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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What about Revelation 20:10 which says the devil and the beast and the false prophet will be tormented forever?

They will indeed be tormented forever; however they are not humans. Jesus says Gehenna (hell) was specifically made for Satan and demons (Matthew 25:41), however fire does not affect angelic beings like humans. (see Ezekiel 10:7). Additionally, the word “tormented” here is the same Greek word that speaks of Lot being tormented in 2 Peter 2:8 watching the bad behavior of the Sodomites. The same Greek word is used for both Lot and Satan being tormented. Also, John himself tells us where the beast comes from “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 11:7) This “beast” is not a human being. Humans do not come out of this pit. The apostle John wants us to know this beast is a demon by telling us his origins....

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Doesn’t Revelation tell us that people who take the mark of the beast will have no rest day or night?

Doesn’t Revelation tell us that people who take the mark of the beast will have no rest day or night?

Yes, they will indeed have “no rest,” but when will this happen? It will be during the tribulation period while on this earth. It is important to note that in the previous verse, John wrote in the Greek future tense and refers to the Great White Throne Judgment where the lost will be tormented “in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb” on Judgment Day. This is a future event for John. The Greek tense is in the future. In this verse, John changes tenses. It is in the Greek present tense. This cannot be stressed enough. In his literal translation of the scriptures, Robert Young, compiler of the Analytical Concordance that bears his name, translates it into a perfect English translation-as John wrote it: “And...

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Doesn’t Revelation 14 tell us that people will be tormented forever?

Doesn’t Revelation 14 tell us that people will be tormented forever?

First let’s look at what the text actually says…Revelation 14:10-11 is about a specific group of people at “the end times.” It is about people who take the mark of the beast during what many call The Great Tribulation. John tells us of the day they meet God–Judgment Day. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: (Revelation 14:10-11) It is very important to notice where they are. They are “in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” This is...

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What about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16?

The teaching of Conditional Immortality means that the soul of man is finally destroyed on the Day of Judgment–at the end of this age. Therefore, technically speaking, this scripture has no bearing on this doctrine. However, as a side note, there is sufficient reason for understanding this passage of scripture as a parable. The previous four stories were all parables (Luke 15:4, 15:8, 15:11, 16:1) so this story is obviously in a long string of parables. The parable in Luke 16:1, which He just told them, also began with the exact same words “There was a certain rich man,” (Luke 16:1). That story, “the parable of the shrewd accountant,” is clearly a parable (though not labeled as such). These two stories both have to do with...

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What about the eternal punishment of Matthew 25:46?

This is covered in Are you saying there is no “punishment” for the unsaved? But to state very briefly, the punishment (or wages) of sin according to scripture is always death. Romans 6:23 and many other scriptures state this very clearly, “The wages of sin is death.” And how long will this punishment of death last? Remember, this verse is taking place while they are standing before God and know that He can bring anyone back from death. Perhaps God will raise them back to life to enjoy the Kingdom they will clearly see in front of them? No, they will be told they will miss out on the joy of being alive forever. Their sentence and punishment of death will last forever. That is why he tells them it is eternal punishment. It is a complete...

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What about the unquenchable fire in Mark 9:48?

First of all, we need to realize that Jesus is quoting verbatim Isaiah 66:24 in this passage so please read, Why rarely cited Isaiah 66:24 is a key for a more complete understanding of this scripture. Proper hermeneutics demands that we interpret scripture with scripture. If Jesus is quoting Isaiah, shouldn’t we read Isaiah too? Obviously Jesus would not disagree with Isaiah. Was Isaiah talking about the soul? Clearly he was not. Second of all, if God throws something into eternal fire, who says that what is thrown in, is eternal also? Inter-Varsity Press author John R. Stott rightly concludes: “…it would seem strange…if people who are said to suffer destruction are in fact not destroyed…it is difficult to imagine a perpetually...

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Everlasting contempt means disgust not torment

Everlasting contempt means disgust not torment

Doesn’t Daniel 12:2 say some will face “everlasting contempt”? “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2 This verse is used constantly to prove the Traditional view. However, upon closer examination of the text, it is nowhere to be found. The Hebrew word here for “contempt” is “darone.” It is very important to note that the only other time it is used in all of Tenach (The Hebrew Bible) is in Isaiah 66:24, which was discussed earlier. In Isaiah 66:24, those who have “darone” (“contempt” or “disgust”) are the believers who go out and look upon the dead bodies (not living...

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Gnashing of teeth refers to anger and sadness not pain

Gnashing of teeth refers to anger and sadness not pain

Traditional theology is Biblically wrong about the first century phrase “gnashing of teeth” A simple review of a few of the texts which have this phrase will clearly show that the Traditional way of thinking of it as a statement of pain and suffering will be unwarranted. Our language and idioms simply are not the same as the biblical ones. Case in point: Job 16:9-He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.  The one doing the “gnashing of teeth” has great anger towards the other. Psalm 37:12-The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.  The wicked are angry with the just and are “gnashing” their teeth at them....

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Did Jesus really talk more about hell than heaven?

Did Jesus really talk more about hell than heaven?

Answer: Hell no! Not even close. And the word translated as “hell” was sometimes Hades (Sheol) or mostly Gehenna…the ancient garbage dump outside of Jerusalem where trash and dead bodies were burned and destroyed.   Concordance search on “hell” in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.    Concordance search on “fire” in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.    Versus   Concordance search on “heaven” in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.    Concordance search on “kingdom of God” in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.      I also find it interesting that John did not include discussions on Gehenna, hell, or Hades in his gospel…or in any of his three letters. Yet he was the one God gave...

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Why Do My People Call Me a Sadist and Tell the Lost I Will Torment Them Forever?

Why Do My People Call Me a Sadist and Tell the Lost I Will Torment Them Forever?

Is my gift of eternal life not good enough? Do people think they have to scare the lost into my arms with a heinous threat of eternal torture? My disciple John never tried to scare people in his gospel account or his letters in this way, nor did Paul. I used the clearest words I could throughout my word: –That those who live a lifestyle of unrepentant sin deserve DEATH—Romans 1:32 –That all who sin apart from the law will also PERISH apart from the law— Romans 2:12 –That sin leads to DEATH—Romans 6:16 –That sin results in DEATH—Romans 6:21 –That the wages of sin is DEATH—Romans 6:23 –That those who live according to the sinful nature will DIE—Romans 8:13 –That the gospel is foolishness to those who are PERISHING—1...

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