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Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210

 Annihilationism by Greg Boyd


 2010/3/22 19:06Profile

Joined: 2009/4/20
Posts: 30

 Re: Annihilationism by Greg Boyd

It would be nice to think that the lost do not burn for eternity, but I believe the Bible teaches otherwise. Just as the redeemed receive eternal life in heaven, the lost receive eternal punishment in hell.

Matthew 25:46 (KJV)
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

The words in this verse everlasting and eternal are the same Greek word. Either the lost receive a punishment that is eternal and the righteous have eternal life, or the lost are annihilated and the righteous just live for a little while. You can't have it to where one group lives forever and the other is extinguished. Doesn't work that way, scripture doesn't teach that, but the jehovahs witness cult does.

God Bless

 2010/3/22 19:29Profile

Joined: 2009/1/4
Posts: 353

 Re: Total Darkness Forever

Total Darkness Forever

The worst part is that Hell is eternal. If it would just last 1,000 years, after I made it through the first day I could say to myself, “Well, just 999.997 more years to go.” But it doesn’t work that way. Hell is eternal.

Matthew 25:46 “They will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Hell is an eternal punishment—weeping and gnashing of teeth. There is eternal punishment for those who are apart from Christ, and there is Eternal Life for those who are righteous. Some have said that this punishment is a one-time thing—that our souls are totally destroyed and that’s the end of it. Some people will tell you that in Hell we will have no more problems because we are destroyed once and for all. This totally neglects what God has said on that subject. “The smoke of their torment cries out forever and ever.” Jesus used the same word for “eternal” life as He did for “eternal” punishment. However long Heaven is, that’s how long Hell is. The two are synonymous in that way. They run parallel to each other. Life doesn’t end in one fell swoop.

Hell is a place of fire. We find that description over and over again. You ask yourself, “Well, how could it be a place of fire and not be consumed?” Is God who created all things not capable of doing ANYTHING (remember Moses and the flaming bush that wouldn’t burn up)? Regardless of whether our feeble minds understand it, God is capable of doing anything like that. If we refuse to change our lives and to live for Christ and obey Him in every area, then we will find ourselves in that place of fire that is never consumed. That’s a promise that God has made. God doesn’t lie. He will fulfill that promise.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of man will send out his angels and they will weed out of the kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Matthew 13:40-43

Apparently, Jesus was dealing with a people who didn’t want to listen. Jesus said, “if you have ears, please hear what I am saying.” Christ certainly didn’t come to destroy the world, but to save it. He doesn’t desire for anyone to fall into Hell’s grasp. He wasn’t saying, “Ha, Ha, Ha, some of you are going to burn in Hell.” He was saying, “Please listen to what I am saying. Hell is real. It does exist.” Please judge and deal with your life accordingly. There is going to be fire—it’s REAL! We are not talking about the fairy tale version of life after death. Hell is something very real that Jesus spent much of His time talking about. It’s a place of fire and a place of darkness. Here are some more of Jesus’ words on the subject:

“Throw that worthless servant outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 25:30

“If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off, for it is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands and to go to Hell where the fire never goes out.”

Mark 9:42

Again, for those who claim that Hell is instantaneous annihilation, we know that Jesus can’t be wrong. And Jesus said that Hell is a place of weeping, and Hell is a place of gnashing of teeth. How does a person that’s instantly vaporized have time to weep? How do they have time to gnash their teeth? Obviously, Hell is not instant annihilation as some might claim.

“…the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”

Mark 9:48


Jesus clearly said that Hell is eternal so I am pretty confident that He was right.

in Him

 2010/3/22 19:46Profile

 Re: Annihilationism and heaven

Jude 7 States that eternal fire is not neccessarily everlasting.

If a man is seperated from God, the source of all life, how can he possibly continue to exist?

Have you ever considered that eternal and everlasting are not states of being; but rather conditions?

Jesus talked the most about judgement in regards to finality, yet he used words like perish, destroyed, and so on for those who have chosen to be damned.

Consider this: If you are annnihilated, haven't you perished eternally through your destruction.

Note that the scriptures speak not of the damned being eternal, but rather, the fire.

Only God is immortal: I Timothy 6:14-16

Context is key.

I am not a Jehovah's Witness, and for that matter, have no membership affiliation with any incorporated denomination... and am certainly not a dispensationalist or anything else you cannot find in the scriptures.

I have two friend who interested me onto the road of studying the scriptures in the original languages: Dr.Tim Green at Trevecca Nazarene College/Dept. head of Hebrew Studies, and former pastor Steven Green who holds his doctorate in Greek.

Further, until he died, i was taught by a Messianic Jew, and an anathematized Rabbi at that.

Western thinking is extremely limited in properly understanding the scriptures compared to the Middle Eastern Oriental POV. The New Testament was also written by children of Israel -(perhaps except Luke and Acts)- and one would do well not to add any occidental conceptualizations to a totally different way of life and thought. It has been helpful to me to look at the New Testament, aside from Acts, as commentary on the Old Testament-often referring to it as the scriptures by those in the New Testament.

When looking at the english translations, one does well to stick with the more formidable texts (KJV, ESV, NASB) and to understand always there is a reason the translators call their own work versions and not translations.

As well, when looking to the english renderings of scripture, attention to detail is imperative.

I'm not trying to prove that i am right, as there are questions in my own mind regarding the finality of judgement; but, they go alot further than the question of what eternal&everlasting mean. These comments hopefully cause you to search the scriptures more and more.

Don't believe what others tell you just because it has been accepted in the past. No man has a corner on the truth. We all see 'through a glass darkly' at present.

I got a kick out of what Paul Washer says -about when we get to heaven-, that we will have three big surprises, the first of which being that we made it ourselves.

I have a bigger one still. Almost completing reading through the Bible for the 7th time, looking specifically for any verse(s) stating we go to heaven, i cannot find one.

Whan got me started on this was Jesus words in John 3:11-13.

There's a pentecostal chorus that keeps ringing through my head of late:

"Farther along, we'll know all about it,
Farther along, we'll understand why.
Cheer up my Brother!
Live in the Sonshine!
We'll understand it...all by and by."

The biggest help i have recieved in revelation of scripture has come through worshipping Yeshua Meschiac!
Revelation 19:10


 2010/3/23 6:37

Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210


I can't say I've come to a conclusion on this topic. It's worth looking into, and diligently searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so.

One thing we tend to do in the Western world is read to the Scriptures through the lenses of our church tradition - be it Reformed, Puritan, Pentecostal, etc. And the result if we try to make verses say what our tradition has always been saying.

The key is to read the Scriptures as a whole - to see how the New interprets the Old. We all know that everything Jesus would have said, along with the apostles, would have been in light of what the Old was looking ahead to.

I do not agree with 'universalism' which believes that all in the end will make it. I think it ignores quite an awful lot of Scriptures and takes a lot out of context.

However, the annihalation argument is pretty interesting. I can see how all the words like 'eternal punishment' or 'destruction' or 'perish' can give an indication that the soul will be completely done away with.

Anyway, I have no conclusion on the matter. One thing I do not is there is a day of the Lord, a day of judgment. There is no running away from that reality.

Greg Boyd makes interesting points on this. N.T Wright also makes legit arguments.

 2010/3/23 9:44Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4533


Hi Mattie...

Before I believed in or knew the Lord, I questioned how "a loving God could send people to an eternal Hell." I had been taught that all of my life. Westerners, in particular, are taught about an "all loving God" who cares for people more than anything else. Of course, this is true. God does NOT delight in the death of the wicked! However, while God is "all love" -- He is also "all just" at the same time.

After I came to Christ, I started reading the Bible. I read it through several times within the week of my conversion. Nothing that I read then...or since...ever made me think that everlasting and eternal punishment was anything except just that -- everlasting punishment. I suppose that our view about God sending people to everlasting punishment is due to the limits of our understanding of God. His ways are NOT our ways. God did not create Hell AFTER the fall of man. It was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). However, man (through sin) is now linked to that same judgment.

In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, the Lord stated that, via Judgment, the goats would go to everlasting punishment and the sheep would go to everlasting life (Matthew 25:46). These are in the same statement. Everlasting literally means "lasting forever." Are we going to question "everlasting" life too? We don't deserve why should we enjoy it forever?


 2010/3/23 12:52Profile

Joined: 2006/6/15
Posts: 343


I think we all agree that people are saved by grace... through faith.

Now, there are differing views on what grace and faith actually mean.

Some take grace to mean that without God's active work in the heart of man, man cannot come to know Christ as Savior.

Others take grace to mean that man must believe of his own volition... free from complete sovereign grace, and do something in order to merit salvation.

Ultimately, man is either free, or determined.

Calvinists would say that we are determined, to the degree of how much grace we receive from God.

Arminians would say that we are free to the degree our free will allows us to submit to God.

Now... although I am more comfortable with Reformed theology, and Calvinism... the concept that men can only be saved by God's grace alone is quite offensive to me.

Does my friend Scott deserve hell because God hasn't worked in his heart as He did mine?

Must Scott burn eternally in fire forever because he lacked the grace to see that he was a sinner who deserved hell?

What have I done better, or thought better, or said better than my friend Scott to deserve heaven?

Absolutely nothing...

This also raises questions about my salvation.

Am I saved merely because God chose to work in my heart, and cause me to understand that I am a depraved individual, sinful at the core, arrogant and proud, malicious and rude... thus causing me to see that I must rely solely upon Christ for my salvation?

On the day of judgment, will God say to me, Sam, I find you innocent, because I chose to save you before you were born, regardless of what you said and did, but I caused you to see, through the Holy Spirit, that you are a sinner, and that Christ must be your Redeemer.

And then to Scott, God will say, Scott, you evil spawn of your father Satan, burn forever, you lacked the grace that must have come from me to save you, depart from me you worker of iniquity.

This puzzles me to a great degree.


 2010/3/23 13:54Profile

Joined: 2009/1/4
Posts: 353


Am I saved merely because God chose to work in my heart, and cause me to understand that I am a depraved individual, sinful at the core, arrogant and proud, malicious and rude... thus causing me to see that I must rely solely upon Christ for my salvation?


Does your friend see the sin in his life? I have never met a single person in my whole life who thinks they are perfect and free from sin. Some call it doing wrong instead of sin, but none have ever said I have never sinned/done anything wrong, hurt another ect. Even some that I have known who hate God and will openly blaspheme His name when asked will say honestly that they have done things in their life that were not right.They may not think what they did was deserving of hell but they will admit to having done things. So even though they hate God completely on some level they still seem to know that they have done things that were not right/sin? They reject God because they want to continue living for self and being Lord of their own life. Has your friend expressed that he has done anything wrong/sinful? No matter how small or insignificant it might be in his own eyes? If he has then he can be shown that there is a consequence for those choices and that there is an answer for those consequences. Right??

Sometimes for me personally I use to struggle with this because I saw those around me who were lost as victims instead of rebellious. No one is a victim, but "ALL" are sinners. This is just my understanding and view of it:)
in Him

 2010/3/23 14:26Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Annihilationism by Greg Boyd

I have considered this question from time to time. I realize that the JW preach annihilation, and that they are a cult. It does not follow that because of this fact annihilation is a wrong or cultish doctrine. A couple of scriptures in particular prevent me from rejecting this idea. Matthew 10:28. If the soul or spirit of believer and unbeliever alike are eternal or immortal, why then would Matthew attribute to God an ability that He Himself has prohibited Himself from carrying out? (I could if I would but I won't so I can't?) John 3:16. The word perish can have shades of meaning, but the most straightforward rendering is to destroy. Why the contrast between those who have life everlasting and those who are destroyed if no one is really destroyed?

I was taught annihilation as a doctrine as I grew up in a very traditional full gospel, pentecostal church. I have also been taught eternal torment in other settings. Both were taught very adamantly and both claimed the other mis-interpreted their proof texts. I have never come to a final conclusion, and since I am not at all worried about having to discover the answer in a personal way, I put it in the category of things we can disagree about without schism in the body.

I do believe eternal separation from the presence of God is scary enough regardless. I think I still lean toward annihilation, but the jury is still out in my mind. Here are a few questions that might be worth pondering. Who in scripture is resurrected in a physical body? The saved or the lost? If the resurrected body is glorified, do the lost have an "un-glorified" body in which to stand judgment? Physical fire destroys physical matter but has no effect on the spirit. What kind of fire then is the book of the Revelation describing?

Interesting post.



 2010/3/23 15:12Profile

Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada


Scripture says God's judgments are "a great deep" (Ps. 36.6). Surely it's wise for us, then, to be very open-minded about this whole subject. Could be it's a little too deep for us just yet.

...But one thing that always perplexes me is the traditional teaching that the wicked (the unbelievers) spend eternity in Hell. How can this be when the resurrection empties Hell, and empties death (Rev. 20.13), and both death and Hell are cast into the lake of fire? (Rev. 20.14)

This "lake of fire." What is that all about? It's called "the second death." It's the death of death, it seems. The death, the end, of Hell. But what does that mean?

...Some of the others on earlier posts here say they haven't got their minds made up about these things yet. I'm glad when I read a comment like that. I too haven't got my mind made up about these things. I think that's an excellent position relative to a very deep and very important subject like this.

I have what I believe are honest questions about the whole traditional heaven and hell theology. Wait a minute before you get the tar and feathers out. Yes, I believe there is a Hell. And a Heaven. But I have questions. There's so much I don't understand. I usually keep my questions to myself. You hardly dare have questions on this subject (and many others for that matter) for fear you're going to be labelled a heretic.

Allan Halton

 2010/3/23 15:55Profile

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