The wicked perish
What did the apostle Peter say to Simon the sorcerer, when Simon tried to buy the Holy Spirit with money?
Acts 8:20 ...'But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.'
Did Peter say "your money will burn forever in hell fire with you"? No. He said PERISH. As in completely destroyed. And while we are on the subject of the apostles. When did they ever go around preaching to people that they would burn in hell fire for all eternity if they didn't accept Christ Jesus? Where are those Bible verses?
Are you still not convinced that 'eternal fire' isn't a literal hell fire burning the wicked forever? Then take a look at the following Bible verses:
Matthew 3:12 ...'but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.' ... Well, what is unquenchable fire? ... Isaiah 47:14 ...'Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame.' ... Friend, you have the truth of God's Word right there. 'Eternal fire' is 'unquenchable fire', which means the wicked, as it says above in Isaiah, will 'not be able to deliver themselves from it'. Eternal hell fire means that no man can put it out, it will CONTINUE to burn UNTIL it has 'burned up' every last wicked person, including satan himself.
Psalm 68:2 ...'As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.'
Luke 13:3 ...'I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.'
2 Peter 2:12 ...'But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.' ... We all know what 'perish' means. A Complete end! Peter even goes one step further to confirm it with 'utterly perish'.
John 3:15-16 ...'That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' ... According to those who believe in a literal eternal hell, the two routes for us are either eternal life in heaven, or eternal life in hell. Now something is wrong there. What did Jesus say the two routes are? One is eternal life, the other is to perish (death).