You argue that it does not make sense for God to punish a certain number of years of sin with an infinite punishment. What about Hades, the intermediate state of the dead? What about the person who died 4000 years ago, vs. the one who dies the day before Jesus returns? Is it fair if the Lord didn’t take waiting time into account, if one is filled with dread for millennia, while the other nearly avoids any waiting at all? Maybe this logic supports “soul sleep,” even though there’s no real biblical support for it. Also, on a side note, why do you think God didn't provide more specific information on the afterlife? I came to the conclusion that he wanted to stress his love, not punishment. What do you think? – Amanda

Good point. You’d think any time in incarceration would count towards the sentence. I imagine it does. If so, then we don't need to rely on Luther’s soul sleep to make things balance out. (As though that was ever in our control in the first place.)

But I’m only imagining, speculating. Maybe the Lord told us as little as he did so that it wouldn't be our main inducement day to day. This could really mess up our motives. For an authentic relationship, there has to be a little separation between parties. If God were breathing down our neck and constantly reminding us of the next world, perhaps that would be coercive.

My two cents.