Views of Eternal Punishment
Viewsof Eternal Punishment
Humanbeings believe in the supreme creator that will be responsible forjudgment during the end days. The Supreme Being will deliver judgmentto people based on their deeds while they were alive on earth.Eternal punishment involves the divinely introduced penalty ofunending suffering like banishment from the Supreme Being’spresence. Most individuals that hold the doctrine of eternalpunishment believe that when the universe comes to an end, peoplewill be rewarded or punished based on their actions. These beliefsare supported by various religions such as Christianity, Buddhism,Jewish, and Islamic faiths. However, most non-believers have resistedthis notion, claiming that it is not scientifically proven. Theydeclare that there is no evidence indicating the existence of anafterlife. However, most religions’ believers dispel these fears,claiming that there are many events which are unexplained in theworld including the afterlife. They add that such explanations canonly be understood from a mystical perception of a Supreme Beingexistence. For believers of religion, God will be responsible fordelivering divine justice, which involves the righteous going toheaven and the wicked serving eternal punishment in hell.
Theessay’s purpose involves discussing the views of eternal punishmentas being endless. The writer aims to highlight the view that eternalpunishment is everlasting as opposed to God saving everyone and thecomplete annihilation perspectives. Hence, it is the easy aim tojustify why this viewpoint is credible by referring to the bible andother scholarly sources.
Onecritical view on eternal punishment is based on religious materialismthat supports the existence of heaven and hell. According to thematerialism theory, human beings are wholly mortal. Thus, people andliving animals have souls and spirits which inhabit their bodieswhile in the earth. However, upon their death, people’s souls aretransferred to the afterlife where they await the final day judgmentfrom their creator. Since the human soul lacks the eternity featurewhile living on earth, it will not live forever. As a result, manyproponents of this view believe that eternal punishment is reservedfor the individual that reject God and his teachings. Mostreligionists support the view, claiming that when a person dies,there is a part that survives the experience and tat party can besubject to everlasting punishment. In the Bible, eternal punishmentis described as hell where sinners will be punished. In the book ofRevelations (19:20 and 20:10)1,Christians are informed that hell is a place of a huge furnace thatwill consume and destroy whatever is thrown into it. Therefore, hellis a place where the wicked, who include people that committedheinous crimes while alive will be burned to ashes to the extent thatthey will no longer exist.
Accordingto the three final chapters in the Bible, the perpetual state ofaffairs of the human race is discussed. For instance, in(Revelations. 21:1-4)2,God will bless the resurrected souls and saints that lived up to hiscommandments with an eternal presence in the new world3.Similarly, the fate of the sinners and the evil is also highlightedin these chapters. The book of revelations explains that the devilwho had deceived the condemned souls will be thrown into the lake offire. In the lake of fire, the false prophets and the beast willundergo eternal torment on a daily basis (Revelation. 20:10)4.Therefore, as exhibited in the bible’s story, the people that werefaithful to God’s teachings and commandments will rejoice with himin everlasting bliss in a new earth. Contrarily, the wicked will besubjected to a lake of fire, where they will endure endless tormentand locked out of the New Jerusalem, the holy city. Thus, the Biblereadings support the view that eternal punishment is everlasting asopposed to the beliefs that all human beings will be gathered andsaved by God or the wicked will be annihilated completely.
Inmost Christians’ view, the issues such the righteous people and theevil, what is just of unfair should be left to the Supreme Being’shands. People have been made aware through various teachings,including those of the Messiah concerning the life in hell. Thecreator is welcoming to all individuals whether they are benevolentor wicked as long they do that before the world’s ending. Accordingto Brent Kyle, Jesus’ teachings used parables to highlight thesignificance and severity of God’s judgment5.Jesus applied three parables as emphasized in the book of Mathew toelaborate this view. In Mathew (24: 45-51)6,the Messiah used the faithful and unfaithful servants’ parable toexplain to them the lesson of being ready during the end of times.Comparably, in Mathew (25: 14-30)7Jesus uses the profitable and unprofitable workers’ parable todemonstrate the lesson of diligence to Christians. Lastly, the saviorshows the lesson of being watchful in Mathew (25: 1-13)8through the parable of the foolish and wise virgins. Based on theseparables and other Christ’s teachings, it becomes evident toproponents of the eternal punishment is everlasting. In these parableteachings, Jesus warns his believers of the significance of beingready, watchful and diligent before the world ends. Christ is lookingto prepare the Christians to be ready for the ending, to avoideternal punishment and secure everlasting life9.Therefore, from these readings, it is evident that eternal judgmentis unending and it does not culminate in the ultimate destruction ofthe sinners.
Moreover,perceptions held by many denominations indicate that eternalpunishment takes place in hell. For example, the Jehovah’sWitnesses believe that hell is a transition place where souls rest inhope. Thus, the denomination believes of this location to be endlessas do other Christian denominations. In a similar way, theSeventh-day Adventists also view hell as a place where the wickedwill be administered justice. However, they go further to supposethat after the appropriate punishment in hell the corrupt individualswill be annihilated. The Catholic Church faithful are also staunchbelievers in the eternal punishment view. The people that practicethis faith describe hell as a place that will host the people thatdid not love God. According to the Catholic belief, people who die insin without having repented their evils and consent to God’sforgiveness will remain separated from the Supreme Being forever10.
Inconclusion, as viewed from the bible and the other scholarly sourceshell is a state or a place of punishment. As a result, eternalpunishment is everlasting. Although some people believe that eternalpunishment involves God saving every human being or eliminating theindividuals that lived their lives in sin, the perceptions are wrong.Thus, just as eternal life is everlasting for the saved, angles, andthe righteous people, hell or eternal punishment is also endless.Hell is a location believed to host the sinful, where they willsuffer eternally following their condemnation to the lake of fire. Ibelieve that the existence of eternal punishment is a notion thathelps people to observe morality and lead a benevolent and honestlife. People will be happy living righteously with the reward ofattaining everlasting life as opposed to endless condemnation tohell.
Kyle,Brent. "Punishing and atoning: a new critique of penalsubstitution." InternationalJournal for Philosophy of Religion 74,no. 2 (October 2013): 201-218.
Strickland,Lloyd. "Leibniz on Eternal Punishment." BritishJournal for the History of Philosophy 17,no. 2 (April 2009): 307-331.
TheHoly Bible, New International Version. GrandRapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.
VanRaalte, Theodore. AsYou See the Day Approaching: Reformed Perspectives on the LastThings.Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2016.
1 The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.
5 Kyle, Brent. "Punishing and atoning: a new critique of penal substitution." International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74, no. 2 (October 2013): 201-218.
6 The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.
9Strickland, Lloyd. "Leibniz on Eternal Punishment." British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17, no. 2 (April 2009): 307-331.
10 Van Raalte, Theodore. As You See the Day Approaching: Reformed Perspectives on the Last Things. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2016.
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