The Second Death - Permanent destruction or eternal suffering
For the salary of sin is death but the gift of God is permanent life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23). What exactly is death according to this verse? Some say it is spiritual, but what does that mean exactly? Some also say it is punishment eternal and infinite, never ending and constant suffering. Others say it is complete and total obliteration and its results are permanent.
How does the Bible itself define death? To answer that question we must first understand death in light of life which is the opposite of death according to Romans 6:23 “For the salary of sin is death but the gift of God is permanent life in Christ Jesus”. Death is payment for the work but life cannot be earned, it is only gifted by God.
This teaching is divided into three subheading. 1. The fate of the wicked, 2. The unquenchable fire of God, 3. Permanent destruction vs eternal suffering
This teaching will be looking to show through scripture that the destiny of the wicked is death, and that death being the salary for sin is complete and utter destruction, a destruction that has permanent results, meaning it is final and there is no chance of life ever again. This post will look to dispel the belief that the wicked will burn and/or be tormented forever and ever into eternity in Gehenna. It will seek to show that the destruction of the wicked is complete and that the obliteration which is the result, will be permanent. Psalm 37:10 - “yet a little while and the wicked will be no more; indeed you will look carefully for his place but it shall be no more” and thus accordingly, the wicked will be wiped out forever with no trace or evidence of their existence.
1. The fate of the wicked
Defining death – Romans 6:23; Gen. 2:16-17; 3:19, 22-23
Complete annihilation – Psalm 21:9; Psalm 37:1-2,9-12,20,22,28,34,38; Psalm 73:18-19,27; Psalm 94:12-13,23; Psalm 112:9-10; Isaiah 1:27-28, 31 (LXX); Nahum 1:8-10; Malachi 4:1,3; Luke 13:3-5; Philippians 3:18-19; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; 2 Peter 2:1,3,6,12; Malachi 4:3; Jude 1:7
2. Unquenchable fire
Leviticus 9:24; Numbers 11:3-4; 1 Kings 18:38; Jeremiah 17:27; Isaiah 1:27-28,31 (LXX); Matthew 3:11-12; Isaiah 10:16-19;
Gehenna Fire – Matthew 10:28; Mark 9:43-44; Isaiah 66:22-24;
Weeping and gnashing of teeth - Matthew 13:41-43; Psalm 37:9-12; Psalm 112:9-10;
Gehenna restored – Jeremiah 31:38-40
3. Permanent destruction or eternal suffering
Contradictions – Exodus 40:13-15 (see Hebrews 7:11-12); Deuteronomy 15:12,16-17
Continuous time without interruption until time beyond – Genesis 13:15; Exodus 14:13; 1 Samuel 1:22;
Extreme superlatives – Daniel 7:18 LXX; Psalm 84:4 LXX; Psalm 119:44 LXX; Revelation 20:10; Luke 1:32-33