Does God Destroy The Wicked
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I often discuss that God’s laws are not imposed laws, in other words nothing less than a test to our obedience, or God say’s either love Me of I’ll kill you. One of our viewers asked the question regarding the great controversy page
“God has given in His word decisive evidence that He will punish the transgressors of His law. Those who flatter themselves that He is too merciful to execute justice upon the sinner, have only to look to the cross of Calvary. The death of the spotless Son of God testifies that “the wages of sin is death,” that every violation of God’s law must receive its just retribution.” Great Controversy page 539
“God executes justice upon the wicked, for the good of the universe, and even for the good of those upon whom His judgments are visited.” Great Controversy page 541, 542
“It is in mercy to the universe that God will finally destroy the rejecters of His grace.” Great Controversy page 543.
There are some quotes even more powerful as you may know. But if we accept the teachings of the whole book, then we also need to read page 36 “God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown.”
So when we read whats in the end of a book, we cannot forget what the author wrote in the beginning. Yes the wicked will die, indeed so. and we use various words to describe. When your talking the servants you talk about punishment, when you talk to adults and friends we talk about consequence.
When my mother was urging me to brush my teeth she didn’t talk about consequence, she talked about imposed penalty. “Upstairs and brush your teeth or else”. She couldn’t say upstairs and brush your teeth or you will have difficulty with your gums and other things, I couldn’t care less as a little boy. Especially if she used words like “Gingivitis” or “Periodontal Disease”. What my mother said was “Up and brush your teeth and I’ll be up in a few minutes to see if you have done it!” and thats how you talk to children. Much of the time we find in the Bible and in Ellen White’s writings we find them writing in the same way.
In this same book where she says, indeed there will be punishment, consequence, retribution. She uses all these words, she says very plainly, “But God is not the executioner.” In fact in the same book. she described how the devil has put together the idea that God is executioner and the idea that the soul will never die, in this same book. That’s where hell came from and you wouldn’t want to teach something “hellish”.
So I would accept the whole book absolutely, she says “God does not destroy the wicked”, and yet the wicked are destroyed, there is no question about it. So we have to put it all together.
My feeling would be and I feel that you and I would be comfortable with this. Our fundamental premise is that we accept the whole bible all of it without reservation. Some of us are conservative enough to accept Ellen White we have without reservation because we have tested and found there in perfect harmony. That means I would want to build my understanding, my picture, my model, my philosophy, my theology whatever word you want to use, on everything. Not here a little and there a little.
Now there are many churches who use their bible and have their collection of littles. We say we have the best collection of littles, how do you prove it? I don’t think we should say that we come with the best collection of littles, we come with the totality of scripture, everything that is in there.
In our family we use Ellen White, because we found her to be so biblical. She says over and over “God is not the executioner, God just leaves us to reap the natural consequences as He left His Son.” How can I put that into the same model, if I cannot fit all her statements into my model then either i’m misreading her statements or there is something wrong with my model. So we go on working it.
One day I will go through Ellen White and collect all her major comments on the destruction of the wicked. All the many places where it says “God as being the destroyer” All the places where she says “God is not the destroyer” Where she talks about the final destruction as the consquence of God leaving us to reap the natural consequence. The final destruction that comes from God ceasing to protect from the adversary.
All the destruction that comes when God unveils his given glory. So I have the balance.
I think you might like the collection because it shouldn’t lean one way or another it just presents the whole picture and leaves it up to us.
Now if you should finally conclude that God is the One who actively burns to death those who violate His law and all the law asks for is love then you would have to reconcile this.
“God says either you love me, or I’ll torture you to death in the flames,” and this same book has a paragraph where it says some will live on longer in the flames.
Now how could you live in fire if God does not keep you alive. Cause your soul is more mortal. Therefore God performs a miracle to keep you alive. In the dictionary that is defined as Torture.