Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hell: The Eternal Existence of Evil?

It is a common understanding by most, if not all, Christians that in “the end” God, through Jesus will have completely and eternally defeated and abolished evil. Whether you believe in a rapture of the righteous, 7 year tribulation, destruction of this world, restoration of all things, or anything else in-between… I would think that you would hold to this hope, that evil will be definitively dealt with and completely done away with.

One of the arguments of those who oppose eternal damnation of the wicked is that if its true, then evil is never really defeated. This is an argument not only used by those who oppose the existence of hell all together, but also by those who hold to an annihilation view (that the wicked will eventually cease to exist) including many evangelicals.

So does this ring true? If there is somewhere in the universe where the wicked will be tormented forever and ever, would that mean that evil indeed will never entirely be defeated, but instead that it will in some ways always exist and therefore, never really be done away with?

Your thoughts?


paultilly said...

We defeated Germany in WW2....But they still exist. The evil (Hitler and Nazism) was defeated, but the Germans exist do some of the thought process' that went into them. I think defeating something is not the same as it not existing. The Tarheels may defeat Duke....but they will still have classes there the next day...just a humorous way to portray that defeat and non existence are not the same thing.

Good topic by the way.

paultilly said...

...By the way, your three days in and no Pharisee has chimed in yet to tell you that YOU are going there for even questioning this topic. I am very disappointed. *Removes tongue from cheek*

JustinGaynor said...

Based on my readings the lake of fire is a tool of annihilation, eventually being thrown in on itself having consumed all the chaff.

Gehenna/ Sheol/ Hades have their own nuances…I’ve linked a pretty accurate (IMHO) paper below and I adhere to most everything in it.

I will also add that Gehenna is a severe spiritual judgment experienced on earth likely administered by the Accuser (whom Christ (and thus Christians) has authority over) (1 Cor 5v5), but even this has redemptive purposes. But nobody wants to hear about church discipline these days…

I am happy to note that the word hell is actually being removed from modern translations due to the irreparable damage done to the concept taught in the Hebrew Scriptures and by Jesus…damage caused by the influx of pagan/hedonistic doctrines.