I was going through my notes this afternoon, and was wanting to better organize them for future retrieval. I figured this was as good a place as any to put them.
I happened across this website several months ago. I haven't gone through the whole site, so I can't attest whether I agree with all of the content or not, but I found the following observations quite compelling:
- Jesus paid the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:9, 1 Corinthians 15:3)
- Jesus resurrected on the third day (Acts 10:40). Jesus returned to Heaven forty days after His death (Acts 1:3).
- God claims to be fair (Psalms 89:14). If the penalty of sin is eternal torment in hell, then why did Jesus (our sin-bearer in 2 Cor 5:21) get off the hook so easily?
This is a good argument for why we don't burn forever in hell, but it raises the question: "If Jesus suffered the penalty for sin, and rose again and went to heaven, will the wicked eventually be raised to life again and welcomed into heaven?"
Let's take a closer look. First, we know that everyone dies . This universal first death that everyone participates in is called the "first death." But afterwards, there is a "second death" where the wicked are consumed in the lake of fire (Rev 20:14, 21:8). Those who overcome through Jesus do not suffer the second death (Rev 2:11, 20:6).
Jesus Himself did not suffer the second death. If so, He would have to suffer the same penalty as the wicked, which is eternal death and the obliteration of the mind, body, and soul (Malachi 4:1-3), as if they never existed (Obadiah 1:16). So if Jesus did not suffer the second death, and the saints of God do not suffer the second death, then what gives?
Leviticus 16 describes the most important day in the religious cycle of ancient Israel. On this day, two goats would be selected
[Perhaps an exact quote] This is a critical point: Natural death (the first death) is not the penalty for sin. Natural death comes as a consequence of being separated from the tree of life (ooh! There's a verse for this!). The penalty for sin, however ,is death by execution and God will implement the penalty for sin at the end of the millenium (Revelation 20:14,15)