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The third kind of death is the consummation of the other two…..eternal death

The third kind of death is the consummation of the other two. It is eternal death. It is the execution of the legal sentence; it is the consummation of the spiritual death. Eternal death is the death of the soul, it takes place after the body has been laid in the grave, after the soul has departed from it. If legal death be terrible, it is because of its consequences; and if spiritual death be dreadful, it is because of that which shall succeed it. The two deaths of which we have spoken are the roots, and that death which is to come is the flower thereof. Oh! had I words that I might this morning attempt to depict to you what eternal death is. The soul has come before its Maker, the book has been opened, the sentence has been uttered; “Depart ye cursed” has shaken the universe, and made the very spheres dim with the frown of the Creator; the soul has departed to the depths where it is to dwell with others in eternal death. Oh! how horrible is its position now. Its bed is a bed of flame, the sights it sees are murdering ones that affright its spirit, the sounds it hears are shrieks, and wails, and moans, and groans; all that its body knows is the infliction of miserable pain! it has the possessor of unutterable woe, of unmitigated misery. The soul looks up. Hope is extinct-it is gone. It looks downward in dread and fear; remorse hath possessed its soul. It looks on the right hand-and the adamantine walls of fate keep it within its limits of torture. It looks on the left-and there the rampart of blazing fire forbids the sealing ladder of e’en a dreamy speculation of escape. It looks within and seeks for consolation there, but a gnawing worm hath entered into the soul. It looks about it-it has no friends to aid, no comforters, but tormentors in abundance. It knoweth nought of hope of deliverance; it hath heard the everlasting key of destiny turning in its awful wards, and it hath seen God take that key and hurl it down into the depth of eternity never to be formed again. It hopeth not; it knoweth no escape; it guesseth not of deliverance; it pants for death, but death is too much its foe to be there, it longs that non-existence would swallow it up, but this eternal death is worse than annihilation. It pants for extermination as the laborer for his Sabbath; it longs that it might be swallowed up in nothingness just as would the galley slave long for freedom, but it cometh not -it is eternally dead. When eternity shall have rolled round multitudes of its everlasting cycles it shall still be dead. For-ever knoweth no end; eternity cannot be spelled except in eternity. Still the soul seeth written o’er its head, “Thou art damned for ever.” It heareth howlings that are to be perpetual; it seeth flames which are unquenchable; it knoweth pains that are unmitigated; it hears a sentence that rolls not like the thunder of earth which soon is hushed-but onward, onward, onward, shaking the echoes of eternity-making thousands of years shake again with the horrid thunder of its dreadful sound-”Depart! depart! depart ye cursed!” This is the eternal death.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

Men by nature are spiritually dead

But, besides being legally dead, we are also spiritually dead. For not only did the sentence pass in the book but it passed in the heart; it entered the conscience; it operated on the soul, on the Judgment, on the imagination, and on everything. “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” was not only fulfilled by the sentence recorded, but by something which took place in Adam. Just as, in a certain moment, when this body shall die, the blood stops, the pulse ceases, the breath no longer comes from the lungs, so in the day that Adam did eat that fruit his soul died; his imagination lost its mighty power to climb into celestial things and see heaven his will lost its power always to choose that which is good, his judgment lost all ability to judge between right and wrong decidedly and infallibly, though something was retained in conscience, his memory became tainted, liable to hold evil things, and let righteous things glide away; every power of him ceased as to its moral vitality. Goodness was the vitality of his powers-that departed. Virtue, holiness, integrity, these were the life of man; but when these departed man became dead; and now, every man, so far as spiritual things are concerned, is “dead in trespasses and sins,” spiritually. Nor is the soul less dead in a carnal man, than the body is when committed to the grave, it is actually and positively dead-not by a metaphor, for Paul speaketh not in metaphor when he affirms, “You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” But my hearers, again, I would I could preach to your hearts concerning this subject. It was bad enough when I described death as having been recorded; but now I speak of it as having actually taken place in your hearts. Ye are not what ye once were; ye are not what ye were in Adam, not what ye were created. Man was made pure and holy. Ye are not the perfect creatures of which some boast; ye are altogether fallen, ye have gone out of the way, ye have become corrupt and filthy. Oh! listen not to the siren song of those who tell you of your moral dignity, and your mighty elevation in matters of salvation. You are not perfect; that great word, “ruin,” is written on your heart; and death is stamped upon your spirit. Do not conceive. O moral man that thou wilt be able to stand before God in thy morality, for thou art nothing but a carcase embalmed in legality, a corpse arrayed in some fine robes, but still corrupt in God’s sight. And think not, O thou possessor of natural religion! that thou mayest by thine own might and power make thyself acceptable to God. Why, man! thou art dead! and thou mayest array the dead as gloriously as thou pleasest, but still it would be a solemn mockery. There lieth queen Cleopatra-put the crown upon her head, deck her in royal robes, let her sit in state; but what a cold chill runs through you when you pass by her. She is fair now, even in her death-but how horrible it is to stand by the side even of a dead queen, celebrated for her majestic beauty! So you may be glorious in your beauty, hair, and amiable, and lovely, you put the crown of honesty upon your head, and wear about you all the garments of uprightness, but unless God has quickened thee, O man! unless the Spirit has had dealings with thy soul, thou art in God’s sight as obnoxious as the chilly corpse is to thyself: Thou wouldst not choose to live with a corpse sitting at thy table; nor doth God love that thou shouldst be in his sight. He is angry with thee every day, for thou art in sin -thou art in death. Oh! believe this, take it to thy soul, appropriate it, for it is most true that thou art dead, spiritually as well as legally.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

Men by nature are legally dead

I. First, then, our text implies THAT MEN BY NATURE ARE DEAD. NO being needs to go after life if he has life in himself. The text speaks very strongly when it says, “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life,” though it saith it not in words, yet it doth in effect affirm that men need a life more than they have themselves. My hearers, we are all dead unless we have been begotten unto a lively hope. First, we are all of us, by nature, legally dead:-”In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die the death,” said God to Adam; and though Adam did not die in that moment naturally, he died legally; that is to say death was recorded against him. As soon as, at the Old Bailey, the judge puts on the black cap and pronounces the sentence, the man is reckoned to be dead at law. Though perhaps a month may intervene before he is brought on the scaffold to endure the sentence of the law, yet the law looks upon him as a dead man. It is impossible for him to transact anything. He cannot inherit, he cannot bequeath; he is nothing-he is a dead man. The country considers him not as being alive in it at all. There is an election-he is not asked for his vote because he is considered as dead. He is shut up in his condemned cell, and he is dead. Ah! and ye ungodly sinners who have never had life in Christ, ye are alive this morning, by reprieve, but do ye know that ye are legally dead; that God considers you as such, that in the day when your father Adam touched the fruit, and when you yourselves did sin, God, the Eternal Judge, put on the black cap and condemned you? You talk mightily of your own standing, and goodness, and morality:-where is it? Scripture saith, ye are “condemned already.” Ye are not to wait to be condemned at the judgment-day-that will be the execution of the sentence:- “ye are condemned already.” In the moment ye sinned; your names were all written in the black book of justice; every one was then sentenced by God to death, unless he found a substitute, in the person of Christ, for his sins. What would you think if you were to go into the Old Bailey, and see the condemned culprit sitting in his cell, laughing and merry? You would say, “The man is a fool, for he is condemned, and is to be executed, yet how merry he is.” Ah! and how foolish is the worldly man, who, while sentence is recorded against him, lives in merriment and mirth! Do you think the sentence of God is of no effect? Thinkest thou that thy sin which is written with an iron pen on the rocks for ever hath no horrors in it? God hath said thou art condemned already. If thou wouldst but feel this, it would mingle bitters in thy sweet cups of joy; thy dances would be stopped, thy laughter quenched in sighing, if thou wouldst recollect that thou art condemned already. We ought all to weep, if we lay this to our souls: that by nature we have no life in God’s sight; we are actually positively condemned, death is recorded against us, and we are considered in ourselves now, in God’s sight, as much dead as if we were actually cast into hell; we are condemned here by sin, we do not yet suffer the penalty of it, but it is written against us, and we are legally dead, nor can we find life unless we find legal life in the person of Christ, of which more by-and-bye.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

A Text of the Arminian

“And ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.” -John 5:40.

THIS is one of the great guns of the Arminians, mounted upon the top of their walls, and often discharged with terrible noise against the poor Christians called Calvinists. I intend to spike the gun this morning, or, rather, to turn it on the enemy, for it was never theirs; it was never cast at their foundry at all, but was intended to teach the very opposite doctrine to that which they assert. Usually, when the text is taken, the divisions are:- First, that man has a will. Secondly, that he is entirely free. Thirdly, that men must make themselves willing to come to Christ, otherwise they will not be saved. Now, we shall have no such divisions; but we will endeavor to take a more calm look at the text, and not, because there happen to be the words; will,” or “will not” in it, run away with the conclusion that it teaches the doctrine of free-will. It has already been proved beyond all controversy that free-will is nonsense. Freedom cannot belong to will any more than ponderability can belong to electricity. They are altogether different things. Free agency we may believe in, but free-will is simply ridiculous. The will is well known by all to be directed by the understanding, to be moved by motives, to be guided by other parts of the soul, and to be a secondary thing. Philosophy and religion both discard at once the very thought of free-will; and I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, “If any man doth ascribe aught of salvation, even the very least, to the free-will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.” It may seem a harsh sentiment, but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free-will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that he gives both; that he is “Alpha and Omega “in the salvation of men.

Our four points, this morning, shall be,-First, that every man is dead, because it says, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” Secondly, that there is life in Jesus Christ-”Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” Thirdly, that there is life in Christ Jesus for every one that comes for it-”Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life;” implying that all who go will have life; and fourthly, the gist of the text lies here, that no man by nature ever will come to Christ, for the text says, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” So far from asserting that men of their own wills ever do such a thing, it boldly and flatly denies it, and says, “Ye WILL NOT come unto me that ye might have life.” Why, beloved, I am almost ready to exclaim, Have all free-willers no knowledge that they dare to run in the teeth of inspiration? Have all those that deny the doctrine of grace no sense? Have they so departed from God that they wrest this to prove free-will; whereas the text says, “Ye WILL NOT come unto me that ye might have life.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

For God So Loved the World

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

by Tom Ascol

Every Christian believes in limited atonement. That may sound ludicrous to my Arminian friends because it has long been assumed that only Calvinists hold to the dreaded “L” in TULIP. But if the death of Jesus Christ is recognized as an actual atonement (and not merely a potential one), then the question of limitation cannot be escaped, unless you believe the lie of universalism.

It is the recognition that Christ’s death actually atoned for sins that governs our interpretation of those wonderful texts that speak of the great breadth of His saving work. For example, John writes that Jesus is “the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). The choice here is not between Calvinism and Arminianism. It is between Calvinism and universalism. If “world” means “each and every person who ever lived or will live” then everyone will be saved because of the objective nature of propitiation. No sin would be left unpaid for — including the sin of unbelief.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

“Traditional” Baptists Under the Microscope of History

Founders Journal 89 · Summer 2012 · pp. 7–33

“Traditional” Baptists Under the Microscope of History

Tom Nettles

The following is an expanded version of an address delivered at the Founders Fellowship Breakfast on June 19, 2012 at the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, LA.

Recently, a group of anti-Calvinist Baptists claimed that they have exclusive rights to the term “Traditional Baptist.” Calvinists, therefore, should resign themselves to the status of a distinct minority among Southern Baptists and be willing to receive the grace of mere toleration. With that they should be happy, and be content to expect little else. Perhaps a bit of historical perspective can serve to amend this strange perception.

A Doctrinal Profile of Baptist Identity

When Baptists emerged out of seventeenth-century English Separatism, they already were identified with several specific marks inherited from the Reformation. The Theological Orthodoxy of the early church, received by the Reformers, they claimed as their own. Like their fellows Protestants, they revolted from the sacerdotalism that dominated Roman Catholic soteriology and developed a more highly purified evangelicalism than even their Protestant brothers. The confessional stewardship that had thrived in early Christianity and that was renewed in sixteenth-century Protestantism became an important and strategic part of Baptist witness. Confessions operated at three levels for Baptists, as indicated by a confession adopted by the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Louisiana. First a confession….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here or download the journal here.

So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage for proof

November 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur Pink“He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them” (Mark 6:5). So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage in proof that the power of His incarnate Son was limited, and that there were occasions when His merciful designs were thwarted by man. But a comparison of the parallel passage in Matthew 13:54-58, at once gives the lie to such a blasphemous assertion, for we are there told “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Thus it was not any limitation in Himself, but something in them, which restrained Him. In other words, He was actuated by a sense of propriety. The emphasis both in Mark 6:5, and Matthew 13:58, is on the word “there,” for, as the context shows, this occurred at Nazareth where He was lightly esteemed. To have performed prodigies of power before those who regarded Him with contempt had, in principle, been casting pearls before swine; as it had been unfitting to have wrought miracles to gratify the curiosity of Herod (Luke 23:8)— elsewhere He did many supernatural works. In Genesis 19:22, the Lord could not destroy Sodom until Lot had escaped from it, while in Jeremiah 44:22, He “could no longer bear” the evil doings of Israel — it was moral propriety, not physical inability.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures