Thursday, November 05, 2009
A message of urgency: how would annihilationists respond?
I have some thoughts and questions i'd like for my annihilationist friends to think about and possibly respond to. First, does your presentation of the gospel present any urgency? Obviously, we can debate all day long with the meaning of Jesus' words when he spoke about "hell." But in my opinion, Jesus spoke with an urgency that I feel is even more sobering than what is offered in this video. What I have a hard time accepting is that all this "hell" talk simply boils down to one going to the grave. And that's it.
Just to give credit where credit is due, I think that even given the annihilationist perspective, there is much to offer in terms of eternal life. Even if there were no consequences for one's sins outside of going to the grave, I think that we should all be telling others of the good news of the Kingdom and what they must do to have eternal life.
But all this judgment and wrath stuff, it just doesn't add up with the annihilationist's perspective. Think about it this way: if the annihilationist perspective is true, then Jesus' "hell" statements are for all of us (well, unless Jesus returns in our lifetime). That is, we are all going to die. We will all experience the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" as well as all the other horrific depictions of hell that Jesus portrays, in addition to those in Revelation. But this "experience" in the annihilationist's perspective is fulfilled in one's dying and ceasing to exist, which will happen to us all. I guess the difference is, some will experience this "destruction" eternally whereas all others will have eternal life.
Its quite possible that I just don't understand the annihilationist's position. And I will certainly accept correction if offered. But it just doesn't seem like annihilationists can preach like this guy, or like Edward's famous sermon, "sinners in the hands of an angry God."
Much more could be offered in terms of my problems with the annihilationist view. But more than any of this, i'd simply like an annihilationists to think about and explain their view in light of the presentation of this YouTube video.