there be a resurrection of the wicked to suffer punishment?
for it is written, "There shall be a resurrection both of
the just and unjust" (Acts 24:15); and "they that are
in the graves . . . shall come forth; . . . . they that have
done evil, to the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:29).
all the unworthy of mankind rise from the dead to suffer
for it is written of some, "They are dead, they shall not
live: they are deceased, they shall not rise: thou hast visited
and destroyed them, and made all their memory perish" (Isa.
26:13-14). "Like sheep they are laid in the grave: death
shall feed on them ... He shall go to the generation of his fathers:
they shall NEVER SEE LIGHT. Man that is in honour and understandeth
not is like the beasts that perish" (Psa. 49:14-20).
are they that will never come to life again, but pass away
as though they had not been?
who are in ignorance of the Gospel of Christ, and undeveloped
children: for thus it is written: "The man that wandereth
out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation
of the dead" (Prov. 21:16). "Oh that I had given up
the ghost (at birth), and no eye had seen me: I should have been
as though I had not been. I should have been carried from the
womb to the grave" (Job 10:19; 3:11-16).
will such never see the light of resurrection?
they are not responsible. It requires the light of knowledge
to make men responsible; for so it is written: "This is
the (ground of) condemnation, that light has come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light" (John 3:19). When
men are blind, or ignorant of the word, they have no sin to be
punished for: but at the same time, they are not forgiven and
justified men, and unless they become so by learning and repenting,
they cannot be saved for eternal life (John 9:41; 15:22, 24;
1 John 5:12, 13; John 11:25).
will become of that portion of the wicked who are responsible,
and who will come forth at the resurrection for punishment?
will appear before Christ to give account: in his presence, they
will be denied before the accepted righteous, and the attendant
company of the angels: and will be commanded to depart, which
they will do with shame and anguish, "weeping and wailing,
and gnashing of teeth". All this is written in many parts.
Paul says, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat
of Christ; that every one may receive . . . according to that
he hath done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10). Concerning
those whose account is bad, Jesus says, "Then will I profess
unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt.
7:23.) "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when
ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets
in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out" (Luke
what will become of them after they depart? Will they live
for ever in a state of suffering?
they will live as long in a state of suffering as the justice
of their cases shall severally call for; but in every case, sooner
or later, death by destruction is their final lot. Their whole
experience, from their re-emergence from the grave to their ignominious
return to death, is their punishment; when complete, it will
be everlasting, and therefore "everlasting punishment",
but not "eternal torment". Because they have died once
before, their judicial death at the resurrection is called the "second
passages that teach this are numerous. Jesus speaks of degrees
of punishment in saying that the servant which knew his lord's
will, and did it not, "shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that
knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten
with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall
be much required" (Luke 12:47-48). As to the final result
of the punishment, we are told of the unhappy subjects thereof
that "they shall die" (Rom. 8:13); "reap corruption" (Gal.
6:8); be destroyed (Psa. 73:27; 145:20); be burnt up, leaving
neither root nor branch (Mal. 4:1); consume away into smoke (Psa.
37); suffer everlasting destruction from the presence of the
Lord (2 Thess. 1:9); disappear like a whirlwind (Prov. 10:25)
in the judgment and fiery indignation that will devour the adversary
what are we to understand by Gehenna?
is the name of a valley in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, where,
Isaiah informs us, the carcases of the rejected will be consumed
after the judgment (Isa. 66:20-24). It was used for judicial
purposes in old times, and will be so again on a larger scale
when the dreadful scenes of Zech. 14:12 are enacted. This Gehenna
is a place where fire will be kindled: but it is not the hell
of popular belief, for it is a place on earth for carcases, and
the fire will at last burn out, and the place itself be cleansed
and made holy (Jer. 31:40).
24. Christendom Astray Since The Apostolic Age