WE are now in a position to consider the Bible Doctrine of Hell. Eternal Punishment is a Judgement which is forced upon a God who is Love by the free will of a creature. God is responsible for the eternal happiness of His Creation; but that happiness does not just depend upon the Love of God but also upon the loving obedience of His creatures. It is the inescapable duty of God to make sure that no sinner is allowed to ruin the success of His plan and the happiness of His creatures. It is necessary therefore that, if any creature should finally set his will to do this dreadful thing and defy the Love of God and seek to gratify his own desires at the expense of others, God should not fail to step in and prevent him from putting his will into action. If it is impossible for the Love of God to bend his rebellious will, then it only remains for the Power of God to prevent his hurtful actions. And this is exactly what God has planned to do.
The first death, by destroying a man's body, prevents him from putting any of his desires into action, whether they be good or bad. A man's work ceases when his body dies, even though his desires remain. The first death comes upon all men through the withdrawal of the Tree of Life after the sin of Adam: it reaches blood-washed saint and sin-dyed sinner, elder and babe alike.1 It was necessary that this should happen in order that we might be freed from the disabilities and temptations of sinful flesh. It is also, as Paul says in Rom. 1,32, the fitting reward of men who, against the light given by the Creation and their own conscience, have unnecessarily put out that light and outraged that conscience, and sought not the will of God nor the happiness of others, but their own selfish pleasures. And even the