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From Here to Forever

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    The Great Lie

    The one who promised life in disobedience was the great deceiver. And the declaration of the serpent in Eden—“Ye shall not surely die”—was the first sermon ever preached on the immortality of the soul. Yet this declaration, resting solely upon the authority of Satan, is echoed from pulpits and received by the majority of mankind as readily as by our first parents. The divine sentence, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20), is made to mean, The soul that sinneth, it shall not die, but live eternally. Had man after his fall been allowed free access to the tree of life, sin would have been immortalized. But not one of the family of Adam has been permitted to partake of the life-giving fruit. Therefore there is no immortal sinner.HF 329.2

    After the Fall, Satan bade his angels to inculcate the belief in man's natural immortality. Having induced the people to receive this error, they were to lead them to conclude that the sinner would live in eternal misery. Now the prince of darkness represents God as a revengeful tyrant, declaring that He plunges into hell all who do not please Him, that while they writhe in eternal flames, their Creator looks down on them with satisfaction. Thus the archfiend clothes with his attributes the Benefactor of mankind. Cruelty is satanic. God is love. Satan is the enemy who tempts man to sin and then destroys him if he can. How repugnant to love, mercy, and justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented in an eternally burning hell, that for the sins of a brief earthly life they suffer torture as long as God shall live!HF 330.1

    Where in God's Word is such teaching to be found? Are feelings of common humanity to be exchanged for the cruelty of the savage? No, such is not the teaching of the Book of God. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekiel 33:11.HF 330.2

    Does God delight in witnessing unceasing tortures? Is He regaled with the groans and shrieks of suffering creatures whom He holds in the flames? Can these horrid sounds be music in the ear of Infinite Love? Oh, dreadful blasphemy! God's glory is not enhanced by perpetuating sin through ceaseless ages.HF 330.3

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