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If hell isn't forever, why is God said to live "to the ages of the ages?"

 

Question:

If hell isn't forever, why is God said to live "εá¼°ς τους αá¼°ωνας των αá¼°ωνιων" (to the ages of the ages) in Rev. 10:6 and 15:7? If Aion means forever in these passages, then how can it mean "forever" in these passages, and less than "forever" in Rev. 20:10? Wouldn't it be a gross understatement to say that God lives "for ages and ages" (or anything less than forever)? I really don't understand this, and it really bothers me (because I'd like to believe that God's plan will be successful, and God will be All in All.)

Answer:

These are difficult questions, and I don't know that they can be answered with any great authority. There is no logical contradiction, but we can't really say exactly why it the Holy Spirit made the point this way in speaking of God, saying that he lives to the ages of the ages.

If hell isn't forever, why is God said to live "εá¼°ς τους αá¼°ωνας των αá¼°ωνιων" (to the ages of the ages) in Rev. 10:6 and 15:7?

The answer may lie in the meaning of "live." Checking the interlinear text gives us this: him who lives to the ages of the ages. Looking at the meaning of "lives" in Strongs gives us this.

2198 ζαω zao dzah'-o
1) to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead)
2) to enjoy real life
2a) to have true life and worthy of the name
2b) active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God
3) to live i.e. pass life, in the manner of the living and acting
3a) of mortals or character
4) living water, having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul
5) metaph. to be in full vigour
5a) to be fresh, strong, efficient,
5b) as adj. active, powerful, efficacious

This has more to it than just being alive as a human being is alive, since God neither comes into life nor loses His life--although Jesus did lay down His life and then took it again. The meaning of zao seems to have a lot to do with living water, full vigor, strong, efficient, active, powerful, and efficacious. The point may be that God is effective, active, powerful, or like living water, throughout the ages--that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Whether or not that is the Holy Spirit's point, we know that it's true that He will be with us throughout all time.

We do know that God created the ages as a way to fulfill His purpose, so the ages are very important, and He is not only the God of eternity but the God of the ages. In the same way, God is the God of the Universe, yet He is the God of you and in me. Both are very true. He is concerned with every moment in our lives, yet He sees the end from the beginning, and He is able to transcend all time.

I don't fully understand eternity, but it seems that eternity is outside of time and time is something that God created. Some have said that it is one of the dimensions of the creation. Some have said that eternity is just endless ages without end. In either case, it doesn't make sense to say that God lasts until eternity. It does make sense to say that God is eternal or without end or beginning. So if we are going to talk about God living for any length of time, we would have to reference time in some way.

One brother said that the Greek and Hebrew scholars cannot agree concerning the meanings of the words and the brethren are dependent on the miraculous revelation of Scripture. Consider that the Hebrew people at the time of Christ had an excellent understanding of Hebrew and Greek, yet they could not understand what Jesus taught them from the Scripture--with the exception of those few to whom God revealed Christ. Although, with the word, AION, there are quite a few places where the word has to mean "age" and there are no instances where it cannot mean "age" in the context of the sentence. The only thing that would make it seem out of place would be to have a theology that indicates that hell never ends, but such a theology attempts to nullify other Scriptures.



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Apr, 2015
 
 




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