by Ed Stevens
It is amazing how inconsistent and unbelieving many people are concerning the use of the word "everlasting" in the Bible, whether it means in every case "lasting EVER", perpetually, without termination. In Romans 16:26 we find the words, "the commandment of the EVERLASTING GOD". It is generally conceded that the existence of God is truly everlasting, that He has "endless life". Hebrews 7:16.
In Matthew 25:46 and II Thessalonians 1:9 we read about "EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT" and "EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION" of unsaved people. (The word "destruction" never means annihilation in the Bible.) Increasingly it is taught these days by false teachers that the punishment of unbelievers (Christ rejecters) will not be EVER lasting but merely AGE lasting, that after an age or two of suffering all will eventually be saved everlastingly. Every humble reader of God's Word will accept its plain language as to the use of the word "everlasting", that people will be punished for rejecting God's freely offered salvation in Christ just as everlastingly AS GOD IS EVERLASTING! This punishment is not arbitrary cruelty on God's part but the voluntary placement of the warned unbeliever and his unremitted sins under God's holy and righteous wrath against sin. Please remember, Christ "lighteth, every man that cometh into the world". John 1:9. We choose either heaven or hell!
Strange to say, a vast number in Christendom (again through false teachers) do not believe that the new life given to born-again believers in Christ is EVERLASTING. They are led to believe that this new "life" lasts only as long as one is living in good behavior, or that possession thereof yes-or-no, will be decided at the resurrection. The words "eternal life" and "everlasting life" are stated forty-two times in the New Testament. Are we not forced to conclude that this "LIFE" once possessed will be as "EVERLASTING" as the punishment of unbelievers and the "EVERLASTING" existence of God? Is it not true that destroying the true meaning of the word "everlasting" results in chaos and oblivion concerning God and man?
"Let God be true but every man a liar." Romans 3:4. "He that BELIEVETH on the Son [of God] HAT'H EVERLASTING LIFE; and he that believeth NOT the Son SHALL NOT SEE LIFE, but the wrath of God ABIDETH [i.e. everlastingly] on him." John 3:36. This one Bible verse alone is sufficient to prove the unchangeable destiny of the saved and lost!
Reader friend, believe God's "WORD OF TRUTH"! Choose your eternal destiny NOW in "everlasting life" by penitently believing "THE GOSPEL wherein ye STAND [unfailingly]; by which also ye ARE SAVED . . . how that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS [paid the penalty due us] according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was SEEN" thereafter of witnesses. I Corinthians 15:1-5. "For BY GRACE [unmerited favor] are ye saved THROUGH FAITH [plus nothing]; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: not of works lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8, 9.
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