Thursday, April 27, 2017

Driver Who Cuts Off Annihilationist Told to Go to Hell for a Finite Period of Time

LOS ANGELES, CA—A representative for the California Highway Patrol has advised that the I-10 eastbound freeway was congested for over an hour Wednesday morning due to a two-car accident caused by an alleged illegal lane change, which devolved into a roadside altercation. During the post-crash fight, witnesses confirmed that one of the parties, a staunch annihilationist, colorfully told the other to go to hell for a finite period of time.

Patrick Smith, 29, who firmly believes that hell is not an eternal place of torment but rather a temporary holding place until the damned will be extinguished, claims another driver cut him off and slammed on his brakes, causing Smith’s blue Mazda to rear-end the man’s black SUV. According to witnesses, Smith then got out of his car and began yelling insults, slurs, and profanities entirely in line with his beliefs surrounding the final judgment.

“You can go straight to hades until the Last Judgment, at which time you will cease to exist consciously!” Smith bellowed at the mystified other driver, who then allegedly panicked and sped away from the scene.

“I hope I’m wrong about hell and that guy burns forever!” Smith reportedly screamed at slow-moving rubberneckers passing by his incapacitated vehicle.

LAPD arrived at the scene and took Smith in for questioning. He is currently being held in custody for a short period of time, after which he will be released.

Just a joke, folks. Original 'story' found at The Babylon Bee

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fantastic Fudge interview

Interview (podcast) with Edward Fudge concerning hell by Eric Metaxas

"Keep an open mind..."  - Eric Metaxas

The Old and New Testaments, when talking about final punishment, use the words "perish", "death" and "destruction" most frequently and in a literal context.

"For God so loved the world that He have His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  - John 3:16 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  - Romans 6:23 

"They will be punished with eternal destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power..."  -  2 Thess. 1:9

Listen to the podcast HERE. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

I could wish that I were accursed!

"For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren…"    - Rom. 9:3

Why do you think Paul said these words?

I comprehend that Paul is passionately expressing his willingness to give anything to see his fellow Jews believe the Gospel and be saved. Many traditionalists view the phrase 'separated from Christ' as being equal in meaning to 'going to hell'. (See also 1 Cor. 16:22, Gal. 1:8-9)
"Many have thought that his meaning is, that he had so great a value for them, that he could even wish himself, and be content to be eternally separated from Christ, everlastingly banished from his presence, never to enjoy communion more with him, or in other words, to be eternally damned, that they might be saved."  - John Gill (
Is it possible to believe that Paul would be willing to be tormented in fire forever for a bunch of stiff-necked and short-sighted Hebrew sinners who persecuted him? If not, he could wish to be separated from Christ in what capacity? It is said that Paul was acting in similar fashion to Moses who dramatically petitioned the LORD in Exodus 32:31-33: "Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin; but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written. The LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book."  

Could Paul have really meant that he would choose to 'suffer in hell' in the place of his fellow Israelites? We know Paul wrote inspired words by the Holy Spirit. I believe there is an answer to this mystery.

Let's start by looking at the word 'accursed'. In Greek, it is actually a word we are familiar with: Anathema. A description of its meaning from Thayer's Greek Lexicon is: 1) a thing set up or laid by in order to be kept  2) a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed…therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction.

This corresponds to the Hebrew word charam (Heb. H2763) to ban, devote, destroy utterly, completely destroy, dedicate for destruction, exterminate.

Example: Exodus 22:20 - "He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the LORD alone, shall be utterly destroyed (lit. put under the ban [charam])"

From Encyclopaedia Britannica: "In the Old Testament the word [charam] was applied to anything set aside for sacrifice and thus banned from profane use and dedicated to destruction, as in the case of the enemy and their cities and possessions in the case of religious wars."

Here is an example, although there are many in the OT: "So we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed [charam] the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor." (Deut. 2:34)

The second definition of anathema is spelled out in detail in Leviticus where it describes what happens when a man is 'put under the ban':

"…anything which a man sets apart [charam] to the LORD out of all that he has, of man or animal or of the fields of his own property, shall not be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted to destruction [charam] is most holy to the LORD. No one who may have been set apart [charam] among men shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death."  (Lev. 27:28,29. See also Jer. 51:3, Deut. 3:6, plus Joshua 6:21, 7:14, 8:26, 10:28 etc.)

In chapter 34 of Isaiah we see a prophetic description of God's future judgment on all the nations. We see the use of 'charam' concerning people the LORD has devoted to destruction:
"For the LORD's indignation is against all the nations,
And His wrath against all their armies;
He has utterly destroyed [charam] them,
He has given them over to slaughter…
For My sword is satiated in heaven,
Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom
And upon the people who I have devoted to destruction [charam]."  (34:2,5)

So, you get the idea of anathema and charamAnd of course Paul was very familiar with what we call the Old Testament. In wishing to be anathema, he was saying that he was willing to be 'put under the ban' or utterly destroyed for the sake of his brethren. This becomes much more understandable, compared to this idea of being 'damned' and spending eternity in torment.

It also makes sense in another capacity, as Paul never teaches about a place of forever torment. He clearly states that God's wrath against sin will result in death/destruction (Click here to read the post "We all trust Paul").

Thankfully, Paul was not required to make that particular sacrifice, as Jesus has paid for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Each individual needs to make their own choices: "…we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:20) "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live…" (Deut. 30:19)

The choice God presents to us through Jesus has been and still is - life or death.

 "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life."   - John 5:24