Eternal Life or Eternal Death
How can a loving God deny eternal life to all men and … actually destine some to “everlasting destruction”?
“Who shall be punished with everlasting [permanent] destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (2 Thessalonians 1:9 (KJV)
We know that God is first of all perfect in all His attributes including His love, justice, and righteousness;
- He is perfect in love, He is love [1Jn.4:8],
- He is also just and perfect in His ‘justice,’ which demands perfect ‘righteousness.’
- Since “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” there in “none righteous, no not one” as men have “the sentence of death” due them (2Cor 1:9).
“For the wages of sin [is] death;” (Romans 6:23) ……. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Eze. 18:20).
Jesus said; “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to DESTROY both SOUL AND BODY in hell [Grk. gehenna, in the “lake of fire”].” (Matthew 10:28 (KJV)
In His perfect justice God requires death as payment for sin.
God cannot deny Himself (cf. 2Tim.2:13). Since all have sinned, then it would be that all must pay for their sins being assigned “everlasting destruction” (2Thes 1:9, means, eternal death) in “the lake of fire” as their “second death.”
But God, in accord with His great love, God Himself conceived and planned for a just way for any humbled human to be saved unto eternal life.
“For GOD SO LOVED the world,
that HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON [Jesus Christ, to die and pay for the world’s sin debt],
that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM
should NOT PERISH [not be utterly destroyed],
but HAVE [CHRIST’S OWN] EVERLASTING LIFE.” (John 3:16 (KJV)
Now, this is where the Glorious Love of God came into play. God the Father took His most precious possession, His Son, and Crucified Him to Pay for The Sins of The Whole World (Jn. 3:16). And so, God’s perfect love and perfect justice are now fully satisfied in accord with His perfect righteousness.
The result of the Cross-work of Jesus Christ, is that Only Unbelievers will go to “everlasting destruction” in “the lake of fire” not for their sins, for all sin has already been dealt with at Christ’s Cross (Jn.1:29). They will go to “everlasting destruction” for NOT BELIEVING to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior!
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of [good or religious] works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
- Portions adapted from Owen Hughes -