Originally Posted by trettep
But the punishment IS corrective - unless we ignore the Greek. The Greek word is KOLASIS and derived from Kolazo. If someone is ETERNALLY dead that means they don't have a spirit so how can one be ETERNALLY punished if they already dead? Additionally, if aionios means ETERNAL then that means the Punishment NEVER had a beginning. It would mean the punishment ALWAYS existed. How do you explain that?
A person is born into this world physically alive but spiritually dead--no human spirit--therefore no relationship with God in time. Yet, as stated, he is still physicaly alive. He has a body and a soul.
Now when this person physically dies without believing in Christ for salvation, his body goes into the grave, and his soul goes into torments--the compartment in Hades where unbelieving humanity goes after death. This is a temporary place. After the Millennium, unsaved humanity will be resurrected into immortal bodies that are designed for the lake of fire where they will spend eternity. The spiritual death--separation from God in time, is reclassified as the second death--separation from God for all eternity.
From the time of their physical death, their eternal separation from God is finalized, and their eternal punishment begins first in Hades--Torments, then in the lake of fire. From that point on, they are eternally separated from God.
From God's viewpoint, He has always known from eternity past who would and who wouldn't believe in Christ for salvation. And so in the mind of God, those who He knew would believe in Christ have always been foreknown
--a category of divine knowledge concerned with believers only. ''For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,...and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.'' (Romans 8:29-30)
And this all happened because God KNEW
who would and who wouldn't make the decision to believe in Christ. And so in the mind of God, Those who He knew would believe in Christ for salvation have always been distinguished from those who wouldn't.
This is not double predestination. Only those who believe in Christ are predestined. Those who reject Christ, have made a decision to remain in a state of condemnation.