(24:33) What the Bible says is the nature of the final punishment: Jude assures his readers that the wicked will be punished, and tells us in verse 7 that Sodom and Gomorrah are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Of course, what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? Well, the Bible records only their destruction, and no torment, in a short span of 4 verses, in Genesis 19 after which Abraham awakes the next morning to look out at the smoke rising from its remains. No wonder that 2 Peter 2:6 likewise uses their being destroyed and reduced to ashes as evidence that God will judge and punish sinners. So, the punishment inflicted by eternal fire reduces to ashes. Some think it’s the present suffering of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in Hades which Jude has in view, but this is not the case, since the parallel in 2 Pet 2 specifically mentions their being reduced to ashes, and since the words that Jude uses, rendered example, and exhibited, don’t allow for that.
Example is the Greek deigma, which literally means things shown, a showing; it means something more like specimen, or exhibit. Similarly, exhibited is prokeimai, which means to be placed before the eyes, or lie exposed; if the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah are presently suffering in an intermediate state, since their suffering there is never recorded anywhere in Scripture, never shown, that is, then how could that be the example, or things shown, that Jude has in mind? On the other hand, some people think that the word example may allow for some level of flexibility; perhaps the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was like the punishment of eternal fire in some way. In theological terms, it’s called a type of eternal punishment, a prefigure, or a foretaste of what is to come, but again, deigma means specimen, or things shown. While the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah might be like torment forever and ever, it is not a specimen of torment forever and ever. And it is not a showing of torment at all. But their destruction is a specimen or showing of the punishment inflicted by Hell if that punishment is destruction.
Yes, this is an opening statement’s presentation – but note the lack of attention paid to the context, and the odd choice of words on which he concentrates. Can you spot the presups? First, there is the now, I hope, puzzling insistence that there is no suffering of the Sodomites in view – or that it is not shown in Scripture. This is obviously not the case, as the very passages in question clearly show this to be the case. There is little to no attention paid to the context, the flow of the passage; no discussion of the many comparisons even within the respective passages, let alone to each other, as well as a heavy emphasis on particular terms. Terms which, incidentally, seem to have a particular freight to the annihilationist, but that he has yet to demonstrate this early on in his opener (and fails to do in the remainder of his time). Fascinating, isn’t it? There is no discussion of how typology or symbology applies, or what the consistent picture of symbols, types, or figures should be. We see something similar, later on, when there is the quite ghastly exchange concerning “symbols being thrown into the lake of fire”. Not to mention the assumption of some sort of “elapsed time” there which any amil/postmil student of revelation would cringe at. It almost seems as if we’re being told that if we can’t see it physically, it didn’t/won’t happen. This may not be the case – but that seems to be the gist of his argument. Either he completely missed the argument Peter and Jude make, and I outlined for you; or it’s simply not allowed into the equation a priori. In either case, it’s a serious problem with his argument, as what I outlined in the previous does show that Sodom and Gomorrah are examples, or exhibits, does show that they are indeed types and figures, and that even their punishment in the intermediate state is a type of the final punishment they are being kept under punishment for, and awaiting. There’s just one problem – it’s not talking about the *final* punishment when it talks about the demons or the Sodomites – it is talking about intermediate punishment – necessarily so.