The lake of fire is eternal

Is Annihilationism Biblical?

Annihalitionism is the belief that unbelievers will not receive eternal suffering in hell, but will be extinguished after death. For many people, annihilationism is an attractive belief because the idea of ​​people who will spend their lives in hell for eternity is terrible. There may be some passages that seem to speak in favor of annihilationism, but a thorough look at what the Bible says about the fate of the wicked will tell us that the punishment in hell is eternal. Belief in annihilationism is the result of misunderstanding one or more of the following doctrines: 1) the consequences of the fall, 2) God's righteousness, 3) the nature of hell.

In relation to the nature of Hell, annihilationism misunderstands the meaning of the lake of fire. Obviously, if a human being is thrown into a lake of lava, he / she will be destroyed almost instantly. After all, the lake of fire is a physical as well as a spiritual area. It's not just about a human body being thrown into a lake of fire, it's about the body, soul and spirit of a person. A spiritual being cannot be destroyed by a physical fire. It appears that the unsaved will be raised to new life with a body prepared for eternity like that of the redeemed (Revelation 20:13; Acts 24:15). These bodies are prepared for an eternal fate.

Eternity is another aspect that annihilationism is unable to fully understand. Annihalitionists are right that the Greek word aionion, which is commonly translated as "eternal", does not mean "eternal" by definition. It specifically refers to age, or aeon, a specific period of time. Nevertheless, it is clear that in the Old Testament aionion sometimes denotes an eternal period of time. Revelation 20:10 tells about Satan the beast, and the false prophet is cast into the sea of ​​fire and is "tormented night and day for all eternity." There is no doubt that when he is thrown into the Sea of ​​Fire he will not be destroyed. Why should the fate of the unsaved differ from the fate of the redeemed (Revelation 20: 14-15)? The most convincing evidence of Hell's eternity is found in Matthew 25:46: “So this is what the eternal punishment awaits. But the others who have done the will of God receive eternal life. " In this verse, the same Greek word refers to the fate of the wicked and the righteous. If the wicked are tormented only for a while, the righteous will also live in heaven for a while. If believers stay in heaven forever, unbelievers will also stay in hell forever.

Another common objection made by annihilationists to Hell's eternity is that it would be unjust if God punished unbelievers in Hell for eternity for a limited number of sins. How can it be just if God punishes a person who has lived a sinful 70-year life in hell for eternity? The answer is that our sins have eternal consequences because they are directed against an eternal God. When King David committed the sin of adultery and murder, he said, "Take all my guilt from me, wash me clean of my sin!" David committed a sin against Bathsheba and Uriah; how can David come to the idea that he has committed a sin against God? David understood that all sin is fundamentally against God. God is an eternal and endless being. Hence, any sin committed against Him deserves eternal punishment. It is not about the duration of the sin, but about the nature of God against whom we commit a sin.

A more personal aspect of annihilationism is the idea that we could not be happy in heaven if we knew that some of our loved ones will suffer in hell for eternity. Even so, when we land in heaven we won't need to complain or get sad. Revelation 21: 4 tells us, “He will wipe away all your tears. There will be no more death and no more sadness, no more lamentation and no more torture. What was once is gone forever. " If some of our loved ones are not in heaven, we will be 100 percent aware that they do not belong here and that they have been condemned for their refusal to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. --John 3:16; 14: 6). It's hard to understand, but we won't be sad because of their absence. Our focus should not be on how we will enjoy heaven without our loved ones, but how we could point our loved ones to the fact that they would believe in Christ in order to be there.

Hell is probably the main reason God sent Jesus Christ to pay for our sins. To be destroyed after death is not a fate to be feared, but an eternity in hell. Jesus' death was an endless death that paid for our endless sins in the sense that we should not pay them in hell for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we trust in Him we are redeemed, forgiven, purified, and promised an eternal home in heaven. But if we reject God's gift of eternal life, we will have to face the eternal consequences of that choice.


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Is Annihilationism Biblical?
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