Infinite punishment for finite sins

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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#271

Post by Sudsy » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:58 am

All I ask was to make a list - this list is based on scripture and for you to use and add too for your own personal time as the Lord leads...
And I immediately did upon the first list you presented and made my interpretations on what characteristics were being spoken of in these. I agree wholeheartedly with them.
But you rely heavily on the writings and links to annihilationist line of reasoning so your faith seems to be more affixed to men ideas and not on who God is.
And so I take it that the 'T' view is not at all based on men's ideas about who God is ? Well, believe what you must.

I appreciate that, for you, you believe your methodolgy to understand truth works although I don't see any scriptural support for this method. And yes, I don't think there is a single right way of knowing truth if that means that 'follow this process and you will definitely know the truth about a subject'. God is not obligated to reveal truth to me just because I want to know.

I would pose that looking closely at Christ is a good approach amongst other means so that we don't wander into views that are not supported by who Christ is. And yet, we can take this same approach and you and I come to different conclusions.
You claim the apostles never expressed judgment – hell – wrath to come within their books.
I don't recall putting it this way but if I did let me clear this up. In the Acts of the apostles there is no mention of never ending torment in their evangelism. Lets not get off the topic and speak of hell. This is about never ending torment. Also, outside of the Gospels and repeating what Jesus said and the book of Revelation there are no direct quotes of the apostles on never ending torment. Surely, that arouses some curiousity about what they understood Jesus to teach on the subject. It does for me.

Regarding my response to living out what I do believe on this subject, I explained this in my reply to Byblos.

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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#272

Post by Byblos » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:07 pm

Sudsy wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Sudsy wrote:What I still can't understand is how anyone can maintain a strong conviction on a view of unending torment and live so unconcerned about the destiny of perhaps 80-90 billion people. This is very conflicting with the concept of being born again and receiving a new heart full of compassion and unselfish living. To believe in anything with one's heart must go beyond the intellect to reach the emotions, the will and the conscience. Otherwise, it is only an intellectual reasoning thing. To live out a belief in never ending torment from one's heart would radically change anyone into a hell fire preaching evangelist who laboured non-stop to rescue everyone and anyone from such a state. I have not heard any refutable argument on this thought although people have treated it as an insult. I guess that is one way to quickly dismiss the thought.
I had seen you make this argument several times now and meant to address it so I'm glad you reminded me by posting it again. I am a firm believer of a literal hell for several reasons, the least of which is that I am Catholic and that is what my church teaches (it's just that I am totally convinced of it). At the same time, however, I acknowledge others' right to read into scripture what they perceive to be the truth, I have no problem with that. I disagree with it but I have no issue with it.

My problem with this line of thinking as described above is that it tends to vilify and demonize those who disagree with you while at the same time it absolves you of any responsibility. First off, the church (the universal church that is) has plenty of missionaries proselytizing and spreading the Gospel all over the world so I really don't know what you're talking about. Second, and most importantly, there are many of us of view annihilation as a much more terrible fate than eternal presence in hell so the question is, since you believe in annihilation why aren't YOU practicing what you preach? Aren't you as equally worried about the those 90+ billion souls being annihilated into oblivion while you sit there content in passively watching the process?

It is the same argument that some OCE or YEC folks use against one another. Oh if you don't believe in a literal this or a long day that then you make God a liar. It is a nonsense argument, if not downright insulting.

Thanks Byblos for your response. Let me clarify, I'm not at all absolved from any responsibility to share my faith. And certainly there are many evangelists and missionaries proselytizing. What I'm talking about is that I agree with others who say something quite similar that with a heart belief in never ending torment, any person would automatically also become an evangelist and proselytize. If one thinks clearly about what the implications are with such a belief, how could we ever keep from warning everyone from such a fate ? Would this not just be a natural response ? I take it that you are saying, no it wouldn't.
You take it wrongly, that is not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying, however, is that for you to adopt a position of incredulity that eternal hell believers are not all missionaries, is an incomplete position at best, and at worst is extremely disingenuous when you do not hold the same position for annihilationists. Whether or not you see a big difference between the two positions is quite irrelevant because the end result of BOTH positions is eternal separation from God. It's as if, no it is exactly that, you're saying that it's okay to be separated from God if you're annihilated, as long as one doesn't end up in an eternal hell. Do you not see the absurdity of such a position?
Sudsy wrote:Your argument that Annihilation is a 'far more terrible fate' is something I can't grasp. I don't respond because I don't see a period of adequate punishment being anything close to an endless period of torture.
Your inability to grasp it does not negate the fact that it's a valid argument. I see both punishments equally as terrible. For me eternal separation from God is unfathomable, made even worse when one freely chooses to be separated yet gets robbed of the chance to be conscious of his or her choice,
Sudsy wrote:And although I have certain concerns for these 90+ billion and what punishment they will go through before they are consumed, it would not be anywhere near the same as knowing there is no end to unspeakable torture in a lake of fire. Why is that hard to understand.
And that's where the disingeniousness comes in. As far as I'm concerned one's zealousness for saving souls ought to be equally as fervent, irrespective of the method of punishment or its duration.
Sudsy wrote:I could give you a list of my efforts, even this past week, in soul winning but regardless I still see these as still falling quite short of the compassion that Jesus showed. Interesting you post ' while you sit there content in passively watching the process'. What process ? No one is being annihilated yet ? Do you understand we are talking about a day of judgment at the end of days when the wicked will then be judged and sentenced according to their deeds and this sentence will then be served until it reaches it's final end in destruction/ashes ?
No need to list anything Sudsy. We're not in a contest here. I merely wanted to present to you the other side of your argument. It cuts both ways.
Sudsy wrote:It is not the same argument as the OCE and YEC use against each other. And above all, this argument is not meant to be insulting to anyone. I'm sorry that you and others are taking it this way but I don't know how else to ake this argument.
Well that's the way I see it. Both positions not only question another's interpretation of scripture (which is understandable in the absence of an authoritative interpreter or objective arbitrator) but also question the sincerity of their faith/belief. It's unbecoming.
Sudsy wrote:Regarding my urgency or lack thereof to share the Gospel. This I study about myself and pray that I will have the compassion that Jesus has for the lost. I know I am still too self focused on my own interests. I also believe my motivation to share the good news should be that I so believe it is good news that I can't help but share it. Much like the early church as we read in the first part of Acts. They prayed for boldness but they couldn't help but share their faith. I think this is sometimes called returning to our first love for Christ.
And I am glad to hear that. Just for the record, never once did i question or doubt your zeal for the Lord, so please don't do the same based on our position on hell.
Sudsy wrote:So, I'll give up trying to make this argument as I don't intend to insult anyone. However, I do think there is quite a difference between a head only and a heart belief. I have many head beliefs that have yet not gripped my heart (intellect,emotions,will,conscience) to cause me to live accordingly. Some are, to some degree, affecting all areas of my heart whereas others are just an intellectual agreement to a certain belief.
You see, there you go again; the same veiled implication as the one I objected to above. Correct me if I'm wrong but what I get from the above is that belief in a literal hell is a 'head' belief that hasn't matured yet. I can't really tell but if this is what you're saying then you have not gotten my point at all. Perhaps it is my fault for not articulating it more clearly so I too will give up trying. :shakehead:
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#273

Post by Sudsy » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:27 pm

It's as if, no it is exactly that, you're saying that it's okay to be separated from God if you're annihilated, as long as one doesn't end up in an eternal hell.
Wow, I didn't think I could be that badly mis-understood. I think we are reading past each other.

I guess the arguments will be weighed by the readers. I meant no personal slams. It seems my view that heart beliefs are the ones that really drive us is hard to express without this being taken personally, even if I include myself.

Some background on this - I was raised with the endless torment view and one day I read this story that really made me think and I think about it often when considering this topic. It goes like this -

The year is 1879. Charlie Peace, the infamous English burglar and murderer approaches the gallows for his many crimes, his total disregard for human life. It’s a small procession, and includes a Priest who ‘paints’ a vivid picture of the torments of hell in a bid to bring Peace to an appropriate repentance. The little procession falters and then halts. Charlie Peace turns to the Priest and says these words: “Mr. Chaplin, Sir, if I believed even half of what you believe about hell, I would crawl across the length and breath of England on my hands and knees. Even if it were strewn with broken glass, to save one soul from that hell that you so glibly speak about.”

What a sad thing that Charlie did not repent but I couldn't forget the point he had made. I don't know just how the Priest responded. Perhaps he too was offended by this argument.

Anyway, thats where this all began in my ponderings.

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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#274

Post by Byblos » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:42 pm

Sudsy wrote:
It's as if, no it is exactly that, you're saying that it's okay to be separated from God if you're annihilated, as long as one doesn't end up in an eternal hell.
Wow, I didn't think I could be that badly mis-understood. I think we are reading past each other.

I guess the arguments will be weighed by the readers. I meant no personal slams. It seems my view that heart beliefs are the ones that really drive us is hard to express without this being taken personally, even if I include myself.

Some background on this - I was raised with the endless torment view and one day I read this story that really made me think and I think about it often when considering this topic. It goes like this -

The year is 1879. Charlie Peace, the infamous English burglar and murderer approaches the gallows for his many crimes, his total disregard for human life. It’s a small procession, and includes a Priest who ‘paints’ a vivid picture of the torments of hell in a bid to bring Peace to an appropriate repentance. The little procession falters and then halts. Charlie Peace turns to the Priest and says these words: “Mr. Chaplin, Sir, if I believed even half of what you believe about hell, I would crawl across the length and breath of England on my hands and knees. Even if it were strewn with broken glass, to save one soul from that hell that you so glibly speak about.”

What a sad thing that Charlie did not repent but I couldn't forget the point he had made. I don't know just how the Priest responded. Perhaps he too was offended by this argument.

Anyway, thats where this all began in my ponderings.
I don't know how the priest would have answered but I would hope that his efforts to save souls wasn't predicated on the fear of them ending up in hell or annihilated, but firmly grounded in the desire that they spend eternity in a loving fellowship with God. Ponderings indeed.
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#275

Post by B. W. » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:05 pm

Sudsy wrote:
All I ask was to make a list - this list is based on scripture and for you to use and add too for your own personal time as the Lord leads...
And I immediately did upon the first list you presented and made my interpretations on what characteristics were being spoken of in these. I agree wholeheartedly with them...

...I would pose that looking closely at Christ is a good approach amongst other means so that we don't wander into views that are not supported by who Christ is. And yet, we can take this same approach and you and I come to different conclusions.

...Regarding my response to living out what I do believe on this subject, I explained this in my reply to Byblos.
So I will add your statement:

... looking closely at Christ is a good approach amongst other means so that we don't wander into views that are not supported by who Christ is

To the list then...

Next, regarding what you explained to Byblos is okay with me. For anyone to answer as you wanted them would have pit one's person boasting in thier works above or below another just plain boasting of their works. That is the wrong approach. Christ stated that, the Father draws a person to come to him. It is the Lord who saves. Each of us has his or her part to play and in that we should rejoice as fellow co-workers not, who has done more and who has done less. Some plant, others water, but it is the Lord who gives the increase.

Lastly, can you please define the words punishment, destructiion, perish, eternal then?
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#276

Post by BavarianWheels » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:44 pm

B. W. wrote:Lastly, can you please define the words punishment, destructiion, perish, eternal then?
I think we all agree what each of these words mean. I don't think anyone has disputed their meaning.

I would ask humbly for a definition of judgment.
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#277

Post by Sudsy » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:55 pm

For anyone to answer as you wanted them would have pit one's person boasting in thier works above or below another just plain boasting of their works. That is the wrong approach.
Sorry, that makes no sense to me whatsoever. There is nothing in this about pitting works or whatever you are getting at. :shakehead:
Lastly, can you please define the words punishment, destructiion, perish, eternal then?
Absolutely not. I know where this is heading and anyone can read the ways these words have been kicked around to suit all of these views elsewhere. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Don't you think 19 pages is enough on this thread ? Why won't you allow people to make up there own mind as to what they will believe ? At some point, I think they call this brainwashing. Perhaps we passed that point already although attempting to disguise it as a learning process. :ebiggrin: I better quit now or I might start violating my attempt to be cordial. :wave:

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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#278

Post by B. W. » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:09 pm

Sudsy wrote:
For anyone to answer as you wanted them would have pit one's person boasting in thier works above or below another just plain boasting of their works. That is the wrong approach.
Sorry, that makes no sense to me whatsoever. There is nothing in this about pitting works or whatever you are getting at.
What Byblos stated - you understood him...
Sudsy wrote:
Lastly, can you please define the words punishment, destruction, perish, eternal then?
Absolutely not. I know where this is heading and anyone can read the ways these words have been kicked around to suit all of these views elsewhere. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Don't you think 19 pages is enough on this thread ? Why won't you allow people to make up there own mind as to what they will believe ? At some point, I think they call this brainwashing. Perhaps we passed that point already although attempting to disguise it as a learning process. :ebiggrin: I better quit now or I might start violating my attempt to be cordial.
No you do not know where this is heading so don't be hasty in judgment and no 19 pages is not enough when people charge that the doctrine of non-ending 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.

So, what I am seeing you attempt is to thwart this comparison at all cost. What are you afraid of?

Such comparison is not to be taken lightly and as stated, it will begin slowly with a need to establish what the bible objectively establishes about God’s character/nature/attributes…

What I would like to see is simply have annihilationist, such as yourself, to give their definitions to these words so we can examine their claims.

If you will not do this then we'll look at the annihilationist definitions of judgment, punishment, destruction, perish, from their own writings and I’ll post some of these if you do not. If you can then – this will save time.
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#279

Post by Sudsy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:44 am

What are you afraid of?
O, so it is fear that keeps me from co-operating with your methodology. Yes, everyone, I am so afraid that the 'T' view can be presented in such a way that is irrefutable and I will need to agree it is absolute truth. 8-}2
What I would like to see is simply have annihilationist, such as yourself, to give their definitions to these words so we can examine their claims.
Why don't you just go ahead and explain to everyone what they mean yourself from your point of view and let people decide how literal or otherwise you make these words out to be ? Seems you like to be in the driver's seat with how things need to be studied.
If you will not do this then we'll look at the annihilationist definitions of judgment, punishment, destruction, perish, from their own writings and I’ll post some of these if you do not. If you can then – this will save time.
Go ahead if you must. You are on a mission to prove there is only one way to view this and you have the truth.

In my opinion, you are not looking at the character of God first and foremost but rather you have firstly chose the 'T' view as being correct from a narrow, very closed minded, view of what eternal must mean with regard to punishment and then you go back to interpret what is said to be the nature of God in a way that conforms to that belief. Cults often do the same, although I'm not calling your view a cult. It is just an interpretation whether you accept this or not.

I can live without settling on any view regarding the duration of punishment for the wicked. My current understanding of God does not support either the 'T' view or the 'U' (Universalist) view or an 'A' view with no judgment for unbelievers. However, I trust that God will do what is perfectly right and just regardless of my or anyone's understandings in this area. It matters not to me if anyone changes their mind on this subject one way or another. But I do think there is enough already said here to show all views have scriptural support and all views do consider their understanding on the character of God.

May I also suggest a couple things - You may not realize this in your zeal but you come across as being more enlightened than other believers. You use some 'cloak and dagger' types of communication where others are treated like they are incapable of understanding things yet at your level. We don't need to be given 'clues', just say what you mean and mean what you say. I, for one, am not waiting with great anticipation on your next tidbit to be revealed in your future posts that I can digest.

I am also curious as to what your reasons are for insisting on everyone agreeing with you ? I thought you indicated that you don't believe never ending torment should be used to scare people into believing in Christ, yes/no ? So, what is your point in being right in this area ? Perhaps you are afraid of statements like this and their impact - 'The Church of England's Doctrine Commission reported in February 1995 that Hell is not eternal torment. The report, entitled "The Mystery of Salvation" states, "Christians have professed appalling theologies which made God into a sadistic monster. ... Hell is not eternal torment, but it is the final and irrevocable choosing of that which is opposed to God so completely and so absolutely that the only end is total non-being." In your best efforts you will not eradicate these beliefs through your arguments.

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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#280

Post by jlay » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:58 am

I am also curious as to what your reasons are for insisting on everyone agreeing with you ? I thought you indicated that you don't believe never ending torment should be used to scare people into believing in Christ, yes/no ? So, what is your point in being right in this area ? Perhaps you are afraid of statements like this and their impact - 'The Church of England's Doctrine Commission reported in February 1995 that Hell is not eternal torment. The report, entitled "The Mystery of Salvation" states, "Christians have professed appalling theologies which made God into a sadistic monster. ... Hell is not eternal torment, but it is the final and irrevocable choosing of that which is opposed to God so completely and so absolutely that the only end is total non-being." In your best efforts you will not eradicate these beliefs through your arguments.
My question is why then do you continue on? I've never seen anyone insist that you agree with them. It seems just as much that they must agree with you.

And also interesting that BW already addressed this point about the church of England.

I surely hope you understand the context in which BW asked, "what are you afraid of?" It seems by your reply that you didn't.

Defining those words is perfectly relevant to the conversation, if not necessary. What is the point of discussing something, if we don't even agree on how the words we are using are defined.
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#281

Post by B. W. » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:02 am

B. W. wrote:
Sudsy wrote:
Lastly, can you please define the words punishment, destruction, perish, eternal then?
Absolutely not. I know where this is heading and anyone can read the ways these words have been kicked around to suit all of these views elsewhere. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Don't you think 19 pages is enough on this thread ? Why won't you allow people to make up there own mind as to what they will believe ? At some point, I think they call this brainwashing. Perhaps we passed that point already although attempting to disguise it as a learning process. :ebiggrin: I better quit now or I might start violating my attempt to be cordial.
No you do not know where this is heading so don't be hasty in judgment and no 19 pages is not enough when people charge that the doctrine of non-ending 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.

So, what I am seeing you attempt is to thwart this comparison at all cost. What are you afraid of? Such comparison is not to be taken lightly and as stated, it will begin slowly with a need to establish what the bible objectively establishes about God’s character/nature/attributes…

What I would like to see is simply have annihilationist, such as yourself, to give their definitions to these words so we can examine their claims. If you will not do this then we'll look at the annihilationist definitions of judgment, punishment, destruction, perish, from their own writings and I’ll post some of these if you do not. If you can then – this will save time.
Here is a summary of word meanings Annihilationists assign words translated as perish, cut-off, destroy, destruction, punishment, consume, judgment used in the bible:

Annihilationists assume words translated from in the bible like perish, destruction, cut off, destroy, judgment, punishment, consume indicate and mean absolute extinguishment of being.

Annihilationists define that eternal, forever and ever, in context punishment/judgment indicates only a temporal age – non-eternal – then absolute extinguishment of being forever. In other words eternal punishment refers to the final destination of punishment rather than never ending recompense – so that non-existence is the final result of punishment.

Sudsy – are these good definitions for the words annihilationist use or not?
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#282

Post by Sudsy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:01 am

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" - Bill Clinton. :ebiggrin:
Annihilationists assume words translated from in the bible like perish, destruction, cut off, destroy, judgment, punishment, consume indicate and mean absolute extinguishment of being.

Annihilationists define that eternal, forever and ever, in context punishment/judgment indicates only a temporal age – non-eternal – then absolute extinguishment of being forever. In other words eternal punishment refers to the final destination of punishment rather than never ending recompense – so that non-existence is the final result of punishment.

Sudsy – are these good definitions for the words annihilationist use or not?
I would say they don't 'assume' those words to mean what you posted but rather they believe that is what they mean. I would argue somethings about the eternal recap also but go ahead with this as stated and punch holes in it. Perhaps Bav from a Seventh Day background would say it somewhat differently, I don't know.

jlay -
My question is why then do you continue on?
To support the idea that there are various, scripturally supported, God's character considered views. They are quite well explained throughout the Internet and as long as one view is being driven home here, I will support the notion that these other views exist and point to some areas where they are explained. I know to even suggest this I am in a minority situation and almost a lone voice on this forum. And it is an emotional topic for some. So, go ahead and fire back at me, and I will consider your perspective.

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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#283

Post by Sudsy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:14 pm

Since the nature of hell presented by the 'T' view is eternal torment then perhaps it should be spelled out in full detail so no one is mis-lead on what this belief fully expects this place to be like. I mean why not make it as scripturally graphic as is believed. Some have preached that believers will be looking down on those in eternal fire, perhaps their wife or husband or children and applauding this punishment. :clap: And somehow, they will still enjoy heaven with this going on ? Some say it is utter darkness, no light whatsoever, while others suggest it has literal fire so it can't be dark. To what extent can symbolism be taken and what is actually literal ? And I have heard various other speculations on the nature of hell that come from NDEs, yet not supported in scripture. What authority should be given to NDEs ?

Furthermore, perhaps we should fire all kinds of questions related to this belief and obtain some answers to consider. I'll just throw out a few as examples -

1) Jesus taught - love your enemies. Do good to those who despitefully use you who say all manner of evil against you ----. Turn the other cheek. Jesus taught us to love those who reject our message and who hate us and to even go further and do good to them. Why would Jesus teach us to do something that God will not do at judgment day ?

2) What about all the scriptures that say God's anger last but for a moment but His mercy endureth forever ? Is this forever in these texts, not really forever ?

3) God's wrath was poured out on Christ who took upon Himself the sins of the world and this lasted less than a day, yet a 'T' belief is that any unbeliever's sin must be punished forever in endless pain and torment. Explain this ?

4) Jesus, on the cross, even asked forgiveness for those who crucified Him as they knew not what they do. How many people still do not know what they do when they reject salvation ?

I'm just saying that the answers given to some questions like these, may expose the lack of scriptural understanding of the real nature of judgment and hell. But I'm ready to be proven wrong.

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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#284

Post by B. W. » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:41 pm

Sudsy wrote:
Annihilationists assume words translated from in the bible like perish, destruction, cut off, destroy, judgment, punishment, consume indicate and mean absolute extinguishment of being.

Annihilationists define that eternal, forever and ever, in context punishment/judgment indicates only a temporal age – non-eternal – then absolute extinguishment of being forever. In other words eternal punishment refers to the final destination of punishment rather than never ending recompense – so that non-existence is the final result of punishment.

Sudsy – are these good definitions for the words annihilationist use or not?
I would say they don't 'assume' those words to mean what you posted but rather they believe that is what they mean. I would argue somethings about the eternal recap also but go ahead with this as stated and punch holes in it. Perhaps Bav from a Seventh Day background would say it somewhat differently, I don't know.
Okay, regarding eternal and forever and ever definitions given by Annihilationists when used alongside words translated as punishment, judgment, etc, would you say it could be basically summed up as 'non-eternal punishments results in non-existent eternalness’

Or phrased as non-eternal punishment results in the eternalness of non-existence to capture annihilationist interpretation of certain usages of the word translated eternal?
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Sudsy
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Re: Infinite punishment for finite sins

#285

Post by Sudsy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:19 pm

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.

Eternal meaning forever does apply for those who are given immortality. We will live forever or eternally with the Lord because we are given immortality. However, believing that unbelievers will not be given immortality, it cannot mean forever in this case but rather as it is used in other places as the entire duration it takes to accomplish it's purpose - punishment until destruction. The duration and severity will be just according to one's deeds. The eternal fires that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah are not still burning today. In Exodus 21:6 people were said to be servants forever. Both of these had an end point.

IMO, it is important whether one believes everyone will be given immortality or not. I believe Paul was speaking of believers only when he said this mortal will put on immortality. For God to remove all traces of sin, I believe the unsaved will be resurrected, judged and punished and all traces of evil will forever be removed from existence. This best represents a God of love, mercy and justice, as I understand God.

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