“How important was the doctrine of hell to the martyrs?”
The doctrine of hell is described as a definite place where souls receive God’s punitive retribution.” Jesus has described Hell as unimaginable tortures endured in full consciousness for eternity. However no one need be afraid of ending up unjustly in this eternal torment, for God is never cruel. The martyrs knew this and believed in God so strongly that they were willing to undergo terrible pain and humiliation so that their immortal souls could escape the eternal punishment. Anyone with a lesser belief would have caved when faced with earthly tortures but the martyrs knew that simply their belief and true love in God would save them in the end. If they had simply revoked their beliefs to the Romans, the Emperor would have spared them, but that would have been denying themselves. The doctrine of hell was the very drive of so many Christians to become martyrs.