BUFF SCOTT, JR.
E n d l e s s T o r t u r e
This controversial issue has prompted a host of responses, both positive and negative. One of my readers responded to my sentiments by referring me to the words of our Lord in Matthew 25:46. The verse reads, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
My position, of course, is that the ungodly will experience a final, ceaseless existence. He inquired, “Why doesn’t the Bible say, ‘And the wicked will cease to exist, while the righteous will inherit eternal life? ”
Well, it actually does, but not in those exact words. It is interesting that destruction and perish are never applied to the righteous. Their eternity will be endless life and eternal bliss. But not so with the wicked. They will suffer eternal destruction, or, as Jesus puts it in John 3:16, they will perishthat is, cease to exist
Such is the meaning of “perish.” The destruction of the ungodly will be eternal in that it will never be reversed or altered. Their eternal punishment will be the absence
of life, away from the glory of God and the exquisite paradise He has prepared for the righteous.
To be a little repetitious just here, the wicked will perish—be extinguished
. The results (extinction) will be eternal, never-ending. Paul says the wages of sin [for the ungodly] is death—eternal death (Rom. 6:23)
. John’s Book of Revelation
speaks of the ungodly undergoing a second death (2:11, 20:6, 20:14, and 21:8)
. The term ”second death” is not used elsewhere in scripture.
The writings in Revelation
are highly symbolic, but if we take ”second death” at face value, or even symbolically, the second death of the ungodly will be eternal punishmentextinction
. Let it be repeated again that if the ungodly are kept alive endlessly while being tormented, they have not died, the opposite of what Paul and the Lord say.
But what about Mark 9:43-44, “where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched”? Our Lord used the literal fire of the garbage dump [Gehenna
], just outside of Jerusalem, to bolster His point on the awfulness of being rejected in the end. Although that fire burned most of the time, yet it was only temporary.
The “worm,” the “fire,” and “not quenched” are mere symbols, and each typifies the horrific fate of the ungodly prior to their being extinguished forever. The eternal extinction of the wicked will not be quenched—stamped out or smothered. It will be endless! [Incidentally, a few versions do not carry verse 44, “where the worm does not die.”]
A number of commentators, including the late Adam Clarke, note that Mark 9:44 is the last verse in Isaiah. They all say the statement where the worm does not die is a figurative expression, which was common among the Jewish people. Apparently, it was still a figurative utterance in Jesus’ time as well.
Regardless of the meaning of Mark 9:43-44, one thing seems to be quite convincing: A future immortality
is not appropriated to the ungodly, but to believers only. I’ll have more to say about “immortality” as it relates to the ungodly in our finale sector [Part III]
_______ AIDS WORLDWIDE— There are at least 40 million cases of HIV and AIDS carriers worldwide as of 2016. These are the known cases. We may safely triple that number when we contemplate the unknown cases. It might interest you to know that AIDS was originally called Gay Related Immuno-deficiency Disease, or GRID. Homosexual lobbyists and the liberal press managed to get it changed to AIDS, which lifted some of the blame off the shoulders of homosexuals. For more on homosexuality, visit my Website under www.mindspring.com/~renewal/Homo.html .
QUOTES— Harry S. Truman (1945), while campaigning for President, “I didn’t give them hell, I told them the truth and they thought it was hell.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President D. Roosevelt (1940s), “A great mind discusses ideas; an average mind discusses events; a poor mind discusses others.”
ANOTHER EXCERPT— “The apostle Peter, who is falsely alleged to be the first Pope or ‘Bishop of Rome,’ never once placed himself on a par with God—as Rome’s Popes do. Instead, he described himself as a mere man. When Cornelius, a Gentile, ‘fell down at his [Peter’s] feet and worshipped him,’ Peter lifted him up and rebuked him. “Stand up! I, too, am a man,” he told Cornelius (Acts 10:25-26). The Catholic Living Bible says, “Stand up! I’m not a god!”—Page 22, “The Son of Perdition.”
For one or more free copies of this book, postage included, send me your Postal Address.—Buff.