The Great Salvation/13
Everlasting or Eternal Life Is Not a Present Possession, but a Matter of Promise and Hope of the Righteous
I John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, EVEN ETERNAL LIFE, through Jesus Christ.
II Tim. 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God according to THE PROMISE OF LIFE which is in Christ Jesus.
Tit. 1:2 IN HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE, which God that cannot lie promised before the world began.
Tit. 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE.
Rom. 2:6, 7 Who will render to every man according to his deeds; to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, honor and immortality, eternal life.
Col. 3:3, 4 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God; and when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, THEN shall ye also appear with him in glory.
John 5:28, 29 All that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life.
Gal. 6:8 He that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.
Luke 20:35, 36 They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
A false theory forces many to attach an erroneous meaning to the phrase eternal life, making it stand for eternal happiness. While eternal happiness is the sequence of eternal life, the one must not be confounded with the other. Since the testimonies given prove that eternal life is the gift of God to the righteous only, it follows that those who obtain the precious gift will enjoy a happy state of being. If wicked men live for ever, they live everlastingly; and surely to live everlastingly is eternal life. The place where they live can make no difference as to the duration of life. If we ask those who are unreasonable enough to believe in the eternal conscious existence of all wicked and depraved men, Do you believe the wicked will be tormented eternally,? they will answer yes. Then do you not believe they will live eternally in torment? Yes. Then if they live eternally, will not that be eternal life in torment? The difference, therefore, between the righteous and the wicked is only one of place and state in which they live eternally--both having eternal life, the one in happiness and the other in misery. Compare this theory with the testimonies given above, and it will be seen that it is far astray from the Word of God, which teaches that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Everlasting life for those who believe. No everlasting life for those who do not believe; but they perish.