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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Yeshua1, Apr 26, 2012.
As being the destiny for all lost peoples?
Nope. We all have an eternal state. It is either life or judgment (John 5:29). Those who reject Christ do not get the easy way out by having an end to their being.
There's not such thing as "biblical" annihilation.
Mark 9:48 "where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched"
You know some people are going to say that just means the fire won't go out, iy does not mean people will endure it forever.
I don't buy that argument. I have just heard it enough to know its more popular than we think.
I wonder what they think the "worm does not die" part means.
"Annihilation" as you speak of it, I would call tatamount to heresy. I do not use that word lightly, that is a non-negotiable doctrine.
John Stott held to this.
The verse you quote says nothing of an eternal state for all. Those who have done good will be resurrected to eternal life, those who have done evil will be resurrected to face judgment. Those who believe in annihilationism believe that after they face judgment, those who have done evil will be cast into the Lake of Fire and consumed in the Second Death (Revelation 20:14).
Search the New Testament carefully and you'll find that there's actually not that much information regarding the eternal state of the "saved" or the "lost." And what information there is, most seems to posit the two states as eternal life or destruction. Even John 3:16, one of the most well-known verses in scripture contrast eternal life with perishing.
Having paid close attention to this issue for years, I have known some annihilationists - including E. Earle Ellis, research professor of theology emeritus at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth until his death about two years ago - and have been challenged to think through this issue carefully and biblically.
Annihilation is a horrible end to someone created in God's image, but it does solve the concern of how Jesus can make all things new (Revelation 21:5) if the old sinful people are being tormented in Hell forever.
It is a quote from Isaiah 66 where God is talking about the way things will be at the end of the age when there is a new heavens and new earth:
“For just as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I make will endure before Me,” declares the LORD,
“So your offspring and your name will endure.
“And it shall be from new moon to new moon
And from sabbath to sabbath,
All mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the LORD.
“Then they will go forth and look
On the corpses of the men
Who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm will not die
And their fire will not be quenched;
And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”
In the context of the passage that Jesus is quoting, the worms (probably maggots) are consuming the corpses of the enemies of God that have died. The fire is probably the picture of bodies being burned after a battle.
So the idea that the "worm does not die" somehow indicates that human beings will endure eternal suffering, can't really be supported from this passage or from the way Jesus uses the passage.
Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
I know annihilationists will try to say that this verse really means that "everlasting punishment" is that the punishment of having been destroyed will last forever. I think that this is severely stretching the language of the passage and argues against an obvious parallel. The punishment is experiential, not the absence of experience.
2Co 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
2Co 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
I kind of put this doctrine in the same category as I do eschatology. I have the view I believe is the most supported scripturally, but I objectively admit it could be different than what we may expect. Anything dealing with life after death and eternal matters probably will be much different than what we think it will be. However, our authority is scripture, not our emotions, ideas or limited logic.
Personally, I hope annihilationism is correct, just as I hope the doctrine of pre-trib is correct. I don't like the idea of anyone being tortured for even an entire day, much less an eternity. Seriously, think about it. Even if you had the worse criminal in the world under your watch would you desire to watch him be burned all day long without any relief? I think only a sadist would want this. But, this concept is far beyond us, I think. I don't believe we have the correct perspective to make a proper judgement in regard to the punishment against those who have offended an infinitely Holy God.
I've read the arguments for annihilationism and though I can understand how they get there, I don't believe there is enough biblical support to rule out the passages which seem to support the concept of an eternal conscious hell. And if I'm going to err on a side, I think I'd rather err on the side that promotes more, not less, fear of the place called hell. Though fear of hell is no basis for real relationship, it is a start to wisdom and brokenness, which can lead to a real relationship. Clearly scripture has no problem promoting the idea of eternal torment and even if that is meant only to convey an eternal consequence, the fact that God didn't make that more abundantly clear makes me wonder if we should try to soften it simply because it offends our finite sensibilities.
Skan, I share your sentiments. If I sometimes come across in debate like a heartless tyrant, it is only because I am trying to argue what I am convinced is truth, not because I particularly relish in anything that is harsh. What I relish is God being glorified to the maximum extent possible: what He has revealed in His word. I would love it if annihilationism (or universal reconciliationism) were true, but I am not convinced of either from the Scriptures. What I pray is that God gives me the fervor to contend for the truth with every fiber of my being against untruth, because truth matters. As you said, we should not believe things simply because they jive with our emotions, but rather because Scripture obviously teaches them.
In discussing this topic, it is important to contrast the doctrine of eternal torment, with the doctrine of eternal punishement. The word translated "punishment" has a root meaning of confinement, so a possible meaning is eternal separation from God.
Second, some who advocate annihilation, think when we physically die, and are not saved, our human spirit is annihilated immediately, thus teaching that after-life torment in Hades and Gehenna does not happen. This runs against many passages of scripture and is therefore false doctrine.
The middle view is that Satan and his co-horts are eternally tormented just as scripture says, but humans are tormented as required to fulfill God's perfect justice, and then are destroyed, ending their existence forever. Thus they endured punishement in the form of torment for their deeds, just as scripture says, and are eternally separated from God, thus undergoing eternal punishment.
The key verse is the one where "the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever." The traditional view equates smoke rising forever with ongoing torment forever. However, the idea could be that the consequence of torment in Hades and Gehenna is eternal, thus smoke stands for consequence.
Lastly, "their worm does not die" appears to mean "the maggots that eat them never die" and thus refers to eternal destruction with no possible resurrection to life.
Worms that have eternal life.
Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels;
Does that mean angels whether good or bad can not be separated from God?
:thumbsup: Well said.
His book makes a good case. I'm 50/50 on the question.
How does the annihilationist handle Jude 7?
7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
I'm not one, but considering hell was created for the devil and his angels it could be said the fire is eternal, and those not created for it are punished in it (burned up). I really would like to believe this for the sake of the many friends and loved ones I know who departed this world without Christ :tear:
allow me to pick on you for a minute...:laugh: or two:thumbsup:
I see you are trying to walk a careful line here...so I do not want to pick on your words...as much as I would like you to consider this....
God who designed us..who knows our frame.....describes hell in several ways.
I have met many a person who feared going into conscious eternal torment,and that has been used of God mightly in their salvation,and also restrains much sin.
I would not use the language you use here[bolded]...[B]I think only a sadist would want this....when indeed ...it is God himself who reveals the torments of hell to us! D[/B]o you see what I am saying??? If God has in infinite wisdom determined that hell is conscious eternal torment, and Jesus teaches on Lk 16 that the rich man was tormented in the flame......I would be very, very slow to suggest that somehow this is not wise:thumbs: I would not want to imply that...and I do not think you do either....do you?