Yes Christ died for the sins of the world, however, it is a persons decision to decide. And this pain is without hope of ever being terminated or relieved. So too, Christ is said to have come to “abolish death and [bring] life and immortality to light through the gospel” (1 Tim. In fact, one of the constant refrains that we hear from traditionalists is that the new Testament doesn’t say what the early Church Fathers said, and therefore we should not interpret the New Testament writers to be annihilationists! her land shall become burning pitch. 1:6). And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell.. 7:13). When all the biblical evidence is assessed apart from the Hellenistic philosophical assumption that the soul is innately immortal, it becomes clear that the fate of the wicked is eventual annihilation, not unending torment. Stott’s belief in annihilationism ran contrary to the beliefs of the Anglican Church … While you can’t try to make those to annihiliationists, I think there is room to wiggle around with the other guys. For example, John the Baptist proclaimed that “every tree…that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire” (Matt. The theme that the Lord will annihilate the wicked is especially prominent in the Psalms. (from a post-Nicene manuscript fragment). At the same time, the earliest Church Fathers are ambiguous on those areas where the Bible is ALSO ambiguous. Annihilationism is directly related to the doctrine of conditional immortality, … Nahum says that in the judgment the wicked “are consumed like dry straw” (Nahum 1:10). Let me repeat that, just so we are clear. Therefore, annihilationism simply can't work in light of what the Scriptures teach. As in the Old Testament, the wicked are frequently depicted as being destroyed by fire. I don’t think that wanting to feel “nicer” than others, or wanting to be liked by others, is a good rationale for overruling the text and the traditional interpretations. However, this view creates some…, What Is the Kingdom of God? The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. How Hell Invaded Church Doctrine. Annihilationism is the view that lost people in hell will be exterminated after they have paid the penalty for their sins. There is plenty of scriptural support for all these assertions, which I will be happy to provide when I am not at work and have more freedom to respond. That is, there is no one word that is translated into the English word "hell." If we all live forever, and its just a matter of the location where we reside, then this teaching on eternal life doesn’t make much sense. If one still wishes to believe that the fate of the wicked is never ending torment, one simply must believe the doctrine of Tertullian. Didnt Jesus say it was better to enter into life “maimed”. So while in 1 Cor. 3:17). 6:9). He was a disciple of Polycarp and a notable early apologist for the faith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. pp. Denial of the general resurrection: The damned are never raised. 2. And because the fire is ‘godly’, it’s incorruptibility will somehow ‘rub off’ on the clearly mortal humans. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I, and annihilationists that I know, put a lot on the judgement and wrath of God. Also Jesus said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and “some to shame and everlasting contempt”. Is it true that the Annhilationist view is popular among the early church? 2) The Fear of Hell. 2:7; 6:23; 1 Cor. 1:4, 6). The Psalmist says that whereas those who take delight in the Lord shall be “like trees planted by streams of water” (1:3), the wicked shall be “like chaff that the wind drives away…the wicked will perish” (Ps. I tend to agree with you about your assessment of the Christians WK quoted. VI. and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. They “shall be cut off…and…will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there“ (Ps. Deut. (“Apology” 48:12). Sort by. 9 And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, But I think for the vast majority of people who reject the traditional notion of hell, they are just asserting their emotions and intuitions over the Bible and the traditional interpretations of the early church. 3:18–19, cf. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell, Is 66:24 And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. ANNIHILATIONISM meaning - ANNIHILATIONISM pronunciation - A ... the Church of England's Doctrine Commission reported in 1995 that "ell is not eternal torment", ... some early church … 2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, Rev 22 Some seem to support Annihilationism, and some do not. “…rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together, …you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, I think that’s a stretch. Along the same lines, James writes that “sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death” (Ja 1:15). 2) Unending Torment is Inconsistent With God’s Victory. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. They believed it was eternal, conscious punishment and clearly argued against both univeralism and annihilationism. ( Log Out /  37:38, cf. 1:10, 21–22) and that God shall be “all in all” (1 Cor. After the first generations, as early as Irenaeus in the 2 nd Century A.D., there were Christians who even looked at the existence of hell as a good thing. Is this view really compatible with a God whose heart was expressed in Jesus’ dying prayer, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34)? Again, when God’s fury rises, “[t]he wicked are overthrown and are no more…” (12:7, emphasis added). 2:3). This is consistent with Jesus’ teaching that those who try to find life apart from God end up losing it (Matt. Check out Rev 19: “and them that worshipped his image. 4:4; 7:20; 21:12; Ezek. Is there a place people go immediately after death? There are no sinners in the new creation—God is all in all. ( wild verse…. Yes. 10:28). Close. 37:20); they “vanish like water that runs away; like grass [they shall] be trodden down and wither”; “like the snail that dissolves into slime; like the untimely birth that never sees the sun” (Ps. 6:23, cf. Arnobius, an African Christian apologist who died in 330 was outspoken and very clear on the issue. While I am not completely convinced of this position, I think it is worthy of serious consideration. vs. 34). In contrast, the earliest creeds of the church were more generic in their teaching on final judgment and allowed for either traditionalism or annihilationism. It could be argued that when he says, “…to the doom of fire at once without ending and without break” he means the fire will never end, and the burning of the wicked will never end, but he does not mean their torment will never end. 1 Timothy 2:3-5) So go and love other people and do good to all. Early Christians who believed this almost always believed the fire was literal. Then over the first three centuries the Gentile converts grew in number until they were the vast and overwhelming majority. Larry V. Crutchfield, "The Apostle John and Asia Minor as a source of premillennialism in the early Church Fathers," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 31.4 (Dec. 1988): 411-427. pdf : Brian E. Daley, The Hope of the Early Church: Eschatology in the Patristic Age. He wrote several volumes defending the faith against Gnosticism and other early heresies of the Church, and he often compared eternal punishment to eternal reward, drawing the conclusion that one endured as long as the other: …Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven,, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess’ to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send ‘spiritual wickednesses,’ and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning of their Christian course, and others from the date of their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory. wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. The implication is that God will do to the soul of the wicked what humans do to the body when they kill it. The teachings of the early believers have been preserved for us in the writings of the earliest church leaders (known as the Early Church Fathers). They believed that Hell was a place of eternal conscious torment, reflecting the clearest teaching of the scriptures (more on that, Jim Wallace explains and defends the doctrine of Hell. A man become so foul will depart into unquenchable fire: and so will anyone who listens to him. The Lord turned the inhabitants of these cities “to ashes” and “condemned them to extinction” thus making “them an example of what is coming to the ungodly…” (2 Pet. Category: Essays Not only has annihilationism existed in the relatively recent past, such as during its resurgence in the 19th century, but it goes all the way back to the early church. Hell is a place of torment in which the rebellious are in anguish and pain First of note, the word "hell" is not in the Bible. And he mercifully annihilates them precisely so they will not endlessly endure what the traditional view says they endure. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: Matthew 25:32-42) I differ with conservative theology on hell. Even the phrases that are often used by eternal torment advocates to imply an eternal fire are often just figurative language that has its root in an old testament source. The big point we are building up to here is that the early church fathers DID NOT believe in eternal torment. certainly falls little short of annihilationism proper. wandering stars….). Where is your evidence? How is this consistent with the traditional teaching that God’s love and anger are equally eternal? From the annihilationist perspective, God’s justice and mercy unite in condemning the wicked to extinction. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. Now, Scripture certainly teaches that the wicked are punished eternally, but not that the wicked endure eternal punishment. Along the same lines, it’s not clear how heaven could ever truly be heaven if it co-exists alongside an eternal hell. The New Testament also frequently expresses the destiny of the wicked by depicting them as dying or perishing (apollymi). Click to expand... Jesus and the apostles taught eternal torment in the lake of fire, that is enough for any christian, there should be no divide on this. First, most annihilationists do not deny that the wicked will suffer, perhaps for long periods of time, prior to being annihilated. Yes. 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