Where Are The Issues Of Eternity Settled – Before Or After Death – Spiritual Reading.
There remains one other important question; and that is, where are the issues of eternity settled. There are those who believe that the punishment of the persistently impenitent is everlasting, that it has no end, but they also believe that the issues of eternity are not settled in the life that now is, but that with many they are settled after death and that when men die impenitent they will have another chance.
Believing in endless punishment does not necessarily involve believing that there is no chance after death. There are many who believe that there will be a chance after death, and that many will accept it, who also believe that some will not accept it and will therefore be punished for ever and ever. Now what is the teaching of the Word of God on this point?
Let me call your attention to four passages, any one of which settles the question, and taken together they leave no possible room for doubt for any candid man who is willing to take the Bible as meaning what it says, any man who is really trying to find out what the Bible teaches and not merely trying to support a theory.
The first passage in:
2 Cor. 5:10: “For we must all be made manifest before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
In this passage we [are plainly told that the basis of judgment in the world to come is “the things done in the body,” i.e., the things done this side the grave, the things done before we shuffle off this mortal coil, the things done before the spirit leaves the body. Of course, this particular passage has to do primarily with the judgment of the believer, but it shows what the basis of future judgment is, viz., the things done this side of the grave.
The second passage is:
Heb. 9:27: “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment.” Here we are distinctly told that “after death” there is to be, not an opportunity to prepare for judgment, but “judgment,” and that, therefore, our destiny is settled at death, and that there is no chance of salvation “after death.”
The third passage is:
John 5:28, 29: “Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.” Here also it is clearly implied that the resurrection of good and bad is for the purpose of judgment regarding the things done before their bodies were laid in their graves.
A fourth passage, if possible more decisive than any of these, gives our Lord’s words:
John 8:21: “He said therefore again unto them; I go away, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your [sin, whither I go, ye cannot come.” Here our Lord distinctly declares that the question whether men shall come to be with Him or not depends upon what they do before they die, that if they die impenitent, if they “die in their sins,” that whither He goes they cannot come. To sum up the teaching of all these passages, the issues of eternity, the issues of eternal life or eternal destruction, the issues of eternal blessedness and glory, or eternal agony and shame, are settled in the life that now is.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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