This may not be the most complete or best or longest post or study I've ever made. Of course, if it's not the longest, I guess that's actually giving you a break of sorts.
But I'll make reference to a couple of verses and points I'm familiar with, and hopefully it will give some idea and maybe at least start to put to rest the notion of God sending people to hell to burn for all eternity.
When it comes down to it, that's probably one of the biggest questions or biggest objections a skeptic or nonbeliever has. That is to say, how a loving God could send people who don't believe in Him or who reject Him to a place where they burn for all eternity. I'll admit, I'm not quite sure biblically where they draw that from. It was once my belief as well, but it was basically my belief because that is what was taught to me and was the commonly held interpretation on the matter. There are some who don't necessarily bring fire into it but just refer to it as a place of darkness and eternal separation from God where you're always lonely, or always left to think about what you missed out on. Obviously though neither one of those sounds very appealing, and to many doesn't sound like the act of a just and loving God.
So where do they draw this from? Many believe that while the flesh is mortal, the soul is immortal. But if that were the case, why would it be that Jesus would say to fear He who can destroy both body and soul
Matthew 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
The word destroy in the Greek is apollumi and it means to destroy fully. So how could it be then that they're going to be burning in fire forever if they're fully destroyed?.
The word "perish" in the the famous John 3:16 verse where it says whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish
but have everlasting life is the same word. Apollumi- to destroy fully. But guess what? There's also a condition there. IF
you believe in Jesus Christ, you have everlasting life. But if you don't, you perish. That immortality is conditional, as Paul also mentions in 1st Corinthians 15:53 this mortal must put on immortality.
Taking a look at 2nd Peter Chapter 3 at another verse.
2nd Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.
That word perish is... guess what... apollumi
When Paul refers to the son of perdition in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, guess what word perdition is derived from? Of course, it's apollumi.
Let's take a quick look at Satan. As the son of perdition we can say that Satan himself is going to be fully destroyed. But where specifically is that mentioned?
It's in Ezekiel 28.
Ezekiel 28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Who is this wise, beautiful king? We know that Solomon was considered one of the wisest kings, if not the wisest... not of his own wisdom, but wisdom granted by God.
v 13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Who was in the Garden of Eden? Well there was Adam and Eve. They have long since died at the time of this writing of Ezekiel. God was there, and who else? Satan, as the serpent was in that same Garden. He was actually the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as well, but that's another subject. So we're dealing with and talking about Satan here. It can't be anyone else.
v 14Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
A cherub is an angel, and this would be a protecting cherub that God set up to cover the mercy seat.
v 15Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
There's a great overlay in this 28th chapter of Ezekiel with the 14th chapter of Isaiah describing the fall and ultimate fate of Satan, which serves as a second witness.
v 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy
thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Now, this word destroy will not be apollumi, because here we're dealing with Hebrew. So what is the Hebrew word?
a primitive root; properly, to wander away, i.e. lose oneself; by implication to perish
(causative, destroy):--break, destroy(- uction), + not escape, fail, lose, (cause to, make) perish, spend, X and surely, take, be undone, X utterly, be void of, have no way to flee.
It's interesting as well to note Revelation 9:11 where it refers to the angel of the bottomless pit as being named Abaddon in the Hebrew and Apollyon in the Greek. It hopefully should not be hard to understand where those names are derived from. Destruction from one sentenced to die.
v17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
v18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
The word devour is akal and it means consume. When a thing is turned to ashes, what is left to burn?
v19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more.
Now if anyone perhaps
deserves to burn forever and ever, it would be Satan. But even he is simply going to be totally done away with. But I've got news for you. Satan's destruction comes at the end of the Millenium after he tries one final time to defeat God. It happens in the lake of fire. In as much as God is that consuming fire and everyone judged to hell steps into that same lake of fire, guess what happens? They are simply done away with, blotted out, never to be remembered or thought of again.
Now that still may not please some people, but it's much more merciful than this notion that these people are burning and in torment forever. God doesn't operate that way. Never has, never will. And above all else, remember a couple of those verses already mentioned.
John 3:16- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life.
2nd Peter 3:9 The LORD is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
He's not looking to send anyone to hell, and won't even look forward to destroying Satan. He did create him, He did love him. But boy did he ever go bad once he got puffed up. But there is a way out. I pray that you've found it, and if not, that you consider it.