Maxey - Thrasher Debate

Eternal Destiny of the Wicked
Perpetual Torment or Ultimate Extinction
(An In-Depth Biblical Discussion)

Saturday, February 2, 2002

Thomas Thrasher's
Introductory Remarks

Although I regret that brother Maxey and I disagree on "the destiny of the wicked," it is nevertheless a pleasure to participate with him in a brotherly discussion of this subject. The readers should know that I have absolutely no animosity toward him, nor do I anticipate anything other than a kind and cordial relationship throughout this exchange (cf. Hebrews 13:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:9). Both of us recognize the importance of understanding and accepting the teaching of the Scriptures on this matter (Ephesians 5:10, 17). When I "press my points" (and when brother Maxey presses his), do not interpret that as a sign that we are angry. Instead, please realize that we are writing with strong convictions on a very important Bible subject (Ephesians 6:10).

In our correspondence prior to the debate, brother Maxey suggested, "Your first article . . . can just be an overview of where we hope to go with this discussion, and something about yourself by way of introduction to the readers." This will explain the content and brevity of this initial offering. Furthermore, from this point forward, I will refer to my "opponent" by his first name, Al. I intend no disrespect with this informal mode of address. It is simply quicker to type "Al" than "brother Maxey." I have never felt comfortable referring to an "opponent" by his last name only, as it seems to me a bit "unfriendly," especially when he is a brother in Christ.

"By way of introduction to the readers" (as Al suggested), I provide a few details about myself (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:17 - 11:1). My wife (Jerretta) and I have been married for more than 30 years. She is a devoted homemaker and a wonderful life's partner. We had the joy of becoming grandparents almost two years ago (a thing which I highly recommend!). As this discussion begins, I am 53 years old and have been preaching nearly 36 years, mostly in the vicinity of Decatur, Alabama, which continues to be our home. During this time, I have presented approximately 7000 lessons (in 17 states and Australia) and participated in 90 formal debates on a variety of issues. Eight of these debates have been published. I am owner of Thrasher Publications.

However, I would be considered a "part-time" preacher by some, because my financial support has come primarily from working as a mathematics teacher and (presently) school administrator in the Decatur City Schools, where I have been employed for 29 years. I occasionally teach Introductory Greek and Introductory Hebrew in the Community Education Program.

Now, more relevant to the discussion itself, I give "an overview of where we hope to go."

By way of clarifying the subject ("The Destiny of the Wicked"):

I plan to prove the following points by the Scriptures (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). If Al and I actually agree on one or more of these points (as I suspect we do), we can then focus upon the areas of disagreement. The destiny of the wicked is:

  1. To die physically (Hebrews 9:27), unless living at Christ's return. This is also true of the righteous.

  2. To enter Hades (Revelation 20:13), unless living at Christ's return. This is also true of the righteous. However, the righteous and wicked are in separate parts of Hades (Luke 16:22-26).

  3. To be raised from the dead (John 5:28-29), unless living at Christ's return. This is also true of the righteous.

  4. To be judged (2 Corinthians 5:10; Acts 17:31-32). This is also true of the righteous.

  5. To go into everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:13). This is not true of the righteous (1 Peter 1:3-4)!

When we reach the conclusion of this brotherly discussion, I hope that Al and I, and each reader, will readily accept what God has revealed on this subject. Do not allow tradition, emotion, eloquence, or personal opinion to sway us from allegiance to God and His truth (John 8:32; Galatians 1:8; John 17:17).

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