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Eternal life - a gift to the unbeliever? (08/06/2006)
From: Keith Lockwood

Driving in the car the other day, I read a church marquee which displayed this question for those passing by, "We will all live for eternity, where will you be spending it?" This reminded me of a question that was posed to you, the readers of this section a few weeks ago in a letter written by David Foss; "If we refuse to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and His perfect food (the Bible), we WILL STILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, but where will our eternal abode be- heaven or hell?

The idea that the unbeliever will spend "eternal life" tormented in the fires of hell is very prominent in churches and evangelical movements today as it has in the past, but I can assure you that no such phrase will be found in the Bible! Instead the Bible directly teaches that "He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life and he that believeth NOT on the Son will NOT SEE LIFE; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36, KJV). Look here at the contrast in Romans 6:22, "The wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Note sin = death and God's gift = life. When Christ returns to set up His kingdom on the earth He will take vengeance on those who know not God and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord with an "everlasting destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9). They will be destroyed, not live for eternity burning in hell fires! In Acts 13:46, when the Jewish men of Antioch in Pisidia accused Paul of blaspheming, Paul declared that they were "judging themselves unworthy of eternal life."

In other letters I have tried to convey that the Greek words translated "for ever", "everlasting", and "eternal" (i.e. aion, aionion, aionios) in most translations should not be translated such, but in reality mean a indefinite duration of time which has a definite beginning and end. No matter what your belief is as to how aion should be translated, I encourage you to search the scriptures and see that only believers will have "aionios" life and that unbelievers will have "aionios" destruction, punishment, and death, but never does it even hint at the unbeliever having "aionios" life. Only vain human traditions teach that unbelievers will live into eternity being tormented, thus making what is taught in God's word void. I encourage you to put those traditions behind and seek God's truth in His word. I pray that God will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the realization of Him (Ephesians 1:17, CV). 

 

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