• Dena Fisher
    Posted at 14:13h, 20 March

    Your guest quoted scholars more than he quoted the Word.

  • Mike
    Posted at 23:32h, 20 March

    So provacative! Almost disturbing. That someone would challenge my traditional view of damnation and destruction which is eternal, forever and forever, startled me.
    This alternative view that damnation is finite and ends in anihalism, cessation of consciousness appeals to my instinct that eternal conscience death is unfair.
    I so appreciate that this website is not dogmatic and authors are open to challenges to their views

  • Davy
    Posted at 07:12h, 21 March

    Annihilationism is the belief that unbelievers will not experience an eternity of suffering in hell, but will instead be “extinguished” after death. For many, annihilationism is an attractive belief because of the awfulness of the idea of people spending eternity in hell. While there are some passages that seem to argue for annihilationism, a comprehensive look at what the Bible says about the destiny of the wicked reveals the fact that punishment in hell is eternal. A belief in annihilationism results from a misunderstanding of one or more of the following doctrines: 1) the consequences of sin, 2) the justice of God, 3) the nature of hell.

    In relation to the nature of hell, annihilationists misunderstand the meaning of the lake of fire. Obviously, if a human being were cast into a lake of burning lava, he/she would be almost instantly consumed. However, the lake of fire is both a physical and spiritual realm. It is not simply a human body being cast into the lake of fire; it is a human’s body, soul, and spirit. A spiritual nature cannot be consumed by physical fire. It seems that the unsaved are resurrected with a body prepared for eternity just as the saved are (Revelation 20:13; Acts 24:15). These bodies are prepared for an eternal fate.

    Eternity is another aspect which annihilationists fail to fully comprehend. Annihilationists are correct that the Greek word aionion, which is usually translated “eternal,” does not by definition mean “eternal.” It specifically refers to an “age” or “eon,” a specific period of time. However, it is clear that in New Testament, aionion is sometimes used to refer to an eternal length of time. Revelation 20:10 speaks of Satan, the beast, and the false prophet being cast into the lake of fire and being tormented “day and night forever and ever.” It is clear that these three are not “extinguished” by being cast into the lake of fire. Why would the fate of the unsaved be any different (Revelation 20:14-15)? The most convincing evidence for the eternality of hell is Matthew 25:46, “Then they [the unsaved] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” In this verse, the same Greek word is used to refer to the destiny of the wicked and the righteous. If the wicked are only tormented for an “age,” then the righteous will only experience life in heaven for an “age.” If believers will be in heaven forever, unbelievers will be in hell forever.

    Another frequent objection to the eternality of hell by annihilationists is that it would be unjust for God to punish unbelievers in hell for eternity for a finite amount of sin. How could it be fair for God to take a person who lived a sinful, 70-year life, and punish him/her for all of eternity? The answer is that our sin bears an eternal consequence because it is committed against an eternal God. When King David committed the sins of adultery and murder he stated, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…” (Psalm 51:4). David had sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah; how could David claim to have only sinned against God? David understood that all sin is ultimately against God. God is an eternal and infinite Being. As a result, all sin against Him is worthy of an eternal punishment. It is not a matter of the length of time we sin, but the character of the God against whom we sin.

    A more personal aspect of annihilationism is the idea that we could not possibly be happy in heaven if we knew that some of our loved ones were suffering an eternity of torment in hell. However, when we arrive in heaven, we will not have anything to complain about or be saddened by. Revelation 21:4 tells us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” If some of our loved ones are not in heaven, we will be in 100 percent complete agreement that they do not belong there and that they are condemned by their own refusal to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior (John 3:16; 14:6). It is hard to understand this, but we will not be saddened by the lack of their presence. Our focus should not be on how we can enjoy heaven without all of our loved ones there, but on how we can point our loved ones to faith in Christ so that they will be there.

    Hell is perhaps a primary reason why God sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sins. Being “extinguished” after death is no fate to dread, but an eternity in hell most definitely is. Jesus’ death was an infinite death, paying our infinite sin debt so that we would not have to pay it in hell for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we place our faith in Him, we are saved, forgiven, cleansed, and promised an eternal home in heaven. But if we reject God’s gift of eternal life, we will face the eternal consequences of that decision.


  • paparoto
    Posted at 04:06h, 22 March

    The strongest arguments of the conditional issue are the Biblicql ones, not merely an appeal to our human sense of justice. To answer Joe’s question about his personal experience regarding the threat of hell, I would appeal to Apostolic sermons in the book of Acts. These inspired sermons did not leverage the threat of eternal torment in hell even once. The Apostic threat is consistently death and judgement. If hell is way the tradition view holds, I would expect every other sentence from Jesus and the apostles to be an earnest plea to repent after painting the repeated picture of conscious, endless suffering Would you not?

  • Joel
    Posted at 16:34h, 22 March

    Again, we cannot ignore the historical backdrop which the apostles were preaching. All conservative Jews of the time believed in judgment involving conscious torment. One would strain greatly to find any who affirmed some version of modern consitionalism. The question was simply how long was the torment. Jesus makes it abundantly clear where He stands in these matters repeatedly using the language of ongoing, eternal conscious torment. I will preach after the model of Jesus and Apostles.

  • Jack
    Posted at 20:37h, 06 April

    Oh dear oh dear Joel, what are you publishing now? No where in the bible does it say that any christian goes to heaven? What? Where do you think they go exactly. What about philippians 1 verse 23: that says that were Paul to die he would go to be with Christ. Where is Christ – in heaven or not?

    We are citizens of heaven, seated with Christ in spiritual places. If we don’t go “home” as the bible puts it when we die the.I don’t know where we do go!

    What about Revelation ch 7 v 9 a 17? The multitude who were IN heaven. What were they if not christians?

    This is terribly misleading.

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:03h, 06 April


    Go back and listen again. I said that nowhere in the Old Testament does it say we go to heaven after we die. This is however, clearly taught in the New Testament.

  • Joseph Horta
    Posted at 14:27h, 04 November

    Joel what is your opinion concerning different levels of punishment based on the “the books” of each persons story as they are opened and revealed in judgement?

    Peter seems to teach that hell was a place fashioned for Satan and the fallen angels and that there are places or very dark areas there reserved for their level of punishment.

    In Mark Clarks The Problem of God he addesses Hell and something he says resonates with me. He said something to the affect that in contrast to hell all humans alive now are enjoying a level of grace as a witness of Gods current long suffering with man as a whole. Any person believing or not still enjoys a level of rest or the ability to enjoy the life we have available to us now. I can go out to nature and in awe of this earth and how it sustains us can breath and satisy myself with the warmth of the sun, or the drink of water after a hot summer day and that is the mercy of Gods long suffering for man. But in hell we have all the senses without any relief for an itch or a thirst because we have chosen to be “free” from the truth of the Gospel.

  • Joel
    Posted at 17:18h, 04 November

    Jesus certainly teaches degrees of punishment in the afterlife. This is also a solid argument against annihilationism. How can one be destroyed to a greater degree than another?

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