved for meeting the All-Holy and Almighty God. 

Should one expect to be able to answer this question through reason?

Can this adequately be answered by Scripture alone, or must one appeal to Church authority and tradition? Who, on one’s own, is scholarly enough to answer it by Scripture alone, or intelligent and knowledgeable enough to answer it by reason alone?

What is the point of this question? “No need to worry about going to hell if it doesn’t last forever”? Is it to show that, if the traditional understanding of hell is true, God is not loving or just?

Does this question arrogantly call God to account? How adequately can we apply our moral categories to God? We are in God’s image, but we are not all-knowing or perfect just and loving.

What underlying subjective factors might motivate this question? Is the popular interest in it a wave of rebellion against Scripture or tradition, hoping to embed a Trojan Horse within orthodoxy (perhaps hoping, then, to dismantle other longstanding doctrines)? 

Why are you still reading this? Can’t resist controversy? Love to think philosophically? Perhaps your gut is wrenched, feeling you’re influenced by demons who are leading you to hell–not a curious academic puzzle at all. 

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