The following is still a draft. It will be edited and corrected as I get time. However, it is my belief that it contains scriptures and thoughts that need to be taken into consideration.

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Held And Reserved In Darkness, To Receive A Punishment Worse Than Death?

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Compiled by Vern Manson

Are the above thoughts sensibly supported in the NT?

There are many who approach this subject strictly from an emotional based point of view. They have accepted the politically correct position. These same people most likely oppose both capital punishment and spanking children. In contrast the Bible teaches both. Too many people think the Bible is good, but not really that good.

I will start with verses that are seldom taken in context, for as they read they obviously support the thought of a severe form of punishment ahead for the wicked. I will take the Bible as it reads.

Let me say here that the awareness of future continued punishment after death, of the wicked, accomplishes little in the way of deterrence.

Romans 1:31 .... without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (NAS)

However, it God's punishment is just. Christ's death on a cross produces far more motivation and it was done strictly on the basis of God's unmerited favor. He nor His Son owed us any such thing. There will be numbers of people who simply lived and died and never did anything about God. This is just the way it is, and apparently numbers of people find this very disconcerting.

I ask this, "Is there not a cause?" Is there not a good reason for such a study as this one?

Lev 19:17 "'Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. (NIV)

Ps 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Prov 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

Matt 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (KJV)

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Now for a biblical presentation of God's justice.

What does "Better to not have been born," mean? All who have been born eventually die. So there must be something worse then having been born and simply dying.

Mark 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

Matt 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matt 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Second Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (KJV)

Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Each of these previous scriptures point to some form of existence that is worse then simply dying. This form of existence and punishment entails something that is worse then death.

Note: There is a punishment that is so severe that it produces wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matt 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

There is such a thing as influencing someone else to be even more worthy of punishment then you are.

Matt 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

There is such a thing as being held in a place of punishment while awaiting further punishment.

Second Pet 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Jude 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Second Pet 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

Matt 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

There is then a place where further punishment is applied and the wording implies that days and nights are involved, together with ages and ages of punishment that are actually unending. The mention of days and nights points to a conscious awareness of time passing.

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

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Immortality of the Soul?

Yes!

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In searching numerous Christian web sites and the web in general, you can find 200, plus, articles that teach there is no hell, (in the sense of the wicked not being aware of any on going punishment after death), or that there is no such thing as the "Immortality of the Soul, etc. " (for every one article that teaches there is/are.)  This subject is being neglected terribly.

Numerous philosophers have derided the thought, while a few have believed it is as the bible portrays.

The erroneous doctrine of "Original Sin" has led the Church into several errors, two of which are their peculiar approach to the doctrines of immortality and the ages and ages of punishment that awaits the wicked after death.

There are also numbers of articles that say the Jews had no such idea as ages and ages of punishment for the wicked after death. Eldersheim, a Christian historian, who specialized in the history of the Early Church and the Jews, said otherwise. He claimed that the Jews were familiar with the conditions of the wicked that Jesus portrayed in the account that he gave of the death of Lazarus and the rich man.

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Here are excerpts from an article that was written by a Jew, part of which involves everlasting punishment.

........   Imagine standing naked before God, with your memory wide open, completely transparent without any jamming mechanism or reducing valve to diminish its force. You will remember everything you ever did and see it in a new light. You will see it in the light of the unshaded spirit, or, if you will, in God's own light that shines from one end of creation to the other. The memory of every good deed and Mitzvah will be the sublimest of pleasures, as our tradition speaks of Olam Haba.

But your memory will also be open to all the things of which you are ashamed. They cannot be rationalized away or dismissed. You will be facing yourself, fully aware of the consequences of all your deeds. We all know the terrible shame and humiliation experienced when one is caught in the act of doing something wrong. Imagine being caught by one's own memory with no place to escape. This indeed, may be what Daniel is alluding to when he says (Dan. 12:2), "And many of them that sleep in the dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproach and everlasting shame."

A number of our great teachers write that the fire of Gehenom is actually the burning shame one experiences because of his sins. Again, this may be alluded to in the words of the prophet (Isa 66:24), "And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me; for their worm shall not die, nor shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be ashamed before all flesh." We find that evil leads to shame, as it is written (Jer. 7:19), "Are they angering Me, says God, are they not provoking themselves, to their own shame, as we find (Joel 2:26), "And you shall eat and be satisfied....and my people shall never be ashamed."

The Talmud provides us with even stronger evidence that shame burns like fire. It states, "Rabbi Chanana says; this teaches us that each one (in the World of Souls) is burned by the canopy of his companion. Woe, for that shame! Woe, for that humiliation." We find that shame is a major form of punishment in the Midrash on the verse (Ps 6:11), "All your enemies shall be ashamed and very confounded:" Rabbi Joshua ben Levi says, "God only curses the wicked with shame." This is also alluded to in the Talmudic statement, " It is better for Amram to suffer shame in this world, and not in the World to come." Similarly, "Blessed is God who gave him shame in this world and not the next." When the Zohar speaks of the future reward, it says, "Happy is he who comes here without shame."

Of course, these concepts of fire and shame, as used by our Sages, may also contain deeper mysteries and meanings. But taken literally, one says that a major ingredient of fire may be shame. How else could one characterize the agony of unconcealed shame upon a soul?

We are taught that the judgement of the wicked lasts 12 months. Even the naked soul can gradually learn to live with this shame and forget it, and the pain eventually subsides. It may be more than coincidence that 12 months is also the length of time required for something to be forgotten in Talmudic law. Thus, one mourns parent for 12 months, and says a special blessing upon seeing a close friend after this period of time. (Of course, there is an exception to this rule. There are nonbelievers and worst of sinners reckoned in the Talmud. These individuals have nothing else but their shameand have no escape from everlasting torment.)

But even temporary torment is beyond our imagination. The Ramban (Nachmanides) writes that all the suffering of Job would not compare to an instant in Gehenom. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov says the same of a man who suffered for years from the most indescribable torments: it is still better than a single burn in Gehenom. Mental torture cannot be compared to the mere physical.

Here again, when we speak of Gan Eden and Gehenom, find that we are not discussing mystical concepts, but ideas that are well within the realm of scientific psychology, such as shame. .......

Found on the Shema Israel - Torah Network   http://www.shemayisrael.co.il/burial/immortal.htm

Take note, the above was written by a Jew and he quoted from their commentaries.

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The Book of Genesis is the foundation for the rest of the Bible. If there is such a thing as the doctrine of "Original Sin," it should be found in this book, for this is where we find the account of Adam and Eve's sin.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 (You must overcome him) And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. (KJV)

I ask the following questions as a means of revealing some of the error in our traditions.

1. Did Adam have everlasting life prior to the time he sinned?

2. Did Adam die the day he sinned?

3. His body was to return to the earth as dust, but what about the breath of God that was breathed into him to make him a living soul? (Did God ever remove His breath from Adam?)

4. Why did Adam and Eve hide? (What had happened that produced this reaction?)

5. Why is there nothing in this account that supports the doctrine of "Original Sin?"

6. How many of the four people mentioned in these verses sinned?

7. If both Cain and Abel inherited a wicked nature, why did only one of them sin?

8. Who did God hold responsible for what Cain did?

9. Who do you think made Cain sin?

10. Did God tell Cain how to correct him self?

11. On the basis of the text can you say Cain had a choice?

12. Is there anything that God said to Cain at any time that makes you believe Cain and Abel were born in such a wicked state that they were unable to obey God?

13. If you relate the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil with symbolism what do you see?

Adam lived hundreds of years after he sinned. His death was spiritual separation from God. The term death, as it is used in the Bible, has various meanings. It does not always mean physical death. We can say it never means the complete cessation of existence. In the above text we see that even the blood of an individual can speak after they die. Today DNA is being used as evidence. The very hairs of a dead mans head and his blood and the like can speak.

Through disobedience Adam and Eve became enlightened. Because of their sin they became aware of sin and so were conscience stricken before God.

The "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is symbolic of the effects of disobedience and the end of innocence.

The "Tree of life" is symbolic of obedience and/or repentance. It speaks of righteous living.

There are several places in the bible where God told his servants not to warn the wicked, for He did not want them to repent. In the NT Jesus spoke in parables so that only those who desired righteousness would understand. God 's barring Adam from eating of the tree of life is symbolic of this same thing. Adam had the ability to repent, but God wanted him to be punished and so purposefully kept him from becoming aware of this fact.

Deut 29:4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

Isa 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (KJV)

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There is no such thing as "Original Sin." That doctrine is based on erroneous interpretation.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

How many people were made sinners by what Adam did? All? No! Many, not all. How many were made righteous because of Christ? All? No!

All have sinned means every individual that has ever been born since the time of Adam and Eve? No!

Look at the context.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Rom 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

(Rom 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.)

Rom. 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (KJV)

Every verse here comes from the context. The "all have sinned," is speaking of all nations, not necessarily every individual. Again, there is no scriptural basis for the doctrine of "Original Sin.'

By investigating the source of Paul's quote of the OT, you will find there are the generation of the righteous and that the wicked spoken of eat op God's people as bread. This portrays righteous people as being present with those who never did call on God etc. We know, for a fact, based on the Biblical record, that many people have called on God and have lived righteous lives. Or we should know this if we are free of unwarranted superstition that has been produced by erroneous doctrines.

In Psalms 51 David refers to the sin of his mother along with his own sin. She was of a lower caste then Jesse's other wives, for she had previously been the wife or a pagan king. This is also why David was not called in when Samuel went to Jesse's house to anoint the next king. Samuel had to ask if this was all of his sons, then they went and called David in.

Children are all born with inherent immortality.

In time, they sin, (and most do), they become dead in sins, or mortal. If they die very early they go to be with God.

Jesus taught that we are to become as little children. If they are born wicked sinners why would he want us to become like them?

Several places in the OT Israel is charged with the death of innocents. This is in reference to their burning their children in a fire as a sacrifice to a pagan God. Again, babies are born with inherent immortality and lose this when they sin, just as Adam and Eve did. Adam brought death into this world, in the sense of spiritual separation from God. He did not do anything that made us all guilty before God at the time of our birth.

Immortality and life everlasting are not completely synonymous. Immortality is basic to the human experience and is lost through sin. It means deathlessness. It is tied to a basic spiritual experience of fellowship with God. If one does not sin and goes on to walk with God and to know him in depth they progress from the basic position of immortality into "life everlasting."  No awareness of God and no fellowship with Him equals spiritual death.  Life everlasting is a higher level of experience.  It is ultimately tied to our being in the very presence of God after shedding our mortal bodies.

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The following verses are used as proof texts for the doctrine of the "Immortality of the Soul."

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (KJV)

Matt 25:45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (NKJ)

John 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (KJV)

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Here are excerpts from an essay by Lehman Strauss, Litt.D., F.R.G.S. Biblical Studies Press 1997.

In them we have a well presented view of Immortality, including Death and Hell as is accepted by many denominations. Not that I agree with every point. However, I will use this as a basis for more comments.

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Can We Believe in Immortality?

The word immortal means exemption from liability to death. That which is immortal is not liable to death. History shows that wherever man has appeared there has been the idea of a longer span of life than that between the cradle and the grave. Only a few have dared to believe that death ends all and that with the death of the body there is the death of the spirit and soul of man. ........

Through six millenniums of human history man has looked upon immortality as a reality. Universally believed, it is the most indestructible of all instincts and the most penetrating of all intuitions. We agree with Dr. Lockyer when he said: "Without hesitation, affirm that the belief in a future state was derived from a revelation made to our first parents by their Creator, and that it traveled down the ages. The Hope of Immortality, resident within the breast of both savages and saints, was planted there by Him who has no beginning or end."..........

The Witness of the Bible

When we approach the Bible on the subject of immortality, it is well to have in mind a few important facts that are basic and necessary to a proper understanding of the subject. Nowhere in the Bible is the expression to be found, "the immortality of the soul." Nor is there written anything about "the immortal soul." We are not suggesting for a moment that Scripture teaches anything about the sleep or annihilation of the soul at death. The thought of the soulís endless being is true enough, but it is not Scriptural language to refer to "the immortality of the soul." The Word of God assumes the eternal existence of every soul regardless of its destiny. Every manís soul is immortal and can never be annihilated. Jesus said:

"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell" (Matthew 10:28).

Now those who teach "soul-sleep" would have us believe that their doctrine is Biblical, when actually they have falsified the facts by their misinterpretation of Scripture. Man can kill the body, but that is the worst he can do. God alone can take hold of both body and soul and condemn them.

Three Kinds of Death

It is true we read: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4), but neither here nor elsewhere in Scripture does a reference to the soul dying mean a state of non-existence, or even one of unconsciousness. The Bible teaches that there are three kinds of death and it distinguishes clearly between each. First, there is physical death, or the separation of the soul from the body. This is the death of the body to which reference was made in Hebrews 9:27, "It is appointed unto men once to die." Second, the Bible teaches that there is a spiritual death. This is the separator of the soul from God, the condition of all unbelievers of whom Paul says they are "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1), and "alienated from the life of God" (Ephesians 4:18). Third, there is eternal death or banishment from God. All who suffer eternal death are conscious, but "shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:9), these "have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

The Immortal Becomes a Mortal

The words "immortal" and "immortality" when used in Scripture in reference to man find their application to the body. The body of our first parent, as God created him, was an immortal body created to endless existence. God had warned Adam and Eve against eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, saying: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). In spite of the Lordís warning, they disobeyed, and immediately death began its work in the body. The immortal had put on mortality. Paul says: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin" (Romans 5:12). So then, says the writer to the Hebrews, "It is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27). And again we read in First Corinthians, "In Adam all die" (1 Corinthians 15:22). Over all of the human race, having received its natural life from Adam, hangs the sentence of death. Mortality is the curse upon our race as the result of sin and is the saddest fact in world history. The body of man does not possess immortality by nature, but he is a mortal being--subject to death.

Deliverance from Mortality

The purpose of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ was to offer redemption to the fallen race. No mortal could have done this. The dead cannot impart life. The only way that man could escape the sentence of death was by "the appearing of our Lord Jesus . . . Who only hath immortality" (1 Timothy 6:14, 16). The soul of man, though retaining endless existence, became morally degenerate. After the fall, his body became corruptible, and his spirit lost all relationship with God. But a glorious truth is given us by the Apostle Paul. He says: "The appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). O wondrous thought! The Immortal One became mortal, "obedient unto death" (Philippians 2:8), that He might redeem manís soul, restore his spirit to right relation with God and make his body heir to incorruptibility. This is the triumph of the cross of Christ. By His death and resurrection from the grave our Lord "abolished death." He was willing to be clothed with mortality "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Eternal Life and Immortality

It seems to the writer that the subject under consideration is made clearer as we see a difference between eternal life and immortality. The terms are not synonymous. The moment one trusts Jesus Christ for salvation he receives everlasting life. This is Godís gift bestowed to the sinner upon his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his own personal Saviour from sin. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36). "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name" (John 20:31). The glorious work of redemption for sinners is effective in any individual just as soon as he is born again, but it cannot be correctly stated that at that moment the soul became immortal. As a matter of fact the soul never lost its immortality. ............

By the first Adam came mortality and death, and by the Last Adam came life and immortality.

 "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept . . . But every man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christís at His coming" (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

As every child of Adam dies, so will every child of God be raised never to die again.

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Much of what has been said here is solid. Now, I will interject my differences of opinion. (My opinion?)

I am aware of no scriptures that teach us that Adam's physical body only became subject to physical death because of sin. His physical body was never immortal. To quote the scripture that says "It is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27). Must be taken in context.

Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (KJV)

Men are to only die one time, that was the original appointed plan, but then Adam sinned... now there is a 2nd death.

How many did Jesus bear the sins for? Many, not all.

Immortality has to do only with the spiritual aspect of our existence. I am not aware of any sentence of physical death produced by Adam's sin. He introduce spiritual death. All who are of Adam, which is to say, all who sin as he did, die, spiritually. All who are of Christ, which is to say, all who are born again from above, (which is to say, are given immortality), never die.

Brother Strauss believes otherwise. He associates immortality with the physical body only. The Jews interpreted Job as seeing God in the end without his flesh. We say he sees God in the end in his flesh. ??

Those who do not know God have never seen him. Those who are righteous are said to have seen Him. In St. John Jesus said those who are born of the spirit can see the Kingdom, but then added that those who are born of both water and spirit, both see and enter. In each of these propositions it is the sprit realm that is the subject, not the physical. The instructions are earthly, but the effects are spiritual. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness peace and joy in the holy spirit. It is an in heart situation. It was the Jews who had a fantastic expectation of an earthly utopia, not the Church.

2 Tim 1:9 ... who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, 10 and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (RSV)

By abolishing death through the resurrection, Christ revealed immortality. However, just what is meant here? There is a question. The text says he brought life. Everyone he dealt with were already living. They had life. The life he brought was said by him to be like a river of life coming up from inside, and those who drank of it would never thirst again. So what about this immortality? Is this a redundancy? The actual term here in the Greek means purity.

1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (KJV)

This verse can be read like this. "

"This filthy soul must put on purity and genuineness and this spiritually dead man must put on life ever lasting. For when this filthy soul has become purified, and after this spiritually dead person has been clothed with ever lasting life, then it shall come to pass what was written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

The emphasis must be put on the inner man not on this physical realm. Christians have been ruling this world by their righteous influence, because they have no fear of physical death. Unfortunately, even this is not understood.

The Bible speaks of God being immortal.

It also teaches that it is He alone who is immortal. The question then arises: If this is true then how do we ever gain immortality? God gives His inherent immortality to those who are righteous. To emphasize the fact that God alone is immortal to the point of teaching that there is no continuing existence for the wicked is contradictory. God gave us all immortality through Christ's resurrection and every child in their innocence has also been given it. For we are all in him, of Him and by Him. The holy breath of God is the source of our immortality.

Again - Babies are inherently immortal at the time of their birth. God has breathed into them immortality at the time of conception. This happens in the womb or in a petri dish.

Whenever the sperm and the egg unite God has breathed into that combination immortality. This immortality is not limited to just the physical life of that small human being beyond that point of conception. If this embryo fails to survive that child still exists in the very presence of God.

David and others have spoken of God knowing them while they were in the womb. You could question just when or at what stage of development God begins to recognize that child, - I will not. The term "conception," in the archaic sense, means beginning. A child's life begins at conception.

Paul said that we all, both the righteous and the wicked, live and have our being in God. God is immortal, and He is even more, for He is eternal. There are those who sorrow over a miscarriage as if a child had died. The truth is, a child does die during a miscarriage, but only in the physical sense.

Is there any place where God is not?

David said there is not. This means, that in some sense, just on the basis of this simple statement and truth, we are all immortal. Again, we all are in Him and we all have our being in Him, and without Him there is nothing. This could be stated like this:

As long as God exists there will never be the complete absence of anything that He has created.

In addition to this we now know that as long as there is some DNA of a long dead person around, that theoretically a clone of that individual could be created. Who is to say that the spiritual essence of any individual ever ceases to exist? Yes, they are destroyed and do cease to exist on one level, but .......?

On the atomic level things only cease to exist relative to form - there is no end, or absence, or cessation, of the particles that made up that form.

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As an introduction to the following let me refer you to these passages.

Luke 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (KJV)

In these texts there are two types of people existing as contemporaries, but they are in two complete different states of existence. Note that it is those who obey who have access to the tree of life. One type of people are on the inside of a precious kingdom, while the others are on the outside, weeping and gnashing their teeth. Those on the outside know, they are conscious of their situation relative to the others. Again -

Those on the outside are conscious and very aware of what is going on inside this wonderful city.

Those who are on the inside are very much alive, while those who are on the outside are still very dead.

This portrayal is not limited to the existence of an earthly city. This is speaking of both this life and of our existence after we die. There is only one kingdom and it is a spiritual unending kingdom. It is present, for it arrived in the first century. However, we who are alive only have a small portion. As long as we live we will be clothed with mortality. Our death removes mortality and our immortal being is then completely united in every sense with God.

For the wicked, they too are clothed in mortality and become unclothed at the time of death, but they are never united with God and so, even though they never cease to exist and are immortal, they are still dead, by being separated from true life.

The resurrection involves both the wicked and the righteous. One is raised to die, while the other is raised to be made a live.

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The following is from a previous article

GOD IS JUST

And his actions toward mankind is in keeping with the laws he has given us.

Is there fitting punishment for every evil deed? This is the question that is being produced by those who say there will not be any lasting punishment after death for the wicked.

God is no respecter of persons.

We have reason to believe that God has never forced anyone to do anything that was either evil or righteous. God has means other then force.

Christ himself had a choice. Any who have been forced to do an evil act are guiltless.

The penalties that God exacts necessarily demands the following -

1. That every individual who has transgressed was capable of obeying and yet did not.

2. That disobedience is the result of not willing to obey when one could, but yet did not.

3. That when God chose certain ones, based on a pre set standard, for destruction before the worlds were framed - he did so on the basis of righteousness, love, and necessity and his foreknowledge.

The Scriptures do not teach us that God knows every finite detail of the future. It does teach us that He does foreknow in incomprehensible detail and does ordain certain events and then brings them to pass, no matter what. He handles the contingencies that are produced by free moral agents. When this is denied there is a can or worms opened that cannot be closed by taking scriptures as they read.

4. That because God is righteous and has given us laws that we can obey it is evident that a just sentence demands that the wickedly disobedient be punished after death, in part, because all die, both the just and unjust alike.

5. That - since we never will lose our ability to choose, there is good reason to believe that the knowledge and influence of a place of endless separation from God will help to insure the tranquility of the universe.

6. That the forever separation of the wicked from God is an act of unmerited favor for all.

It is evident that the fire involved in forever punishment is torture, but it is not literal fire. Rather it is the illumination of the conscious of those who are lost. The death spoken of very often in the bible is the separation of the living from the dead, not the cessation of existence. Even while living the wicked are dead and estranged from God.

Very often people are tormented because they have violated their own conscience. Several doctors, who are involved in mental health, have said that a guilty conscience is a primary reason for mental sickness.

By allowing the wicked to exist and be tormented through an unavoidable, constant illumination of their mind would be similar to what many have already experienced in this life. To escape this illumination many use drugs and alcohol. There are accounts of several wicked rulers, and others, who have appeared to be demented and who had seizures where they would rage uncontrollably, or fall down in a fit and chew on the carpet, etc. Hitler and Mohammed come to mind. I have known of others. It may be that hell is nothing more then the continuation of their existence in such a state. If this is so they would have some good days, for these would be needed to remind them of where they are and how it could have been. In any case their continued existence would be an exhibit of the grace of God. Their continued awareness of their punishment would necessarily go on for ages and ages. This would be because their sin against such a benevolent God demands such. To sin against an equal demands a certain level of punishment. To sin against the hand that feeds you and holds your life in their hand demands a far greater level of punishment.

When life holds the potential of being un-ending the value of it is beyond comprehension.

To destroy this potential demands that an unfathomable and un-ending penalty be required.

The liberal mind of today has lost its understanding of Justice. The wicked are given preference over the upright and law abiding.

It is this same influence that is producing the misunderstanding of the necessity of continual punishment of those who have sinned against an infinite benevolent God.

Too many honest guards will now give their lives to keep killers incarcerated. This will not happen in God's presence, for the salvation of God's elect will be further preserved.

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Rom 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Eph 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, (NKJ)

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The Reality of Ages of

Punishment.

Now, before we go back to the beginning, look closely at the two verses above. Christ is the example and the first born among many who are to be just like him. They too have an inheritance that is similar to His.

Question: What is the inheritance of the wicked? Is their inheritance to cease to exist at the time of their death?

If they are to cease to exist at some future point in time, are they meanwhile to be in some form of torment? If they are to be punished or tormented, how long is it to last?

Now let us go back again to God's dealing with one of the first who was born of Adam and Eve, "Cain."

Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; andfrom thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. (KJV)

First, it should be obvious to most that God is just and honest. On this basis we should understand that Cain knew what he was to do relative to obeying God and yet he did not. Then after having been found in sin God still dealt with him and told him what he needed to do to correct the situation. He was told that if he did what was right he would be accepted. He was also told that he must overcome sin. God laid the complete responsibility on Cain, and made no reference to any form of inherited sin. Then God went on to curse Cain after he killed Abel. He made that curse last for the length of Cain's life. This time was tied to his life here on this earth. He was to be from that point on a fugitive, etc.

This is prolonged punishment. It had nothing to do with being tormented in a literal fire. Still, Cain would carry with him the knowledge of why and this would create a burning conscience.

God later would deal with the nation of Israel in like manner. They would be driven away from their land and allowed to return and eventually destroyed from the earth to be a nation no more. Numerous times individuals were to suffer and become slaves to others because of their sins as had happened to that nation. Eventually and end would come, but even then, those who followed Judaism would repeatedly suffer and become a curse to the world.

In the context of God's dealing with Cain we find there is no provision made other then repentance. Failure to repent produces a curse, and the curse entails punishment, and the punishment lasts for a life time.

Going back to Adam we see that He was to die in the day that he sinned. God does not lie so we know that Adam's death meant separation from God. Adam's sin earned him a lifetime of punishment. Adam and Eve no longer walked with God and they were forced out of the Garden.

In my approach to this subject, so far, I have not referred to the various meanings of words that are interpreted "punishment." The definitions of words should not be used to set aside the numerous examples where God punishes people for their sins.

Very often when ending an exposition where it has been taught that ultimately God does not punish the wicked beyond the time of their death, and other then by their death, most theologians mention their subjective aversion to torment. They admit they cannot envision their God, who is both just and loving, as demanding torture in a fire or any form of punishment that lasts for ages and ages. I would say they need a reality check.

Very often some very intelligent individuals have followed this path and it has to be because they are motivated by their emotions, not objectivity. The absence of the punishment of the wicked, while they are in a conscious state, following physical death, is based on wishful thinking.

There are more and more doctors and researchers who admit there is some sort of consciousness after death.

Torture, punishment, retribution, and the like are common to the human experience. The forms of punishment should be questioned, but not the need. I am saying this on the basis of Biblical examples.

What did US soldiers in W.W.II think, about the need of ages and ages of punishment, who arrived at any one of the concentration camps, where thousands of people had been starved to death, tortured and used for inhumane experiments?

In one case a US soldier, of small stature, who was watching some of the German guards, that had been rounded up, at one such terrible place, was manning a machine gun. When his superior officer left for a minute this man began to weep and shot at them until his officer had to knock him off of his gun. Several Germans were killed some were wounded, most were not even hit.

In connection with this act let me ask: -

Did Hitler get his due by just turning a gun upon himself, or by his drinking poison? Was that all there was to his justice. He was paid for his actions completely by nothing more then his death? He suffered all of the retribution God had ever promised to the wicked by his taking his own life?

To think this is true does not fit biblical statements. The wicked are to suffer in a manner similar to, or in keeping with, the justice required of their acts of wickedness.

How does God punish those who have been responsible for the killing of hundreds, possibly even millions, of people after their having previously tortured them unmercifully? The cessation of one life is all that is required? Nonsense!

The end of their existence is said to be sufficient, by more and more theologians. Where are their heads? They have succumbed to some sort of fantasy world. The scriptures do not support their position and it is producing more carelessness. They need a reality check. 

How can we justify the thought that hundreds of lives that all had the potential of living for ages and ages in the presence of God are not of any more value, in the sense of a just penalty, then the complete destruction and cessation of the life of one wicked individual.

David said his feet almost slipped when he considered the prosperity of the wicked.

The truth is innumerable wicked people have lived and died in relative peace and prosperity. When and where are they to be punished?

This question cannot be answered sufficiently, by referring to physical death alone, unless life here is held to be the ultimate experience. Said another way - If we cherish this life to the point of idolatry then we can honestly say that death alone is sufficient punishment for every sin.

However, if we believe that the spiritual realm and life after death is the ultimate goal, then the physical death of the wicked cannot be sufficient punishment.

Suicidal individuals seek and escape. Most are unbelieving individuals. The results of their suicidal act is hidden from them, for one reason or another. Their thinking ability has been numbed by circumstances. Depression has them in its control. Many have come to believe there is no after life. Will they ever be punished? Their ceasing to exist, is their hope.

Punishment necessarily demands conscious realization and feeling. No consciousness, and/or the absence of awareness and feeling, necessarily prevents punishment. The beating of a dead man accomplishes nothing.

Punishment is an act of the unmerited favor of God. For anyone to be removed from receiving their due would be an act of injustice and wickedness. The genuine act of repentance changes the situation. Genuine repentance is both an act of faith and righteousness. Faith is accepted as righteousness by God. The absence of genuine repentance, as a rule, is the same as an absence of faith. God alone has the power to abrogate the need of punishment and He does this when genuine faith and repentance are chosen.

The following biblical quotes are foundational to this topic.

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (KJV)

Matt 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Prov 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

II Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; (KJV)

They are to eat the fruit of their own way. This theme is repeated several times in the bible. Cessation of existence cannot be equated with the punishment pointed to in the bible.

While on this subject it should be remembered that any wicked act against another human is a wicked act against God. We are all made in God's image. The unwarranted protection of, or the prevention of the punishment of, the wicked is putting their consideration before and above that of God.

To defend the wicked, and to be squeamish concerning the meting out of righteous punishment, is to insult God.

V. M.

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Charles Finney taught the following -

Should a moral agent refuse to choose that as an ultimate end which is of no intrinsic value, he would thereby contract no guilt, because he would violate no obligation.

But should he refuse to will the good of God and of his neighbor, he would violate an obligation, and of course contract guilt.

This shows that guilt attaches to the violation of obligation, and that a thing is blameworthy because it is the violation of an obligation.

We have seen that sin is selfishness, that it consists in preferring self-gratification to the infinite interests of God and of the universe.

We have also seen that obligation is founded in the intrinsic value of that good which moral agents ought to will to God and to the universe, and is equal to the affirmed value of that good.

We have also seen that every moral agent, by a law of his own reason, necessarily affirms that God is infinite, and that the endless happiness and well-being of God and of the universe, is of infinite value.

Hence it follows, that refusal to will this good is a violation of infinite or unlimited obligation, and, consequently involves unlimited guilt.

It is as certain that the guilt of any sin is unlimited, as that obligation to will the good of God and of the universe is unlimited.

To deny consistently that the guilt of sin is unlimited, it must be shown, that obligation to will good to God is limited.

To maintain consistently this last, it must be shown, that moral agents have not the idea that God is infinite.

Indeed, to deny that the guilt of sin is in any instance less than boundless, is as absurd as to deny the guilt of sin altogether.

Having shown that moral obligation is founded in the intrinsic value of the highest well-being of God and of the universe, that it is always equal to the soul's knowledge of the value of those interests, and having shown also, that every moral agent necessarily has the idea more or less clearly developed, that the value of those interests is infinite, it follows that the law is infinitely unjust, if its penal sanctions are not endless.

Law must be just in two respects:

1. the precept must be in accordance with the law of nature, and -

2. the penalty must be equal to the importance of the precept.

That which has not these two peculiarities is not just, and therefore, is not and cannot be law.

Either, then, God has no law, or its penal sanctions are endless.

That the penal sanctions of the law of God are endless, is evident from the fact, that a less penalty would not exhibit as high motives as the nature of the case admits, to restrain sin and promote virtue.

Natural justice demands that God should exhibit as high motives to secure obedience as the value of the law demands and the nature of the case admits.

The tendency of sin to perpetuate and aggravate itself, affords another strong inference, that the sinfulness and misery of the wicked will be eternal.

The fact, that punishment has no tendency to originate disinterested love in a selfish mind towards him who inflicts the punishment, also affords a strong presumption, that future punishment will be endless.

 

BUT LET US EXAMINE THIS QUESTION IN THE LIGHT OF REVELATION.

The Bible, in a great many ways, represents the future punishment of the wicked as endless, and never once represents it otherwise. It expresses the duration of the future punishment of the wicked by the same terms, and, in every way, as forcibly as it expresses the duration of the future happiness of the righteous. I will here introduce, without comment, some passages of scripture confirmatory of this last remark.

"The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish" (Proverbs 10:28).

"When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish; and the hope of unjust men perisheth" (Proverbs 11:7).

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2).

"Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:41, 42, 46).

"And if thy hand offend thee, cut, it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:43, 44).

"Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor; and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable" (Luke 3:17).

"And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence" (Luke 16:26).

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

"And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorra, and the cities about them, in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of everlasting fire. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever" (Jude 6, 7, 13).

"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name" (Revelation 14:9-11).

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).

But there is scarcely any end to the multitude of passages that teach directly, or by inference, both the fact and the endlessness of the future punishment of the wicked.

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(I do not necessarily agree with every point Finney makes, however, it is a good thing to ponder on.   Again - It should be noted that annihilation removes both shame and punishment.

Cessation of existence removes the object, so there is nothing left to shame nor is there anything to punish. Consciousness is also absent and without it there is no punishment. Annihilation is an escape from judgment and this is sought by those who commit suicide. The meaning of the various words that are used must be understood by perusing the context. To dismiss the thought of their being ages and ages of punishment in the future for the wicked is to hide ones head in the sand.

Vern Manson. Reedited - Wednesday, 23 2002.)

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Off site article on the THE JUSTICE OF ETERNAL PUNISHMENT  (Very well done!)

To Ed Stevens Article -  "If the wicked and false teachers were merely going to be annihilated, why would a millstone death be better?"  PreteristArchive link

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