By Larry Ray Hafley
Matthew 26:24, the Son of God said, “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.”
If the doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists and other materialists is true, how could the verse above be correct?
Materialists teach that the wicked are annihilated and exterminated. The wicked dead go out of existence. They cease to exist. It is as though they had never been born. That is what materialists say. However, if that is true, if the materialists are right about the wicked, how, or in what sense, could it be better for them not to have been born? If materialists are right, Jesus should have said, “That man is going to be just like he had never been born.”
Others (like some aspects of certain Catholic doctrine) believe that the wicked will eventually be released from their pain and punishment and rewarded with bliss. But if that is true, it would not be true that it would be better if Judas had never been born, for no matter how severe or how long his anguish, once he endured it, his blessedness would ultimately be better than never having been born. The immediate consequence is that our Lord’s statement would not be true. “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).
Beware of any doctrine that makes void the word of God! Any teaching that contradicts the plain words of the Son of God is false. We need to have a greater faith and confidence in the word of Christ, for it will judge us in that last, great day (Jn. 12:48).
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 15, p. 452
August 2, 1990