Australasian Signs of the Times, vol. 18- Contents
August 24, 1903
“Are Men Judged at Death?” Australasian Signs of the Times 18, 34 pp. 407, 408.
If at death men enter immediately into their reward or punishment, as the case may be, then it follows, if there by any Judgment at all, that instead of there being a time “appointed” () for judgment, constantly going on in the life of each individual, and that that judgment closes at his death, and that he in consequence of judgment passed, enters then upon his destiny, whether for good or for ill.BEST August 24, 1903, page 407.1
It can be seen at a glance that such a view is utterly subversive of the Bible doctrine of the judgment. If such be the truth, then there can be no such thing as a day of judgment when the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment upon all, because all are judged as fast as they die; there can be no such thing as Christ judging the living and the dead at His appearing and his kingdom, because all the dead have been judged when they died; there can be no such thing as the “time of the dead that they should be judged” when the seventh angel sounds, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, for all the dead will have been judged before the seventh angel shall have sounded; and there can be no such thing as reserving “the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished,” because by this theory they are sent to punishment as soon as they die. In short, if the doctrine of the immortality of the soul be the truth, the Bible doctrine of the judgment cannot be the truth.BEST August 24, 1903, page 407.2
That we do not misrepresent the popular doctrine of the immortality of the soul when we say that it puts men into Heaven or hell at death, can be proved by any one who will consult the hymn books, or the papers of the religious denominations who believe that doctrine, or listen to the average funeral discourse or revival sermon.BEST August 24, 1903, page 408.1
But that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is subversive of the Bible doctrine of the judgment is not all. By virtue of that doctrine, men have usurped the seat of the Judge of all, and have arrogated to themselves the prerogative of reading into heaven whomsoever they see fit. How often we read that such and such a person is in heaven! But what right has any man to say who is worthy of a place in that bright world? Who knows the heart? None but God alone. He alone it is who pronounces upon the worthiness of men “to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead,” and when men take upon themselves to read into heaven this man or that man, they are simply usurping the awful prerogative of the Most High. And only for belief in the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul, no man would ever think of it.BEST August 24, 1903, page 408.2
We repeat: It is God alone to whom belongs the right to pronounce that decision. He will pronounce it in every case, but it will be in the judgment; not at death, but at the resurrection of the dead, and before the assembled universe, and by the voice of the glorious Son of God, who hath loved us and hath washed us from our sins in His own blood; for He “hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” . Any doctrine that will lead men to thus usurp the prerogative of the Judge of all the earth cannot be the truth. This is exactly what the doctrine of the immortality of the soul does, therefore it cannot be the truth; and as it is subversive of the Bible doctrine of the judgment, it is not only not the truth, but it is subversive of the truth.BEST August 24, 1903, page 408.3