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Thread: Is the doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment biblical or not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz View Post
    You deny that He has a will ...
    No I don't.
    So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz View Post
    Mormons teach post-mortem salvation. The biblical, historical, orthodox view is ECT. JWs teach annihilation because C.T. Russell put reason above revelation. The issue is what does the Bible say, not what any given group or person believes (a bad group can have some truth and vice versa).
    Correct. The issue is what the Bible says. So why did attempt to discredit me by linking me with cults? The Bible does not support eternal conscious torment. You haven't given even one verse that says the wicked will go to hell when they die to be tormented alive there forever while they are dead. The issue is what the Bible says. The Bible specifically says that the wages of sin is death, not eternal conscious torment. The fallacy you committed is called "poisoning the well," attempting to link your opponents view to that of a disliked group in an illogical attempt to discredit the view. It did not work. The fact that you attempted this shows that you have no biblical support for ECT. Just stick to what the Bible says, the Bible will guide you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Totton Linnet View Post
    Nobody would like to believe in annihilation more than me...but I would have to deny the bible.

    If you throw out bible truth about a matter God will not teach you about it until you repent, you will have to seek out men teachers and learn from them.

    The fact is only God sees the inner man of the unrepentant sinner, only He sees the enormity of sin and what judgement it is worthy of.
    I would have to throw out the bible to believe in eternal conscious torment. The Bible does not supprt ECT. I have not thrown out the Bible. The Bible supports Conditional Immortality, only those who receive eternal life from Jesus Christ will receive eternal life. Those who do not have eternal life will perish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doormat View Post
    No I don't.
    Then His will is not free and the line about temptation is false. A robot cannot sin. A moral being will not sin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timotheos View Post
    Correct. The issue is what the Bible says. So why did attempt to discredit me by linking me with cults? The Bible does not support eternal conscious torment. You haven't given even one verse that says the wicked will go to hell when they die to be tormented alive there forever while they are dead. The issue is what the Bible says. The Bible specifically says that the wages of sin is death, not eternal conscious torment. The fallacy you committed is called "poisoning the well," attempting to link your opponents view to that of a disliked group in an illogical attempt to discredit the view. It did not work. The fact that you attempted this shows that you have no biblical support for ECT. Just stick to what the Bible says, the Bible will guide you.
    You have been given verses, but you twist them away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timotheos View Post
    I would have to throw out the bible to believe in eternal conscious torment. The Bible does not supprt ECT. I have not thrown out the Bible. The Bible supports Conditional Immortality, only those who receive eternal life from Jesus Christ will receive eternal life. Those who do not have eternal life will perish.
    AMEN, I agree
    Psalm 1[/COLOR] and Job 28:28

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    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz View Post
    You have been given verses, but you twist them away.
    What twist? I haven't twisted anything. None of the verses that were used to show that there is eternal conscious torment in hell actually said that there was eternal conscious torment in hell. That isn't my fault. Perhaps you need better verses. Or a different Bible.

    Now, there is no reason for each of us to claim the other is "scripture twisting." Why don't you look up John 3:16 and tell me what it says? "All who believe in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life." What does that verse say to you?

    You seem to be getting angry, there is no need for that. If you don't like this discussion, you don't have to participate. But I value your input and I wish we could discuss this in friendly terms. Which verse do you feel most strongly supports ECT, and why do you believe that I have twisted it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz View Post
    Hell is not a medieval torture chamber, but it is reality. Those who deny this are heretical on this point.
    No, we are biblical. There is no verse in the Bible that says unbelievers will go to hell when they die where they are to be tortured alive forever while they are dead.

    Let's not call each other heretics. Let's post in mutual christian love and respect for one another.

    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz
    Baptists are Protestants. What else are you wrong about?
    nothing

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    Lightbulb the heart of the matter......

    Quote Originally Posted by Timotheos View Post
    Is the doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT) biblical or not?

    Which verses in the Bible support ECT and which verses in the bible support the doctrine that the wicked perish instead?
    Hi Timotheos and all,

    Some older threads where we've covered this already. I share most of my views on this below, yet some links to older posts are no longer extant.

    Evidence against annihilationism?

    What about the 'Hell' Thing?

    On the Supposed Annihilation of the Soul

    Eternal torment or annihilation? What happens to the wicked?

    ~*~*~

    The question of if ECT is 'biblical' will be compounded, since everyone has their own 'terms' of what qualifies something to be 'biblical'. I've shared elsewhere that the term 'biblical' in this respect becomes an 'artifice'...a mere 'prop' to support one's view.

    On another level the answer comes down to..."depends on who you ask".

    As you know, any particular school or persuasion may have its own arsenal of 'proof texts' to support its own 'interpretation', so it becomes a theological grab-bag.

    To summarize my current view...the ECT doctrine is problematic on various levels for starters, since off the bat, any 'God' who detains or enforces an eternal punishment of unending torment upon souls is sadistic, to say nothing of 'unjust'. Its apparent that a soul that continues to 'sin' will obviously suffer the consequences of such choices and only as it reaps the karma of such actions does it continue to owe a debt, until that soul reforms and repents on a deep soul level which affects true transformation, a change of mind and heart.

    Infinite LOVE would always afford all the space and time necessary for a soul to return to 'God', if at any moment a soul truly has the capacity and ability to repent. - this is important to consider. Only if a soul has totally degenerated to a 'point' of no return,....or has made a final and eternal CHOICE of utter rejection of 'God' can we assume that a soul may indeed suffer 'annihilation' or 'extinction' of existence....where that soul is 'dis-integrated', 'dissolved', 'destroyed'. This soul would no longer 'be' or 'function' as a 'living soul'. In this case, under the heavenly tribunals supreme judgment and wisdom....would the soul be as if 'erased', embracing the 'second death'....from which there is no return. Only 'God' and the heavenly tribunals could finally adjudicate such judgments on souls, after their case has been thoroughly reviewed. More is shared on this in the Urantia Papers.

    There is alot to consider here, as one observation affects the conclusion or possibility of other considerations. Most of us are familiar with the various passages existing that touch on these issues. I jump to the principles of reason, philosophical inquiry, metaphysical issues, ontology and the most intelligent considerations concerning soul-destiny and the after-life. I also recognize that some of our observations and even beliefs are really just 'speculations' or 'preferential views' over others. Points of view are subject to change with new revelation.

    In any case,...again....the traditional doctrine of ECT is abominable and unbecoming of a 'God' who is Infinitely Just and Merciful, for no finite period of sin ever merits an eternity of endless torment to which souls have no chance to repent or reform themselves, but are utterly damned forever (unless it is possible for a soul to truly choose an eternal death having totally and eternally rejected Life all-together....if that is possible.) In this case as we've shared...that soul under the governmental decree of God...is 'wiped' out, so to speak. Such is the full and final 'consequence' of the total embrace of iniquity to where a soul has reached a point of no return. This of course is coming from an 'annihilationist' POV...with further insights from other revelatory sources. (some who believe that spirit-souls are eternal in nature, reject this view).

    I have generally favored a more universalist spiritualist perspective (which maintains souls are more or less eternal in nature and ultimately do progress Godward and return to Source), but certainly favor a kind of 'soul-extinction' over the awful and ungodly doctrine of ECT. Its truly appalling to assume 'God' would enforce an eternity of conscious torment upon his own offspring to no end. On that note, I'm not surprised at some of the worst human behavior that reflects such a 'psychology' as being truly insane.



    pj

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timotheos View Post
    What twist? I haven't twisted anything. None of the verses that were used to show that there is eternal conscious torment in hell actually said that there was eternal conscious torment in hell. That isn't my fault. Perhaps you need better verses. Or a different Bible.

    Now, there is no reason for each of us to claim the other is "scripture twisting." Why don't you look up John 3:16 and tell me what it says? "All who believe in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life." What does that verse say to you?

    You seem to be getting angry, there is no need for that. If you don't like this discussion, you don't have to participate. But I value your input and I wish we could discuss this in friendly terms. Which verse do you feel most strongly supports ECT, and why do you believe that I have twisted it?
    Perish is jail is not cessation. Perish does not mean cessation in light of other relevant verses. You simply beg the question and use circular reasoning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timotheos View Post
    Is the doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT) biblical or not?

    Which verses in the Bible support ECT and which verses in the bible support the doctrine that the wicked perish instead?
    I believe in hell and the lake of fire that hell will be thrown into (Rev. 20:14). But I do question the traditional view of hell that asserts the damned will suffer eternally in this lake of fire. The two strongest passages used to support eternal suffering are the following:

    “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will 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 goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

    I don’t automatically assume that “day and night forever and ever” must be taken literally. Isaiah uses the same kind of imagery to describe the fate of Edom.

    “Its streams will be turned into pitch, and its loose earth into brimstone, and its land will become a burning pitch. It will not be quenched night or day; its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will be desolate; none will pass through it forever and ever” (Isaiah 34:9-10).

    The fire of Edom’s judgment did not literally burn “night and day” without end, and the smoke of Edom’s judgment did not literally “go up forever.” If we know the phrase in Isaiah isn’t literal, why should we be inclined to interpret a nearly identical expression in Revelation literally?

    When Scripture speaks of eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46), eternal judgment (Heb. 6:2), and eternal destruction (2 Thess. 1:9), I think of it in the same way I think of eternal redemption. Our redemption is “eternal” in the sense that once we are redeemed, it is forever. We don’t go through an eternal process of redemption. Punishment, judgment, destruction of the wicked is eternal. They are destroyed forever (Psalm 92:7), but not forever being destroyed. It is says eternal punishment; not eternal punishing. “Like smoke, the wicked will vanish away” (Psalm 37:20). I don’t want to make this too long, so I’ll just say that the wicked are threatened with annihilation and total destruction throughout the Old Testament (Deut. 29:20, 23; Isa 1:28, 30-31; 5:24; Ps. 1:4-6; 34:16; 37:2, 9-10, 38; 58:7-8; 69:28; Prov. 10:25; 12:7; 24:20; Dan. 2:35; Nahum 1:10; Mal. 4:1). The New Testament, too, threatens the wicked with annihilation and total destruction (Matt. 3:10-12; 7:19; 10:28; 13:40; John 15:6; Phil. 3:18-19; Heb. 6:8; James 4:12; 2 Peter 2:3; 3:7; Jude 7).

    Besides the biblical support for the view that the wicked will be totally destroyed and perish from the earth forever, could you imagine the glorious new creation utterly filled with holiness and goodness and “in which righteousness alone dwells” and in some far off dark corner of the kingdom sits a compartment of billions of sinners roasting in the lake of fire? And if these guys are aware and conscious as the traditional view teaches, won’t they be in there sinning by cursing God? Or will their eternal suffering and torment lead them to praise and worship God? Certainly not. I view God’s redemption as total. That’s what I see in Matthew 13:41, “they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend.” And what? Stick them in a closet? God’s utterly perfect and flawless kingdom will have one little nasty room in it? This addresses God’s righteousness, but what about God’s love? Does God do anything that is not constructive? Does even a parent, who is less than ideal as God certainly is, punish or inflict pain for any other purpose than that of correcting and for the child’s long-term favor? What’s remedial about the lake of fire?

    Yet some will still look at those two passages that seem to support eternal suffering and remain firm in their belief that God will do what He says He will do—cast the wicked into the lake of fire where they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Period.

    But there’s not just the biblical support for annihilation and complete destruction in Old and New Testaments, and there’s not just the idea that a compartment full of billions of roasting sinners does not harmonize with an utterly righteous kingdom or a God who is perfectly constructive in his punishing. There’s also the question of God’s mercy.

    What does Scripture teach about God’s mercy? Is there evidence that God’s mercy triumphs over His wrath? Looking at the prophets we see that God continually tells Israel in no uncertain terms He’s going to punish them severely. But time and time again, He relents. Time and time again he delays the punishment or scales back its severity or both. Was God lying when He said He’d do those terrible things? No. He meant every word. But His mercy compelled Him to stop short. So, even if the symbolic language John used to describe the fate of the wicked is actually literal (which I question), God’s mercy has been shown to be more powerful and compelling than His wrath. And annihilation would be a merciful act. This idea of annihilation harmonizes with the teaching that God’s anger endures for a moment but His love endures forever and His mercy is everlasting (Ps. 30:5, 100:5; 103:9; 106:1; 107:1; 118:29; 136:10-26; Micah 7:18; Ps. 100:5; 138:8; Isa. 54:8).

    “LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timotheos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tomlapalm View Post
    Mat 25:41 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:

    Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

    Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    Mat 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
    Mat 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire

    Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


    Physical death is not spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God the give and sustainer of life.
    Nice verses, brother!
    Isn't there any verse that actually says that the wicked will live forever in torment in hell? Because I don't see that in any of these verses. Do you know what happens to a toad that is thrown into a lake of fire? The same thing that happens to everything else, it is burned up. Some of the verses you posted even come straight out and say "The lake of fire is the second death". That's what I beleive the lake of fire is, death. The second death. The lake of fire is definitely not eternal life swimming in fire.
    Any number of the verses show your opinion to be wrong (Rev 20:10 most blatantly). Scripture read literally is quite clear on this point, how you address that fact is the only question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz View Post
    Perish is jail is not cessation. Perish does not mean cessation in light of other relevant verses. You simply beg the question and use circular reasoning.
    I disagree GR, perish means end of life. Your understanding is flawed. When you perish your die, plain and simple.
    Psalm 1[/COLOR] and Job 28:28

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    The Gk. phrase for tormented day and night forever and ever is strong and supports the traditional view. One cannot play the symbolic card because it contradicts your view. What else does it mean apart from what it says?
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    Lightbulb smashing pumpkins........

    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz View Post
    The Gk. phrase for tormented day and night forever and ever is strong and supports the traditional view. One cannot play the symbolic card because it contradicts your view. What else does it mean apart from what it says?
    The book of Revelation barely made it into the canon,..its apocalyptic imagery is subject to various interpretations, its hardly a book to build fundamental doctrines from. No matter what the greek phrase says about whoever being tormented day and night forever and ever...still does not matter if it defies common sense or reason, for a balanced interpretation of any writing demands all our faculties and all rules and principles in translation.

    The Battle Royal 12 - 'Will Unbelievers Spend eternity in the lake of Fire?' is good, between logos_x and Pastor Kevin.

    The 'Battle Talk' discussion thread on this debate is here. I chime in and take on Pastor Kevin on page 247 here

    Some were really angry that I would dare to stand up for the principle of 'The victory of Love and the triumph of divine Will', and believe that God's Infinite LOVE would call all souls home (from a universalist perspective). OR that some souls would suffer the second death which would be a 'soul-death' in a final and eternal sense (extinction, cessation of conscious existence)....and NOT be tormented forever as a living/feeling entity...in a lake of fire apparently to God's delight. ECT is a fairy-tale metaphor and symbology drawn from the lower astral realms, an exagerration of prophetic imagery, at best 'figurative'.



    pj

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