The death of Jesus is never called “sleep”

Jesus died but did not perish. The death of Jesus is never called “sleep”. Those who die outside of Christ will perish on judgment day. Those who die in Christ will sleep until Jesus comes and raises them from the dead.

The punishment for sin is death, not only what happens before death. The wages of sin is death. The soul that sins shall die. The degrees of infinity thing does not impress me much, if people who talk about that are saying that the non-elect being punished are never quite punished enough, even when they are punished more than others.

David Wells, Christianity Today, March 20 1987 — “If God is as good as the Bible says, if his character is as pure, if his life is as infinite, then sin is infinitely unpardonable and not merely momentarily mischievous. To be commensurate with the offense, God’s response must be correspondingly infinite. Annhilationism instead looks instead for a finished, finite, temporal response. An infinite response, however, is what we see happening at the cross. Was Jesus annihilated? Jesus could exhaust infinite punishment because he himself was the infinite God? Jesus did not bear a punishment MERELY LIKE that which sinners deserved. Jesus did not bear a death that was MERELY ANALOGOUS to theirs..”

Mark: To be “commensurate”, is Jesus still dying on the cross and will He do so forever?

If Jesus is not still dying on the cross, how is His death even LIKE that of non-elect people dying but never getting dead?

Where does the Bible talk about “infinity”? And where does the Bible talk about the suffering before the death being “infinite”? When did the “infinite punishment” of Jesus begin and when did it end?

If Christ only suffered an equivalent of “eternal torment in Hell”, does that mean that God’s (nominalist) grace arbitrarily (merely, only) “accepted” the punishment of Christ as the same?

Since the punishment of the non-elect will never be finished, does that mean that the punishment of the non-elect will never be infinite?

Since there will always be more to repay, does “I will repay” mean that “I will have never repaid”?

If duration of the pain is the real punishment, why is there any need to die after that punishment is done?

If the punishment is never done, so that the condemned can never die, why does the Bible teach that the wages of sin is death?

When you translate, the result is a translation.

When you destroy, the result is destruction.

When you finish dying, you are dead.

If you never finish dying, you are not yet dead.

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15 Comments on “The death of Jesus is never called “sleep””

  1. markmcculley Says:

    David Gordon: Christ was not a sinner. Did Christ, in his role as Second Adam, die to and for sin? Yes, but in the course of his life prior to the cross he was never enslaved to sin; never under its mortifying influence on his moral nature. Only as the legal Substitute for sinners did he die to and for sin.
    Mark–which is why we know that Christians being “dead to sin” in Romans 6 is not about our regeneration but about being justified from sins and not under the law.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    good deal
    i sin all my life, then I just cease to exist–not bad

    But we say that the real blessing is not only “living forever” but “being with Jesus” (forever)
    The tradition says that the condemnation is not really much of a threat unless you live forever in misery and torment.
    Therefore, to be logically consistent, the tradition would say—the real condemnation is not being excluded from God’s presence. That’s not enough. That’s not real punishment.
    To be logically consistent, the tradition would say–the real condemnation is living forever in misery and torment, after you get excluded from the presence of God.

    • markmcculley Says:

      sarcasm alert

      the non-elect cannot be consumed, because that would mean that they wouldn’t keep being tormented; therefore being consumed in the Bible means being tormented forever. The non-elect cannot be completely destroyed, because that would mean they would perish, therefore being destroyed in the Bible means the process of destruction which is never finally completed

      There is a difference between spiritual death and physical death and eternal death, therefore death is not death but separation. Since there is a difference between “spiritual resurrection” (regeneration and new birth) and physical resurrection, therefore resurrection means “going to heaven as soon as you die” . And since the non-elect will also be raised, this means that the second death is eternal life in hell.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Sinclair Ferguson—If you adopt an annihilationist exegesis , the adjective becomes redundant: “everlasting destruction.” And the words that follow have no force: shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power.
    mark: People who have been eliminated from existence have NOT been shut out from the presence of the Lord (by the presence of the Lord, the consuming fire)? And is the adjective redundant in the phrase–“eternal redemption”? If Jesus had now finished (once for all time) the work of redemption, why would anybody need to say it was “everlasting redemption”?

    Sinclair Ferguson– Life is the opposite of death—death is not the opposite of existence. The death goes on as long as the life goes on.
    mark: And how does that happen? It happens because death gets defined as something which is not the end of anything, because death gets defined as not ever being finally dead, because death gets defined as dying but never dead yet. Sinclair Ferguson is saying that the non-elect continue to have life outside of Christ
    Ferguson is saying that in Adam, all humans are created in the image of God and therefore already have eternal life He is saying that sin will always exist. He is saying that death will always exist . He is saying that dying will always exist. He is saying that Satan will always exist and that two eternal kingdoms will always exist.

    Sinclair Ferguson—When the New Testament speaks for example of “the body of death” of believers being destroyed, “the body of sin” being destroyed, it speaks about the THE LOOSENING OF THE POTENCY OF SIN IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER—not the cessation of existence of life—until the presence of sin is finally banished.
    mark: So “spiritual death” really means “spiritual resurrection”, because “death” is not talking about physical death or immortality, because we can begin by assuming that everybody is going to be physically immortal, so that the difference between the two eternal kingdoms is that the non-elect never become “spiritually dead”, and their old nature never gets destroyed (and they never get out of Adam into Christ), therefore these non-elect will be banished from (never get into) the one kingdom. but banished to live forever in that other kingdom which belongs to Satan? This way there will be “continuity” as they continue to exist in the image of God (to continue to sin and to continue to be tortured)

    • markmcculley Says:

      Sinclair Ferguson–The doctrine of the general resurrection of the dead, which otherwise must be viewed as some kind of cynical joke in the heart of this All-Righteous God, that he punishes men and women and then raises them from the dead simply to destroy them out of all existence. That’s a little bit like having shot Socrates in the head and taking him to the emergency room in order that he may live to drink the hemlock. And there is something in it that is altogether out of keeping with everything that Scripture says about the utter integrity of God and his dealings with men and women.

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Ferguson—“Was the judgment of God against our sin, the eternal judgment which our Lord Jesus Christ received on the cross a means of his annihilation? I might point out that Jehovah’s Witnesses who believe that Jesus simply dissolved into gases would at least have logical consistency between Christology and divine judgment. But you see the point, if Jesus has borne it all to save us from the terrible judgment of God, then he must have born exactly what that eternal judgment will be. And if annihilation is that judgment and Jesus did not experience annihilation, then from annihilation not one single one of us can be saved.”

    mark: therefore Jesus is still being tormented on the cross, and will be always being tormented on the cross.—“He must have borne exactly what that eternal judgment will be.

    Sinclair Ferguson–“The New Testament sees complete harmony between the intermediate state and the final state in terms of the experience of God which men and women have.

    mark: And the harmony is that death is not the end of experience, but instead that death is an experience that you keep experiencing, and therefore words like “destroy” and “perish” are misleading. Instead of the Romans 2 idea that we seek immortality, Ferguson’s idea is that we all already have immortality because we are all created in the image of God

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Don Fortner—-We are creatures made in the image and likeness of God. We live in these bodies; but we are living, immortal, undying souls. You are going to spend eternity somewhere, either in everlasting life in heaven or in everlasting death in hell.…/2co%2005v01-06v02%20We%20Persua…

    CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory—“there are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal”
    Genesis 1: 20 Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living beings, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the large sea-creatures and every living being that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds.
    Genesis 2: 7 Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.
    Matthew 10: 28 Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body
    Mark 8: 36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his LIFE ? 37 What can a man give in exchange for his LIFE

  6. markmcculley Says:

    The God of the Living” (Matt. 22:32. Mark 12:27. Luke 20:38). In these scriptures it is stated that “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” But Traditionalists, believing that the “dead” are “the living,” making God the “God of the dead,” which He distinctly says He is not. Interpreting the words in this way, they utterly ignore the whole context, which shows that the words refer to the RESURRECTION, and not to the dead at all. Notice how this is emphasized in each Gospel:
    (i) “Then come unto Him the Sadducees, which say there is no RESURRECTION” (Matt. 22:23. Mark 12:18. Luke 20:27).
    (ii) The one issue raised by the Sadducees was the question, “Whose wife shall she be in the RESURRECTION?” (Matt. 22:28. Mark 12:23. Luke 20:33).
    (iii) The answer of our Lord deals solely with this one issue, which was RESURRECTION. Hence He says:
    Matt. 22, “as touching the RESURRECTION of the dead” (v. 31).
    Mark 12, “as touching the dead that they RISE” (v. 26).
    Luke 20, “now that the dead are RAISED, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, for he is not a God of the dead, but of the living, for all live unto him” (v. 38).
    These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus in order to prove “that the dead are RAISED.” Traditionalists use them to prove that the dead are “living” without being RAISED!
    The Sadducees may have denied many other things, but the one and the only thing in question here is RESURRECTION. Christ’s argument was:
    1. God’s words at the bush prove a life for the dead patriarchs.
    2. But there is no life for the dead without a resurrection.
    3. Therefore they must be RAISED FROM THE DEAD; or “live again” by Him. This argument held good, for it silenced the Sadducees. For if they are “living” now, and not dead, how does that prove a resurrection? And, moreover, what is the difference between them and those who are in “the land of the living”? For this is the expression constantly used of the present condition of life in contrast with the state of death. Psalms 27:13
    “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
    Psalms 56:13
    “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?”
    Psalms 116:9
    “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”
    Psalms 142:5
    “I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.”

  7. markmcculley Says:

    the “rethinking hell” brand does not want you if you oppose other parts of the status quo
    If you oppose war and other inherited traditions, Glenn Peoples assumes that you probably have no exegetical basis for terminal punishment a
    so that puts all of us “anti-Arminians” outside their camp—rejecting salvation conditioned on the sinner is most definitely anti-traditional
    Remaking Hell likes to fudge-
    Like Edward Fudge, they not only think Arminians (and universalists) are justified before God, but they are dogmatic against anybody being dogmatic about the “intermediate state” or even about the “nature of the soul”. Thus they are open to folks who believe in dualism in which there is an invisible “soul” which can continue to live apart from a living body.

  8. markmcculley Says:

    .I. Packer—hell is humanity’s future life as all who oppose God will experience it.
    Charles Swindoll– Everybody has eternal life because everyone has an eternal soul. The issue is not “Do I have eternal life?” It is, rather, “Where will I spend my eternal life?”
    Hyman Appelman: There are no guns in Hell. There is no death in Hell.
    John Gill: …the soul in torment shall never die, or lose any of its powers and faculties; and particularly, not its gnawing, torturing conscience.
    George Whitefield—Having denied the Lord that bought me, and therefore justly now denied bythe Lord, I. must I live for ever tormented in these flames.
    Richard Baxter:. Their immortal souls were guilty of the trespass, and therefore must immortally suffer.
    Belgic Confession: The evil ones shall be made immortal—but only to be tormented.
    John Walvoord: Those being resurrected from Hades and the grave will receive a body that can never be destroyed, a body that is still wicked, still in rebellion against God

  9. markmcculley Says:

    Matthew 7:13: Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
    Matthew 10:28: And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
    2 Peter 2:12: But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction.
    2 Thessalonians 1:9: They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

    Robert Peterson: Hell is where “the fire is not quenched.” This is not a picture of destruction.

    J.I. Packer: The fire of hell in the Bible is a picture not of destruction but of ongoing pain.

    Norman Geisler– God will not destroy unbelievers because he will not destroy creatures made in his own image. That would be an attack on himself.

  10. markmcculley Says:

    William Tyndale, 1530—- “Nay, Paul, thou art unlearned; go to Master More, and learn a new way. We be not most miserable, though we rise not again; for our souls go to heaven as soon as we be dead, and are there in as great joy as Christ that is risen again. And I marvel that Paul had not comforted the Thessalonians with that doctrine, if he had known it.” An Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue (Parker’s 1850 reprint), bk. 4, ch. 4, p. 180

    William Tyndale—“When More proveth that the saints be in heaven in glory with Christ already, saying, “If God be their God, they be in heaven, for he is not the God of the dead;” there he stealeth away Christ’s argument, wherewith he proveth the resurrection: that Abraham and all saints should rise again, and not that souls were now living hell or in purgatory or in heaven; which doctrine was not yet in the world. With that doctrine More taketh away the resurrection quite, and maketh Christ’s argument of none effect.”

    Luke 20: 34 Jesus told them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 For they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection. 37 Moses even indicated in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are raised, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.
    38 He is not God of the dead but of the living…

  11. I Corinthians 15: 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished…. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

    Genesis 2:7 became living souls, living persons.

    John 11:11-14
    This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
    Acts 7:60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
    1 Corinthians 15:6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

  12. Peter Anders—Christ’s death would be the death of just another human being, if not for the death of the Son of God.” In light of a properly applied doctrine of the communication of attributes, it must be affirmed that the divine nature of Jesus did not specifically suffer and die in and of itself, but only in reference to the unity of the person of the God-man.

    “The death of God in the specific death of the divine nature of Jesus is problematic since in God we all “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). If God actually and intrinsically dies, then the whole of creation, which he alone sustains, must also die with him. Furthermore, a death experienced by God within which he may still actively sustain creation or resurrect himself is not a death in solidarity with that experienced by humanity. ”

    “The mystery of the incarnation is not in the actual death of God’s intrinsic being; it is in the precise reality of the communication of attributes between the two distinct natures in the unity of the one person of Jesus. The trinitarian distinction is the conceptual key that opens the door for the understanding of God himself as freely relating to humanity in the incarnate person of Jesus. It properly points humanity to Jesus, who is the only mediator through which God and humanity may meet in true solidarity.

    “The more human we try to make God, the less we need the incarnation. But the more we acknowledge the radical otherness of God, through the affirmation of the trinitarian distinction and divine impassibility, the more we will cherish, lift up, and worship Jesus Christ who is the incarnation of God, the Immanuel, or “God with and for us.”

  13. markmcculley Says:

    How many Deaths did Christ Die? , by J C Settlemoir, in The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator, July 2016

    Some people say that Jesus died spiritually before he died physically. They say Christ died TWO DEATHS. John Calvin, “If Christ had died only one death, it would have been ineffectual”.

    B H Carrol—“Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. So just before that darkness passed away, Christ died the spiritual death”,

    The first question we ask when men tell us that Jesus died spiritually, is, where is the Scripture which teaches this? Just saying it does not make it so.

    Scripture tells us when Christ died. Daniel 9:26 says that the Messiah will be CUT OFF from life. This cutting off occurred only once. Christ only died once. I Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.

    Scripture does not speak of Christ’s two deaths.
    Hebrews 10: 5
    You prepared a body for Me.
    6 You did not delight
    in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
    7 Then I said, “See—
    it is written about Me
    in the volume of the scroll—
    I have come to do Your will, God!”
    8 After He says above, You did not want or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law), 9 He then says, See, I have come to do Your will, He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all time

    If Christ Died Spiritually Before He Yielded up His Spirit, Then His Sacrifice was not Acceptable. Philippians 2: 8 He was obedient to death. Christ could not be obedient in a swoon. Was Christ obedient all the Way? If so, Christ did not die before His death. If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated

    II Timothy 1:10 Christ abolished death by His death, not by two deaths. This was accomplished by Christ’s physical death on the cross. Christ never prayed to be saved from ‘spiritual death”. Christ prayed to be resurrected from physical death.

    The veil of the temple was rent only once and that was when Christ died

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