The Testimony Of Jesus

61. Jesus, when on earth, preached in such a manner that the people "wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth." (Luke 4:22) This could not have happened, had he threatened the people with endless misery. He preached salvation to sinful, guilty man; he preached the love of God to the whole world; and declared, that God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but, that the world, through Him, might be saved. Well might the people wonder at his "gracious words."

62. Jesus inculcated the strongest confidence in God; and reasoned in the most tender and judicious manner with the people, to dissuade them from taking anxious thought for the future. Read Matt. 6:25-34. This is one of the most striking passages in the whole New Testament. The object of the Savior was, to encourage, in the hearts of those whom he addressed, the most implicit confidence in God, for all future blessings. God is good; he is kind, even to the unthankful and to the evil; therefore said the Savior, "take no anxious thought." Be not afraid; God will do thee good. He has already proved his beneficence to thee. He takes care of the lower orders of beings; why shouldst thou doubt? He clothes the flowers of the field with beauty; why shouldst thou despair? Take not anxious, painful thought for the future. Sufficient unto the present is the evil therof. Such is the spirit of the passage, which is perfectly consistent with the doctrine of Universalism, but utterly inconsistent with the doctrine of endless misery.

63. Jesus warned the people against the doctrine of the Pharisees, who are well known to have believed in endless punishment. Matt 16:6; compare verse 12. There is no doubt, that the doctrines of the Pharisees were of a partial nature. Jesus was impartial in his teachings. He was the friend of publicans and sinners, and for this the Pharisees hated him. This was the great point on which he differed from the Pharisees. Their doctrine peculiarly was a doctrine of cruelty, wrath, and partiality; his was a doctrine of love, compassion, and universal grace. No person, who will make the comparison fairly, can avoid coming to this result. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.

64. Jesus taught, that men in the future world will be like the angels of God in heaven,—holy, spotless, and pure. "In the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God in heaven." (Matt. 22:30 Luke 20:35,36) In what sense shall they be as the angels of God in heaven? Let the passage in Luke 20 answer this question. "Neither can they die any more, for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Here are two points, in which they will be equal to the angels, viz. 1st. they will be immortal; and 2nd. they will be children of God, bearing a moral likeness to him. This will be the state of all who shall be raised from the dead.

65. Jesus reproved the Pharisees for shutting up the kingdom of heaven. "Woe into you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." (Matt. 23:13) These Pharisees were never charged with having shut up the kingdom of hell; that, they appear to have kept open. But they shut up the kingdom of heaven. Jesus desired to have all men enjoy his kingdom; and we are assured, that, at last, all shall know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest. They will then all have entered the gospel kingdom.

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