Love's Final Victory
HardPress, 2010 - 196 pages
Excerpt: ...leaving his readers to take whichever view they chose. Here is his reply: "I thank you for your kind reference to my articles on the Sunday School Lesson, and note your question about the phrase, Eternal Death, The meaning of the phrase in my mind is largely determined by the meaning of the corresponding phrase, Eternal Life. In His use of the latter phrase, our Lord evidently lays emphasis, not upon the thought of duration, but upon that of quality. Eternal Life is a certain kind of life which He gives to His people now. Similarly, Eternal Death is a state in which people may exist even while they are in this world. It is eternal in regard to duration in this sense, that it has no awakening; its tendency is to persist forever. But that is not to say that God cannot bring one from a state of eternal death into that of eternal life. I do not know whether I have made myself clear, but it is somewhat in this way that the matter presents itself to my mind." So I am not really much the wiser, except that the reply tends to confirm my opinion as to the ambiguous way in which the phrase is often used. In my view, such ambiguity is unfortunate in any case, but more especially so when it is used with regard to our eternal future; and even more so when it is used in an article, as in this case, avowedly for children. Does it not lead directly to scepticism? And even if it did not, is it not rather a cruel thing to put upon children the onus of deciding a question of such tremendous importance? Would it not be better to say candidly that we do not know? To be sure, it may be said that the church is in a state of transition on this question, and that it is better to wait for the churchs final decision. But in the meantime, and we do not know for how long, we are sowing the seeds of scepticism. Besides; this avowed waiting for the churchs final decision may be only a pious pretense, because of want of courage to declare honest conviction. I say so because...
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