A questioner asks,
If there is no hell or punishment, then what is it that we are saved from?
Our question comes from and admitted believer in the doctrine of eternal torment, he states that the emphasis of the question should be on the word “IF” that in regards to the question, “IF there is no hell or punishment, then what is it that we are saved from?” The answer must be “NOTHING”.
However the scriptures state very adamantly that we are saved from “SOMETHING” that something we understand is the “curse”.
So is the curse, eternal torment?
Is that what the Lord warned Adam would be the consequences of his actions should he eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
What say the Scriptures?
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely DIE.” (Gen 2:16, 17)
Here we have it, the penalty for sin is
NOT unending life in misery,
NOT an eternity of estrangement (separation) from God.
No, the penalty for sin is death plain and simple. “Dying, thou shalt die” (Gen 2:17, literal rendering).
Nor is the penalty simply dying (i.e. suffering the ravages of the dying process whether by old age, disease, famine, accident or etc.), but death itself (the cessation of life).
“The wages of sin is DEATH.” (Rom 6:23) "The soul (the being) that sins it shall die."
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deut 30:19)
Life is the blessing; death is the curse.
“By one man sin entered into the world and DEATH by (as a consequence) of sin.” (Rom 5:12)
“The fathers (Adam) have eaten a sour grape (sinned), and the children’s (all of Adam’s children) teeth are set on edge.” (Jer 31:29)
That is to say the nature of the fathers, being polluted by sin, is transmitted to the children, who come under the death sentence for having the same nature or disposition as the fathers.
“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment (the sentence) came to all men, resulting in condemnation (the curse of death)…”
“… Even so through one Man’s righteous act the (judgment or sentence to justification of life) came to all men.” i.e. the “free gift” (Rom 5:18)
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Rom 5:9)
What is the wrath of God?
Death and all the evil now permitted to come upon the culprit race are the direct manifestations of God's wrath.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” (Rom 1:18)
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned (that is the wrath of God, the sentence of death, inherited from Adam abides on him), because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
“He that believes on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeys not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God (the just penalty, death) abides on him.” (John 3:36)
The remainder of mankind is still under the death sentence, the wrath of God. THEY ARE NOT under the sentence of eternal torment, but under the curse, the condemnation of death.
The teachings of "Orthodoxy," that the wages of sin is everlasting torment, is emphatically contradicted by the above words of inspiration, and by many others, direct and indirect, which might be cited. How reasonable is the Bible statement, and how absurd the common view, which is founded neither in reason nor in the Scriptures, and which is in most violent antagonism with the plan and character of God, as presented in his Word.
The eternal torment theory had a heathen origin, and began very gradually to attach itself to nominal Christianity during its blending with heathen philosophies in the second century. The credulity of the present day, therefore, receives it as a legacy, not from the Lord, or the apostles, or prophets, but from the compromising spirit, which sacrificed truth and reason, and shamefully perverted the doctrines of Christianity, in an unholy ambition and strife for power and wealth and numbers.
Eternal torment as the penalty for sin, was unknown to the patriarchs of past ages; it was unknown to the prophets of the Jewish age; and it was unknown to the Lord and the apostles; but it has been the chief doctrine of Nominal Christianity since the great apostasy -- the scourge wherewith the credulous, ignorant and superstitious of the world have been lashed into servile obedience to tyranny. Eternal torment was pronounced against all who offered resistance or spurned her authority, and its infliction in the present life was begun so far as she had power; and the pains of purgatory she promised, in such measure, as she should dictate, to any of her votaries who showed the slightest disposition to be refractory. Under the terrible bondage of a superstitious reverence for self-exalted fellow-men, in dense ignorance of God's real plan, and tormented with a wretched fear of eternal misery, the masses of men resigned their reason; and even yet, under the increasing light and liberty of this twenty-first century, men scarcely dare to think for themselves on religion and the Bible.
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