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Annihilationism is the belief that unbelievers will not experience an eternity of suffering in hell, but will instead be "extinguished" after death. For many, annihilationism is an attractive belie...
This topic can not be separated from the topic of immortality of the soul. Traditionalists almost always believe that the soul is immortal, and annihilation believers do not. John 3:16 gives us two choices, only one if which involves immortality. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Paul also speaks of "putting on immortality" at the second coming of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-54. "51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.…" These are just a coupe of examples but to answer your question, yes annihilationism is Biblical. For an exhaustive look at both sides of this discussion, go to : http://www.rightreason.org/podcast/annihilationist.pdf
Yes it is Biblical. Destruction is eternal, the fire will not be quenched. The teaching of 'Immortality of the soul' comes from Babylon, the idea of continuing, ongoing punishment of the wicked is satanic because he is sadistic and wants you to think God is as well. This lie places power in the pulpit, the power of fear. This teaching originated in Eden when the serpent told Eve "thou will not surely die" (though the wages of sin is death) and you "will be as gods knowing good and evil". In other words, you will in a higher state of being (a common occult and new age belief). No souls will be screaming in torment, that is a cartoonish myth from Dantes' inferno. We are not immortal, only God is immortal. We do not have a soul, we are a soul (Gen 2:7). The body plus the breath of God equals a living soul. The truth exalts Jesus, the living Jesus who conquered death and has the keys of life and death and is at the right hand of God and He offers the narrow path of eternal life or the wide path of DESTRUCTION. Mal 4:1-3 explains the fate of the lost, it will burn them up LEAVING THEM NEITHER ROOT NOR BRANCH and they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet (which gives you the indication where this lake of fire will be). l See, on the one hand one learns there is no immediate punishment at death, then you learn when and where punishment takes place. On the other side of the argument, is hell now, burning now and if so who is in charge? Well once the counter argument acknowledges hell is the grave, then the rest falls apart, but some continue to take from both beliefs and confusion entails in the explanation. The Bible is clear hell is not burning now, but then Lazurus and the Rich man (btw, an awesome parable about the jews rejecting their call and the gentiles being accepted and though one would rise from the dead they would reject Him) is used as an argument, then using the eternal character of God as an excuse to punish the wicked a real hot place perpetually, ridiculous. The punishment is eternal, not the punishing. The fire is unquenchable, nothing will PUT it out, but once the fuel is exhausted, it goes out. There is nothing attractive or non- dreadful about eternal separation and lacking total existence in blackness (try imagining that right now, mind boggling) from God, from Jesus our Lord and Savior. God is LOVE, but He is just. Eternal destruction is just, for the sinful, sick, wicked. (needing put out of misery, being where they choose to be, separate, apart from God, where there is NO IMMORTALITY) There will not be a once per month repose from eternal fire to eat from the tree of life and then jump back in the fire. Eternal life is a GIFT from God and will not be granted to the recipients of eternal punishment. When you arrive at a few verses that seem to support an eternal punishing you can't use them to support a preconceived belief, you have to go to the preponderance of the evidence and the preponderance of the verses that show what happens when you die and what will happen to those who reject the teachings, doctrine of Jesus (which is the difference between Jesus and a jesus not of God, Jesus and an anti-Christ) Occultism teaches immortality and spiritualism, a continuation of existence after death. The truth places Jesus and Jesus ONLY as the deliverer from death at HIS SECOND COMING, (and his reward is with Him) THE BLESSED HOPE OF A CHRISTIAN. The teaching of "annihilation" places Jesus at the top, it is Christ centered. Eternal, perpetual punishing is man centered, as in man has an eternal, immortal, spirit that while seems "spiritual", but takes Christianity from a Christ centered truth into a religion that is connected with all other religions which have a "good place" and a "bad place". The promise of no more pain or suffering is truth.
1 Timothy 6:14-16 14 That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen. Only God has immortality
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4,20). Man is composed of body, soul, and spirit. We know that Adam was described in Genesis 2:7 as a living soul. The death of the soul is called the "second death" in Rev.2:11. Death of the soul is guaranteed in the lake of fire where those in hell are eventually thrown into (Rev. 20:14). Eternal punishment will continue until there is nothing left to punish, as opposed to a fixed length of time for punishment. If both body and soul die there only remains the spirit, but with the death of the soul, any identification as a human being is lost. What happens subsequently to the spirit is not revealed in the Bible, but perhaps it is given an inferior resurrection (there are superior and inferior degrees).
Before I write my answer, let me first say that I have looked at this issue many times and I do not know for sure the answer. My best guess is that there are three, not two possibilities as to where we will go when we die. One, after the resurrection, at judgement, those who accept Christ as their Savior in this life will have access to heaven. Two, those who choose Satan in this life will be sent to hell. The third, the remainder, those who have not been Saved and who have not chosen Satan, will be cast into a fire that will consume both body and soul and will just be nonexistent. The first two possibilities are easy. We know that there is a heaven and a he'll. The book of Revelation tells us (as well as other Bible books) some about each including that Satan and his followers will be cast where there will be eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth. Sounds like Hell to me. The third possibility is more subtle. In Revelation again, it speaks of a second death at judgement. The second death is when the unsaved are cast into an eternal fire. The question here is whether that eternal fire consumes or punishes. Because the Bible specifically says 2nd death, I believe it probably means consumes just as a fire would consume our earthly bodies now. There are other verses elsewhere that speak of the reward of the evil for some being the grave not Hell. All these verses only make sense to me if there are 3 possibilities. It is possible that I may be misunderstanding some of the verses, but I believe the whole Bible is true so if I understand them correctly then 3 possibilities must be correct. So to answer you question, it depends on how you interpret the applicable Bible verses. And the answer does not hinge upon whether God would allow suffering. He created this Universe we live in and has all authority over it. It does not matter what we in our limited understanding think he should or should not do. God is God. We are not. The answer to this question in no way lessens His love for us. He gave His Son that we not have to be concerned about it. Because he loves us. If there are only two possibilities, then it is because God created it that way and once He sets up something that is the way it is. ("Am I a man that I change my mind") It is therefore us that chooses, not Him, where we will be.
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