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Sin and Its Punishment-objections Considered.

Sin and Its Punishment-objections Considered.

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Published by glennpease

I will read three verses from the 5th Chapter of the
First Epistle to the Thessalonians : —

I will read three verses from the 5th Chapter of the
First Epistle to the Thessalonians : —

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 04, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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SI AD ITS PUISHMET-OBJECTIOS COSIDERED.BY J. W. McGARVEYI will read three verses from the 5th Chapter of theFirst Epistle to the Thessalonians : — "But of the times and of the seasons, brethren, yehave no need that I write unto you." The apostle hadbeen speaking of the second coming of the Lord and the res-urrection of all the dead. "For yourselves know perfectlythat the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night."I think this is a quotation of the Savior's own words onthe subject, and that tliis is the reason the brethren allknew it. "For when they shall srj, peace and safety;then sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shallnot escape. " The prophets rebuked Israel of old for cry-ing out peace, peace, when there was no peace; and oneof the prophets declared, There is no peace to the wicked,saith my God. There is no doctrine of the Bible, havingany conspicuity, that has not excited objections amongmen, and I presume there is no teaching of the GoodBook which has called forth as many, and as vehementobjections, as that which I endeavored to set before youin the morning discourse, the teaching concerning thefuture punishment of sin.As I announced this morning, I propose to-night todiscuss some of the leading objections which are common-ly urged against that teaching. Many of these objections28SI AD ITS rUISH]MET. 29are based upon passages of scripture : I will not enterinto a discussion of these. I believe that I have ex-
amined every one of them after reading carefully thebooks written ])y men who deny the Bible teachingconcerning future punishment, and I have not found asingle one that did not carry with it a perversion of thetext; and I will dispose of all that class of objections to-night, so far as you and I are concerned, by telling you,whenever you hear a passage of scripture quoted in dis-proof of the future and eternal punishment of the wicked,if you will turn to the passage and read a few verses beforeit, and a few after it, you will invariably find that the mean-ing of that passage has been mis-stated or mis-applied bythe objector. ow you will do yourselves a service, andthe truth a service, if you will follow that rule the rest of your life, when you hear discussions on this subject.I prefer to-night to occupy our attention with objec-tions which appear to have great force in them, and Avhichare not so easily answered as those that are based upon"scrapping" the w^ord of God ; and first of all, it is claimedthat such a doctrine as the future and everlasting punish-ment of sin is inconsistent with the goodness of God.That God is a good father, by which we mean that He isbenevolent and kind and tender heart«'d towards all ohis creatures, is a proposition not to be denied, but to beinsisted upon and emphasized with all the powers that wecan bring to bear for the purpose of impressing it uponthe souls and the hearts of ungodly men. And if theteaching concerning the future punishment of the wickedwhich I set forth this morning, is God's teashing, itonly shows that such is the unspeakable enormity of sin that it extorts from the most benevolent Father inthis universe, precisely that kind of suffering and punish-ment; and it ought to heighten our conceptions of the30 SERMO III.beniousness of sin, it seems to me, above everjibingelse tbat we know about it.
But, is it inconsistent witb tbe goodness of God totbus punisb sin? I am very free to confess tbat if I bad,as God bas, almigbty power and almigbty -wisdom, Ican not for tbe bfe of me see tbat I would allow anybuman being to be plunged into a lake tbat burns witbfire and brimstone, or to be cast into outer darkness wberetbere is weeping and gnasbing of teetb, even for one dayor one bour. And, furtbermore, I am free to confess tbatif I bad tbe power to prevent it, I would not allow onesingle buman being to ever sbed a tear, to ever feel apang of tbe body or tbe beart. I would never allow anymore widows in tbis world, nor any more orpban cbil-dren. I would not allow pestilence to walk abroad, nordeatb to waste. I would bave no grave-yards in tbis world.It seems to me tbat I could not get my consent, witb tbeview tbat I bave and tbe feeling tbat I bave of wbat isgood and benevolent and kind, to allow any suffering atall among my fellowmen.But wbat does all tbat prove in regard to God ? Itonly proves tbat I would act differently from tbe way tbatGod acts. It does not prove tbat God acts improperly orinconsistently. It only proves beyond all question of doubt tbat a buman being invested witb infinite powerand wisdom, would jianage tbis world very differentlyfrom tbe way tbat God manages it ; for we know, tbewbole world knows, tbat if tbere is a benevolent, kind,and merciful God in Heaven, be has aUowed all tbesuffering and pain and anguisb tbat bas made tbis worldalmost a cbarnel-bouse fi*om tbe beginning to tbe presentday, to go rigbt on before bis face. And all tbis, as wassliown you tbis morning, is in consequence of man's sinagainst Him. He bas done tbat. '*He tbat is unjust inSI AD ITS PUISHMET. 31that which is least," says tlie Saviour, "is unjust in that

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