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    IV. A CLEAN UNIVERSE

    To put away sin and plant righteousness in its stead, is the mission of Christ to this world. That he might accomplish this, he had to make the awful sacrifice of himself, the Creator of the universe. “Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9:26. By the greatness of the sacrifice we may judge of the enormity of sin, and how abhorrent it is in the sight of God, and also how widely contrary it is to every principle of the government of the King of eternity. To deliver man from its thralldom he spared not his own Son. Rather than to see the blight and stain of sin upon the fair face of his universe, God gave up the “Son of his love” to die the cruel death of the accursed tree. John says: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”1 John 3:8. The work of the devil is sin; for he says, “He that committeth sin is of the devil.” Therefore when it is said that the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, it is simply expressing, in other words, that which we quoted from Paul, that Christ appeared to put away sin.IOS 21.1

    As therefore Christ’s mission is to destroy the works of the devil-to put away sin-it follows that as long as there is a vestige of sin remaining, his mission is not accomplished. Whatever, therefore, tends to perpetuate sin, tends just so far to delay the accomplishment of the mission of Christ. And if by any means sin were made eternal, the inevitable result would be to nullify and subvert the mission of Christ. Now that is exactly what is done by the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul. The very meaning of the word immortal being “not subject to death,” it follows that if the soul be immortal, it must live eternally, whatever its condition may be; and from this again it follows that when the awful sentence is pronounced, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still,” whatsoever soul it be that shall then be unjust must live so to all eternity; which is simply to make sin eternal, and so to subvert the mission of Christ.IOS 22.1

    That sin is to be eternal is strenuously maintained by those who believe that the soul is immortal. This is shown positively in the doctrine of the eternal torment of the wicked. In fact, the belief in the eternal torment of the wicked is simply the necessary consequence of the belief in the immortality of the soul. We know, for the word of God says it, that the wicked will be punished. We know likewise, by the same authority, that they will be punished as long as they live (aion-a life-time). Now if they live eternally, it is evident that they will be in pain eternally. But the word of God says just as plainly that the wicked shall die as it says anything at all about them. “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4. That word tells us of a time when “every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them,” shall be heard saying, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” Revelation 5:13. This scripture can never be fulfilled if the doctrine of eternal suffering be true, or, in other words, if the doctrine of the immortality of the soul be true; for every living intelligence joins in the song of joy and praise. Again, we read of a time when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4. If the doctrine of eternal suffering be the truth, it is literally impossible that there can ever come a time when there shall be “no more pain.”IOS 22.2

    But there stands that faithful word, that there is coming a time when there shall be no more pain; there is coming a time when every voice in the universe will ascribe “honor, and glory, and power,” “unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” This is the truth of God; he has given his only-begotten Son that it might be accomplished; and we have seen that the mission of the Son is declared to be “to put away sin,” to “destroy the works of the devil.” And the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, in making sin eternal, and in immortalizing the works of the devil, frustrates the purpose of God and subverts the mission of Christ.IOS 23.1

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