Here are all of the places in the GreeK New Testament of which it speaks, according to the English translation, of "everlasting punishment", "punishment forever", "evermore", "ever and ever" etc. Here, according to the actual Greek, is what it actually says regarding such punishment.
2 PETER 2:17: "To whom the mist of darkness is reserved for an age". Jude 13: "To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for an age." Rev.14:11: "The smoke of their torment ascendeth up to the age of ages." Now that is interpreted by Pridgeon as meaning "to the final Golden Age", until that age. In other words, until the Age of Ages. Until that final Golden Age when all will be reconciled.--The new Heaven on the New Earth!
The Age of all Ages, of course, the final Golden Age, is the New Heaven and the New Earth "wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2Pe.3:13) in which the Holy City comes down, Space City, the time called by most people Eternity or the final Everlasting Life, etc., the Golden Age of all Ages! (Ps.90:2; 145:13; Re.11:15.)
Even the Millennium is an age! But some of these people, like the Devil, are going to apparently be in Hell or whatever kind of punishment they're going to be getting, for a thousand years of Millennium! (Maria: That's a long time!) Well, it depends on how much they're guilty of, of course, whether they have to stay that whole time or not.
But anyhow, the point being that the final reconciliation will come at the Age of Ages, the Golden Age, when "time shall be no more" (Rev.10:6), there won't be any more thousand year Millennium. Time shall continue throughout the Millennium--there will be no time for us, in a sense,--we'll be in our new bodies--but time will continue for a thousand years for the humans left. There wouldn't be years if there wasn't still time, right?
(Maria: But in the new Heaven and new Earth there won't be any ages?) That is the New Heaven--the Age of all Ages of the New Heaven and the New Earth is for ever, everlasting, eternal etc., that is genuinely forever, everlasting, eternal!
The final new Heaven, new Earth has no end, it is "World without end"! (Isa.45:17.) The Millennium has an end. (Maria: So by definition, you can say an Age does come to an end always?) Well, we don't really know, there may be some kind of a limit to that too in which we'll graduate to some new stage, we don't know. But Heaven's called the Age of all Ages!
I'm speaking of the places where these terms are used which people use to proclaim and preach a damnable eternal damnation forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and never to end--what it actually is saying. I'm reading from the original Greek meaning exactly!
"The smoke of her torment rose up for ever and ever", that's Babylon. (Rev.19:3.) In other words, it may smoke throughout the Millennium. And the Devil and the False Prophet and the Antichrist etc. are "tormented day and night" it says "for ever and ever". (Rev.20:10.) Literally it says, "until the Age of the Ages"! So that won't even necessarily be everlasting!
Now here where it uses the word "everlasting" : "Shall be cast into everlasting fire" (Mt.18:8), the literal translation from the Greek is "Age-lasting" fire, or fire lasting only for an Age! "Depart, ye cursed, into Age-lasting fire"! (Mt.25:41.) "These shall go away into age-lasting punishment". (Mt.25:46.) "To be punished with age-lasting destruction". (2Th.1:9.)
These are the only references in the New Testament Greek to what is translated in our Bible in English as everlasting punishment, punishment forever, punishment forever and ever, or forever. These are the only references, and every single one of them either literally says "Age-lasting", meaning "for an Age", or "unto the Age of the Ages", until the Age of all Ages, the Golden Age, you might say the Final Age, which is the New Heaven and the New Earth!--As far as we now know.
It simply expresses it that way, even for the final stage. Even though the final stage is unending, it's considered the final Age. Now you can split hairs if you want to and say, "Well, if that Age doesn't have any end, maybe the "for-an-Age" punishment may come during that Age and not have any end either!" Well, all I'm doing is just reading you what the Greek says, literally.
Regarding punishment or Hell or their torment or hellfire, etc., the Greek does not say either "forever" or "forever and ever" or "everlasting". That is absolutely not a correct translation, because in our language, that means there's no end. But in the Greek it speaks of it as an Age, lasting for an Age, only Age-lasting, or only unto the Age of all Ages. In others words, the End of all Ages, the Age which ends all Ages! They're going to be only punished until then, see?
These different words are used in different places. Some places it says that their punishment will be just for an Age, or Age--lasting! A few places it says until the Age of the Ages. (Maria: Just until that?) Yes. In other words, until that Last Final Age.
(Maria: But none of them say through that or into that Age?) No! Every single one of them is Age-lasting, for an Age, until the Age of Ages, all of which periods have an end! So very clearly, all punishment will eventually come to an end, understand?
Then when the final Age of all Ages comes, well, that's really such an Age that it's endless! That's where our everlasting life and living for evermore and forever and ever etc. will really mean everlasting and forever, and forever and ever! So that's where the confusion comes, it's the difference in the literal meaning in our language of "forever".
The literal, meaning in Greek does not say "forever" meaning endless, but "for an Age" or "until the Age of Ages", both meanings having an end! "For an Age" means only for that period of time or period of whatever. And "until the Age of Ages" means just until then, and then it's over--when the New Heaven really begins!
So thank God Hell well not last forever, despite the English translation. Fire and brimstone and punishment even for the Devil and his angels and the Antichrist and the False Prophet and all the rest will not be eternal, but will be "for an Age" and "Age-lasting" or until the Age of Ages" when it says that then He shall have "reconciled all things to Himself". (Col.1:20.)
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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