Personally, I am relieved that traditionalists are mostly ashamed and embarrassed by their doctrine of hell and therefore have retreated to silence on the subject. Whatever the reason, I am thankful for silence when it comes to false teaching. Of course, if it were a solid Bible teaching, then no matter the cost it would need to be spoken.
"Traditionalists believe that Jesus taught about hell to scare people from it, and that everyone who follows Him ought to do the same. In this day, therefore, when many traditionalists work so hard to minimize the gross horror of their own doctrine, preaching samples of traditionalists from an earlier age are in order."1
"When thou diest thy soul will be tormented alone - that will be a hell for it - but at the day of judgment thy body will join they soul, and then thou wilt have twin hells, body and soul shall be together, each brimful of pain, thy soul sweating in its inmost pore drops of blood and thy body from head to foot suffused with agony; conscience, judgment, memory, all tortured... Thine heart beating high with fever they pulse rattling at an enormous rate in agony, thy limbs cracking like the martyrs in the fire and yet unburnt, thyself put in a vessel of hot oil, pained yet coming out undestroyed, all thy veins becoming a road for the hot feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall ever play his diabolical tune...If God be true, and this Bible be true, what I have said is the truth, and you will find it one day to be so." - Spurgeon
If that quote from Spurgeon is not graphic enough for you, how about this colorful description by A.W. Pink:
"So it will be with the soul in Hell... imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven, all of a glowing heat, or into the midst of a blowing brick-kiln, or of a great furnace, where your pain would be as much greater than that occasioned by accidentally touching a coal of fire, as the heat is greater. Imagine also that your body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, full of fire, as full within and without as a bright coal of fire, all the while full of quick sense; what horror would you feel at the entrance of such a furnace! And how long would that quarter of an hour seem to you!...And how much greater would be the effect, if you knew you must endure it for a whole year, and low vastly greater still, if you knew, that you must bear it forever and ever!... That after millions of millions of ages, your torment would be no nearer to an end, than ever it was; and that you never, never should be delivered!But your torment in Hell will be immeasurably greater than this illustration represents. How then will the heart of a poor creature sink under it! How utterly inexpressible and inconceivable must the sinking of the soul be in such a case."
So, Christian, is this what you believe? When a believer mocks the idea that the Bible teaches destruction as a final end, and holds out eternal conscious torment as the 'truth', then why do they not profess the forever torments as our bold friend Mr. Pink does?
"In popular traditionalist preaching and writing, hell 'is almost invariably understood as a real, material, inextinguishable fire, ceaselessly tormenting the damned.' And, if that is what Scripture reaches, no one who believes the Bible has any right to object... If God's Word teaches that hell will be the scene of unending conscious torment, it should be preached as a terrible place of unimaginable pain and horror. If the traditionalist view of hell is correct, most of its modern advocates owe their fire-and-brimstone ancestors a profound apology. The fundamental issue is not whether the pain is physical or spiritual, literal or metaphorical. The issue is whether Scripture intends to denote conscious suffering that never ends, of whatever sort or description."2
"Rather than make apologies for such vivid and earthy descriptions of unending torment, traditionalists ought to emulate them all the more. If the wicked are to be made immortal for the purpose of enduring everlasting torture in agony, writers like Pink and preachers like Spurgeon do sinners an inestimable favor by making that very, very plain.
We ought not to retreat from the language of... Spurgeon and Edwards on grounds that is is unduly harsh, out of step with postmodern sentiment, or that it is intolerant or politically incorrect. We should instead reject all such statements because they are unscriptural, lack any biblical basis, and represent a theological dogma whose history we can trace back through the centuries to its first explicit pronouncement among Christians more than a hundred years after Jesus. Traditionalism did not originate in an exegesis of Scripture, and its advocates admit that it contradicts what the Bible repeatedly appears to say. Traditionalism's problem is not that it is unsympathetic but that it is unscriptural. Scripture - not sympathy - provides its only cure."3
If you have doubts about hell and the fact that it seems unbiblical, do not be overcome with guilt, as if you are going against God. Instead, study out the subject in full, depending on the Holy Spirit as your guide to truth, and then make your judgment. You may find that the shame and embarrassment you feel about this hell doctrine are founded afterall.
1,2,3 - Edward Fudge, "The Fire That Consumes", pgs. 362-365