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 3 days = Infinity?

I'm trying to find out more about who God is and trying to dig deeper into Christianity.

How does Jesus's 3 days in hell equate for an eternity in hell for people? If Christ only had to stay in hell for 3 days, shouldn't the penalty for humans be for only 3 days in hell?

Christ had to become human for him to be the sacrifice. Because he couldn't take our place if he wasn't. But then why doesn't this apply to the time spent in hell.

Please explain. I am speaking out of confusion.

 2010/11/23 16:46

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: 3 days = Infinity?

This sermon might help you.

However, be a Berean.

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/11/23 17:00Profile

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: 3 days = Infinity?

GOD is just; HE offered HIS Beloved
Son to atone for our sins. It was
our shame and sin that hung on the
cross, and GOD poured out HIS wrath
against sin upon the SON whom HE
dearly loved. HE had to turn HIS
face away and forsake HIS SON!!
Imagine the breadth, the depth,
the length, the height of GOD'S
great love as HIS heart was broken
for us!!

Martin G. Smith

 2010/11/23 17:24Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2006
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: 3 days = Infinity?

codek: I hope this does not start a heated debate. I totally agree with the advice that you should be a Berean and study this thing out for yourself. I will give you my point of view and maybe it will help.

You will find two views of this issue. 1. Those who die without Christ will spend eternity suffering in hell. It will last forever and never end. 2. Those who die without Christ will be destroyed in hell (the lake of fire) and that is it. The predominant view seems to be burning forever. I guess I do not hold to the predominant view and for several reasons.

First I feel the Biblical support for destruction of the wicked is stronger than the support for eternal burning. Matt. 10:28, John 3:16, John 10:8, Romans 9:22, 2 Thes. 1:8-9, 2 Peter 3:7 among other verses speak of the destruction of the unrepentant pretty plainly in my opinion. There are verses that speak of "forever" and "everlasting" that are used to support eternal burning, but I think when you take the aggregate of all scripture on the topic, the conclusion you reach is that they are destroyed. Most would probably disagree with me, but I am not contentious and for good reason as I will explain.

Second, I feel it more consistent with the character and nature of God to destroy rather than to torment forever. This, I think, is probably the thought process that sparked your question.

Now, the reason I am not contentious about this point. God is a God of love and righteousness and truth. As such He is also a God of justice and judgment, for without justice in separating right from wrong and reward of right and punishment of wrong, there is no love, righteousness, or truth. In the end, even we who are bought with the blood of Jesus will look at the judgment that the unrepentant receive and say that God is just in meting out the punishment of hell. Rev. 16:7. I don't think God would be unjust to ordain that the punishment for shunning a free gift of salvation bought with the blood of His Son to be eternal burning. The creator of the universe who gave man a free choice, and who man shunned and sinned against pays so great a price in blood that we might be saved from wrath, freed from sin, and empowered to be the sons of God and we, speaking as a lost person, reject that sacrifice and refuse to accept what was provided by grace for us. What kind of punishment are we worthy of? That is why I am not contentious. I just don't believe eternal burning is what He has ordained, but rather destruction.


 2010/11/23 17:29Profile

Joined: 2010/11/7
Posts: 193


I had a similar question that I asked myself, and this is the answer I came to. (The same answer may or may not help you with your question due to the fact that mine was a different question)

The time spent in hell was not infinite. But CHRIST WAS infinite as He was God. But in being God He did not cease to be Man and in being Man He did not cease to be God. I think of it this way (and what I say means virtually nothing)

Christ = eternity
Spiritual death = eternity

Mike Wright

 2010/11/23 17:39Profile

Joined: 2010/8/30
Posts: 449
Paradise, California


That is why I am not contentious. I just don't believe eternal burning is what He has ordained, but rather destruction.


And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matthew 25:46

The word for eternal and everlasting are from the same root. the greek word is Aiwn. It means eternal, without end. The punishment for the goats in this verse is forever. If they are destroyed how can they be punished forever? The word for punishment is kolasis which means "correction, punishment, penalty."

Contentious means fond of strife. Let us not be that. Please just consider this passage in light of your views.
Let eternity be stamped on our eyes.

God Bless


 2010/11/23 17:54Profile


See, this is the point. Why are there so many debates about Christianity? If this is the ULTIMATE truth, how come there are so many debates about issues like this.

Why doesn't God just come down and settle it all. I'm under incredible stress because I can't figure all of this out. But until we die, we will continually be guessing.

That is why it's so hard for me to trust God because I'm sitting here seeking after God this past year. And this was the thing that was always on my mind. I put health, job, relationships on the side just to figure this out and to this day I can't figure it out. It just seems like it's too hard to figure out.

Is God trying to confuse us? There are so many interpretations of the word and everyone has their thoughts on certain matters but why so much confusion.

I just feel that God is messing with us at times and that there is no point to all of this sometimes because there are no answers and God just sits there silent, not saying a word.

And yes people say, just read the word as an act of worship but it isn't clear most of the time. And topics like this arise out of reading the word.

The only thing that I'm clinging onto is the fact that the world is continually getting worse and I can see the events in Revelations coming about and I never thought I could've said that in my lifetime.

 2010/11/23 18:14

 Re: 3 days = Infinity?

to this day I can't figure it out. It just seems like it's too hard to figure out.

It IS too hard to figure out, and especially with our own natural or unrenewed mind.

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

This is why we need the Holy Spirit to speak truth directly into our spirits, which somehow, by a miracle, God enables us to understand spiritually, and as we receive that truth in our hearts, and mediate upon it, and grapple with it in our minds, He brings us through to mental understanding of something more than we 'knew' before.

But we need to give up all thought of subjecting His wisdom and knowledge to the scrutiny of our fallen minds. That, is a lost cause!

To be practical, you have to decide whether you are going to believe God's word. When that is settled, and your mind is fixed on getting to know Him through His word, you will find yourself gaining understanding. I say so with conviction, because of this testimony:

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 [he is] a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

With regard to your particular question, Paul Washer in his famous sermon The True Gospel, deals with the infinite nature and worthiness of Christ as our sacrifice. For the same reason, 3 days in 'hell' would be enough for all the people who will ever live, for whom He died. [It's here on SI, or, the video is on youtube.]

Regarding the concept of 'everlasting' or 'eternal', Young in his literal translation of the Bible, uses the phrase 'age-during', which thereby accommodates the major eras within which God has, or will, reveal Himself to mankind.

God has not revealed much about what will happen in the next age, but He reveals Christ to us, that He may be in us, that we may prove Him faithful to all of His present revelation, and thus honestly, consciously, deliberately, choose to please Him, that we may be with in in the next age, whatever that may hold for us.

Matthew 7:17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Anther thing to consider, is the perspective of the person dying. To aid you in this, read Ezeziel 18. But remember this was written a long time ago. A necessary question is, whether anything has changed because of Christ's sacrifice. Without doubt, to those who believe, it has changed, because we receive the power to become sons of God. But what of those who don't believe? Is their condemnation GREATER, since Christ has come?

It is useful to remember when reading the New Testament, that the word 'reward' doesn't always mean something good is going to happen to the person receiving it. God will treat them the way they treated Him and others, unless they repented if that was appropriate.

 2010/11/23 18:29

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2772
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: 3 days = Infinity?

What makes you thinnk that He spent three days in hell? Did Jesus have to suffer punishment for His sins in hell?
What did Jesus mean when he cried from the cross, "It is finished"

In Christ,


Ron Halverson

 2010/11/23 18:44Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497


I can't figure all of this out. But until we die, we will continually be guessing.

I think you are thinking too hard, trying to figure out too many things.

I suggest you focus on the LORD Jesus, allow his spirit to live within and be open to his teaching. There are many things one does not understand but with time illumination will come. And until that happens just know that what God decides will be better then anything you or anyone else could do or figure out. Knowledge and wisdom reside in the Godhead and it will be perfect.

In the meantime, study the Scripture, asking the LORD for illumination. If you do not understand something, do not fret - I am 63 and still don't know everything, but I do not allow it to bother me at all. Ever consider how boring life would be if you could figure out everything when you wanted to?

Take care and God bless...


Sandra Miller

 2010/11/23 18:53Profile

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