Heaven, Hell or Purgatory... Where are the dead?
This publication "Where are the dead?", cites all the scriptural passages that will demonstrate to you that neither the Bible nor reason offers the slightest support to the doctrine that eternal torment is the penalty for sin. You will discover the fact that the various church creeds, and confessions, and hymn-books, and theological treatises, are its only supports; and that under the increasing light of our day, and the consequent emancipation of reason, belief in this horrible, fiendish doctrine of the "dark ages" is fast dying out. Yet Christian people today still are willing to cling to these grim creed-idols and they still bow before their admitted falsities; they still pledge themselves to their defense, and spend time and money for their support, though at heart ashamed of them, and privately denying them.
The false ideas of God's plan of dealing with the incorrigible, taught ever since the great "falling away" (2 Thes. 2:3), which culminated in Papacy, and instilled into our minds from childhood, are alone responsible for the view generally held, that the everlasting punishment provided for willful sinners is a life of torment. This view is held, notwithstanding the many clear statements of God's Word that their punishment is to be death. Here Paul states very explicitly what the punishment is to be. Speaking of the same Millennial day, and of the same class, who, despite all the favorable opportunities and the fullness of knowledge then, will not come into harmony with Christ, and hence will "know not God" (2 Thes. 1:8) in the true sense and "obey not," he says -- "Who shall be punished." Ah, yes, but how punished? He tells us how: They "shall be punished with everlasting destruction [a destruction from which there shall be no recovery, no redemption or resurrection -- Heb. 10:26-29] from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (2 Thes. 1:9) This destruction is represented in the parable as the everlasting "fire" prepared for the devil and his angels; it is the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the Second death (Rev. 20:14), into which the "goat" class of this parable are sent. -- Matt. 25:41.
Thus the meaning and reasonableness of this statement concerning everlasting punishment are readily seen when looked at from the correct standpoint.
What Jesus did for Lazarus he intimated he would ultimately do for Adam and his entire race. Note his words: "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth." (John 5:28,29) Does this astonish us? If so, the reason is not far to seek. It is because we have gotten so far away from the teachings of the Bible -- so fully immersed in the "doctrines of devils" (1 Tim. 4:1), so fully to believe in the serpent's lie, "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4) -- so blinded to the Lord's declaration, "Thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17), and "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
If professed Christians would be honest with themselves and true to God, they would soon learn that "their fear toward God is taught by the precepts of men." (Isa. 29:13) If all would decide to let God be true, though it should prove every man a liar (Rom. 3:4), and show all human creeds to be imperfect and misleading, there would be a great creed-smashing work done very shortly. Then the Bible would be studied and appreciated as never before; and its testimony that the wages of sin is death (extinction), would be recognized as a "just recompense of reward."
To learn more about heaven, hell, the truth about purgatory and the blessings of the resurrection found in God's word, send for the free publication "Where are the dead?"
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