Eternal Judgment

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.."—Hebrews 6:1-2.

The word eternal is here used in the sense of ancient, and alludes to the calamities that had come upon wrong-doers. The comments of Bishop Pearce are clear and accurate: "I think, therefore, that the words are to be understood in a very different manner, and krima here seems to me to be put for temporal judgments. Thus the word used 1 Pet. 4:17 'the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God,' where the context will not suffer us to take it in any other sense; compare verses 16, 18, 19. So again, 1 Cor. 11:29, 'He that eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.' What this judgment was, appears by the next verse: 'For this cause many are weakly and sick among you, and many sleep.' The word aionios, which we have rendered eternal, I take to respect not the time to come, but the time past, and to signify ancient, or past long ago." Thus the destruction, fire, punishment and judgments of God that are called eternal or everlasting, are limited. They are ordained by a Father for the correction and discipline and welfare of his children, the issue of which is restoration to righteousness.

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