Those who believe in the false doctrine annihilation seek to relieve themselves of the burdens and labor associated with active witnessing for Christ. After all: If the punishment for rejecting God is merely extermination, what is the great loss? Sinners may not experience the joy of coming face to face with Christ, but for those who fail to grasp the significances of that event, ceasing to exist holds no major threat of loss or lack. Besides: Obliteration offers many of the same benefits associated with eternal life with Christ.
Consider some of the consequences of annihilation:
- No more tears
- No more pain
- No more sorrow
- No more sickness
- No more death
- No more worries
- No more burdens
- AND no more fears.
On the other hand, the concept of an eternity in hell where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth stirs images of an undesirable end. Those who accept the false doctrine annihilation need not worry about lost loved ones or anyone else for that matter. Under this false teaching of total destruction, when God brings justice to this creation those who have rejected the precious blood of Jesus the Holy Son will merely be freed from the cares of life.
What Matters The Acceptance of False Doctrine Annihilation of Wicked Persons
If one faces the certainty of hell fire and eternal damnation, the sorrow toward lost people, both those we know and those we do not know, breaks forth within us a great desire to bear witness, to press forward the kingdom of God, to seek redemption for all even when the all are dreadfully unaware of the need for redemption. But such effort demands that we step out of our comfort zones, risk rejection and scorn, and even face the rebuke of an unbelieving society wherein every doctrine is a good doctrine and every god is equal to the God.
Not so in the doctrine of total destruction, for this untruth relieves men of the burden toward the souls of others. Whereas the doctrine eternity in hell presses against us like a great wind driving our desire to lead the lost into the saving hands of Jesus Christ our Lord, the false doctrine annihilation permits us to deny the true character of God, a God of love but also a God of sure and certain wrath against those who reject the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
And this refusal to acknowledge the full character of God, dear reader, is the core of why men will believe and accept false doctrines. We believe in the sovereignty of God yet when confronted with the very real doctrine of election and predestination, we reduce the nature of God’s sovereignty so that we can reject a written truth of Scripture. Likewise, we believe in the wrath of God, but when confronted with the enormous reality of its full release, we once more reduce the nature of God’s true character so that it fits within the confines of our limited acceptance. To avoid such foolish interpretations of Scripture and of God’s commitment to full justice, first learn the nature of God and then compare all doctrine in light to God’s immutable personality.
Arguments For False doctrine Annihilation
Sadly, the false teachings concerning annihilation of the wicked spring from the words of studied men. In many of their arguments, they examine – and then miss-apply – the definitions of words such as Gehenna, Sheol, Hades, and Tartarus. And then in the final argument, they claim that Gehenna merely represents a fire that fully consumes. To confirm this false conclusion, such misguided teachers quote Matthew 3:12, and then they claim that God never uses fire as a means of torment, but rather only as a means of destruction.
Imagine the foolishness of thinking that a spirit can be consumed like paper and wood. How can any right thinking Christian conclude from Matthew 7:19 that a worthless tree made to be “cast into the fire” presents a complete comparison to a wicked and sinful spirit? Those who follow such faulty reasoning fail to understand the nature of a parable, and they limit the true character of God the Father.
Other examples of false arguments: Many times the deceived claim that Christians confuse Hades with hell. Do they not understand that we also read the bible from cover to cover? Do they think also that we know not the difference between Paradise (Luke 23:43) and Heaven? Consider and learn:
“Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption,” (Acts 2:27).
Peter uses the above words in reference to Christ. Only ignorance would suppose that Peter thought Jesus unaware of where he was going. Be not confused. Those who are studied in the word of God via the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit know full well the distinction between Hades and hell even as they rightly understand other Scripture and terms used within the word of God.
Definitions of Death and of Life
Unlearned teachers may also argue concerning the bible definitions of death and of life. This erroneous objection to the doctrine eternal hell fails to rightly discern the distinction between physical death and spiritual life. See truth in the words of James as recorded here:
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also,” (James 2:26).”
And see again in Ecclesiastes:
“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it,” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Conclusion: Jesus Himself Confirms Doctrine Eternal Hell
I could go on and on rebuking the false doctrine annihilation, for in assembling the wickedness of such words, the false teachers misuse many components of Scripture. However, Holy Spirit inspired understanding can correct each error. Thus I end this message quickly. Unless you reject or chose to rephrase the words of our Lord and Savior, read, hear and learn:
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal,” (Matthew 25:46).
Now those who seek release from responsibility through faith in the false doctrine annihilation strive to define that “everlasting punishment” is merely spoken as a contrast to “eternal life.” They are in error. One glance at the Greek reveals that this word herein presented as “everlasting” is the same Greek word as presented here as “eternal.” See below, the extraction from Strong’s:
Put you aside the false doctrine annihilation of the wicked. Only by denying the words of Jesus Christ can you conclude that eternal life does not belong also to the wicked. But know fully that is it is an eternal life that conforms to the doctrine eternity in hell.