If you have a doctrine that forces you to ignore part
of the scripture you ought to be uneasy about it. Every passage
has its place.
How can one be sent into everlasting punishment,
Matt. 25:46 and yet be saved, together with all other men, I Tim.
2:3-6? The word that is translated "everlasting" is
AIONION, and always denotes a time period. It is not
endless. This is proven by Ex. 40:15, where it is said that the
sons of Aaron shall be an everlasting priesthood. They were a
priesthood for a long time, but they have ceased to be such. Thus
everlasting will come to an end. It is the word AIONION, or, as we
render it in English, "eonian," which means "in relation
to the eon or the eons." And an eon is the longest segment of
time, but it is not endless duration.
The session mentioned in Matt. 25:31-46 will take
place just after the establishing of the kingdom of the Son of
David. The same One is the Son of Mankind. It is as such
that He will deal with the nations. These are not individuals of
the nations, but nations as units. Endless life and endless punishment
for individuals is not in view. It is eonian life and eonian
chastisement FOR THE NATIONS. There is no grace of faith
mentioned. Blessing is based on conduct - how each nation has
treated His brethren, who are the Jewish "preachers" who will
have been giving out the gospel of the kingdom just before the scene
shown in this chapter.
Those who make this a matter of endless life, ignore
the fact that, in other passages, grace and faith are mentioned in
connection with the salvation of individuals, and that in this instance,
there is no mention of either, grace or faith.
The Son of Mankind, King of the kingdom of Israel,
will deal with all other nations, preparatory to annexing them to His
Kingdom - for the entire world must come under His sway. The
United States went to Yalta, and to other places, to attend the
"Big Four meetings." Not the entire population of the
United States - but the nation went in the person of one man. That
man was President Roosevelt.
Thus will it be when the Son of Mankind Calls for all
nations to attend a meeting in Jerusalem - where He will be reigning at
the time. A representative of each nation will attend the
meeting. The Son of Mankind will deal with each one
separately. Those that have well-treated His brethren will be
invited into the kingdom with its bliss. Those who have
ill-treated His brethren will be consigned to eonian chastening.
This will be in fire, figuratively speaking. They could not live
in literal fire, and the word used denotes a continuation of the
chastening. It will be the fire of affliction. It is called
chastening. The word for punishment is not in the passage.
It is "kolasis," which is chastening. "Sis" is
equal to our "ing." Therefore "Kolasis" means
that the chastening will go on, at least for some time. It will
not mean sudden annihilation.
A case of chastening during the progress of that
kingdom is found in Isa. 19. It is a picture of God's chastening
visited on Egypt in that day. No doubt Egypt is a nation that will
be placed on the left hand. The chastening of that nation will be
eonian. It is in relation to the eon - that particular eon or
age. Let us not think that "eonian" means for the entire
eon. It means "in relation to the eon." Read Isa.
19. you will see the severe chastening, and the result.
"Egypt My people," is a pronouncement of the beneficent
results of chastening.
Assyria is mentioned in the same connection.
Nothing is said about THAT notion being chastened, but there is no need
to mention it. Egypt is given as an example. Assyria,
whether or not it is chastened, will be regarded as the work of His
Nations that are judged adversely will be subjected
to chastening as nations. The chastening will be in relation to
the eon, and will therefore, be eonian chastening. As soon as one
is ready for the kingdom, the chastening ceases, and the nations is
taken into the kingdom.
The case of Gog and allied notions, mentioned in
Ezek. 38 and 39, is another instance of chastening. That federation of
nations will be chastened by being caused to attack Israel. The
latter does not have to lift a hand in its own defense. God takes
care of the situation. Surely such chastening will be salutary for
those nations being exercised by it.
The point is, there is nothing final in Matthewnor,
indeed, in any of the Circumcision scriptures. The very latest date
found in any of them is the eon that follows the so-called
millennium. When I say "Circumcision scriptures," I mean
everything in the collection, outside Paul's writings. He gives a
later date than does any other passage, for he takes us beyond the eons,
and shows God as All in all, I Cor. 15:28.
How can all be saved, in view of the
"unpardonable sin?" There is no such thing. Christ says,
that every sin and blasphemy SHALL be pardoned, Matt. 12:31. But
He says there is one that shall not be pardoned in relation to the
eon. To a Jew "the eon" meant what "the
millennium" means to us. Those who spoke against the Son of
Mankind, demanding that he be put to death, are pardoned. But
those who resisted the ministry of the apostles under the direction of
the holy spirit, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, died without
being prepared for the kingdom, and will not be pardoned until "the
eon" has passed by. This is not vindictiveness on the part of
God. It just naturally follows that those who are dead during
"the eon" will have no pardon for the eon.
A passage that is often ignored is I Tim. 4:10.
God is the Savior of all mankind, especially of those who believe.
Not all enter into the joys of salvation during the eons. Those
who do, are believers. They are the elect, and are saved ahead of
the rest, because there is certain service for them to perform. It
is not because God loves them better than He does the rest of
mankind. It is because He has a use for them before He has a use
for the rest of mankind.
This is the difference between eonian (everlasting)
life, and life. The elect will have eonian life during the last
two eons, after the Lord comes for His saints and takes them to
heaven. The chosen ones in Israel will be brought into the kingdom
of Israel. Those who do not have life during the eons will not
have eonian life, (miss-called everlasting or eternal life). But
when the eons are past all mankind will have life, and there is no need
of an adjective to describe it. It is LIFE. Death will have
been abolished and sin will have been repudiated.
God is the eonian God. This does not mean that
He is not God before and after the eons. When we need Him is
during the eons, when sin and death are present. In Rom. 16:26 He
is called the eonian God, ("everlasting God" in the king James
Version). believers have eonian life. All shall have endless
life. This is assured, not by the words "eternal" and
"everlasting," but by the use of the word
"immortal." Believers will have eonian life.
Others will not have life until the eons have passed. They will
then have life, and, as death will have been abolished, it is necessarily
endless life, especially since it is said that we shall be immortal and incorruptible.
The doctrine of the salvation of all is satisfying to
the spirit and to the mind, as well. And why should it not be this
way? God loves all mankind. He does not hate anyone in
relation to endless life. He cannot, for He is LOVE. He
hated Esau in relation to the headship of Israel, but this is not
endless. God's hatred is not like ours. It merely means that
the hated one is not preferred for a certain blessing and service.
There is no one whom He prefers above another, for endless life.
For eonian lifeyes! But not for LIFE in the great expanse of
duration beyond the eons. He wills all mankind to be saved, I Tim.
No one can believe in the great doctrine of the
salvation of all mankind, without believing in grace; for all must
recognize that the great majority of humans do not merit anything except