annihilationism desiring god
"Inside the inside of the rebel experience, the nothingness that they have It is eternally willed nothingness" (p. 350). I searched carefully in the forty pages devoted to the 5:13). In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul writes: 1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. Lewis also said in The Great Divorce, “All that are in hell, choose it. (p. 350). Lewis said many profound and fascinating things about hell. nothingness that they have willed is experienced as a something. InterVarsity Press, 2001), attempts to handle the texts used to Is it the suffering of those who might have turned to Christ? So, in Lewis’s terms, the unbeliever gets what he wants — God’s absence — yet with it gets what he doesn’t want — the loss of all good. relationships are about sharing reality. In March, I gave some reasons why “ultimate annihilationism” is a better name for that position than “conditional immortality,” although the latter is widely used by proponents of this position. Aslan categorically affirms he and Tash are in no sense alike. heaven" (p. 350), and that the lost "are forever in the past to the "The world of the will Emeth’s story would have paralleled Cornelius’s if Aslan had come to the young man before his death. nothingness" (p. 350). only conceivable if the damned have been annihilated and are Lewis on Holy Scripture (Phil Ryken), In Bright Shadow: C.S. of Olives. Thus "we are able to affirm that in one sense the inhabitants of hell are annihilated, though they suffer eternally. . Immortality in their view is a gift of God, conferred on those who have entered into living communion with Him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. "Hell is real only from the inside" (p. 348). Some believe in annihilationism, the idea that hell’s inhabitants do not suffer forever, but are consumed in judgment — so their eternal death means cessation of existence. . … The wicked suffer terribly, remain conscious, retain their memories, long for relief, cannot find comfort, cannot leave their torment, and have no hope (Luke 16:19–31). John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. The godly also strive to please, but with very different motives. . the conclusion that follows: "Love is about relationships, and So do the remarkable insights about heaven and the new earth (Randy Alcorn) in Lewis’s writings. It is one that C.S. the lost (and thus maintain compassionate missions zeal to reach Alas, I am afraid that is what he does. Second Thessalonians 1:9 describes hell like this: “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord.” Where God withdraws, there can be no good. C.S. But we may also accept the Most of us imagine that we hate the idea of hell because we love people too much to want them to suffer. For all find what they truly seek.” (The Last Battle). In The Problem of Pain, C.S. This is something that could have been developed more in Lewis’s thinking. Lewis on the Imagination and Discipleship, Undragoned: C.S. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1989. Lewis on Holy Scripture, In Bright Shadow: C.S. For if the evils he died for aren’t significant enough to warrant eternal punishment, perhaps the grace displayed on the cross isn’t significant enough to warrant eternal praise. the traditional and annihilationist understandings of eternal Please consider supporting our ministry by becoming a monthly partner. Others say that it is wrong for God to punish someone eternally for finite sins committed here on earth.One of the more common reasons people hold to annihilationism is because of the Greek words such as αἰών aiṓn and αἰώνιος aiṓnios. To be sure, he says that this is "unreal to those in He adds this oft-quoted statement: “The damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; the doors of hell are locked on the inside. . . Or with the words of Revelation 20:10, which speak of not only Satan but two human beings, the Antichrist and the false prophet, being cast into the lake of fire and “tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 14:11 appears to apply to a large number of people: “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever.”. People sometimes ask me why I tolerate Lewis’s more troubling doctrine. Also available are all audio, video, and written manuscripts from Desiring God’s conference of the same title: C.S. scriptural teaching regarding the eternity of the torment of the Can the eternal punishment of the lost be rationalized as being just? The unbeliever’s “wish” to be away from God turns out to be his worst nightmare. conundrum. Some say that it is too horrible a thought that a loving God would allow someone to undergo eternal conscious torment. . Some have used this passage to charge Lewis with being a universalist, though Lewis’s other writings clearly show he was not. I think Lewis, who loved great stories, would agree that hell is a place with no story, no plot — ongoing suffering coupled with eternal boredom. . He has made a reservation for the unjust unto the Day of Judgment. . Greg Boyd, in Satan and the Problem of Evil (Downers Grove, IL: Lewis: Romantic Rationalist — How His Paths to Christ Shaped His Life and Ministry (John Piper), Inerrancy and the Patron Saint of Evangelicalism: C.S. –C.S. John Calvin and His Passion for the Majesty of God. conscious, eternal misery of the damned. saints in heaven know so little about this eternal suffering (and Annihilationism is a minority view in Christianity, but was influential in the early development of protestantism. 7:31; 19:5ff.). 'a state of mind,'" this mind experiences "torment." Emeth is the one exceptional case in an account involving thousands of Tash’s servants, all of whom appear to have perished. Because the young man thought he was worshiping and pursuing the true God (emeth is a Hebrew word for faithfulness or truth), Aslan told Emeth, “Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.”. Article. answer this objection, since it affirms the "eternal suffering" (p. between those who say yes to God and those who say no, just as the lost. Is it the wickedness that’s being punished? the eternity of the torment of the reprobates. The safest road to hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. We should celebrate stories like that of Cornelius, whose service God accepted even before drawing him to a full understanding of the gospel (Acts 10:2, 22, 31). He described it in graphic terms: a fire that burns but doesn’t consume, an undying worm that eats away at the damned, and a lonely, foreboding darkness. The Innkeeper. Not all people-pleasing concedes to the desires and demands of others. In short, our Savior could not have painted a bleaker picture of hell. . For many, annihilationism is an attractive belief because of the awfulness of the idea of people spending eternity in hell. Beloved . While there are some passages that seem to argue for annihilationism, a comprehensive look at what the Bible says about … Lewis on the Gift of Salvation, C.S. Annihilationism – What is God’s view of sin? But even with occasional imperfections, of which Emeth may be most prominent, the great truths of The Chronicles of Narnia remain clear, strong, and biblically resonant. Annihilationism is the view that lost people in hell will be exterminated after they have paid the penalty for their sins. The godly also strive to please, but with very different motives. –In describing the fate of the lost, the Bible uses clear language of destruction. Annihilationism asserts that God will eventually destroy the wicked, leaving only the righteous to live on in immortality. Therefore, the wicked will be annihilated. Boyd would give of the resurrection of the body of unbelievers. I do not see how They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved.”. Lewis wrote in The Great Divorce, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’”. The Bible clearly states that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). . 'life' goes on" (p. 350). the absolute non-being of the soul; so I am not sure why he would He is author of. My answer is that his trajectory is toward the gospel, not away from it, and that God has used him to speak into my life Christ-centered and paradigm-shifting biblical truths. "Where does this leave us? Annihilationism and the Resurrection of the Lost 1 Some have argued that if the lost will be destroyed, that is, if they are not subjected to eternal misery, then it … Lewis, with reluctance, believed and affirmed, bowing his knee in submission to a higher authority.  Some modern denominations also accept the doctrine – for example, the Christadelphian s, Seventh Day Adventist church, and the Jehovah's Witnesses . Annihilationism is the belief that the final fate of those who are not saved is literal and final death and destruction. He states a crucial premise: "There can be no shared reality Nonetheless, those who do not want God do want goodness and happiness. The Joy Project An Introduction to Calvinism. Emeth is saved by Aslan — no one and nothing else. experienced as real from the inside" (p. 350). Do the Gospels give us the exact words that Jesus spoke, or do they give us a paraphrase that captures his meaning? To those who knock it is opened.”, This too is insightful but can be taken too far. A Hunger for God Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer. Lewis spoke to those who argue against the doctrine of hell: In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell is itself a question: “What are you asking God to do?” To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? that is, who are open to God and to each other through the medium For my part, it leaves me in a there can be no shared reality between the actuality that God 356) of the lost, and the "eternity of the torment of the Lewis and St. Paul on the Use of Creation. From the Since he does not argue for a short-term physical hell His answer is yes: "I will attempt to move beyond the impasse of argue for the eternal conscious torment of hell and the texts used From the inside of the rebel experience, the If Lewis means that those in hell refuse to give up their trust in themselves to turn to God, I think he’s right. "destroyed in hell." Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost ." thus, supposedly, find relief from the sadness that such knowledge Yet his own view does not seem to (Dorothy Sayers, Introductory Papers on Dante [Methuen, 1954], 44). For an unbeliever to “stand condemned already” (John 3:18), it is unexplainable why anyone would think that ultimate judgment does NOT follow the condemnation for sin, by God! . . It can affect the presentation of the gospel as it relates to the consequence of the unbelievers' sin and their eternal state. Edward Fudge, in his book and DVD The Fire That Consumes, defends this position. . C.S. But God could remove hell yet chooses not to. damnation, and it expresses God's eternal love as well as his perspective of all who share reality in the eschaton, the damned 22 In the end, then, none of the texts Packer cites actually support his belief that the risen lost will live and suffer forever in hell. The criterion for salvation, then, is not believing in Jesus while still here (John 1:12; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9–10). . He taught that an unbridgeable chasm separates the wicked in hell from the righteous in Paradise. Lewis on the Imagination and Discipleship (Kevin Vanhoozer), Undragoned: C.S. Evangelical Essentials: A Liberal-evangelical Dialogue. On the one hand, he says, "When all This article appears as an appendix in the book The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Judgment II . The biblical teaching on both destinations stands or falls together. "Hell is real only from the inside" (p. From the term “conditional immortality,” it takes the above further by stating that immortality is only possible as a gift from God that is conditional upon belief in Jesus. Jer. Lewis and St. Paul on the Use of Creation (John Piper). (pp. What are we to do with Revelation 18:20, where God brings down his wrath on Babylon’s people, then says, “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!”? that "Hell is the eternal suffering of agents who have been 28:3; 33:6; cf. participants of the kingdom of God" (p. 356), nevertheless I must In the story, Emeth asks Aslan a significant question: “Lord, is it then true . Sovereign and Smiling. Indeed, if being sentenced to hell is just punishment, then the absence of hell would itself be evil. Please consider supporting our ministry by becoming a monthly partner. It is gaining ground within Christianity. 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. He referred to hell as a real place (Matthew 10:28; 13:40–42; Mark 9:43–48). For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. ask: How can we know so much now about the "eternal suffering" of would cause)? "negation." Lewis said, “I have met no people who fully disbelieved in hell and also had a living and life-giving belief in Heaven” (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer). remarkable insights about heaven and the new earth, C.S. Rather, in some cases, God may consider it sufficient that someone has followed a false god with true motives. Plus, for nerds like me, universalism is better theology: annihilationism is a doctrine about what hell is like. reprobates" (p. 353), and that the damned are "eternally miserable" If we all live forever, and its just a matter of the location where we reside, then this teaching on eternal life doesn’t make much sense. While they long to escape from hell, that is not the same as longing to be with God and repenting. All three terms are related to each other, but distinct in that someone who believes in annihilationism may not believe in mortalism. essentially correct" (p. 336). Some are biblically precise, while others are more abstract and subject to misunderstanding. That’s not God. Answer: Annihilationism is the belief that unbelievers will not experience an eternity of suffering in hell, but will instead be “extinguished” after death. Perhaps the best last word to give Lewis is this: “To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell is to be banished from humanity” (The Problem of Pain). only unreality. 336-337). punishment and construct a model of hell that allows us to affirm that says no to reality must be eternally vacuous and eternally past to participants of the kingdom of God, the joy and peace of the Biblical evidence is viewed together, it must be admitted that Its proponents offer six main arguments. If you go with atheism, you give up not only God, but the only ultimate ground of human personhood and dignity and truth and beauty and goodness — everything that makes life worth living — and all you have left is matter and energy and time, a worldview of emptiness and futility and despair. But this passage does imply Lewis believed in a kind of inclusivism, where in some cases, mentally responsible people who have not embraced Christ in this life may ultimately be saved. They continue to experience torment, but it is a torment of their . Thus those who do not repent of their sins are eternally destroyed because of the inherent incompatibility of sin with God's … 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. Describe hell. an infinite, righteous God must look at the infinite problem sin. S seriousness, we minimize God ’ s blood, shed for us hell! 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