Two Ways of Life

KEY VERSE: “The LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” —Psalm 1:6


THE SCOPE OF TIME encompassed by the statement of this psalm includes the Millennial Age, the future Day of Judgment for the world of mankind. (Ps. 1:5) Its description is in sharp contrast with the present age which the Prophet Malachi described in these words: “Now we call the proud happy, and they that work wickedness are set up.”—Mal. 3:15

The words of this prophetic psalm tell of righteous people, those who “delight in the law of the Lord,” earning eternal life. “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” (vs. 3) In other words he does not gain this favored position naturally, or by accident, but is planted, or placed there, by the Lord.

The kingdom of Christ, in God’s plan, is just such a place for all mankind, where they may grow by the pure waters of truth and righteousness, and bring forth fruit to perfection. The statement: “His leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper,” is such a beautiful way of describing everlasting life and prosperity in perfection. These words so well represent the restoration of the standing before God which was lost when our first parents transgressed the divine law more than six thousand years ago.

Since that time mankind has walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and stood in the way of sinners, and sat in the seat of the scornful—scornful of God’s law. (vs.1) Christ’s kingdom will free both the dead and the living from this terrible bondage of sin and death, and cause them at long last to “delight in the law of the Lord.”—vs. 2

But God will not coerce any against their will, and those who persist in unrighteousness shall not “stand in the judgment,” and in the end shall not be numbered among the “congregation of the righteous.” (vs. 5) Their names shall not be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Rev. 20:12) Those not found worthy to have their names therein go down into the second death.—vs. 15

Death, destruction, is ever and always the penalty for sin. Everyone and everything out of harmony with God must eventually be destroyed; Jesus, by his death, provided redemption and release from the first death penalty, and all of the Adamic race will be given a full opportunity to benefit from this manifestation of divine love on their behalf. The Scriptures reveal that those who do not accept Christ and obey the laws of his kingdom will be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:23) For these, of course; it will be the second time the death penalty will have fallen upon them.

Revelation 20:10 reveals that the “beast and the false prophet,” symbolic descriptions of evil institutions of this world, are also to be destroyed with the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. The Revelator declares that “death and hell” will also go into the second death.—vs. 14

We conclude, therefore, that the ‘second death’ does not necessarily imply a second destruction, but more particularly the second time God interferes in human experience to destroy that which is contrary to his will, which includes all the evils which contribute to unhappiness. We are assured that eventually the Lord’s will is to be done on the earth as it is in heaven, and this calls for the destruction of all evil—of willfully evil men and women and angels, as well as evil institutions which have deceived and oppressed the people. Ultimately Satan, the instigator of all evil, will himself be destroyed.

Our text reminds us of God’s great interest in this plan for man’s recovery back to his favor. This is more graphically stated in the further testimony of Revelation, in Chapter 21, verses 3-5:

“I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. … And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me: Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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