Believers In Annihilation And In Universal Salvation Applied The Word To Punishment

Thus Ignatius, Polycarp, Hermas, Justin Martyr, Iren&us, Hyppolytus, Justinian, and others, (from A. D. 115 to A. D. 544) use the word aionion to define punishment. And yet, some of these taught that decay out of conscious existence is the natural destiny of men, from which some only are saved by God's grace. Previous to this decay or extinction of being, they held that men experience aionion punishment. The aionion punishment is not extinction of being, for that was the soul's natural destiny. The punishment is not endless for it ceases. Let us illustrate: Justin Martyr says "Souls suffer aionion punishment and die." The punishment is in the future world, but it concludes with extinction, and yet it is aionion. A. D. 540, aionion requiredateleutetos prefixed to convey the idea of endless duration.

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