Many teachers out there teach that the human soul is inherently eternal, and consequently the souls of the wicked must also always exist which leads to the doctrine of Eternal Suffering. But is this true?
Some ask the inevitable question, “how can a God of love subject anyone to such a terrible fate? Let’s see if this idea of eternal suffering is true by looking at the very scriptures that these teachers use to support their teaching. Before we begin though, let’s think this hypothesis through.
First off, how are the wicked alive if they are cut off from the God of the living? Do they have another life power source apart from God? Or do they get to keep the breath that gave them life in the first place. If so, why does it say that the spirit goes back to God who gave it in Ecclesiastes 12:7?
and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
And what happens when you forfeit your soul, does it mean you keep it?
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? … For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)
These scriptures answer our sensible questions regarding what eternal judgement must entail.
Are these just isolated scriptures taken out of context though? Let’s read on and discover more scriptures that tell a completely different story to the Doctrine of Eternal Suffering.
First we will investigate if the human soul is eternal as many assume.
- the soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20)
- Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.(Matthew 10:28)
This is enough to answer anyone who believes that the human soul never dies. We have to clear witness scriptures that teach that the human soul can actually die. But there is more. In fact there is a wealth of teaching about the possible destruction and death of the human soul and the destruction of the wicked. After all, do we not already hold to the fact that eternal life is for the righteous soul ONLY.
- for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
- hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
- But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.
- He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.
- What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath–prepared for destruction?
- And death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
- They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
- I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
- I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
- For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
- and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
- Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
- Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
- They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
- By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Anyone who denies that the wicked will be destroyed, perish, forfeit their soul, die, or thrown into the Second Death that also destroys the present earth and heaven simply deny scripture and prophecy regarding what is taught on Eternal Judgment. In the Book of Revelation. we clearly read that Death and Hell are thrown into the Lake of Fire, and we know that the SAME fire that destroys the heavens and earth also destroys the wicked.
This teaching that says that both the righteous and wicked will have their soul exist for all eternity is clearly not aligned with scripture. But how important is the correct belief on Eternal Judgement? Well it is is one of the foundational doctrines of the true faith. See Hebrews 6:
1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. 4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. 9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case–things that accompany salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.