Perdition in the Bible is a concept that speaks to the suffering of people who have rejected God’s love and mercy. It suggests that even though someone may have chosen to turn from God, there is an eternal consequence of that choice. According to The New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary, perdition means, “Condemnation and doom to everlasting death or utter ruin.” Put simply, it is the state of being lost and condemned to an eternity of isolation and pain outside the presence of God.
Throughout the Bible, there is a recurrent theme of choices and their consequences, and perdition is a part of this narrative. John 3:16-22 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” The opposite is suggested in John 3:18, which states that “he who does not believe is condemned already…”
The concept of perdition arises in multiple cities of the Old Testament, as well. In Deuteronomy 29:18, it says that if a person turns away from God, they will be cursed and will suffer eternal perdition. Proverbs 14:12 confirms this fate, stating, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
The Judgment To Come
The Bible also speaks of a pending judgment day when we will all be judged for our choices. In 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, it states, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
The book of Revelation further confirms this, declaring, “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
This suggests that those who do not believe will find themselves facing eternal punishment and being separated from God forever. Even those who are religious may still suffer this fate, as they too may have rejected the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
In contrast to perdition, the Bible speaks of salvation, which is the opposite of perdition. When a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they will be rescued from the eternal condemnation of perdition and will enter into eternal life in Heaven.
John 3:16-18 is the best known passage of Scripture on salvation: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
This passage reinforces the concept that those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will be saved from eternal destruction, while those who reject Him will suffer the fate of perdition.
The Bible offers hope to those who are in danger of suffering perdition. There is hope even in the midst of despair, as it states in Mark 9:23-24, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
In the midst of suffering, this hope can be found by leaning on God and trusting that He will make all things right in the end. Romans 8:19-22 suggests a similar idea, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
Understanding Was Lost
For many, perdition may appear to be an enigmatic concept that is difficult to understand. This difficulty is discussed in the book of Ezekiel 34:18, which states that God’s people have lost their understanding, “Therefore you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep.”
This passage serves as a warning to those who are not following the will of God and it suggests that without proper guidance, they can become lost and experience perdition.
Love of God
The concept of perdition and salvation is one that reflects the love of God. God desires for all people to experience His love and mercy and He has provided a way for them to be saved from perdition through Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-17 states,”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
This passage speaks to the love and mercy that God has for His people. He is willing and eager to save those who are in danger of perdition, but those who remain hardened in their heart will suffer the ultimate consequence.
Example of Joseph
The Bible provides many examples of people who either experienced condemnation or grace from God. One such example is Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, unjustly thrown into prison, and forgotten.
But God heard his cries and delivered him from his troubles. He restored his position as the ruler of Egypt and provided a way for his family to be saved from the famine.
This act of deliverance shows the power of God to transform a person’s life and save them from dire consequences.
Perdition in the Bible speaks to the judgment of God and His wrath upon those who reject His love and mercy. John 5:24 states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
This suggests that those who do choose to accept God’s offer of love and mercy will be saved from the ultimate condemnation of perdition.
Those who are not saved will be left to await their judgment and perdition. The Bible warns that those who willfully reject God and His offer of redemption will suffer the most severe consequences.
In the book of Hebrews 10:26-31 it states, “For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
This passage suggests that those who have rejected God and His offer of redemption will not only suffer the ultimate penalty, but they will also possess a deep sense of despair knowing that they could have been saved if they had chosen differently.
Preservation Through Faith
In order to escape the harshest of penalties, believers are encouraged to remain faithful and to persevere in their faith, as stated in Deuteronomy 34:9, “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.”
This passage emphasizes the importance of following the will of God, even in the face of difficulties, and states that by doing so, believers will be preserved and blessed.
Grace and Mercy
The Bible speaks of a God of love, grace and mercy, and He desires that all would accept His offer of salvation and escape the fate of condemnation and perdition. It is a warning to those who remain steadfast in their rejection of God’s love, and a hope to those who are willing to accept His call.
In Titus 2:11 it states, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”
By accepting God’s offer of grace and mercy, those who believe in Him will not suffer perdition and will instead experience eternal life in Heaven.