The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 196 of 243
Index | Zoom
hath no more dominion over Him" (Rom. 6: 9). Nor is this limited meaning of aion and
aionios invalidated because it is used of God and salvation. While the phrase `the eternal
God' sounds very majestic, and `the eonian God' or the `God of the ages' seems a poor
substitute, yet this is nearer Scriptural truth, for this adjective does not touch or describe
the being or attributes of God; rather that He is the origin or creator of the great span of
time, during which He is working out His great redemptive purposes. Heb. 1: 2 tells us
that through Christ the ages were made (not `world' as A.V.), and Isa. 9: 6 agrees with
this, describing literally the Child that is born as the `Father (i.e. Origin) of the ages', not
`everlasting Father' (A.V.). Christ is the God of the ages, the eonian God, and it is the
ages that span the Bible. Because there are so vast and long that we cannot see their end,
we have no right to assume they are the same as eternity.
Eternity can definitely be predicated both of God and the believer, but this is not
explained in Biblical revelation, and it matters not how much the words `eternal' and
`eternity' are rolled on the tongue, the fact is that we know absolutely nothing of the
eternal state for the simple reason that God has not seen fit to reveal it. Evidently it is too
much for our present limited understanding and we are far wiser to keep to the exact
statements of Holy Writ and not let our imagination run away with us into idle
speculation and guesswork.
There is a false argument based upon the word aionios that is sometimes used by
evangelicals concerning Matt. 25: 46, "And these (the goat nations living at the time of
the Lord's Return) shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life
eternal".  `Everlasting' and `eternal' here are translations of aionios and should be
consistently rendered by one word as the R.V. attempts to do. The reasoning above
mentioned is along these lines: the believer's life is eternal; the same word is used of the
unbeliever and therefore the punishment of such must also be eternal and this is usually
held as meaning eternal conscious torment and suffering too terrible for the human mind
to comprehend.
On the surface this may look like sound reasoning, but there are at least three fallacies
underlying such a conception. (1) First of all it must be proved from Scriptural usage
that kolasis, punishment, means eternal conscious suffering.  See its only other
occurrence in the N.T. in I John 4: 18 (`torment'), and carefully note whether it applies
to the saved or the unsaved.  (2) This idea assumes that what a limited number of
mankind receive at the Second Advent, i.e. certain nations living at this time, is true of all
unbelievers from Adam onward and so makes this judgment God's assize for all the
unsaved, assuming the resurrection of the wicked, whereas no resurrection is mentioned
in the context. This is confusing this judgment with that of the Great White Throne
(Rev. 20:). (3) A false deduction is made from translating aionios as eternal, whereas in
both cases aionios should be more accurately rendered age-long, leaving what is beyond
in the hands of Him who not only made the ages, but who is bringing His `plan of the
ages' (so the literal rendering of Eph. 3: 11) with its age-long salvation, to a glorious
finish, and then will follow the now incomprehensible wonders of eternity.