A number of verses from the Psalms and other places in Scripture have been offered by some to suggest a finality of existence of those who die in unbelief. Particularly those where the Psalmist, as Christ who is God, speak with terminative expressions of the enemies of God.
There is, however, a difference between a finite earthly sense of destruction of the wicked versus the perpetually infinite relationship to God, and His being glorified in His continued punishment of the wicked throughout eternity.
For example, expressions like one offered from Psalms 104:35, "Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more", place emphasis on the Hebrew words translated and jump to a conclusion that not only misunderstands the difference of time versus eternity, but contradicts the Hebrew word in the same verse translated, "be no more""consumed". In fact this word, which comes first in the verse conditions and defines the later phrase. They are "no more" because they are "consumed". Yet the verb in Hebrew is used variously in Scripture figurative at times and literal at others. You can not maintain a wooden interpretative meaning in every place the word is found. At times the verb can be transitively used as well as intransitively. The Hebrew word "consumed" is a word that means properly to complete, to perfect, to finish, to cease. It does not mean "consumed" in the sense of being burned up, or destroyed, but merely to come to an end, to cease, to pass away. That is to say, Let the time soon come when there will be no unbelievers in the new heaven or new earth, but when all the inhabitants therein will worship and honor God. The forum writer's conclusion was simply an example of poor exegesis at best and at worse forced meaning not found in the text.
In order to understand this from the point of view of God, one need only consider how He regards them whose sins have been blotted out by Christ's atoning work on the cross.
Hebrews 10:17 says, "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Moreover, the very concept of the phrase "for ever" Does the all-knowing eternal God forget? No, but He regards no longer our iniquities as an affront to His holy justice because the payment has been satisfied by Christ, on our behalf. The continued fact of our sin, the need of a sin-bearer, Christ's intercession in heaven for sinners as the great High-Priest, does not detract from the blessed glory which is given to God throughout eternity. Despite that it was once for all done "in time" at Calvary, God will be praised continually, and especially the Lamb (perpetually remembering Him as the deliverer and a sacrifice for sin) as is stated in Revelation 5:13, promises and assures the never-ending existence of praise to God (Rev. 5:13), Christ's eternal reign (Rev. 11:15), yea even the very nature of the Word of God itself (1 Pet 1:25).
However, we must also recognize that the same expression is used of the punishment of the wicked in Revelation 14:11, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night", and in Revelation 19:3 where it says, "And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever." Further, if the smoke rises forever and ever, then obviously the fire is burning forever and ever. If we lessen the definition of continuation with regard to the unregenerate, then we wrongly detract from the aforementioned references of the same regarding Christ and His Word. It is a lack of consistency that does violence to the Scriptures and an interpretation that ultimately dishonors God and the Sovereignty of his eternal plan.
Consider further the parallel of eternity for believer and unbeliever:
First, if eternal death meant extinction, there would be nothing eternal about such a death. It would be over once and for all. There would be nothing continuing, much less eternal, about such a death. The expression would self-destruct and convey no meaning.
Second, there would be nothing corresponding to and contrasting with eternal life, yet Scripture intends a parallelism of the two. This interpretation would leave one meaningful term compared with a meaningless expression. Eternal life we could understand. Eternal death would be a simple contradiction in terms.
Third, For any comparison to be meaningful, existence of both elements must be assumed. There are two different kinds of existences, but existence in each case is assumed or no comparison is possible.
Fourth, "death" often refers to the termination of one aspect of an existence and not another. Thus, "she that livith in pleasure is dead while she livith", (1 Tim. 5:6). She exists, so far as pleasure is concerned, even though dead in another sense. Likewise, he who loses his life (or dies) gains it (or lives) in another sense, (Mark 8:35). "Everlasting death", to be meaningful, must have a dual reference: death in one sense and life in another and both eternal existences.
Man is appointed once to die, but after this (Heb. 9:27) the judgment, a sequence of continued events. It is a place where they, being bound hand and foot (imprisoned) shall be cast out into outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 8:12 & 22:13), where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44). It is a prison (a place of abode) where one exists unreleased being unable to pay the last mite (Luke 12:58-59). It is a place more tolerable (Matt 11:21) for some than others suggesting degrees of punishment.
BE WARNED FRIEND !
Your amazement that the Christian conviction about both Heaven and Hell, and the Immortality of the Soul having been virtually unquestioned doctrines of the Bible since the Christian Church began should give you reason to fear this idea of annihilation of the wicked.
In fact the denial of Hell, until recently has been the usual litmas test of a cult such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, and a host of other Liberals and thinkers. Consider the company of heretics that you have aligned yourself with in maintaining these views.
Salvation is of the Lord who saves by His Spirit though His Word, which endureth through all generations. That saving Word will not cease to save, nor will it cease to nurture God's elect. The blessings of the Holy Spirit who teaches through His Word, and the promises of God who will complete and finish the work He has begun in believers will not fail, but will continue to the end, because it is vested in the Word itself. It has never been vested in the church institute or the man who preaches. No, not in the past, present or the future. But the Holy Spirit is still a teacher to God's elect wherever they may be gathered as two or three in His Name and the Holy Spirit is still present with believers, in that place where they worship, be it a church, because that Spirit indwells and is in them that believe. And their praises, while tainted by the sin that yet remains in the body, and their prayers, though as if by groans, are still carried by that same Holy Spirit to heaven because of a way paved by Jesus and made plain whereby “the elect” may approach the throne of grace boldly. That approach to God may be done everywhere, even by those believers who sit in the pews of a church today. To deny this is to deny the Spirit of Christ, the Comforter of all God's people.
The blessings of the Word to God's elect has not ended because of the declarations of studiously mystical assignment of interpretive conclusions based on numerical calculations. That is just foolishness and deception of the devil. It is an attempt to change laws and times, and it is the rantings of false prophets who in these last days have risen speaking damnable lies and heresy, bringing strong delusion, which many are now following.
God's people have never and will never be damned for a lack of understanding the chorological calculations of the world's existence. Men are damned because they are firstly reprobated eternally in God's Sovereign decree, and secondly, because of their being born in sin, sinning against the knowledge of God's law written on their hearts, and rejection of His command to repent and believe the Gospel, for which they have no spiritual ears nor eyes to hear or see. And this damnation is NOT annihilation.
Time for you to be awakened to deception in the "Camp". So many of you have gone so far as to accept this false teaching of annihilation of the damned, or of a secret rapture five months prior to the last day. Do not follow these lies ! Wake up before it's too late. Turn and repent before the sand upon which you stand washes away in the storm of God's wrath! Salvation is by the gracious mercy of God.
Christ continues to save souls from the judgment we so richly deserve by his atoning work on Calvary, and will continue until the last day.
WHEN GOD SAYS "NO MAN KNOWETH" that is exactly what HE means! The Elect, who have studied the Word and matured, already know by the unfolding of concurrent events, both worldly and spiritually taken from the Bible , that God has given them full awareness that we are now in “this generation” ( Mat 24:34).We are not taken by surprise like a thief in the night (1 Thes 5: 3-7).
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Eph 5:8.
Again, a new commandment, I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the darkness is past and the true light now shineth.” 1 Jo 2:8.
“This then is the message we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 Jo 1:5.
This is the “light” God is referring to.
Remembering that 1 John was written to the Christian Elect.
Many signs and events are described in the Bible in plain and unequivocal terms, as well as Spiritual context and understanding concurrently with the conclusion and total presence of all these events combined and present at the same time. But---- as to any man knowing the times or seasons of the Last Day, as in the year (seasons), month or day, the Lord clearly and unequivocally says:
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6
“And he said unto them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father ha put in His own authority’” Act 1:7
(this is cross referenced to Mat 24:36 for content and context)
“But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”. Matthew 24:36
( Here we find a triple negative to add extra emphasis on its clarity without question. This is crossed referenced to context in Zac 14:7 "one day which shall be know to the Lord," emphasis to the reference of “Man” in Mat 24:36 and the distinction “know to the Lord” in Zac 14:7 “ but my Father ONLY” Mat 24:36)
(This verse Mat 24:36 is cross referenced with Zachariah 14:7 in the same context:)
“But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light.” Zec 14:7
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:13
There are other verses in the Bible, which in addition to the above also, directly support and address the coming of Lord on the Last Day as well----- in unequivocal meaning. Nothing can be found in the Bible to the contrary to give any other meaning to sum total of all these verses, nor support any other understanding:
Mat 24:42, 44, 1 Thes 5:6, Mark 13:32,35, 2 Pe 3:10 . All confirming the same subject, adding emphasis and support to all the verses listed here in.
We need to remember that Christ came as the Son of Man and the Son of God, so as a man, He was not in all His full glory. As God, he knew, but even in all his righteousness as a man God uses Christ as a devine example, to show that "knoweth no man,....but my Father only", regardless of how righteous they appear to be as a man. Any attempt to calculate a date, in total defiance to scripture, is a work of Satan and is contrary to Gods word. (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:22).
12: But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15: Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2 Corinthians 11:12-15
"[Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Th 2:9-12
ALL THOSE WHO PARTAKE IN THIS DISOBEDIENCE ARE PARTAKING "pleasure in unrighteousness".
To rewrite scripture with presumptions, reweaving scripture in any attempt to undermine or redefine what God has written is bring another gospel. These numerical dates and lies brought by others are nowhere to be found in the Bible and are contrary to what God directly says on the matter. Period!
"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. " Gal 1:8
"As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." Gal 1:9