One of the traditional doctrines of the church is that the lost will suffer everlasting torture. The articles below show that the Bible consistently teaches that the lost will be destroyed (annihilated) and that only God’s people will receive eternal life.
The doctrine of eternal torture presents God as the cruelest being that exists. This doctrine has caused untold numbers of people to reject the Bible and has caused the church to become as cruel as the false god it worships; burning people alive.
In the traditional view, the unrepentant will suffer torment in hell forever. In contrast, this article shows that, when Christ returns, only God’s people will receive eternal life, that the unrepentant will die, and that this death, being the opposite of eternal life, is eternal.
THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FOR ETERNAL TORTURE
This is a summary of the articles on eternal torment. This article finds no clear evidence for eternal torment in the Bible. Rather, it consistently teaches that evil and the lost will be annihilated and that only God’s people will receive eternal life.
ARGUMENTS FOR ANNIHILATION
The Bible teaches that the lost will not suffer everlasting torture. God will put them out of existence. For example, man was not created immortal and was condemned to death when he sinned. Immortality is a gift. Only believers will receive it. A time will come when evil does not exist.
REVELATION 14:9-11 – SMOKE RISES FOREVER
People with the mark of the beast will be tormented in fire and brimstone and the smoke of their torment goes up forever (Rev 14:9-11). This is symbolic language. For example, They will be tormented in Christ’s presence and He will not remain forever in hell.
REVELATION 20:10 – LAKE OF FIRE
Revelation 20:10 is a symbolic description of eternal destruction because things that are not persons (death, the beast, and the false prophet) will be annihilated in the lake of fire and because the lake of fire is the second death. Therefore, the fire will consume Satan.
ARGUMENTS FOR EVERLASTING TORTURE
The evidence for eternal torment may sound convincing, but when one delves into the background and context, it becomes evidence for annihilation. For example, the phrase “their worm does not die” is a quote from the Old Testament referring to dead people.
DO PEOPLE HAVE IMMORTAL SOULS?
Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 15 to comfort us concerning the dead. We might expect him to declare that the dead live in heaven as immortal souls, but he wrote that the dead sleep and will be made alive when they are resurrected. Only then will God’s people be made immortal.
THE RESURRECTION BODY
With what kind of body will the dead be resurrected? After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples in a locked room. They thought they were seeing a spirit, but He showed and told them that He has a body of flesh and bones. He had a different kind of body.
I recommend Glenn Peoples’ article, Why I am an Annihilationist (rightreason.org). That article and Glenn’s podcasts have helped me a great deal. I also recommend the Rethinking Hell podcast, including: