What the early church really believed about the immortality of the soul, “hellfire” and its relevance to today, from the life of Justin Martyr. Who Was Justin Martyr?
Justin (AD 110-165) came from a Greek-speaking Gentile family living in Flavia Neapolis, Biblical Shechem, in Samaria1. This was near Jacob’s Well where Jesus offered another non-Jewish seeker the “living water” of eternal life, the abundant life that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour (John 4:10, 14). A well-educated, well-travelled young man, searching for truth, Justin attached himself to a succession of philosophical schools, finally content to be called a follower of Plato.2 That was until (about AD 130)3 he met an old man while walking along the seashore. This unknown man of faith pointed out to Justin some weaknesses in his Platonic system. He showed him how the Old Testament predicted the coming of Christ. Seeing the courage of the martyrs in facing death, Justin was convinced.4
Justin drank for himself from the water of life. Still content to wear his philosopher’s cloak5, as a token of his belief that Christianity was the “true philosophy”, he dedicated the rest of his life to explaining Christianity to the Greeks and the Romans and defending the faith against its intellectual opponents.
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Author: David Burge
Keywords: Justin Martyr, church fathers, conditional immortality, conditionalist, early church fathers, After death, After life, Afterlife, Cast to hell, Cast down to hell, Chains of darkness, Damned go to hell, Death, Death state, Departing soul, Departing spirit, Destroyed in hell, Dieing, Dominion of the grave, Do the wicked go to hell, Eternal fire, Eternal judgment, Eternal judgement, Eternal punishment, Eternal torment, Eternal hell, Eternal pit, Everlasting fire, Everlasting judgment, Everlasting judgement, Everlasting hell, Everlasting hellfire, Everlasting hell fire, Everlasting pit, Everlasting punishment, Everlasting torment, Everlasting torture, Ever lasting fire, Ever lasting judgment, Ever lasting judgement, Ever lasting hell, Ever lasting hellfire, Ever lasting hell fire, Ever lasting pit, Ever lasting punishment, Ever lasting torment, Ever lasting torture, Eternal hellfire, Eternal hell fire, Eternal torture, Eternal soul, Fable hell, Fabled hell, Fiery hell, Fire not quenched, Fire unquenched, Gehenna, Gehena, Gehenna fire, Gehena fire, Go to hell, Going to heaven, Grave, Gravedom, Hell, Hele, Hellfire, Hell fire, Hell forever, Hell invention of the church, Hell real, Hades, Hinnom, Immortal spirit, Immortal soul, Immortality of the soul, Immortality of the spirit, Kill the soul, Life in hell, Lost souls in hell, Never ending fire, Never ending hell, Placed in hell, Punished in hell, Punished for eternity, Punished in hell for eternity, Reserved in hell, Rich man Lazarus, Rich man Lazaras, Roasting in hell, Send to hell, Sent to hell, Sheol, Sleeping in hell, Soul's immortality, Soul in hell, Soul punished in hell, Soul sleep, Soulsleep, Spirit in hell, Tartarus, There is no hell, Torment in hell, Tormented in hell, Underworld, Under world, Undieing worm, Undying worm, Unquenchable, Unquenchable fire, Waiting in hell, Wicked punished in hell, What happens when I die, What happens when we die, When the roll is called up yonder, Where is hell, Where do the lost go when they die, Where do the wicked go when they die, Where do we go when we die, Wicked hell, Worm does not die, Worm won't die, Worm will not die, Worm dieth not, Worm do not die, pearly gates, eternal reward, reward in heaven, heavenly reward
Bible reference(s): Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 11:23, Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:8, Matthew 18:9, Matthew 23:15, Matthew 23:33, Matthew 25:41, Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43, Mark 9:45, Mark 9:47, Luke 10:15, Luke 12:5, Luke 16:23-24, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Jude 1:7, Revelation 1:18, Revelation 6:8, Revelation 19:20, Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:13-15, Baruch 2:17, Baruch 3:11, Baruch 3:19, 2 Maccabees 6:23, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 14:12, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 14:16, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 17:27, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 21:10, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 28:21, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 41:4, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 48:5, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 51:5, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 51:6, Tobit 13:2, Wisdom of Solomon 1:14, Wisdom of Solomon 2:1, Wisdom of Solomon 16:13, Wisdom of Solomon 17:14, 2 Esdras 4:41
Source: “The History of Hell: Justin Martyr, God’s Philosopher”.
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