Those who purport the traditional doctrine of eternal conscious torment/separation, which asserts that the wicked do not physically die at the final judgment, but are instead consciously separated from the presence of God for eternity while physically alive. However, as I point out in my question here, this is an inconsistent position. It is very clear from scripture that humans do not have eternal life in and of themselves, but only God and Jesus do. As a result, there is an unavoidable, inescapable consequence of being separated from their presence, i.e. physical death. This fact is made plainest in scripture in Genesis 3. Being banished from the garden, where God's presence was, meant the inevitable demise of Adam and Eve. I see ECT/ECS proponents point to scriptures like 2 Thessalonians 1:9 all the time, particularly to versions of the passage found in the NIV, NLT, and ISV, assuming that it supports their position.
2 Thessalonians 1:9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might (NIV)
2 Thessalonians 1:9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. (NLT)
2 Thessalonians 1:9 Such people will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction by being separated from the Lord's presence and from his glorious power (ISV)
Notwithstanding that the original Greek says none of this whatsoever, which is evident by the following literal translations(even the KJV gets it right);
2 Thessalonians 1:9 who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, (ASV)
2 Thessalonians 1:9 who will suffer justice—continuous destruction—from the face of the LORD, and from the glory of His strength, (LSV)
2 Thessalonians 1:9 who shall suffer justice -- destruction age-during -- from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength (YLT)
The source of eternal destruction IS the face of the Lord; the wicked undergo eternal destruction via the presence of the Lord. But never mind that, because even IF the original Greek said what was said in the NIV, NLT, and ISV translations, it would STILL not support eternal conscious separation/torment. Why? Because we know what the inevitable outcome of being separated from God's presence is; physical death! If God and Jesus are the only sources of life(which scripture attests to, e.g. John 5:26, John 6:57), then permanent separation from them means certain death. The NIV, NLT, and ISV translations of 1 Thessalonians 1:9 actually support conditionalism(conditional immortality/annihilationism), not traditionalism.
So I realized... The only way that passages in the Bible that talk about condemnation/destruction being "separation from God's presence"(of which there are none whatsoever, but let's pretend) can be used to support traditional ECT/ECS is if one can prove that the wicked dead are resurrected in immortal bodies as the children of God are. If the wicked are resurrected as ordinary human beings, then if condemnation/destruction really is separation from God(and there's no evidence in the Bible that it is[erroneous translations of 2 Thessalonians 1:9 do not count]), they will necessarily die eventually, and eternal conscious torment/separation is proven false. Only if the wicked are resurrected in immortal, incorruptible bodies can they live for eternity in torment(or not in torment, either way). This is essential in proving eternal conscious torment/separation. You can throw any number of "destruction is separation" passages at me(not that there are any) and it'll do you absolutely no good unless you can prove that the wicked are raised immortal, on account of the fact that separation from God necessarily entails eventual death.
It is not an overstatement to say that the validity of the traditional doctrine of eternal conscious torment/separation hinges on whether or not you can prove the unrighteous are resurrected in immortal, incorruptible bodies. If one cannot do this Biblically, there is essentially no basis whatsoever for the doctrine of eternal conscious torment/separation. Everything reduces to this question;
- What is the Biblical basis for the notion that the wicked are resurrected in immortal bodies just as the righteous are?
NOTE: This question is directed towards those who purport the traditional doctrine of eternal conscious torment/separation, which asserts that the wicked do not physically die at the final judgment, but are instead consciously separated from the presence of God for eternity while physically alive.