sermon: Do Angels Live Forever? (Part One)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 12-Oct-16; Sermon #1346; 78 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the symbolism of the two goats on this solemn holy day—the sacrificial goat (representing Jesus Christ's sacrifice for our sins) was slain, while the Azazel goat (which we have assumed to be Satan), with the sins of the entire nation pronounced on its head, was led into the wilderness to die a natural death—suggests that some aspects of our previous understanding may have been wrong. Not one human being, from our parents, Adam and Eve, to ourselves, can escape the responsibility of his own sins; Satan did not make us do anything, unless we willingly cooperated with his temptations. We cannot blame anyone else, including our physical parents, for our shortcomings. Because the Azazel goat in the ceremony was allowed to escape, we concluded that Satan (as well as the demonic spirits who followed him) would not die, but would be driven into a perpetual abode of restraint, symbolized by the term "outer darkness." Angels were created to serve as ministering spirits, assisting the Creator well before mankind came on the scene. To be sure, we have no scriptural evidence that an angel has died, but we cannot assume that angels are immortal and share the same kind of spirit God Almighty has. Though angelic beings are currently superior to human beings in intelligence and volition, we cannot assume they are indestructible. Speculation among the splinters of the greater church of God ranges from the thesis that Satan and his demons will live forever in a remote location to its antithesis that Satan and his demons will be utterly annihilated. We need to process four troublesome assumptions: (1) that all spirit is ever living and impossible to destroy, (2) that God was guilty of lack of judgment in creating something He could not take apart, (3) that angels are not subject to the same principles of judgment with which God judges men, and (4) that the new heavens and earth will not be of the purity God promised.
All spirit not the same All flesh not the same Angels not mindless robots Azazel goat David lived to be 70 years Devil made me do it justification Ecclesiastes 3:21 Ever-burning hell Ezekiel 28 14-20 Exodus 12:48-49 I Corinthians 15:38-39 Four troubling assumptions Genesis 2:17 Hebrews 1:13 Immortality of the soul Isaiah 14:12 Job 1:6 John 4:24 Jude 6 Leviticus 16:5-9 Living forever Luke 20 34 Relative length of life Responsible for our own sins Revelation 20:1-2 Romans 11 Satan as the main character among all spirit beings Scape goat carries connotation that someone is falsely accused II Corinthians 11:3 Shem lived to be 600 years Sin offering Soul that sins will die Spirit in man Wages of sin is death not life in ever burning hell
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