God’s White Throne Judgement (WTJ) makes Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT),…
God’s White Throne Judgement (WTJ) makes Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT), as it is called, not only moral but also essential. The position of the Annihilationalist (Conditional Immortality—CI) in view of the WTJ, seems weak.
The WTJ of sinners at the end of time (Rev 20:11-15) has at least 4 purposes: to uncover the wickedness of sinful man (Matthew 10:26); to hold man accountable for his deeds done in the body and thus increase man’s guilt (Matthew 10:36); to punish man for his wicked deeds (Romans 2:6-9) thus vindicating God’s righteousness (Revelation 19:1-2).
At the conclusion of the WTJ the condemned soul will be standing in front of God naked in sin and guilty as hell. There will be no more goodness left in him only sin will be left. Can you imagine what this will look like? The sinner will no longer be human In the sense that we think of humanity today. They will BE sin and filled with guilt.
Guilt plays a huge role in the WTJ. When we think about guilt we associate it with sin. I mean, in the old covenant there was both a sin offering and a GUILT offering. BOTH had to be dealt with in order for the Jewish nation to stand right before God (Lev 14:12). At the WTJ the condemned soul will be exposed to be full of sin AND full of guilt. Guilt is a huge player in the WTJ because this will be the eternal fire that burns; not fire outside, but fire inside.
To me, it makes no sense why God would put the sinner through such a agonizing and horrific trial if he was just going annihilate him. It makes more sense to me if, having revealed
the sinner’s true nature, they were now left to eternally live with themselves and the creature they’ve chosen to become. Isn’t this the nature of God‘s wrath?
Why heap guilt on the sinner, I mean the weight of their sin will be unbearable, if their existence was going to be annihilated? Why not just stop at the first death and combine it with the second death and call it quits? Is the WTJ just something God wants to do to rub-it-in before he annihilates them? Annihilation doesn’t make sense to me because God‘s wrath isn’t so much annihilation as it is living with the consequences of one’s choices; a giving over to one’s sin. In hell we see the eternality of God’s wrath.
The WTJ exposes wickedness, exposes pride and places the guilt of sin squarely on the sinner. Realizing they were too proud and arrogant, they refused to listen when the Gospel was given, in fact, they will be made deftly aware of every single time they rejected the gospel. The kicker is: They did all this to themselves. It was a self-inflicted wound. How foolish they were. And now it’s too late. No more hope—ever. And to make it all quite clear, the chain that drags them into hell will be the chain of their own pride. What they thought was their ally was actually a mortal enemy.
Now the proponents of CI will tell you that there’s no indication of the immortality of the soul and scripture. I don’t know about that but what I do know is the underlying current in God’s word is unmistakably eternal condemnation and eternal punishment where God‘s wrath burns against the sinner. Doesn’t sound like extermination to me. We are cautioned to think of hell in the absolute worst terms, to be horrified by it. CI comes up short here IMO.
In light of the WTJ, ECT and not CI makes sense. Eternal Conscious Torment is the only appropriate and just punishment for the sinner’s arrogance and pride that fulfills the wrath of an eternal God.