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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Annihilation Refuted

  • Definitions:
         -Eternal Torment: the souls of dead unbelievers or unrepentant sinners suffer eternal punishment in literal flames.
          -Annihilationism: souls of dead unbelievers and/or unrepentant sinners get destroyed immediately (instead of eternal damnation in flames).
  • Defenders of the "Annihilation" doctrine would include the Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and Christadelphians.   
  • Logically Necessary:
          -If God will grant eternal salvation to people who love and place their trust in Him, then He would also grant eternal condemnation to people who willingly act contrary to His will. The Lord reveals no partiality and will thus judge everybody equally according to his or her own deeds (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Why not believe that our comfort or existence in heaven will also last only for a short period of time, as well?
  • A License To Sin:
          -If a person desires to continue acting in an evil manner, then he or she will have no worries about any sort of future punishments. After all, a non-existent being cannot feel any pain. So there will ultimately be no punishment for any sins.

  • Flat Contradiction To Biblical Teaching:
         -The Bible emphatically teaches that the wicked will endure everlasting punishment in hell (Matthew 13:50; 18:8; Mark 9:43-48; Matthew 25;41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Daniel 12:2; Revelation 14:11; 20:10; Isaiah 33:14; 66:24).

  • The Parable Of The Rich Man And Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31):
        -Luke 16:19-31 is the most comprehensive passage in Scripture discussing what happens in the afterlife, what it is like, and why people end up where they are after death. The context describes hell as being a state of everlasting punishment in literal flames. This interpretation of the verses listed previously is totally consistent with the picture presented in Luke 16:19-31 and thus delivers an irrefutable blow to annihilationism!
       -This teaching must have been an actual occurrence because Abraham was a real literal Old Testament character. So it is not actually a "parable".
       -Even if Jesus Christ intended His words recorded in Luke 16:19-31 to be a metaphorical parable, the text would still clearly teach that sin will permanently sever us from the presence of God, if not repented of. 
  • The Greek "Aionion":
        -Annihilationists correctly point out that the Greek word "aionion", which is translated into English as "eternal", does not always mean eternal. The word generally means an age or period of time. However, the New Testament clearly denotes the Greek term "aionion" to mean an eternal length of time. It describes the length of God's reign (Revelation 11:15) and our salvation (John 3:16). To make such an argument only causes spiritual deception.         
  •  Conclusion:

        -As to why or how people came to believe that hell is not an eternal punishment, I am not exactly sure. Perhaps such a doctrine developed out of fear of being made to endure the eternal pains of hell. But if this is the case, then why not simply come to the Savior Jesus Christ, and recognize the fact that we can indeed have great assurance of our salvation (John 5:24; John 6:32-63; 1 John 5:11-13)? Why bother with spending so much time trying to soften up a hard reality, instead of embracing it and fulfilling the simple conditions to avoid it?
       -The most probable answer to the questions of why and how the teaching of annihilation arose is because of the devil himself. After all, he is ultimately the source of all evil and suffering. Satan would gladly have us believe that disobedience to God's will has little or no consequences that follow.
      -The idea that most people will end up going to hell after death is indeed a very startling truth to accept, for there is a great possibility that you (the reader of this paper) or me could end up dying at any point in time.We cannot predict the moment of our physical deaths. This teaching is paramount because once we die, our spiritual destiny is permanently sealed. So we ought to receive God's forgiveness and get to work on spreading the message of salvation to the world! In the end, we are forced to conclude that the punishment of eternal flames is a perfectly just punishment for those who intentionally sin repeatedly because the Creator has given them the free will to chose their own eternal fates: heaven or hell. Which one will YOU choose, my friend?