Annihilationism (also known as extinctionism or destructionism) is a Christian belief that at the Last Judgment those not receiving salvation are destined for total destruction, not everlasting torment.
It is directly related to the doctrine of conditional immortality, the idea that a human soul is not immortal unless it is given eternal life. Annihilationism asserts that God will eventually destroy the wicked, leaving only the righteous to live on in immortality. Some annihilationists (e.g. Seventh-day Adventists) believe God’s love is scripturally described as an all-consuming fire and that sinful creatures cannot exist in God’s presence. Thus those who elect to reject salvation through their free will are eternally destroyed because of the inherent incompatibility of sin with God’s holy character. Seventh-day Adventists posit that living in eternal hell is a false doctrine of pagan origin, as the Wicked will perish as the Bible says in the Lake of fire. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that there can be no punishment after death because the dead cease to exist.
Annihilationism stands in contrast to both the traditional and long-standing belief in eternal torture in the lake of fire, and the belief that everyone will be saved (universal reconciliation or simply “universalism”).
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Bible reference(s): Genesis 3:19, Deut. 32:22, 2 Sam. 22:6, Job 11:8, Job 26:6, Ps. 9:17, Ps. 16:10, Ps. 18:5, Ps. 55:15, Ps. 86:13, Ps. 116:3, Ps. 139:8, Prov. 5:5, Prov. 7:27, Prov. 9:18, Prov. 15:11, Prov. 15:24, Prov. 23:14, Prov. 27:20, Ecc 9:10, Isa. 5:14, Isa. 14:9, Isa. 14:15, Isa. 28:15, Isa. 28:18, Isa. 57:9, Isa 66:24, Ezek. 31:16, Ezek. 31:17, Ezek. 32:21, Ezek. 32:27, Amos 9:2, Jon. 2:2, Hab. 2:5, Matt. 5:22, Matt. 5:29, Matt. 5:30, Matt. 10:28, Matt. 11:23, Matt. 16:18, Matt. 18:8-9, Matt. 23:15, Matt. 23:33, Mat. 25:41, Mk. 9:43-47, Lk. 10:15, Lk. 12:5, Luke 12:20, Lk. 16:22-23, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, Jas. 3:6, Jude 1:7, 2 Pet. 2:4, Rev. 1:18, Rev. 6:8, Rev. 20:13, Rev. 20:14, 2 Esdras 2:29, 2 Esdras 4:7, 2 Esdras 4:8, 2 Esdras 7:36, 2 Esdras 8:53
Source: This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Annihilationism,” which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
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