I take for granted sometimes that many people, if they read the Bible at all, just read it in the English translation. It is easy for me, these days, to read Chan’s objections and know that they are not sound, because I can see the holes in them. But it hasn’t always been that way. For well over a decade, I did not know how to dispute with someone who taught eternal torment. Although I was annihilationist in my beliefs, there was still a tiny bit of doubt in my mind, a theological splinter, that eternal torment could be true after all.
The apostle Paul writes, “In Christ, all will be made alive.” And he also writes, “All who belong to Christ will be made alive at His coming.” Should we assume that those who are not made alive at His coming will never be made alive? According to Francis Chan, the answer is yes. In his book, Raising Hell, he comments on Paul’s letter, “[It] can’t mean that everyone will be saved in the end.” Think about it. If Paul writes, “In Christ, all will be made alive,” then why should Paul’s explanation about the order in which this reality takes place nullify his first statement? Chan attempts to explain why, but his explanation, in my opinion, falls flat on its face if it is accompanied by a bit of scrutiny.