If Hell manages to swallow just one human being forever then God’s purpose in Christ has failed. But Scripture says God’s purpose won’t fail. God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,” Ephesians 1:11, and God’s will “according to his good pleasure” is “to bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ,” verses 9 and 10.
That’s why Christ died. He died because we were all headed for Hell. We were all “alienated from God and enemies in our minds because of our evil behaviour,” Colossians 1:21. “BUT,” verse 22, “now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death.” And because of “his blood, shed on the cross,” verse 20, “ALL things, whether things on earth or things in heaven” are now reconciled to God. “This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to EVERY creature under heaven,” verse 23.
The gospel holds out hope for everyone. It’s the good news that everybody (and everything) is being held together by Christ (verse 17). No one is left out in the cold or abandoned in Hell forever. Hell exists, yes, Scripture is clear on that, but like death it holds no one forever. Christ’s death put the seal on that, Hebrews 2:14. He “shared our humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil.”
Christ’s death broke whatever power the devil has over us. The idea that the devil reigns supreme in Hell, therefore, with full power over human beings to torture them forever, is a travesty. When Christ rose to power after his death, he “disarmedthe powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross,” Colossians 2:15. Since Christ’s ascension the devil is a spent force, a defeated enemy. He still has enormous influence, yes (1 John 5:19), but “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work,” 1 John 3:8.
So even if it wastrue that the devil held people in Hell, it is no longer true now, because whatever power the devil had was destroyed by Christ. It is Christ who now “holds the keys of death and Hades,” Revelation 1:18, not the devil. And Christ uses those keys too, because one day “death and Hades give up the dead that were in them,” Revelations 20:13, and then “death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire,” verse 14,
The picture of Hades as an ever-burning fire tormenting the wicked forever cannot be true, then, because neither death nor Hades hold anyone forever. Christ made sure of that.