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.