Let’s now return to Keller’s key definition: This thread is archived. In the English language, we understand the word eternal to mean: “without beginning or end, lasting forever, outside of time“: Whereas agelong has the complete opposite concept: “lasting for an age”, with “age” clearly referring to something with a beginning and an end that is bound by time. Does the indwelling life of Christ NOT pertain to the ages? Dan. Not one of those passages says hell is eternal conscious torment. The fact that human beings were made in the very image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27) should suggest, to those who contemplate issues seriously, that we are more than mere temporal creatures passing through time toward oblivion. The Most Destructive Doctrine — No, it is not “Hell”, No Mess is too Messy for Jesus, Including Suicide – In Memory of Jarrid Wilson, Answering Fundamentalism, Universal Salvation/Reconciliation. ... Jesus claimed its the place with eternal torment, so He is right, and you are wrong! Posted by. No … The questions are—how long does it last, what are its punishments; in short, what is the nature and duration of the punishment? They therefore change the meaning to suit. In this post, I want to summarize the best arguments for eternal conscious torment (ECT)—the traditional view of hell where the wicked will experience never-ending punishment. from Gustave Doré's (1832-1883) illustrations of Dante's Inferno I do not believe that the Bible actually teaches that hell is a place of eternal conscious torment. Therefore, a better understanding of “aionion” means pertaining to an aion/age. You’re telling me that God didn’t even mention ONCE for thousands of years about this place called hell? Both agelong and eternal are wrong. Because of the simple clarity of these verses, the great majority of Christians throughout history have accepted that the teaching of the Bible is that Hell is eternal, conscious torment. Such an understanding does not rob God of his immortality, but simply underscores the important relationship drawn in the New Testament between God and the ages He created to execute his plan to live within his followers. 100% Upvoted. Forbidden Theology. Doesn’t sound too much like endless torture, does it? Let my readers mark well this fact: These verses, some of the strongest quoted in favor of eternal conscious torment, are speaking of the burning of dead corpses only! 2:35 “the wind swept them away without leaving a trace.” This continues the theme of totally destroyed– there’s not a trace of the wicked. Which trait cancels out the other? His contention is that hell, the lake of fire, is indeed a place of torment, but it is not a torture chamber for “unlike torture, which is inflicted from without against one’s will, torment is self-inflicted” (Geisler 34, from Everything You Wanted to Know about Hell). This is utter nonsense and completely unbiblical. Tyrants and a few demented earthly parents may do such things to their children. When I first started digging into the Scriptures for greater truths, it was because I knew in my heart that God’s perfect justice couldn’t possibly include everlasting torture – yet I couldn’t get past this verse. Hart: It’s crystal clear that adjectives describe their related nouns – this is just how language works. I have no idea where Mr. Geisler got this definition for torment (that it is always self-inflicted), but it certainly wasn’t from the Bible. It is that of “eternal conscious torment” for all those who do not “accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” in this life. It also says he died for the whole world (1 John 2:2). Why? Subjecting a person to torment is torture. No verse actually says that. This is known as the eternal conscious torment (ECT) view. Eternal Torment. They are both true. It is so unlike Him. Keep note of this, we will address this shortly. It is His nature; there is no anger or fury in love; fury is not in me, Isa. Eternal Conscious Torment. Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Hobie, Dec 28, 2019. Using Biblehub‘s online lexicon, we can see that the Greek word for punishment is “kolasin” which means CORRECTION. Second, sins of the damned can be eternal in that sinners continue to sin throughout eternity. All four traits apply to him. The Smoke of Their Torment Will Rise Forever And Ever – Revelation 14:11. The position which I will defend in this essay is what is sometimes referred to as the traditional, or eternal conscious torment, position (hereafter, ECT). Norman Geisler, a staunch adherent of eternal torment, objects to this practice of using torment and torture interchangeably. When somebody says that “aion” and “aionios” do not mean “ever” or “for ever,” he is not denying God’s immortality. Annihilationism, by contrast, is the view that God will exterminate the wicked in hell. See for yourself by simply looking up these texts in both versions: Matthew 8:29, Mark 5:7 and Revelation 9:5. Instead, they should have reasoned that kolasis was corrective, therefore eonian cannot be endless.”. Yet despite the complete silence in the Hebrew Scriptures about eternal conscious torment in hell, people today continue to hold to the doctrine, primarily because they believe it is taught in the New Testament. What has compelled him to create his own personal and unbiblical definition for “torment” (that it is only self-inflicted)? Nowhere in the Bible is the soul said to be immortal. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” –Jesus (Matthew 10:28). It’s absolutely ludicrous therefore to force the adjective form of “aion” to then mean “eternal”. Now let’s address the common misconception: “But if you believe Christians will have eternal life, then “aionion” has to mean eternal, which then forces you to admit that punishment is also eternal since the same Greek word is used to describe both.”. Featured Is the doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment, biblical or not? The problem with this line of reasoning begins with the first premise. The moral intuition God has implanted within our consciences cannot justify the insatiable cruelty of a God who subjects sinners to unending torments. The answer to both questions is obvious and offers proof that the idea of eternal torment is indeed a profoundly disturbing concept which naturally offends our God-given moral and judicial instincts: The only way Geisler and like-minded people can accept this idea and live with themselves is by convincing themselves that their good, loving God is not the one carrying out or authorizing this sadistic sentence. Amen. And other than the King James Versions, all modern Bibles do not include hell in the Old Testament at all! Your email address will not be published. And then all of a sudden it just randomly pops up in the New Testament and no one is alarmed that the wages of sin is now “eternal punishment” instead of death?! Of course, if only one point stands, Matthew 25 cannot … 1 year ago. God is holy, righteous, and good. Now for the word “eternal”, which comes from the Greek word “aionion/aionios“: Strong’s 166: Notice how it says the definition could be “agelong” or “eternal”. It’s the verse that fire-and-brimstone pastors love, but the verse that squashes the hopes of those who are hoping in their hearts, that surely God has a better plan for the universe. Simply put, aionion doesn’t mean eternal any more than angry means happiness. This still does not prove a hell of endless torture. The "locust servants" were Roman soldiers who sieged Jerusalem and Masada and let no food in causing the inhabitants to starve. Is this so difficult to understand? And He doesn’t need to suffer eternally like we do to do it. I'm guessing you may have a different definition of "soul" than I do. Which is the reason why we need a resurrected body designed for such an occasion. In his recent book arguing for universalism, David Bentley Hart explains why he abhors the doctrine of hell as eternal conscious torment. You will only find these erroneous mistranslations in some English Bible translations. What does Matthew 25:46 mean? ... We have already seen John define that fire as eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire for the devil (Rev. Nowhere in the Bible is the soul said to be immortal. All articles are Evangelical in nature and not pertaining to any specific denomination. Before we proceed, here is an abbreviation: ECT = Eternal, Conscious Torment (the traditional view). But for Christians to ascribe such activity to the Creator of all mankind is simply terribly misguided thinking.”, I have read and agree to the terms & conditions. Again, with the understanding that the definition of “correction” means “to make right”, don’t you think an all-powerful God attempting to correct someone would eventually produce the level of righteousness that He desires in that person? However, we do see that “aionion” is used to describe God himself, who is certainly not temporary – which is a large contributing factor in the confusion. Neither. By that I mean, hell is not a place where people who sin and disbelieve are sent to be punished and tortured. If these first two points stand, “eternal punishment” should be translated as something like “age-to-come chastisement” and therefore, Matthew 25 could not be used to support the eternal, conscious torment view. Same greek word used in this verse for both eternal life and eternal torment. I'm guessing you may have a different definition of "soul" than I do. We are so persuaded of our position, and so confident in the Scriptural evidence presented on this site, that we honestly do not believe that anyone who shares our faith in the final authority of Scripture will be able to cling to endless torment after reading this entire site and the links. How much more so the prospect of subjecting a person to everlasting fiery conscious torment? Before arguing for one meaning of death and against another, it is important to understand the opposing view. Let’s be truthful and candid enough to call a spade a spade! It means that there will be an age of correction and an age where those in Christ will be experiencing “life of the ages”. Think of it like a mortgage—at some point, you pay it off and satisfy the debt. (Hell-fire, or the lake of fire mentioned in Revelation, can be thought of as a place reserved for fallen angels. Without a definition, how can we address the issue? Eternal conscious punishment is the view that the wicked will suffer the pains of hell forever. Of course not. Here’s why. Pharisees weren't being warned of Eternal Conscious Torment. And finally, I leave you with a powerful quote by Gary Amirault: “A loving Father knows how to bring correction to His children without consigning them to an endless torture chamber. Second, there is the view of Annihilationism which is sometimes referred to as “Conditional Immortality.” Theologians and pastors I trusted sounded logical when they reasoned “if life is eternal, punishment is also eternal, because the same Greek word, “aionion“, is used for both”. But Mr. Geisler argues that eternal torment in the lake of fire is self-inflicted, living with the consequences of one’s bad choices, therefore it’s not torture. None. God is love, 1 John 4:16. In this one scripture, not only does Paul affirm that God is of the age (aion), he also confirms that God has glory and honor “unto the ages of the ages,” just as King David also said that “God’s years are throughout all generations.“. from Gustave Doré's (1832-1883) illustrations of Dante's Inferno I do not believe that the Bible actually teaches that hell is a place of eternal conscious torment. Just because aionios is applied to God does not mean “aionios” automatically means “eternal.” God can pertain to the ages, and also be immortal, and the scriptures testify to both as you will see. God wills us to love our enemies, who abuse, wrong, and hate us; much more will God love his enemies, Luke 6:35. Guess what? And, God’s judgment also pertains to the ages. Hell, Hades, Gehenna, the Lake of Fire, and similar places of eternal torment have often been the subject of books, poetry, art, philosophy—even humor. His CT Interviewer, Mark Galli, who himself has written on the topic affirmed that he too was agnostic after looking at the evidence. Neither. The word aionios neither means “infinite” OR “temporary.” Instead, it means “PERTAINING to the aions/ages.” Does God NOT pertain to the ages? Knoch, brilliantly covers this concept in his book, All in All: “We protest against the translation of kolasis as “punishment.” Everywhere else in Greek this word denotes corrective chastisement, and is used of pruning. The reason the bible doesn’t speak in such a ludicrous way is simply because this doctrine of eternal conscious torment in not a biblical teaching. One of the disagreements between the two views is over the meaning of death.. Their reasoning is that because this adjective is applied to life promised to believers (John 3:16), God himself (Romans 16:26), and punishment (Matthew 8:18), the word automatically means “eternal” on that basis alone. Everlasting is itself wrong, so they change kolasis to correspond with the wrong translation punishment, making both wrong. He is God of what He creates. No verse in the Bible gives an expository description of what hell is or what it's about. Therefore everlasting destruction is not self-inflicted at all; it is executed by God himself as the just consequences for a person’s bad choices ( Matthew 10:28 , 2 Thessalonians 1:9 & James 4:12 ). This article was edited from Chapter Six of HELL KNOW. He continues in the interview to explain that while he went back and strengthened the chapter on the eternal conscious torment of the damned, after studying the topic he is really agnostic. Matthew 25:46 is the poster child verse for those who believe in eternal conscious torment in hell. 14:10–11). If not defined this way, we have several logical fallacies happening in one verse. Not necessarily eternal conscious torment. Third is the argument from the word eternal. The scripture testifies to that as well. View most clearly supported by Jesus (to make Jesus support other views, considerable pleading to a kind of fundamentalist harmony within the scripture to dampen Jesus' own statements is necessary.) After death there is no longer any hope considered for them. As much as i would like it to be annihilation also, i cannot believe it since scripture is clear otherwise, and if i wanted to believe that eternal didnt mean it with the torment, i would also have to believe that life is not eternal … What I think is more important for this specific discussion though is to note that most pastors who study this verse completely ignore the Greek word that is translated as punishment. Few passages from the Old Testament are cited as evidence that hell is a place of eternal torment. Given the Old Testament’s emphasis on … I feel that I do understand the eternal conscious torment view of death because I grew up in churches which taught it, attended a Bible seminary where the professors believed in eternal torment (one of my professors even wrote a book defending hell as eternal torment), and I myself believed it and even taught it to others before seeing biblical evidence that changed my mind. In Chapter One we firmly established from Scripture that God Himself is going to forever destroy people who choose sin and reject his gift of salvation. Featured Is the doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment, biblical or not? They say that when someone dies, the whole person dies. But, when another Christian claims that such a thing denies God’s immorality, he is committing the error of “Affirming a Disjunct.” Here is how you know: 1 Timothy 1:17 – Now unto the King eternal (aion), immortal (aphthartos), invisible (aoratos), the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever (eis aion aion). By that I mean, hell is not a place where people who sin and disbelieve are sent to be punished and tortured. It’s the ONLY verse in the entire Bible where we find the word “eternal” beside the word “punishment”. It is that of “eternal conscious torment” for all those who do not “accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” in this life. In fact, when translated correctly, the Bible actually shows that the punishment for sin is experienced in a limited duration and for the purpose of restoration! WE ARE COMPENSATED FOR REFERRING TRAFFIC. Scripture on Eternal Hell, and Conscious, Eternal Torment Now that we have an explanation of this teaching from the official Catholic source, let us expand this from Scripture. My thesis is both positive and negative. He believed “eternal punishment or chastisement was simply the punishment or correction that pertained to eternity. Does God really torment people eternally in hell? Let’s first see some examples of better translations that don’t erroneously translate “eternal” into this verse: The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible, 1976, “And these shall go away into age-abiding *correction, but the righteous into **age-abiding life.”, The twentieth Century New Testament, 1900, “And these last will go away ‘into onian punishment, but the righteous ‘into onian life.”, “And these will depart into age-continuing correction, but the righteous, into age-continuing life.”, “And these shall go forth to the aionian 1 cutting-off; but the RIGHTEOUS to aionian Life.”, The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, 1958, “And these shall go away into agelasting cutting-off and the just into agelasting life.”, “And these will go away into eonian correction, but the righteous into eonian life.”, The New Testament, A New Translation, 1980, “Then they will begin to serve a new period of suffering; but God’s faithful will enter upon their heavenly life.”, And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian.”, “And these shall go away into age-abiding correction, But the righteous into age-abiding life.”. Why does Mr. Geisler have such a problem with the word “torture” as a descriptive term for his belief in never-ending conscious torment? A moral objection to eternal conscious torment (ECT) is that if sinners are tormented in hell for all eternity (or, to be more precise, the lake of fire), then God’s justice is never satisfied. Winner x 1 If the lake of fire is really a continuous torment, the person experiencing that torment would have to exist, Else it's not torment. So, why confuse his immortality with his glory and honor in the ages he created, when they are not the same traits? I will now quote the following from Merciful Truth: The reason that aionios was translated “everlasting” is largely due to a false assumption. The eternal fire which brought Sodom to ashes is an example of what will finally happen to the wicked. This destruction is sometimes seen as accomplished by fire, and sometimes it is preceded by a period of conscious anguish and suffering before it is consummated in eternal … Eternal Conscious Torment cannot explain degrees of suffering.... No matter how much any given member of the damned has suffered in that view, there is always an infinite amount of suffering to be continuously endured. ... Hell is the LOF, as the LOF is the place of eternal punishment, which is the definition of hell. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. (Note that the "Smoke of their torment" rises forever, not their torment) However, the image of rising smoke, and even the claim of smoke rising forever, is in fact an Old Testament idiom that describes destruction, not ongoing burning (let alone ongoing torment). And existing means life of some kind. God will never die, or end just because ages do, but doesn’t God relate to what he creates, even if He is not limited to what he creates? We were recently forced out of the Mathison Response (together with several other writers) in a power play that attempted to compel all contributors to sign a doctrinal statement affirming their belief in Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT). Generations represent continual progression of ages in time. Both references obviously apply to the same position — that of never-ending conscious suffering. Richardson hopes to make a robust case for traditionalism / Eternal Conscious Torment {hereafter ECT} by arguing inductively from soul immortality, often referring to her clarion cry of Mt. If it is literally a punishment that they cannot return from, then the punishment will remain in effect. Eternal conscious torment is consistent in that the only thing that the wicked have not yet faced is God’s full wrath in the body. If a cat is both fuzzy and gray, affirming that the cat is gray does not deny the fuzziness. First, when have we ever seen an adjective that is an antonym of its respective noun?! Let’s recap the facts we’ve already discussed: Why should anyone assume that such facts would limit God? In this episode of The Remnant Radio, Jordan Sutton is coming on the show to discuss conditionalism. But, at closer examination, both of logic and the scripture, it actually falls apart. Therefore everlasting destruction is not self-inflicted at all; it is executed by God himself as the just consequences for a person’s bad choices (Matthew 10:28, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 & James 4:12). These Christians point to biblical references to eternal punishment, as well as eternal elements of this punishment, such as the unquenchable fire, the everlasting shame, the "worm" that never dies, and the smoke that rises forever, as consistent with the traditional doctrine of eternal, conscious torment of the non-believers or sinners in hell. “Aion” would have to mean something similar to “eternity” in order for its adjective form to be “eternal” – but instead, we clearly see throughout scripture that “aion” means “age”. The truth regarding eternal punishment. The Old Testament.A study of God's major judgments (e.g., the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah) shows that the Old Testament focuses on premature death when dealing with the fate of the ungodly, not on life after death. Okay, so the correct translation is “agelong“? Of course it does. If a person unrepentently rebels against God and makes himself or herself miserable through sin (usually spreading misery to others as well), the kindest, most merciful thing God could do is to let such a person die, which is the “wages of sin” (Romans 6:23). Because these verses are directly related to Matthew 18:9 and 5:29-100, all six references are thus irrelevant concerning eternal conscious torment. When we study that out to find that immortality and life are distinguishable concepts in the Bible, you might be surprised to what level the meaning of “life” is misunderstood by prevalent Christian theology. 25:41 and 2 Pet. It turns out that his reasons are not first of all to do with God’s revelation in scripture but with a gag-reflex—his moral revulsion against a deity that would preside over an eternal conscious torment in hell. If these first two points stand, “eternal punishment” should be translated as something like “age-to-come chastisement” and therefore, Matthew 25 could not be used to support the eternal, conscious torment view. First, here’s the definition of correction understood in today’s use of English: MacMillian’s Dictionary also has the same understanding: “the action of changing something in order to make it correct or accurate”, This is important to highlight because the English word “correction” understood today still maintains the original purpose first used in Old English that came from Latin origins: “corrigere” – which means to ‘make straight, bring into order’. In this issue, Christians often commit a logical error called Affirming a Disjunct, which is to fallaciously claim that one distinction cancels out all other distinctions. 17 comments. 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