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Biblical case for annihilationism

guibox

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Nov 30, 2004
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1,255
Biblical case for annihilationism

Despite the insistence by some that annihilation of the wicked “has holes†(which theory doesn’t?), is “biblically unsupportable†and “cultic doctrineâ€Â, annihilation is the best and most biblically cohesive view of the fate of the wicked, IMO. It avoids putting God in a light completely opposite His character as does the traditional view, and yet still meets appropriate standards of justice and free will necessary to deal with the sin problem.

In a moment, I will offer clear biblical evidence to support annihilation. First some misgivings and falsehoods about annihilation must be addressed.

Tradtionalist Arguments against Annihilation
1) “Nothing is ever annihilated as science proves, but merely changes form one form of matter to anotherâ€Â

- This appeal to science to discredit annihilationsm is humorous considering that traditionalists believe that ‘immaterial souls’ or ‘soulish bodies’ can be burnt continuously for billions of years without consumption which is as scientifically fantastic as it gets. The fact is, is that whatever is left does not consciously exist. There is nothing ‘awake’ to be tormented for eternity, but non-existence.

2) “Annihilation is not really a punishment as sin is not then taken seriously enough with mere death. People won’t fear being dead forever as opposed to being tormented alive for eternity!â€Â

- This blood thirsty, vengeful argument should honestly stagger our sense of God given morality and mercy. This argument is made more from the human point of view that sinners ‘deserve it’ and our human sense of ‘revenge’ is then super-imposed on God’s loving character. Is not the highest punishment we can give on this earth death? Do we keep the killer shocked continually in the electric chair? No, because that would be cruel and inhumane, and our conscience abhors such a thought. So why do we put such a lesser characteristic on God and call it ‘justice’ when our own God given consciences (which are lesser and inferior to God’s morality) find it repulsive on earth. Are we Jekyll and Hyde personalities where we reject such a concept on earth but support it whole heartedly in the after life?

The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23) God’s plan is to eradicate sin and misery from the universe, not prolonging it by keeping it alive in some everlasting Auschwitz due to some personal vendetta based on vindictive retaliation.

3) Biblical evidence is against you and such texts as Revelation 14:8-11, Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:46 and Mark 9:43-46 support eternal torment.

I have shown in numerous threads that the language used in these verses are used elsewhere in the scripture to denote complete annihilation and destruction. Texts such as Isaiah 34:10, Jeremiah 17:27, Isaiah 66:24, 1 Samuel 1:21,24,28 and Exodus 3:2 show that these terms are used to indicate finite and complete destruction which is eternal.

See my most recent thread in the Apologetics section

4) Terms like ‘destruction’ ‘perish’ and ‘destroy’ don’t always mean annhilation but ‘ruin’ and ‘corruption.

The times these terms are used in this fashion are few and far between. When they are, they cannot be interpreted as ‘conscious eternal torment’ either, nor can these meanings be applied as a blanket meaning for all the uses of the English word. Nor are they used to describe the ultimate fate of the wicked unless it is synoymous with the literal meanings of these terms. This argument is extremely weak but must be invoked by the traditionalist to gloss over the clear evidence that God’s enemies will be destroyed. I have also done a word study on the terms 'destruction' and 'destroy'. when used in the context of the ultimate fate of the wicked, they mean exactly that. A final, complete action of annihilation.

Now with these thoughts in mind, Here are many texts to show what will occur for the ultimate fate of the wicked:

A. Wicked shall be ‘destroyed’
Psalm 145:20 “The Lord preserveth all them that love him, but all the wicked He shall destroyâ€Â
Psalm 101:8 “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lordâ€Â
Psalm 37:38 - “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the end of the wicked shall be cut offâ€Â
Psalm 92:7 “When the wicked spring as the grass and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed foreverâ€Â
Proverbs 13:13 - “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.â€Â
Proverbs 10:29 “The way of the Lord is strength to the upright, but destruction shall be the workers of iniquity.â€Â
Philippians 3:19 “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly thingsâ€Â
2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.â€Â
B. They shall ‘perish’
Psalm 37:20 “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs. They shall consume; into smoke shall they consume awayâ€Â
Proverbs 19:9 “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perishâ€Â
Luke 13:3 “Nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perishâ€Â
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever should believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting lifeâ€Â
2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received no the love of the truth that they might be savedâ€Â

C. The wicked shall be’ burnt up’
Matthew 3:12 “Whose fan is in His hand, and he will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner. But He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fireâ€Â
Matthew 13:30 “Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, ‘Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them. But gather the wheat into my barnâ€Â
Hebrews 6:8 “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.â€Â
Malachi 4:1,3 “For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble and th day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts. It shall leave them neither root nor branch...And ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.â€Â
2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works therein shall be burnt upâ€Â
D. The wicked will be ‘consumed’
Isaiah 1:28 “And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.â€Â
Psalm 37:20 “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs. They shall consume; into smoke shall they consume awayâ€Â
Psalms 104:35a “Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth and let the wicked be no moreâ€Â
E. The wicked will be ‘devoured’
Psalm 21:9 “Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them.â€Â
Revelation 20:9 “And they went up on th ebreadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.â€Â
Hebrews 10:27 “But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indigination, which shall devour the adversariesâ€Â
F. The wicked shall be ‘cut off from the earth’
Psalm 37:2,9,22,28,34,38 “For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb...For evildoers shall be cut off, but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth...For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off...For the Lord loveth judgment and forsaketh not his saints; the are preserved for ever. But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off...Wait on the Lord and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it...But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the end of the wicked shall be cut offâ€Â
Isaiah 33:12 “And the people shall be as the burnings of lime. As thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fireâ€Â
Proverbs 2:22 “But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of itâ€Â
G. The wicked will go into ‘perdition’ or ‘utter ruin’
Hebrews 10:39 “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soulâ€Â
2 Peter 3:7 “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and periditon of ungodly menâ€Â
H. The wicked are cmpared to combustible materials
Matthew 3:12. "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaffwith unquenchable fire."
Nahum 1:9-10 "What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time. For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry."
Matthew 13:40. "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world."
John 15:6. "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
What meaning can be attached to the words "burn up" if not utter consumption or destruction? It is almost unbelievable that men can read these statements, that "He (God) will make an utter end" and "they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry," and clear finite usage of terms like 'destruction', 'death', 'destroy', 'cut off', 'burn up' and 'be no more' and still believe in a literal, endless hell.
 
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Servant_2000

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The Bible clearly says that the Lake of Fire (Hell, Gehenna) is the second death--not annihilation!

"Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15 NASB.)

"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8 NASB.)

People like to say that God is a merciful God and therefore wouldn't torment people in hell forever. But that argument is missing something: The wicked don't get mercy! The Bible says that God's wrath is poured out on them "without mixture" (KJV)--it's not mixed with mercy!

This is the "Third Angel's Message" straight from the Bible!

"Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.'" (Revelation 14:9-11 NASB.)

As you see the 3rd Angel's Message has NOTHING to do with Sunday-keeping but is all about eternal hellfire!

"And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Revelaton 20:10 NASB.)

If you look at the context, you will notice that the beast and the false prophet had already been in the Lake of Fire for a 1,000 years and had not been burned up or annihilated yet!

Also, it is interesting to note that SDAs say that "forever and ever" in this verse does not mean "forever and ever" but just a couple chapters later (22:5) when it says that we "will reign forever and ever" they all the sudden think it does mean "forever and ever" there! Hmmm... Nice exegesis, eh? :wink: If we have eternal life, those who reject Jesus must have eternal death. If we reign forever and ever, those who reject Jesus must be tormented forever and ever. There is just no way around it. If hell is not eternal, then neither is heaven.
 
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SputnikBoy

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Not one of us ever asked to be born, servant. Eternal torment for having been born and rejecting God? Justice? I think not.
 

Quath

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Pretty interesting. I think it makes more sense than some of the traditional docterines.

Quath
 
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thessalonian

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blown about by every wind of doctrine is the phrase that comes to mind.
 
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Servant_2000

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some post's are gone? I was going to comment...but..oh well. another day.
 
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thessalonian

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Bubba

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Oct 24, 2005
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Guibox,
I would like to commend you on your last couple of posts, you in my estimation have done a fair and honest argument for Annihilation. I am not an SDA (I am Presbyterian) and did not first learn these thoughts you have given from SDA’s. I first began to question the Traditional view of Hell from people like John Stott, Jim Minkler and Edward Fudge, none of which are SDA’s. For me, now that I lean in the direction of Annihilation, my view of God, is less troublesome. I had struggled inwardly with the traditional view of eternal conscious punishment and the knowledge of a God whose wrath against the wicked would continue on for eternity in the form of torture. Also, since I believe in double predestination of the elect and reprobate, the reprobate issue is now better understood with the Annihilation view.

In Christ, Bubba
 
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thessalonian

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That something "makes sense" does not make it true. Truth does of course make sense but unfortunately error can be dressed in "sense" as well such that "even the elect might be decieved". If we have false theology in one area it makes us vulnerable to false theology in another because when we are confronted by an error we have to compensate with other errors. Double predestination is an error as well.

The idea of eternal punishment is one that bothers many because the focus on the mercy of God to the neglect of the justice of God. God is as just as he is merciful. He will force noone to be with him and gives plenty of opportunity for all to be with him. That is the error of double predestination. That some are predestined to hell. We are told that God desires that ALL MEN be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Thus if we choose hell it is not he who predestined us to it. Grace is ressistable.

There are so many doctrines in Protestantism that someone thinks are true. That "make sense". Someone gives a good explanation and the next thing you know Joseph Smith has a couple thousand people building a temple somewhere or Ellen G. White is called a prophet of God even though she prophesied falsely.



Blessings
 

guibox

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Servant_2000 said:
The Bible clearly says that the Lake of Fire (Hell, Gehenna) is the second death--not annihilation!
:-D Kind of redundant don't you think? What is the 'second death' if not non-existence? What do you think 'death' is? Do you have any idea how 'death' is used in the Bible as opposed and contrasted to 'life'? So when the Bible compares and contrasts the 'wages of sin' to the 'gift of God' (being eternal life), 'death' here means 'eternal conscious existence in tormenting fire'?

Do you realize how ridiculous and contradicting that is?

The first death is what we all experience. We die physically and we await either the first or the second resurrection. Without the resurrection, there would be no life. The 'second death' is similar to the first in process but from it there is no resurrection.

"blessed is he who partakes in the first resurrection as the second death has no power."

Now this is an interesting quote from Revelation 20. Why does the second death have no power?

To answer this, we must look at the characteristics of the first resurrection.

We know that at the first resurrection

- the righteous are resurrected to eternal life
- they receive a new body that is immortal and incorruptible
- they meet the Lord to forever be with Him

Hence, the 'second death's' power implies the opposite.

The second death wipes away eternal life and does not bring 'eternal life in conscious torment'. It takes away any hope of resurrection to eternal life. It destroys and those that fall under it's power are destroyed forever.

Pretty simple folks.
 

Bick

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709
Annihilation?

Guibox: I'm sure you are aware that the word normally translated 'destroy' is 'apollumi' in the Greek. And, if you do a word study, you may come to a different conclusion. The word generally is translated: lose, destroy, perish,
but by itself does not mean complete annihilation.

Think about this: All the wicked in the OT who are said to be destroyed, cut off, etc, did indeed perish. And all those during Jesus ministry, who were warned of the perils of their self righteousness, their wickedness, have died, have perished such that they will not live during the glorious reign of Messiah on the earth for the thousand years. All these wicked, as well those who will be dying since Jesus resurrection have not been annihilated, for they will all be resurrected to be judged at the Great White Throne.

All for now, Bick
 

guibox

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Re: Annihilation?

Bick said:
Guibox: I'm sure you are aware that the word normally translated 'destroy' is 'apollumi' in the Greek. And, if you do a word study, you may come to a different conclusion. The word generally is translated: lose, destroy, perish,
but by itself does not mean complete annihilation.

Think about this: All the wicked in the OT who are said to be destroyed, cut off, etc, did indeed perish. And all those during Jesus ministry, who were warned of the perils of their self righteousness, their wickedness, have died, have perished such that they will not live during the glorious reign of Messiah on the earth for the thousand years. All these wicked, as well those who will be dying since Jesus resurrection have not been annihilated, for they will all be resurrected to be judged at the Great White Throne.

All for now, Bick
Hi Bick,

Yes, 'appolumi' CAN mean those things but the context of the verses, the comparison/contrast and the clear explanation support from other scriptures shows us how it is used. You can see in some instances (not talking about the fate of the wicked) where 'appolumi' has a reference not associated with 'destroy', but it is not used in conjunction with the fate of the wicked. You cannot compare 'everlasting life' with 'death' and make the context mean 'eternal misery'. That is everlasting life in some form. To get around this, some will say that 'everlasting life' is speaking of 'quality' and not merely duration. The Bible doesn't support this and when you do so, you ignore the clear parallel that 'eternal life' and 'everlasting life' are the same thing. They are a gift of God. They are reserved only for the righteous. The wicked suffer the wages of sin which is death. They are mortal.

Second, the OT references speak about the ultimate fate of the wicked and not merely physical death. References to 'fire' 'smoke', 'unquenched', 'cut off', 'forever and ever' are all speaking of the afterlife which parallels the final judgement in Revelation 20. The context of the verses speaking about 'fire consuming' and 'wicked perishing as the fat of the lambs (speaking of the sacrifice burning), do not apply to merely a select group of people. Has every wicked person in the OT died physically by fire? No. This is speaking of the final judgement.


Yes, there will be a resurrection. However, we cannot interpret Daniel 12:1's 'some will raise to everlasting contempt' as 'eternal torment'. To do so is to make the OT promote a concept that is not found anywhere else. Instead, we must allow the contrast in the verse speak for itself. Then we must compare it with Romans 6:23.
 

Bick

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Mar 4, 2005
Messages
709
Annihilation a biblical concept?

Guibox, I do not believe that unending torment for unbelievers is biblical.

But, to me, words like: 'destroy', 'utterly destroy', 'be thrown into the fire, the unquenchable', etc., while certainly describing extermination and death, cannot mean annihilation.

First, from the standpoint of wisdom and logic and the scriptures: we know that God created all (literally, the all) things by, through and for Christ Jesus. God, was not surprised at the entrance of sin and death into all mankind, and in His heart knew that all the mankind would love and worship him more as their Saviour. 1 Pet. 1:19,20 tells us that we were redeemed "..with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, who was manifest in these last times for you."

God and Christ love all creation, and to believe that God, the potter, cannot remake 'vessels of dishonour' into 'vessels of honour' after a time of correction, does not line up with the all powerful, all knowing, all loving God, that I believe is who He is.

Next, the most important point is, what do the scriptures teach? Are all translations equal? Are some more accurate, more literal than others? And, if closer to the originals, shouldn't they be the ones to rely on? Should we hold to 'traditional,' popular doctrines if we find they are different from the more accurate versions?

Will pick up on this later, Bick
 

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