Is hell real, or a tool conjured by men to produce fear? Also, I heard from an author I read that the early church did not believe in eternal punishment, is that true? Posted on October 14, 2008 by John Oakes wrote in Church History, General, Theology and Doctrinal Questions. You May Also Like: Who was the first to say that Jesus was God? What about the idea that the early church did not believe this? Could some of the early church fathers with a pagan background have taught false ideas about the godhead? Why does God tell us to be merciful yet condemns people who sin to eternal punishment? Should the teachings of the one true church be flawless because they follow the Bible? Comments are closed.