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The Bible teaches Hell is a place of eternal punishment, not annihilation.

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Loyal
Jesus said, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). Here in the same sentence, Christ uses the word “eternal” (aionos) to describe the duration of both Heaven and Hell. Thus, according to our Lord, if some will consciously experience Heaven forever, then some must consciously experience Hell forever.

Despite the clarity of Matthew 25:46, even some evangelical Christians have affirmed that upon dying, or at the final judgment, those without Christ will cease to exist. Clark Pinnock writes, “It’s time for evangelicals to come out and say that the biblical and morally appropriate doctrine of Hell is annihilation, not everlasting torment.”[1] Pinnock makes a revealing statement

I was led to question the traditional belief in everlasting conscious torment because of moral revulsion and broader theological considerations, not first of all on scriptural grounds. It just does not make any sense to say that a God of love will torture people forever for sins done in the context of a finite life.[2]

Note that Pinnock admits he reached his conclusions about annihilation “not first of all on scriptural grounds.” John Stott wrote about eternal conscious torment, “Emotionally, I find the concept intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain.... Scripture points in the direction of annihilation.”[3]

But would John Stott, whom I greatly respect and who is an advocate of the inspiration and authority of Scripture, have ever said Scripture points toward annihilation if it were not for the emotional strain put upon him by the passages that clearly appear to teach everlasting punishment?

Revelation 20:10 says not only that Satan, but also the beast and the false prophet, “will be tormented for ever and ever.” Revelation 19:20 shows the beast and false prophet are humans, put in Hell a thousand years earlier. Hence, we at least know that Hell for humans cannot mean immediate annihilation at death.

The most graphic New Testament statement of the eternal suffering of the unrepentant says simply, “The smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever,and they have no rest, day or night” (Revelation 14:11). It’s hard to imagine a more emphatic affirmation of eternal punishment.

If we are going to discard the doctrine of eternal punishment because it feels profoundly unpleasant to us, then it seems fair to ask what other biblical teachings we will also reject, because they too don’t square with what we feel. And if we do this, are we not replacing the authority of Scripture with the authority of our feelings, or our limited understanding?

Annihilation makes no sense in light of Revelation 20.

One popular annihilationist position maintains that unbelievers cease to exist when they die. But if they no longer exist, then how can they be raised to stand at the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20? Would God re-create them to stand before him in judgment? After this judgment, Revelation 20 says they will be cast into the lake of fire. Would this be a second annihilation?

Another view states that unbelievers are destroyed not at death, but sometime later. They suffer some punishment appropriate to their offenses (as the rich man experiences in Luke 16), some shorter and some longer, then are snuffed out of existence.

But as we’ve seen, two human beings, the antichrist and the false prophet, will be thrown into the lake of fire after a thousand years of suffering. If it is wrong for punishment to last forever, wouldn’t it seem wrong to last over a thousand years? If there’s an eventual end to people’s suffering in Hell, where is that indicated in Scripture? Why Christ’s emphasis on “eternal punishment” and fire that isn’t quenched and a worm that doesn’t die?

People believe in annihilation because it doesn’t seem nearly so bad as eternity in Hell. The rich man of Luke 16 does not cease to exist when he dies. But will he one day cease to exist? If so, when he begs for relief, wouldn’t we expect Abraham to say, “When your sins are paid for, then you will no longer suffer”? But Abraham offers him no hope for relief.

Annihilation is an attractive teaching compared to the alternative—I would gladly embrace it, were it taught in Scripture. But though I’ve tried, I just can’t find it there.

Annihilation would not satisfy God’s justice and solve the problem of evil.

Do you believe that Stalin, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin got their just punishment in this life? Do you think the life imprisonment of Charles Manson—in which he receives food, clothes, reading material, television privileges, and protection from other inmates—supplies full justice for his arrogant, unrepentant slaughter of innocent human beings? Would eternal nonexistence be a just punishment for such men? In what sense does an annihilated person, who by definition experiences nothing, experience any punishment at all?

Can you imagine God saying to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao at the final judgment, “For all your evil rebellion against me and your unspeakable crimes against humanity, your punishment is to no longer be conscious”? The “pain” of nonexistence is no pain at all. To cease to exist is to not be held accountable for sin. How could God satisfy his justice if he responded to despicable sins against himself and humanity by merely flicking a switch into nothingness?

Annihilation is no solution to the injustice of evil and suffering. If it were true, annihilation might itself raise a serious moral problem, for it suggests that our sins are not so grievous and the consequences for committing them are painless, or at worst exist only for a limited time.

If, as the Bible teaches, Christ’s redemptive work is so magnificent that it delivers us from an eternal Hell, then it should elicit maximum worship from us. But if it delivers us only from nonexistence—which is exactly the end atheists, naturalists, and materialists believe in—then we may feel grateful to God for what we are rescued to, Heaven, but not so grateful for what he rescued us from, mere nonexistence.

Although the doctrine of annihilation continues to gain ground among believers, Christians must realize that embracing this doctrine minimizes, or worse, eliminates altogether the horrors of Hell. This doctrine in its most popular form merely confirms what most unbelievers already think, that their lives will end at death, and therefore there’s nothing to be concerned about. In contrast, the Bible speaks of an eternal Hell as something that should motivate unbelievers to turn to God, and motivate believers to share the gospel with urgency.

Our present suffering warns against the suffering of Hell; for unbelievers, the fear of Hell serves as a merciful call to repentance.

Suffering can help the Heaven-bound fall out of love with this life and live in light of the coming one. The sufferings of the present give us a bittersweet reminder of the horrors from which God has delivered us.

For the Hell-bound, suffering can serve as a frightening foretaste of Hell. Suffering reminds us of our imminent death, the wages for our sin. In our suffering we should look at our own evils and failures and beg God for mercy.

Spurgeon said, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay....If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned or unprayed f



 
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Be careful with aionos translated as eternal. It's more accurately 'of the age', and is the source of the English word, Aeon.

In Jewish thought there were two ages - the present age, which we all inhabit now, and the age to come when God restores all things. So better than 'eternal life' or 'everlasting life' is 'life in the age to come'.
 
Loyal
Can I ask why there are all these threads on hell all of a sudden?

Jesus spoke on hell a whole bunch, most dont like to talk about the subject, but this is Talk Jesus so I think its natural and healthy. I posted this thread and another one because of all the post I see that seem to be misinformed about hell,
 
Member
Ok. Hell is real, it is eternal separation from God, next to separation from God hell fire is of little consequence though the bible is clear that there is hell fire. But the biggest torment is the separation from God and that is not God's will. It is simply the only option for those who choose to reject a relationship with God.
 
Loyal
Ok. Hell is real, it is eternal separation from God, next to separation from God hell fire is of little consequence though the bible is clear that there is hell fire. But the biggest torment is the separation from God and that is not God's will. It is simply the only option for those who choose to reject a relationship with God.

there does seem to be a lot of talk on hell around here lately,
 
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Can I ask why there are all these threads on hell all of a sudden?
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
Ephesians 4:14
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
 
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Be careful with aionos translated as eternal. It's more accurately 'of the age', and is the source of the English word, Aeon.

In Jewish thought there were two ages - the present age, which we all inhabit now, and the age to come when God restores all things. So better than 'eternal life' or 'everlasting life' is 'life in the age to come'.
I agree. Aion doesn't mean eternal. Jesus spoke of the end of the aion. If it ends it can't be eternal. The problem is that theologians have let their bias affect their translation
 
Loyal
when I see Jesus talking about eternal and you guys say its a end of age, what I see is the 1000 rule will be a end of age and the start of new, yet those with glorified bodied will go onto the new age, right now we have eternal life if we are saved.

John 17:3
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

John 5:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.
He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

notice he says "has"
 
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when I see Jesus talking about eternal and you guys say its a end of age, what I see is the 1000 rule will be a end of age and the start of new, yet those with glorified bodied will go onto the new age, right now we have eternal life if we are saved.

John 17:3
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

John 5:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

notice he says "has"
Because he has the promise of eternal life. Eternal life means one will not die. All believers die, thus they don't have eternal life at the moment. They do however, have the Holy Spirit which is how God will raise them from the dead. So, in the sense that they have the Spirit, they have eternal life. If we look at this passage in context it's clear that it's about the Resurrection.

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
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.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (Jn. 5:21-29 KJV)
 
Loyal
Because he has the promise of eternal life. Eternal life means one will not die. All believers die, thus they don't have eternal life at the moment. They do however, have the Holy Spirit which is how God will raise them from the dead. So, in the sense that they have the Spirit, they have eternal life. If we look at this passage in context it's clear that it's about the Resurrection.

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
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.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (Jn. 5:21-29 KJV)

I disagree,, only your flesh dies when we die our spirit goes to be with the lord here just one of many scriptures that tells us this

2 Corinthians 5:1-21
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
 
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I disagree,, only your flesh dies when we die our spirit goes to be with the lord here just one of many scriptures that tells us this

2 Corinthians 5:1-21
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
I already addressed this passage. This passage is about the resurrection. The spirit in man is not man. It's God's breath or spirit of life and it returns to Him when the man dies. This has been addressed here
 
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Do you believe that Stalin, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin got their just punishment in this life? Do you think the life imprisonment of Charles Manson—in which he receives food, clothes, reading material, television privileges, and protection from other inmates—supplies full justice for his arrogant, unrepentant slaughter of innocent human beings? Would eternal nonexistence be a just punishment for such men?
Perhaps not. So let us look closer at Charles Manson. He killed seven people. We do not know exactly how long they suffered for. But lets assume it was an hour each. Ok, so an eye for an eye punishment would be to make him suffer in a similar pain for .........seven hours.

In the case of hell however, God sends people there because He knows they do not ever want to truly repent of their sins. They are ''evildoers'' Luke 13:27. So we need to factor in the pain from this eternal separation into the equation of their '''deserved punishment''. Then, just because someone raped someone does not now equate to God ordaining said person be raped for ''eye for eye / reward according to action Rom 2:6'' punishment to be fulfilled. As such, I envision a fitting punishment being something like ten harsh lashes for every murder, taking place over ....a day. Jesus was bruised for the sins of the world over a period of six or so hours. Then on to eternal punishment in the form of separation....with as is said here all the '' receives food, clothes, reading material, television privileges, and protection from other inmates'''. It is Geneva convention treatment. We should all agree with it. If we don't, perhaps we should be the one in prison.

In what sense does an annihilated person, who by definition experiences nothing, experience any punishment at all?
Is this a joke? Annihilation is ceasing to exist. It is maximum punishment. There is nothing worse then it.

Can you imagine God saying to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao at the final judgment, “For all your evil rebellion against me and your unspeakable crimes against humanity, your punishment is to no longer be conscious”? The “pain” of nonexistence is no pain at all. To cease to exist is to not be held accountable for sin. How could God satisfy his justice if he responded to despicable sins against himself and humanity by merely flicking a switch into nothingness?
So you feel eternal burning in fire is fitting justice? God must be more wicked then the most wicked who have ever lived and that is ''justice''?

What do you want? You want to see these wicked tortured? You are not happy with just ending their life and being done with them?

If any of us want to torture the wicked, we are NO better then those wicked. If not, worse. Fact.
 
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If, as the Bible teaches, Christ’s redemptive work is so magnificent that it delivers us from an eternal Hell, then it should elicit maximum worship from us. But if it delivers us only from nonexistence—which is exactly the end atheists, naturalists, and materialists believe in—then we may feel grateful to God for what we are rescued to, Heaven, but not so grateful for what he rescued us from, mere nonexistence.
Jesus saves absolutely nobody from hell. The message is not ''accept Jesus and avoid eternal torture''.

The message is ''repent of your sins and avoid torture''. The message is ''once you repent of your sins, God will save you from death''.

In the OT everyone who repented of their sins were in paradise, in death. Fact. Jesus saves us from death. He saved absolutely nobody from the eternal lake of fire.
 
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I would have to say in my opinion ceasing to exist would be much perferrable than an eternity in hell. I mean because once I cease to exist there will no longer be a me to care at all.

That said I think we should stop looking at hell as punishment. After all the sins have already been forgiven. Sins don't send you to hell, but rejecting a relationship with Jesus does. A sinful personality is just the product of a nature that is still opposed to God.
 
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I would have to say in my opinion ceasing to exist would be much perferrable than an eternity in hell. I mean because once I cease to exist there will no longer be a me to care at all.

That said I think we should stop looking at hell as punishment. After all the sins have already been forgiven. Sins don't send you to hell, but rejecting a relationship with Jesus does. A sinful personality is just the product of a nature that is still opposed to God.
Wise words!
 
Loyal
Sins don't send you to hell, but rejecting a relationship with Jesus does


I know plenty of people who get drunk every weekend and have sex outside of marriage, that I would consider decent people, yet the bible says they are not getting into heaven, no matter if they go to church and profess Jesus

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
 
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