Saturday, October 09, 2010

More on Rewards/Punishment

This week's installment from The Fundamentals

by Sir Robert Anderson

Every treatise in support of these heresies (as discussed in the last installment on "Degrees of Heaven and Hell") relies on the argument that the words in our English Version, which connote endless duration, represent words in the original text which have no significance. But this argument is exploded by the fact that the critic would be compelled to use these very words if he were set the task of retranslating our version into Greek. For that language has no other terminology to express the thought. And yet it is by trading on ad captandum arguments of this kind, and by the prejudices which are naturally excited by partial or exaggerated statements of truth, that these heresies win their way. Attention is thus diverted from the insuperable difficulties which beset them, and from their bearing on the truth of the atonement.

But Christianity sweeps away all these errors. The God of Sinai has not repented of His thunders, but He has fully revealed Himself in Christ. And the wonder of the revelation is not punishment but pardon. The great mystery of the Gospel is how God can be just and yet the Justifier of sinful men. And the Scriptures which reveal that mystery make it clear as light that this is possible only through redemption; "not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 2:2). Redemption is only and altogether by the death of Christ. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

To bring in limitations here is to limit God.

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