Derek Kidner’s comments on the first doctrinal denial bring out truth that all generations of believers must make continual efforts to keep before God’s people:
After the query, the flat contradiction: Ye shall not surely die (AV, RV). It is the serpent’s word against God’s, and the first doctrine to be denied is judgment. If modern denials of it are very differently motivated, they are equally at odds with revelation: Jesus fully affirmed the doctrine (e.g. Matt. 7:13-27). (Genesis in TOTC, 72-73)
Ever since physical death first occurred, denial of death altogether has no longer been possible. Denial of eternal death, however, abounds and will do so until the Lord finally destroys the evil supernatural source of all such denials of the doctrine of judgment.
The doctrine of eternal judgment is a foundational truth of the doctrine of Christ (Heb. 6:1-2). Countering the attacks on this foundational truth has been one of the reasons that Jesus has commanded the preaching and testifying to all that He is the One appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; cf. Mk. 16:16). Proclaiming that message faithfully perpetuates the message that God Himself announced in His first declaration of judgment after the Fall of man:
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel (Gen 3:14-15).
By obeying Acts 10:42, we imitate God in announcing to all what He has ordained will surely happen one day through the woman’s Seed. Doing so, we do our part in countering the oldest and most persistent doctrinal denial.
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