No, as I just indicated, there are at least three passages that explicitly describe perpetual torment in flames -- Luke 16 and Revelation 20 as well as Revelation 14 -- as well as several evocative references to punishment in "unquenchable," "eternal" flames. Also, as I pointed out in the other thread you mention, it seems unconvincing to argue that the fate of the worshipers of the beast in Revelation 14 is unique when in Revelation 20:15 we read that "if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" -- the same location in which the devil, the beast and the false prophet "will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."Ryan, there was a thread from a few years ago where this topic was batted around pretty vigorously. I'm too lazy now to link it, but we touched on this hotly-debated passage and several others. I think even most traditonalists would caution against extrapolating doctrine from the highly symbolic language of the Revelation prophecies. This verse obviously represents the ace up their sleeve in favor of everlasting torture, but at best--using the rigid, literal exegesis of the traditionalists-- it represents a single curious passage indicating certain people (those who receive the Beast's mark) will be punished publicly in eternity.
"If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."
But that isn't the question. The question is whether there is any reason to posit only a short time of weeping and gnashing of teeth, followed by oblivion. Jesus offers no indication that the weeping and gnashing of teeth outside the door, in the outer darkness, etc. should not continue perpetually.None of those alternate images indicate eternal torture.
But there are also the images of imprisonment, bondage and exclusion: the closed door, the binding hand and foot, the outer darkness. None of these offers any support to the notion of a short time of torment, followed by oblivion.
No, they don't, and to say that they do is like saying that when the NT applies to Jesus OT phrases like "You are my son, today I have begotten you," or "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek," etc., they mean by those phrases only what the original phrases meant in their original context.
The NT judgement images convey the identical payload as their OT counterparts.
The NT writers saw the OT writers as using language that was uniquely and more momentously true of matters revealed to them (the NT writers) than of anything that was clearly understood in the days of the OT writers, and they upped the ante in their own writings. David's son in the OT might have been called God's son in some sense or other, but Jesus was understood to be the Son of God in a unique and far more momentous sense.
Likewise, Isaiah was speaking of merely earthly calamities when he wrote "their worm shall not die, nor shall their fire be extinguished" of a worm that did die and a fire that was extinguished, but Jesus is clearly speaking of something beyond all earthly calamities, and he upped the ante, speaking not only of a fire that shall not be extinguished, but of one that is unquenchable and eternal, which is not language found in the OT.
To reductionistically flatten Jesus' words against the backdrop of their OT sources is to misunderstand the whole way that the NT uses the OT, and if followed consistently would result in turning Jesus into just another servant of God, much as he is seen by Islam. It is also to overlook the force of the image found in Luke 16 and in Revelation 14 and 20 of perpetual torment in flames -- an image without parallel, so far as I know, in the OT.
Edited by SDG, 24 October 2010 - 06:15 AM.