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DESTRUCTION

Do the words "everlasting" and "forever and ever" as applied to the punishment of the wicked, mean an eternity of misery, and torment, or merely punishment for a season? Cannot the wicked be destroyed? If they are fireproof and indestructible; then have they not eternal life as well as the righteous? And if they have eternal life, how shall we understand the words of the inspired writer when he says "and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him"? `John 3:15` (Serious).

<ANSWER>--Let no one be deceived regarding the duration of the punishment of the wicked, as it is repeatedly put forth in the scriptures that it is for eternity and not merely for a season. However; it is not a question as to the duration of the punishment, but it is a question as to the nature of the punishment. It is about this point that many Christians have been confused. When the Apostle says, concerning the ultimate fate of the wicked, "they shall suffer everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord," they at once get the thought of the eternal feature of the punishment, but do not get the proper idea as to its nature; reasoning generally that "destruction" means preservation (in fire and brimstone). Death is the punishment for sin. It is the penalty for disobedience. "The wages of sin is death" (`Rom. 6:23`.) And when death is eternal, it is eternal punishment. There should be no question on this point. The scriptural proposition is very plain. "The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." The wicked, who after full light and knowledge, refused to accept of the grace of God as manifested through Christ, will never receive the "gift" of eternal life.

What is the meaning of the word "Armageddon"? Also, what is signified by "the battle of Armageddon"? These are expressions that I see are appearing quite frequently in the daily press these balmy political days, and my curiosity is aroused considerably. (T.R.)

<ANSWER>--The name is found in `Rev. 16:16`, and means literally "The Mountain of Destruction." It is supposed to have reference to the place where the Lord caused fearful destruction of the enemies of Israel before the armies of Gideon, and of Jehoshaphat. On both of these occasions, the slaughter of the allied armies of the foe was terrible and the rout was complete (`Judges 8`; `2 Chronicles 20`). These are believed to be types or illustrations of the "time of troubles such as was not since there was a nation" in the end of this Christian era, when "the whole world is gathered together for the battle of the great day of God the Almighty." (`Dan. 12:1`; `Rev.14:14`; `Zeph. 3:8`.) As a matter of fact, the opposing hosts of this last final conflict are gathering at this present time. The spirit of revolution and anarchism in the world is generating a boiling, seething condition of affairs. The warring political factions, the militant suffragettes, the socialists, the nihilists, the anarchists, the labor organizations, the capitalistic combinations, and the ecclesiastical system, all in opposition to each and all, are rushing headlong to the Mountain of Destruction--Armageddon. The nations of the earth are already gathered together, forming one vast community of general interests, commercially, financially, and politically, and associated by the modern methods of communication, the cables, wireless telegraphs, railways and steamship lines. Armageddon will truly be an awful place of destruction with all the world engaged in that last final struggle!

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