Annihilation?06-02-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet
The teaching that the wicked will eventually be destroyed is called, in theology, by an elegant expression, annihilationism or the annihilation-doctrine. This is a term derived from the Latin, in which the word ‘nil’ refers to the wicked, who will be made into absolute nothingness. According to this doctrine, no endless suffering (such as is taught, traditionally) awaits the wicked, but utter destruction. Many Scriptures, seem to support that idea. In God’s judgments, mention is made of “devouring” (Heb.10:27), “burning” (Mat.13:40-42,50) “perish” (Ps.92:9) and destroy (Ps.145:20). To be “reduced to nothing” is what is expressed in “the second death,” which will be the result of “being burned up in the lake of fire.” However, death, in the Bible, is not another form of life, but is the end and the opposite of life. He who is dead, “is no more” (Job 7:21; 10:18,19; Ps.39:13). So far, I completely agree. The big mistake of the annihilation-doctrine is that the (second) death would be permanent. That is contrary to the Evangel, that proclaims the victory over death. It firmly states a victory that guarantees the ultimate abolition of death. Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 15 that as in Adam all are dying, so also shall all be made alive, like unto Christ, the Firstfruit, but each in his own order or class. It is the same apostle who in Romans 5 teaches that, even as through one act all men are condemned to be sinners and mortals, so also through one act all men are destined to receive justification of life. As universal is the first, so universal will also be the second. The annihilation-doctrine stares itself blind on the situation that will be extant during “the eon of the eons,” described in Revelation 21 and 22. Then shall the wicked, indeed, be made to nothing. Dead for the second time. The annihilation-doctrine makes a fatal mistake to believe that this situation would be the end station for them. That is impossible, because in Revelation 21 and 22 Christ, together with His associates, is still reigning (22:1,5), while we know from Paul’s teachings, in 1Corinthians 15 that the reign of Christ is “until”. Until death, namely, as the last enemy will be abolished. This means that when Christ, in Revelation 21 and 22, is said to be still reigning, that evidently, death has iiinotiii as yet been abolished. That’s right, because many are still in the “the second death” (Rev.21:8). By means of death, an end will be made to the wicked, so that from that moment on, only one enemy will remain: death itself. The abolition of death will be the ultimate end of Christ’s reign. When all mankind will be made alive (beyond the reach of death) and all in heaven, on earth and under the earth, will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, then will Christ abdicate. Then He will have completed everything and He will deliver a perfected Kingdom to His God and Father, Who will then become “all in all” (1Cor.15:28). The annihilation- doctrine denies the essence of the Evangel that says that Christ Jesus abolishes death and brings life and immortality to light (2Tim.1:10). In the annihilation-doctrine, death always remains. The annihilation-doctrine puts man on a pedestal. If man says ‘no’ to God, it is and remains ‘no’. Man thus gets the last word. God wills all mankind to be saved (1Tim.2:4), but if man does not want this, then it does not happen. That makes the annihilation-doctrine a form of theological humanism. God is willing enough to save all mankind, but He is not the Savior of all mankind (1Tim.4:10), according to this doctrine. In the annihilation-doctrine, God is a ‘loser’, because He seeks the lost, but He stops, when it appears that He is unable to find all. The annihilation-doctrine denies the love of God, which in its essence (Gr. Agape) is unconditional and gratuitous. According to this doctrine, God’s love is limited and God, indeed, will forsake “the works of His hands”.