Is Annihilationism Biblical?

The wrath of God is described in Revelation 14:10-11 which reads: "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Annihilationists claim that the purpose of the fire and brimstone in Revelation 14:10 is to end one's existence, but the scripture makes clear the purpose of the fire and brimstone is to torment, not to annihilate.

The doctrine of annihilationism teaches there is a distinction between the fire and the smoke referred to in Revelation 14:10-11, and therefore they claim that the punishment will not be eternal. The annihilationists concede that the smoke referred to in Revelation 14:11 will rise forever, but they say the fire will only last until the wicked are annihilated out of existence and then the fire will be extinguished. This is a gross distortion and twisting of the scriptures. The wicked WILL NOT be obliterated out of existence for the following reasons:


For smoke to rise eternally without any fire would require two essential parameters.

The first essential parameter would be an infinitely high atmosphere so that there would be no upper limit to which the smoke could rise.

The second essential parameter would be TIME (past, present, and future) that never ended, because for every mile the smoke traveled upward into an infinitely high atmosphere would require a certain amount of TIME.

The problem with the above idea is that the judgment of God takes place in "eternity," and not in a space-time continuum as the annihilationists erroneously claim.

Another problem with the above concept for the annihilationists is that in eternity there is no past or future as in TIME. That which is eternal exists outside the space-time continuum. The primary definition for the word "eternal" provided by the American Heritage Dictionary is as follows:

ETERNAL = being without beginning or end, existing outside of time

As the above definition makes clear, eternity exists outside of TIME, therefore smoke will not be able to rise eternally if there is no fire to create it. Plus, the annihilationists are trying to apply human understanding of natural phenomena as a way of explaining supernatural phenomena in a spiritual world. This is like trying to mix oil and water. The atmosphere in eternity will be very different to the atmosphere that we now experience on earth per Revelation 22:5 which reads: "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."

Jesus said the fire in hell is everlasting per Matthew 25:41 which reads: "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." When Jesus utters the words "everlasting fire", this directly refutes the claim by the annihilationists that the fire in eternity will be extinguished while the smoke of their torment rises forever.


We know from scripture that TIME will run out and when TIME does run out all of creation will enter eternity. And since eternity has neither beginning or end there will no longer be a past or a future. Those who are God's people will exist in the eternal presence of His love. And those who are not God's people will exist in the eternal presence of His wrath.


There is an old maxim that says "where there is smoke there is fire." The same is true when Revelation 14:10-11 refers to "the smoke of their torment." In order for smoke to rise eternally there must be fire, otherwise the smoke would cease to exist instantly.

Hell would not seem so bad to the wicked if they knew the TIME they spent in hell would ultimately come to an end. But TIME in hell will never come to an end because there is no TIME in hell. The wrath of God is eternal. The Bible does not say the wicked will be sentenced to a thousand years in hell, or a million years in hell, or a billion years in hell. The lake of fire is located in eternity and lost souls will be tormented in eternity just as long as saved souls enjoy the pleasures of heaven. Man cannot comprehend eternity. No mathematical equation or formula can explain it. It is not surprising the pagans attack the eternal nature of hell, substituting doctrines like the "ANNIHILATION OF THE WICKED" in its place.


In Matthew 25:46 Jesus said, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." The preceding verse makes crystal that both heaven and hell exist eternally and that hell will last as long as heaven does. Jesus said in regard to Judas Iscariot that it would have been better if he had never been born. Would it have been better for Judas Iscariot not to have been born if annihilation was all that awaited him? Annihilation is like no punishment at all. If those in hell were told their fire would go out after a billion years and they would then be annihilated, there would be a jubilee in hell at the very thought of it. But there will never be a jubilee in hell because there is no TIME in hell, and the reason there is no TIME in hell is because hell IS ETERNAL.


The scripture states the wicked and ungodly are being reserved for the judgment of God until TIME runs out per 2 Peter 3:7 which reads: "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." And also Jude 1:6 which reads: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

The righteous and the ungodly will both receive resurrected bodies at the end of TIME per John 5:28-29 which reads: "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." The annihilationists claim the ungodly will be obliterated out of existence in eternity. John 5:28-29 directly refutes the annihilationists claim by stating the evil ones are going to be resurrected in eternity to DAMNATION.

The American Heritage dictionary provides the following definitions for the word DAMNATION:

DAMNATION - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd definitions provided

  1. The act of damning or the condition of being damned
  2. Condemnation to everlasting punishment
  3. Everlasting punishment


Jude 1:7 reads as follows: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, SUFFERING the VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE."

Jude 1:7 clearly refutes the claim by the annihilationists who hold that the wicked will be obliterated out of existence. The scripture makes clear the ETERNAL FIRE is VENGEANCE (punishment) against the wicked. The scripture also makes clear the wicked are SUFFERING. If a person's soul were obliterated out of existence then that soul would no longer be SUFFERING.

Since it is clear the wicked are SUFFERING, and their SUFFERING is a result of the VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE, it is abundantly clear the SUFFERING (punishment) is forever. Jude 1:7 does not give even the slightest hint or innuendo that the VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE will extinguish the wicked out of existence.


Another verse the annihilationists like is 2 Thessalonians 1:9 which reads: "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power." Annihilationists want to believe that "everlasting destruction" means total and complete annihilation. But the scripture itself explains what is meant by everlasting destruction by making clear the ungodly and unbelievers will be forever separated from the presence of the Lord. No one can argue that eternal separation from the presence of the Lord is total destruction and ruin of one's soul.


There is nothing written in Revelation 14:10-11 that even remotely suggests the fire will not last forever. Jesus stated three times in the gospel of Mark that the fire will never be quenched per the following verses:

Mark 9:44 -- Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:46 -- Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:48 -- Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.


The Lord God Almighty is not a God of confusion. Revelation 20:10 states: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10 provides unmistakable, unambiguous, and crystal clear evidence as to the duration of hell. The unbelievers and ungodly who end up in hell will be punished eternally, because it is an eternal and holy God that damns them.

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