Verses indicating all not being saved?

There are a number of critical verses that must be considered, which seem to remove any possible hope that all could be saved. I believe there is a good Scriptural case for eternal punishment, for annihilation, and for hoping that all will repent, and I'm not sure how all these could be true, but maybe God can change the past? For instance--but in any case, I believe we are given reason to hope that all can be saved, this is called "soft universalism." But now for the verses:
 
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.
May we hope that no one ever does this? Paul says he was the "worst of sinners" (1 Tim. 1:16), so then if anyone commits the unpardonable sin, would we not have to say Paul was worse than that? For Paul was blasphemous, by his own admission (1 Tim. 1:13). But we know Paul was saved, thus we have reason to hope that nobody will actually commit this sin, and similarly with warning verses such as in Heb. 6:4-6 and Heb. 10:26-27.

MT 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
 
First we may notice that the righteous had eternal life, before they entered eternal life. So for them, it is not actually the start of a sequence, eternal life does not start for them at this point. So the start of a sequence may not be in view here, for either group, it may be that the place is in view, "into eternal life," "into the eternal fire" here.
 
Here is a verse which contrasts "life" with "hell," and hell is a place, thus seeming to make "life" here seem to reference a place as well, a place that can be "entered" in the future:
 
MK 9:43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
 
So this may mean that "eternal punishment" could indicate a place, as "eternal fire" does here.
 
And let us notice that hell was created for the devil and his angels. Certainly God didn't make a mistake in creating hell for this purpose, and later on have to decide to also send people there as well. Thus if people, in some sense, don't belong there, then we may have reason to hope that they won't stay there. And "eternal" here need not imply "eternal for everyone sent there," any more than the "bottomless pit" implies no chance of coming out after being thrown in there (Rev. 20:3).

JUDE 1:7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
 
Then we may also notice this verse:
 
EZE 16:53 However, I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters, and your fortunes along with them...
 
Now this passage is talking about restoring people, or their descendants, not to just rebuilding a city, and having people come live there again. In the case of Sodom, there were no descendants, thus I think this verse is saying the people of Sodom, who are examples of those who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, will some day be restored:
 
EZE 16:55 And your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to what they were before; and you and your daughters will return to what you were before.
 
Now Samaria was reoccupied, by the "people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim" (2 Ki. 17:24). But this reoccupation would not fulfill this prophecy! The prophecy about Samaria means Israelites will return there, and the prophecy about Sodom would then mean Sodomites returning. Otherwise, the occupation of Jerusalem by the Arabs and by the crusaders would have fulfilled this prophecy of the restoration of Jerusalem, but that would seem not to be what was meant.

JUDE 1:13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
 
We may again refer as above to the restoration of Sodom, this is a continuation of the example given in Jude 1:7. Also, Young's literal translation and Weymouth have here "darkness to the age," thus this may be a place where "forever" may be translated "age-long," instead of forever, especially since the parallel verse in 2 Pt. 2:17 leaves off the mention of a time frame.
 
The "outer darkness" may refer to some other place than the lake of fire as well, for unprofitable servants are said to be there (Mt. 25:30), and "the sons of the kingdom" (Mt. 8:12), and the man without the wedding garment (Mt. 22:13), this may refer to any place "outside the city" of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:14-15).
 
The Expositor's Bible Commentary has "eternal darkness," thus "eternal" qualifies "darkness," and not "reserved." So if this is correct, then this verse does not imply that people would by necessity stay there forever.

MK 9:48 ... where "their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched."
 
Here we may refer to Isaiah:
 
ISA 66:24 "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."
 
The worm eats the dead bodies, but people in hell have left their earthly bodies. Thus this may refer to the bodies the wicked left behind, and the people in hell may have a different fate than their dead bodies.

DA 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
 
And here we may also refer to Isaiah 66:24, and say that the wicked may rise, only to perish again, and be sent to hell, and thus the contempt may be forever directed to their dead earthly bodies, rather than forever to their persons.
 
And even "put to shame," and being under contempt forever, may not be incompatible with salvation:
 
Ezekiel 16:63 Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.

2TH 1:9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power...
 
And more literally we have:
 
2TH 1:9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction... (NASB)
 
Now if they indeed pay this penalty, we may hope the destruction is eternal, and the penalty, but that still the people can be saved, for an eternal penalty cannot actually be paid. Then the body and soul may be destroyed in hell, but the spirit still saved (re 1 Cor. 5:5):
 
MT 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
 
But almost the next verse, we have:
 
MT 10:31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
 
And also, if people in hell must pay an eternal penalty, then justice is never done. It is being done, but it is never all paid. Thus there is always some injustice.
 
Also, "shut out from the presence of the Lord" may be better as "destruction which comes from the presence of the Lord":
 
Revelation 14:10  He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
Psalm 80:16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your face!

Revelation 20:10  And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
 
Yet perhaps the beast and the false prophet are not actually human:
 
REV 17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss.
REV 13:11,12 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. ... He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf...

Revelation 14:11  And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.
 
These are present tense, though, "those worshipping the beast ... receive the mark of his name," so this may then be what characterizes them, and if they can possibly cease worshipping the beast, and cease any reception of his name, then it may be that this punishment would also cease.

MT 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
 
Could this be "few in this life"? If it possible to say that people can repent after death (see the "Repentance after death?" topic), then though people meet with destruction after they die, there would still then be hope.
 
And "many" is also used in describing the number of those saved:
 
HEB 2:10 In bringing many sons to glory...
 
Or we may say, perhaps "few as in none" find the way, it may be:
 
RO 9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith.
 
RO 10:20 And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."
 
For lost coins and lost sheep do not seek for themselves, nor did the lost son, they all needed to be found:
 
LK 15:24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.
 
Not was lost, and found his way back again.
 
But why would we be told to "Enter through the narrow gate" (Mt. 7:13)? To "make every effort" (Lk. 13:24) to enter it?
 
It may be that only after we have tried our utmost, and given up, that God can help us.
 
"After he had been some time under this exercise, while he was striving to obtain mercy, he says, there seemed to be an impassable mountain before him. He was pressing towards heaven, as he thought, but 'his way was hedged up with thorns, that he could not stir an inch further.' He looked this way and that way, but could find no way at all. He thought, if he could but make his way through these thorns and briers, and climb up the first steep pitch of the mountain, that then there might be hope for him; but no way or means could he find to accomplish this. Here he laboured for a time, but all in vain; he saw it was impossible, he says, for him ever to help himself through this insupportable difficulty, he felt it signified nothing, 'it signified just nothing at all for him to strive and struggle any more.' And here, he says, he gave over striving, and felt that it was a gone case with him, as to his own power, and that all his attempts were, and for ever would be, vain and fruitless. And yet was more calm and composed under this view of things, than he had been while striving to help himself..."
 
"He cannot here remember distinctly any views he had of Christ, or give any clear account of his soul's acceptance of him, which makes his experience appear the more doubtful, and renders it less satisfactory to himself and others, than it might be, if he could remember distinctly the apprehensions and actings of his mind at this season. — But these exercises of soul were attended and followed with a very great change in the man, so that it might justly he said, he was become another man, if not a new man. His conversation and deportment were much altered, and even the careless world could not but admire what had befallen him to make so great a change in his temper, discourse, and behaviour..."
"His change is abiding, and his life, so far as I know, unblemished to this day, though it is now more than six months since he experienced this change..." (from David Brainard's journal)
 
It also may be that this is a command we are unable to fulfill, as when God says "Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit" (Eze. 18:31), and then when we find that "with man this is impossible," we can hear further from God:
 
Ezekiel 36:26-27  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.