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Annihilationism

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The issue of Salvation has always been on the forefront of my mind due to its implications surrounding the eternal fate of a person. I was watching a debate between two bible scholars on the subject of Eternal Punishent vs Annihilationism. The one advocating the Annihilationist view had told his listeners how Annihilation is far more terrifying than Eternal Punishment; and how just the thought of him not existing is a horrific concept in his mind. Here's the logical fallacy of that statement: If one ceases to exist after death, then what is there to worry about? The answer is: EVERYTHING! (Matt.5:29; 10:15,28; 13:42; 18:9; 25:46; cf. Lk.16:23; 2 Thess.1:8-10; 2 Pet.2:4; Rev.14:9-11; 20:10,14). A non-existent person is incapable of "worrying" or having any sense of "dread" or fear -- because they WILl NOT EXIST. What are the reasons as to why most non-Christians commit suicide? Because they despise their life and do not want to live anymore (i.e., they're better off dead). They also believe that this life here on Earth is all there is to life; that they will suffer the same fate as an ant when stepped on. I've personally known people who wanted to end their life and had not an iota of concern or desire to live in an afterlife.

I have also overheard one Christian brother who desired for his atheist father to be saved because his time was short (i.e., his father was in his 90's). The other Christian brother had told him, "Well . . . I am an Annihilationist, so if your Dad so happens to pass away in an unregenerate state, you can rest assured that he won't suffer eternal punishment. Don't overwhelm yourself over this." We have a duty and a responsibility to, without hesitation, correct the false teachings of those who are entrenched by the damnable heresies of apostates with fear (cf. Rom.16:18); otherwise we ourselves may be contaminated and defiled with such apostate doctrines. Annihilationism is a VERY dangerous doctrine (2 Pet.2:1) that has the persuasiveness to sway people in the wrong direction in life, and ultimately seal their fate resulting in a Christless hell and an Eternal Lake of Fire as their final abode (Matt.7:13-14).

And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 23)

Their rebuttals (Annihilationists) are nothing more than suppositions with emotional appeals. These are all "arguments from vocabulary", and no such argument can be decisive. That is to say, what a modern English reader "thinks" a Greek word "must" mean is one thing (and it may be incorrect); but to take that and then say that "since the word usually means X" we can deduce that "the Bible is saying Y" is always dangerous. And when the Bible directly refutes Y, then we have a case of false teaching:

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

Notice 1) the beast and the false prophet, who were thrown into the lake of fire at the beginning of the Millennium "are" still there a thousand years later; and 2) all these (and all unbelievers and fallen angels), "shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever". How could the Bible say this any more clearly? Contrast the verse above with any of the passages adduced where it is definitely NOT clear that there is some annihilation -- that is a deduction these people have made from the vocabulary and what they say it "must" mean. We must remember too that the Bible describes being in the lake of fire "the second death", a fate so terrible that it is called "death" (Rev.20:14; 21:8), even though those in that state are going to be conscious and suffering for all eternity (which is their choice, we have to keep in mind). There are plenty of verses which likewise make clear that the terrible eternal state of unbelievers is just that: eternal (Dan.12:2; Isa.66:22-24; Matt.18:8; 25:31,41,46; cf. Mk.3:29; 9:44,48; 2 Thess.1:9; Jude 7,13; Rev.14:11). There is no annihilation. That is a pagan (Epicurean) teaching, but not a biblical one.

How can a most loving and merciful God send anyone to an Eternal Lake of Fire? Those who end up there are there because they want no part of God whatsoever. Unbelievers love the darkness rather than the light; and they refuse to go to the light so that their deeds may be reproved. Therefore, God gave them over to their reprobate minds (Rom.1:28). Those who refuse to submit themselves to a Sovereign God are condemned already (Jn.3:18) -- and they will continue and remain to live in their sins and immorality as the verse below clearly shows. Even after God's wrath is poured out at times to get men to repent; they still will not repent . . . but rather they blaspheme God and refuse to give God His Glory (Rev.2:21-23; 9:21; 16:9,11; Ex.9:12). God's wrath is not only poured out in hell, but we see in the book of Revelation that God's wrath is also poured out towards unrepentant sinners -- and they refused to repent. This is why hell and the Lake of Fire is Eternal for such people. They will continue (even in hell) to remain in their sins for all of Eternity and will NEVER repent.

He that is unjust, let him be [unjust still]: and he which is filthy, let him be [filthy still]: and he that is righteous, let him be [righteous still]: and he that is holy, let him be [holy still]. (Revelation 22:11)

God Bless!

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