The Fate of Unbelievers


By Charles R. Chesnutt, Sr.

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in him
should not perish
but have everlasting life. John 3:16

@2017 by Charles R. Chesnutt, Sr. all reights other than those expressly relinquished are reserved:

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This edition was published on April 6, 2018.


God gives the power to choose;
So we can win or we can lose.
But He predestinates as well;
How both are true, I cannot tell.
But this I know and know full well;
There is no destiny to hell.

The author, Charles Chesnutt, Sr. holds a Masters Degree in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University. He is currently a practicing attorney in Dallas, Texas. His opinion regarding the erroneous Christian doctrine of eternal torment for the unredeemed has not been endorsed by Dallas Theological Seminary.

This book is a series of discussions and comments showing that scripture does not teach that the unredeemed dead will be tormented eternally for their sins. Instead, scripture teaches that when the unredeemed die, they are confined to hell pending final judgment. Following the final judgment, they will die a "second death." The second death is an actual death.

The book approaches the topic by addressing the scriptures that are most often cited as support for eternal torment and shows that they simply do not support the doctrine. The doctrine is illusory and there is no scripture in the entire Bible that teaches it. There are several scriptures that teach punishment and destruction and one that teaches a kind of torment, but the punishment and destruction scriptures refer to death and no scripture mentions eternal torment for any entity but Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet.

The doctrine of eternal torment of the unredeemed is wholly conjecture. It rests upon a the naked belief that some scriptures refer to eternal torment when they do not mention it. Proponents of the doctrine hold to the doctrine even though every scripture in the Bible that refers to the eternal punishment of the unredeemed calls that punishment "death" or a variation thereof, such as perishing.

The doctrine of eternal torment has blurred the very crisp outline of life after the death of the unredeemed. It has resulted in a conclusory theology that is filled with circumventions and contradictions. And in its haste to create the pen-ultimate horror of punishment and pain, the doctrine ignores the fact that scripture discloses two deaths, not just one. This fact is rarely taught because the doctrine of eternal torment cannot explain what dies in the second death. When pressed, proponents of thedoctrine argue that despite the accepted definition of the original word for ordinary death, the second death is not really death at all but instead it is an eternal conscious sentient "existence."

Thus, the doctrine simply re-defines θανατος (the Greek word for death) in order to enable the unredeemed dead to be capable of being effectively burned alive forever.

Theological error inevitably produces inconsistencies with other doctrines and the error of eternal torment for the unredeemed is no exception. See Appendix 7 for a discussion of the adverse effect of the error on other doctrines.

In the process of writing this book, I was struck again and again with the matchless consistency of scripture when it is read for is plain meaning. Its inerrency and divine authorship became more and more evident as I went deeper and demanded verification with ever increasing severity. What emerged was a paradigm of magnificent and intricate organization and accuracy. Inerrency and divine authorship are written everywhere.

This book is written with two approaches. Each chapter is a discussion (question and answer) concerning particular scriptures followed by a comment in most chapters. The comment is an academic examination of the scriptures contained in the preceding chapter. All references to the Bible refer to the accepted canon of scripture only, not the Apocrapha.

The book was written primarily to be read in electronic format (a pdf file), but it may also be printed or, as here, read as a web-page.

Charles R. Chesnutt, Sr.

Dallas, Texas 2017