« VorigeDoorgaan »
Prov. 26 10. The great God, that formed all things, rewardeth transgressors.
Ps. 55: 10. Mischief and sorrow are in the midst of the wicked. Rom. 1 18. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.
Rom. 29. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
Eph. 5: 6. For because of these things (uncleanness, covetousness, idolatry, &c.), cometh the wrath of God on the children of disobedience. Col. 3: 6. For which things' (same as above) sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.
The wages of sin is death.
To be carnally minded is death.
Rom. 6:23. Rom. 8: 6. James 1: 15. Col. 3: 25. He that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons.
Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.
Heb. 2: 2, 3. If the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?
Instances recorded in the Bible of Divine punishment inflicted on the wicked in this life.
Case of Eve-for partaking of the forbidden fruit. Gen. 3:16. And unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Of Adam-for the same crime.
Gen. 3: 17-19. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life: thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Of Cain-for the murder of his brother Abel. Gen. 4 10-13. And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground: and now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Of the Antediluvians—for their great wickedness. Gen. 6. 5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. Verse 7. And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth; both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air. Gen. 7: 21-22. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowls, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth, and every man all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man,
and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth; and Noan only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
Of Sodom and Gomorrah. Gen. 19: 24, 25. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
Of Lot's wife. Gen. 19: 26. But his (Lot's) wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Of Pharaoh and the Egyptians-for their cruel oppression of the Israelites. Exodus, chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. These judgments were nine in number. 1. The river Nile and all the waters of the land were turned into blood. 2. Frogs were sent into their houses, into their h chambers, into their ovens, and into their kneading-troughs. 3. Th of the land was turned to lice. 4. The cattle of the Egyptians were af with flies, and a terrible murrain, insomuch that they died, and the E tians themselves with boils breaking forth with blains very grievous. A grievous haii mingled with fire came upon them. 6. The whole land w filled with destroying beasts. 7. A dreadful darkness, "which might felt," came upon them. 8. The first-born of them were slain by the de stroying angel. 9. Pharaoh and his host were overwhelmed in the waters of the red sea, and cut off from the earth. See Ex. 14.
Of Abimelech -for the murder of the sons of Jerubbaal. Jud. 9: at verse 56 we are told :- Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren.
Of the Shechemites-for supporting Abimelech in his wickedness. Jud. 9 at verse 57 we are informed: :And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads.
Of Ahab and his wife Jezebel-for their cruel murder of Naboth Kings 21. The sentence pronounced upon Ahab was:- In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. Verse 19. Upon Jezebel. The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Verse 23. In chapter 22, we have an account of the execution of these
Of the Ammonites. Ezek., chap. 21. At verse 30, God says, I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity. In chap. 22, we read that this sentence was executed. At verse 31, God says, Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.
Of Solomon-for licentiousness and idolatry. 1 Kings, chap. 11. In this chapter, we are told that God, as a punishment upon Solomon, stirred up enemies against him both at home and abroad, and gave him no peace in his kingdom during the remainder of his life and reign.
Of Jeroboam-for idolatry. 1 Kings, chapters 12 and 14. His family was cut off, and the peace of his kingdom destroyed. He himself was afflicted with a withered hand, for laying violent hands upon the "man of God."
Of Baasha -for the same sin. 1 Kings, chap. 16. He was afflicted the same or similar judgments to those that befell Jeroboam.
Of Ahaziah-for inquiring of Baal-zebub, instead of God, concerning his sickness. 2 Kings, chap. 1. He was punished with death.
Of Jehoram-for idolatry. 2 Chron., chap. 21. A great plague was sent upon his people, his children, and his wives. He was afflicted with great sickness- - an incurable disease of his bowels, which lasted two years, and finally terminated in death.
2 Chron. 33:2-15.
Of Manasseh-for the same. 2 Kings 21:3-6. In 2 Chron. 33: 10, 11, we read, And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people; but they would not hearken. Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
Of Amaziah-for the same. 2 Chron., chap. 25. He was defeated in battle, and finally his subjects conspired against him and put him to death.
Of Moses and Aaron. Numb. 20:12. The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore, ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. Accordingly both died without being permitted to enter Canaan.
Of the unbelieving Israelites. Deut. 1: 32. Moses said, Ye did not believe the Lord your God. Verses 34, 35. And the Lord was wroth, and sware, saying, Surely there shall not one of these men, of this evil generation, see that good land which I sware to give unto their fathers.
Of the wicked and rebellious Jews. 1 Sam. 12: 9. They forgat the Lord their God, and he sold them into the hand of their enemies.
Lev. 18 25. The land is defiled, therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it. Verse 28. The land shall spue you out, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations before you.
Ps. 107: 11, 12. Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsels of the Most High; therefore he brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help.
Lam. 18. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, therefore she is removed; all that honored her despise her.
Ezek. 39 24. According to their uncleanness, and according to their transgressions, have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.
Of Ephraim. Jer. 31: 18. Ephraim said, Thou hast chastised me as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke.
Of David. Ps. 38: 6. There is no rest in my bones because of my sin. 2 Sam. 22: 21. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. See, also, verse 25.
Of Ahaz. 2 Chron. 28: 2. Ahaz made molten images for Baalim. He burnt his children in the fire, after the abomination of the heathen. Verse 5. Wherefore the Lord delivered him into the hands of the king of
Of Judas, for betraying Christ. Acts 1: 18. Now this man (Judas) purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
Of Ananias and his wife Sapphira, for lying to God. Acts 5: 1-10. Both were struck down dead.
Of Herod. Acts 12: 21-23. And upon a set day, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
Of Elymas the sorcerer, for attempting to turn the deputy from the faith. Acts 13: 8-11. He was smitten with blindness for a season, and there fell on him a mist and a darkness.
The above instances are but a few out of the very many recorded in the Bible of Divine punishment inflicted in this world. We might cite the instances of God's judgments upon the Jewish
people during their sojourn in the wilderness; yea, during their whole history from the earliest period down to the present time. We might cite his judgments upon the different heathen nations for their oppression of the Jews; his judgments on Babylon, Assyria, Tyre, Sidon, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and Jerusalem. But the above instances are sufficient to show that mankind are sometimes, at least, rewarded and punished in this life.
Remarks on Rewards and Punishments.
The three preceding sections are designed to prove, not that there is, or will be, no retribution in the future world, but that there is a retribution in this. We have purposely omitted those threatenings contained in the Bible which, by some, are supposed to relate to a punishment to be inflicted in a future state of existence. The strongest of those passages containing them, and those most relied on by the advocates of future retribution, will be considered in the course of this work.
It appears to us that on no subject whatever have mankind so greatly and so generally erred as on the subject of rewards and punishments. And on few, if any subjects, is it more important to the well-being and happiness of man that he should have correct views and information.
The theory of rewards and punishments, which has most extensively prevailed in the world, is this: That this world is a state of probation or trial, where mankind are forming characters for eternity. That there is no such thing as retributive justice in this world; but that the reward of virtue, and punishment of vice, are reserved to be administered in a future state of existence. In opposition to this theory we urge the following objections.
1. It renders the reward of virtue, and the punishment of vice, extremely uncertain. God is unchangeable; his law is immutable, and his system of moral government is the same, yesterday, to-day, and forever. If, therefore, virtue goes unrewarded, and vice unpunished, in time, what proof have we that such will not always continue to be the case? We are aware that some writers have
asserted that "mankind are not rewarded and punished in time, therefore they will be in eternity." But what kind of logic is this? Is the conclusion embraced in the premises? So far from it the only legitimate inference or conclusion to be drawn from the premises is this: Mankind are not rewarded nor punished in time, therefore they never will be. If God is not just in this world, we have no proof that he ever will be.
2. If this theory be admitted to be true, it renders it absolutely certain that some virtuous actions will never be rewarded, and that some vicious acts will never be punished. All mankind do some good and some evil. If, therefore, some are admitted into heaven because the balance of their actions have been good, then they will receive no retribution for their sins. On the other hand if some men go to hell because the balance of their actions have been evil, then they will receive no reward for their good deeds. If mankind do not go to heaven on the ground of merit, but because they have complied with the conditions of the gospel, then those who comply with these conditions will not be punished for their sins; and those who do not comply, will not be rewarded for their virtues. If mankind go to heaven by reason of some miraculous change, which is wrought in them in this life, it amounts to precisely the same thing. Those who experience this change will not be punished for the sins which they have committed; those who do not experience it will not be rewarded for their good deeds.
3. It destroys all distinction between the effects of good and evil in this world. According to this theory, good is not good, because it produces happiness here; nor evil evil, because it produces misery. If it be admitted that the virtuous, in consequence of their virtues, are more happy than the vicious, or that the vicious, in consequence of their vices, are more miserable than the virtuous, this overthrows the theory against which we are contending, because it is an admission that there is a sort of retribution in this life. But, so far from this being admitted, it is even contended by some that, as a general thing, the righteous suffer more in this world than the wicked, and that the wicked enjoy more happiness than the righteous. The advocates of this opinion admit a distinction between the effects of good and evil, to be sure; but it is a distinction altogether in favor of evil. If this be true, then vice is rewarded with happiness, and virtue with misery! How do the