The immortality of man or of the human soul is not then a necessary conclusion from this premise. It has also commonly been argued either a priori that the immortality of the soul demands the everlasting punishment of the wicked as well as the everlasting blessedness of the redeemed, or a posteriori that the endless punishment of the wicked as well as the endless blessedness of the redeemed demands the immortality of the soul.
What may be deduced from the Biblical revelation? First of all, that man as originally created was both potentially immortal and potentially mortal.
In close association with this is his having been created potentially sinless, but also potentially sinful. The possibility of his sinning involved the possibility of his dying, just as the possibility of his not sinning involved the possibility of his not dying. As we have remarked earlier, this does not mean that man was originally created in a state of neutrality between righteousness and sinfulness and between living and dying; for, on the contrary, his creation in the divine image, which is the bond of his personal fellowship with his Maker, placed his existence quite positively within the sphere of godliness and life.
His loving and grateful concurrence with the will of God, who is the source of his life and blessedness, would have ensured the continuation of his existence in unclouded blessing as he conformed himself to that image in which he is constituted. It was by his rebellion against his Creator that he passed from a positive to a negative relationship and brought the curse upon himself. His death, which is the sum of that curse, is also the evidence that man is not inherently immortal. To contend that only the human soul is innately immortal is to maintain a position which is nowhere approved in the teaching of Scripture, for in the biblical purview human nature is always seen as integrally compounded of both the spiritual and the bodily.
If this were not so, the whole doctrine of the incarnation and of the death and resurrection of the Son would be despoiled of meaning and reality. Man is essentially a corporeal-spiritual entity. The immortality, accordingly, of which the Christian is assured is not inherent in himself or in his soul but is bestowed by God and is the immortality of the whole person in the fullness of his humanity, bodily as well as spiritual. This immortality, unearned by us, has been gained for us by the incarnate Son who, by partaking of our human nature in its fullness, both bodily and spiritual, and by dying our death, nullified the power of the devil and removed from us the fear and the sting of death Heb.
Our new life in Christ, which includes our ultimate resurrection to life and immortality, is owed entirely to God and his grace. Look at 1 Timothy , To him be honor and eternal dominion.
Man’s Destiny – as God Intended
The immortality which was potentially ours at creation and was forfeited in the fall is now really ours in Christ, in whom we are created anew and brought to our true destiny. We have objected that the survival of the person, or the soul, in the intermediate state between death and resurrection does not necessarily imply its everlasting survival. What God has brought into being he can also destroy. The fate of these cities was seen as a warning and a typification of the final judgment of the wicked.
Thus in Rev. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Even though this was not the final judgment, the obliterating fire is described as eternal fire. The reason for this, no doubt, is that it was a divine fire, the fire of judgment sent by the Lord; for obviously in the case of these cities the fire was not eternally endured by their inhabitants.
It was fire that struck and left devastation from which no restoration could follow. This consideration may reasonably raise the question whether the eternal and unquenchable fire of the final judgment will be eternally endured by those who are consigned to it. Such terminology can certainly bear the inference that the torment of the damned in hell will be endlessly continued; and this inference has been thought, as we mentioned, to provide an appropriate balance for the doctrine of the everlasting life which, as is universally agreed, the redeemed are to enjoy without end or term.
It is a balance on which, for example, Augustine insisted. It is so wonderful that God, our Creator, has left us the freedom to choose for ourselves what our ultimate eternal destiny will be.
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There is a difference between fate and destiny. Fate, like death, is unavoidable.
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It is an appointment which every person must keep. The true God is not indiscriminate in His judgments, but distinguishes between the Filthy and Unjust, the Righteous, and the Holy. We can clearly see that there are three eternal destinies for mankind, not just two as Christianity has mistakenly taught us.
The simple truth is that God recognizes another category of people: those who are righteous according to the instinctive knowledge of the truth which is inherent within their conscience. Perhaps you are not used to thinking in terms of three eternal destinies, yet the truth of these words resonates with your conscience.
How could a righteous and just God cast righteous and just people into the Lake of Fire?
The Destiny of Man
Will He condemn men and women to eternal torment who suffer to keep a good conscience? Will He treat them the same as the cowardly, self-seeking, greedy, deceitful, and sexually filthy people who defile and corrupt themselves and others? What is the point of having a conscience anyway if God does not reward those who suffer to maintain it? So who can you blame when you arrive at your eternal destination? It is ultimately up to you to decide what your eternal destiny will be.
The Creator will not force you to do what is right. The E-mail Address es you entered is are not in a valid format. Please re-enter recipient e-mail address es. You may send this item to up to five recipients. The name field is required. Please enter your name. The E-mail message field is required.
- Near Field Communications Handbook (Internet and Communications).
- One Man's Destiny by C.R. Dickey.
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