During the last year have been working through what I really believe Scripture says about hell and have come to the conclusion that the doctrine of Annihilationism is more Scriptural than it is popularly purported by Roman Catholicism and Evangelicalism.
The early church never preached hell as we hear it today and our popular understanding of it developed within medieval Catholicism alongside the doctrine of purgatory. This understanding originates more from Greek Mythology such as Plato’s “Myth of Er” Early church fathers such as Ignatius, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus held to the annihilation position.
What is telling is that Ignatius was a student of the last surviving Apostle; John and therefore one can assume this position was also held by John.
Basically there are three key areas that are the deciding factor for me in holding to this decision.
- The Gospel is a positive message and not a negative one. It proclaims the good news of eternal life in relationship with God the creator.
- God promised Adam and Eve if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of evil they would die… The Apostle Paul says that the wages of sin is death. Death came into the world because of sin and the promise of God is eternal life.
- Eternal destruction / torment for the Hebrew people meant total death. Even more fearfully for them was the thought that their family . national line / existence would not continue from generation to generation.
The ramifications of this means that the wages of sin will continue to be the same as what happened when sin first entered the world. “Death” “Death” is a reminder of a world affected and afflicted by sin. The good news of Christ is eternal life.