Adams Punishment

But Adam was neither before nor afterward told that he had incurred or should receive endless woe.

Here is the law, and its penalty:

And the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die. Gen. 2: 15-17.

Adam died as the penalty of his sin. How? This threatened death is not (1.) of the body, for physical dissolution was the natural result of physical organization, and the death threatened was to be "In the day he sinned." His body did not die in that day. (2.) It was not eternal death for the same reason. He certainly went to no endless hell "in the day" of his transgression. It was (3.) a moral, spiritual death from which recovery is feasible. Paul describes it:

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts. Eph. 4: 18. You has he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. Eph. 2: 1.

Jesus describes it in the parable of the Prodigal son:

It was meet that we should make merry and be glad; for this, your brother, was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found. Luke 15: 32. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live. Deut. 30: 15-19.

Adam died this kind of death and no other "in the day" he sinned. The death God threatened was in this life. The devil denied this penalty. If it was any different from that threatened, then the devil told the truth. This penalty is described in the language used toward Adam after he had sinned:

And unto Adam he said, Because you have harkened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, you shall not eat of it; cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken; for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return. Gen. 3: 17-19.

Would all these consequences be so fully described, and the one of surpassing importance be concealed? Would God perpetrate a "snap judgment" on his poor deluded creatures? Impossible. Our first parents died in trespasses and sins, as did the prodigal, "in the day" they sinned. The whole penalty to which Adam or any other should ever be liable was fully described, but not a word of endless punishment is there.

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