IN THE MATTER Of "future punishment," there would be no confusion of
opinions if all would base their teaching on plain statements of God, instead of on
parables, which are given to conceal, rather than reveal (Matt.13:10-17), or on incorrect
Of saints Paul says, "For all of us must be manifested in front of
the dais of Christ, that each should be requited for that which he puts into practice
through the body, whether it is good or bad" (2 Cor.5:10). There is no judgment seat.
There is no judgment. There is no punishment. There is requiting.
Matthew 25:31-46 speaks of the judgment of the nations. No grace is in it. Nothing is
said of faith. The blood of Christ is not mentioned. Nothing except reasoning could bring
these into this lesson, and the Scriptures always denounce reasoning. The judgment
proceeds on the basis of how each nation has treated the brethren of Christ.
Reasonings make it "the general judgment;" individuals are being judged; the
righteous go to heaven; the unjust go to endless hell! Thus a non-scriptural term,
"the general judgment," is introduced, and passages that teach "everlasting
life" on a basis of faith (see John 3:16), are contradicted, for this reasoning makes
individuals enter into eternal life without faith. Nor is it any better if a correct
rendering is used, and the same, reasoning followed. Correctly rendered, the believer is
to have eonian life, while the reasoner has people entering into eonian life without
If we believe God, the lesson is simple.
- Time of the judgment: "whenever the Son of Mankind may be coming in His glory, and
all the holy messengers with Him, then He shall be seated on the throne of His
glory" (verse 31).
- Who will be judged: "all the nations" (verse 32).
- Basis of the judgment: "inasmuch as you do it to one of these, the least of my
brethren, you do it to Me " (verse 40), and "inasmuch as you do it not to one of
the least of these, neither do you it to Me" (verse 45).
- Result of the judgment; "And these shall be coming away into eonian chastening, yet
the just into eonian life" (verse 46).
Everyone who knows God's Word and believes it, knows this judgment will take place at
the beginning of the "thousand years" (Rev.20:4), and that the judgment is in
relation to the kingdom. There is nothing final about it, and it is not faith that puts
finality into the lesson. It is human reasoning that does it.
A search of the Word will convince those who believe God, that there is no statement in
Scripture, saying God will punish in connection with any future judgment. Hebrews
10:29 speaks of some who are worthy of punishment, but does not plainly say they will
receive it. Moreover, the ones under consideration are God's people. Read the entire
"Eonian extermination from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His
strength," when Christ comes to establish His kingdom, needs a great deal of human
reasoning to convert it into endless punishment. See 2 Thessalonians 1:9. It will take
place more than a thousand years prior to the judgment before the white throne. Like the
judgment of the nations, it is extermination in relation to the kingdom. It means death,
since unbelievers, as individuals, cannot have eonian life apart from faith; but it is
death, not for eternity, but during the period when others shall be seeing the face of the
Lord and the glory of His strength. I repeat, it is in relation to the kingdom.
The passage that tells of the judgment before the white throne, says nothing of either
chastening or punishment. Instead, the word is "condemned." Let us not change it
to any other.
Neither does the passage mention torment. The word is "death." Not believing
God, some have invented the phrase: "the second death from which there is no
resurrection." Those Who believe God, need not invent a phrase. They adopt Paul's:
"Christ Jesus, Who, indeed, abolishes death" (2 Tim.1:10).
The torment of the slanderer, the wild beast and the false prophet, for the eons of the
eons (Rev.20:10), means just that. Unbelieving reason includes all unbelievers.
The torment of the worshipers of the wild beast (Rev.14: 9-12), includes no
others. Yet the same unbelieving reason makes it include all who "are
non-elect," or who "do not accept Christ," depending on whether the
reasoner is a Calvinist or an Arminian.
Neither does God say their torment is eternal. The reasoner says it is.
Tense is ignored here by the reasoner. God says they will be tormented, and that they are
having no rest day and night. Their restlessness is a present experience while they are
worshiping the wild beast. Their torment will follow. If it had been essential that we
know whether the torment will be before or after the judgment at the white throne, God
would have told us. As He did not, let us honor His silence on this phase of it.