Question: In the [10/05 Q&A], you say, "Upon death...He provided for them to go to hell to await their judgment; but even while awaiting the final judgment, they experience horrible torment." So you have God causing "horrible torment" before judgment. | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Question: In the Q&A section of TBC (10/05), you say, "Upon death...He provided for them to go to hell to await their judgment; but even while awaiting the final judgment, they experience horrible torment." So you have God causing "horrible torment" before judgment. This makes no sense.

You also claim that "eternal death is separation from God and all others..." although Scripture clearly says "...he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" (Rev:14:10).

You misunderstood the writer by saying the punishing is the same as the punishment. The punishing has a beginning and an end. The punishment—death—is eternal!

Response: I did not say that the lost experience "‘horrible torment' before judgment," but before the "final judgment." The rich man in hell says he is "tormented in this flame"—long before the Great White Throne final judgment. So he was (and still is) tormented "while awaiting the final judgment."

Clearly, the damned are in torment before the final judgment, for which you accuse God of injustice. Yet God punishes those still alive before they get to hell. The Bible has many examples: the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.

David said that he could not escape God even by fleeing to hell (Ps:139:7). But surely God is not in hell except in the sense of His omnipresence, which we cannot fully understand. Nor does "In the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of Lamb," mean that the damned are not separated from angels and the Lamb. As for Christ, He is God and therefore omnipresent.

The wicked are separated from God by their sins even while alive: "your iniquities have separated between you and your God..." (Is 59:2). There was separation ("a great gulf fixed" - Lk 16:26) between Abraham and those in paradise with him, and those on the other side.

Likewise, those in the Lake of Fire are certainly separated from the redeemed in heaven as well as from God and Christ.

I fail to see the difference between punishment and punishing. Nor is God's "punishment" only death, but the "second death" in the eternal torment of the Lake of Fire.

Add This