“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Jehovah’s Witnesses and others believe that the soul dies with your body, and that Hell is nothing more then absolute death. God destroys you completely in this belief, but is it Biblical?
Rev. 6:9-11 Souls that have been slain are crying out to God. If the soul ceases to exist when the body dies crying out to God while your body is dead would be impossible.
Luke 12:4-5 says not to be afraid of those who kill you and can do nothing more, be afraid of he who can both kill you and cast you into hell, but if death and hell are the same thing then this passage doesn’t make any sense, but if the soul is separate from the body, it does make sense.
According to the Bible, Hell is punishment;
Matthew 25:46 states that some will go away to eternal punishment. According to people who believe in annihilation, that punishment is non-existence.
Since you don’t know you are being punished if you have ceased to exist, it can not be punishment. You being gone may hurt others, but it won’t punish you.
In fact many people commit suicide every year, they think that they are about to cease to exist, and that is the way they want it. If Hell is just death, then people like Hitler who committed suicide get no punishment, they are given what they wanted. When you get what you want it is a reward.
There are no levels of annihilation, you either exist, or don’t exist, even partial existence isn’t annihilation, but there are levels of punishment in Hell according to the Bible.
Matthew 16:27 (ESV) For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
some of the many other verses that refer to this are Matthew 10:15, Matthew 11:21-24, Hebrews 10:29, Revelation 20:11-15
Yes, the idea of Hell is difficult reconcile with a loving God, I am not sure anyone likes the concept of Hell, but we must understand that it is in the Bible, and it is necessary.