Untold evil has come from the heresy of eternal torment. It takes the religion of the Bible, so full of love and goodness, darkens it by superstition, and clothes it with terror. Satan has painted the character of God in false colors, making people fear, dread, and even hate our merciful Creator. The repulsive views of God that have spread over the world from the teachings of the pulpit have made millions of people skeptics and unbelievers.
Eternal torment is one of the false doctrines, the wine of abomination (Revelation 14:8; 17:2), which Babylon makes all nations drink. Ministers of Christ accepted this heresy from Rome, just as they received the false sabbath.* If we turn from God’s Word and accept false doctrines because our ancestors taught them, we come under the condemnation that the Bible pronounces on Babylon. We are drinking from the wine of her abomination.
Many people are driven to the opposite error. They see that Scripture presents God as a being of love and compassion, and they cannot believe that He will condemn His creatures to an eternally burning hell. Since they hold the idea that the soul is naturally immortal, they conclude that all mankind will be saved. So the sinner can live in selfish pleasure, ignoring God’s requirements, and still be welcomed into His favor. A doctrine like this, which presumes on God’s mercy but ignores His justice, pleases the unconverted heart.
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Source: Ellen G. White, The Great Hope, pp. 31-32
*For more information about the Sabbath, see chapter 8 of this book.