In my plenary presentation at the 2015 Rethinking Hell conference, I lamented the fact that many “pastors, professors, apologists, authors, and radio show personalities feel comfortable writing, speaking, and teaching about the motives, errors, and dangerous teachings of conditionalists and universalists, all the while largely ignorant of what it is they actually think and argue.”1 A case in point is Eric Davis, Teaching Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY. In his recent article at The Cripplegate, repackaged as a slideshow by Crosswalk.com, Davis purports to be “analyzing annihilationism” and “demonstrating that it is biblically untenable.”2
A close look at his article reveals that, rather than analyzing annihilationism, Davis is scrutinizing a straw man. Meanwhile, his case for the doctrine of eternal torment and against annihilationism simply does not hold up when the burning eye of scrutiny is turned back upon it.

“For the wages of sin is death”

“The biblical teaching of unending punishment in hell,” Davis writes in the introduction to his article, “has often been under attack,” and as an example he offers what he understands to be annihilationism, a view we at Rethinking Hell think is better captured by the label conditional immortality, or conditionalism for short.3 Citing no sources, Davis alleges that according to our view, “those in hell . . . will not be punished forever, but for a length of time, culminating in their annihilation.” But as Edward Fudge explains in his seminal defense of conditionalism, we believe the punishment is death—ongoing privation of life—and not a finite period of torment culminating in death.

Jesus warns of everlasting punishment in the age to come, and he also explains the nature of that punishment, as do Paul and John among others. It is the second death, the wages of sin. It is everlasting destruction, at the hands of God who is able to destroy both soul and body. To undergo this punishment is to perish—eternally and entirely, fully and forever—and to forfeit eternal life, the gift of God that throughout the New Testament always stands as the blessed alternative to death, destruction and perishing.4

From the very beginning of his article, then, Davis sets up a straw man, one easily burned down. Of course, this may have been unintentional. Davis is a pastor seemingly specializing in counseling;5 perhaps his article’s lack of interaction with quotes from published conditionalists is an indication that he is only superficially familiar with conditionalism, and that he is responding to the view merely as characterized by curious congregants.
Take, for example, Davis’s insistence that “‘perish’ and ‘destruction’ do not always refer to cessation of existence,” as if that is what conditionalists maintain. Rather, conditionalists argue that such terms refer to cessation and subsequent lack of life, in stark contrast to the doctrine of eternal torment which holds that the damned will be brought back to life in resurrection and live forever in hell. While its contemporary defenders have rhetorically deemphasized this, it is nevertheless what their forebears believed, and what their view in fact entails.6 Conditionalists, on the other hand, observe that the Bible teaches “the wages of sin is death” (). Those who do not believe in Jesus will finally perish (). After rising from their first death to be judged, they will be sentenced to the second death (; emphasis added).
Davis argues that “in the case of , the word translated ‘perish’ . . . frequently refers to loss, in the sense of no longer in one’s possession.” However, in so doing he commits the exegetical fallacy D. A. Carson calls “unwarranted adoption of an expanded semantic field,” which is to suppose that in any given context a word “may bring with it the word’s entire semantic range.”7 The Greek word ἀπόλλυμι does have a range of meanings, but the meaning of any given use of the word is determined by context. When used of human beings and in what linguists call the middle voice, as it is in , the proper translation is “perish,” which means to die (; ; ; ; ; ; ).8 Moreover, in the verses immediately preceding this one, Jesus is compared to Moses’ bronze serpent which literally saved the lives of those who would have otherwise died by snakebite (; cf. ). The context of therefore prohibits us from understanding “perish” to mean that the wicked will be “lost” in hell. Rather, they will literally perish there, having failed to believe in the Son of God.
Besides, the word’s apparent meaning in the texts Davis cites are not at all inconsistent with being destroyed in the strong sense Davis thinks conditionalists take it to mean. In , for example, ἀπόλλυμι means “to lose something which one already possesses.”9 Whether or not something lost continues to exist somewhere is irrelevant, because from the perspective of its former owner, it has disappeared. And in , ἀπόλλυμι describes wineskins which have “burst,” the Greek ῥήγνυμι meaning “to tear, rip, or burst.”10 The picture is not one of mere “damage,” as Davis suggests. As Craig Blomberg explains, “wine that has not yet fermented—bubbling, expanding, and emitting gas—[cannot be] put into old, brittle containers, or they will explode.”11 N. T. Wright likewise observes that “you can’t put new wine into old skins, or there will be an explosion.”12 The tattered fragments left behind after such an explosion hardly constitute a merely damaged wineskin.13

“The day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly”

Davis argues similarly that in , in which Paul says the end of Christ’s enemies is destruction, “the word translated ‘destruction’ . . . is used elsewhere to describe the idea of wasting something of value ().” This may be, but ἀπώλεια is also used elsewhere to refer to death, consistent with ‘s “perish.” Jesus contrasts it with “life” (). Paul offers Pharaoh, who was killed while chasing the Israelites (Exod 14:30), as an example of “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (). Peter compares the destruction of those who died in Noah’s flood with “the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” ().
It is true, as Davis observes, that “the same word is also used in to describe the punishment of the beast. Then, in , the beast is said to be ‘tormented day and night forever and ever.” However, Davis is confusing the contents of John’s vision with its interpretation, a distinction evident throughout the Bible’s record of such visions. One of the first, for example, is that of Pharaoh. In it, Pharaoh sees seven healthy cows emerge from the Nile, followed by seven gaunt cows that consume the healthy ones (), and Joseph tells him that these symbolize seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine (vv. 26-31). Similarly, John sees a beast with seven heads emerge from the sea (), and an angel tells John that its heads symbolize seven mountains and seven kings (17:9-10). It is in this interpretation of John’s vision that he is told the beast will “go to destruction” (vv. 8, 11). Destruction, then, is not synonymous with the beast’s torment in John’s vision, but is instead the real-life meaning symbolized by it. Consistent with that is the interpretation of the lake of fire offered by John and God himself, who say it symbolizes “the second death” (20:14; 21:8). The lost, having died a first time, will be raised back to life for judgment, and will literally die a second time.
Davis correctly notes that a different word is translated “destruction” in ὄλεθρος—a word he argues “has the idea of damage.” Actually, the word means “a state of utter ruin or destruction” and “suggests a type of ruin or destruction which is somewhat more violent and extensive” than other Greek words.14 Davis further notes that it is modified by the adjective translated “eternal,” and he argues that “if cessation of existence was meant . . . then the modifier, ‘eternal,’ would be useless. To paraphrase, the rendering would be ‘eternal ceasing to exist.'” But this argument simply misses the meaning of the word; an eternal state of destruction can follow a brief act of destroying. And this is exactly what this passage says: the wicked “will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction . . . when he comes on that day” (vv. 9-10). The active suffering of the penalty happens “on that day,” elsewhere called the “day of wrath” (), the result of which is an everlasting “state of utter ruin and destruction.”
Thus, as Peter Grice demonstrates, the Old Testament background to is “the direct encounters with God’s glory in the Old Testament (sometimes called the Shekinah glory),” many of which “involved God killing the unrighteous.” Eternal destruction “means just what it means in everyday English (i.e. destruction with an eternal outcome), just as ‘destruction’ in English refers to something that is brought to an end (cf. ‘bring to nothing’ in ).”15 Indeed, Paul’s combination of the terms “flames of fire” and “vengeance” appears elsewhere only in the LXX translation of , and in this scene God’s enemies are slain by the sword (v. 16), their corpses consumed by fire and maggots (v. 24).

“And these will go away into eternal punishment”

“One of the biggest problems for annihilationism,” Davis continues, “is , which reads, ‘And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.'” In fact, in its context, this text is better support for conditionalism than for eternal torment. After all, while the repeated use of the adjective αἰώνιος, translated “eternal,” suggests the two fates are equally everlasting in duration, the judicial context requires that they be mutually exclusive in nature: only the righteous will live forever. Consistent with the other texts examined thus far, Jesus must therefore be saying that the punishment awaiting the wicked is eternal capital punishment—death forever.
As with “destruction,” “punishment” can refer to the outcome of a process of punishing. And if the penal lifelessness resulting from being executed lasts forever, then even though the process of capitally punishing the damned is finite in duration, their punishment will be everlasting.16 This is why Jonathan Edwards, famously critical of conditionalism, nevertheless similarly admitted that the fate of annihilation “answers the scripture expressions [of eternal punishment] as well, to suppose that they shall be annihilated immediately, without any long pains, provided the annihilation be everlasting.”17 In calling annihilation everlasting, obviously Edwards had the outcome of annihilating in mind, not the process. And while he articulated other reasons for rejecting conditionalism, the phrase “eternal punishment” is not among them.18
Superficially aware of this explanation, Davis characterizes it as teaching that the word αἰώνιος means “having eternal consequences.” And he argues that this explanation will not do, because “if the damned ceased to exist, there would not be eternal consequences. . . . the consequences cease with their annihilation.” But this argument relies on a peculiar, idiomatic use of the word “consequences.” While a phrase like “pay (or face or suffer) the consequences” typically connotes some sort of subjective experience of a negative outcome, the word simply refers to the result, effect, or outcome of an action. The consequence or outcome of being killed and destroyed—lifelessness and destruction—can certainly be everlasting, even if the wicked no longer exist to experience it. And when those everlasting consequences are intended as punishment, as is the case here, they are not merely effects, but are in fact what the punishment consists in (i.e., the ongoing privation of life), thus making the punishment itself properly eternal.
Davis further argues, however, that “the parallel description of heaven and hell with the word ‘eternal’ invalidates the annihilationist position. . . . since heaven is unending, and described as such with αἰώνιος, hell must also be unending since αἰώνιος is also used.” Additionally, he writes, “it would not do to speak of the annihilation of hell’s occupants but the continuation of hell as a place.” Yet none of the examples he offers actually describe heaven or hell as eternal. Instead, they describe life as eternal, and punishment as eternal. Conditionalists wholeheartedly affirm this parallel use of the adjective: God will grant the gift of everlasting life only to the redeemed, while the everlasting punishment of the lost will be death forever.
Davis insists that, “considering the perspicuity of Scripture and the severe nature of the doctrine of hell, we can safely assume that NT writers would have used [παύω or καταπαύω], since they would clearly communicate annihilation.” In reality, these words would do no such thing; they are never used to refer to a cessation of life or being, or to destruction. They refer to a cessation of some specifically named activity: speaking (; ; ); raging (); praying (; ); teaching and preaching (); unrighteousness (; ); clamoring (); admonishing (); beating (); tongues-speaking (); giving thanks (); sacrificing (; ); working (). Instead of these, biblical authors describe final punishment using words that frequently communicate the cessation of life.

“Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched”

At this point in his article, Davis argues that several additional passages “demonstrate the eternality of hell.”

In , Daniel is told that “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Davis confidently asserts, “clearly, this second group experiences some sort of unending pain, for they must be conscious and existing in order to experience ‘shame’ and ‘contempt’ forever.” But in fact they are not said to experience anything forever. Only “contempt” is described as everlasting, the word דֵּרָאוֹן referring to “that which is abhorred” or the “object of abhorrence.”19 Thus contempt is not an emotion the wicked will experience forever, but is instead the emotion the memory of them will prompt in others after they are gone. After all, as in , only the righteous are here said to receive eternal life, so the fate of the impenitent must be everlasting death.

Davis observes that in “the same word translated ‘eternal’ in is used here to describe the eternality of the fire.” This is true, but this does not preclude the wicked from being consumed by the fire. Indeed, Jesus’s contrast in both this verse and the following one is between partial and complete destruction; between the relatively less inconvenient loss of a hand, foot, or eye, and the devastating total loss of one’s whole being in hell. Thus in the close parallel in 0 the contrast is likewise between the loss of of one’s right eye or right hand and the loss of one’s “whole body” in hell.
Furthermore, Jesus sets up a parallel between “eternal fire” in and “the hell of fire” in , “hell” translating the Greek γέεννα, or Gehenna. This is a shortened Greek transliteration of the Hebrew “Valley of the Son of Hinnom,” which the Old Testament prophesied would one day be called “the Valley of Slaughter,” where “the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away” (). The picture is one of death and destruction, not life in fiery torment. Thus Jude likewise uses the phrase “eternal fire” to describe the fire that poured down from heaven upon the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah and slew them, which he says exemplifies final punishment (). In this passage’s parallel, Peter is even more explicit: “by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes [God] condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly” ().

Jesus says in that in hell “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” Davis correctly observes that the Greek word translated “quenched” “has the idea of extinguish or put out a fire.” That’s right: God’s fiery wrath will be inextinguishable and, like any fire does if unable to be put out, it will completely destroy his enemies (Ezek 20:47-48; ; ).20 Thus it will “burn up the chaff” (, NASB), the Greek κατακαίω meaning “to destroy something by burning—‘to burn something down, to burn something up, to reduce to ashes.'”21 Unfazed, however, Davis argues, “that the worms do not die indicate an eternal existence. . . . the picture is of a miserable existence for eternity.” In fact, this phrase is used in Scripture, not to promise immortality, but rather to promise that one will not immediately die; that is, at a particular time, in a particular context. Joseph, for example, tells his brothers, “Bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be verified, and you will not die” (, emphasis added; cf. Exod 30:20; ). That the worm will not die, then, means that death will not prematurely interrupt its meal. They will not be prevented by death from fully consuming the corpses upon which they feed, as those scavengers about which we just read will not be prevented by fear from doing likewise.22

Having failed earlier to rebut the conditionalist argument from this passage, Davis brings it up again here, arguing that “if those suffering ceased to exist, it would be unnecessary to mention that they will be located ‘away from the presence of the Lord.'” But as Ronnie Demler and William Tanksley explain, “the Greek most literally reads, ‘everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.'”23 And as they observe, in the house of Jeroboam is destroyed from the face of the earth, meaning “the house of Jeroboam was removed from the face of the earth by being literally and utterly destroyed.”24 It was separated from the earth, as it were, by being wiped out. The LXX renders the original Hebrew using the same Greek words translated “destruction” and “from” in . The wicked, then, will be removed forever from the presence of the Lord by being literally and utterly destroyed, like we English speakers might say a ship is “blown from the water.”
Alternatively, there is another way to read the Greek preposition ἀπό (apo). “Just like from,” Demler and Tanksley explain, “apo can signify separation (e.g. running from the wolf)”—or, as above, “blown from the water”—”source (e.g. raining from the clouds), or cause(e.g. weeping from joy), among other things.”24 And as they observe, while the ESV favors separation, it offers an alternative in a footnote in which the preposition signifies source: “Or destruction that comes from” (emphasis in original). Paul may have had intended such an understanding, possibly with texts like and in mind, both of which speak of “destruction from the Almighty.”25
Whatever Paul’s intended meaning in , there simply is no reason to think he is saying the wicked will be relocated from one place and placed in another, there to exist forever.

Of the smoke rising forever from the fiery torment of restless beast-worshipers in , Davis says, “the eternality of the rising smoke and inability to rest further describes those experiencing punishment.” In fact, the imagery symbolizes death and destruction, consistent with all the passages we have looked at thus far. The passage speaks of beast-worshipers drinking the strongest measure of God’s wrath, which in the Old Testament results in death (Obad 16; ). Smoke rises forever from the punishment inflicted by fire and sulfur, signifying obliteration as elsewhere in Scripture (; ). The beast-worshipers’ torment, causing them unceasing restlessness, has no Old Testament precedent, but it is combined with the other elements of the picture elsewhere in Revelation, where collectively it communicates destruction: the harlot Mystery Babylon drinks the wine of God’s wrath in 16:19 and 18:6; she is tormented in fire in 18:7, 10, and 15; smoke rises from her forever in 19:3; but the interpreting angel tells John in 18:21 that this imagery symbolizes the total destruction of the city represented by the harlot.26

, , ,

Davis concludes this section of his article writing, “Several other passages could be cited to support eternal punishment, such as , , , and .” But none of these texts actually serve as such support. As previously observed, the unquenchable fire of , being inextinguishable, will “burn up” chaff. The story of Lazarus and the rich man in is set in Hades—the underworld, the so-called intermediate state—and says nothing about what awaits the lost upon being raised out of it.27 And again, “eternal fire” in is a reference to the fire that came down from heaven and slew the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes (cf. ), and the lake of fire imagery of Revelation is interpreted by John and God himself as symbolizing “the second death” of the unsaved human beings thrown into it ().
I have said for several years now that with virtually no exception, every proof-text historically cited in support of the doctrine of eternal torment proves upon closer examination to be better support for conditional immortality. I trust the reader can now see why I believe this to be the case. With the lone exception of , which tells us nothing about the nature and duration of final punishment, all of the texts Davis cites undermine his case for an eternal hell.

“Pierced for our transgressions”

Shifting from exegesis to theology, Davis argues that “nothing less than the death of the Creator-in-the-flesh; the God-man, was necessarily to eliminate a sinner’s punishment.” The atonement, therefore, “declares that the sinner’s punishment is eternal.” As we have seen, annihilation is an eternal punishment, and so it qualifies even if Davis is right. However, what he appears to overlook is the substitutionary nature of the atoning death of Christ: He died in our place, bearing the punishment we deserve in our stead. Whether Jesus did not die for the lost (as five-point Calvinists like me contend), or whether they voluntarily reject him and thereby fail to self-appropriate the saving benefits of his atoning death (as non-Calvinists believe), either way the fate he suffered must therefore be the fate awaiting them. Whereas believers in whose place he died will live forever, unbelievers must instead die, not likewise live forever (even if in hell).
Meanwhile, it seems the real Christological error is made by traditionalists who tend to locate the substitutionary work of Christ in his suffering, rather than in his death. Wayne Grudem, for example, writes, “When Jesus knew that he had paid the full penalty for our sin, he said, ‘It is finished‘ ().”28 Grudem’s use of the perfect-tense “had paid” demonstrates that in his mind, Jesus completely bore the punishment of hell while alive on the cross, and then he died. It follows logically that Jesus’ death was not substitutionary, a conclusion ordinarily identified as heresy by conservative evangelicals.29 Such an identification is with good reason: To Paul, the substitutionary death of Christ is paramount in importance and definitional of the gospel itself (), and one who preaches another gospel—say, one that denies the substitutionary death of Jesus—should be accursed ().
Davis suggests that “the annihilationist position desecrates the glory of the Person and work of Jesus Christ by proposing a less than eternal punishment for sinners,” but nothing could be further from the truth. The doctrine of eternal torment logically entails denying the substitutionary nature of Jesus’ death, for whereas he died, we are told the risen lost will never die. Conditionalism, on the other hand, magnifies the glory of the substitutionary death of Christ. After all, we believe he bore the death penalty in our place, on our behalf, so that we will instead live, and that those who must receive their just desserts will instead die.30

“The one who states his case first seems right”

Much more could be said in response to Davis’s article, but as I am primarily concerned with exegesis and theology, I will merely direct the reader to articles here at Rethinking Hell which address Davis’s remaining philosophical and historical claims. He argues, for example, that “the debt of sin against an infinite Being can never be paid by finite, sinful beings,” but as Joseph Dear demonstrates, “the infinity argument has some merit to it, but cannot prove eternal torment.”31 Davis argues also that “annihilationism has an appeal to fallen man” for “the wicked want it to be true” (emphasis added), but in reality unbelievers both in Christ’s day and in ours are terrified at the prospect of annihilation, and some have even found it more terrifying than eternal torment.32 And while Davis is right that “the testimony from Church history leans heavily towards the eternality of hell,” Glenn Peoples demonstrates from the writings of Irenaeus, Ignatius of Antioch, Arnobius, and others, “that prior to the influence of Augustine of Hippo, the conditionalist view was clearly mainstream.”33
The old proverb says, “the one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (). Many readers of Davis’s article, no more familiar with conditionalism than he is, will no doubt find it persuasive. I suspect, however, that those of them who take the risk of hearing what the other side has to say are in for a shock. Whether they find that response here in this article at Rethinking Hell, or in Edward Fudge’s treatment of Davis’s proof-texts in The Fire That Consumes, or in private conversation with a conditionalist like me, they are likely to experience what Glenn Peoples describes in his open letter to his traditionalist friends:

From behind the barricades, you have become convinced that the biblical case against your view is insubstantial and can be blown down like a house of straw. I have met, either in person or online, countless people who initially told me that they had “looked at both sides of the issue,” by which they meant that they had read one or more of your works in which you—so they believed—laid out the merits of the biblical case for annihilationism and then destroyed it. When presented with just a few responses to these rebuttals as well as a few further considerations, it is as though their world has been turned upside down. They had no idea how compelling the arguments for annihilationism were, and as a result of our encounters many of them are now either undecided or they have embraced annihilationism. . . .

Evangelicals are finding this out. For years they have been reassured that the annihilationist position is one for those who don’t care for biblical authority, who doubt the seriousness of sin, who don’t have proper regard for God’s holiness, and who piece together a tenuous case based on the strained interpretation of a few texts of Scripture. . . . Evangelicals are most certainly finding out that it is not what many of you have made it out to be, and as they have been finding out, many of them have been given the opportunity to think about the matter for themselves and they are changing their minds.34

This was my experience, and since becoming convinced of conditionalism I have seen countless others share it. Of course, it is possible that it is our case for conditionalism that only seems right until sufficiently examined by the other side, but the people whose shock Glenn describes would never know it. Sadly, as I also explained in that 2015 plenary speech I mentioned in opening this article, “Many prominent advocates of a traditional hell are seemingly unwilling to dialogue,” and “have not undertaken the exhaustive, probing, penetrating cross-examination called for by the proverb. As a consequence [they] are not sufficiently familiar with what conditionalists believe, why they believe it, and the arguments they offer in its favor.”35
And so I’ll end this article with an invitation to Davis. Eric, if you are not familiar with my work on this topic, it may surprise you to learn that I wish I could once again believe in the doctrine of eternal torment. As a conservative, Reformed evangelical, it would make my life a lot easier, perhaps re-opening ministerial and educational doors that have closed to me since becoming a conditionalist. Moreover, if I am wrong, and if your view is in fact the biblical one, I want to know it so that I can repent and stop leading God’s people astray. But there is no hope of finding out that I am wrong if my would-be interlocutors will not dialogue with me. Will you consider doing so?
I hope to hear from you at chrisdate@rethinkinghell.com. Thanks.
 

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  1. Chris Date, “A Seat at the Table: An Appeal for Dialogue and Fellowship,” [presentation] 2015 Rethinking Hell conference, Pasadena, CA, June 18, 2015, https://youtu.be/qdTc-EQ1XPY (accessed July 26, 2017). []
  2. Eric Davis, “Analyzing Annihilationism: Will Those in Hell Cease to Exist?” The Cripplegate [blog], posted June 22, 2017, http://thecripplegate.com/analyzing-annihilationism/ (accessed July 26, 2017); repackaged as “9 Points That Argue the Eternality of Hell,” Crosswalk.com, http://www.crosswalk.com/slideshows/9-points-that-argue-the-eternality-of-hell.html (accessed July 26, 2017). []
  3. Peter Grice explains the appropriateness of the label in a three-part series beginning with “‘Conditional Immortality’—What it means and why it’s the best label (Part 1),” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted January 1, 2016, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/01/conditional-immortality-meaning-best-label-1 (accessed July 26, 2017). []
  4. Edward William Fudge, The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment, 3rd ed. (Cascade, 2011), 4. []
  5. “Cornerstone Leadership Team,” Cornerstone Church, http://www.cornerstonejh.com/about-us/leadership/ (accessed July 26, 2017). []
  6. See Chris Date, “Obfuscating Traditionalism: No Eternal Life in Hell?” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted October 12, 2013, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2013/10/obfuscating-traditionalism-no-eternal-life-in-hell/ (accessed July 26, 2017). []
  7. D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Baker Books, 1996), 60–61. []
  8. For the word’s meaning when used in the active voice, see Glenn Peoples, “The meaning of ‘apollumi’ in the Synoptic Gospels,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted October 27, 2012, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/10/the-meaning-of-apollumi-in-the-synoptic-gospels (accessed July 28, 2017). []
  9. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (United Bible Societies, 1996), 1:565. []
  10. Louw and Nida, 1:225. []
  11. Craig Blomberg, Matthew, New American Commentary (B&H, 1992), 158–9; emphasis added. []
  12. Tom Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: –15, 2nd ed. (SPCK; Westminster John Knox, 2004), 101. []
  13. For further reading, see Joseph Dear, “Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism: What Do We Mean by ‘Annihilation?'” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted August 5, 2013, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2013/08/introduction-to-evangelical-conditionalism-what-do-we-mean-by-annihilation (accessed July 28, 2017). []
  14. Louw and Nida, 1:231. []
  15. Peter Grice, “Annihilation in (Part 1): Destroyed by the Glory of His Manifest Presence,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted November 14, 2016, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/11/annihilation-in-2-thessalonians-19-part-1-destroyed-by-the-glory-of-his-manifest-presence (accessed July 26, 2017). []
  16. Chris Date, “‘Punishment’ and the Polysemy of Deverbal Nouns,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted June 19, 2012, http://rethinkinghell.com/2012/06/eternal-punishment-and-the-polysemy-of-deverbal-nouns/ (accessed July 27, 2017). []
  17. Jonathan Edwards, The Works of President Edwards: With a Memoir of His Life (G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1830), 401. []
  18. For further reading, see Joseph Dear, “ Does Not Prove Eternal Torment—Part 1,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted January 15, 2014, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2014/01/matthew-2546-does-not-prove-eternal-torment-part-1 (accessed July 28, 2017); and Joseph Dear, “ Does Not Prove Eternal Torment—Part 2,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted February 10, 2014, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2014/02/matthew-2546-does-not-prove-eternal-torment-part-2 ((accessed July 28, 2017). []
  19. Wilhelm Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures, trans. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (Samuel Baster and Sons, 1860), 206; Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, The Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Clarendon, 1977), 201. []
  20. Chris Date, “The Fire Is Not Quenched: Annihilation and (Part 2),” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted November 20, 2012, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/11/the-fire-is-not-quenched-annihilation-and-mark-948-part-2 (accessed July 27, 2017). []
  21. Louw and Nida, 1:178. []
  22. Chris Date, “Their Worm Does Not Die: Annihilation and ,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted July 17, 2012, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/07/their-worm-does-not-die-annihilation-and-mark-948/ (accessed July 27,2017). []
  23. Ronnie Demler and William Tanksley Jr., “Annihilation in (Part 2): Separation or Obliteration?—The Present Controversy,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted December 5, 2016, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/12/annihilation-in-2-thess-1-9-part-2-separation-or-obliteration (accessed July 27, 2017); emphasis in original. []
  24. Ibid.; emphasis in original. [] []
  25. Though, the LXX uses different Greek words for “destruction” and “from.” []
  26. For further reading, see Joseph Dear, “A Primer on ,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted April 5, 2017, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2017/04/a-primer-on-revelation-149-11 (accessed July 28, 2017). Also, see William Tanksley Jr. and Chris Date, “A Conditionalist Reading of the Book of Revelation,” [presentation] 2015 Rethinking Hell conference, Pasadena, CA, June 18, 2015, https://youtu.be/5hJWqeHXVDI (accessed July 28, 2017). []
  27. Chris Date, “Lazarus and the Rich Man: It’s Not About Final Punishment,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted June 23, 2012, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/06/lazarus-and-the-rich-man-its-not-about-final-punishment (accessed July 27, 2017). See also Chris Loewen, “Hypocrisy, Not Hell: The Polemic Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted May 16, 2017, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2017/05/hypocrisy-not-hell-the-polemic-parable-of-lazarus-and-the-rich-man (accessed July 27, 2017). []
  28. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Inter-Varsity, 1994), 578; italics in original. []
  29. E.g., Bruce Ware, “The Gospel of Christ,” in Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity, eds. John Piper, Justin Taylor, and Paul Kjoss Helseth (Crossway, 2003), 310; John Piper, “What Must Someone Believe in Order to Be Saved?” Desiring God, posted August 10, 2010, http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-must-someone-believe-in-order-to-be-saved (accessed July 27, 2017); and Charles Colson and Ellen Vaughn, Being the Body: A New Call for the Church to Be Light in the Darkness (W Publishing Group, 2003), 204. []
  30. For more information on the atonement, see Chris Date, “Cross Purposes: Atonement, Death and the Fate of the Wicked,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted August 12, 2012, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/08/cross-purposes-atonement-death-and-the-fate-of-the-wicked (accessed July 27, 2017); and Chris Date, “Cross Purposes: Atonement, Death and the Fate of the Wicked (Part 2),” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted August 4, 2016, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/08/cross-purposes-part-2 (accessed July 27, 2017). []
  31. Joseph Dear, “What Are We To Make of Finite Sins Against an Infinite God?” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted May 28, 2016, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/05/what-are-we-to-make-of-finite-sins-against-an-infinite-god (accessed July 27, 2017). []
  32. Chris Date, “Wind Out of the Sails: A Response to Greg Koukl,” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted July 12, 2012, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/07/wind-out-of-the-sails-a-response-to-greg-koukl (accessed July 27, 2017). []
  33. Glenn Peoples, “Hell in the Times: Were the Early Church Fathers ‘Vague’ in Their Support of Conditional Immortality?” Rethinking Hell [blog], posted October 11, 2014, http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2014/10/hell-in-the-times-were-the-early-church-fathers-vague-in-their-support-of-conditional-immortality (accessed July 27, 2017). []
  34. Glenn Peoples,
    “An open letter to my traditionalist friends,” Right Reason [blog], posted June 19, 2011, http://rightreason.org/article/theology/open-letter-traditionalist-friends.pdf (accessed July 28,
    2017). []
  35. Date, “A Seat at the Table: An Appeal for Dialogue and Fellowship.” []

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”

Matthew 26:52

52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm.

Luke 11:51

51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.

Luke 13:3

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Luke 13:5

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Luke 13:33

33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’

Luke 15:17

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!

37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered.

We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

1 Corinthians 10:10

10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”

17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

41:1 After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass. And behold, seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke.

13:1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

15 “For behold, the Lord will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law,

10 For

“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;

24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm.

11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?

4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

20:1 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia.

31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.

32 He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?

For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”

Hebrews 4:8

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.

Hebrews 4:10

10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away.

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.’”

Seek the Lord and live,
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,

48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

20 and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so.

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die.

48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

34 And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
as destruction from the Almighty it will come!

15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

27 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;
its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
none shall pass through it forever and ever.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

16:1 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Revelation 21:8

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

16:1 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

17 The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.