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LOT FLEEING FROM
SODOM

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them . are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. ' Jude 7.

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THE END OF THE WICKED

So soon as ever Lucifer introduced sin into heaven, it was certain, in the righteousness and omnipotence of God, that the day would come when sin would be blotted out of the perfect creation. Inspiration tells us that a time of final reckoning with sin was assured when Satan and a host of the angels with him lifted up the standard of mysterious rebellion against the law and harmony of heaven:

"The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude 6.

Punishment for sin is assured. By listening to Satan's temptation, man became involved in sin. Then a divine Saviour was provided, through whom every soul might escape from the kingdom of darkness, and find salvation and life. But it is inevitable that those who refuse the way of

life and reject the salvation of God, must finally be involved with Satan and sin in the day when sin is visited.

By Adam's sin, all his posterity inherited a sinful, dying nature. "In Adam all die," the Scripture says. But not a soul in the last day can plead Adam's sin and the inheritance of a fallen nature as an excuse for his own transgressions. By Christ's gift of His life for us, the sinner, with all his weaknesses, may become a partaker of the divine nature, and escape the power of the fleshly nature. By virtue of Christ's death for all, all recover from the death they die in Adam the first death. All have a resurrection, the unjust as well as the just; and then every one gives account of himself to God, according to his own life and the use he has made of the light given him of God

The Two Resurrections

The Scriptures emphasize the fact that there are to be two resurrections. Paul, before Felix, declared his belief the same as that of all the prophets,-"that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." Acts 24: 15.

Jesus declared it in these words:

"The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28, 29

The first resurrection is that of the just, at Christ's second coming. It is written of this:

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." Rev. 20: 6.

After this, the righteous return with Christ to heaven, and remain there during the thousand years. The wicked living at the time of His coming are slain by the consuming glory of His presence; and they, with all the unjust of all the

ages, await in the grave the second resurrection, at the end of the thousand years.

"The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Rev. 20: 5.

At the end of the thousand years the city of God, with the saved, comes down out of heaven and settles upon the earth.

Then the wicked are raised - the second resurrection. Under Satan's leadership they march up to attack the city of God. How naturally, we infer, may Satan persuade the lost that, after all, he was right when he declared to Adam, "Ye shall not surely die." Here are all his servants of all the ages - living. Why may they not be immortal, beyond the power of God to destroy? The old battle that began in heaven is on again. Satan, the archrebel, marshals his hosts of fallen angels and the myriads of fallen men, his legions stretching wide over the earth.

"They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." Rev. 20:9.

"This is the second death," the Scripture says. Verse 14. The great day has come when the sinner receives his wages -death- and sin is destroyed.

The Punishment Everlasting

"The wages of sin is death." And the second death is everlasting. There is no resurrection from this death. The Scriptures describe it in terms that affirm utter destruction, resulting in nonexistence.

"Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." 2 Thess. 1:9.

"Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord

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of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." Mal. 4: 1.

"They shall be ashes," the third verse of this chapter says. Every expression possible to language is employed to denote utter destruction, everlasting death. That means nonexistence. Sin and sinners are blotted out. The prophet Obadiah, speaking of the visitation upon the heathen - the unbelieving in "the day of the Lord," says:

"They shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been." Verse 16.

This is the utter end of sin and all sinners, and of the author of sin. Root and branch they are gone, "as though they had not been." All this is in the 'description of the last judgment, so fully set forth in the twentieth chapter of Revelation.

"Death and hell [hades, the grave] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." Rev. 20: 14. Death and the prison house of death are gone forever. Sin is wiped out of a perfect universe, and not even a trace will remain of the place of the fiery judgment.

"Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be." Ps. 37: 10.

The fires of the last day purify the earth, which comes forth in Eden-like beauty. In the whole creation of God there is no sin, no sinner, but all is harmonious again, as before sin entered the universe. The prophet was given a view of this glorious consummation, and the triumph of the Son of God over sin.

"Every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Rev. 5: 13.

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