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Featured Could Hell and Annihilation Both Be True?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by FaithfulPilgrim, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. FaithfulPilgrim

    FaithfulPilgrim Eternally Seeking

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    Hello!

    I'm studying the afterlife through the Scriptures, and I am wondering if both the traditional view of hell and annihilationism can be true?

    I don't have a strong lean either way, and I see both sides. While I had some connections to the SDA in the past and strongly considered joining them at one point, I decided against it, but their annihilationistic view is something I always found intriguing and has a stronger support biblically than I had previously thought.

    Now, traditionally, it is believed that the wicked souls will suffer for eternity in the Lake of Fire, and the saved go to heaven.

    There are plenty of verses about the wicked suffering an eternity in hell, however, some of these could be interpreted as favoring annihilationism.

    For example 2 Thessalonians 1:9 states that "They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might." How can destruction be "everlasting" unless it is referring to the effect of destruction?

    Jude 1:7 states that "In a similar way, Sodom and Gamorrah 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."

    What happened to Sodom and Gamorrah? They were destroyed, annihilated. The last sentence is a bit trickier for the annihilationist, though.

    Jesus even spoke about the degrees of punishment in verses like Matthew 11: 20-22 and Matthew 11: 23, 24.

    We will also be judged upon knowledge. Luke 12: 47, 48.

    Annihilationists argue that God is merciful, even towards the wicked.

    Since there are degrees of punishment based on knowledge of the individual and the severity of the sin, could annihilationism be a "light sentence" for the unsaved whose worst sin was not that severe and he committed it in ignorance, while eternal torment in hell is reserved for the especially wicked?

    Could annihilationism be the fate of those who die without hearing the Gospel?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
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  2. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    It is logically possible that some people could be punished and some annihilated. I don't see any Scriptural evidence for that kind of distinction though.
     
  3. tienkhoanguyen

    tienkhoanguyen non-denominational Christian

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    The Holy Bible does not say and describe specifically the severity of punishments. However through my life experiences I have known punishments as well as rewards based upon my past actions. Sometimes we thing we can escape punishments however we cannot. You see God says he is merciful meaning if you want to escape the wrongs you have done to others you must do something of equal or greater value in return to make up for the wrong you made. In like sentences if you want a reward out of your life do something good. However I have always experienced an additional beauty. No amount of good you do is equal to the joy you get from going to church if you did something wrong.
     
  4. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  5. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    To me, it's a logical puzzle why God the Father would send God the Son to die for mankind's redemption if, in the end, the bad apples will be annihilated. Why even make the effort? If the intent was to save them from everlasting punishment, yeah, it makes logical sense to go to those lengths to redeem mankind. But annihilation is anywhere on the list of possibilities, it seems like a lot of effort to go to for relatively little reward... and relatively little incentive since some percentage of the unsaved will be wiped out entirely.

    The logic of it just doesn't hold up for me.
     
  6. SnowyMacie

    SnowyMacie Well-Known Member

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    It could also be possible that the punishment leads into annihilation.

    So, it's worth saving mankind from everlasting punishment, but not saving them from complete and total death to nonexistance?
     
  7. John Hyperspace

    John Hyperspace UnKnown ReMember

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    Such as?
     
  8. John Hyperspace

    John Hyperspace UnKnown ReMember

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    If it's true, what an unfathomably and infinitely horrible creation this is. Here's hoping Christians who teach such things are horrifically wrong.
     
  9. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    You could definitely make a case for this. I think most of the images involving fire and worms are based on OT images for death and destruction. But Luke 16:19 describes torment that I think has to be seen as in the "intermediate state" before the final judgement.

    My concern is that I'm not sure there are any other unambiguous examples, and I hate to base doctrine on one parable.
     
  10. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  11. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

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    It wasn't that long ago I encountered two guys on here discussing this issue, it had never occurred to me before. So I looked up the Scriptures and lo and behold, all but one text can mean the punishment is forever, not necessarily the suffering. I think is actually an open question but what got me going is, shouldn't God be able to destroy what he creates? Then, what is the point of them suffering forever, perdition can end with annihilation and it disposes of the wicked forever. Finally it's like salvation, even if there are degrees, rewards and levels ultimately everyone saved gets the same salvation, every one lost gets the same ultimate condemnation.

    This is an interesting subject, lot's of intriguing questions and perspectives. You can make a pretty strong argument, just not a definitive one.

    Grace and peace,
    Mark
     
  12. Original Happy Camper

    Original Happy Camper One of GODS Children I am a historicist Supporter

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    The following verse does not indicate there is degrees of sin.
    Sin is the transgression of the Law. If you have broken the least of these you have broken all of them.
    It does say that the wicked will be ashes under the feet of the righteous.

    Malachi 4King James Version (KJV)
    4 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

    2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

    3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

    4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

    5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

    6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
     
  13. Original Happy Camper

    Original Happy Camper One of GODS Children I am a historicist Supporter

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    King James "suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

    Notice that it is not Sodom and Gomorrah that is still burning but it is the fire that is eternal.
     
  14. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    There is a doubt about the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah being annihilated, because Jesus said that the inhabitants of those cities will rise up against the unbelieving Jews in the Judgment because if they had heard the gospel message they wold have believed and be saved. So, it appears to me that the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah still exist somewhere in eternity awaiting the final judgment.

    It seems from my reading of Revelation that the Lake of Fire is reserved for the devil and his angels. It seems to be just one place, because Jesus spoke about people being cast into outer darkness where there is waiting and gnashing of teeth. I think this evidence is stronger for definite places in eternity for those outside of Christ than total destruction. The definition of "destruction" can mean something other than total extinction of existence. It can include the destruction of any hope of having an joyful eternity in the presence of Christ.

    The way to salvation, although narrow, is fairly simple if approached in faith. All one has to do is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He rose from the dead to give us the right to be called the children of God. The narrowness of the path to salvation is in terms of Jesus being the only way, the only truth, and the only path to eternal life, while the path to destruction is broad in that a person can have a wide range of beliefs other than Christ or as well as Him to choose from. But the way of salvation is limited to an all-inclusive faith in Christ alone.

    So why worry about what is going to happen to non-Christians, if it is a relatively simple matter of saying "yes" to Christ?
     
  15. Original Happy Camper

    Original Happy Camper One of GODS Children I am a historicist Supporter

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    If you love me keep my Commandments. Is what Christ said.
    James 2:18 [Full Chapter]
    Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
     
  16. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

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    That reading is pretty consistent in Scripture, I found only one puzzling example that torment is forever. Hell as we understand it in the Old Testament is virtually unknown. The word for Hell, γέεννα (geenna), is introduced by the Lord during the Sermon on the Mount. It is used 12 times in the New Testament, 11 times in the synoptic gospels by the Lord himself. The word is actually the name for a valley where the children of Israel used to toss their infant children as a sacrifice to Molech, the practice was known as making your children pass through the fire.

    Hell is the place of the future punishment called "Gehenna" or "Gehenna of fire". This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction. (Outline of Biblical Usage)​

    There are other passages that describe Hell:
    • "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13:42)
    • "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Mat 25:46)
    • These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (1Th. 1:9)
    • But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Heb. 10:39
    • These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. (2Pet. 2:17)
    • raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. (Jude 1:13)
    • He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death." (Rev. 2:11)
    • Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Rev. 19:20)
    • The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev. 20:10)
    • Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Rev 20:14)
    • "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8)
    Notice Rev. 20:10 says they will be tormented forever. Other places the fire is said to burn forever but the appears to be the only place that insists that they are tormented forever, at least in my estimation. I don't see much to argue about here, annihilation is one way of reading the texts in question that one proof text not withstanding. For me the one thing that was intriguing about the subject matter was the connection to Sheol, it's synonymous with the grave.

    Grace and peace,
    Mark
     
  17. Original Happy Camper

    Original Happy Camper One of GODS Children I am a historicist Supporter

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    The interesting thing about some folks interpretation of everlasting punishment is that they equate this to eternal life of punishment instead of a punishment that there is no return from.

    The bible says that the righteous will walk on the ashes of the wicked.

    Notice the the wordage is everlasting not eternal punishment
     
  18. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

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    I would agree with that, with one exception:

    The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev. 20:10)​

    I'm open to the idea of annihilation but wiggling around this one is tricky. I wonder if there isn't something in the original worth considering but really haven't pursued it that far. At least not yet.

    Grace and peace,
    Mark
     
  19. rstrats

    rstrats Senior Member

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    mark kennedy,
    re: "I would agree with that, with one exception: The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev. 20:10)" I'm open to the idea of annihilation but wiggling around this one is tricky."

    The KJV only says that the devil will be tormented forever. Perhaps he is a special case apart from mankind.
     
  20. 1watchman

    1watchman Overseer Supporter

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    Yes, there is eternity for mankind, and both Heaven and Hell are "forever and ever". The whole of Scripture speaks of the soul of man as eternal; and even science supports this. It is categorized as energy and spirit which is said to never be lost, but "just moves on". That coincides with Scripture which speaks much of eternity; and is likened to the wind that has no beginning place or ending place. I believe God takes the spirit/soul of man to a holding place ---either in Heaven with Him, or cast into Hades (a holding place now 'til later cast into Hell-fire for eternity). Whatever we choose to believe it must not be ideas contrary to the Word of God ....right?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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