1. There is no such thing as eternal punishment. 2. Men are not free moral agents.
Whether one conceives of hell as fire or darkness or simply the realm of the "unseen", the original meaning of Sheol or Hades, none of these states of existence is eternal i.e having the attributes of Eternity the realm of God outside of Time.
The Law of God, the Law of the Lord, prescribes judgements that are corrective in nature and none of them are eternal, they are all restricted to Time, the periods known as the Ages. The fire that is mentioned most in scripture is the fire of the Law, the fire of God that is a description of the love of God that consumes everything contrary to His own nature in us. This is the purpose of divine fire; it is a purifying flame that will bring us forth as pure gold. Gold is a symbol of the nature and character of God.
The degree of responsibility of each individual is unknown to us. Until we are touched and made alive, born from above by the Spirit of God and drawn by the Father to see the Truth in His Son, the Messiah Yeshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God, the firstborn from the dead and the firstborn of the New Creation, we are spiritually dead i.e. insensitive to the Reality of God. This in effect makes us blind and blind men cannot be held responsible for not seeing.
The orthodox doctrine of the churches on hell is wrong and ultimately blasphemous. It maligns the character of a righteous, holy and merciful God. It is a pagan doctrine that was incorporated into Church dogma by Augustine of Hippo who came from a Manichaean gnostic tradition. He converted from Manichaeism but retained some of its influence in his beliefs which were essentially dualistic.
The doctrine of free will is a siamese twin of the doctrine of eternal punishment and is also flawed since it inevitably asserts the sovereignty of Man, the will of the flesh, against and above the Sovereignty and Will of God which assertion is manifestly untenable. The original sin of Adam resulted in death that has been inherited by us all and is the ground of personal sin i.e. lawlessness. In his natural, mortal condition, subject to the will of the flesh, Man is incapable of obeying the Law of God and is therefore a sinner, a lawbreaker, from birth. Psalm 19:7 "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;" Romans: 7:23 "But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members."
The teaching of the apostles was on the complete annulment of Adam's sin by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God and the forgiveness of all subsequent and consequent transgression, the Resurrection to Life for All, the Restoration of All Things and the Kingdom of God in the New Creation. This is a process being completed over the Ages according to the Plan and purposes of God. The offer of complete salvation while made to the many and being assured for all humanity has not been apprehended by everyone during the past Age. Only the few, the elect have been predestined and fully prepared for the redemption of their bodies, the adoption as the mature sons of God in the First Resurrection. These are the Body of Christ built up during the past Age since Pentecost 33 A.D. They will be revealed to a groaning Creation in due time. (Romans 8:18-25)
"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)
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