Monday, March 25, 2013

Everlasting Contempt

In my debates on hell, I didn't mention the following verse:
Daniel 12:2
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Perhaps I should have, as it helps to make clear one of the verses I did cited:
Isaiah 66:22-24For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
The point of this is not specifically to make clear that the punishment of hell will include torment of the damned. After all, that aspect of hell is abundantly clear from verse like the following:
Luke 16:28
For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Revelation 14:11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Rather the point of citing Daniel 12:2 in connection with Isaiah 66:22-24 is that the condition of the wicked is a permanent condition. It won't cease, either for salvation or annihilation. Instead, it will be a perpetual memorial to God's justice and power.

Daniel 12:2 also confirms the general resurrection, which we see more clearly in the New Testament.
John 5:29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Acts 24:15And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
People might find my reference to Isaiah 66 surprising, because on its face it is not clear that these corpses are people who are alive in some sense, even while being dead in another and important sense.

But the second death is spelled out more clearly in Revelation 20:
Revelation 20:7-15
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Notice that the lake of fire is a place of eternal torment, and it is the second death.

And ultimately, the reason why the "traditional view" of hell is the view of hell that we will continue to hold is because it is the Scriptural view - represented not only by the above verses, but most especially by
Matthew 25:46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
That punishment will generally be the wrath of God, and will particularly involve both torment and also specifically shame and contempt.


No comments: