The Bible is fairly clear that there will be degrees of punishment in hell. As Matthew 10:15 points out, it will be “more tolerable” for some that for others. The author of the letter to the Hebrews asks, “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God…” Further, that each one will be judged according to his works strongly suggests that each one will receive his own unique punishment, just as each believer will receive their own unique rewards.

Never forget that our God is a moral and a just God. That truth is recited numerous times in the Bible. Geisler rightly points out To equally punish a “white lie” and genocide would be unjust; murder should receive greater punishment than petty theft. However, there is no evidence that judgment proportionate to the sin is always meted out in this life; the wisest man who ever lived complained of this life’s inequities (Eccl. 3:16–22). Yet we know that with God there will never be any injustices.

The liberal movement of the day teaches that there is no real punishment for the wicked, but only annihilation. But the degrees of punishment doctrine, Geisler goes on to say, “The fact that people will receive differing degrees of punishment in the judgment is proof that ungodly people will not be annihilated at this occasion. That would have implied that all would have received precisely the same punishment, whether they did much or little evil.” I believe the Bible teaches that the duration of punishment in hell is eternal; there are degrees of that punishment. Only God is able to determine what those degrees are, and He will assign the consequences with perfect justice according to the responsibility given to each individual

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened…And they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.” Revelation 20:12-13