Steve had the idea of posting this stuff on my blog so that we could continue to think about and discuss this stuff over the course of the week. Also, I am thinking we will need to pause next week and clean up the mess I made before we move on with the series. As Steve said Sunday afternoon, “You’ve poured out more than you’ve mopped up!”
So this is a great opportunity to mop up some of what I have poured out this week.
Here are some key scriptures that we worked from.
Isaiah 66 / Matthew 10:28 / Revelation 18 / Revelation 21:1-8 / I John 4:16-19 / John 3:16 / (also we talked about the meaning of the word “Aionos” that means “eternal” or “eternity” and how doesn’t always, perhaps even rarely, refers to an endless period of time. Rather it usually refers to the “Coming Age” or the “Aeon to Come”.
I’m not going to present in detail the ideas from class yesterday, however I do want to clarify a few things. First, I do not believe that the wicked are immediately annihilated. My source from Rev. 18 says that there will be torment, suffering, disease, and famine, and THEN they will be “consumed by the fire”.
So annihilation isn’t necessarily good news for the lost as brother Larry suggested. And about that comment from brother Larry (that I believe is a good and genuine concern!), I should have said two things and lost my train of thought.
1> It’s funny to me that lost people (and sadly Christians too!) will fear death all their life, and do almost anything to avoid it, but you are telling me that they are fearless in the face of this “second death” that I speak of? A death that is guaranteed to be “terrible” and “fearful”
2> Fear can never be a motivator for coming to Christ. We do not come to or follow Christ in order to avoid hell. Speaking of the day of judgment, I John 4:18 says, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
So what are your thoughts, questions, concerns, angers, etc? Don’t be afraid now!