A “Hell” of a Question

If Hell is eternal, what are we to make of a passage like this?

And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13-15 ESV)

Before you comment, though, I want you to understand where I am coming from.

Jesus says,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)

But nothing is said here about what happens after that.

If hell is firey punishment, and only those who believe in Jesus have eternal life, how can someone be eternally punished unless they are eternally alive as well?

This being the case, has the doctrine of hell been exploded and turned into something that it was never intended to be? Let’s look at the above quoted passage real fast again.

And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13-15 ESV)

Alright. So Death and Hades (or Hell) are thrown into the lake of fire (aka the second death). Death is a permanent thing. So Death is thrown into death. Death is done away with. And Hell is thrown here as well. Logically, Hell would be done away with as well. And all those who were in these places were, according to this passage and plain logic, done away with too.

This is not contradicting Scripture, though. How is it not? Later in Revelation, it says,

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4 ESV Emphasis mine)

So, for your responding pleasure, I ask:

Is Hell eternal, or does there come a point when Hell is done away with? Is there some truth in the idea of annihilation? Or am I being just plain heretical?

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