descended to Hades, though to different sides of it. "Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; a land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness" (Job 10,21-22).28 It was this that held the Old Testament saints in bondage all their lives. But after Christ's Resurrection this was changed: "the Gates of Hades" could not imprison the Church of God, but they ascended to be in spirit with the Lord, "having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" (Phil. 1,23),29 and were in Paradise awaiting the first Resurrection.30 The thought of physical death brought tears to Hezekiah's eyes, but joy to the heart of Paul!
N.B. 4. In like manner Rom. 5,18-19 is often completely misunderstood. If these verses meant that Adam by his sin forced men into death, they must mean that Christ by His obedience forced men into life! But we know perfectly well that this is not the meaning. On the contrary Christ's obedience only benefits those who of their own free will repent, believe and copy His obedience,31 and so Adam's sin only killed those who deliberately disobeyed and copied his sin. If the condemnation which followed Adam's sin was universal without reference to the will of man, then the justification which follows Christ's obedience must also be universal without reference to the will of man: a very pretty argument for the Universalist, and one which he is not slow to use!
This theory teaches that all men, being "born in sin" after the sin of Adam are therefore incapable of doing right or even wanting to do right. They are by nature born dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore inevitably fall under the wrath of God who hates sin and is too holy to look upon it.
They must therefore, unless saved by God, spend eternity in hell for the sins which they have unavoidably committed because of their fallen nature.
They sin, as the scorpion stings, because it is their nature to do so. Eph. 2,1-3 is quoted in support.
This theory also states that men are born in sin and cannot avoid sinning: but teaches that, because they cannot