Okay then, it sounds like non-eternal punishment results in the eternalness of non-existence is how annihilationist would imply the use of the meaning of eternal in conjunction with punishment, judgment, so thank you Sudsy for clarifying this. So that is what we’ll look at next. I’ll touch only in part on this because this has already has already been reviewed. I’ll add a little bit more then stop, and continue on concerning the other definitions. I am only going to make a few points to the readers to ponder and move on, my intent is for the Reader to think with reason on these matters through and reach their own conclusions.Sudsy wrote:I don't think the term eternal needs changing at all. It is considered that the punishment need not be non-ending (the process) to still be called eternal. The forever concept is applied to the consequence (the result) of the punishment not the process. There is no reversing the punishment once it begins with the end result being destruction/ashes as this is the second death and therefore eternal punishment is still a proper term...
Before the reader begins, please note that when prominent annihilationist charge that the doctrine of eternal punishment is a terrible – horrible travesty to God’s name and character (Fudge and others make this claim) and must be eradicated from Christian doctrine at all cost. Such annihilationist charges must be answered by actually comparing what they claim with God’s own actual character with force…Because they know not what they do… So take heed before you read…
Some tongue tying Questions:
Well, how can temporal punishment really be eternal if punishment ceases at some future point granting the reality peace/rest through the agency that nothingness would eternally bring? Or how can temporal punishment really be eternal if punishment ceases by any means? Or how can punishment be defined as being eternal if nothing exists to punish because the punishment ceases but continues on in the form of non-punishment by vicarious non-existence?
Premise: Annihilationist have a habit of spinning a story line by redefining words and blending these definitions to fit human moralizing concepts that seek to mold these words into an image of christened Christianized Epicurus atomist philosophy. This comes about by changing word concepts and meanings to fit a one size fits all definition blended with annihilationist Epicurus’ concept into select biblical words and phrases. Let's test this premise...
How could this be done?
Well, for starters, first, by violating every principle of linguistics and grammar rules used in translating Matt 25:41, 46 from Koine Greek into English. Next, by distorting the contextual continuity of Scripture that the period Matthew 25:41-46 refers too defined by Daniel 12:2.
Daniel 12:2 speaks of everlasting contempt, abhorrence, disgrace. Annihilationists contend this cannot mean everlasting as in forever without end. They spin it to mean, temporary, lasting only for a brief moment, then poof, the offender is eternally gone.
However, Daniel 12:2 tells of everlasting contempt and abhorrence residing on the very eternal living cognizance of the recipients in order for such to be able to receive the contempt and abhorrence that surpasses all ages and is truly eternal by whomever is gazing upon them with such revulsion and not some weepy eyed agonizing moralized pity as annihilationist further use to buttress their interpretation.
Or it can be done by spinning the Revelation 14:11 text to only mean annihilationism final goal, non-existence, and not never-ending recompense as the text indicates. Let’s look at Revelation 14:11 - "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night…” NASB
Notice that forever and ever indicates eternality qualified by the phrase ‘no rest day or night’ which means just that, no rest day or night age to age - indicating forever and ever, not an Christianized Epicurus – poof you are gone after suffering but a mere few ages. After all, if their-own inflicted torment indeed ceases at some point, then this part of the verse would be untrue and, hmmm, where are those mentioned in this verse tossed into later and with whom?
This begs another question. For all the moralizing annihilationists do to prove that God would not be able to punish eternally because he could not stand to inflict eternal suffering on poor souls forever and ever fail to explain why God does not just annihilate into non-being immediately after one dies. Why wait if God cannot stand, or is too loving to endure inflicting eternal recompense, why go through the trouble and instead prove the superiority of cosmic mercy killing immediately?
Well, Revelation 20:10, 12, 15 reveals where those mentioned in Revelation 14:11 are headed and if their recompense ceases at some point, then how can any in this fiery final destination have no rest day or night as Rev 14:11 indicates as age surpassing successive age without ceasing by the very grammar of the text indicates? Or for that matter, if God cannot punish eternally due to being unable to endure inflicting everlasting affliction, then why would he enjoy inflicting temporal affliction – why not just get it over with by means of cosmic mercy killing?
The Rev 14:11 text indicates it is the person’s own torment is what torments, not God. This is in line with God’s Character giving unto a person according their deeds. Annihilationist attempts to moralize that God, the happy torturer concept, fail to note that God is not the one inflicting the torment upon the dam’d. It is the individuals own torment – reaping what they had sown and they are banished away forever from the presence of the Lord living in their own afflictions, reunited with their bodies, along with many fallen angels who hate them to boot.
How Does Annihilationism square with God who will not at all acquit the guilty, and said so himself that there will be no rest for the wicked?
The hallmark of annihilationism is its emphasis on an actual tangible cessation/peace/rest from one’s own inflicted torments by means of annihilation into non-being. Or stated another way: 'non-eternal punishment which results in the eternalness of non-existence’ indeed proves a tangible cessation from hostility, a real peace that a state of nothingness really produces.
How does this, non-eternal punishment which results in the eternalness of non-existence’, square with God’s Character? It does not. From the summaries posted on page 18 and based on scripture we learn:
God will not at all acquit the wicked. God holds one to account: God will bring every work into judgment. He repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his own ways. God gives every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. God keeps his word. He said that there will be no peace/rest for the wicked (Rom 2:8, Isaiah 48:22)
The annihilationist interpretation of eternal, as non-eternal, in convenient texts does not square with God’s Character because it clearly would prove God, beyond all reasonable doubt, unable to keep his word, as well as cause the Lord to deny who he is to himself and further by his own failure to implement just recompense failing to be a God of justice. This God will not do: be untrue to his own standards. God has his own purpose for eternal recompense and we'll examine this further in next post. In effect, annihilation into non-existence would cause God to deny himself in several diverse ways.
One last point: The argument that is oft used to thwart looking at God’s character, nature, attributes other than by only examining the words of Christ correctly interpreted by annihilationist and/or universalist dogma is not correct: Jesus said we can know God’s character... his name. Even the OT tells us to know his name…
“I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You,” Psalms 22:22 and Hebrews 2:12 NASB
Jesus said, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? John 14:9 NASB
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent,” John 17:3 NASB
"In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you,” John 14:20 NASB
It is His will for you and I to get to know the Father. He paid the ultimate price and the Holy Spirit sent so you and I can get to know God! Jesus spoke within the OT, denying the OT’s statements about who God is, is certainly not from Christ.