So what are we saved from?
So what happens to those who don’t receive immortality/eternal life? Do they live forever, in perpetual, conscious torment? Or is there a second possibility? From the preceding readings, we would expect the damned to remain mortal — that is, not to last forever.
(Mat 7:13-14 ESV) “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
(Mat 10:28 ESV) 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell [gehenna, that is, a burning garbage dump].
(Rom 9:22-23 ESV) 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory–
(1Co 3:17 ESV) 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
(1Co 6:13 ESV) 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” — and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
(Phi 3:18-19 ESV) 8 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
(1Th 5:3 ESV) 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
(2Th 1:9-10 ESV) 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
Now, “destroy” and “destruction” are terms used for such things as tearing down a temple or killing a person. They aren’t used of perpetual conscious torment.
“Eternal destruction” cannot mean that God will spend eternity destroying them because that actually would mean they would never be destroyed. Rather, “eternal destruction” really means that their destruction will be eternal — they’ll be destroyed to never be restored or, perhaps better translated, they’ll be destroyed in the next age.