Extreme Double Damnation  

Sunday, July 30                 

“God is able to punish people without destroying them, and to forgive people without indulging them.”—Gerald L. Sittser, How a Soul Grows Through Loss, 1996.  That was precisely what happened when sin first entered the human race.  Adam and Eve were condemned to death, both physically and spiritually.  But it didn’t happen on the spot.  In fact one of the first things God told them was a prophecy of how their descendant (Christ) would strike a fatal blow to Satan.  God then drove them out of the garden of Eden, not to deprive them of anything, or to punish them, but to spare them from eating of the tree of life, which would have sealed their doom, and which left the door open for redemption.  Although there were penalties for their sin—hard work for Adam, pain in childbirth for Eve, God was gracious and gentle.  The rest of the Bible reveals that same compassion for his created beings.  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise . . . but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  So those who respond positively to the gospel become recipients of grace.  The “indulging” part is that God did not violate his decree to punish sin, nor compromise his holiness.  It cost him the life of his son, and he was willing to do that because of his compassion.  But those who refuse the gospel can not and will not be spared.  The punishment will be carried out and these people will not just be destroyed, they will be perpetually in the process of being destroyed.  It’s also eternal separation from a loving God.  That makes it an extreme double damnation.  Rejected

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