Following The Evidence #132

One of the most theologically confused subjects in the Bible, one that was fumbled and distorted by the church until it became a vulgarism and expletive. Will a God of love torture people throughout eternity just because they do not believe in Him? This confusion would have punishment predating judgment and sentencing before trial. This is not justice. The consistent teaching of the New Testament is that the day of Christ’s return is the Day of Judgment. Many passages support this view such as John 5:25-29, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 20:11-15 and Matthew 25:31-34. We have seen that scripture pictures God as both kind and stern. The concept of his everlasting love and mercy do not fit the picture of eternal torment. Sacred scripture clearly declares that He will deal with sin and evil will not go unpunished. There will be a final reckoning. Either accept that Jesus paid the price for your sin by dying in your place or pay the price yourself. It is as simple as that.

Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” The wages of sin (which we all deserve) is death, not eternal torment. There is an eternal punishment(noun) for sin but not an eternal punishing (verb). Death is not a conscious state (see e.g., Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, Psalm 146:3, 4, Daniel 12:1, 2, John 11:11-14 etc). Death is not life. This was the devil’s first lie to Adam and Eve. To die without Christ is not to live somewhere else.

Remember John 3:16 – the two choices, perish or eternal life. What does the word perish mean according to the dictionary? It means: To die or be destroyed, to pass away or disappear, to suffer destruction or ruin, to suffer spiritual death. Its synonyms are listed as: expire, wither, shrivel, rot, vanish. You can’t be eternally dead and eternally conscious. Do sinners get immortality in some place besides heaven and the new earth. According to the Bible only those who believe in Jesus live forever. Ezekiel 18:4(KJV) says, “the soul that sins shall die.” The NLT translates it this way, “The person who sins is the one who will die.” Recognizing that the word for soul is otherwise translated as ‘person.’ Paul said,” They will perish, but you remain forever.” (Hebrews 11:1) Peter said the world ‘perished’ in the flood. The Greek word for perish or destroy ‘apullumi’, is used 39 times in the New Testament and 128 times in the old.

The God of an endless burning punishing hell is a fiend, a monster, a tyrant and the ultimate terrorist and this all would defeat His original purpose. There is no justice if a bad life of 70 years is rewarded with eternal punishment. The punishment for sin is death which is an eternal result. “Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people.” 2Peter 3:6. “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 7. Ashes? Eternal fire? Seems the result was eternal because the fire has long gone. Archaeology has discovered the probable site of Sodom, with over a metre of ash!

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