There is no greater mischief done to men, than by spreading among them false opinions which remove beneficial restraints. I am writing here about those restraints which preserve men from indulging in sin, or relying on a false security. Those same false opinions persuade men to neglect that preparation which is necessary for death and judgment. One such false opinion may be more dangerous than all others to the good of men; it is the opinion that there is no Hell or future punishment. Archibald Alexander gives us more information to help our understanding of this matter:
“He, who believes on the Son, has everlasting life; and he, who believes not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
Here there is no room for any doubt on account of the import of particular terms. That the life here spoken of is life in a future state cannot be denied, for it is expressly called everlasting life; and it is expressly asserted that unbelievers shall not partake of this life. Now if they are deprived of life in the future world, they are deprived of happiness; there is no medium between life and death, happiness and misery. Unbelievers must therefore be miserable in the future world. And this seems to be asserted strongly in the last words quoted: “And the wrath of God abides on him.” These words do not merely signify that the unbeliever is under wrath while in this world, but that this is an abiding state. It is the contrast to the possession of eternal life. While the wicked are in this world, they are indeed under a sentence of wrath, but the execution of this wrath is reserved for a future state. The greatest sinners and most obstinate unbelievers live in ease and pleasure here, and do not suffer the wrath under the sentence of which they lie. But it will abide upon them, and the vials of this divine wrath will be poured out upon them to all eternity. . . .
Let us now attend to a few testimonies from the apostle Paul. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23. Here the just rules of interpretation require us to consider death, as it stands in contrast with eternal life, to be eternal death.
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction.” Phil. 3:18, 19. This destruction, which comes at the end of the sinner’s course, cannot be natural death; for all are subject to death—the friends as well as the enemies of the cross. It is certainly a destruction which is peculiar to the wicked, and as it is their end, must be future punishment, or the second death. (“Future Punishment: The Universalist Refuted” by Archibald Alexander)
Filed under: Bible, Christianity, Faith, Holiness, Satan, Theology | Tagged: Archibald Alexander, Christ, Christianity, God, Immortality, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Paul the Apostle | Comments Off