Annihilationism or Hell?

Discussion and debate not related to prophecy.

Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby lamb7 on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:25 am

I do not base my faith or beliefs on what any other man says. I will kneel before my Father and ask that He alone, give me the Truth.


In Christ,
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:20 pm

I do not base my faith or beliefs on what any other man says. I will kneel before my Father and ask that He alone, give me the Truth.


I agree with you. We have to remove all our biases and traditions and first look at what the Bible plainly says, even if that means going to the original manuscripts.

When I was really struggling with this issue, I asked God for guidance and He showed me four particular passages:

Proverbs 12

Obadiah 1:15-16

Malachi 4:1

Matthew 10:28
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
- John 5:24
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Keeping Alert on Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:50 pm

Hi messenger,

In fact, I'm sure that most people, when they are honest with themselves, will admit that it would actually be better if God had not created someone at all than for them to be created and ultimately live out an eternity in perpetual conscious torment.


"If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." Matthew 5:29

"If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell." Matthew 5:30

Indeed, Jesus says almost in the same vein as Jeremy the author regarding Judas on the night of his betrayal "The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." Matthew 26:24

I think Jesus answered Jeremy's misgivings pretty well. The only logical understanding of Jesus' statement is that there is an eternal torment in hell for betraying Jesus. Jeremy is right - it is better not to be created than to be created and to suffer hell for eternity.

amessenger4god wrote:What if you knew that this loved one was being tortured ceaselessly each day and night? How would that affect your enjoyment of life in a free country? Could you even sleep at night knowing the pain he/she would be enduring? Now imagine that you had the opportunity to die so that he/she could be set free. Most would not give even a second thought—of course it's worth it. If I were in the situation, I would instantly sacrifice my own life if only for the assurance that my wife could die and end the senseless torture that she was being made to endure. It doesn't take a hero to feel that way. That's just the nature of love. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).


Unfortunately, we cannot do that. Our sins are against God and only God can die for us to set us free - which is of course, what Jesus did for us. Our sacrifice is worthless to even save one hair of our loved ones.

Would Annihilationism "wipe away our tears"? I think not - I would still remember their "worth" and their "goodness" and feel regret that they are not with us. But the fact is this - that we will be changed - and we will comprehend their filthiness and their evil as God comprehends it (All our righteousness are as filthy rags or in another translation as S**T.) It is a hard saying but I am going to say it - We are going to say about our loved ones who go to hell - "THEY DESERVE IT!" and have absolutely no remorse about it.

This doctrine is called the TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN - We ALL deserve it; there is absolutely no loveliness about us or anything good within us - except for the Grace of God - we ALL Deserve Hell - and we don't pride ourselves in any way regarding our lot in heaven - but we give all praise and honor and glory to God who saved us.

Blessings,
KA
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:10 pm

Hummm... I think you need to read those scriptures in context of what has already been discussed. Check out my video if you want a quick rundown:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKDZObH1Uds

It would be better to have never been born than to be annihilated. We can say the same thing. The word is "Gehenna", by the way, a distinction the NIV and KJV do not seem concerned with. Check out the Greek or Young's Literal Translation.

Also, if we want to take the Bible at face value, it actually says we all deserve death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23). Death is the Biblically-prescribed penalty of sin.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
- John 5:24
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Keeping Alert on Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:49 pm

amessenger4god wrote:It would be better to have never been born than to be annihilated.


Why would this be so?
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:34 pm

First and foremost, because the Bible says the wicked are annihilated (Obadiah 1:15-16, Malachi 4:1, Proverbs 12, Matthew 10:28, Job 20:30, Psalm 37:10, Psalm 37:20, Psalm 37:28, Psalm 68:2, Psalm 104:35, Psalm 145:20, Ezekiel 18:4). Even satan will eventually be annihilated after his torment (Ezekiel 28:19). And the process is by fire (Psalm 21:9, Revelation 20:14, Matthew 5:29-30). Being burned alive would be excruciating. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I'm not aware of any annihilationists that say the wicked simply cease to exist in a painless way. Their life is destroyed, burned away completely until there is nothing left (Malachi 4:1). Additionally, at least a certain group of the wicked (satan, his angels, the beast, the false prophet, and those who receive the mark) will be punished for some period of time first (Revelation 14:9-11).

The other big reason is that we live in a fallen world. With the exception of an elite few, most of the world is suffering terribly. Better to have never been born. I remember reading how one holocaust survivor said that he had already been to hell... this life.

I think too many people consider this life and earth "neutral"--but it simply isn't. This is the hell and Christ is coming to rescue us from it.

The wages of sin is death, and this is the penalty Christ paid for us.

Both the wicked AND sin will one day be destroyed and cease to be (Nahum 1:9-10).

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants them to repent so that they can live (Ezekiel 33:11, John 3:16).
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
- John 5:24
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Keeping Alert on Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:54 am

Hi messenger,

Thanks for your reply. However, I do have some comments

amessenger4god wrote:First and foremost, because the Bible says the wicked are annihilated (Obadiah 1:15-16, Malachi 4:1, Proverbs 12, Matthew 10:28, Job 20:30, Psalm 37:10, Psalm 37:20, Psalm 37:28, Psalm 68:2, Psalm 104:35, Psalm 145:20, Ezekiel 18:4). Even satan will eventually be annihilated after his torment (Ezekiel 28:19).


I don't see the wicked will be annihilated anywhere in these passages. You keep saying that Hell is not in the bible, but I would say Annihilationism is not in the bible. In fact, a more biblical word that you may want to choose is PERDITION which is in the bible and from what I have studied once again, it cannot be made to mean annihilation but I would let others debate on this one.

amessenger4god wrote:Being burned alive would be excruciating. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I'm not aware of any annihilationists that say the wicked simply cease to exist in a painless way. Their life is destroyed, burned away completely until there is nothing left (Malachi 4:1). Additionally, at least a certain group of the wicked (satan, his angels, the beast, the false prophet, and those who receive the mark) will be punished for some period of time first (Revelation 14:9-11).


I am wondering if it makes you feel better that these group suffer at least for a moment before God finally annihilates them. But the question that pops to my mind is that if what matters is Love, why not God just annihilate them straightaway at judgement. What purpose is there to let them suffer even for a moment if that is the sentiment that a loving God would not let anyone suffer in hell for eternity?

You see, even in us, there is some sense of justice that these people deserve some form of suffering. To annihilate them straightaway would be a miscarriage of justice. The point is - how much more a holy righteous judge!

******

The fact is that God intended for us to live forever. Unfortunately, because of sin we all die physically. But there will be a resurrection of the dead - both Christians and non-Christians. The former to eternity in Heaven and the latter to eternity to Hell. The former without the resurrected body will be consumed by the burning brightness of God's Glory, the latter without the ressurected body will be consumed by the burning fire of hell. The conclusion is inescapable.

Blessings,
KA
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:32 am

Hey Keeping Alert, :grin:

I don't see the wicked will be annihilated anywhere in these passages.


Then I will show you:

Obadiah 1:15-16 -

The day of the LORD is near
for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.

Just as you drank on my holy hill,
so all the nations will drink continually;
they will drink and drink
and be as if they had never been.

----------

Malachi 4:1 -

"For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."

----------

Proverbs 12:7,19,28 -

The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.

Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.

In the way of righteousness there is life;
along that path is immortality.

----------

Matthew 10:28 –

And be not afraid of those killing the body, and are not able to kill the soul, but fear rather Him who is able both soul and body to destroy in gehenna.

----------

Job 20:5-7 -

That the mirth of the wicked is brief,
the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
Though his pride reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds,
he will perish forever, like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, 'Where is he?'

----------

Psalm 37:9-10 -

For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

v.20 -

But the wicked will perish:
The LORD's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields,
they will vanish—vanish like smoke.

----------

Psalm 68:2 -

As smoke is blown away by the wind,
may you blow them away;
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.


----------

Psalm 104:35

But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Praise the LORD.

----------

Psalm 145:20 -

The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

----------

Ezekiel 18:4 -

For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.

----------

Notice that this handful of verses I have shown you are but a small sampling of scripture. This is what you will find for virtually all references to the fate of sinners in the Old Testament. These are not unique, whereas Revelation 14:11 and 20:10 are completely unique and spell out punishments for specifically 3 characters and 1 group: satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, and those who receive the mark. Additionally, these two verses say “into ages of ages” not “for ever and ever”.

You see, even in us, there is some sense of justice that these people deserve some form of suffering. To annihilate them straightaway would be a miscarriage of justice. The point is - how much more a holy righteous judge!


Absolutely! I agree with you completely on this. Here is the problem, though: the Levitical law demonstrates clearly that God believes the punishment must fit the crime—NOT the “value” of the victim. So regardless if a victim is short, tall, fat, skinny, female, male, alien, or slave… you will be punished “eye for eye and tooth for tooth”. The idea that eternal torture in hell is the only “just” punishment for unforgiven sin (because God is holy) is a medieval notion, NOT a Biblical notion. So I agree that God must carry out justice, but eternal torture in hell is not a punishment fitting of the crime. But what the Bible does clearly say about the ultimate consequence of sin is that it is death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14).

The fact is that God intended for us to live forever.


Yes, He did, but by sinning we lose eternal life and the consequence of our sin is death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14).

But there will be a resurrection of the dead - both Christians and non-Christians.


Agreed, the Bible definitely says that.

The former to eternity in Heaven and the latter to eternity to Hell.


This, the Bible does not say. To the contrary, the resurrection into immortal, perfect bodies is specifically for those made righteous in Christ (1 Corinthians 15). The Bible never says the wicked have immortality or that they are raised into immortal bodies. Their resurrection is for the judgment, and the judgment brings their death, both of body and soul.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
- John 5:24
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:47 am

If we are saying that the penalty for sin is death, therefore, there shouldn't be eternal torment in the lake of fire, well, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Why would you have sinners suffering torment for any length of time? A quick and painless passage into non-existence should be all that was needed to satisfy a just and loving God. (Man's ideas of 'vengeance' aside)

You've erected previously the straw man that somehow the continuing existence of the wicked would necessitate that evil was to be perpetually allows, or if not, then all the wicked must be made righteous (universalism). But there is a third alternative to that, how the wicked can still exist, and yet without continuing to sin, and that is in their suffering.

To exist in a perpetual state of extreme suffering might be just what will accomplish the complete overwhelming of the wicked to prevent their sinning anymore.

Love in Christ,
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ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:57 pm

If we are saying that the penalty for sin is death, therefore, there shouldn't be eternal torment in the lake of fire


:a3:

Why would you have sinners suffering torment for any length of time?


I suppose because the punishment should fit the crime (Leviticus). The ultimate consequence of sin is death because sin cannot exist in the unveiled presence of our God, who is holy. However, there is a big difference between torture and punishment, and I entertain the possibility that the wicked will be punished justly for their sins first (the more sins, the more punishment... the greater the sin the greater the punishment), and then they will receive the ultimate, Biblical consequence for their sin and rejection of God: death. This is one of several reasons that Revelation 14:11 and Revelation 20:10 (referring to a specific punishment for the absolute worst-of-the-worst--i.e. satan, antichrist, false prophet, and bearers of the mark) makes perfect sense to me. These characters, who have done more damage and caused more sin then any else in history will be severely (and fairly) punished first, and then destroyed, even satan himself (Ezekiel 28:19).

You've erected previously the straw man that somehow the continuing existence of the wicked would necessitate that evil was to be perpetually allows, or if not, then all the wicked must be made righteous (universalism).


I'm pretty sure my argument was not a straw man. If hell exists, and the wicked suffer in it for eternity, then unless they are made holy, evil and sin will always exist and will be coexistent with God (a concept that is against scripture: Nahum 1:9-10). There is nothing inaccurate about this argument. While the wicked could be conquered, subjugated, and ruled over by God in hell, they still remain wicked--that part doesn't change.

To exist in a perpetual state of extreme suffering might be just what will accomplish the complete overwhelming of the wicked to prevent their sinning anymore.


I see two problems with this:

1.) This is an extra-Biblical concept, as is Thomas Aquinas' justification for hell.

2.) Even if they somehow were to stop sinning, they would still have unremittant, unforgiven sin. The only way to be perfect is to be holy, and the only way to be holy once you've sinned is to have Christ.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
- John 5:24
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:21 pm

amessenger4god wrote:
If we are saying that the penalty for sin is death, therefore, there shouldn't be eternal torment in the lake of fire


:a3:


However, both of us know that Scripture tells of more than a quick and painless death awaiting the wicked.
Why would you have sinners suffering torment for any length of time?


I suppose because the punishment should fit the crime (Leviticus). The ultimate consequence of sin is death because sin cannot exist in the unveiled presence of our God, who is holy. However, there is a big difference between torture and punishment, and I entertain the possibility that the wicked will be punished justly for their sins first (the more sins, the more punishment... the greater the sin the greater the punishment), and then they will receive the ultimate, Biblical consequence for their sin and rejection of God: death. This is one of several reasons that Revelation 14:11 and Revelation 20:10 (referring to a specific punishment for the absolute worst-of-the-worst--i.e. satan, antichrist, false prophet, and bearers of the mark) makes perfect sense to me. These characters, who have done more damage and caused more sin then any else in history will be severely (and fairly) punished first, and then destroyed, even satan himself (Ezekiel 28:19).


The Law, stating and "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", limits punishment, doesn't demand fitting punishment. Forgiveness was allowed under the Law, so that you might not lose an eye, however, excess punishment was prohibited.

If we are to understand that only one's death is required, then any suffering beyond a quick and painless death would be excessive to what is required, and therefore contrary to God's Law, therefore contrary to His nature.

You've erected previously the straw man that somehow the continuing existence of the wicked would necessitate that evil was to be perpetually allows, or if not, then all the wicked must be made righteous (universalism).


I'm pretty sure my argument was not a straw man. If hell exists, and the wicked suffer in it for eternity, then unless they are made holy, evil and sin will always exist and will be coexistent with God (a concept that is against scripture: Nahum 1:9-10). There is nothing inaccurate about this argument. While the wicked could be conquered, subjugated, and ruled over by God in hell, they still remain wicked--that part doesn't change.


The wicked who are prevented from committing any further sin need not be made holy, or righteous, and sin ceases to exist, as they are prevented from committing it.

They remain wicked, however, without being able to act out their wickedness.

To exist in a perpetual state of extreme suffering might be just what will accomplish the complete overwhelming of the wicked to prevent their sinning anymore.


I see two problems with this:

1.) This is an extra-Biblical concept, as is Thomas Aquinas' justification for hell.


I'm not sure what Thomas Aquinas said about hell. I get the idea from reading Peter, that the one who has suffered has ceased from sin.

2.) Even if they somehow were to stop sinning, they would still have unremittant, unforgiven sin. The only way to be perfect is to be holy, and the only way to be holy once you've sinned is to have Christ.


Again, they can be prevented from committing further sin, and so sin is not tolerated eternally.

Love in Christ,
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:45 pm

They remain wicked, however, without being able to act out their wickedness...

Again, they can be prevented from committing further sin, and so sin is not tolerated eternally.


Well, if they remain wicked, then they are evil and evil will be coexistent with God. This is the problem. Even if they are subjugated they still remain evil.

I'm not sure what Thomas Aquinas said about hell. I get the idea from reading Peter, that the one who has suffered has ceased from sin.


Oh... Aquinas developed the concept that a single sin against an infinitely holy Creator deserves infinite, unending punishment because the victim is of infinite worth. This is the primary argument used in theological debate to defend hell doctrine, but it is not Biblical because the ultimate scriptural penalty for sin is death and the punishment fits the crime, not the worth of the victim.

I get the idea from reading Peter, that the one who has suffered has ceased from sin.


What is the verse you are thinking of? It sounds familiar.

The Law, stating and "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", limits punishment, doesn't demand fitting punishment. Forgiveness was allowed under the Law, so that you might not lose an eye, however, excess punishment was prohibited.


It doesn't demand fitting punishment??? Is not the quote, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth"? It absolutely is about fitting punishment... and on top of that--punishment that fits the crime, not the value of the victim. So regardless if the victim was an Israelite or an alien: "you shall have the same law". Regardless if the victim was more sinful than someone else, or less sinful, or wealthier, or stronger, or more powerful, or even a priest--the punishment fits the crime, not the value of the victim.

...And forgiveness is allowed under the law? I thought forgiveness was only through Christ, retroactive, but still only through Christ. The penalty of the law doesn't become negated.

If we are to understand that only one's death is required, then any suffering beyond a quick and painless death would be excessive to what is required, and therefore contrary to God's Law, therefore contrary to His nature.


Well, I never said death would be quick and painless, and I, at least as far as I know, am not aware of any other annihilationists that say it will be quick and painless. It is death, after all, rarely is it painless. The Bible says the Second Death is by fire, so I imagine it will be quite painful... but in the end... utter, complete, total destruction as is made quite clear by the sampling of verses I've shown (Obadiah 1:15-16, Malachi 4:1, Proverbs 12, Matthew 10:28, Job 20:7, Psalm 37:10, Psalm 37:20, Psalm 37:28, Psalm 68:2, Psalm 104:35, Psalm 145:20, Ezekiel 18:4). Even satan will be annihilated after his torment (Ezekiel 28:19).

Peace brother! :hugs:
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
- John 5:24
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Keeping Alert on Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:57 am

Hi messenger,

I did go through all the passages and really did not see annihilationism in any of them. I am not trying to be stubborn here. I had pointed that in my first post on this thread - indeed I know of various great scholars (such as John Scott and Norman Geisler) who support annihilationism so this discussion is rather interesting for me.

Just taking the passages that you pointed out above - without need to go through one by one - the context of most of them would be the destruction of nations and of wicked men so that they cease to exist - but it does not deal with the soul.

I could quote passages like Isaiah 57:1 that say the righteous perish - and what does that mean? That they cease to exist? I think neither of us would agree that that is the case.

The meaning of the word "destroy" is rather wide but generally, something that is destroyed does not mean that it ceases to exist. If I take a sledge-hammer and destroy my computer - it is destroyed and useless and beyond redemption - but it does not cease to exist. So although, I can understand how you can view passages like Matthew 10:28 as an annhilationism passage, it really does not demand only that understanding.

There is something I agree with you though - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth - I do believe that just as there are rewards in heaven, so there are gradation of punishments in hell. But that is another topic altogether. Nevertheless, the thought is - whatever the gradation, it ain't fun. The person who suffers a 10% burn will not be any much more enjoying it than someone with 90% burn.

Regarding "death", we have to admit that death ain't annihilationism for God told Adam and Eve that "IN the day" they sin they will "surely die" (Gen 2:17) - but annihilate they did not receive. So all the passages that you quoted that says death - once again does not demand annihilation.

You know, understanding this matter is not a salvation issue so I am not passionate to "prove" my view. But just as you mention that you felt liberated by embracing annihilationism, I would like you to know that there is no struggle within me for an eternal hell. And the reason for it is the understanding that our sins are severely wicked and abominable. It stinks terribly. If there was an eternity beyond eternity in hell, it deserves to be punished that way. The darker we understand sin to be, the more glorious we view our Savior.

The issue to me therefore, is not so much whether there can or cannot be an eternal hell - I believe I deserve eternity in hell - but the marvellous thing is how can it be that I should be a participant in so great a salvation that I am assured that I will spend eternity with God. Hallelujah!

Blessings,
KA
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:26 am

amessenger4god wrote:
They remain wicked, however, without being able to act out their wickedness...

Again, they can be prevented from committing further sin, and so sin is not tolerated eternally.


Well, if they remain wicked, then they are evil and evil will be coexistent with God. This is the problem. Even if they are subjugated they still remain evil.


Then is the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He makes to cease all rule and all authority and power.

For it is right for Him to reign until He puts all the hostile ones under His feet; the last hostile thing made to cease is death. For "He subjected all things under His feet;" but when He says that all things have been subjected, it is plain that it excepts Him who has subjected all things to Him. But when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who has subjected all things to Him, that God may be all things in all. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)


This is what Scripture says, that all enemies will be subjected to Him.

Here, when it says, "made to cease", this is from katargeo, render idle, ineffective.

I'm not sure what Thomas Aquinas said about hell. I get the idea from reading Peter, that the one who has suffered has ceased from sin.


Oh... Aquinas developed the concept that a single sin against an infinitely holy Creator deserves infinite, unending punishment because the victim is of infinite worth. This is the primary argument used in theological debate to defend hell doctrine, but it is not Biblical because the ultimate scriptural penalty for sin is death and the punishment fits the crime, not the worth of the victim.


This whole idea about the just punishment for sin makes for an interesting discussion. If the due penalty for sin is death, I have to ask again, why would God have a sinner suffer at all? And if they are to suffer, what determines how long?

The ultimate penalty for sin under the Law was death, all other penalties were less than that. So if the sinner pays the ultimate price as under the Law, to die, then what is the reasoning for additional suffering?

And yet, if you had determined that additional suffering is appropriate, on what do you base that? Does the man that blinded 20 people then get blinded, then sight restored, then re-blinded, 20 times?

If you kill him, he pays with more than just his eyes, he pays with his life. And having paid with his life, his debt for sin is ended, right?

All that remains is what comes after, either, in your view, endless non-existence, or, in my view, endless ruination.

Endless non-existence is just that, while endless ruination is depicted as torment.

Scripture does say that everyone will be judged for their works. The fact is, sin is against God, and who are we, us humans, to say what the just retribution is for sinning against God?

We characterize sin according to human estimations. But what should we say if we saw sin as God sees it?

Say a man molests a child. What is the retribution against that? The Law says such a one should be stoned. But what is the just retribution for destroying the innocence and trust of one of those whom God declared that none should prevent them to come to Him? What is the just retribution for the lifetime of inner torment inflicted before this precious young life even begins to blossom?

Are the judgments of the Law to show what sin is to God, or are they for the express purpose of dictating what man shall do in those situations?

And if we are to say, no, such a crime deserves more suffering that simply dying, or if we are to say, such a crime deserves this much suffering and not more than that, do we not put ourselves in the place of God, Who Alone is judge over mankind?
I get the idea from reading Peter, that the one who has suffered has ceased from sin.


What is the verse you are thinking of? It sounds familiar.


Therefore, Christ having suffered for us in the flesh, also you arm yourselves with the same thought, because he having suffered in the flesh has been made to rest from sin, for him no longer to live in the lusts of men, but to live the remaining time in the flesh in the will of God.
(1 Peter 4:1-2)


This verse deserves its own discussion, and I realize that its not specifically talking about the torments of eternal punishment, but its what gave rise to my thought.

The Law, stating and "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", limits punishment, doesn't demand fitting punishment. Forgiveness was allowed under the Law, so that you might not lose an eye, however, excess punishment was prohibited.


It doesn't demand fitting punishment??? Is not the quote, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth"? It absolutely is about fitting punishment... and on top of that--punishment that fits the crime, not the value of the victim. So regardless if the victim was an Israelite or an alien: "you shall have the same law". Regardless if the victim was more sinful than someone else, or less sinful, or wealthier, or stronger, or more powerful, or even a priest--the punishment fits the crime, not the value of the victim.


Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, quotes this Law, and instructs us not "resist the evil", but to "turn the other cheek". When struck on the face, you don't have to strike back. "I desire mercy, not sacrifice".

And in fact, there was a consideration towards the "value" of the victim, because if you caused your slave to lose an eye, or a tooth, they went out free, but you did not lose an eye, or a tooth yourself, in retribution.

...And forgiveness is allowed under the law? I thought forgiveness was only through Christ, retroactive, but still only through Christ. The penalty of the law doesn't become negated.


Forgiveness from God comes only through Christ, but we are able to forgive each other. This is how they could be struck and not strike back, by not holding it against them. And consider Hosea . . .

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:04 pm

Hey again,

Then is the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He makes to cease all rule and all authority and power.

For it is right for Him to reign until He puts all the hostile ones under His feet; the last hostile thing made to cease is death. For "He subjected all things under His feet;" but when He says that all things have been subjected, it is plain that it excepts Him who has subjected all things to Him. But when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who has subjected all things to Him, that God may be all things in all. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

This is what Scripture says, that all enemies will be subjected to Him.

Here, when it says, "made to cease", this is from katargeo, render idle, ineffective.


Awesome passage. I agree with every word. Let me point out three things:

1.) The context... in 1 Corinthians 15 we have Paul describing to the Corinthians that the Christian hope (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) is resurrection into perfect, immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 35-55; esp. v. 53).

2.) The order of events... first, those hostile to God are made subject to Him, and last, death itself is made subject to Him.

3.) Katapyew has four meanings, not one. Its meaning is determined by context. In the context of 1 Corinthians 15 the meaning is "bring to an end" in v. 24 and "destroy/cause to cease" in v. 26. Both meanings fit nicely with Revelation 20:14 and the order given therein. Of the four different meanings: "to cause something to come to an end or to be no longer in existence, abolish, wipe out, set aside" is by far the most common usage in the New Testament.

This whole idea about the just punishment for sin makes for an interesting discussion. If the due penalty for sin is death, I have to ask again, why would God have a sinner suffer at all? And if they are to suffer, what determines how long?


Well, the Bible never says death is painless. To the contrary. And sometimes death is a prolonged, excruciating experience. What we do know for sure, though, is that death is the Biblically-prescribed penalty for sin, not an eternal torture chamber--at least certainly not without first profoundly changing the plain meanings of "life", "death", "destruction", "burning up", "perishing", becoming "no more", "immortality", and "eternal life".

Therefore, Christ having suffered for us in the flesh, also you arm yourselves with the same thought, because he having suffered in the flesh has been made to rest from sin, for him no longer to live in the lusts of men, but to live the remaining time in the flesh in the will of God.
(1 Peter 4:1-2)


Yes, it seems to me this is dealing with Christ and what He did for us, and then how we should emulate His sufferings so as to cease from sin and to live in God's will. Awesome verse.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, quotes this Law, and instructs us not "resist the evil", but to "turn the other cheek". When struck on the face, you don't have to strike back. "I desire mercy, not sacrifice".


A perfect demonstration of a loving God who desires mercy even for the wicked. The Sermon on the Mount seems a bit out-of-place with perpetual, conscious, everlasting torture.

And in fact, there was a consideration towards the "value" of the victim, because if you caused your slave to lose an eye, or a tooth, they went out free, but you did not lose an eye, or a tooth yourself, in retribution.


Yes, because to the slave it would obviously be more valuable to have freedom then for his master's eye to be torn out. The crime itself, though, isn't affected by the value of the victim. The Torah plainly says: "You shall have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I Am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 24:22) There were no distinctions in penalty regardless of your gender, wealth, strength, tribe, age or even nationality (if you were circumcised). "God is no respecter of persons".

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:44 pm

amessenger4god wrote:Hey again,

Then is the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He makes to cease all rule and all authority and power.

For it is right for Him to reign until He puts all the hostile ones under His feet; the last hostile thing made to cease is death. For "He subjected all things under His feet;" but when He says that all things have been subjected, it is plain that it excepts Him who has subjected all things to Him. But when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who has subjected all things to Him, that God may be all things in all. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

This is what Scripture says, that all enemies will be subjected to Him.

Here, when it says, "made to cease", this is from katargeo, render idle, ineffective.


Awesome passage. I agree with every word. Let me point out three things:


It's a great passage! :grin: (but then, aren't they all?)

1.) The context... in 1 Corinthians 15 we have Paul describing to the Corinthians that the Christian hope (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) is resurrection into perfect, immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 35-55; esp. v. 53).


How does this affect the statement made about Christ subjugating His enemies?

2.) The order of events... first, those hostile to God are made subject to Him, and last, death itself is made subject to Him.


We see the same order at the final judgment . . .

3.) Katapyew has four meanings, not one. Its meaning is determined by context. In the context of 1 Corinthians 15 the meaning is "bring to an end" in v. 24 and "destroy/cause to cease" in v. 26. Both meanings fit nicely with Revelation 20:14 and the order given therein. Of the four different meanings: "to cause something to come to an end or to be no longer in existence, abolish, wipe out, set aside" is by far the most common usage in the New Testament.


I'd sooner say that it has a range of meaning, all stemming from basically the same meaning, to make something no longer have any active operation.

When its speaking about intangible things like activities, it would mean those activities end, "prophecies will cease". Gifts of prophecy will no longer operate.

When speaking about intangible things like principles, those principles cease to govern, but do not cease to exist, "she is loosed from the law of the husband". The Law is no longer in operation in this circumstance.

When speaking about tangible things, they cease to have an effect, "Christ is become of no effect". This person does not benefit from the operation of Christ.

And in this passage in question, death will no longer have any effective operation.
This whole idea about the just punishment for sin makes for an interesting discussion. If the due penalty for sin is death, I have to ask again, why would God have a sinner suffer at all? And if they are to suffer, what determines how long?


Well, the Bible never says death is painless. To the contrary. And sometimes death is a prolonged, excruciating experience. What we do know for sure, though, is that death is the Biblically-prescribed penalty for sin, not an eternal torture chamber--at least certainly not without first profoundly changing the plain meanings of "life", "death", "destruction", "burning up", "perishing", becoming "no more", "immortality", and "eternal life".


You have asserted that there will be a divinely appointed punishment for the wicked which follows death, and precedes annihilation.

Yet you have also asserted that the eternal torture which many believe awaits the wicked is not Scriptural because the Biblical penalty for sin is death.

Therefore, your second assertion argues against your first assertion.

Btw, can we agree that believers sometimes die very painfully, and that unbelievers sometimes die very peacefully? And therefore, also agree that the circumstances of one's death aren't necessarily related to one's spiritual condition? That is, that the punishment one receives for their sins is meted out in how they die?

Of course, the final judgment at the great white throne argues against that as well, in that the dead are judged for their works after they are dead.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, quotes this Law, and instructs us not "resist the evil", but to "turn the other cheek". When struck on the face, you don't have to strike back. "I desire mercy, not sacrifice".


A perfect demonstration of a loving God who desires mercy even for the wicked. The Sermon on the Mount seems a bit out-of-place with perpetual, conscious, everlasting torture.


My point here is, again, that as you assert a "measure of torture" based on one's specific sins, this in inconsistent with your assertion that the only penalty for sin is death. Does the man who blinded 20 men, when he dies, be blinded, then restored, 20 times?

And in fact, there was a consideration towards the "value" of the victim, because if you caused your slave to lose an eye, or a tooth, they went out free, but you did not lose an eye, or a tooth yourself, in retribution.


Yes, because to the slave it would obviously be more valuable to have freedom then for his master's eye to be torn out. The crime itself, though, isn't affected by the value of the victim. The Torah plainly says: "You shall have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I Am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 24:22) There were no distinctions in penalty regardless of your gender, wealth, strength, tribe, age or even nationality (if you were circumcised). "God is no respecter of persons".


But now you are talking about the benefit to the victim, not the retribution to the perpetrator. You can tear out the eye of your slave without your eye being torn out, yet you cannot tear out the eye of a freeman without your eye being torn out.

Personally, I'd consider it to be a much lighter penalty to lose a slave than to lose an eye. but that's just me.

But again, the point is, there are distinctions within the Law that take into account who the victim of the crime was. And so when your crime is against God, what are the distinctions then? I would not wish to find out!

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:37 pm

It's a great passage! :grin: (but then, aren't they all?


Amen to that. I read recently the story of the concubine who was left outside, raped, tortured, and dismembered, and God had almost an entire tribe of Israel eradicated in His anger. This passage, which I once thought obscure, now brings me to tears when I consider how much the Lord values even a lowly, foreign concubine. Sorry, I have no clue why I thought of this passage, except to say God's word is the story you can read a thousand times and still not even skim the surface.

How does this affect the statement made about Christ subjugating His enemies?


...Because immortality is given to the redeemed. Death to the wicked. When Christ subjugates the hostile, He destroys them (Obadiah 1:15-16, Malachi 4:1, Proverbs 12, Matthew 10:28, Job 20:7, Psalm 37:10, Psalm 37:20, Psalm 37:28, Psalm 68:2, Psalm 104:35, Psalm 145:20, Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 28:19).

We see the same order at the final judgment . . .


Exactly. Revelation 20:14. First the wicked are thrown in and burned up and then Hades and death itself are thrown in and burned up.

I'd sooner say that it has a range of meaning, all stemming from basically the same meaning, to make something no longer have any active operation.


Hey, if you want to interpret it that way ok, but you are arguing with BDAG. "To cease to be" is the most common usage in the New Testament. The other three--much less common.

You have asserted that there will be a divinely appointed punishment for the wicked which follows death, and precedes annihilation.


No, I've asserted that there may... may be a divinely appointed conscious punishment before death for the wicked. Nothing happens after death, since your dead. Now we know with some certainty that satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, and the bearers of the mark will be tormented before being destroyed, but the Bible never says the rest (those whose names are not written in the Book of Life) of the wicked will be tormented. They could be, but it is just speculation. All the Bible says definitively, though, is that they will die, be destroyed, get burned up, and cease to be.

My point here is, again, that as you assert a "measure of torture" based on one's specific sins, this in inconsistent with your assertion that the only penalty for sin is death.


Hold on here. This is the second time you've put words in my mouth on this post. First of all, I believe the Bible teaches death is final--no torment can be given after you're dead. Second, I never said death is the only penalty for sin, just that it is the universal penalty for sin (as the Bible unquestionably, undeniably teaches). There are obviously many penalties for sin. Leviticus is a prime example. It makes perfect sense that the wicked might first be punished justly for the sins they committed and then, since they are unrepentant and unforgiven, the wicked will universally receive the penalty of sin--death.

...But again, beyond the three persons and one select group mentioned in Revelation 14:11 and 20:10 it is just speculation on my part. For all I know, the vast majority of the wicked may simply be incinerated without any preceding torment. And as I've said before, even satan will be destroyed (Ezekiel 28:19).

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:06 pm

amessenger4god wrote:
I'd sooner say that it has a range of meaning, all stemming from basically the same meaning, to make something no longer have any active operation.


Hey, if you want to interpret it that way ok, but you are arguing with BDAG. "To cease to be" is the most common usage in the New Testament. The other three--much less common.


I'll need to come back to this, but I'll put together the NT usages so that the reader may judge.

quote]You have asserted that there will be a divinely appointed punishment for the wicked which follows death, and precedes annihilation.


No, I've asserted that there may... may be a divinely appointed conscious punishment before death for the wicked. Nothing happens after death, since your dead. Now we know with some certainty that satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, and the bearers of the mark will be tormented before being destroyed, but the Bible never says the rest (those whose names are not written in the Book of Life) of the wicked will be tormented. They could be, but it is just speculation. All the Bible says definitively, though, is that they will die, be destroyed, get burned up, and cease to be.

My point here is, again, that as you assert a "measure of torture" based on one's specific sins, this in inconsistent with your assertion that the only penalty for sin is death.


Hold on here. This is the second time you've put words in my mouth on this post. First of all, I believe the Bible teaches death is final--no torment can be given after you're dead. Second, I never said death is the only penalty for sin, just that it is the universal penalty for sin (as the Bible unquestionably, undeniably teaches). There are obviously many penalties for sin. Leviticus is a prime example. It makes perfect sense that the wicked might first be punished justly for the sins they committed and then, since they are unrepentant and unforgiven, the wicked will universally receive the penalty of sin--death.[/quote]

You wrote:
And the process is by fire (Psalm 21:9, Revelation 20:14, Matthew 5:29-30). Being burned alive would be excruciating. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I'm not aware of any annihilationists that say the wicked simply cease to exist in a painless way.


This then comes after death, yet before annihilation. Hmm . . . I think you thought I was saying after second death . . . I meant physical death . . . even so, if the penalty for sin is death only, and this is all that God must do to the wicked, then an excruciating death still argues against your assertion.

If torment of the wicked forever is sadistic, the only required penalty being death, how is torment for a time before that death any less sadistic?

...But again, beyond the three persons and one select group mentioned in Revelation 14:11 and 20:10 it is just speculation on my part. For all I know, the vast majority of the wicked may simply be incinerated without any preceding torment.


What about the "weeping and gnashing of teeth?"

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:25 pm

Hey, I'm a bit confused by your response and quotes, but I'll answer what I can.

This then comes after death, yet before annihilation. Hmm . . . I think you thought I was saying after second death . . . I meant physical death . . . even so, if the penalty for sin is death only, and this is all that God must do to the wicked, then an excruciating death still argues against your assertion.


Well, annihilation is the Second Death (Revelation 20:14), so my assertion still stands. When you die in the body you are still not completely dead until both your soul and spirit are destroyed (Revelation 20:14, Matthew 10:28). Once your soul and spirit are burned up in the lake of fire then you cease to be.

If torment of the wicked forever is sadistic, the only required penalty being death, how is torment for a time before that death any less sadistic?


...Because it is not eternal, unending, everlasting torture. By the very definition of the word "eternal", a temporal conscious torment (regardless of how long) is infinitely less sadistic than an eternal conscious torment.

Suppose Hitler is tormented for what he perceives is a life sentence for every Jew, Catholic, and Soviet killed under the Nazi regime. That would be something like 35,000,000 life sentences. Suppose a life sentence is 100 years. That would be 3,500,000,000 years. Eternity is still infinitely longer than that. So after 3,500,000,000 years Hitler would still have an eternity of torture.

And again, who said the "only required penalty" is death? I never said that. I don't know any annihilationists who have said that either. What we say is that it is the universal penalty of sin (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14), not the only penalty (Leviticus). There may be other penalties on top of it.

What about the "weeping and gnashing of teeth?"


That's typically what happens when you burn someone alive.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Keeping Alert on Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:33 am

Hi messenger,

I was just going through some scriptures and wonder if you could help me to understand how you view these

"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

I note the words "no rest" and wonder would annihilation of these who are in hell constitute rest? I would tend to think so.

The other thought that keep coming up is if eternal does not mean never ending, then what about eternal life? If my memory serves me well, the Greek word for eternal (aion I think) in eternal life and eternal fire or destruction is the same.

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:49 am

This was the Berean Call newsletter yesterday and thought it might add some perspective:

Change Not Annihilation

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?' (John 11:25-26).

One thing that I notice immediately is the mysterious relationship between blood and life. God had instructed Israel about this link. "The life of a creature is in the blood," God said, "and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life" (Leviticus 17:11). This instruction concerning blood and the atonement was at the very heart of Israel's religion and her relationship with God. The blood was considered mysterious and sacred. Israelites were never to ingest blood.

The second thing I note is the relationship between sin and death. As human beings, we do not know all there is to know about death. There are religious groups who claim to believe in the annihilation of the human soul and the end of all existence. (Annihilation means to withdraw something from existence.) In the scriptural account of creation God made something out of nothing. But there is no instance in Scripture where God reverses the process of creation and calls an existing thing back into nothingness. Nor is there the concept of annihilation in nature. It is hard, then, to understand why some people want to introduce annihilation into the kingdom of God.

Matter can be--and regularly is--changed. But matter cannot be annihilated. If I strike a wooden match and let it burn to ashes, I can pinch the remaining ash into a smudge on my fingers, but I have not annihilated the elements that were in that match. They merely changed form. Part of the match went up in smoke. Part of it turned to ash. The part that became gaseous continues to possess invisible form in the atmosphere.

Thought: Death brings change, not annihilation. The resulting change is an eternal one--forever in the presence of God or forever separated from Him, forever living or forever in the state of dying.

-- A.W. Tozer
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:55 am

amessenger4god wrote:
If torment of the wicked forever is sadistic, the only required penalty being death, how is torment for a time before that death any less sadistic?


...Because it is not eternal, unending, everlasting torture. By the very definition of the word "eternal", a temporal conscious torment (regardless of how long) is infinitely less sadistic than an eternal conscious torment.


So then you are calling torment beyond the fact of mere death to be "sadistic", saying that a shorter torment is "less sadistic" than an eternal torment, and this is consistent with your assertion that suffering aside from the actual fact of death is unnecessary to God, and therefore is sadistic. This gives no place in your view for any suffering or torment to be inflicted upon the wicked, without charging God with sadism.

I'm I misunderstanding you?

Suppose Hitler is tormented for what he perceives is a life sentence for every Jew, Catholic, and Soviet killed under the Nazi regime. That would be something like 35,000,000 life sentences. Suppose a life sentence is 100 years. That would be 3,500,000,000 years. Eternity is still infinitely longer than that. So after 3,500,000,000 years Hitler would still have an eternity of torture.


Of course, the fact remains that our sins are against God Himself, and what is the just punishment for that?

And again, who said the "only required penalty" is death? I never said that. I don't know any annihilationists who have said that either. What we say is that it is the universal penalty of sin (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14), not the only penalty (Leviticus). There may be other penalties on top of it.


7.) As for the consequence of sin… it is plainly stated in scripture: the VERY FIRST consequence God ever mentions for sin is DEATH (Genesis 2:17). Likewise Paul says as much: “For the wages of sin is DEATH…” (Romans 6:23). This issue goes straight to the heart of the Gospel, because we know that Jesus is our substitutionary atonement. By definition, to be a substitutionary atonement, Jesus would have to have the consequence of another placed on Himself. If our sin deserves death, than Jesus’ death is a perfect substitutionary atonement. If our sin deserves eternal, conscious torment than Jesus did not pay for what our sin deserves.


Your are saying here that eternal torment goes beyond what is required for payment for sin, and that Jesus' death was sufficient. (Of course, it was. I assert that there are aspects of divine final judgment of the wicked that are not explained to us, what is explained, however, is enough to suffice.)

But what is true in the one case is true in the other case. If Jesus' death was sufficient, that that's what it was. He died, was not annihilated, was not "burned up in the lake of fire", it was His death.

But there remains something more for those who do not partake of this redemption.
What the Bible does mention, however, is that the ultimate punishment for offending an infinite God is death


*7.) The consequence of sin is simply death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23).


And again, who said the "only required penalty" is death? I never said that. I don't know any annihilationists who have said that either. What we say is that it is the universal penalty of sin (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14), not the only penalty (Leviticus). There may be other penalties on top of it.


These other penalties as given in Leviticus, I think we need to understand them in their proper light. Are these penalties that were for the children of Israel, or all the people in the world?

For instance, if a gentile made a foolish vow, was he required to bring the specified redemption to the priests? Were the Israelites beholden to stone to death the non-Israelite who worked on the Sabbath? What was the purpose of the Law? To enact the divine penalty for sin? Or something else?

What about the "weeping and gnashing of teeth?"


That's typically what happens when you burn someone alive.
[/quote]

Are these passages speaking of being burned alive, or something else?

(Matthew 8:12) But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

(Matthew 22:13) Then the king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and[1] cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

(Matthew 24:51) and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

(Matthew 25:30) And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

(Luke 13:28) There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

This may lead us into an entirely new direction . . .

:grin:

Love in Christ,
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby amessenger4god on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:00 am

Hey again everyone.

First in response to Keeping Alert:

I was just going through some scriptures and wonder if you could help me to understand how you view these

"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

I note the words "no rest" and wonder would annihilation of these who are in hell constitute rest? I would tend to think so.


I would point out several things about this verse (and Revelation 20:10 for that matter):

1.) These two verses, the only two in the entire Bible that connect torment with a long period after judgment, say "into ages and ages" not "for ever and ever". There is a critical distinction as I have demonstrated before. Literal translations keep this important distinction, respecting the meaning of the Greek text, while some translations (such as the NIV or American Standard) do not. It is a long period of torment, specifically for satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, and bearers of the mark (the only four mentioned in connection with this torment), but not indicative of eternity. This is backed up by BDAG and all the Koine scholars I cited earlier, plus, quite obviously the literal meaning of the text.

2.) I agree that these wicked characters will not have any rest day or night, but this leaves two possibilities: first, this period of "no rest" is during their torment; or, second, this period of "no rest" is figurative of what they experience right now or during the judgment because of their wickedness and lack of peace (the second of these two points on the meaning of "no rest" is argued by several scholars--it's where I've gotten the idea from).

The other thought that keep coming up is if eternal does not mean never ending, then what about eternal life? If my memory serves me well, the Greek word for eternal (aion I think) in eternal life and eternal fire or destruction is the same.


"Aiwv" means "age", not "eternal". You are thinking of the adjective, which is more indicative of a never-ending process and is used in John 3:16. See my original point #4 for a complete answer. I agree completely that in these verses about "eternal punishment/judgment/fire" the word for "eternal" does, in fact, signify eternity. What is key in these verses is that torment, agony, and consciousness are never connected with it. Hell doctrine proponents argue these verses mean the wicked endure an eternal punishment. Annihilationists, such as myself, believe these verses indicate that the wicked simply have an eternal punishment--that is: their punishment is final and eternal and the fire is unquenchable.

----------

Hey Abiding,

It seems clear to me that the central argument of Tozer's article is fundamentally flawed, and simply unscriptural:

The second thing I note is the relationship between sin and death. As human beings, we do not know all there is to know about death. There are religious groups who claim to believe in the annihilation of the human soul and the end of all existence. (Annihilation means to withdraw something from existence.) In the scriptural account of creation God made something out of nothing. But there is no instance in Scripture where God reverses the process of creation and calls an existing thing back into nothingness. Nor is there the concept of annihilation in nature. It is hard, then, to understand why some people want to introduce annihilation into the kingdom of God.


Notice what I underlined. If Tozer wants to completely ignore the entire Annihilationist argument, the hundreds of verses that say the fate of the wicked is destruction or ceasing to be, and the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, 2 Peter, and Revelation... well... then... he can, but he cannot do it in honesty. The Annihilationist argument is, after all, based on scripture (check out my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKDZObH1Uds) and as has been clearly demonstrated there is no shortage of verses and passages that say the wicked will, in fact, cease to be.

Matter can be--and regularly is--changed. But matter cannot be annihilated.


This is if God plays no part. We do believe in an Almighty God, do we not? Matter can be neither created nor destroyed on its own, but God is completely sovereign. He brought it into existence and He can take it out.

But matter cannot be annihilated.


Tozer needs to read 2 Peter and Revelation 20-21. The present heaven and earth are going to be destroyed, as is death and Hades. In Revelation 21-22 God creates a "New Heaven and a New Earth" after our present universe passes away.

Thought: Death brings change, not annihilation.


Not necessarily. Physical death can bring change, but that is because one still has a soul and spirit. The Second Death of Revelation 20:14 brings complete annihilation--hence the term "Second Death". The soul is destroyed (Matthew 10:28, Ezekiel 18:4, Psalm 92:7).

or forever separated from Him, forever living or forever in the state of dying.


1.) God is omnipresent (Psalm 139, Acts 17:28, Ephesians 4:10), so the only way to literally be separated from Him for eternity is to be annihilated.

2.) If you are forever in a "state of dying" then you are never completely dead, since you are, well, still dying.

----------

Mark:

So then you are calling torment beyond the fact of mere death to be "sadistic"


Nope. I was only making the point that the temporal and eternal are not the same. I do not think it would be sadistic to consciously punish the wicked fairly for the crimes they committed. I do think it would be sadistic to consciously torment them for eternity, since the punishment would not fit the crime.

Of course, the fact remains that our sins are against God Himself, and what is the just punishment for that?


So you revert to Aquinas' argument. An argument found not once in the Bible. Yes, our sins are against God and against others and against ourselves, but we learn in the Bible that the penalty of sin is death, not eternal, conscious torment... and we also learn that God does not increase the punishment if a crime is committed against someone more righteous. God went all-out in vengeance for the sake of a sinful, foreign concubine, even to allowing the destruction of virtually an entire Israelite tribe. Punishment fits the crime, not the value of the victim.

I've already posted this before, but here is a particular snippet from Jeremy Moritz's article that is relevant to this issue (I'll underline key parts):

When people use these arguments, I'm sure their intentions are good. But by employing all of this jargon about the infiniteness of our creator, what they are doing is clouding up simple God-given logic. Sin is sin. A crime is a crime. It doesn't matter how nice and loving the victim is. Most people have no trouble understanding this because they already know it in their hearts to be true. Let's suppose for a moment that a kind, holy, loving man had his wallet stolen. After a day, they found the criminal and allowed the victim to choose his offender's sentence. Imagine if the kind, loving man used the argument "Because I am kind and loving, your sin against me was much worse than stealing from someone else. Therefore, the only punishment fitting for you is to spend 40 years in my torture chamber." Wouldn't that raise some doubts as to the loving nature that this man claims to have? How much more so, if the man could make the sentence 40,000,000,000,000,000 years or more?


Your are saying here that eternal torment goes beyond what is required for payment for sin


Yes, since the Bible never says "eternal torment", and no where else in the entire Bible, besides two verses in Revelation, is torment or conscious wicked connected with a long period after judgment. God's word says the penalty for sin is death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14).

As for your argument that Jesus' wasn't annihilated... well obviously I understand that... but neither did He suffer in "hell" for eternity. He died a complete, physical death and was separated from God so that our bodies and souls would not be destroyed in gehenna (Matthew 10:28, Revelation 20:14). He died at a fixed point in time--similar to how annihilation will be at a fixed point in time, but dissimilar to hell doctrine (and again, I don't even like using the word "hell" since there is no word for it in the Bible--not in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Biblical Greek).

Are these passages speaking of being burned alive...?


Unquestionably yes: "They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Matthew 13:42.

Utter darkness is what happens once you lose your senses. No more sight/complete void/nothingness. Once your body and soul are burned up, eternal darkness is what awaits you.

Peace in Christ to everyone!
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:44 am

amessenger4god wrote:Mark:

So then you are calling torment beyond the fact of mere death to be "sadistic"


Nope. I was only making the point that the temporal and eternal are not the same. I do not think it would be sadistic to consciously punish the wicked fairly for the crimes they committed. I do think it would be sadistic to consciously torment them for eternity, since the punishment would not fit the crime.


But as you have said that the Biblical consequence of sin is death, anything added to death is unnecessary suffering, beyond what Scripture calls for. Your argument is that "eternal suffering" would be punishment that exceeds what is "fit" for the "crime". Yet you continue to argue that the Biblical consequence for sin is death. Therefore, according to your argument, any retributive suffering would exceed "mere" death, and therefore would be sadistic on God's part.

So then, if you are to remain consistent within your argument, you would need to argue that the wicked will die - end of story, no retributive punishment whatsoever.

One difficulty with that is at the final judgment the dead will be "judged according to their works", before being cast into the lake of fire. Jesus speaks of some being beaten with more, and some with fewer stripes. There appears to be personal judgment with personal results, at least, as I read it.

To allow that the "mere" fact of death does not encompass all that Scripture tells us about the fate of the wicked, then we have to allow that Scripture doesn't spell out for us what this personal judgment involves exactly, what the "outer darkness" is.

Of course, the fact remains that our sins are against God Himself, and what is the just punishment for that?


So you revert to Aquinas' argument. An argument found not once in the Bible. Yes, our sins are against God and against others and against ourselves, but we learn in the Bible that the penalty of sin is death, not eternal, conscious torment... and we also learn that God does not increase the punishment if a crime is committed against someone more righteous. God went all-out in vengeance for the sake of a sinful, foreign concubine, even to allowing the destruction of virtually an entire Israelite tribe. Punishment fits the crime, not the value of the victim.


While there may be similarities between my comments and comments made by Aquinas, that's all it is. I'm hoping that you are distinguishing between his argument and mine, so that you are responding to mine, not his.

I am asking the question, what is the just punishment of sins against God? Where does the Bible tell us this?

You say, "someone more righteous", yet, none are more righteous than any other, excepting God, of course.

But there are differences under the Law of Moses depending on other circumstances. As previous noted, if you put out the eye of your slave, your slave goes out free, but you don't have to lose your eye. But if you put out the eye of a free man, you lose your eye.

If you sleep with a single woman, you have to marry her. But if you sleep with a married woman, you are to be put to death.

You mention the account of the concubine, that the destruction of nearly the entire tribe was God's fitting punishment for the rape and murder of a woman, an heinous crime by any measure.

It seems to me that the vengeance was against the depravity of the tribe as displayed in this event. Rape or murder was punishable by death, but that punishment was shared by all those who were unwilling to carry out the sentence, or even condemn the guilty. Who among us does not read that story for the first time, blown away by the escalation from evil to evil!

The initial act was sufficiently worthy of punishment, but that punishment escalated as the depravity of the tribe was revealed in the subsequent events.

"If anyone did not regard the Law of Moses, that one dies without pities on the word of two or three witnesses, how much worse punishment do you think will be thought worthy to receive, the one trampling the Son of God, and having counted common the blood of the covenant in which he was sanctified, and having insulted the Spirit of Grace? For we know Him who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge His people." (Hebrews 10:28-30)

Just some more food for thought . . .

I've already posted this before, but here is a particular snippet from Jeremy Moritz's article that is relevant to this issue (I'll underline key parts):

When people use these arguments, I'm sure their intentions are good. But by employing all of this jargon about the infiniteness of our creator, what they are doing is clouding up simple God-given logic. Sin is sin. A crime is a crime. It doesn't matter how nice and loving the victim is. Most people have no trouble understanding this because they already know it in their hearts to be true. Let's suppose for a moment that a kind, holy, loving man had his wallet stolen. After a day, they found the criminal and allowed the victim to choose his offender's sentence. Imagine if the kind, loving man used the argument "Because I am kind and loving, your sin against me was much worse than stealing from someone else. Therefore, the only punishment fitting for you is to spend 40 years in my torture chamber." Wouldn't that raise some doubts as to the loving nature that this man claims to have? How much more so, if the man could make the sentence 40,000,000,000,000,000 years or more?



If we're to use human arguments, well, we all know that there is a difference in penalty for making death threats against your neighbor, and making death threats against the President.

Steal from the stationary store and see what happens, then steal from the army and see what happens. Not really! But there is a difference!

But that's not the point, and perhaps this is where I'm being confuse with Aquinas. We judge by human standards what we think is just and unjust punishment, but God transcends humanity, and His ways our not ours. Therefore, we are foolish, in my opinion, to make human arguments about the right and wrong of God's ways.

I have no difficulty imagining that God could be perfectly just in condemning sinful humanity to eternal torment. I have no difficulty imagining that God created mankind to exist forever, making man in God's Own image, with the ability to make real choices that have real consequences.
As for your argument that Jesus' wasn't annihilated... well obviously I understand that... but neither did He suffer in "hell" for eternity. He died a complete, physical death and was separated from God so that our bodies and souls would not be destroyed in gehenna (Matthew 10:28, Revelation 20:14). He died at a fixed point in time--similar to how annihilation will be at a fixed point in time, but dissimilar to hell doctrine (and again, I don't even like using the word "hell" since there is no word for it in the Bible--not in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Biblical Greek).


Personally, I don't really use the word "hell", as you say, it's been used inconsistently in translations, and therefore doesn't really have a specific meaning. Better, in my opinion, to use transliterations or literal translations such as sheol and hades, gehenna, the lake of fire, and outer darkness.

He died at a fixed point in time in His body, we die in a fixed point in time in our bodies. If you want to match things up, that would be more accurate matching, in my view.

Yes, you are correct, Jesus was neither annihilated, nor suffered in torment eternally.

And this is crucial, in my opinion, to this discussion. If Jesus suffered the extent of what was due for sin, than we can look at what He suffered, and see what awaits the wicked.

He died in His body, and was separated from the Father. And that was sufficient.

That did not end His existence.

Because He is God, holy, sinless, death could not hold Him, and He resurrected.

But for the sinner, death can and will hold them.

Having physically died, and been separated from God, that will be the same as what Christ suffered for our sakes. But the question remains, then what?

You say, then God annihilates them.

I say, they then have only one option open to them, to go to the only place they can go, the place prepared for the devil and his angels.

Are these passages speaking of being burned alive...?


Unquestionably yes: "They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Matthew 13:42.

Utter darkness is what happens once you lose your senses. No more sight/complete void/nothingness. Once your body and soul are burned up, eternal darkness is what awaits you.
[/quote]

Not "utter darkness", rather, "outer darkness".

That doesn't really fit the passages. These aren't saying, when that happens, they will weep and gnash their teeth, they are saying, in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth:

(Matthew 8:12) But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There - in that place - will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

(Matthew 22:13) Then the king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there - in that place - will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

(Matthew 24:51) and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There - in that place - shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

(Matthew 25:30) And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There - in that place - will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Outer Darkness is not the result of being annihilated, it is a place where people will exist, as they weep, and gnash their teeth.

Love in Christ,
Mark
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:05 am

mark s wrote:Outer Darkness is not the result of being annihilated, it is a place where people will exist, as they weep, and gnash their teeth.


Yeah, but for how long?

The lake of fire, which is the ultimate place where all the wicked are finally sentenced to is a place of eternal punishment. Not eternal punishing.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby DutchLady on Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:26 pm

For many years, theologians such as Aquinas have worked hard to show how sin could deserve the fate of eternal torture. They explain that any sin deserves this penalty, and it's only by God's grace that some are saved from it. As much as they'll defend their position, I doubt they would feel the same way if God gave everyone "what we deserve." If we truly deserve it, then God shouldn't have to provide a way out in order to be a just God.


The quote worries me. God sent His Son out of love, not because He was obliged or because He has to prove what He says He is. Even if He had not sent His Son, He would still be a just and loving God.
It was the sinner that rebelled and rejected God. Using these kinds of arguments to support annihilation is dangerous, because the person says that if there is no annihilation, God must be unloving and unjust. Even if they say that is impossible, what if there is no annihilation?

I have no opinion on annihilation itself, but there's a long text with very human arguments applied to a God. God is not human. It's incomparable...

*edit* besides just that... implying that God would be unloving and not merciful, 'not giving people a chance' if there is no annihilation... in light of Him giving His only Son, the biggest sacrifice He could give, the One He loved most...so that mankind could return to Him if only they believe :shock: painful to read to say the least...
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Sun May 26, 2013 12:51 pm

amessenger4god wrote:Annihilationists, such as myself, believe these verses indicate that the wicked simply have an eternal punishment--that is: their punishment is final and eternal and the fire is unquenchable.


Hi amessenger4god,

I just wanted to thank you for presenting a great topic, having excellent research. As a annihilationist myself, I could never understand why so many believe that the wicked would live forever, or have immortal souls. Even as they are tormented in Hell - at different levels, (as those who know about God and reject His Son will be beaten with many stripes) eventually the sentencing terms of their punishing comes to an end. They will be resurrected at the 2nd Resurrection to receive the eternal punishment at the Great White Throne Judgement.

At the Great White Throne Judgement, death and hell are cast into the Lake of Fire is the final death for all of the wicked - to include Satan and his angels. They will all be destroyed and/or annihilated - this is final. It should be noted that there is a huge difference between eternal punishing and eternal punishment.

In the New Heavens and New Earth there will be no more memory of things like death, hell, Satan, and such...things like this won't even matter. All things will be made New, and we will reign with Him Forever.

Thanks for this most excellent Thread! :grin:
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Ready1 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:28 am

bump
Just observing.

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Jericho on Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:41 am

I haven't had a chance to read through the entire thread, so pardon me if I repeat something that has already been said. Hell appears 31 times in the Old Testament and, without exception, is translated from the Hebrew word Sheol. The same word is translated as "pit" three different times. Sheol is sometimes translated as "the grave" which would infer that hell and the grave are the same, but this is a mistranslation. The proper word for "grave" is "Gibrah", which means grave,burying place, and sepulchre. Hell in the New Testament is the Greek word "Hades". Sheol and Hades are the same thing. Hell is basically a jail the lost souls go to until they are judged and sent to prison in "The Lake of Fire" or "gehenna". There are other compartments as well (Tartarus, The Abyss, The Bottomless pit) but we will not concern ourselves with these at the moment.

The question arises how can a loving God send someone to such a terrible place? Well for starters man was not initially intended to go to hell, this was a place prepared for Satan and his fallen angels (Mat 25:41). God tells us it is not His will that anyone should perish (2Pe 3:9). If it's not His will than whose will is it? Man is afforded every opportunity to accept the free pardon offered when Jesus shed his blood in remission of our sins. God made salvation so simple and easy that one has to literately step over the bloody crucified body of Christ to get to hell. If eternal separation is what men desires then God does not violate their free will and gives them what they want. A place that is eternally separated from God. But in rejecting God they reject everything that is God. God is love, so hell is absent of love, there is only fear and loneliness and misery. God is light, so hell is in darkness. God is mercy, in hell there is no mercy. You see hell is not terrible because God made it terrible, it's terrible because God is not there.

And what of the Lake of Fire? I like Dr. Hugh Ross explanation that demonstrates God compassion even in hell:

These words may sound strange, but in light of God's character and the character of those sentenced to hell, those who inhabit the lake of fire occupy the best possible realm for them. God expresses His love and compassion for hell's inhabitants by afflicting them with sufficient torment to prevent the place from being as bad as its inhabitants have the capacity to make it.
We can only begin to imagine what evil could be expressed by those from whom the restraining influence of God the Spirit has departed. The unleashing of individuals' full potential for cruelty and all manner of evil could make hell vastly more horrible than God designed it to be. The worst thing about hell might be the company its inhabitants must keep. But God will keep in check the horrors these individuals could inflict on one another by immobilizing them, distracting them sufficiently with some kind of pain or discomfort.
The measure of pain and discomfort necessary to restrain each individual in hell will be different. Revelation speaks of differing levels or degrees of torment for those who are sent to hell, torment that is commensurate with each individual's earthly expressions of sin and rebellion. The measure of wickedness a person practiced on earth is the measure of that individual's potential to make life more miserable than it already must be for others in hell. One interpretation suggests that God calibrates each person's torment to exactly the level necessary for restraint of his or her potential for evil.


He goes on to use this story as an illustration:

A good friend of mine once stumbled into a real-life lesson on the consistency of Gods love and His restraint of evildoers in hell. Through the simple error of misreading a map, he was arrested for selling film on the wrong side of the street in the vicinity of Pasadena's Rose Bowl.
Under normal circumstances he would have been driven to the courthouse, cautioned by a judge, and released. But because so many revelers had been arrested the night before, the court system was jammed. All the Pasadena's jail cells were full, as were those in the neighboring communities. My friend, who had never even been sent to the principals office during his school years, was sent to Los Angeles County Jail not just for a few hours but for a whole day and night.
He was placed in a cell with eight other men. While the Los Angeles police do their best to separate violent felons from the rest of the inmate population, their efforts are limited. My friend glanced around to meet eight pairs of eyes staring at this obvious first-timer, each more fearsome than any he had encountered in his life. Including his travels to foreign lands. Eight men watched, waiting for him to fall asleep. He spent that day and night awake and praying, his back glued to the cell wall.
No physical harm came to him during those agonizing hours, but he does remember wishing that an officer would come to handcuff and leg cuff the others so that he could get a moment's rest. Those cuffs would have brought some torment, of course, but certainly no more than the torment my friend endured. From his perspective, the loving thing the police could have done was to restrain his cell mates with cuffs.


You see the flames of the lake of fire can be seen as an act of mercy, the horrors they could inflict on one another would be far worse. I believe, however, that the degree of punishment will be appropriate to the individual. Just as Christians receive varying degree's of reward based on their works in this life (2Co 5:10, 1Co 3:14,15), like wise the sinners will see their degree of punishment. A person like Hitler, for example, would receive a more severe punishment than the average Joe who never accepted Christ.

I believe scripture makes it clear that the souls continue to exist for all eternity. Before being cast into the Lake of Fire the lost souls receive their resurrected bodies (Rev 20:13). Why would they need resurrected bodies if they were going to be totally destroyed anyways? The only reason they would need resurrected bodies would be to withstand the Lake of Fire without perishing. I think oftentimes we let emotionalism cloud the realities of hell. We look at it from a human perspective, and not God's perspective. Yes God is love, but He's also a judge.
Last edited by Jericho on Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:35 pm

Hi Jericho,

I've thought this for some time, from Peter's verse, "whomever has suffered has ceased from sin". God can eliminate sin from all people by inducing sufficient suffering.

He created us to live forever, with real consequences for our choices.

love in Christ,
Mark
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:20 pm

Jericho wrote:I believe scripture makes it clear that the souls continue to exist for all eternity. Before being cast into the Lake of Fire the lost souls receive their resurrected bodies (Rev 20:13). Why would they need resurrected bodies if they were going to be totally destroyed anyways? The only reason they would need resurrected bodies would be to withstand the Lake of Fire without perishing


Hi Jericho,

Thank you for re-visiting this wonderful thread that has been originally posted by amessenger4god. This topic is one that I am very passionate about. If you had read some of what has been previously mentioned, you would see that there is very sufficient evidence to support the position of Annihilation. In your aforementioned statement, you have mentioned that "lost souls receive their resurrected bodies" prior to being cast into the Lake of Fire - then you provide Revelation 20:13 as your source of information. Well, I beg to differ. You will find absolutely NO Scriptural Evidence that will support that lost souls receive "resurrected bodies". No disrespect to you, but this is yet another example of how some "read into Scripture", and/or misinterpret what is written.

Here is what Revelation 20:13 states in the NKJV:

"The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works."

To say that the "lost souls" or wicked dead receive "resurrected bodies" is an assumption that many make - and they do so without any Scriptural support whatsoever. To suggest that these same wicked dead have bodies would have to mean that they would be alive in these same bodies when they are cast into the Lake of Fire. Scripture only provides two that are thrown "alive" into the Lake of Fire - (Beast; False Prophet); and this may be symbolic, and not necessarily represent or mean two individual persons (Revelation 19:20). Although Satan is mentioned as being cast into the Lake of Fire - Scripture never mentions that he is "alive" at the time he is ultimately cast there (Revelation 20:10). However, please let me remind you that Satan himself has no physical body. Let me also remind you that Scripture mentions only a 1st Resurrection not a 2nd Resurrection - which most confuse with what is mentioned as the 2nd Death.

Mark S wrote:

He created us to live forever, with real consequences for our choices.


Only those who are granted eternal life will live forever. The wicked soul that sins will DIE. You will find absolutely no Scriptural Support that the Soul is in itself eternal and "lives forever". Only God is Eternal - and those to whom He ultimately grants the gift of Eternal Life.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby mark s on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:57 pm

Hi Mr Baldy,

i agree with you that the dead in Revelation 20 are not given resurrection bodies before being cast into the lake of fire. I don't see that in Scripture.

But I do see a great deal of Scriptural evidence that they are in eternal torment. The dead stand before the throne and are judged. You've stated that the soul that sins shall die. Scripture declares that being cast into the lake of fire is the second death. The first death - being separated from their body, did not cause them to cease to exist. What is the evidence that the lake of fire - the second death - causes them to cease to exist?

Scripture declares that they will be in in torment into the ages of the ages - those blocks of time that encompass blocks of time - the same language that is used in saying that we will live forever. Not that they cease to exist, but that they will be in torment. This torment is the same word used by John in saying that "fear has torment". Being afraid does not cause you to cease to exist. But it does cause you distress.

Scripture never defines death as the cessation of existence. The first death most certainly is not. And if the second death is, then certain passages cannot be read as they are written, and still make sense.

No time for greater detail, I'm expecting its already been given in the preceding thread.

Love in Christ,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:43 pm

What is the evidence that the lake of fire - the second death - causes them to cease to exist?


Scripture never defines death as the cessation of existence.


Hi Mark,

I just happened to look at your post right before I was about to go to bed. I will answer your question, and provide a comment and/or question(s) concerning your comment about Scripture "never defining death as the cessation of existence" - as I believe that you bring up a very interesting topic for debate.

Peace to you.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Jericho on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:28 pm

MrBadly wrote:Hi Jericho,

Thank you for re-visiting this wonderful thread that has been originally posted by amessenger4god. This topic is one that I am very passionate about. If you had read some of what has been previously mentioned, you would see that there is very sufficient evidence to support the position of Annihilation. In your aforementioned statement, you have mentioned that "lost souls receive their resurrected bodies" prior to being cast into the Lake of Fire - then you provide Revelation 20:13 as your source of information. Well, I beg to differ. You will find absolutely NO Scriptural Evidence that will support that lost souls receive "resurrected bodies". No disrespect to you, but this is yet another example of how some "read into Scripture", and/or misinterpret what is written.


Hello MrBadly, no offense taken. I should have also mentioned the following verses:

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." (John 5:28-29)

“I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. (Acts 24:15)

So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).


I believe a resurrection of the lost can be supported. Either way I stand by my original argument.

MrBadly wrote: Although Satan is mentioned as being cast into the Lake of Fire - Scripture never mentions that he is "alive" at the time he is ultimately cast there (Revelation 20:10).


You believe that when Satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire he will be destroyed or annihilated. Correct? Yet Isaiah says of Satan's demise:

"Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. “Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,Who shook kingdoms," (Isa 14:15-16)"


How can they gaze upon him if he is destroyed? Either the Lake of Fire is his punishment or annihilation is his punishment. Either he is instantly vaporized or he isn't. I don't believe you can have it both ways.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Ready1 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:18 pm

For those who believe in annihilation, I have a foolish question...albeit a serious one.

How long does it take for a person who is thrown into the Lake of Fire to cease to exist?

Immediately?
10 Days?
1 Year?
100 Years?
500 Years?
Just observing.

E.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:35 pm

Jericho wrote: I should have also mentioned the following verses:“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." (John 5:28-29)“I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. (Acts 24:15)“So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).I believe a resurrection of the lost can be supported. Either way I stand by my original argument.


Hi Jericho,

A resurrection of the lost was not the issue. What you previously mentioned was this:

I believe scripture makes it clear that the souls continue to exist for all eternity. Before being cast into the Lake of Fire the lost souls receive their resurrected bodies (Rev 20:13). Why would they need resurrected bodies if they were going to be totally destroyed anyways? The only reason they would need resurrected bodies would be to withstand the Lake of Fire without perishing.


The aforementioned is what you presented as your argument, and I wholeheartedly disagree with it - as I have mentioned that you cannot provide one iota of Scripture that would support the theory that the lost souls receive "resurrected bodies". We are in agreement that they will be resurrected, but there is no Scriptural evidence that just because they are resurrected that they have been given a body as well - this is a man-made Theory.

To give you an example: Satan himself is thrown into the Lake of Fire - and yet he has no physical body. So to theorize that the lost are given bodies at the time of their resurrection just cannot be supported with Scripture. And wicked souls do not continue to "exist for all eternity" - as you have mentioned, and I will answer later as Mark has mentioned this same belief theory.

You also wrote:

You believe that when Satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire he will be destroyed or annihilated. Correct? Yet Isaiah says of Satan's demise:

"Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. “Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms," (Isa 14:15-16)"

How can they gaze upon him if he is destroyed? Either the Lake of Fire is his punishment or annihilation is his punishment. Either he is instantly vaporized or he isn't. I don't believe you can have it both ways.


Jericho, I don't believe that the verses of Isaiah 14:15-16 are referring to Satan, but to the King of Tyre - as Satan is not a man. The King of Tyre, who like the coming Antichrist (will do) - was working behind the power of Satan, and this is metaphoric language to describe his demise. This would make your theory invalid.

Nevertheless, I will respond to your question as it relates to what Mark and Ready1 has asked, and/or commented on concerning the duration of the Lake of Fire and it's relationship to punishment as I attempt to tie this all in. Please keep in mind that it will be based on my very humble interpretation of Scripture.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Jericho on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:39 pm

MrBaldy wrote:The aforementioned is what you presented as your argument, and I wholeheartedly disagree with it - as I have mentioned that you cannot provide one iota of Scripture that would support the theory that the lost souls receive "resurrected bodies". We are in agreement that they will be resurrected, but there is no Scriptural evidence that just because they are resurrected that they have been given a body as well - this is a man-made Theory.


Hi MrBaldy. I am a bit confused here, how can the lost be resurrected and not receive a body? What does there resurrection consist of then? And why would they need resurrecting at all if they are just going to be destroyed anyways?

To give you an example: Satan himself is thrown into the Lake of Fire - and yet he has no physical body. So to theorize that the lost are given bodies at the time of their resurrection just cannot be supported with Scripture. And wicked souls do not continue to "exist for all eternity" - as you have mentioned, and I will answer later as Mark has mentioned this same belief theory.


Good point about Satan, however it appears that only us humans receive a resurrected body as none of the angels (fallen or otherwise) are mentioned as receiving a physical body. It stands to reason that only someone who has previously had a physical body can receive a resurrected body.

Jericho, I don't believe that the verses of Isaiah 14:15-16 are referring to Satan, but to the King of Tyre - as Satan is not a man. The King of Tyre, who like the coming Antichrist (will do) - was working behind the power of Satan, and this is metaphoric language to describe his demise. This would make your theory invalid.


It's my understanding that historically Tyre never had a king. The language of Isaiah 15 and Ezekiel 28 could only suggest Satan, who I believe was the power behind the power in Tyre. I do notice that at least one translation translates "man" as "one", "Can this be the one who shook the earth".
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:25 pm

Hi Mark,

First you wrote:


Scripture never defines death as the cessation of existence.


Mark, if death is not the cessation of existence - then what is it? To say that one who is dead is alive somewhere is oxymoronic.

Then you wrote:

I do see a great deal of Scriptural evidence that they are in eternal torment. The dead stand before the throne and are judged. You've stated that the soul that sins shall die. Scripture declares that being cast into the lake of fire is the second death. The first death - being separated from their body, did not cause them to cease to exist. What is the evidence that the lake of fire - the second death - causes them to cease to exist?


Mark you have made some excellent comments - some of which I have questioned myself. But I believe the answer to your question is summed up with what Scripture teaches - that the wicked will receive Everlasting Destruction.

Here are some verses concerning Everlasting Destruction:

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
"when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed."

Matthew 10:28
"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Matthew 7:13
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."

2 Peter 3:7
"But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

Hebrews 10:39
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul."

Malachi 4:1
"For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the Lord of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.”

In the aforementioned passages of Scripture - as you can clearly see speaks of total destruction. Everlasting Destruction is very much in contrast to what many have been teaching which is eternal conscious torment. I see no evidence of an eternal state of the wicked which would place them in an eternal conscious state. This would certainly mean that they would be alive.

Not to mention, Revelation 21:3-5 gives very clear evidence that ALL THINGS ARE MADE NEW - the former things have passed away:
"3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5) And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Mark, I don't believe it get's any clearer than that. For one who has made it into the Eternal Sate, and is with Him living in glory - to think that 10 trillion eons have passed by since God destroyed the former heaven and earth, and the wicked are still being tormented in a Lake of Fire somewhere in a far off distance galaxy goes beyond what Scripture has mentioned, and way beyond any reasonable comprehension. There is no point, purpose, rhyme or reason why God would find Glory, Honor, or even pleasure in having that type of torment on those who won't even matter anymore to continue for an eternity. Each wicked person will be given their due punishment, which will ultimately end as an Eternal Punishment - and not Eternal Punishing.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:10 pm

Jericho wrote:I am a bit confused here, how can the lost be resurrected and not receive a body? What does there resurrection consist of then? And why would they need resurrecting at all if they are just going to be destroyed anyways?


Hi again Jericho,

The questions that you pose are the very reason why it is so important for one not to "read into" Scripture. To resurrect simply means to bring to life. This normally refers to someone that is DEAD - and it doesn't necessarily mean that a body is needed. Let's not confuse this with those of us who will be ALIVE at the Appearing of Christ - in which we will be changed. To give you and example: Moses and Elijah were seen in the transfiguration. Samuel was summoned from the grave by a spiritual medium. These had already died, yet were seen and/or heard - and they had no physical bodies. Again, Satan has no physical body yet he is cast into the Lake of Fire. So a body is not needed to have someone be made alive, or to receive punishment in the Lake of Fire.

Scripture mentions a 1st Resurrection - in which the Righteous will receive a Glorified Body. This is in contrast to the wicked who awake to a resurrection of judgment, and/or condemnation, and a physical body is never mentioned - they are further referenced to the 2nd Death, which is the Lake of Fire, to receive their Final Judgment which is the reason why they are resurrected. They will be burned up and subsequently become ashes under the feet of the righteous. (Malachi 4:3)
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Ready1 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:36 pm

Hi Mr. Baldy,

I'm still waiting for my answer.

Or is this it...
They will be burned up and subsequently become ashes under the feet of the righteous. (Malachi 4:3)

Does that mean that you believe that they will become ashes as soon as they are thrown into the Lake of Fire?
Just observing.

E.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:55 am

Ready1 wrote:Does that mean that you believe that they will become ashes as soon as they are thrown into the Lake of Fire?


Yes - although Scripture does not provide a time in which the wicked are ultimately consumed in the Lake of Fire - I believe that it is immediate, and it's final. To support what I am mentioning, Scripture never teaches that the soul is immortal - as some believe. This sort of thinking absolutely cannot be supported by Scripture. Those who are standing at the GWTJ are the wicked dead who have been resurrected from Hell/Hades - which is quite different from the Lake of Fire. There is a reason why the wicked are resurrected from Hell/Hades - and that is to receive Eternal Punishment or the final Death in which the Bible speaks of over and over again; or else why resurrect them?

Many don't understand the difference between Hell/Hades and the Lake of Fire - however, we know from Scripture that Death & Hell/Hades are ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire. The consequences of being cast into the Lake of Fire is ETERNAL - there is no coming back from it, therefore the Final Death in which the wicked receive is Eternal Punishment.

"ETERNAL LIFE" is only granted to the righteous - not to the wicked. The punishment for the wicked is "DEATH".
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby shorttribber on Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:35 am

Just a thought, and this is how it seems most fitting and understandable to me at least.

Fire will burn a body until it is consumed, but what remains Eternal (Proof must be stronger than saying "scripture does Not Teach") IS the Soul. How a Soul/Spirit Senses or feels pain, I don’t know, don’t think we can know really.

But an Eternal Hell Will burn Eternally, it is more the Souls Separation from Life and the Giver of Life that will BURN in a Persons Eternal Conscience…and they may well feel Hell Fire in some very uncomfortable way….but not in the manor as a Physical Body would Experience incredible and unimaginable pain Eternally.

That’s what seems reasonable to me…and would be in agreement and not contrary to any scripture i’m aware of.

Like I said….just a thought
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby shorttribber on Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:51 am

Mr Baldy,
Do you think
“Their Worm” means, a Worm that belongs to them Physically? No, of course not, but it is One They Own, Belongs to, Have Inherited through Unbelief and Rebellion against Truth.

It is not........ A .........Worm that Eats at the Flesh,........... THEIR.........WORM, Eats at the Conscience And Seat of Their Eternal Soul.

Will a Maggot/Worm That "Belongs To" and "They OWN","THEIR WORM", Literally and Physically Live Forever/Live Eternally in the Fires of Eternal Hell? Do I "Read Into" the text to Believe that The Worm is Not a Literal Maggot?

We have scripture that provides Clear Evidence, without“Reading Into” the text.

The question is........Do You have Scripture to Provide Clear Evidence that the Soul Is Not Eternal without “Reading Into” the text.
Last edited by shorttribber on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:05 am

shorttribber wrote:Do you think“Their Worm” means, a Worm that belongs to them Physically?


Shorty, I am assuming that you are talking about the "worm" that is mentioned in hell where the wicked dead are until they are resurrected at the GWTJ - if so, this is completely different than the Lake of Fire - where no "worm" is mentioned whatsoever. Again, if you are...your mentioning this "worm" as it relates to annihilation is a mute point.

shorttribber wrote:The question is........Do You have Scripture to Provide Clear Evidence that the Soul Is Not Eternal without “Reading Into” the text.


I have provided Scripture concerning the very FACT that the soul is not eternal - read what has been written. Now let me add that you and others, on this same topic have never provided Scriptural Evidence that the soul is Eternal - nor will you ever find it, because it's just not there.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby shorttribber on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:09 am

shorttribber wrote:Mr Baldy,
Do you think
“Their Worm” means, a Worm that belongs to them Physically? No, of course not, but it is One They Own, Belongs to, Have Inherited through Unbelief and Rebellion against Truth.

It is not........ A .........Worm that Eats at the Flesh,........... THEIR.........WORM, Eats at the Conscience And Seat of Their Eternal Soul.

Will a Maggot/Worm That "Belongs To" and "They OWN","THEIR WORM", Literally and Physically Live Forever/Live Eternally in the Fires of Eternal Hell? Do I "Read Into" the text to Believe that The Worm is Not a Literal Maggot?

We have scripture that provides Clear Evidence, without“Reading Into” the text.

The question is........Do You have Scripture to Provide Clear Evidence that the Soul Is Not Eternal without “Reading Into” the text.
The Wisest men have changed their Counsels and Resolves upon second thoughts, much more upon experience, and approaching evils not at first discovered. Rev. Herbert Croft, 1675

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby shorttribber on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:14 am

Mr Baldy wrote:Shorty, I am assuming that you are talking about the "worm" that is mentioned in hell where the wicked dead are until they are resurrected at the GWTJ - if so, this is completely different than the Lake of Fire - where no "worm" is mentioned whatsoever. Again, if you are...your mentioning this "worm" as it relates to annihilation is a mute point.


I'm referring to the One ..............Christ Referred To as...........Everlasting.........The word NEVER Quenched is Everlasting.

You see that differently, and this offers No Proof?
The Wisest men have changed their Counsels and Resolves upon second thoughts, much more upon experience, and approaching evils not at first discovered. Rev. Herbert Croft, 1675

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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:18 am

shorttribber wrote: referring to the One ..............Christ Referred To as...........Everlasting.........The word NEVER Quenched is Everlasting.


Provide your Scripture reference.....
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby shorttribber on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:24 am

Mr Baldy wrote:
shorttribber wrote: referring to the One ..............Christ Referred To as...........Everlasting.........The word NEVER Quenched is Everlasting.


Provide your Scripture reference.....



Mark 9
41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Mr Baldy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:50 am

Shorty you presented Mark 9 - Just as I thought.......

You have provided exactly what I thought that you were referring to - and that is HELL. Have you not read where Death & Hell are cast into the Lake of Fire? You keep trying to associate these two very different places into one entity.

Scripture plainly teaches that "unquenchable fire" has an end. In Jeremiah 17:27 we read that judgment came upon Israel so that the gates and palaces of Jerusalem burned and that the fire would "not be quenched". In Ezekiel 20:47-48 it is mentioned that every green tree and dry tree would burn and that the fire will "not be quenched" - so again....you don't have a case.

When Scripture talks about fire that will not be quenched or an "unquenchable fire" - what it means is that the process of destruction is unstoppable and/or irreversible. Let me also add that when Scripture talks about eternal judgment, or eternal punishment, or eternal damnation, or eternal destruction, it is in reference to the result and not the process. I've said it before........ It is not the punishing that is eternal but rather the punishment - there is a difference. It is not the destroying that is eternal but rather the destruction.

Finally....... it is not the dying that is eternal but rather the death that is given at the GWTJ - and the subsequent reason for a resurrection of the wicked.
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Re: Annihilationism or Hell?

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:54 am

According to Robertson's Commentary:

The oldest and best manuscripts do not give these two verses. They came in from the Western and Syrian (Byzantine) classes. They are a mere repetition of Mar_9:48. Hence we lose the numbering Mar_9:44 and Mar_9:46 in our verses which are not genuine.


Evidently a reference to Isa. 66:24

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