None Can Pay – Is Hell Eternal?
Here’s a set of verses from the KJV translation which seem to teach that:
“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)” (KJV, Psalm 49:7 – 8)
Here’s a translation of that exact same set of verses from a ‘literal’ (more accurate) translation:
“A brother doth no one at all ransom, He doth not give to God his atonement.
And precious [is] the redemption of their soul, And it hath ceased — to the age.” (YLT, Psalm 49:7 – 8)
As we see from the ‘correct’ more literal translation, these set of verses do not imply ‘eternal hell’ or an ‘impossibility beyond a fixed time period called the age’.
(i) We cannot redeem our brother though we are Saved, only Christ can
(ii) Notice that a time period is mentioned (conditional) to the ‘age only’ (not forever).
(iii) Thus, that “costly redemption” can only be done by “Christ” and “after the age-during punishment in fire” as New Testament verses reveal in detail.
(iv) That verse speaks only our inability, Not God’s (verse 7). It has to be Read with the next verse (verse 8) which explains this inability causes such to be unredeemed to remain such to the age. And that redemption is costly, and not of infinite cost or unpayable (“costly implies measurability & hence payability of ransom too but not by us). The Answer to such problems were hidden then (during Old Testament times), but now revealed in the New Testament verses, it’s Solution in Christ Jesus alone.
(v) In the rich man & lazarus story too, we find similar ‘impossibilities’ (for anyone except Christ) to ‘cross the chasm’ or ‘save from from Hell’ as Christ ‘did solve both impossibility’when He was in the spirit as the ‘first occurrence’ (not the only occurrence) of this is mentioned Mysteriously in 1 Peter 3:18 – 20. Thereafter, a general principle of it applying to the judgment of the living & the dead (1 Peter 4:5) especially with the intent of God to make ‘the dead hear the gospel’, ‘be judged after hearing it’ & followingly still at the end (in that order) ‘live to God in the spirit’ is concluded in 1 Peter 4:6.
What does it mean?
The soul of those who cannot be redeemed remain such to the ‘age’ (a long, but fixed unknown time period). This agrees with the “age-during punishment” (Matthew 25:46) with regards to the duration of the Punishment, exactly. Christ Saving the dead after the Gospel is Preached to them, following after which they are judged (in Hell) & they too will eventually ‘live to God in spirit’ too as 1 Peter 4:6 mentions this Mystery (agreeing with other verses that Christ solves this ‘ancient problem’ by His Righteous Act alone, 1 Timothy 4:10, John 12:32).
Indeed, He (Jesus) is the ‘Ransom’ (payment for the “costly redemption”) for “all” (not believers only) but it will ‘be a testimony, be testified’ (or come true, come to pass) in its appropriate “times” (plural, various ‘kairois’ or divine time appointed for their Salvation accordingly, beyond this life as well) as it is aptly put:
“Who (Jesus) did give Himself a ransom for all — the testimony in its own times –” (1 Timothy 2:6)
What is the benefit of believing in the Gospel in this life itself? One will be ‘saved’ without ‘being judged (punished)’ for their sins being believers as it is written:
“‘Verily, verily, I say to you — he who is hearing My word, and is believing Him Who sent Me, hath life age-during, and to judgment he doth not come, but hath passed out of the death to the life.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24)
*1 Peter 4:6 clearly implies that “the dead” who hear the Gospel there (in Hell or Judgment Day) cannot escape their Judgment (will be punished first, a long time in the age) and only thereafter, finally, “live to God in spirit”.
Blessed Saviour of the World!