Man does not want to face the depths of his own sin.
Nor does he want to deal with the problem of iniquity.
Both are impossible for a man to fix by moral discipline, religious devotion or other means.
Because of this inescapable problem, there will always be attempts to change the rules which God has established. To exchange biblical reality with man’s wishful thinking. Or to change the gospel and the plan of salvation in order to accommodate the iniquity of the soul.
Annihilationism is all about accommodation.
The Seriousness of the Situation
When we don’t see the true seriousness of our situation, we will try to fix it by whatever means necessary. All of the religions of this world have this problem. They are seeking to pay for, clean up and eradicate sin by means which God has never approved.
God has clearly condemned the sin and iniquity of all men. No one has escaped God’s pronouncement against wickedness. So all face the same condemnation; and all have the same opportunity for total cleansing and forgiveness.
One of the accusations that are thrown at Christians is that we are an exclusionary bunch of smug religious bigots; confident of our own acceptance by God while the rest of the world goes to hell.
Granted, I have known people that think this way; but they are not people that truly understand the grace of God. Because there is no pride in grace.
The gospel is not about anyone getting what they deserve. It is about God giving men salvation and an eternal inheritance freely. Without any person having earned that wondrous gift. Nor for anything of value that is within us. Nor for any good work or ritual that we have done.
This gift of God is only possible because of the terrible and horrible payment that God made out of the love and goodness of His own heart. Of the eternal payment for sin that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit made, in total agreement with one another, for every soul that would accept it.
How is God Satisfied?
Firstly, it is about a man willing to see his condition. His terrible and eternal condition in iniquity. And of the infinite depths of that spirit of iniquity within him.
Iniquity if about more than just the specific sins we have committed. It is about the core nature of wickedness that lies beneath the sin. Which God has declared is within every man and woman.
Secondly, it is about seeing that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. That He alone is sufficient. That He alone is worthy to pay for that iniquity. And that He, by His blood, has paid the price in full.
And that God is satisfied with His payment.
Thirdly, that he will trust in Jesus Christ as His Savior. Directly and solely trusting in Him alone for cleansing and forgiveness. By faith alone as the word of God alone prescribes.
Tragically, men still reject these “streams of mercy”. They refuse to believe that they do not possess some good within themselves that God will accept.
And that is the crux of the matter.
Men believe that they can do something to appease God. That their sin and iniquity is something that can be solved by sincerity, good intentions, good works, religious rituals, loving one another, helping ones fellow man, or making the world a better place. The list is endless.
So, the clear and sole means of salvation is rejected in favor of some other means to reach God. And, again, the list is endless of all the ways men try to reach God.
The Problem of Eternity
If a man refuses to see the depths of his own iniquity, he will not see the need for God’s judgment against sin. He will see God as vindictive and sadistic.
The only other alternative is to make God’s judgment against sin palatable. Make it quick and painless for those who want to continue in sin without any fear of future consequences.
Because, if eternal life is snuffed out quickly and painlessly, who cares? Live like you want. Do what you want. Believe what you want. And then lights out.
Unless, the soul goes on.
Unless, existence does not stop.
And you’ve got to live somewhere forever.
To Be Continued . . .