The Great Salvation/20
Eternal Life Is Not a Present Actual Possession, But Is Promised to the Righteous Only
I John 2:15 And this is the promise that he hath promised us EVEN ETERNAL LIFE, through Jesus Christ.
Il 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.
Your mind will possibly run to a few texts which say, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36). Many quote these to prove the immortality of the soul; but you will notice that it is added, "He that hath not the Son, hath not life" (I John 5:12). If the first means, He that hath the Son hath an immortal soul or spirit, then the last part means, He that hath not the Son hath not an immortal soul or spirit. Eternal life, therefore, whenever it is possessed, is possessed by the righteous only. Now if you will compare scripture with scripture you will see what is meant by the words hath life. Think of this: "He that believeth on the Son hath the witness (not the thing witnessed) in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life and this life is in HIS SON" (I John 5:10, 11)--not in us yet. We have it in the Son so long as we have Him in our minds and hearts; but the time when we shall have it in ourselves is seen in the words. "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life SHALL APPEAR, THEN shall, ye also appear with him in glory" (Col. 3:3, 4).
You will be told by theologians that eternal life means eternal happiness --not eternal living existence. It is true that all who shall be accounted worthy of eternal living existence will, as a necessary result, enjoy eternal happiness. Hence by obtaining the former we enjoy the latter: but "eternal life" means to live without end; and "eternal happiness" means to be always happy.
Now if the wicked live without end, it matters not where they live; they have eternal life. If you ask theologians, Will the life of the wicked ever end? they will answer you, No; they will live in torment as long as the righteous live in happiness; the difference is only in the place and state where they live. So that you will see there is in this a denial of the gospel of eternal life, which says, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not, perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:10). There is a "strait gate" and a "narrow way" that "leadeth to life" – life is at the farther end; not at this end, in us---and there is a "broad gate" and a "wide way" that leadeth to destruction--not to life in misery.
This will prepare your mind for the reception of the Scripture teaching concerning the destiny of the wicked, which we will now consider.