Any hard questions?

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That is the key verse on which the concept of eternal damnation rests.
Also consider that the apostle Paul considered the return of Christ would initiate the destruction of the antichrist and the unbelievers.
see "2 Thessalonians 1:9".

I would be hesitant to build a doctrine on the basis of a few lines of scripture. Thus, I remain unconvinced on eternal suffering as it seems to contradict the nature of Jesus Christ. Although, if it were true then God has decided so and who am I to argue.

If you have any additional thoughts on this issue I would love to hear them Will.

This is a very difficult question, in fact for me impossible to answer.
David,
The "destruction" in 2 Thess 1:9 is accompanied by the word "eternal" and was described as separation from God's presence and God's inherent power ("iskus").

I think Paul, Peter, John, and James will not go into the trouble they did if their warnings are not indeed dire.

As apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:12 and on, through one man (Adam) sin entered the world. That is enough to condemn the whole human race in the eye of God whose integrity demands perfect justice. The requirement of the perfect sacrifice to atone for that original sin made it clear that without Lord Jesus, we have no hope of escaping said condemnation.

To me, stating that eternal condemnation is not taught in the Scriptures is closer to building a doctrine as opposed to just reading what the Scriptures plainly say.

Furthermore, why did the Lord gave the Great Comission (Matthew 28:18-20) if in the end, both believers and unbelievers will be "pardoned" by God without having to believe in the Lord Jesus as a personal savior?

In the end, our only hope is to continue studying the Scriptures and letting the Holy Spirit opens up our mind to understanding and submit to that understanding.
 
Loyal Member
This is the definition of eternal:

1. Being without beginning or end; existing outside of time. See Synonyms at infinite.
2. Continuing without interruption; perpetual.
3. Forever true or changeless: eternal truths.
4. Seemingly endless; interminable. See Synonyms at ageless, continual.
5. Of or relating to spiritual communion with God, especially in the afterlife.

If destruction is eternal then it has always been,how can a person be injected into it?As far as I can see nothing can be added or taken away.

2 Thess 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Everlasting is translated from the Greek aiōnion strongs #166
Definition: age-long, and therefore: practically eternal, unending; partaking of the character of that which lasts for an age, as contrasted with that which is brief and fleeting.

It could mean an age.
 
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Rev 12:4-9 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth

That took place in the old Heaven , when satan was kicked out! We know he went before the LORD in JOB! We do not know when Job was written? But we Might understand this satan and the 1/3 of evil angels were kicked out and by entering the old heaven defiled by by being sinners!
Rev 12:5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

I always thought these verses were about Jesus not some old-heaven story that is found no where in scripture.These verses do not identify Lucifer as Satan.
Please use scripture as proof that Lucifer is Satan.
 
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here is another question, can none believers be raised from the dead? i know believers can but..... whos faith are you working with yours or the person you are praying for.
 
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Dear Will.

You stated that,

"To me, stating that eternal condemnation is not taught in the Scriptures is closer to building a doctrine as opposed to just reading what the Scriptures plainly say."

I did not say that, I only said that the concept of eternal damnation was based on just a few lines in the book of Revelations. Once again, I have difficulty with a doctrine formed from one paragraph. I never said it was not true, how could I.
 
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Again Will.

Then you stated that I implied,

"Furthermore, why did the Lord gave the Great Comission (Matthew 28:18-20) if in the end, both believers and unbelievers will be "pardoned" by God without having to believe in the Lord Jesus as a personal savior?"


Never, never have I believed that sinners are pardoned, they are judged and rightly so. This is what the scriptures testify. My only problem is with judgement and so called "eternal suffering".

My opinion is that death is the outcome of non belief. Also I will repeat what I have previously said, if judgement is eternal suffering then so be it, who am I to argue with what the Lord has decided.

It still seems to lack the mercy and compassion that Jesus accused the nation of Israel of. I have a lot of trouble reconciling the nature of Jesus with said eternal suffering?
 
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This speaks of the dragons tail and stars of heaven.
Is there any scripture that tells us Lucifer was an angel or that the stars are angels.
I don't think we can definitely say lucifer is satan.
Isaiah 14:12 is often interpreted this way but i don't believe it's conclusive.
The angels are refered to as stars though in Job 38:6,7

Job 38:6-7 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, (7) When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

This does fit well with rev 14:12 where we see the dragon, which is surely a reference to satan, drawing 1/3 of the "stars" to earth. We can see that the dragon, and his angels, battle with Michael, and his angels. The passage definitely links the stars as angels. "Throwing the sars to earth" alludes to removing them from their lofty position.

Rev 12:4-8 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. (5) She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. (6) Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (7) And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, (8) but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

Isaiah 34:4 All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll;

The stars will be dissolved,I don't see any evidence that angels are not eternal.


Stars can also be big balls of burning gases. : ) A few references to angels being stars doesn't mean all stars should be seen as angels.

Rev 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
Jesus is a perfect man and he claims the title bright morning star.

Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

I have seen Rev 2:1 used as proof that the stars are angels but I don't see that as solid evidence.I see this as the candle stick being the light on the earth and the stars being a light in the heavens.
They could both be the light of the church.
I don't see rev 2:1 as evidence for angels being stars either. It could well be likening people in high positions in the seven churches to stars. Jesus being represented as a star fits well with this idea.
Stars = lofty or high?
Gen. 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

If Josephs dream was from God then believers are the stars.
Joseph's dream was about how his family would bow down to him when he was Pharaoh's right hand man in Egypt. The stars represent people in a higher position than him.

I think we can see that stars can be big burning balls of gases, angels, or symbols of people/things in high positions.
 
New Member
This is the definition of eternal:

1. Being without beginning or end; existing outside of time. See Synonyms at infinite.
2. Continuing without interruption; perpetual.
3. Forever true or changeless: eternal truths.
4. Seemingly endless; interminable. See Synonyms at ageless, continual.
5. Of or relating to spiritual communion with God, especially in the afterlife.

If destruction is eternal then it has always been,how can a person be injected into it?As far as I can see nothing can be added or taken away.

2 Thess 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Everlasting is translated from the Greek aiōnion strongs #166
Definition: age-long, and therefore: practically eternal, unending; partaking of the character of that which lasts for an age, as contrasted with that which is brief and fleeting.

It could mean an age.
Given the context and the severity of the warning, it's unlikely that it means anything else than "never ending."

But, if it does mean a specific age, which one is it? the fact that Paul didn't elaborate on this, it means this "age" is somehow familiar to the Christians in Thessalonica, so again, which age is it?
 
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Agua,thank you for a well thought out response.I tend to agree with your interpretation.

The main reason I harp on these little differences is that if we get it wrong we miss the true message which I believe is meant for all believers in this age of grace.
Scripture often describes patterns and cycles that can be observed happening on micro and macro levels and many levels in between.
Such as the appearance of the anti-Christ already being fullfilled on certain levels by the Catholic church and the Pope.However I have personally experienced anti-Christ in my own mind when I see my own path and way of thinking opposing God's word.It sometimes seems when I defeat this way of thinking in my own mind it manifests in my household.

We like Jesus are called to fulfill scripture on micro and eventually(hopefully) macro levels.
I feel we dilute scripture by assigning it only to past or future events.

Example:
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Jesus tells us that sometimes events we are waiting for have already happened and continue on certain levels.
More examples:
John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
(by the way who are these dead?)

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

There are some things about time that we just don't get.Time may be cyclical on some levels.Therefore the patterns that these cycles take are the same yet may appear to us as entirely new or different.

According to Solomon the internet is not a new thing on the earth,it just looked different in his day.:
Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

We are also called to cast down imaginations.:
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The elaborate stories from Dante's inferno have somehow become scripture and they were never meant for that purpose.A new mythology has emerged from these dragon tale's.It is not Christian.
We need to constantly change that bathwater or the baby will go from dirty to sick.
 
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Loyal Member
Given the context and the severity of the warning, it's unlikely that it means anything else than "never ending."

But, if it does mean a specific age, which one is it? the fact that Paul didn't elaborate on this, it means this "age" is somehow familiar to the Christians in Thessalonica, so again, which age is it?
I would agree but for the fact that no beginning and no end means no middle for anything to be injected into.As for which age this describes I am at a loss to explain.I have some clues but nothing I can prove.

On the other hand everlasting destruction could mean destroyed once and never being brought back.But even that would require time for actions to take place.Predestination could be used to explain this but I have never heard a predestination doctrine that didn't have holes in it.

Example:
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Jesus was standing on the earth when he said this,but he was also in heaven.He could not actually leave heaven since it is eternal,so he was still there even though he was here.

This is copied from the Biblos site
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ETERNAL
e-tur'-nal (`olam; aionios, from aion):

The word "eternal" is of very varying import, both in the Scriptures and out of them.

1. `Olam:

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word `olam is used for "eternity," sometimes in the sense of unlimited duration, sometimes in the sense of a cycle or an age, and sometimes, in later Hebrew, in the signification of world. The Hebrew `olam has, for its proper New Testament equivalent, aion, as signifying either time of particular duration, or the unending duration of time in general. Only, the Hebrew term primarily signified unlimited time, and only in a secondary sense represented a definite or specific period. Both the Hebrew and the Greek terms signify the world itself, as it moves in time.
I can't say I fully understand that last sentence.But it appears to me that "olam" is less time constrained as "aion". However there simply may not have been a better translation available in Greek and the apostles had to address a Greek speaking world.
 
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You stated that,

"To me, stating that eternal condemnation is not taught in the Scriptures is closer to building a doctrine as opposed to just reading what the Scriptures plainly say."

I did not say that, I only said that the concept of eternal damnation was based on just a few lines in the book of Revelations. Once again, I have difficulty with a doctrine formed from one paragraph. I never said it was not true, how could I.
David,

I found another reference to eternal condemnation outside of Revelation:
In Jude 1:3-13, specifically verses 7 and 13. This is in regards to false teachers, but there is no mistake that these are (one group of) people who will suffer eternally.

What do you think?
 
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Then you stated that I implied,

"Furthermore, why did the Lord gave the Great Comission (Matthew 28:18-20) if in the end, both believers and unbelievers will be "pardoned" by God without having to believe in the Lord Jesus as a personal savior?"


Never, never have I believed that sinners are pardoned, they are judged and rightly so. This is what the scriptures testify. My only problem is with judgement and so called "eternal suffering".

My opinion is that death is the outcome of non belief. Also I will repeat what I have previously said, if judgement is eternal suffering then so be it, who am I to argue with what the Lord has decided.

It still seems to lack the mercy and compassion that Jesus accused the nation of Israel of. I have a lot of trouble reconciling the nature of Jesus with said eternal suffering?
David,

I'm so sorry if it sounded otherwise, but I didn't take it that you imply "unjust pardoning" so to speak. :smile:

Thank you, by the way, so far this discussions have allowed me to think more into what I have learned from the Scriptures, and it's so meaningful to be able to discuss things at this level with fellow christians.
 
New Member
Agua,thank you for a well thought out response.I tend to agree with your interpretation.

The main reason I harp on these little differences is that if we get it wrong we miss the true message which I believe is meant for all believers in this age of grace.
Scripture often describes patterns and cycles that can be observed happening on micro and macro levels and many levels in between.
Such as the appearance of the anti-Christ already being fullfilled on certain levels by the Catholic church and the Pope.However I have personally experienced anti-Christ in my own mind when I see my own path and way of thinking opposing God's word.It sometimes seems when I defeat this way of thinking in my own mind it manifests in my household.
Could you tell me more about this Tch?


We like Jesus are called to fulfill scripture on micro and eventually(hopefully) macro levels.
I feel we dilute scripture by assigning it only to past or future events.

Example:
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Jesus tells us that sometimes events we are waiting for have already happened and continue on certain levels.
More examples:
John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
(by the way who are these dead?)

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

There are some things about time that we just don't get.Time may be cyclical on some levels.Therefore the patterns that these cycles take are the same yet may appear to us as entirely new or different.

According to Solomon the internet is not a new thing on the earth,it just looked different in his day.:
Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.


Yeah, the nature of time is something that has always confused me. I can only picture it as linear. I really don't think that Solomon's words meant that every invention had existed before though. But if time is circular then i suppose it could be seen that way. How do we fit beginning and end into this though?

I remember looking into space as a young bloke and trying to comprehend its end. My mind just can't fathom these concepts.

We are also called to cast down imaginations.:
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The elaborate stories from Dante's inferno have somehow become scripture and they were never meant for that purpose.A new mythology has emerged from these dragon tale's.It is not Christian.
We need to constantly change that bathwater or the baby will go from dirty to sick.
Yes i %100 agree about the mixing of folklore with scripture. I think we see this now and it started way back when the influential Greek scholars spewed their self important ideas on society. The early church was affected by this i think.
I would sure be pleased if NT scriptures from the hand of the original writers were found one day ..... extremely unlikely though.
 
I remain unconvinced on eternal suffering as it seems to contradict the nature of Jesus Christ. Although, if it were true then God has decided so and who am I to argue.
Here's a verse to add to the discussion: Jude 7 (Referrring to the men of Sodom and Gomorrah), "They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire."

SLE
 
Loyal Member
Such as the appearance of the anti-Christ already being fullfilled on certain levels by the Catholic church and the Pope.However I have personally experienced anti-Christ in my own mind when I see my own path and way of thinking opposing God's word.It sometimes seems when I defeat this way of thinking in my own mind it manifests in my household. Could you tell me more about this Tch?
Any thought that exalts itself against Christ or his finished work is anti-Christ by definition.Because it is contrary to Christ and his redemptive work which was finished on the cross.
If I think otherwise then that thought denies his finished work and that on a very low level is anti-Christ.If I let that thought out of my mouth I have just become a mini anti-Christ.

I can't prove any of this but at times of crisis or dryness or some other reason I saturate myself in the word for several days I will have more clarity and break away from anti-Christ thoughts.At theses times it seems others in my life get attacked immediately after I felt I broke free.At that point my Christ thoughts tell me how to minister to them.
In that way I can fulfill scripture by overcoming evil with good.
The first step to overcoming evil starts with my own mind.
I don't believe that personal experiences make truth but we do end up remembering patterns and cycles.
 
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Any thought that exalts itself against Christ or his finished work is anti-Christ by definition.Because it is contrary to Christ and his redemptive work which was finished on the cross.
If I think otherwise then that thought denies his finished work and that on a very low level is anti-Christ.If I let that thought out of my mouth I have just become a mini anti-Christ.

I can't prove any of this but at times of crisis or dryness or some other reason I saturate myself in the word for several days I will have more clarity and break away from anti-Christ thoughts.At theses times it seems others in my life get attacked immediately after I felt I broke free.At that point my Christ thoughts tell me how to minister to them.
In that way I can fulfill scripture by overcoming evil with good.
The first step to overcoming evil starts with my own mind.
I don't believe that personal experiences make truth but we do end up remembering patterns and cycles.
Interesting Tch,

Yes we do notice patterns.
Ta for sharing.
 
New Member
Hello SpiritLeded and Will.

It certainly looks as though you may be correct.

Judgement by eternal fire, nasty but true. I forgot about the reference in Jude. So seperation from Jesus is infinite in nature. You can of course understand that I do not want to draw this conclusion.
 
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Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The KJV translation gives the idea that they were made an example by being destroyed once and for all by the fire from heaven which is eternal fire verses earthly temporal fire.
I believe the fire is what is eternal,not the punishment.This is a story about an event they knew about well.I think this refers to the nature and the instrument of the punishment but not the length.

Jude 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Jude goes on in that same context and tells us that the blackness of darkness forever is the punishment.This does refer to a length and nature of the punishment but not the instrument.
The word "forever" is translated from aión=Strong's 165:
an age, a cycle (of time), especially of the present age as contrasted with the future age, and of one of a series of ages stretching to infinity.


The eternal fire is translated from anions=Strong's 166:age-long, and therefore: practically eternal, unending; partaking of the character of that which lasts for an age, as contrasted with that which is brief and fleeting.

This comes from trying to cram Jewish concepts in the Greek language.The Greeks did not have a word that fits the English word "eternal". The Hebrew word `Olam is closer to what our present meaning of eternal is and the new testament writers had to figure out a way to present that meaning to a Greek audience.Anions is closer to olam than aión so if they use aión it means an age.
 
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Hello ThisCrossHurts.

What a dilemma this topic represents.

Pure logic dictates that eternal punishment for a few decades of disobedience seems incorrect.

I would prefer that those who reject Christ were destroyed and did not suffer.

But, the scripture is the final authority on all these matters.

So ThisCrossHurts how do you translate Rev 20 and the torment of those in the lake of fire?
 

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