Hi Paul....You asked a question to which I have found that very few come up with great answers. I've had a similar question in my mind for a long time now about Revelation 14:11..."And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up FOR EVER AND EVER, and they have no rest DAY NOR NIGHT, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
At the same time, Revelation 21:25 says, "And the gates of it (New Jerusalem) shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there." And Rev. 22:5..."And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign FOR EVER AND EVER."
How can anyone suffer in torment "forever"...yet, they have no rest "day nor night". And if there is no "night" in "forever"....where is the light separation! (no sun or moon)?
And, I guess it comes down to the determination of what "forever" means. There are lots and lots of definitions out there on this word....and lots of them don't measure up to biblical scrutiny....but some do. I, myself, know little about anything. When I was a "baby" Christian, everything was "crystal clear" and I doubted nothing I was told. Then I started studying for myself. The amazing thing about this is that the more I learn, the more I realize how little I really know. But, I try not to take anyone's word for anything anymore. Nor should anyone take my word for anything, either. I have made innumerable mistakes....but I always try to learn from them. Research it by finding out what the word "eon" and "eons of eons" (forever) really means.
I found this article to be quite good on what forever could mean. Smarter people than I am have contributed to it, accor! ding to the bibliography.
Is it "gospel"? No! But it certainly is worth the read...and deciding, individually, if it makes more sense than what we've heard in the past.