PM3008: On Annihilationism

Annihilationism is the belief that the damned, rather than going to eternal punishment in hell when they die, instead cease to exist. Some annihilationists deny the existence of punishment in hell - they see hell as a synonym for non-existence. Others believe that hell does exist, but punishment in hell is limited in duration, and at the end of that duration the damned cease to exist. Contrast with universalism – the belief that everyone goes to heaven – and eternal damnation – the mainstream Christian belief, that the damned are consciously punished with everlasting torment in hell.

Maratreanism rejects annihilationism as being opposed to the fundamental nature of the soul, as that which cannot be created or destroyed.

Annihilationism is a minority view in Christianity, but some denominations do hold to it – most notably, the Seventh Day Adventist church, who combine it with a belief in soul sleep.