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The “Second Death” & Annihilationism

Question:
 
Do you have anything on the teaching of the “second death” and this; Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to DESTROY both soul and body in hell. Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise PERISH?”
 
Do the bodies and souls of the wicked exist forever or are they destroyed? I Know they are tormented but are they destroyed as Jesus said?

ANSWER:

 Destroyed doesn’t necessarily mean annihilated.  Threats like the following would be vain if the wicked were annihilated (i.e. ceased to exist) in hell. 
 
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:43-48)
 
Consider this passage too.  I don’t see any reason to believe that this would apply any less to those who died in sin before the tribulation (when for the most part the cost of worshipping God is less than during the Great Tribulation- and the wickedness of not doing so therefore greater). 
“9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11)
 
Consider also the beast and the false prophet- they still will be in the lake of fire after the millennium just as they were when tossed in there before the millennium.  We are told directly that Satan will be tormented forever and ever.  The Scripture says nothing to indicate that all the wicked won’t be punished in like manner eternally- though obviously not all will be punished with the same degree of torment.
 
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Revelation 19:20)
 
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever…And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:10, 15).  
 
“7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
 


 
What does “Destroy” mean?
 
The common word used to describe being sentenced to hell in the NT is “Apollumi.”  The word doesn’t necessarily mean to cease existing- it gives the sense of total destruction and total ruin- but what that means exactly has to be determined by the context and the rest of Scripture.  Here are some instances of the word’s use:
 
In the sense of being sentenced to damnation: “28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
 
Note by some other instances that the word is used that it does not necessarily mean annihilation or ceasing to exist:
 
“Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9)
 
“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish (same Greek word- Appolumi)” (Matthew 8:25)
 
“Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17)
 
“Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6- obviously the world that was before the flood did not cease to exist in its destruction)
 
We know sin that sin destroys the soul and that the process of destruction has already begun where sin is entered.  And we know that the essence of the gospel is salvation from that destruction (Matthew 1:21, Romans 5:10-21, 1 John 3:1-4, etc), and that’s a salvation that also necessarily must begin in this life.