WITHOUT doubt, of all Christian Doctrines the Doctrine of Eternal Punishment is the most obnoxious to the ordinary man. The brain reels at the enormous horror of it. The thought of Eternity alone has an almost frightening effect upon the mind, as if it were a concept too big for us to assimilate, which tore us out of our ephemeral and natural way of thinking: but when we are asked to accept the possibility of that Eternity being spent in torment, then the soul at first starts back in shock and refusal, and men have desperately sought some way out of the dreadful doctrine. It has been said that Eternal Punishment should never be preached except with tears; and when it is found preached in anger, or lightness, we can be sure that the preacher is but a foolish or insensitive user of words, which he has not comprehended in his heart. For of a truth it is a dreadful subject with which we now have to deal, sufficient to sober the most light-minded and bring the least reflective to earnest thought.
We will not argue again its reality, but will take for granted that The Lake of Fire is as scriptural as the New Heaven and the New Earth, with the same duration as they, and that Satan will be but one of the many, who will suffer its unending torments. There are however many problems connected with this doctrine which call for solution, if we are able with a full heart to praise the Love of God in providing such an awful place. We shall as before find the answers to our difficulties in the two basic truths that God is Love, and man's will is free. But first it will be well to put on one side certain unscriptural views which cause much misconception.