Clement of Rome (c.40-97) said nothing about hell itself in those of his writings which have been preserved, but he did state, “After we leave this world we are no longer able to confess sin, and to turn from it.”
This is interesting. Note that even their own historians have to confess that they could not find any writings of Clement of Rome which talks about hell and certainly not about the eternity of hell.
It is an irony since according to them, the only reason the gospel must contain the concept of eternal hell is so that only then it makes sense to preach the gospel. So Clement of Rome himself didn’t find eternal hell the basis for preaching the gospel since if so, he must have certainly mentioned it frequently without fail so that the churches that he wrote to may be fully aware of this warning.
Since he didn’t write about eternal hell, the quote above from him only implies safely that there is some sort of punishment after one’s unrepentant death for a limited time in a hell. The quote above does not prove eternal hell at all.
About 1800 years later we find another exemplary Christian of our time, namely, Sadhu Sundar Singh who also made a similar quote to the one above. In public addresses on the topic of judgment, the sadhu made the following in his example regarding a man:
“And yet I have nothing ready to offer God in the next world…Yes, there is a certainty that many things will come back, but there is no certainty that the opportunity for repentance will come again.”
Interesting. Note that just like Clement of Rome, Sadhu Sundar Singh’s writing do not even hint on eternal hell at all.
In fact in the case of Sundar Singh, there are plenty of quotes which proves his universalism instead (both for men and even the fallen creatures – Satan and his cohorts – even though the sadhu prefers to say “Don’t ask about them” – probably because it does not concern man or that the timing of its revelation is not right).
Note also that the quote by Sundar Singh above clearly talks about the afterlife indicated by the phrase next world. So we must understand without contradiction that the Sadhu means that in the world to come (more accurate biblically is in the age to come), ‘there is no opportunity for repentance’ implies only that punishments are certain to be rendered according to one’s works but not that these punishments are eternal since in many other places the sadhu is clearly a universalist Christian by his quotes.
Hence you can see how the eternal hell camp with their shallow understanding of what is actually written often pull things out of context claiming certain Christians to have believed in the eternity of hell when the very quote used to prove it does not say so.
Thus we must be honest and very careful about how we interpret a person’s quotes in order not to accidentally slander them to believe something they didn’t say nor imply at all.
In the next two pages you will find the prove that Sadhu Sundar Singh Wrote the quote above as recorded by someone who knew the sadhu personally (and may have been an eternal hell believer – Dr. A J Appasamy – A bishop in India) who in the reprint of a book originally published somewhere around 1921 states this clearly.