Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word "apologetics" derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense.

Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite

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  • Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite

    John Hendryx

    Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite. But thank the Lord Jesus Christ, in His great love for sinners, came to fully absorb the wrath of God for us upon His own Person; the wrath that sinners like us deserve, so that all who are united to Him will receive His bountiful mercy. This doctrine is perhaps the most sobering in the Bible, but it also teaches us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us. Because God was kind to ungrateful and evil men like us, so we should likewise be merciful, and extend our love to enemies, even as our Father was merciful to us when we were His enemies. (see Luke 6:27-36).Regarding eternal punishment Jonathan Edwards once said,

    "The crime of one being despising and casting contempt on another, is proportionably more or less heinous, as he was under greater or less obligations to obey him. And therefore if there be any being that we are under infinite obligation to love, and honor, and obey, the contrary towards him must be infinitely faulty. Our obligation to love, honor and obey any being is in proportion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority. . . . But God is a being infinitely lovely, because he hath infinite excellency and beauty. . . . So sin against God, being a violation of infinite obligations, must be a crime infinitely heinous, and so deserving infinite punishment. . . . The eternity of the punishment of ungodly men renders it infinite . . . and therefore renders it no more than proportionable to the heinousness of what they are guilty of.” (Jonathan Edwards - “The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners."

    But because of our natural unwillingness to repent and believe the glorious gospel, God, in His great mercy, does for sinners what we are unable and unwilling to do for ourselves. He raises us from the death of sin by his grace.- It is what God does for us, not what we do. And this salvation cause us to work and love because salvation is a supernatural work of grace, not an act of fallen, morally impotent, unregenerate will (1 John 3:9; 1 John 5:3-4). Our love for enemies springs only from what Christ did for us, which includes renewing our heart, a healing of our stubborn heart of stone, now made soft as flesh - which gives us a new disposition/inclination to love God and others. The Bible teaches rather that we love because he first loved us and "apart from me you can do nothing"...(John 15:5) . "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.. because "God's seed abides in us, and we ...have been born of God." (1 John 3:14. 9)."...and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;" 1 Thessalonians 3:12

  • #2
    The Old Testament teaches an eye for an eye, punishment proportional to the crime. There's no logic in punishment proportional to the size of the judge.

    The Old Testament teaches that the penalty for sin is death, a punishment echoed in John 3:16.

    If Jesus were to say, and he did, that the fires of Hell are never quenched, that doesn't mean that the soul thrown into hell is never destroyed.
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    • #3
      In your second comment, Cornelius, it is better expressed in the NT in Romans 6:23.
      In your last point, the soul is never destroyed, Revelation 14:11.
      I do not understand the second half of your first comment.
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      • #4
        Because all sin is against God, all sin is infinitely serious. Every sin will lead to eternal condemnation. Emphasis on eternal: Sin against an infinite God must be paid infinitely. That is why payment for our sin must be infinite. There are only two options for infinite payment. Either a finite creature (man) must pay for his sin for an infinite amount of time, or an infinite Being (Jesus) must pay for it once for all men for all time. There are no other options. A sin against an infinitely holy God requires an equally infinite satisfaction as payment, and even an eternity in hell will not dissipate God’s infinite, righteous wrath against sin. This death of God’s Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world. This death is of such great value and worth for the reason that the person who suffered it is—as was necessary to be our Savior—not only a true and perfectly holy human, but also the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

        God bless,
        William


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
          In your second comment, Cornelius, it is better expressed in the NT in Romans 6:23.
          In your last point, the soul is never destroyed, Revelation 14:11.
          I do not understand the second half of your first comment.

          We'll have to disagree on Revelation 14:11. I take what it says symbolically. It's a vision full of symbols and when the book explains anything seen in the visions, it's always explained as a symbol. For example, in chapter one, when John sees seven seven golden lampstands, those aren't literal lampstands, they're explained as the seven churches. I know people who insist everything in Revelation is literal until prove otherwise, but I believe visions should be taken symbolically until proven otherwise. Those with the mark of the beast being tormented in the presence of the angels and the lamb doesn't sound like anything intended to be taken literally. We already know that the Beast and the Lamb aren't literally a beast and a lamb, so I'm not given to accept that rising smoke forever is literal.

          The only other place outside of what John saw in the Revelation vision you could even begin to make an argument for eternal torment is Jesus's parables, not exactly another place of literal speech. But, none of them say eternal torment. They may speak of torment, but they don't say the torment itself is forever, and I take that torment metaphorically. Now, when Jesus is not speaking in a parable, he says the soul is destroyed in Hell, Matthew 10:28. There are many places where I could make the case for death, not living torment, for the lost. Outside of indisputably often non-literal visions and parables, can you make the case for eternal torment?

          The Old Testament teaches that the punishment should fit the crime, that is, be proportional to the crime. People who believe in eternal torment defend infinite punishment based on the infinite nature of God: "Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite." (technically, "infinitely holy" is meaningless. God is holy, just holy, just like a cup is full, not infinitely full). A just punishment fits the crime, not fit the judge. The just response to a sinful nature is destruction.
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          • #6
            2 Thessalonians 1:7-9:

            7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from[a] the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
            Mark 9:42-49

            42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[g] it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,[h] to the unquenchable fire.[i] 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
            While I agree the fire in hell is probably not a literal, earthly fire, for an earthly fire would not torment spiritual creatures. The fire of hell, whatever its nature, is much worse than an earthly fire. The fires on earth will someday burn out. The flaming sun and all the stars of the universe will someday spend their fuel. But the flames in hell will continue. “They will be tormented day and night forever and ever” Rev. 20:10. There will be no rest from the torment of the flame, because it burns “day and night forever and ever.”

            Some interesting points made by Dr. Henry Morris:

            Hell is a place utterly void of God's presence. Once we understand that God is good (Psalm 25:8, 34:8, 100:5) and that God is love (1st John 4:16), as well as the fact that all good things come from Him, we come to understand that when all of these things, including God's influence, goodness, and His attributes are totally removed, all that remains is utter destruction, death, chaos, fear, despair, evil, and hatred. Once God is removed, all good things go with him, this is why Hell is utter destruction and despair. In other words, God did not have to create Hell as such a horrible place, but once His presence was removed from the equation, Hell became desolate, because God's glory, grace, goodness and love were all removed from it. Henry M. Morris, PhD and Martin E. Clark state, "Essentially, Hell is a place where all aspects of the presence of God will be completely withdrawn forever.... Thus, in hell there will be no love, for 'God is love.' There will be no light, for 'God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.' There will be no peace, or rest, or joy, since these are all attributes of God. On the contrary, there will be eternal corruption, strife, rebellion and hatred."[2] Without the presence of God, a place will automatically be desolate and horrible.
            H. Morris has good points when he states God's attributes are removed. Since God is light there will be only darkness (Outer darkness is a just punishment for those who hate the light). Since God is love there will only be hatred (eternal separation from God —the fountain of all blessings —and the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Those in hell are forever separated from perfect love and perfect light).

            The Bible says that those in hell will “have no rest day or night, and the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever” Rev. 14:11. People in hell never rest; they suffer day and night. But annihilation is a state of rest. Those who do not exist do no t suffer at all. Why do some people commit suicide? Because they mistakenly believe that death will bring them rest from life’s pain, troubles and torments. But they are wrong. They shall have no rest. Rest and peace can only be obtained through faith in Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ and the apostles had intended to teach that hell is temporary, or that hell somehow represents the annihilation of the body and soul, then they no doubt would have used different images.

            God bless,
            William
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            • #7
              "Eternal destruction", not eternal torment. Destruction=destroyed. Eternal=no restoration

              "Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" is a reference to Gehenna, Literally a place right outside of Jerusalem where Strong's Concordance says, "where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned." The animals are dead. The maggots and fire live on, waiting to consume more debris and corpses.

              The only reason I give pause to disagreeing with "eternal torment" is because of how strongly the Bible warns against Hell. You don't throw around even figuratively phrases like "outer darkness" and "gnashing of teeth" unless something is really bad. The same for Revolution referring to eternal torment The wicked will be resurrected to be judged and then sentenced to everlasting destruction. Just knowing they lost out out on Heaven will be torment.
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