Is it Death and/OR Life?

Not long ago someone presented me with a lengthy paper from one of their scholars that teaches Hell is forever and those in Hell are conscious for eternity! The chief argument was that anyone understanding Greek would have to accept this concept!

Quoting a portion of the paper now: "Shall we let God's Word speak its own message and commit to the honest reader of the Bible the decision as to whether or not eternal punishment, rather than annihilation, is Bible doctrine. The following verse refers to a place of EVERLASTING wounding or misery, separated from God's Presence and "the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9 cf. Thayer Greek lexicon page 443a on olethros and the Latin vulnus-to wound)

If one is a REAL Bible student and if the GREEK means anything, then the FALSE doctrine of the annihilation of the wicked, is itself ANNIHILATED BY THE WORD OF GOD!

Well, I am not a Greek scholar. I read my Bible in English. However, on investigation I find the Greek does indeed support the annihilation of the wicked!

First, you presented:
"The following verses collectively refer to a place of EVERLASTING wounding or misery, separated from God's Presence and "the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9,)"

Well in English it's plain enough, "Shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from His glory."

My English/Greek Bible reads:
"Who penalty will pay destruction eternal from face of the Lord and from the glory of the strength of Him."

The word for destruction is "olethros" which means "destruction"
It is also used in 1 Thess. 5:3
"When they shall say Peace and Safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them."

In Vine's Expository Dictionary it says: "Olothreuo", to destroy, especially in the sense of slaying, as is found in Heb. 11:28, where the RV translates the present participle with the article by the noun "destroyer." "Exolothreuo"--to destroy utterly, to slay utterly as is found in Acts 3:23., ‘utterly destroyed"

Can the presence of the Lord and His glory cause destruction?

Hebrews 12:29 Tells us that:
"our God is a consuming fire."
The greek word of consuming "katavay' means "to use up utterly, consume utterly.

2 Thess. 2:8 "whom the Lord shall consume with the brightness of his coming"
Again the Greek word analisko means to use up, consume.

The same word is used in Luke 9:54 "command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did "

So far I see no problem.
The second death is everlasting destruction which comes from God. The Greek supports this.

However you mentioned they push the thought that "hell" or "death" is simply EVERLASTING SEPARATION FROM GOD and not death at all.

So I will deal with this from a different angle.

Let's ask the question, where do people get the concept that there is any life when one is completely separated from the source of life?

1 John 5.11-12
And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son hath life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.

HE THAT DOES NOT HAVE CHRIST DOES NOT HAVE LIFE! (The Greek word here is "Zoe" which means to live, move, be capable of activity.)

The only reason sinners have life now is because God has not yet left them. He gives them life so they have an opportunity to chose to continue in life with him for apart from him there is no life!

Acts 17.25 "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things"

Notice these verses:
John 5.25-28
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, "

The Greek word here is "nekros" which means "dead" and is used that way in the NT. Like in Mark 6:14 where King Herod is in agony because he thinks Jesus is John the Baptist raised from the dead.

and only through Him can the dead once again receive life --- there is no life apart from Christ.

Acts 17:24-26
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things."

JOHN 5:40
Jesus calls,
"Will you not come to Me so you can have life."

YES, Life comes only from God.

Nowhere in scriptures will you find any hint that once God separates himself from sinners they will continue to live. Nowhere in the Bible will you find that the soul or spirit of mankind is immortal on it's own.
It is only in mercy that God has not yet withdrawn his life-giving hand from the sinners heart. It is only in mercy that God has not taken the life giving breath from our lungs.


1 Cor. 15.53-54
"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

This text plainly tells us we are mortal — that is subject to death.
At the resurrection "at the last trumpet sound" immortality is given to the saints.


1 John 3:15 No murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Acts 13:46 (When the Jews rejected Christ, Paul declares) "seeing you put it from you, you judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life."

The new Testament consistantly holds forth life if we follow Christ.
Life is the reward, the gift, the privilege, Christ offers.
There is no everlasting life in any form or shape or condition apart from Christ. Once the final choice against Christ is made there is no everlasting life of any type.
It's not a matter of eternal life with Christ or eternal life separated from Christ.
There is no life apart from Christ.

Here goes for a short Bible Study on this:
Matt. 7:14
narrow path leads to LIFE, broad way leads to destruction (loss of life)
John 3:16
whosoever believes in Me(Christ) has everlasting life, will not perish (lose out on life)
John 3:36
He that believes on the Son has everlasting life, but he that believes not the Son shall not SEE LIFE
John 5:24
He that hears and believes passes from death unto everlasting life.
Romans 6.23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Revelation 2.7
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 22.1-2 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Somehow I don't see God placing the tree of life in "hell".
In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were barred from the tree of life after they sinned. In our study it seems plain enough that this tree is not made available to those who reject Christ and His salvation.

Romans 6.23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Written February 2000 --by Ulrike