- Jun 13, 2014
JDS,I read this and your "Is Hell an Infinite Punishment" article. Boiled down, it's about semantics. The colloquial usage of infinite is different from the mathematical one. Same for theory and the scientific usage.
No, it's not about semantics but about what the meaning is of aiwnios (eternal) from God's perspective. How long will eternal life last for the believer? The exact same length of time as eternal damnation for the unbeliever.
R C H Lenski, in his Greek exegetical commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1:9 stated:
Those who find annihilation in it [destruction] would thereby abolish hell, others misunderstand aiwnios and reduce it to a long term which, however, eventually ends. There is no time beyond the last day, either short or long, but only timelessness, eternity, “the eon to come”; this is what the adjective [aiwnios] means, which is true of the zwe or “life” of the blessed as it is true of the “destruction” of the damned. The destruction occurs “away from the Lord’s face” and thus in the outer darkness (Lenski 1937:388-389).
As stated above in 2 Thess 1:9, the Lord states, 'They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might'.I've read somwhere that evil only means absence of God and whatever he's not involved in is evil.
This verse is confirming some of what will happen to the damned. They will be 'away from the presence of the Lord' and his glory. They also will be experiencing 'the smoke of torment [that] rises forever and ever' (Revelation 14:10-11), and a 'lake of burning sulfur' where the wicked are 'tormented day and night forever and ever' (Revelation 20:10).
Calling it 'semantics' glosses over the truth of what will happen to you if you remain in agnosticism at your death. We never know when that time comes.