Do you think the Watchtower is right about about eternal punishment of the wicked?

by Vanderhoven7 30 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vidiot
    Vidiot

    I like to think that Rutherford and Jaracz are cellmates in Hell.

  • truth_b_known
    truth_b_known

    I am an atheist. I do not believe that death is the end anymore than birth is the beginning.

    Do some serious historical research on the origins of "hell". The Jews adopted the belief of the afterlife after being conquered by the Greeks. The church did not adopt the teaching of hellfire until some 500 years after its creation.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    Job is probably the oldest book in the bible. In it, Job definitely had a hope in an afterlife".

    Almost overnight, Job lost everything — his family, his wealth, his health, even his friends. In the midst of it all, he felt he might be dying, but instead of shrinking back from death, he welcomed it. Why? Not only because he knew it would bring an end to his sufferings, but also because he knew that if he died he would go to be with God. (Job 19:)

    For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
    26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,

    Other references:

    Isaiah 66:24

    However, there are two passages in the Old Testament that give us a glimpse of the punishment that will come upon the wicked in the end times. The first is Isaiah 66:24: “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”

    The 65th and 66th chapters of Isaiah discuss the new heavens and new earth, and how God will bring all the nations to Jerusalem. However, at the end of chapter 66, God says of those who had rebelled against him that their worms will not die, and the fire that burns them will never be quenched. This is consistent with the imagery that is used in the New Testament (click here).

    This passage reflects the condition of those who are not a part of the new heavens and new earth. The implication is that these are the people who will be banished and punished by God and not be given a place among those in heaven.

    Daniel 12:1-3

    The second passage is Daniel 12:1-3. “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

    There are some very interesting things about these verses. First, they come after 11:36-45 which is speaking about the Antichrist. Second, the people whose names are found in the book are delivered. This sounds a lot like the Book of Life that is described in the book of Revelation. Third, this is the only place in the Old Testament that speaks about both the righteous and the wicked having a bodily resurrection. And fourth, the righteous will be given eternal life while the wicked will be given eternal shame and contempt.

    This is very similar to what Jesus teaches in Matthew 25:46 where the righteous receive eternal life and the wicked receive eternal punishment. Some like to argue that eternal punishment does not last forever, but if hell is not eternal, then heaven will not be eternal either (click here for more on that topic). Scholar Daniel Block says about Daniel 12:1-3:

    “Life [referring to eternal life] in this context means the recovery of that for which humankind was created in the beginning – free and open fellowship with God and a restoration of all the privileges and responsibilities involved with being the image of God, namely, once more governing the world as God’s representative and deputy. The fate of the wicked is the opposite. They are sentenced to perpetual disgrace…and shame…The former expression refers to the taunts and reviling of all who pass by, the latter to the revulsion and loathing that passers-by feel toward the sight. This interpretation of this rare word is confirmed by Isaiah 66:24 [our first passage above], the only other occurrence of [the Hebrew word for shame]. It describes the disposition one has toward the putrid and malodorous carcass of a dead animal infested with maggots and in an advanced stage of decay.”[5]

    Conclusion

    The Old Testament does not give us a lot of information about hell. However, the passages in Isaiah and Daniel do give us details that are consistent with the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. Hell is eternal punishment for those who reject the one true God.

    Give the average man a guarantee that there is no hell, and you will tickle him in the right place. Tell him that the heathen are not lost, and it meets his heartiest approval. Show him that the worst of the very wicked need expect only non-existence after death, and he is "with you."

    The average person will defend such an easy-going, "common sense," satisfying religion, and will voluntarily subscribe and further this "comforting" view without even going to a KH.

  • hoser
    hoser

    truth_b_known:

    Do some serious historical research on the origins of "hell". The Jews adopted the belief of the afterlife after being conquered by the Greeks. The church did not adopt the teaching of hellfire until some 500 years after its creation.

    Hell, or at least the concept of it is an instrument of social control to make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer.


  • Fisherman
    Fisherman

    their worms will not die, and the fire that burns them will never be quenched

    Both fire and worm are physical substances that exist in the universe whereas spirit creatures such as angels exist in another realm. Living organisms like worms are not spirit creatures but depend on the physical universe to live. Fire needs oxygen and fuel. Therefore, the verse is symbolic.

  • truth_b_known
    truth_b_known
    Hell, or at least the concept of it is an instrument of social control to make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer.

    That pretty much describes all theistic religion.

    Door #1 - There is an all powerful being that punishes us after our body dies by sending our non-corporal self to a place of eternal damnation. So do what you are told or feel his wrath.

    Door # 2 - Do what is both beneficial to yourself and to others because it creates peace and harmony. Failure to do so creates suffering and disharmony. The power is within you.

    I'll gladly choose door number 2 as that is door to righteousness. Door number 1 is a door of coercion and self-servitude.

    In order for a reward or a punishment to be eternal it must have no start or no end. By very definition anything eternal has no beginning or end. Nothing a person could ever do in a lifespan of 80 or 90 years would reasonably warrant being punished for all eternity. Any person who would do such a thing lacks wisdom and compassion.

  • Vanderhoven7
    Vanderhoven7

    It is interesting that the only clear reference to eternal torment in the entire Bible is found in Revelation, in a passage that is highly figurative, and in a verse which does not mention a single human person. Essentially then, the argument for eternal conscious punishment of unregenerate human beings, is an argument from silence. If literal perpetual torment was the punishment for human sin, I would expect to find numerous explicit and unambiguous references to it, such as;

    And the wages of sin is eternal suffering in hell. Day and night for all eternity, the wicked will call out for mercy, but there will be none to save. Their immortal souls will writhe in endless pain. Their anger will never dissipate. They will weep and howl in the fires of eternity, aware of their loss, their endless future, with no one or nothing to comfort them. Jehosaphat 3:16

    And I would expect to find such clear and unmistakable teachings in the Old Testament, in and outside hell. I would also expect to find them in the plain teachings of the New Testament; in the 'matter of fact' gospel sayings of Jesus, in the early gospel proclamations documented in the book of Acts, and finally, in at least some of the Pauline Epistles. I would not expect to have to base my position totally on ambiguous and enigmatic imagery from New Testament parables and other highly symbolic literary forms that require intensive interpretive analysis.

  • TonusOH
    TonusOH

    You also have to wonder about what kind of person would demand unending suffering for finite crimes (which that person has the power to undo) from creatures that it designed and created. A human who acted this way would be seen as a sadistic personality and not a pleasant or just person at all. A god who took back the gift of life and ended our existence might seem a bit cold, but much more fair than one who would torment us forever.

  • Vanderhoven7
    Vanderhoven7

    Why didn't God reveal the real punishment for sin before man sinned....

    Oh wait, that's right; I guess He did when He said "Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return."

  • jwundubbed
    jwundubbed

    But for those who believe there is life after death, what do you think is the nature of final punishment?

    I believe that having to live in Eternity, even with a perfect body, with any Jehovah's Witness would be the final punishment. To be forced to live with all of them living and resurrected would actually be cruel and unusual punishment and an eternity of hell... on earth.

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