Don’t only cults believe in annihilation and destruction in hell?

Cults Teach Everlasting Destruction—It Just Doesn’t Look Good Some have opposed the view of literal everlasting destruction on the grounds that it is adhered to (in one form or another) by various cult/borderline cult groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Seventh-Day Adventists, Christadelphians and the Armstrongite sects. NOTE 1: Although the Seventh-Day Adventists are an evangelical sect, many consider them a “borderline cult” because of their legalistic views regarding the Saturday Sabbath and Old Testament dietary laws, as well as their rigid allegiance to the prophetess Ellen White and their “all or nothing” mentality. NOTE 2: Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God, a sect that was legalistic, exclusive and adhered to various strange...

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Can a soul or spirit be destroyed?

Some oppose literal destruction by resorting to the reasoning that people are spiritual beings, and “By definition, a spirit cannot die. A spirit is an immortal being” (Robertson 72). You’ll notice that anyone who makes such an argument will fail to quote any Biblical passages to support this definition. That’s because there are none. Nor does a standard English dictionary support this definition. The Funk and Wagnall’s dictionary defines ‘spirit’ as “A supernatural and immaterial being.” A spirit is an immaterial being, that’s all. This certainly doesn’t mean an immaterial being is unable to die. It’s as simple as this: Whatever creature God gives life to he can bring death to. Whatever he creates he can also de-create. The human mind or disembodied soul...

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Doesn’t “eternal torment” mean “eternal torture”?

Torment is Not Torture You may have noticed in this study that I regularly refer to the view of eternal torment as eternal torture. Both references obviously apply to the same position—that of never-ending conscious suffering. Norman Geisler, a staunch adherent of eternal torment, objects to this practice of using torment and torture interchangeably. His contention is that hell, the lake of fire, is indeed a place of torment, but it is not a torture chamber for “unlike torture, which is inflicted from without against one’s will, torment is self-inflicted” (Geisler 34, from Everything You Wanted to Know about Hell). This is utter nonsense and completely unbiblical. I have no idea where Geisler got this definition for torment (that it is always...

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When you burn something, doesn’t it simply change form?

H. Buis comments on how adherents of literal everlasting destruction place great emphasis on the fact that the figure of “fire” is used in the Bible to describe the second death, “and fire, they point out, always destroys… But the fact is that when you burn something it is not annihilated, it simply changes form” (Buis 125). I guess what Mr. Buis is trying to say is that when, say, a log is burned up, it technically isn’t wiped out from existence, it turns to smoke vapors and ashes. While this is true, the simple fact is that the log itself is destroyed¾it no longer exists. The smoke vapors and ashes are merely the remains of the log. The same is true when God “destroys both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).” In regards to the body, when it is destroyed the...

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What About Spiritual Death?

This next objection goes hand in hand with the objection just examined. Under the guise of “interpretation” many sincere Christian people add the word “spiritual” to the numerous plain statements which promise death to unrepentant sinners. For instance, these people believe Romans 6:23 should read: “For the wages of sin is spiritual death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ our Lord.” They would then translate spiritual death here to mean eternal “separation of man from God because of sin” (Dake 619). The obvious problem with doing such is that none of the multitude of Biblical texts which promise death and destruction as the ultimate wage of sin contain this word “spiritual.” God wrote the Bible through men by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2...

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Doesn’t death just mean “separation” from God?

Doesn’t death just mean “separation” from God?

Let’s start with the strange theory that death doesn’t really mean death, but “separation.” For example, consider Paul’s unmistakable statement in this previously viewed passage: ROMANS 6:23For the wages of sin is death (thanatos), but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. As we’ve already seen in What is Sheol, “death” here is translated from the Greek word thanatos which simply means “death” (Strong 35)—the absence of life or opposite of life, hence, the cessation of conscious existence. The Greek scholar E.W. Bullinger states that thanatos refers to “The natural end of life” (207). Although this is simple to understand and commonly understood, adherents of the eternal torment theory “explain” that death in this passage does not really mean...

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