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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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My third proposition, which seems, in the nature of things, to come next in order, is that--

Eternal life is the free gift of God.


By the phrase, free gift of God, is meant any thing bestowed by God as a matter of grace or pure unmerited favor. And here are the


1. Jesus said, "If you knew the gift of God, and who he is who says to you--Give me to drink; you would have asked him, and he would have given to you living water.--(John 4:10).

2. The Gracious gift of God is everlasting life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).

3. By grace are you saved through faith; and this thing not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8).

4. Constantly hope for the gift to be brought to you, at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet.13).


If, then, eternal life be the free gift of God bestowed through Jesus Christ, it must surely be obvious to the meanest capacity, that or hereditarily derived immortality is not inherent, or hereditarily derived from the animal Adam; and therefore, that immortality is a principle extraneous to the constitution of man, and consequently, if enjoyed by his race must be derived as a gift--a free and gracious gift from Him who alone has it to confer. This gracious gift is an eternal reward, as the rejection of those who seek for it in their own way, instead of in the way appointed by God, will, with its concomitants, be to them an eternal punishment. It is a reward which Jesus will bring with him; as it is written, "Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, " which according to Paul, is "glory, honor, immortality, and peace" to every one who does well. Eternal life is styled a free gift; because God bestows it spontaneously -- that is, of His own accord. No one prompted Him; it is a gift which flows from His own pure benevolence and love of the race which he planted on this terrestrial ball. He saw the wretchedness into which the world was plunged; being moved, therefore, with compassion, He devised a scheme in conformity with the excellency of His own nature, by which to deliver it from that extinction which He foresaw would ultimately supervene if left to itself. It is written in the chapter we have read, "God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him, may not perish, but obtain eternal life." Let us, then, admire the goodness and philanthropy of God our Savior for this unspeakable and inestimable gift, and lay hold on it likewise as the very anchor of Gospel hope.

Eternal life, though the free gift of God, through Jesus to the world, is nevertheless conditional.


This is my fourth proposition, and worthy of all attention. By conditional, I mean that it is obtainable on certain stipulated terms.


The proofs of this are innumerable; therefore, I shall content myself with a selection, as follows:

  1. Good Teacher, what good must I do to obtain eternal life? Jesus answered--If you would enter into that life, keep the commandments.--(Matt. 19:16).
  2. He who shall believe (the gospel) and be immersed, shall be saved.--(Mark 16:16).
  3. Unless a man be born out of water and Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
  4. Whosoever believes on the Son of Man shall not perish, but obtain eternal life (John 3:16).
  5. Whosoever shall drink the waters which I--Jesus--shall give him shall never thirst more; but the water which I shall give him, shall be in him a fountain springing up to everlasting life (John 4:14).
  6. He who hears my doctrine, and believes on Him who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not suffer condemnation, having passed from death unto life (John 5:24).
  7. This is the will of Him that sent me, that whosoever recognizes the Son, and believes on him, should obtain eternal life, and that I should raise him again at the last day (JOH 6:40).
  8. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have not life in you. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life; and I will raise him again at the last day (John 6:53).
  9. 9. My sheep obey my voice. I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any one wrest them out of my hand (John 10:27-28).
  10. Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes on me, though he were dead, shall live; and every one who lives and believes in me, shall not die in the age (John 11:25-26).
  11. He who despises me and rejects my instructions, has that which condemns him. The doctrine which I have taught will condemn him at the last day. The Father who sent me has commanded me what I should enjoin, and what I should teach. And I know that this commandment is eternal life (John 12:48-50).
  12. O Father! Thou hast given the Son authority over all men, that he may bestow eternal life on all those whom thou hast given him. Now this is the life eternal, to know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ (the anointed) whom Thou has sent.--(John 17:1-3).
  13. 13. It was necessary that the message of God be first delivered to you (Jews); but since you thrust it away from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. And the Gentiles, hearing this, rejoiced, and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life, believed (the word concerning it.)--(Acts 13:46-48).
  14. God first favorably regarded the Gentiles to take from among them a people for His name.--(Acts 14).
  15. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to every one who believes (it); as it is written "the just shall live by faith." (Rom. 1:16).
  16. God will render to everyone according to his works: Eternal Life, indeed (He will render) to them who, by perseverance in well doing, seek glory, honor, and immortality (Rom. 2:7).
  17. If you live according to the flesh you shall die; but if, through the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live (Rom. 8:13).
  18. This saying is true, that if we die with Christ, we shall also live with him (2 Tim. 2:11).
  19. The Son learned obedience by the things which he suffered, and being made perfect (by a resurrection from the dead). became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Heb. 5:9).
  20. You must persevere in doing the will of God, that you may obtain the promised reward (Heb. 10:36).
  21. He who does the will of God, continues for the age (1 John 2:17).
  22. No manslayer, or hater of his brother, has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).
  23. To him who conquers, I will give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God (Rev. 2:7). The conqueror shall not be injured by the second death (verse 11).

Now, I do not hesitate to say that these passages prove that eternal life is conditional, or obtainable by those who conform to certain fixed and unalterable stipulations. The expressions: "if," "he who," "unless, " "whoever," "as many as," "to take from among," "to everyone who," "them who," "to them who," "that you may," and so forth, are all terms of condition. The reply of Jesus to the young man, gives us the gist of the whole matter--if you would enter into that life, keep the commandments," Now this teaches us the truth positively; and if ye can ascertain distinctly the affirmative, we need be at no loss to determine what is the mind of God in relation to those who do not the things He requires.

If eternal life be conditional, none can possibly attain to it who either cannot or will not observe the terms upon which it is freely and graciously offered.

All mankind are born of corruptible parents into a state of sin. By this natural birth, they become members of this sinful and evil state, and heirs of all its disabilities. By virtue of this birth, they are "constituted sinners," though they could not help, and had no hand in the matter. Now, one would think, there could exist no rational man who could affirm, that if such an one were to die a "constituted sinner," without the offer of a means whereby he might change his state, he would be turned over to the pains and penalties of hell for ever. Yet, such there are! But the truth is, that "constituted sinners" in such a state of helplessness, are regarded in Scripture as living under "times of ignorance;" hence Paul said to the "constituted sinners" of Athens, "the time of this ignorance God hath winked at," or overlooked; and to those of Lycaonia, "God, in former generations, permitted all the nations to walk in their own ways. "

Now, since the days of Noah, God has not delivered His laws to the world at large, but to sections of it in particular. Hence, He gave the law to Israel, a small and feeble people at the time; fifteen hundred years afterward. He proclaimed His law to the nations the Roman empire; and yet it remains for Him to deliver an authoritative proclamation to the nations of Chin-India, Central Asia, Hindoostan, and so forth.

These are the proclamations which convert Times of Ignorance into Times of knowledge. It is knowledge which makes a "constituted sinner" responsible for his sins; and if responsible, therefore, obnoxious to the vengeance of God, if he die unpardoned. When men are made acquainted with God's law, they can no longer plead ignorance as an excuse; for it then becomes a matter of their own choice, whether they will become "constituted righteous" persons, or "enlightened transgressors;" for the knowledge of God's law renders it absolutely impossible for them any longer to remain merely "constituted sinners. " It was "through the disobedience of one man (Adam), the many (his descendants, babes and adults) were constituted sinners;" and so it was "by the obedience of the one (Christ), the many (or true believers) are constituted righteous..

In this life then, there are two states in relation to God and the children of Adam--the one a state of sin, and the other a state of favor; the former occupied by "constituted sinners" of all ages, from the babe to the old man, of every shade and variety--and by illuminated transgressors, whose sin is not only constitutional but voluntary; and the latter state is composed of persons who were not only constituted sinners and voluntary transgressors, but who, by obedience to the laws of God and to Christ, are constituted righteous. In regard to the righteous, they are delivered from the fear of death, because, having obeyed the truth, they have passed from death to life; but this is not the case of the constituted sinners and intelligent transgressors. These are both under the sentence of death eternal, with this difference only, that the punishment of the constituted sinners is the common lot of man, aggravated by the demoniac institutions of Idolatry, Mohammedanism, etc.. "ending in death" which is uninterrupted by a resurrection; whereas, the actual transgressors who know the law, though subject to all this, are raised to judgment and the terrors of a second death, the eternal consummation of their woes.

It would occupy too much space at present to go into the doctrine of the several proofs in detail. In the general. In the general, they all concur in teaching, that God has set eternal life and eternal death before men and women living under Times of Knowledge; and that their destiny in relation thereto depends upon volition; that is, they will become heirs of eternal life, IF they will obey Him who is the life; or they will continue heirs of eternal death, with the super-addition of suffering, PREVIOUS to that catastrophe, IF they reject his claims to their obedience.

In our second proof, the Prince of Life says, "He that believes the Gospel and is baptized shall be saved. " Saved, salvation, and such like terms are often used in Scripture; and it will not be uninteresting to consider briefly in what sense these are employed. Paul says, that before Christ came, "Jews and Gentiles were all under sin, " and in another place, he says. that "the WAGES of sin is DEATH;" consequently, they were all under sentence of death. Now this sentence was an inexerable one; and could not be set aside, so long as the cause of it, which was sin, remained in force. Being all under sin, they were, therefore, all under condemnation. Sin and death were the things of which they were all the subject; sin was the labor of their lives, and death the well earned wages thereof. Jews and Gentiles were all fellow-laborers in evil, and therefore fellow-sufferers in all the calamities of life, and co-heirs of a common fate.

Now, salvation in relation to these, it is clear, must have pertained to a deliverance from sin, and consequently from death; for to deliver a man from the cause of his sufferings is to remove those sufferings likewise; hence, to "take away the sin of the world" is to cancel its liability to the punishment due to sin, which is Eternal Death. When, therefore, it says, "To him bear all the prophets witness, that everyone who believes into him, shall receive forgiveness of sins by his name," the sentence falls to be completed--and, as a consequence, he shall be saved from death eternal, the wages and punishment of sin. The salvation, then, promised in the Gospel, is a deliverance from sin and death. When, therefore, it says, "He who shall believe the gospel and be baptized shall be saved," a proclamation is made that all believers of the Gospel who obey it, shall be delivered from sin and eternal death.

And here it is manifest that the proclamation promises deliverance to obedient believers only. It is "he who Shall believe, etc.;" nor does it stop here, for it declares that he who shall not believe the Gospel shall suffer condemnation, that is, the sentence of eternal death under which he lies shall be carried into effect. Again, "Unless a man be born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God," in other words, he cannot enter Paradise. This condition is fixed and unalterable; this rule is the unrepealed statute of heaven, announced by the Great King, who shall reign in that kingdom, and proclaimed to the nations in the language of my second proof. The heirs of Paradise, constituted such under the new institution, can only become heirs by submitting to this the spiritualization of the kingdom of God. The being begotten and born of the water by the word, is the passing from the sentence of death to the sentence of life, which says that such an one shall not suffer the condemnation of the second death--see proof 6. He who has thus passed from death to life, becomes by the transition a sheep of the flock of the Great Shepherd (proof 9); one of the people of God (proof 14); a well-doer (proof 16); a subject of the author of eternal salvation (proof 19); a doer of the will of God (proof 21), etc.; and, therefore, entitled to all the blessings predicated of such characters.

The conditions, then, to which men are required to conform if they would live for ever, is, in general terms, to keep the commandments. This, I say, is general, and applies equally to the past, the present, and the future. But this condition is resolvable into something more particular. Hence, the sentence falls to be completed, keep the commandments of the Divine Constitution under which you live. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had to keep the ordinances of the Patriarchal Constitution of Things; Moses, Aaron, and the Israelites, of the Sinaitic Law; the Jews and Gentiles of the Roman World after Pentecost, A.D. 33 and 41, the commandments of the New Institution; and the universal concourse of mankind will, from the coming Christ to his kingdom, have to keep that law of love which is to proceed forth from Zion to every nation, tongue, kindred, tribe, and people of the inhabited earth, which is then to be full of the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh as the waters that cover the depths of the sea" (Hab. 2:14).

But, we have more especially to do with the particular commandments of the times which are. We are to keep the commandments, if we would enter into that life which is eternal; and the first condition is, that we believe the Gospel, amend our lives, and be baptized, or buried in water into the death of Christ, that we may rise from it, not only begotten but born of God; the second is contained in my sixteenth and twentieth proofs, and is, that every son of God persevere in doing His will, which doing is the true import of the phrase "well-doing." By thus persevering till death, they become conquerors; and though they fall for a time, they will rise again to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God, according to proof 23.

These are the conditions, the fixed and unalterable stipulations, as immutable as the Immutable Himself, to which we must all conform, if we would enter into life by a resurrection from the dead. None has any part or lot in this salvation but the true believers; all others are excluded, physically, circumstantially, or by their own volition. The world of terrestrial animated nature is but the crude materials out of which the Arch-Builder of all eternal mansions is erecting a superb and undecaying edifice. His materials are animal, and of these He is rearing a spiritual, or immortal and glorious architectural order. He incorporates the choice, the living stones into His building; but the worthless and the rubbish He casts away and destroys by burning. To become stones which will never wear away, we must be incorporated into the rock, and be subjected to the preparation of Him whose workmanship is perfect and complete.

In conclusion, the following are the corollaries which present themselves from the whole.

  1. In relation to life and death there are three classes of mankind; first, the true believers heirs of eternal life; second, the unbelievers rejecters of the truth, who are the heirs of the resurrection to suffer a fiery punishment which will end in eternal death, and, therefore, be an eternal punishment; and, third, the descendants of Adam, not yet placed under law, together with those who are physically incompetent of belief or obedience, and whose lot is consummated in death eternal, and undisturbed by future life or suffering.
  2. Eternal life being a matter of promise, it is bestowed only on those who can prove that the promise was made to them; in other words, a man to become immortal, must establish his identity as one of the heirs of the will concerning the Christ.
  3. Jesus must come again; and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and others, must rise from the dead in order to realize the things promised to them in the will.
  4. Immortality is not an hereditary constituent of human nature, but a free and gracious gift of God superadded thereto; and laid up with Jesus Christ, as treasure in heaven, to be bestowed at his appearing.
  5. Eternal life is conferred on those only who conform to certain fixed conditions, namely, obedience to the Gospel preached by the Apostles, and a continuance in well-doing.
  6. Salvation, as a whole, is deliverance from sin and eternal death.

In conclusion, then, let us remember that our lot is cast, and, by virtue of the appointment of Him who marks out the boundaries of the nations, we are placed under times of knowledge, and, therefore, can have no excuse for disobedience. By His word handed down to us, with abundant evidence of its superior origin, He calls upon us to forsake the error of our ways, and to walk in that way, to seek that truth, and to pursue after that life, which "the way, the truth, and the life," has delineated and procured. "Behold" says he, "I come quickly, and my reward is with me; I will recompense to every man according as his work shall be." "Happy are they who keep His commandments, that they may have the privilege to eat of the tree of life: and they shall enter by the gates into the city." "I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and the morning star. And the spirit and the bride say come; and let him that hears, say come, and let him that is thirsty, come; whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." Here is a free and noble invitation from the Prince of Life. Who would not come and eat and drink, and live for ever? . (next page)



Summary of the Christianity Revealed In The Bible

Part 1 Con't

Part 1 Con'tA Discourse On Eternal Life

Part 2 (con't)

The Kingdom of God

Part 3 (con't)

A Synopsis of The One Faith Taught By the Apostles