Eternal punishment

Posted: July 9, 2012 in christian living, Jesus
Tags: , , , ,

1 Timothy 1:17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

I recently read this comment by a professing christian.

But God gave us minds, and a sense of justice, and I just don’t see how it is just to torture a person for all eternity even if they sinned badly every day and even if they cursed Jesus every day.

Is Christ worth so little (even though all things were made through Him and for Him) and fallen man worth so much that it is unjust with God to  deal an eternal punishment for cursing the king of glory even once, let alone every day?  This is dangerous thinking that is eerily similar to that of those who have received the mark of the beast.  I am not grouping all those who believe in annihilation into this, just focusing on the actual comment above. [edit]

Revelation 16:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea. The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, “Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments…

And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!” …

They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory… and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds… And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.

The end time cry of the righteous is “true and just are Gods judgments”, while the wicked “curse God” for sending judgments on the earth. Yet today many of the professed righteous would charge God with being unjust for doing such a severe thing, let alone dealing out eternal punishment. By their reasoning there is little injustice in cursing Christ but great injustice in God punishing eternally. This is similar to when believers say things like God would be a tyrant if he sent people to eternity in the lake of fire.

I  thank God for the precious blood of Christ, for heavens lamb becoming debased and accursed under the wrath of God for us.  Worthy is the lamb of God.  Amen?

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Comments
  1. Al Nelson says:

    I know a man whom I thought was a brother make a similar statement. He came into my home and tried to teach that Hell is not for eternity and state he couldn’t follow a God who would let someone suffer for eternity. He tried to teach that men will burn up and nothing will be left. Even in the face of verses like Revelation 14:11 wherein the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night. This is serious business folks! God will give us not just what people deserve, but exactly what people asked for if we refuse Christ. Separation from that which they refused to follow. His yoke and burden are light! He carries the weight for us! Any diminishing statements of what Hell is, diminishes the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Glory of His work. Thanks for the post brother. All Glory to God!

    • fleebabylon says:

      “he couldn’t follow a God who would let someone suffer for eternity”

      I do see most that hold to annihilation do so out of a corrupt heart. They will claim it is because they see it in scripture, but they cant hide in their writings the real reason for their belief. They exalt the worth of man and diminish the sacrifice of Christ as you said.

      For me, I deserved to be damned but Christ died for me. I was so wicked that I deserved eternal punishment but God in His mercy saved me through Christ. He bore the wrath of God for me. (isaiah 53:4-6).

  2. ian vincent says:

    Surely this applies to the “annihilationists” :

    Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    They take away from the part which says they are tormented forever and ever – the very same word used to declare that God lives forever and ever. (Eis Aion Aion)

  3. fleebabylon says:

    Some are beaten with many stripes and some with few. I can see where some true brethren can wrestle with this as either severity of punishment and others a duration of punishment. I don’t have a problem with a believer grappling with this and to some extent we dont know exactly what hell will be like. Yet what we do know is that Jesus said it would be better to cut off your arms, legs, and pluck out your eyes instead of going to that fiery furnace.

    So my concern isn’t so much for a brother who is digging into God’s word on these things as it is for those who say “I couldn’t follow a God who would let someone suffer for eternity”. That is reprobate thinking there, not honest digging into what Gods word actually says.

  4. fleebabylon says:

    If you want to read the writings of a reprobate professing christian, look at this link:

    http://www.tentmaker.org/FAQ/forever_eternity.html

    This would be a good study on discernment by going through this essay…

  5. I too do not believe in a non ending burning hell I think it is more than an interpretation issue If you read about the hell of pagan religions, you will see that their version of hell is basically the same as the forever burning, torture one believed by many Christians It is difficult to comprehend a God that would do this to anyone Let them burn and hurt forever Burns are painful as we all know Because a person does not buy into this interpretation does not mean they are not your brother in Christ The sermon by Jonathan Edwards that is so highly exalted by many (because it affected people to such a degree) is an example of what is so bad about this interpretation. Because it affected people so much (terror and fear, both of the unclean kind) it is held up as powerful. Robert Whitelaw does a good job on this issue in one of his booklets. AJC

    • fleebabylon says:

      Angela,

      I have studied pagan religions for sure and am aware of the similarities that you bring up. There are also similarities in their false religions to a virgin birth of a ‘god’. Do we then automatically discount Christ for sake of a poor pagan idol? More importantly, do you consider yourself worthy of being separated from God for sinning against his holy majesty for all of eternity? Also, do you believe that eventually the sinner ceases to exist in the lake of fire and ‘burns out’ at some point or that they eventually suffer enough to be reconciled to God? If it is the first I would not discount you as a sister in Christ though I would disagree and think you believe a false doctrine. If it is the second (that everyone is saved whether or not they believe in Christ) I would challenge you if your conclusion is based on studying the word of God or being swayed by the pagan argument and our fallen human emotions.

      ” It is difficult to comprehend a God that would do this to anyone”

      Only if we do not understand the true wickedness of our own sin. Is it difficult to comprehend a God that would pour out plagues upon the earth the way I quoted in revelation or flood the earth killing countless souls save eight who found favor in his sight? Feel free to comment more and know I do not automatically discount anyone as brethren based on current understanding of one issue. As far as Edwards, I do not endorse all things him but I sure noticed a strong correlation between his preaching on damnation and his preaching on the excellencies of Jesus Christ. That is lifting up the amazing grace of God compared to the depravity and just damnation of sinners. Some closing scriptural thoughts:

      Matthew 25:46 Youngs Literal Translation
      And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.

      Revelation 14:11 Youngs Literal Translation

      and the smoke of their torment doth go up to ages of ages; and they have no rest day and night, who are bowing before the beast and his image, also if any doth receive the mark of his name.

      • Thank you for your response. I think I am coming from a different place than you. I came to a Christ I had always been aware of because life circumstances brought me there. There was no altar call etc. I did not come to him because I feared hell and don’t even like or understand that reasoning(that does not mean I don’t believe in the wicked being cut off from Christ in judgment ). It means I think we got it twisted (hell) somewhere down the line with Satan’s help and this twist has been used by certain religions to control people for a long time. Sick, perverted fear. Not the clean fear that brings us closer to the one that looks after us. Have you read Robert Whitelaw’s take on it? The judgment on people and nations in the past and coming in the future, I completely understand but the hell issue is different. God always annihilates, he does not torture. That comes from man and Satan. Angela Who am I speaking with?

        • fleebabylon says:

          Angela,

          Sorry for the delay, I was away for a few days. You said:

          “twist has been used by certain religions to control people for a long time. Sick, perverted fear. Not the clean fear that brings us closer to the one that looks ”

          I can tell you as someone who home churches and has no man-made religious organization controlling him that is not the case with me. I appreciate you sharing a little bit about how you came to Christ and think that adds a lot to this conversation. I came to Christ as someone who deserved to be tormented (tortured is not the right word) under the wrath of God for eternity because of the absolute sick perversity of the sins I committed against Him and His kingdom. That is my testimony. I no longer fear God as I did then (as a guilty criminal and child of the devil) but in the clean fear you speak of (reverence as my heavenly father). Remember the words of Jesus though outside of placing our faith in Him we are under the wrath of God, we are children of the devil, and again it is better to pluck out our own eye then to enter into that fiery furnace where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. If we just taught it as Jesus and the apostles taught it, we would have no big disagreement, and in the end the extent of mans punishment (some beaten with few stripes and some with many) whether in severity of eternal damnation or in length of age of the damnation would be what it is. With that I bow out and just warn you not to curse the just judgment of God like the young man I quoted in the original article.

          [edit – something to think about] Would you have cursed God if I hadn’t gotten saved and been damned for eternity? I wouldn’t have.

          Jim

          • AJC says:

            Jim I don’t know exactly how to approach this but will do the best I can. I am not talking about God not being just and that there is no judgment, I just think there might be some mis-interpretation involved as to what that judgment is. Some done in innocence and some on purpose (as in the catholic church for control thru fear). Some Christians say that what the judgment fully entails is not fully clear, which I think may be the case. I do feel that the burning hell forever thing is a misinterpretation. The way Christians talk about it and how it affects their witness makes it suspect alone. It causes them to lose their peace and usually start to rant. You can bow out if you want and I may bow out as well. One thing I have noticed and have become concerned about is this – after we become aware of all the deception that is out there and how many people there are out there who were deceived or went to churches that are involved in all the craziness, there has to be a time when we let go and get back to the basics. There used to be a pastor on the radio named J. Vernon Mcghee and one other whose teachings always brought you to Christ. I do not agree with all his doctrines (hell) but his words always made you aware of Christ. I think we need more of that now. Teachings on the basics. How people escape all the deception, false gods, erring spirits, I don’t know. Maybe by staying in the word and sound teachers. Christians in the new testament weren’t rich, did not live in mansions, ,did not take money from the poor and destitute. Anyways, the type of hell you described with constant torture and being beaten , I feel is the misinterpretation brought in by an erring spirit. If I am wrong then Jesus forgive me. AJC

            • fleebabylon says:

              “I feel is the misinterpretation brought in by an erring spirit.”

              Same way I feel on the other side, but this post was about the original comment I mentioned (the professing Christian who thought it no big thing for someone to curse Jesus Christ every day). That is why I bow out, I am not looking to beat this horse on a blog, just to inspect what was really being said in such comments.

          • AJC says:

            Jim u can reply to my personal e mail if you want AJC

  6. P.S. Christ is in no way diminished just because hell is not a place of cruel torture. He brought us the kingdom. Angela

  7. AJC says:

    p.s. I don’t understand the edit comment tell me what you mean AJC

    • fleebabylon says:

      Sorry, I meant that if I hadn’t gotten saved I would have no problem with God damning me for eternity (I think you have no problem with that either) but also I would not have had a problem with me being conscience of it. Who is man (even professing christians) to minimize the severity of their sin and accuse God for punishing it.

      • AJC says:

        The problem I would have is that I wouldn’t want you to be damned for eternity. I would never minimize sin. When I am convicted of it, it breaks my heart and I say I am sorry to the one I have sinned against (god and other). I do not want to beat a dead horse but your attitude is harsh. Same one encountered when a discussion comes up with a brother or sister who doesn’t want to hear it about why slain in the spirit and other manisfestations (spelling?) are not scriptural and weren’t practiced by apostles. AND, your bowing out might be sensible at this point, but do not get it into your head that you are merely bowing out because I just can’t be reached and am deceived. While your website is good and helps, your attitude is a little harsh and off. AJC The worst thing about sin is it grieves the savior and shows lack of trust and faith.

      • AJC says:

        P.S. I can’t help but notice how fellowship is broken among Christians and real harm is done when there is a difference of opinion. To rationalize it as shunning the deceived is wrong. If a brother or sister is off, you should entreat them sincerely and in kindness. Sin, of course is a different matter. My take on hell is held by many genuine Christians. There is something wrong when you become angry if another Christian does not agree with you completely on an interpretation and dismissing them as ignorant and deceived. That is of the flesh. AJC Last comment

  8. AJC says:

    Really, it was going to be my last comment but…… My deal is I want people to know Christ because He came to save us – from sin, the world. He came to bring the kingdom. He is what me need to deliver us from sin, hopelessness, satan, demons. I never say to one who is brokenhearted – come to Christ so you won’t go a hell and burn forever. He came to help us in the land of the living. Judgment is what it’s going to be no matter what we say or believe about it. There are many different interpretations on it and very good explanations on why they interpret it differently(word origins). I personally think the burning forever is not of God. The spirit I know would not delight or relish people begging or crying for help from being burned. I think (and only think) judgment might be being cut off from Christ or annihilation. It is not something I want to think about all the time as the bible does not make it totally clear( word origins misconstrued ). AJC He came to intercede for us with the Father.

  9. fleebabylon says:

    Angela:
    “I do not want to beat a dead horse but your attitude is harsh.”

    Jim:
    Your judgments and personal attacks are unrighteous

    Angela:
    “your attitude is a little harsh and off”

    Jim:
    I find your false judgments distasteful

    Angela:
    “There is something wrong when you become angry if another Christian does not agree with you completely on an interpretation and dismissing them as ignorant and deceived. That is of the flesh.”

    Jim:
    And there is something wrong when a poster gets as stirred and starts making false accusations like you are in the name of being “a loving christian”

    Angela:
    “I never say to one who is brokenhearted – come to Christ so you won’t go a hell and burn forever. He came to help us in the land of the living”

    Jim:
    This is called a false dichotomy. He came to help us [both] in this life and the age to come. Jesus said it would be better to cut off your hand or be crippled in this life than to go to that fiery furnace. Paul said that knowing the terror of the Lord he persuaded men to turn to Christ. Jude said to save some with fear and others with compassion. That is your false dichotomy, throwing away one half of scripture to support your emotionally driven error which you exalt above the word of God.

    Angela:
    “AJC Last comment”

    Jim:
    You are correct, please move along to your next victim.

  10. fleebabylon says:

    The athiest can’t imagine a God that would let children starve and all the other evils in the world to happen

    The annihilationist can’t imagine a God that would let sinners be tormented forever in the lake of fire

    The christian universalist can’t imagine a God that would let sinners be tormented OR annihilated forever

    Imagination is a powerful thing. What did the people who heard Jesus say things like this imagine – it is better to pluck out your eye then go to hell fire, all those who cause offense in his kingdom will be gathered together and thrown into a fiery furnace, the sheep would enter into eternal life and the goats into eternal damnation? It’s true that mainstream christendom may have ‘made a few things up’ by way of imagination regarding what damantion, hell ,and the lake of fire are like. If we just preach it like Jesus and the apostles did and not go far beyond the word of God it would eliminate any talk of christian universalism or ultimate reconciliation. It would also minimize any talk of annihilation.

  11. fleebabylon says:

    Too bad AJC wasn’t there to tell these angels that they were teaching “Sick, perverted fear. Not the clean fear that brings us closer to the one that looks after us. ”

    Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

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