The Bible does speak of eternal punishment.Paidion wrote:Examining enough of the passage to see its significance:
Paul clearly indicates that he has fulfilled the gospel of Christ by bringing the Gentiles to obedience. That is normal, for it is the very purpose of Christ's death and the gospel to bring people away from their old way of conducting their lives into the new and living way, and to provide the enabling grace to do so. Here is what Paul wrote to Titus about that enabling grace and the purpose of Christ's sacrifice:For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (Romans 15:18-21 ESV)
For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Titus 2:11-15
This passage tells us that the very reason for Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was to “redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works.” Other passages which give us the same reason for Christ's death are as follows:
I Peter 2:24 He himself endured our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
II Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Heb 9:26 ...he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Of course, as soon as we mention that Jesus died to deliver us from our own evil way of life to a life of righteousness and obedience, there are those who will accuse us of trying to get right with God by our works or self-effort. Personally, I don't know of anyone who thinks they can get right with God by self-effort.
The angel announced to Joseph that he should call Mary's baby "Jesus" (Saviour) because He would save His people from their sins! Not merely from hell only, but from their SINS. The false gospel is that Jesus died merely to save us from hell. That he took our punishment upon Himself so that we wouldn't have to be punished for our sins, and that this satisfied the justice of God. Hmmm... a strange kind of justice! If you found that you son stole a lot of money from a neighbour, would you feel satisfied that justice had been done if his innocent brother were punished for the crime?
By the way, faith is the means of appropriating the enabling grace of God.As George MacDonald wrote:The Lord never came to deliver men from the consequences of their sins while those sins remained. That would be to throw the medicine out the window while the man still lies sick! That would be to come directly against the very laws of existence! Yet men, loving their sins, and feeling nothing of their dread hatefulness, have (consistently with their low condition) constantly taken this word concerning the Lord to mean that he came to save them from the punishment of their sins. This idea (this miserable fancy rather) has terribly corrupted the preaching of the gospel. The message of the good news has not been truly delivered.
Matthew 25:46 NASB - 46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
The gospel is not a social gospel, self-help or self-remedy.
A person who is saved either has eternal life or will have eternal life. How do they know that they have eternal life? Is it a promise or something they possess?
1 John 5:13 NASB - 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
So we can say that if we are saved, we are saved from sin and its penalty, given a new life, and obedient to God.
Romans 5:15, 18-19 NASB - 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. ... 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
Romans 6:6-23 NASB - 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are we obedient because being saved by God sin is a thing of the past? Because the life of a Christian should be different from his life when he was an unbeliever. Is it different on account of what God has done with the person rather than what he could be determined to do of himself?