Written By Thomas Perez. July 11, 2013 at 9:59pm. Copyright 2013.
In this outline I present the two views concerning that of Eternal Torment/Annihilation and that of Ultimate Reconciliation (or as some would call it, Universal Salvation – as in ALL will be saved eventually in their own order). Though I prefer to call it, the Ultimate Reconciliation of All.
Since the Scriptures are clear concerning both views, it would seem that we need to only reconcile the differences. That’s what theologians do and/or better yet, that is what we all are commanded to do. We are commanded to do so by carefully studying the Scriptures as a whole. Part 1 is a simple article. There are no interpretations, expositions, or deep theological thoughts, except where there is the need for the obvious.
Please read everything carefully! Please do not go to my conclusion until you have read and contemplated on every single Bible verse cited here. However, Parts 2 and 3 will provide interpretations, expositions, or an exegesis, if you will, on the citations listed here – this is done in order to harmonize them. It is my attempt, such as it is, to reconcile them. Note: In Section 2 – I took the liberty of underlining my favorite verses. So without further ado, let us begin.
Verses That Indicate Eternal Torment and/or Annihilation
The Old Testament
Jeremiah 18:13-17 Though this verse is used, many often miss quoting the last verse of this chapter (Vs. 23) “Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.”
Jeremiah 25:8-11 Though this verse is sometimes quoted in reference to the anger of God toward Israel, I personally believe that it holds very little weight, since Nebuchadrezzar (a heathen pagan) the king of Babylon, was God’s legalismal.
Jeremiah 51:39,57 – However, this passage speaks of Babylons fall, never to rise again.
Malachi 4:1-3 The proud and the wicked shall be stubble. “the day that cometh shall burn them up”. “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Obadiah 1:15-16 “For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.”
Psalms 5:5 “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”
Psalms 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Psalms 11:5 “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
The New Testament
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.”
Matthew 25:31-46 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”…”Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”…”And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
Mark 9:38-48…”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”…”their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
Luke 12:5 “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
Luke 16:19-31 The Rich Man and Lazarus
Matthew 12:24-36…”the one shall be taken, and the other left”…”And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
John 3:35-36 “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
John 5:25-29…”Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
Romans 8:7-14…”Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”…”For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
Revelation 14:11 “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 19:19-21 “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 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 worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
Revelation 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.”
Revelation 20:11-15 The dead are judged and cast into the lake of fire. This is the 2nd death. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
II Thessalonians 1:7-12 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”…
I Thessalonians 5:3 “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”
I Timothy 6:9 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
I Corinthians 5:5 “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”. (However, this verse can be interpreted in light of ultimate reconciliation).
II Thessalonians 2:8-12 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Verses That Indicate the Ultimate Reconciliation All
The Old Testament
Gen 12:3 All the families
Gen 18:18 All families of earth will be blessed
Gen 22:18 All the nations
Num 14:20 All the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.”
Deut 32:39 God kills and makes alive
II Sam14:14 For we shall surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one may not be cast out from him.
I Kings 8:43 all the peoples of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee, as do Thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I [Solomon] have built is called by Thy name.
I Kings 8:60 So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else.
II Kings19:19 That all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou alone, O Lord, art God.
I Chron 16:34 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His mercy (loving-kindness, NAS) endureth forever.
II Chron 20:21 Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endureth forever. [This theme is repeated over and over through out scripture.]
Ps 9:7-8 But the Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, and He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for [not against] the peoples with equity.
Ps 22:25-30 All will turn to the Lord and all families will worship before Him. All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations. All the proud [literally, “fat ones”] of the earth will eat and worship, even he who cannot keep his soul alive. Posterity will serve Him.
Ps 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Ps 33:8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
Ps 33:15 God fashions all hearts
Ps 46:10 Cease striving [be still] and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.
Ps 65:2-5 To Thee all men [lit. all flesh] come…Thou who art the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea.
Ps 66:1-6 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth…All the earth will worship Thee, and will sing praises to Thee; they will sing praises to Thy name. Enemies will submit to God.
Ps 67:1-7 God be gracious [ed., grace to us] to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations…Let all the peoples praise Thee. Let the nations be glad…for Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth…that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.
Ps 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captive [ed., capture in order to set free] Thy captives; Thou hast given gifts among men, even among the rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell there.
Ps 69:34 Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.
Ps 72:8-19 May He also rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth…and let all kings bow down before Him, all nations serve Him…Let all nations call Him blessed…And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.
Ps 72:18 God only does wondrous things
Ps 86:9 All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; And they shall glorify Thy name.
Ps 90:3 God turns man to destruction then says “return“
Ps 96:1-12 Sing to the Lord, all the earth…His wonderful deeds among all the peoples…Tremble before Him, all the earth…Then all the trees of the forest [a metaphor for all the peoples of the earth] will sing for joy before the Lord, for He is coming.
Ps 98:3,4 All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.
Ps 135:6 God does what pleases Him
Ps 138:4 All kings will praise God.
Ps 145:9-10 He is God to all and merciful to all His work
Ps 145:14-16 The Lord sustains all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to Thee, and Thou dost give them their food in due time. Thou dost open Thy hand, and dost satisfy the desire of every living thing.
Ps 145:21 And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
Ps 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! [This is spoken as a declaration and even as a command, not simply as an invitation to praise the Lord.]
Is 19:21 Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt [they were enemies of God at the time], and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.
Pro 16:9 Man devises, God directs his steps
Pro 19:21 Man devises, but God’s counsel stands
Is 19:21 Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt [they were enemies of God at the time], and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.
Is 19:22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them.
Is 25:6-8 And the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain [Mount Zion]…and on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces.
Is 26:9 For when the earth experiences Thy judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Is 40:5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Is 45:23 All descendants of Israel justified
Is 45:22-23 Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; [This is a firm declaration of His purpose, not a general call or request for repentance, as is evident by the rest of the verse.] For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.
Is 46:10 God will do all His pleasure
Is 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
Is 66:18 For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory.
Is 66:23 All mankind will come to bow down before Me, says the Lord.
Jeremiah 32:35 Never entered His mind to burn people in fire
Lam 3:31-32 For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant loving-kindness.
Ezek 16:55 Sodom will be restored.
Dan 4:35 God’s will done in heaven and earth
Dan 7:27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.
Micah 4:6-7 “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will assemble the lame, and gather the outcasts, even those whom I have afflicted. I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcasts a strong nation, and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and forever.
Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
Hab 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Zeph 2:11 The Lord will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coast-lands of the nations will bow down to Him, every one from his own place.
Zeph 3:8-9 Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal. For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder.
Hag 2:6-9 For thus says the Lord of hosts, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. And I will shake all the nations; and they will come [or, the Desire of all nations will come] with the wealth of the nations; and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord of hosts. “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,” declares the Lord of hosts. “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,” says the Lord of hosts, “and in this place I shall give peace,” declares the Lord of hosts.
Zech 2:10-11 Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
Zech 9:10 And He will speak peace to the nations; and His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts.
Mal 2:10 Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us?
The New Testament
Mt 18:12,14 What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? Thus it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
Mark 9:49 Everyone shall be salted with fire!
Lk 2:10 And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people.” Jesus will be joy to all people!
Lk 15:4-7 What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when [not if] he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing…I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Lk 23:34 Jesus said, “Father forgive them; they know not what they do.” [This incredible request by Jesus, together with His suffering and death on the cross for the sins of the world, becomes the ultimate picture and the eternal symbol of the heart and intention of God toward lost humanity. Furthermore, this declaration of God’s ultimate redemptive purposes was made, eternally speaking, from the beginning of time, by “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev 13:8)]
Jn 1:29 The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” [“the sin” is in the singular, indicating the complete removal of the “sin principle”, or sin itself with all of its consequences, not just the individual acts of sin.]
Jn 3:17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him.
Jn 3:35 All has been given into His hand
Jn 4:42 Jesus is the Savior of the world
Jn 8:29 He always does what pleases His Father
Jn 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. [This is as clear a statement on the subject as any in scripture, a promise made by Christ Himself!]
Jn 12:47 Jesus came to save all
Jn 13:3 The Father gave Him all things
Jn 17:2 Jesus will give eternal life to all whom His Father gives to Him
Acts 3;20-21 And that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. It is the Restitution of all!
Rom 5:15-21 In Adam all condemned, in Christ all live
Rom 5:18-20 So then as through one transgression [Adam’s] there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [Christ’s] there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One, the many will be made righteous. And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more! [As J.B. Phillips so succinctly puts it, “Grace is the ruling factor!”]
Rom 8:19-21 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it in hope, that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Creation is set at liberty.
Romans Chapters 9 -11- Notation: is clearly speaking of the Jewish nation, but not only of such, but of every individual in ref to soteriology (read it in its context). However, Romans 11:32-33 pretty much sums it all up! For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all. Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
Rom 11:15 For if their rejection [I.e., the Jew’s rejection of Christ] be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
Rom 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved.
Rom 11:26 All Israel will be saved
Rom 11:32-33 For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all. Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! All are subject to unbelief, but mercy is on all
Rom 11:36 For from Him [Christ] and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Rom 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:11 For as it is written, “As I live”, says the Lord, “every knee shall bow to me [ie. repentance], and every tongue shall give praise to God“. [I.e. worship]
I Cor 3:15 If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
I Cor 4:5 All will have praise of God.
I Cor 5:4-5 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. [See I Peter 4:6!]
I Cor 13:8 Love never fails. [It bears repeating: “Love never fails!” God is love. His love can not fail! To lose even one would mean that love failed to find and save that one. To lose millions for eternity, as some believe, would mean that love failed miserably and completely! However, His plan, His purpose, His desire, and His nature has always been and always will be love for His creation!]
I Cor 15:22,28 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order…[This phrase is the real key to understanding God’s purposes in relation to His time schedule.] “And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.” [Paul sees clearly to the end, and makes this ultimate and most concise declaration of the eternal purposes of God!]
I Cor 15:54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” [“The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (I Cor 15:26)…This refers to all death, both physical death and spiritual death. Then the only thing that shall remain is…Life!]
II Cor 5:14-15 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
II Cor 5:17 We are a new creation in Christ
II Cor 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was [and is] in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Gal 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.” [According to Paul, then, preaching the reconciliation of all is in fact preaching the gospel.]
Eph 1:9,10 He make known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.
Eph 1:11 God works all after the counsel of His will
Eph 1:22,23 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Eph 2:7 His grace shown in the ages to come.
Eph 3:8-11 To me [Paul]…this grace was given…to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Eph 4:5-6 There is…one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
Eph 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. Jesus will fill all things
Phil 2:9-11 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Remember that “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” I Cor 12:3]
Phil 3:21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Col 1:15 Jesus is the firstborn of all creation
Col 1:16 By Him all things were created
Col 1:19-22 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. [How could Paul state it any more clearly!] Verse – 20 All reconciled unto God
Col 3:11 Christ is all, and in all. [All creation is birthed in Christ; all creation remains in Christ; but not all of creation has been awakened to Christ (“Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give thee light.” Eph 5:14)]
I Tim 1:13 Even though I [Paul] was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor, yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief. [If the prerequisite for mercy is ignorance and unbelief, then who will fail to qualify?]
I Tim 1:15 Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I [Paul] am foremost. [Again, if Paul is the foremost sinner, then hasn’t God’s plan of redemption been accomplished to the foremost?]
I Tim 2:4-6 God will have all to be saved. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to be borne at the proper time. [An alternate translation reads: “to be testified (lit. “witnessed”) in due times…”(I.e. “each in his own order”…I Cor 15:22)]
I Tim 4:9-11 It is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. [Only believers are privileged with an opportunity to escape the coming wrath and experience the fruits of the Spirit and the blessings of the kingdom in this life, as well as in the coming ages.]
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.
Heb 1:2 In these last days He has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Heb 2:8 For in subjecting all things to him [I.e., man], He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him…But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for every one.
Heb 7:25 Jesus is able to save to the uttermost
Heb 8:11-12 All will know God
Heb 9:26 But now once at the consummation He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. [Though not yet evident, sin will finally be completely put away, and all creation, which is waiting anxiously for its redemption (Rom 8:19), will be set free!]
James 5:11 End of the Lord is full of mercy
I Pet 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
I Pet 3:18-20 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah.
I Pet 4:6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that even though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. (see I Cor 5:5) [Peter is still referring to the souls in prison from the days of Noah, whom Christ preached to, presumably following His crucifixion and descension into the “lower parts of the earth”, in which He “lead captive a host of captives…”(Eph 4:8-9). This is a remarkable revelation given to Peter concerning the purpose of God’s judgments on mankind in order to bring about his future plans for them to live in the Spirit!]
II Pet 3:8,9 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing [literally “not purposing”, from the Greek: boulema, “predetermined purpose”] that any should perish but for all to come to repentance. [His promise is still the original promise given to Abraham, that…”in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”]
I John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation [I.e., satisfaction or appeasement] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
I John 4:14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Rev 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” All creation is seen praising God!
Rev 15:3-4 And they sang the song of Moses…and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the Nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For all the nations will come and worship before Thee, for Thy righteous acts have been revealed.” [Thus the original promise given to Abraham in Genesis is once again reiterated in the revelation to John. This is the “great mystery” spoken of by Paul concerning God’s eternal, redemptive purpose to reconcile all creation back to Himself. (Eph 1:10; Col 1:20,26) Christ Jesus will finally see the work of His travail come to its full fruition; God’s unfathomable love and mercy will be fully displayed to all of creation; and indeed, “at the fullness of times”…”God will be all in all!”
Revelation 21:4-5 No more tears, all things made new! Cross ref – Is 25:6-8 And the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain [Mount Zion]…and on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces.
Contradictions? Hardly. It is more a matter of interpretation. While it is feasible to believe in both viewpoints, one can not escape the accusation of Biblical contradictions. To avoid such an accusation, it is best to believe in both views, while at the same time, deeming an acceptable interpretation or exegesis on the given passages as merely temporary or one of restitution temporal judgments and chastisements that one can experience in this life or in the age/ages to come. But it would seem to indicate that they are remedial in nature and duration. Moreover, a further study on the word, “everlasting” can also shed some good light on the topic. But that is for another study. Let me end by citing my favorite quote (as many of you know by now)….
Hebrews 11:6, Quote – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” – Unquote.
One can have faith in the doctrine of eternal punishment, but they can never hope for it. But one can have faith in the doctrine of the Ultimate Reconciliation of all men/woman and can indeed hope for its truth with all their hearts. Therefore, that is the better faith of the two according to my conscience.