CHRIST WILL ACCOMPLISH HIS MISSION
1. The object of Christ’s ministry was to redeem universal humanity. “For the son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 29:10 “Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of Him that sent, and to finish his work. John 4:34 “For God sent not His son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14
2. He labors in this and the future world to effect His purpose. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit: by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. 1 Peter 3:18-20 “Who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For, for this cause, was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” 1 Peter 4:5.6
3. He has ample power to do all He attempts. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28: 18 “As thou hast given Him over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him.” John17:2 “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.” Romans 14:9 “For our conversation is in heave; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” Philippians 3:20,21 “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all thine into His hand.” John 3:35
4. He will be successful. “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. Isaiah 53:10 “This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” John 4:42
Jesus Himself said: “It is finished. John 19:30 He undertakes to save all men, He labors here and hereafter to accomplish His purpose, he has power to achieve it, and is actually and absolutely “the Savior of THE WORLD,” which He could not be if one soul were lost.
Hence: 1. All souls were created for Christ.
Having become unreconciled, He died to bring them into harmony with God. 3. He had so succeeded in establishing the requisite means that He was able to see the result accomplished. 4….It is a universal reconciliation, “all things are reconciled.”
“For the love of Christ constraineth us: because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh; yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the world of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we, pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5: 14-21
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the images of the invisible god, the first born of every creature: for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him: and he is before all things, and by Him all things consist, and He is the Head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead: that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell: and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were some time alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled.” Colossians 4:13-31 Therefore….
He will draw all men unto Him, and they will obey the call, and submit to Him in willing and righteous obedience.
“He tasted death for every man” Hebrew 2:9 that each might become His disciple, and possess eternal life, and this He declares all men will have, as surely as He is lifted up, that is, crucified. Now is the Judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be case out. “And if I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die. John 12:31,33
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise Him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught by God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me.” John 6:44,45
“As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” John 17:2
“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” Mathew 11:27
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to Me; and Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out, for I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which, seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may be having everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day.” John 6:37-40
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindred’s of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s and He is the governor among the nations” Psalms 22:27,28
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
The phrase “under the earth” Kataxthonion, means infernal, and the whole description, says Bretschneider, “is equivalent to all mankind.” Professor Stuart says: “Things in heaven, earth and under the earth is a common periphrasis of the Hebrew and New Testament writers for the universe.” Albert Barnes says: “The whole universe shall confess that He is Lord. This is a willing confession, to God’s glory, and must therefore be of sincere worship.”
“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.” Psalms 1:23
This must be universal worship, as it is all to the glory of God the Father. There are no unwilling worshiper’s hence the Apostle teaches that the result of Christ’s mission is to render all souls righteous:
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned, for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come. But not as the offense also is the free gift:
For if through the offense of one, many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offenses death reigned by one: much more they which receive abundance of grace and of more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
“There upon, as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:12-21
All have sinned, and become subjects to death, and the same all are to be made spiritually alive. The same “many” who were disobedient sinners are to be made righteous.
Says Dr. Macknight (Scotch Presbyterian): “for as hoi polloi, the many, in the first part of the verse, does not mean some of mankind only, but all mankind, from first to last, who without exception are constituted through the disobedience of Adam are sinners; so the many in the latter part of the verse, who are said to be constituted righteous through the obedience of Christ must mean all mankind, from the beginning to the end of the world, without exception.”
Thus these many, ie, all mankind, are to become actively righteous. Says Professor Stuart. Dikaioi, moreover, must have an active sense here, in order to make out the antithesis to hanartoloi, which clearly bears only an active sense, if the usus loquendi may decide this point; at least it does so wherever else it is employed
The “many” who died in sin, died as Adam died and are to be made alive with spiritual life, as Christ was alive…..that is, all men are to resemble Christ as they have resembled Adam. This the Apostle illustrates by the figure of a pair of scales:
“As in Adam all die…………..EVEN SO………..In Christ shall all be made alive.”
Nothing can be plainer or more positive than the Bible presentation of the final Resurrection. It demonstrates the deliverance of universal humanity from sin and suffering. It describes a state in which evil has vanished from the moral universe. The resurrection is employed as a figure, sometimes, that is, as a nation, or local, or moral awakening, and sin is said to follow it, but in all such instances the circumstances limit it, and show that it is not the final resurrection. Such a usage is the following:
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about; and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And He said unto me, son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O, Lord God, thou knowest.
Again he said unto me, prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones, behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone and when I beheld, lo, the sinew and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above, but there was no breath in them.
Then said He unto me, prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, Son of man, and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God; come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into then, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Then He said unto me, son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold they say our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, thus saith the Lord God; behold O’ my people, I will open your graves, and cause you come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.” Ezekiel 37
Had not the explanation in verse eleven been given, it might have been thought that this is a description of the literal resurrection, but it is seen to be a poetical statement of deliverance from the Babylonish captivity. A similar use of language is found in the following passages:
“I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Revelation 3:1
“And you hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1
“For this my son was dead, is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Luke 15:24
“That I may know him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-12
This is a resurrection attainable in this life. Not as though I had already attained, but, if I might by any means attain unto the resurrection of the dead. But the following is the most striking instance:
“Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming which all that are in the graves 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 damnation: John 5: 28,29
That this is not the general resurrection is evident.
Because it took place then, and is not now future, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
Because in this account all are not said to be raised, but only those who had “done good or evil.” This excluded half the human race, which, dying in infancy, never has done good or evil.
Or if it be claimed that all are raised, then only the good and evil are assigned and the rest are left unprovided for.
Because this resurrection follows the judgment, whereas, in the popular view, the final resurrection preceded the judgment.
Because in the final resurrection no judgment follows. See 1 Corinthians 15
Because the dead are not raised from Hades, but from “the graves” as in Ezekiel 37
This is a moral awakening, of those dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore can only include those who have good or evil, and not all men. It is parallel with Daniel 12:2 and Matthew 24……Daniel says
“Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” That Daniel’s is a local and figurative use of the word is evident:
Because it is not all men but “many” who are raised, and
Because this was to be at the second appearing of Christ during the lifetime of those who heard Christ speak. Daniels 3:1 says:
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.
Jesus says: “There shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matthew 24:21
That the Prophet Daniel and Jesus refer to the same event is evident:
“When ye, therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand,) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains? Let him which is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. Matthew 24:15,17,21
All these descriptions refer to the moral awakening, or anastasis that Jesus caused. But the final resurrection is a different event. It is described by Jesus and Paul:
The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him, saying, Master, Moses said, that if a man die, having no children his brother shall marry his wife. And raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren; and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and having no issue, left his wife unto his brother; like the second also. And the third, unto the seventh. And last of all, the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them: Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of god in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read, that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Matthew 22:21-32 Luke 20:34-38 also Mark 12:18-27
All are raised according to this statement, “the dead are raised.”
All the dead are immortal. “Neither can they die any more.
They are angels.
They are like God in character.
All must be holy and happy forever, as all are immortal, godlike, angels.
The objection sometimes offered to this view is in the phrase Luke uses, but that the other evangelists do not “they, which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world.” But this phrase is a reply to the Pharisees who denied that some would be deemed worthy to rise. Jesus having said that all will rise, says they “having been accounted worthy,” (kataxiothentes) are immortal and holy. The lexicographers define this word thus: Donnegan says “to deem worthy, to honor, to esteem, to desire, to sue for.” Greenfield, “to account worthy, to esteem fit.” Dr George Campbell thus translated it:
“But among them who shall be honored to share in the resurrection and the other world.”
The “Emphatic Diaglott” defines the phrase “having been accounted worthy.” The language is this: “The children of this world marry and are given in marriage but they
having been accounted worthy to obtain that world, that is, the resurrection of the dead, are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”
That he taught this doctrine is evident from verse 33. “And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine.” What astonished them? In His audience were:
Pharisees who believed in partial salvation. Had He taught that He would not have astonished them.
Sadducees, who denied the resurrection. Had He taught that, He would not have astonished them.
Heathen, who entertained views similar to those of the partialist’s of the present day. Had He taught endless punishment for apportion mankind, He would not have astonished them.
The only doctrine that could have astonished all these classes, was the resurrection of all souls to holiness and happiness. He taught something new and different to what all these classes received. Universal salvation is the only possible view different from the doctrines of all these. Hence Jesus warned His hearers against the old ideas.
“The Jesus said unto them, take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees”…. “Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of he leaven of bread, but of he doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”
He rejected the idea of all and taught that the resurrection condition is one of universal holiness, Paul’s view accords perfectly with the doctrine of the Savior:
“But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruit of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward, they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then, cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power, for He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy (that) shall be destroyed (is) death. (The words…..that and is ….are supplied by the translators.) What Paul says is “The last enemy, Death, shall be destroyed.”
“For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith, all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is, excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that, God may be all in all.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery:
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible; and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall death be swallowed up in victory.
O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15: 20-28 and 42-58
Here we see, 1. All mankind are included. The same (all) that die as Adam died will be resuscitated. 2. They are not merely to live, but are to live “in Christ,” And as is the first fruit so is the harvest. 3. They are to be new creatures, and wear the image of the heavenly. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17
It is a condition of “glory” “incorruptibility” “immortality.” 5. It is not the resurrection of the body, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” 6. Death is to be destroyed. 7. All man’s enemies are to be annihilated. 8. And man is to be victor through Christ over all.
“And in this mountain shall the lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees, well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces: and the rebuke of His people shall be taken away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.”
Isaiah 25: 6-8
That the final resurrection is to holiness, is evident from Paul’s words in
Acts 24:15, in which he hopes for “the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” It is not supposable that Paul could hope, that, desire and expect, the resurrection of the unjust, if he believed that they would rise to endless torture. The fact that he hoped for the resurrection of the unjust proves that he regarded it as a blessing to them, even.
It is said that there is a resurrection to be attained by human effort. True, Jesus says:
“Then said He also to him that bade Him, when Thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blest; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke14:12-14
This is the result, not of faith, but of good works, and gives a higher measure of glory to those who are worthy of it. “In the resurrection one star differs from another.” Those who deserve it, have the larger measure of joy in the resurrection.
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Hebrew 11:35
There are grades, hereafter, all are not alike, though all are equal to, or like the angels.
The anastasis, or resurrection is not merely being, it is a rising, a moral and spiritual ascent ultimately to be experienced by all mankind, who are to be made alive in Christ, and become equal to the angels. It is “rising to a better life,” in the words of Macknight, a Scotch Presbyterian. “This is the clear and unmistakable testimony of Jesus the Savior and Paul the Apostle.”
Well did this sublime consummation compel the apostle to exclaim: “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him and to Him, are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:32-36
And let all the people say Amen.
THE NATURE OF PUNISHMENT
The office of punishment to correct and reform, as punishment is explained in the New Testament, demonstrates that it is to be followed by reformation and restoration. In Matthew 24: 46 where certain wicked are sent away into “everlasting punishment,” the word “everlasting” denotes as its usual meaning in the Bible….a long, but not endless duration, and the word punishment is a translation for kolasin, which means “to prune”
That is improved: this is the exact meaning of the language. Paul conveys this idea;
“To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:5
“We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of Spirits and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His Holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grieveous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
We must therefore charge God with being unable to accomplish His purpose in the punishment He inflicts, or we must admit that His pruning, sooner or later, causes those punished to yield to God “the peaceable fruit of righteousness,” by “partaking of His Holiness.” Hence all God’s punishments must end in reformation.
THE PRAYER OF JESUS FOR HIS MURDERERS
Long before His death, Jesus commanded His disciples to forgive those who injured them. This injunction is in the Lord’s Prayer, and it is also found in the following:
“Then came Peter to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven.” Matthew 27:21,22
The reason is, because God places no limit on His forgiveness. If it could be shown that God ever ceases to forgive, then the obligation would not rest on man to forgive those who wrong him. But as God always forgives, man should do likewise. “Seventy times seven” four hundred and ninety times, denoted continual forgiveness. How sublimely was this illustrated on the cross:
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23: 34
Did Jesus offer this prayer “in faith, nothing doubting?” If not, it was not Christian prayer. Was His prayer answered? If not, then Jesus was mistaken, for He said, addressing the wicked Jews” “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23: 37-39
And certainly Peter looked beyond the guilt of the murderers of Jesus to their deliverance from sin, when he said:
“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when He was determined to let Him go, but ye killed the prince of life……Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers; saying unto Abraham, and in thy seed shall all the kindred’s of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:13-15 and 25-26
Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of His murderers. He must have prayed in faith, for He condemns all other prayer. He believed that even His disciple’s prayers would be answered, and of course His own…….and Peter declares that these wicked men for whom Jesus prayed, were to be delivered from their iniquities. And if this be true, certainly no human sin can fail, sooner or later, to receive the divine forgiveness.
GOD THE CREATOR
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to swell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord if haply they might feel after him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring.” Acts 17:24-28
He did not create without a good purpose:
“Thou are worthy, O lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou has created all things and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11
He created for the pleasure, but He can only be happy in the happiness of other. He foreknew, foresaw the destiny of His children. He was good and desired their welfare, wise and planned as before He has not created one soul whose welfare He has not fixed.
“The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalms 114:9
He created as an infinitely wise, powerful, and good Father. There fore all His children will reach a happy immortality. Let the Christian always remember that God is the Creator of souls, only He is their Father, and His faith will infallibly perceive that He is the final Savior of just as many as He is Creator.
“Ye shall be holy for I the Lord your God am Holy.” Leviticus 29:2 “Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8
A holy God might allow sin and sorrow as a means, but He could not allow it as an end, unless He were compelled. Such a God could not permit, as the best thing He could do, what only an infinite devil could do at his worst, perpetuate vice, and continue wickedness forever. Infinite holiness will wage a continual warfare with sin until universal holiness shall reign. To shut up sin in the prison house of hell, and keep it alive forever, is to violate God’s love of holiness. How absurd to say that a holy God has affixed penalties to His law that will insure final unholiness! All men must be holy because He is holy.
The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works “His mercy endureth forever. Psalms 107:1 He is as merciful when punishing as when forgiving. “Also unto thee, O lord, belongeth mercy, for thou renderest to every man according to his works.” Psalms 62:12
Psalms 136: employs the phrase: “mercy endureth forever,” twenty times. A God all mercy is not a God unjust, nor is a God all justice a God unmerciful, inasmuch as God’s mercy and justice are the two wings of the Holy Spirit, identical in object and purpose. God is merciful and just in punishing and forgiving.
When the Divine Love plans, it is wisdom, when it executes, it is power, when it punishes, it is justice, and when it forgives, it is mercy. If one sinner escape his full punishment, God is unjust. If one is lost He is unmerciful.
“He is a just God and a Savior.” Isaiah 14:21…. “Thou was a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.” Psalms 99:8
The meaning of this verse is, He punished first and then forgave. This He must do toward each soul. But if He torments one soul forever, where is His mercy? The worst a depraved devil could do, would be to torture an enemy forever. Can infinite benevolence do no better than the worst malevolence would do? His infinite mercy demonstrates the final salvation of every child of His.
“A God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4 “A Just God and Savior.” Isaiah 14:21 “Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” Romans 2:6
God will not judge for unbelief but for “deeds” Hence, as each as done good and evil, each is to be, at the same time, forever happy and forever wretched, or all rewards and punishments must be temporal. Justice requires obedience. Justice demands that every mortal being should receive the full measure of his desert. If all deserve endless punishment, all must be forever miserable, or god will work eternal injustice on those who escape the penalty, and as no soul will ever be able to suffer endless torment, so no soul will ever be justly punished. If endless torment be the just penalty of God’s law, justice can never be administered to any one soul, inasmuch as no soul can ever experience the penalty in it fullness.
“O man, what doth the Lord require of thee but to deal justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8
Will He require men to do justly, and then compel them forever to deal unjustly? Could He love and demand justice, and issue a just law, and then affix a penalty that would insure its defeat, and perpetuate injustice?
“God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of Saints. Revelation 15:3
“Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne.” Psalms 89:14
The law of God and the object of justice is to convert men.
”The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalms 19:7… “Love is the fulfilling of he law.” Romans 13:10 “For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18 …… “ Now the end of the commandment is charity our of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” 1 Timothy 1:5…. “Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all they mind, this is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22: 36-40
All men are to receive strictly according to their works. If it is just to punish sinners forever, then all souls must be damned. And as all are to be dealt justly by, it follows, if any are to be saved, that endless punishment cannot be the just due of any one. As all have performed both good and evil deeds, all have merited both endless happiness and endless torment. Can men then accuse God of so stultifying Himself as to make His law a failure by annexing a penalty that shall forever prevent its fulfillment? But justice is satisfied here, without an infinite penalty.
“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40:1, 2
Here the law was satisfied with a temporal penalty, therefore it does not require an endless one. Hence we are taught that God fully punishes the sinner, and then forgives his sins. “Thou wast a God that forgavest them, though Thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.” Psalms 99:8
That is, justly punished and then mercifully forgave. Justice can only be satisfied with universal obedience to God’s law. Therefore it cannot demand the infliction of endless torment but must forever insist on obedience, and forever labor to secure it.
Justice can only be satisfied when all men do justly. It requires all men to love God, and cannot therefore be satisfied with anything less than universal obedience. Endless punishment would defeat the demands of justice, and would be unjust, and is therefore impossible. Justice is identical with mercy and demands the same. The divine law will always be binding on all moral beings, therefore, God’s attribute of justice can only result in universal holiness, so that the fact that God is just is a guaranty that the infamous injustice of endless sin and woe can never be perpetrated, but that His just and perfect law will be fulfilled in the conversion of the souls of all mankind. A just finite being secures the prevalence of justice so far as he has power. A just infinite being will not fail to secure universal justice, for He possesses not only the disposition, but, the means requisite to that great end.
“O Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom has thou made them all.”
“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:18
“Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite.” Psalms 117: 5
“He is perfect in knowledge.” Job 36:4 “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46:10 “For thou, even thou, only knowest the hearts of all the children of men.” 1 Kings 8:39 “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:13 “The eyes of the lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15: 3 “Thou understandest my thought afar off, and art acquainted with all my ways. There is not a word in my tongue but lo! O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” Psalms 139: 2-4
God foresaw every event and could have prevented any. Knowing the final result, with ability to prevent He must have intended it. Therefore he designed the endless torment of some or the happiness of all. Everything will be as He wishes. He desires universal happiness, and is wise enough to accomplish it. Man’s freedom of will and all other impediments were foreseen and provided for.
“Did He over look the least of His concerns,
Since from the least the greatest oft originates,
Then unforeseen contingence might alarm Him.
And disturb the calm and equal course
Of His affairs.”
Nothing can surprise Him or long prevent the operations of His perfect wisdom. To say that a father foresaw that a child, if created would suffer forever, is to say that He would never create such a child. When we say He is an omniscient Father, we demonstrate His care and Love, and final protection and grace to all His children. He could not create an immortal being of whose salvation He was not absolutely sure.
If it were possible for Him to be infinitely good, as He is, to desire the salvation of all as He does, and infinitely wise to plan what He desires, as He is, He might fail for lack of infinite power to execute his desires and designs. But He is, Almighty to execute.
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Revelation 19: 6,7
He will do what He can, being love, and He can do what he will, being omnipotent, and being omnipotent, He can devise the requisite means to accomplish all He wishes. His love desires, his wisdom plans, and His power accomplishes the salvation of all. If He does not desire universal happiness He is not infinitely good, if He cannot plan He lacks wisdom, and if unable to execute He lacks power. But He desires that result, plans to accomplish it, and executes all plans. What shall hinder them? Nothing.
“He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, what doest thou? Daniel 4:35
“There are many devices in a man’s heart, nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. Proverbs 19: 21 “But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth. Job 23: 13
“Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” Ephesians 1:11
Praise, everlasting praise be paid
To Him who earth’s foundations laid:
Praise to the god whose strong decrees,
Sway the creation as He please.