BUFF SCOTT, JR.
[PART III - FINALE]
As this will be my final column on the topic of never-ending torture, I’ll begin by quoting from one of my readers who uses a fictitious name. “It is strange how we can accept
[the view] that a person who receives Christ will live in Heaven forever and ever, but cannot accept
[the view] that a person can die and be tormented forever and ever.”
This reader, although unknowingly, has touched upon the taproot of the controversy, for her position is that a believer will consciously
live in heaven endlessly, while also believing the ungodly will consciously
live endlessly in a state of torment [torture]. Both will be alive throughout eternity, but under dissimilar circumstances. Being separated from God and His glory is the ultimate
endless punishment. It is irreversible—eternal, everlasting.
To translate this reader’s position into a point of fact, she attributes immortality to the ungodly. This postulation cannot be biblically authenticated. Only God has immortality. “...who alone has immortality” [I Tim. 6:16]
. A future
immortality, however, is ascribed to believers [Rom. 2:7, 1 Cor. 15:54, plus other passages]
Allow me to emphasize this: Immortality is not appropriated to the ungodly, but to believers only
. Yet if the ungodly are exposed to endless conscious
torment they, too, will have immortality—the very opposite of what heaven’s testimony affirms. Currently, while in the flesh, believers have immortality but in prospect
only. Unbelievers are not endowed with immorality in any
sense, for their very existence will be extinguished.
I have carefully checked the scriptures on “immortal” and “immortality.” Of the seven places the terms are used, not one is applied to the ungodly. Yet if the ungodly suffer an endless conscious
separation from the glory of God, they have immortality—a view the scriptures do not support.
Let me reiterate. Satan is real. Hell is real. Eternal or everlasting punishment is real. But not endless torture [torment]. God is a God of mercy and compassion. He is not a Master Torturer. Nothing could be more cruel and brutal than exposing someone to excruciating torture forever. “They [the ungodly] will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might” (2 Thess 1:9).
The ungodly deserve to be punished for rejecting their Creator. And they will be. But once justice has been served, out of mercy the punishment must end. If I understand the scriptures correctly, eternal destruction
should be taken at face value, which, in the long-run, will be annihilation—not uninterrupted torture (torment).
To put it in another light, if you and I had the power to create a human life and that life rebelled against us, could we sentence him to an eternity of never-ending torment—without parole? I do not doubt but that you and I would choose mercy over justice. God’s mercy is far deeper, wider, and higher than ours will ever be.
One reader chastised me for coming over as someone who knows all about God’s nature. I explained to him that the divine testimony reveals a great lot about our God’s nature and that two of His characteristics are mercy and compassion.
I like the way the apostle Paul phrased it when he addressed the disobedience of Jews and Gentiles. He wrote, “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all” (Rom.11:32)
. In another letter, Paul describes God as being rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4).
And James says that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).
But whichever way it goes in the end, our Lord is in control and He will do as He wishes. He is the potter, we are the clay. “Who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” (Rom. 9:20).
_____ ENDNOTE— I have before me numerous passages of scripture that pertain to the “destruction” of the ungodly. I researched the Greek for the central meaning of the term. The bedrock essence is “utter destruction” or “absolute perishing.” It is not a figurative term, nor is it employed symbolically. I leave the consensus on the laps of my readers.—Buff.
_____ EXCERPT #3 FROM MY BOOK— Of interest is that the wise men who were led by God’s star to see the child Jesus “bowed down and worshipped Him.” If God intended that Mary be venerated, why didn’t the wise men bow down and worship them instead of Him? Why was Mary not bowed down to? Either the biblical testimony is wrong and the Catholic Hierarchy right, or the Catholic Hierarchy is wrong and the biblical evidence right. It cannot be both ways.
For one or more free copies of this book, “The Son Of Perdition,” postage included, send me your Postal Address.—Buff.