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The Eternality of Future Judgment, Part 2

  • Broadcast in Christianity
Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III


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The Bible says in Matthew 25:46: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

The featured quote for this episode is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”

Our topic for today is "The Eternality of Future Judgment (Part 2)" from the book, "Christian Theology" by Dr. Millard J. Erickson.

John A. T. Robinson says, "The genuine universalist will base nothing on the fact (which is a fact) that the New Testament word for eternal does not necessarily mean everlasting, but enduring only for an indefinitely long period. For he can apply this signification to 'eternal punishment' in Matthew 25:46 only if he is willing to give exactly the same sense to 'eternal life' in the same verse. As F. D. Maurice said many years ago now, writing to F. J. A. Hort: 'I did not see how 'eternal' could mean one thing when it was joined with 'punishment' and another when it was joined with 'life.' To admit that the two phrases are not parallel is at once to treat them with unequal seriousness. And that, a true universalism must refuse to do."

A problem arises from the fact that Scripture speaks not merely of eternal death (which one might interpret as meaning that the wicked will not be resurrected), but of eternal fire, eternal punishment, and eternal torment as well. What kind of God is it who is not satisfied by a finite punishment but makes humans suffer for ever and ever? This seems to be beyond the demands of justice; it appears to involve a tremendous degree of vindictiveness on the part of God.


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