In Matthew 25:46  Isn’t the “life eternal” of the “righteous” sheep contrasted here with the “everlasting punishment” of the goats?  How can “everlasting punishment” not be everlasting?

This verse, the words of Christ, is greatly misunderstood.  Both words “everlasting” (Gr. aioonion-aiwnion/age-long). and “eternal” (Gr. aioonion-aiwnion/age-long) come from the same Greek word.  The same identical word is used in both cases. That word speaks of an age.  It does NOT indicate eternity!

So what is indicated here?

This verse also does not point to identical periods of time.  “Punishment” (Gr. kolasin-kolasin) indicates an age of pruning.  In fact, the Greek word means to prune. 

Why do we prune plants? We prune to clear away anything that may inhibit their health and ability to properly grow. Pruning is not a punishment.

All who do not acknowledge Christ in this life will be pruned at the proper time in the next life.

“Eternal” or age-long life also points to a time that is limited.  But, please do not look at it in the temporal sense. The word eternal speaks of something with no beginning and no end. Since we must be “born again” and thereby have a new beginning, we will never have “eternal” life.  But, will have life from the beginning of our resurrection. 


Question answered by Darroll Evans