The Good News of the Judgment

The Destruction of the Wicked in the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

The "second death" (see Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8) is that which those who are lost shall suffer when they are raised from the dead after the Millennium. Before this death-sentence is carried out, divine punishment is meted out according to and in proportion to the pain and suffering that the wicked have caused to others. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." The second death has no resurrection and is eternal, because the wicked lost are blotted out for eternity.

At Calvary when the sin and guilt of the world was placed upon His shoulders our Lord Jesus Christ suffered divine punishment for the sins of all of the family of Adam . Christ was unique however from the family of Adam in that He existed from eternity before He took upon Himself human nature. We as members of the human family never existed prior to our birth. We all came into existence as individuals only at birth.

Christ's nature was that of both the Son of God and the Son of Man. It is a great mystery how God could become incarnated as a man, but the word of God clearly teaches this. Because Christ is eternal God and His life is equal to the Law of God, His life alone could pay the debt that divine justice demanded of the human family. If Christ had only been a created being, He could never have been an offering to pay for the debt of our sin. It took the very righteousness of God Himself to atone for sin. The righteousness of a created being could not atone for our sin. When Christ died on the cross, He died the "second death" in the sense that He suffered the total debt burden that the vilest of sinners must suffer. If He had not, then the worst of sinners like a Stalin, Hitler, or Attila the Hun (or you or me) could never be saved and forgiven.

He drank the cup of God's justice to the very last drop. He could be raised from this death because "it was impossible that death should hold Him." His sufferings as the Son of God more than paid the debt of sin. He suffered as both the Son of God and as the Son of Man upon the cross. He was made to be sin for us that we might be declared the righteousness of God in Him. When His human nature died on the cross, it was as if all the human family had died in the reckoning of the Law of God. Divine justice could bow at the foot of the cross and say, "It is enough." Christ's divinity did not die upon the cross, but when He arose from the grave eternal divine nature was reunited with His human nature as He came forth from the grave. Now He ever lives to make intercession for all who call upon His holy name to receive forgiveness in His name and for His righteousness sake. Amen.

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