Why I Am An Annihilationist

I am an annihilationist. That means I think the Bible teaches annihilationism. Annihilationism is the view that eternal life is the gift of God, and that those who do not receive this gift will not live forever. Stated more negatively, annihilationists deny the more popular Christian claim that the Bible teaches the traditional doctrine of eternal torment in hell, and we affirm instead that the Bible teaches that the lost will one day die forever. It is important to realize then that annihilationism is not simply a denial that the Bible teaches eternal punishment. Rather, it is a particular view of what that punishment will consist of.

Not only am I an annihilationist, but I think that all evangelical Christians should be annihilationists, because the biblical case for annihilationism is very strong, and I think the arguments against annihilationism are very weak in comparison. That’s not to say that there are no ambiguous texts of Scripture on the subject, or that there are no criticisms that need to be overcome. Remember—I said that the arguments for the other side are weak in comparison, but every claim about what the Bible teaches is going to have some explaining to do at some point.

Today I’m going to do two things: I’m going to outline a biblical case for annihilationism, and after each main point in favor of annihilationism I will address some of the main arguments against it. Robert Peterson (of Covenant Theological Seminary) and Christopher Morgan (of California Baptist University) are perhaps today’s most vocal critics of annihilation and defenders of annihilationism—in fact their entire published careers, as far as I can tell, have been committed to the task, so I’ll be using them as examples fairly often. After doing that I will then turn to some further arguments against annihilationism, and explain how they fail. In this presentation I will be using the term “traditionalist” to refer to somebody who holds what has become the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment.

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Author: Glenn Peoples

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Bible reference(s): Isaiah 66:24, Matthew 25:41, Mark 9:43-48, Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:29, Matthew 5:30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 11:23, Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:8-9, Matthew 23:15, Matthew 23:33, Mark 9:43, Mark 9:45, Mark 9:47, Luke 10:15, Luke 12:5, Luke 16:23, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, James 3:6, 2 Peter 2:4, Revelation 1:18, Revelation 6:8, Revelation 19:20, Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:13, Revelation 20:14, Revelation 20:15

Source: “Why I am an Annihilationist.”

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