By Amos Binney and Daniel Steele
This is the extinction of animal life, and the separation of soul and body. It is the effect of (117. Is it possible for Christians to apostatize? What historical proof from Scripture? What other proof? What is death?) a widely desolating cause-that cause is sin. Rom. 5:12; Gen. 3:19; Eccl. 7:2; 8:8; Job 8:9; 14:1-2; 14:22; 33:23; Ps. 89:48; 90:10; Heb. 9:27; James 4:14.
We find on record two exceptions to this general calamity. These were removed from the earth by translation. II Kings 2:11; Heb. 11:5.
The soul neither dies nor sleeps with the body. Eccl. 33:21; 12:7.
Since every man's earthly life is the gift of God, (Gen. 2:7; Job 33:4; Acts 17:25,) all murder is forbidden under penalty of a forfeiture of life both temporal and eternal. Gen. 9:6; Lev. 24:17, 21; Matt. 19:18; I John 3:15; Rev. 21:8.
As this life is short and the time of death is left uncertain, (Job 8:9; 9:25; Eccl 9:12,) and as death terminates our probationary state, it is highly important that we be always duly prepared. Eccl. 9:10; Rev. 22:11; Ps. 90:12; Matt. 24:44; Luke 12:35-37; Rom. 13:11, etc.; Titus 2:12-13; I Pet. 4:7; II Pet. 3:11. (118. What is the cause of death? What exceptions? Does the soul die or sleep with the body? Have we any right to take away life in any way? What penalty? What is our duty in view of death?)
2. INTERMEDIATE STATE.
The term future state is used in relation to man's existence in a future life, including the soul's separate existence after the death of the body, and its ultimate and eternal re-union with the body in its resurrection state. That state in which the soul exists between the death and resurrection of the body is called the intermediate state.
(a.) INTERMEDIATE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS.
Sometimes called paradise, an Asiatic word used to describe the parks and pleasure grounds of Oriental monarchs. It is used also in the Greek version of the Old Testament, of the Garden of Eden, (Gen. 2:8, etc.,) and hence in time it came to be used to designate heaven. Luke 23:43; II Cor. 22:2-4; Rev. 2:7.
It is commonly thought to represent what is called the intermediate state of the righteous between death and the resurrection, (Luke 23:43,) as does the phrase Abraham's bosom. Luke 16:22. The Scriptures, however, whatever they may say respecting such a state, do not teach any intermediate place; that is, a place short of and distinctive from heaven, the (119. What is the intermediate state?) abode of Christ. Compare Mark 16:19; Heb 10:24; Acts 7:55, 59; II Cor. 5:1-8; Phil 1: 23.
The souls of the righteous dead enter upon this state immediately. Luke 16:22; Rev. 14: 13. This is distinctly taught by Christ. Luke 23:43. Those who teach the non-immortality of the soul have wrested these words of Christ so as to make him say, What I say to you I say to-day. This is quite as absurd as it would be to pervert in the same way the following passages: Luke 19:9; Heb. 3:7; 4:7; James 4:13; Exod. 9:5.
(b.) INTERMEDIATE STATE OF THE WICKED.
The souls of the wicked are not cast into the lake of fire until after the resurrection and general judgment. Matt. 25:41; II Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 14:10-11; 20:10-15.
But they are in a state of conscious suffering as the consequence of their guilt. Luke 16: 22-28.
This will consist in remorse for their misdeeds, and in a separation from those sensual objects on which their hearts have been fixed, (Luke 12:19-21,) and in a conscious loss of the (120. What will be the condition of the souls of the righteous? What will be the intermediate state of the wicked?) smiles of God and the joys of paradise. Luke 13:28; 16:26.
The desires, passions, and sinful propensities all remaining but no longer finding gratification will naturally become more inflamed and tormenting before the infliction of positive penalties in the day of judgment. Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:24; Rev.20:11-12.
3. MESSIAH'S KINGDOM-ITS PROGRESS AND ULTIMATE TRIUMPH.
The doctrine respecting this glorious achievement is found in the Divine promises:
(a.) As directly revealed to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Gen. 12:3; 13:14-16; 15:1-5; 18:18; 22:17-18; 26:3-4; 28:13-14. That this promise relates to Abraham's spiritual seed is seen by comparing Rom. 4:13-25; Gal. 3:6-29.
(b.) As expressed by the inspired prophets of the Old Testament. Gen. 49:10; Num. 14: 21; 24:17-19; Ps. 2:7-8; 22:27-28; 72:8, 11,17,19; Isa. 2:2-4; 9:6-7; 49:6; 52:10; Hab. 2:14; Zech. 9:9-10; Ezek. 47:1-12; Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14, 27; Joel 2:28-29; Micah 4:1-7; Mal. 1:11. (121. What is said of Messiah's kingdom? How proved?)
(c.) As expressed in those prophecies which distinctly relate to the final restoration of the Jews by their conversion to Christianity. Deut. 30:3-6; Isa. 1:24-27; 49:5-26; 60:15-22; 62:4-12; Jer. 3:12-18; 23:5-8; 31:10-12, 31-34; 32:37-44; 31:7-16; Ezek. 20:34,40-42; 28:25-26; 36:24-29; 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4,5; Amos 9:11-15; Micah 7:18-20; Zeph. 3:19-20; Zech. 8:1-9. That these prophecies relate to their salvation through Christ is seen by comparing Rom. 11:26; Gal. 3:7-1 6.
(d.) The Christian Church is the appointed and appropriate instrumentality of this work. By her prayer as taught of Christ. Matt. 6:10. By her example. Matt. 5:14, 16; Phil. 2:15. By the universal spread of the Gospel. Matt. 28:19-20; 24:14; Acts 1:8; Rev. 14:6; 22:17. However small and discouraging the commencement of this work, and slow and imperceptible its progress, it is to be crowned with ultimate and universal success. Compare Isa, 60:22; Dan. 2:35- 45; Ezek. 47:3-5; Matt. 13:31-33.
This glorious period is called the millennium, a word used to denote the thousand (122. What is the instrumentality? Its method of action? What is said of the millennium?) years mentioned Rev. 20:4-6, during which Satan is bound, and Christ reigns in his spiritual presence on earth with his saints. But by the thousand years is probably meant, not exactly ten hundred years, but an indefinitely long period, as this is the Scripture usage of the phrase. Deut. 7:9; Ps. 84:10; 90:4; Isa. 60:22; Eccl. 6:6; II Pet. 3:8.
4. THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST.
The coming of Christ to judge the world in his human form will be his second appearance, answering to his first appearance on earth in his human nature. Matt. 25:31; Acts 1: 11; I Thess. 4:16; II Thess. 1: 7-8; Heb. 9:27-28. It will be a bodily and visible coming, (Rev. 1: 7,) suddenly bursting upon the human race when engaged in their daily pursuits and pleasures. Matt. 24:36-51; 24:1-14. The time of the second coming of Christ was, during his incarnation, as a part of his humiliation, unknown to him, but it was a secret in the bosom of the Father. Mark 13:32. The purpose of his coming will be to raise the dead, to judge the human family, to sentence the wicked to everlasting punishment, and to gather the righteous to the eternal reward (123. What is said of the second advent of Christ?) of heaven. Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 17:31; II Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 22:10-15; 21:8.
It is the duty of believers to live in daily expectation of this great event , (Mark 13:33-37) and to love the appearing of their Lord. Rom. 8:23; I Thess. 1:10; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; II Pet. 3:11-14; Rev. 22:20.
5. THE GENERAL RESURRECTION.
By this is meant the raising to life from the dead the bodies of all mankind, incorruptible, and the reuniting of them to their souls. The bodies raised must be substantially the same bodies, or the term resurrection is absurd; and for God to give an entirely new body would be rather a new creation. This doctrine , though above reason, is not contrary to it, and, therefore, no more incredible, than is that of its creation at first. Gen. 2:7; Acts 27:8; I Cor. 15:12-23, 45-58.
It is no more difficult for God to change our vile bodies from the corruption of death into forms of angelic purity and beauty, than it is to transform charcoal into the sparkling diamond; (124. What is the duty of believers? What is meant by the general resurrection? Will the bodies be the same? Is not this incredible? By what examples are its possibility and probability proved?) for the latter differs from the former only in the crystalline arrangement of its atoms. There are also examples which indicate a resurrection in insects, vegetables, and trees, from year to year. While these each the possibility and probability of man's resurrection the Bible explicitly declares the doctrine. Job 14:12-15; 19:25-27; Ps. 16:9-1l; Isa 26:19; Dan. 12:2; Hos. 13:14; Matt 22:28-32; John 5:28-29; Acts 17:31-32; 24:14-15; 26:8; I Cor. 15:12-55; II Cor. 5:1-10; Phil. 3:20-21; I Thess 4:13-18. Rev. 20:12-13.
The doctrine of the resurrection is fundamental to Christianity, as the whole Gospel stands or falls with the truth of it, especially that of Christ. Acts 2:23-36; 13:30-37; Rom. 1: 4; I Cor. 15:12, etc.
The term resurrection is also used in a symbolical sense to denote the raising of souls from a state of sin to a state of life and true holiness. Ezek. 37:1-14; John 5:21, 25; Rom.6:1-7; Eph. 2:1, 5-6. But the resurrection of the body is always represented as future, that of the soul, as in the present time. (125. What texts explicitly prove the doctrine? Is this of importance to Christianity? What is said of the term as used symbolically? How is the literal distinguished from the symbolical?)
6. GENERAL JUDGMENT.
By this is meant that important period which is to terminate the present state of existence, and in which there is to be a general trial of angels and men, holy and unholy. Acts 17:31; 24:15; Jude 6, 7, 14, 15.
The evidences of such a day are,
1. The justice of God requires it, as this attribute is not clearly and fully displayed in the present life. Ezra 9:13; Ps. 103:10; 73:1-19; 92:7; Job 21:7-34; Eccl 8:11, 14; Luke 6:24, 25; 17:25; Rom. 9:22.
2. The dictates of conscience and reason suggest this. Acts 24:25; Rom. 2:15-16.
3. The resurrection of Christ is a certain proof of it. Acts 17:31; Rom. 14:9; Phil. 3:10-11.
4. Those texts which limit the judgment to a future and definite time. Eccl. 9:9; 12:14; Mal. 3:16-18; 4:1; Matt. 12:36; 13:38-43; 16:27; 15:31, etc.; John 5:28-29; 12:48; Acts 17:31; 24:25; Rom. 2:5-16; I Cor. 3:13; 4:5; II Cor. 5:10; II Tim. 4:1; II Pet. 2:9; 3:7; Jude 6; Rev. 20: 12-13.
5. Those which speak of former generations (126. What is meant by the general judgment? Give the evidences in their order.) being reserved unto the judgment. Matt. 10:15; 21:23-24; Luke 11:31-32; Jude 6, 7,14, 15.
The judgment day should be considered as the most sublime, solemn, and interesting of all events. Then time and human probation will close. Rev. 10:6; 22:11-12. The material world will be changed, and men and devils receive their irrevocable sentence from the righteous Judge. II Pet. 3:7-12; Jude 6, 14, 15; Rev. 20:10-15.
The Scriptures use this word in three different senses: (1.) For the atmosphere around us, where the clouds and fowls are seen. Gen 1:7-8, 20; Matt. 24:30. (2.) For that immeasurable space in which the sun and stars have their position. Gen. 1:14, etc.; 15:5; Josh. 10:13. (3.) For that glorious abode, where the omnipresent God more immediately dwells, called the third heaven. II Cor. 12:2; the heaven of heavens. Deut. 10:14; I Kings 8:27; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 68:33; the state and place of blessedness to which the saints attain after the present life. II Kings 2:1, 11; II Cor. 5:1-2; Heb. 10:34; 11:16. (127. How should the judgment day be regarded? Why? In what three senses is the word heaven used?)
Respecting the exact locality of this place Scripture is silent, and human conjectures are various and conflicting. It is generally represented as being somewhere away from this earth, and therefore up in the strictest sense of the word. Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; John 3:13; 6:62; Acts 1:9-11; Eph. 4:10; I Thess. 4:16-17; I Tim. 3:16; Heb. 9:24.
Of this heavenly world nothing is revealed to gratify our curiosity in the present life; even departed spirits, on returning to earth, have not been allowed to reveal what has been made known to them. Compare Matt. 17:3; 27:52-53; Luke 7:15; John 11:44; II Cor. 12:4; yet quite enough is known to call out our earnest desires and preparation for this heavenly state. II Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:21-23; Heb. 11:13-16; I John 3:2-3.
The prominent features of this blessed life are its holiness, its happiness, and the presence of the Lord. Psa. 16:11; 17:15; Job 19:26-27; John 14:1-3; 17:24; I Cor. 13:9-12; II Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:21-23; I Thess. 4:16-17; Heb. 12:14; I John 3:2-3; Rev. 3:21; 21:3-4, 7, 22-27; 22:1-5.
Heaven was prepared for the righteous from (128. What is said of the locality of heaven? What of its nature is revealed? What are its prominent features?) the beginning, Matt. 25:34; and Jesus has gone to perfect it and to prepare the way to it by his mediation for all such as come to him. John 14:1-3, 6; Heb. 7:25.
There are various degrees of glory in heaven-called mansions, John xiv, 1- suited to the different capacities and moral attainments of the faithful. Dan. 12:2; Matt. 18:4; 20:23; I Cor. 15:41.
John Newton once said that if he ever entered heaven, he might, probably, meet three great wonders: ( 1.) In finding some there whom he had supposed would not be there. (2.) In not finding some there whom he had expected would be there. (3.) Most of all in finding himself there. "The Lord seeth not as man seeth." I Sam. 16:6-7; Mal. 3:17-18; II Tim. 2:19.
This word, translated from the Hebrew sheol and the Greek hades, originally means the concealed place, the state or condition of all departed spirits, whether righteous or the wicked, and, therefore, does not necessarily (129. When and for whom was heaven prepared? Are there different degrees? What id John Newton say? What is the original meaning of the word hell?) denote a place of torment. Compare Acts 2:27, 31; Luke 17:23.
When the place of final punishment is designated other words are used, such as gehenna, Matt. 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6; and tartarus. II Pet. 2:4. (Greek.).
Though many of the Scripture terms and phrases used to describe this punishment are metaphorical, yet they represent a dreadful reality, and are designed to convey the idea of the greatest and most terrible torments possible. Ps. 9:17; 50:22; Mal. 4:1; Matt. 3:12; 8:12; 13:42; 25:41,46; Mark 9:43-44; Luke 13:28; 16:24, 28; Rom. 2:8-9; II Thess. 1:8-9; Jude 13-15; Rev. 6:15-17; 14:10-11; 20:14-15; 21:8.
The strongest possible terms are used to express the endless duration of this punishment. Matt. 25:41,46; Mark 3:29; 9:43-48; Luke 16:26; II Thess. 1:9; Jude 7, 13; Rev. 20:10.
The same terms are sometimes applied in a limited sense to such things as must certainly (130. What other terms are used to designate the place of final punishment? Is this state of punishment ever described metaphorically? What does such language represent? How is its endless duration expressed? Are ther same terms ever applied to be in a limited sense?) have an end; as appears by a comparison of the following texts: Gen. 49:26; Hab. 3:6; II Pet. 3:10; Rev. 6:14; 16:20.
The representation of the punishment of the wicked is so connected with the happiness of the righteous in point of time and duration as prove it to be future and eternal. Dan. 12:2; Isa. 55:16-17; Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; Rom. 2:5-l1; Rev. 22:11-12.
The great solicitude of Christ and his apostles for the salvation of men implies that the wicked are exposed to eternal punishment Deut. 30:15-19; 32:29; Jer. 8:18-22; 9:1-2; Ezek. 18:30-32; Luke 13:24-28, 34; Acts 20:17-31; 21:13; Rom. 9:1-3; II Cor. 6:1-9; 8:9; I Pet. 2:21-24; 3:17-18; Rev. 6:9-11.
Socrates and Plato, the exponents of the highest uninspired human reason, taught the doctrine of the endless suffering of all incurable souls. In this they agreed with the ancient mythology. Hence the tenet is not unreasonable, since it is a principle of natural religion and of moral philosophy resulting from a perversion of free agency. Compare Prov. 1:31-32; Gal.6: 7-8; Rev. 22:11, 12. (131. Are the same terms applied alike to represent the duration of both hell and heaven? What does the great solicitude of Christ and others for the salvation of men imply? What did Socrates and Plato teach?)
The infliction of suffering as a penalty for sin is not inconsistent with the Divine mercy, but rather such a display of that mercy as calls for appropriate praise. Exod. 15:1-21; 34:6-7; Ps. 58:10-11; 62:12; 136:1, 10, 15, etc.; 149:5-9.
If, then, through all time the Divine mercy has in fact not only permitted, but actually inflicted suffering as a punishment of sinners, as well as for disciplinary and salutary purposes, why may not eternal punishment be consistent with the Divine mercy? Lev. 24:10-16; Num. xv, 30-36; Josh. 7:1-9; Isa. 66:24; I Cor. 10:5-1l; II Pet. 2:6; Jude 7; Rev. 9:1-6.
Future punishment cannot mean annihilation, extinction, or non-existence-for what ceases to be ceases to suffer, whereas suffering implies continued conscious existence: hence called everlasting punishment. Matt. 25:46; II Thess. 1:9; Jude 7.
Of annihilation there can be neither more nor less; it is therefore inconsistent with the scriptural doctrine of different degrees of punishment. (132. Is punishment consistent with divine mercy? Does it exhibit that mercy? How? If temporal infliction for sin illustrates the divine mercy, why may not eternal punishment equally demonstrate bot the divine love and justice?) Matt. 10:15, 11:22-24; 12: 41, 42; 23:14; Luke 12:47-48; Heb. 10:26-29.
The annihilationists of the present day assert that the soul dies with the holy; that this death constitutes the punishment of sin; and that this is the state of all the dead, a state of non-being. That the only difference between the righteous and the wicked is, that the righteous are consigned to this punishment, some of them for thousands of years, until Christ shall raise them to immortality; while the wicked are left in eternal death. This doctrine is contrary to the Scriptures in general especially the following Ps. 16:10; Dan 12:2; Luke 16:22-28, 23:43, John 5:28-29, Acts 7:55, 59, II Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:21-23, Rev. 14:10-13, Matt. 22:32.
It is contended by some that the punishment of sin consists, for the most part, in remorse of conscience, and that every sinner suffers this in proportion to his guilt, and at the time of transgression.
This doctrine cannot be true, 1. Because conscience in every individual is not the same; while it condemns some for doing what is right (133. What is said of the doctrine of annihilation? Does it admit of degrees of punishment? Does that doctrine conflict with Scripture? Does not the punishment of sin consist in part in remorse of conscience?) in itself; it acquits others for doing what is actually wrong. Acts 26:9, etc.; I Tim. 1:13.
2. Because progress in sin is attended with increasing insensibility; while the first deviation from duty is attended with a keen sense of guilt, on the second offense the conscience feels less, and so on until she is lulled to sleep. Eph. 4:19; I Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:15.
If there is no punishment beyond this life, and all who die become immediately happy, then it might be inferred, from his administration, that God is the friend of sinners rather than of the righteous. Thus the antediluvians and Sodomites were taken in their crimes immediately to heaven, while righteous Noah and Lot were left to endure the further trials and sufferings of this life. But compare II Pet. 2:4-9.
If punishment is followed by admittance to the rewards of heaven, then there can be salvation without the blood of Christ, and his cross is made of none effect. John 14:6; Heb. 9: 12-28; Rev. 1:5. (134. Give some proof that this is not a sufficient punishment. If there is no future punishment, what may we infer? If heaven follows a limited punishment what is the inference?)