Annihilationism or Eternal Torment

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Cypress, Feb 15, 2011.

?

Annihilation or Torment

  1. Lost are annihilated after judgement

    3 vote(s)
    10.3%
  2. Lost are tormented without end after judgement

    26 vote(s)
    89.7%
  1. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have not seen any threads on this and wondered if anybody has given these positions much discussion or consideration. Some discussion might help us see why we believe what we do, especially relative to the poll on God's love for those in Hell.

    The question can be posed like this one excerpted from a book by Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University.........

    The fundamental question is: Do impenitent sinners suffer conscious punishment in body and soul for all eternity, or are they annihilated by God in the second death after suffering a temporary punishment? To put it differently: Does hellfire torment the lost eternally or consume them permanently?

    .
     
  2. idonthavetimeforthis

    idonthavetimeforthis
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. Old Union Brother

    Old Union Brother
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I think the scriptures are pretty clear these are the words of Christ:
    Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    Mar 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.


    I believe that sounds like eternal punishment.
     
  4. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    Does it help anything to list the guys name + his terminal degree + the school from which he receieved it?

    Just askin' :rolleyes:
     
  5. freeatlast

    freeatlast
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    10,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    One reason that the price to save men was so high was because the price men has to pay for their rebellion is so costly. yes torment is eternal.
     
  6. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    If one is being honest, the weight of this teaching is enormous. How God is the most glorified by making people to suffer for all eternity is beyond me. Its a pill that goes down a bit easier if you believe men were born with a real ability to willingly accept God's appeal to be reconciled. In that case at least you can say they were provided a way out and freely refused it (contra-causally free that is).

    Still, the difficulty remains for Arminians as well. I believe scripture teaches eternal punishment, but whether its eternal in its effect (annihilation) or in its longevity can be debated I suppose. It's terrible either way. Annihilation is easier to swallow for sure, but I don't see any real support for such a view, just speculation.

    I suspect both heaven and hell will be much different than any of us have supposed it to be. I have a feeling we will all be very much overwhelmed by the Grace and Love of our God. In my experience walking with God thus far I've learned one thing, never underestimate His love. It never ceases to amaze me.
     
  7. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    0
    HELL
    by R.C. Sproul
    We have often heard statements such as “War is hell” or “I went through hell.” These expressions are, of course, not taken literally. Rather, they reflect our tendency to use the word hell as a descriptive term for the most ghastly human experience possible. Yet no human experience in this world is actually comparable to hell. If we try to imagine the worst of all possible suffering in the here and now we have not yet stretched our imaginations to reach the dreadful reality of hell.

    Hell is trivialized when it is used as a common curse word. To use the word lightly may be a halfhearted human attempt to take the concept lightly or to treat it in an amusing way. We tend to joke about things most frightening to us in a futile effort to declaw and defang them, reducing their threatening power.

    There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ Himself.

    Almost all the biblical teaching about hell comes from the lips of Jesus. It is this doctrine, perhaps more than any other, that strains even the Christian’s loyalty to the teaching of Christ. Modern Christians have pushed the limits of minimizing hell in an effort to sidestep or soften Jesus’ own teaching. The Bible describes hell as a place of outer darkness, a lake of fire, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of eternal separation from the blessings of God, a prison, a place of torment where the worm doesn’t turn or die. These graphic images of eternal punishment provoke the question, should we take these descriptions literally or are they merely symbols?

    I suspect they are symbols, but I find no relief in that. We must not think of them as being merely symbols. It is probable that the sinner in hell would prefer a literal lake of fire as his eternal abode to the reality of hell represented in the lake of fire image. If these images are indeed symbols, then we must conclude that the reality is worse than the symbol suggests. The function of symbols is to point beyond themselves to a higher or more intense state of actuality than the symbol itself can contain. That Jesus used the most awful symbols imaginable to describe hell is no comfort to those who see them simply as symbols.

    A breath of relief is usually heard when someone declares, “Hell is a symbol for separation from God.” To be separated from God for eternity is no great threat to the impenitent person. The ungodly want nothing more than to be separated from God. Their problem in hell will not be separation from God, it will be the presence of God that will torment them. In hell, God will be present in the fullness of His divine wrath. He will be there to exercise His just punishment of the damned. They will know Him as an all-consuming fire.

    No matter how we analyze the concept of hell it often sounds to us as a place of cruel and unusual punishment. If, however, we can take any comfort in the concept of hell, we can take it in the full assurance that there will be no cruelty there. It is impossible for God to be cruel. Cruelty involves inflicting a punishment that is more severe or harsh than the crime. Cruelty in this sense is unjust. God is incapable of inflicting an unjust punishment. The Judge of all the earth will surely do what is right. No innocent person will ever suffer at His hand.

    Perhaps the most frightening aspect of hell is its eternality. People can endure the greatest agony if they know it will ultimately stop. In hell there is no such hope. The Bible clearly teaches that the punishment is eternal. The same word is used for both eternal life and eternal death. Punishment implies pain. Mere annihilation, which some have lobbied for, involves no pain. Jonathan Edwards, in preaching on Revelation 6:15-16 said, “Wicked men will hereafter earnestly wish to be turned to nothing and forever cease to be that they may escape the wrath of God.” (John H. Gerstner, Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell [Orlando: Ligonier Ministries, 1991], 75.)

    Hell, then, is an eternity before the righteous, ever-burning wrath of God, a suffering torment from which there is no escape and no relief. Understanding this is crucial to our drive to appreciate the work of Christ and to preach His gospel.

    Summary

    The suffering of hell is beyond any experience of misery found in this world.
    Hell is clearly included in the teaching of Jesus.
    If the biblical descriptions of hell are symbols, then the reality will be worse than the symbols.
    Hell is the presence of God in His wrath and judgment.
    There is no cruelty in hell. Hell will be a place of perfect justice.
    Hell is eternal. There is no escape through either repentance or annihilation.
    Biblical passages for reflection: Matthew 8:11-12, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 16:19-31, Jude 1:3-13, Revelation 20:11-15.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Link: http://www.bible-researcher.com/hell6.html
     
  8. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the fact there are degrees of punishment in hell might refute annihilationism. Of course some may view it just the opposite.
     
  9. freeatlast

    freeatlast
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    10,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    The reason you have a problem understanding eternal suffering is because you miss-understand the sinfulness of man. God is not causing anything as you put it. He is striving to keep men out of hell. it is not his will that any perish but that all come to repentance. Hell was not created for man, but it did have to be broadened for them. Man decides his own eternity, not God. It is no different then in real life. We are warned about the possible harms of smoking, but there are multitudes of new smokers each year. They cause their own suffering. Those who seek to warn them of what is the consequences of their actions are not causing them to suffer. God is no different. He offers, and we either accept or reject. We are the cause of our outcome. It is not on His shoulders, but our own.
     
  10. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you sure this response was meant for me? You do know that I agree that God doesn't desire for any to perish, right? Maybe you misread my words or intent?
     
  11. freeatlast

    freeatlast
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    10,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was mostly responding to this statement. "How God is the most glorified by making people to suffer for all eternity is beyond me"
     
  12. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, he is making unbelievers who reject his appeal to be reconciled to suffer for all eternity, is he not? That is the punishment he decided upon, isn't it? I agree that it is because of their rejection of God, not His rejection of them (as Calvinism ultimately teaches in their doctrine of unconditional election), but still it is God who decides what their punishment would be and that is what I'm pondering in this sentence.
     
  13. freeatlast

    freeatlast
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    10,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand your stance using Calvinism. I have only based my beliefs on scripture, and never Calvinism, the reason you never see me in calvinism debates, and have no conflict in how God can send men to hell for all eternity to suffer. I do not see it as excess or anything. I just accept that it is true based on scripture.
     
  14. jacksonnickd

    jacksonnickd
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are absolutely right when you say sounds like eternal punishment, but that does not necessarily equate to eternal torment, which I think is what you mean. These verses however do not prove that the punishment is eternal torment.

    Matt 25:41 Does not say the torment is eternal, but the fire is. If you light a fire and put a stick in it, not matter how long the fire burns it does not mean that one stick must burn that whole duration. The eternal fire represents the finality of judgement.

    Matt 25:46 is actually a great example of annihilation. Here Jesus says some go to "everlasting punishment", but he does not specify what that punishment is. We would be making huge assumptions to say just from that phrase we know there is eternal torment, or annihilation for that matter. Both would be assumptions. Luckily Jesus goes on to say others will go to "life eternal". How could the punished have life eternal?

    Most Christians make the error of assuming that the soul is immortal. This however is not a Biblical concept. It is actually an idea borrowed from the Greeks. They believed in a dualism of body and soul. Body is bad and mortal, soul is good and immortal. However the Scriptures nowhere say that we have an immortal soul, so when Jesus says, "Whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life" he actually means it. If you believe in him then he will grant you everlasting life, if you don't, you will die, since the wages of sin is death.

    Matt 9:44 is another time where we have to ask what is said to last here. It is very clear that this "worm" will not die and the fire will not be quenched. Notice that these are what cause destruction, not what is being destroyed. If I said, "I will attack your house with an eternal bulldozer," that does not make your house eternal.

    Another instance to consider is when our Master said to not fear the one who can destroy the body, but fear the one who can destroy both and soul in hell.
     
  15. mandym

    mandym
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    4,991
    Likes Received:
    0
    What kind of Christian would believe in annihilism?
     
  16. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am the same way. I call myself "Calvinist" because that 5 point soteriological forumla is a great representation of what I believe the bible teaches. I was a biblicist long before I knew I was a calvinist.
     
  17. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    0
  18. Alcott

    Alcott
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    7,455
    Likes Received:
    93
    While I don't believe such a thing as annihilation, I have considered how it's an easy response to a cultist, as virtually all cults say there is no eternal torment in a lake of fire. For example, if you are talking with a JW at your door and ask him what will happen to you if you do not join his 'organization' [not "church," just to keep communcations clear]. He will tell you about annihilation, though I'm not sure if that's the word he would use. But I would respond, "Either live under all those rigid rules from a board in Brooklyn that cannot be questioned, spending a significant part of my life trying to sell this idea to others, hoping I'm one of the small number of "elect" to live in paradise-- or else going out of existence never knowing the difference? I clear-and-away opt for the latter!"
     
  19. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eternal bulldozer?

    Did God really make one of those? ROFL.

    The torment of the unrighteous will indeed be eternal just as the Word of God proclaims.

    And Jesus did not says not to fear the one that can destroy the body, but fear the one that can destroy both body in hell.

    What He said was this...

    Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    The Greek word for destroy has several meanings. One of those meanings is 'ruin.'

    Since the Word of God says the wicked will be tormented forever, I have no doubt that destroy in Matthew 10:28 means ruin and not annihilation.
     
  20. mandym

    mandym
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    4,991
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page

Loading...