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Richard Amiel McGough
10-26-2007, 12:02 PM
The doctrine of Evangelical Universalism asserts that Christ's love is so great that He will ultimately succeed in saving everyone. He is, after all, Omnipotent.

Some think this doctrine is heretical. Others see it as the "purest form of the Gospel." I would like to explore its pros and cons. Here is a good page with many articles discussing the basic issues:

http://www.evangelicaluniversalism.com/articles.html

Richard

joel
10-26-2007, 01:43 PM
I offer the first "pro";

I Timothy 4:
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially those that believe.

The ultimate reconciliation of all things is a part of the "eternal purpose" that is in Christ. This is part of the "mystery of Christ" that Paul speaks of in Ephesians, which until the gospel through Paul was proclaimed was hidden in God.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
10-26-2007, 04:04 PM
I offer the first "pro";

I Timothy 4:
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially those that believe.

The ultimate reconciliation of all things is a part of the "eternal purpose" that is in Christ. This is part of the "mystery of Christ" that Paul speaks of in Ephesians, which until the gospel through Paul was proclaimed was hidden in God.

Joel
Hey Joel!

Great to see you again. Its been a while. I very much appreciate you contributions on this forum.

I agree that the "eternal purpose" of God in Christ was the "reconciliation of the world" unto Himself (2 Cor 5:19). So I see your "first pro" and add my second "pro" by saying that it seems to me that since God will be "all in all" at the consummation, there will be no place for damned souls to exist.

On the contra side, some folks suggest that there will be souls that even God can not persuade to repent and believe, and so they must be damned since God can not force them against their will. But I would counter that God's infinite Love combined with His Infinite Wisdom is probably able to overcome any creaturely resistance, without any violation of anyone's will.

Richard

Rose
10-26-2007, 05:00 PM
Hi All :yo:

I see your "first" pro Joel, and your "second" pro Richard, and adding a "third" pro:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.This verse seems pretty clear as to every tongue confessing that Jesus is Lord, even though I not sure how that will come about, because Scripture also tells us that there are those that are not written in the "Book of Life", and they will be cast into the lake of fire :eek:

What greater glory could there be to God, then for everyone to Praise Him :pray:

Rose

Trumpet
10-26-2007, 06:33 PM
Hi all!
You are really opening up a can of worms on this one Richard. I've seen this posted in other forums,----and let me just say it will get everybody thinking, and probably stir up some issues.

Let me enter with a question.

As Jesus walked and talked during His life on earth, where was His mind on this question of hell and damnation? I mean, we spend so much time and effort on trying to rescue the unsaved from a firey end. If Jesus knew that this is what was going to happen to 99% of the human race that was alive in His day, don't you think that He would have spent more time bringing this home to the people of the whole world? After all, He would be VERY concious of the fact that SOOO many were headed to utter torment within just a few years, and He Knew that He was helpless to stop it!

Now if that were true,and if I were Him, (Thank God I'm not!!), I would either be bent over in utter tears as I looked at most people, or I would be broadcasting my message to as many as I could. (Not saying He did a bad job, just being hypothetical.)

It just didn't seem to bother Him. Sure, He gave some examples of what could and would happen, but the anxiousness wasn't there, and I think that there is a very good reason for that. Do you think that there is something that we haven't considered?

And I'll bet that with enough thought in the right direction, (or revelation by God), the Bible Wheel would verify the real truth. That's one of the most beautiful things about the Bible Wheel, (and I thank God He is using you for this purpose Richard -You're doing an excellent job!) But without having a correct direction, we are blind to any verification.

Let's see if that pitchfork in the hay brings up some hiding thought.
Don

Richard Amiel McGough
10-26-2007, 07:42 PM
Hi all!
You are really opening up a can of worms on this one Richard. I've seen this posted in other forums,----and let me just say it will get everybody thinking, and probably stir up some issues.
Hey there Trumpet,

Glad you jumped in. :thumb:

If there are worms in our "Biblical can" I think we better open it up and get them out of there! I mean, I eat from that "Bible can" every day! :lol:

My hope is that we can explore this issue and dig down deep into what the Bible really says. I really believe this issue touches the most important issue of all - what is the GOSPEL, and what does God really want us to do while we are here?


Let me enter with a question.

As Jesus walked and talked during His life on earth, where was His mind on this question of hell and damnation? I mean, we spend so much time and effort on trying to rescue the unsaved from a firey end. If Jesus knew that this is what was going to happen to 99% of the human race that was alive in His day, don't you think that He would have spent more time bringing this home to the people of the whole world? After all, He would be VERY concious of the fact that SOOO many were headed to utter torment within just a few years, and He Knew that He was helpless to stop it!

Now if that were true,and if I were Him, (Thank God I'm not!!), I would either be bent over in utter tears as I looked at most people, or I would be broadcasting my message to as many as I could. (Not saying He did a bad job, just being hypothetical.)

It just didn't seem to bother Him. Sure, He gave some examples of what could and would happen, but the anxiousness wasn't there, and I think that there is a very good reason for that. Do you think that there is something that we haven't considered?
Now that's an interesting question. The answer is yes, I do think that there are many things we have not considered. I actually have a sense that 20th century pop-Christianity may have missed the central message of the whole Gospel of the KINGDOM - that is, the RULE OF GOD in our hearts now. The Gospel may not be about "getting a personal ticket to heaven" at all. It may be that God is doing something much grander than that ... for example (this is just a possibility) He may be FORMING SOULS that will live with Him forever. And it may be that our actions here have eternal consequences, so it is God's will that we stop sinning. And when we get to the next world, we will probably say "I wish I quit that sin earlier! Look at all the evil I caused!"


And I'll bet that with enough thought in the right direction, (or revelation by God), the Bible Wheel would verify the real truth. That's one of the most beautiful things about the Bible Wheel, (and I thank God He is using you for this purpose Richard -You're doing an excellent job!) But without having a correct direction, we are blind to any verification.

Let's see if that pitchfork in the hay brings up some hiding thought.
Don
I have found the Bible Wheel to be VERY helpful in bringing doctrines into focus, and for confirming things written in the plain text but which could be overlooked. For example, a lot of modern Bible scholars, even those professing the Bible to be God's Word, are lost when they get to the Song of Songs. They say that its just a love song, and that there is no warrant to interpret it a picture of Christ and the Church because there is nothing in the text itself that would justify that. But when I look at it on the Wheel, I see it on Spoke 22, the Last Spoke, the Spoke of Consummation, and I marvel at the Divine Perfection of the Image of Christ and the Church portrayed there. Just as a Marriage is Consummated when the "two become one" so the first Cycle of 22 books is consummated with a Marriage Song! The CONTEXT confirms the Divine Message. Then when we look down Spoke 22 and see that that Song of Songs aligns with Revelation everything is confirmed again, for it is in Revelation that Christ actually receives His Bride, and we see the same story told again. Thus the books aligned on the Spokes enlighten eachother, and give a greater context that confirms their meaning, and their proper interepretation. This then led me to understand that Revelation is very much like the Song of Songs since they both use poetic, emotional, dramatic picture language to convey their messages.

Now how the Bible Wheel may help with the question of Evangelical Universalism, I don't know yet ... except to say that to see God's Word as a perfect circle does seem very inclusive, if you know what I mean.

Richard

1 Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Abigail
10-27-2007, 05:36 AM
It may be that God is doing something much grander than that ... for example (this is just a possibility) He may be FORMING SOULS that will live with Him forever. And it may be that our actions here have eternal consequences, so it is God's will that we stop sinning. And when we get to the next world, we will probably say "I wish I quit that sin earlier! Look at all the evil I caused!"


When you say 'he may be forming souls', what do you mean by that? Do you mean it in the sense that He is creating something totally new or do you mean it in the sense that He is just moulding existing souls into their ideal state. So to be more specific if all humanity (after the fall) is pieces of clay then only the ones He forms perfectly become men and the rest are just pieces of clay or that all humanity is pieces of clay and He will mould each and every one into a man (man understood as being that which is in the image of God)

Richard Amiel McGough
10-27-2007, 08:34 AM
When you say 'he may be forming souls', what do you mean by that? Do you mean it in the sense that He is creating something totally new or do you mean it in the sense that He is just moulding existing souls into their ideal state. So to be more specific if all humanity (after the fall) is pieces of clay then only the ones He forms perfectly become men and the rest are just pieces of clay or that all humanity is pieces of clay and He will mould each and every one into a man (man understood as being that which is in the image of God)
When I say "forming souls" the metaphor in my mind is of the formation of a baby in the womb. So I am not thinking of a "soul" as a complete "thing" that could be "molded" but as a living being that grows through time. This helps make sense of why God created time. If all God wanted to do was pick the group of souls that goes to heaven, and toss the rest away into the garbage can of hell, it seems he could have done that without all the bother of creating this physical world with its temporal sequences. So what then is the purpose of this physical world and time? It appears that the formation of souls requires time because they are the product of growth and develop. And if this is the real purpose of Creation, then the "ticket to heaven" theology trivializes the Gospel and misses the real purposes of God which is the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and the formation and birth of its members (the wheat that grow along with the tares).

There are a lot of verses that present the Kingdom like a gradual growth process. For example:



Matthew 13:31-32 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Mark 4:26-29 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

Daniel 2:34ff Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. ... And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

It is not for no reason that God uses the birth metaphor for entrance into His Kingdom. Indeed, when Christ was talking to Nicodemus, He explained that "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) As an aside, it is interesting to note that Nicodemus could not understand the words of Christ because of his "hermeneutic of literalism" which Christ described as "earthly" when He answered, saying: "Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? ... If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:10ff).

Richard

Abigail
10-27-2007, 09:38 AM
When I say "forming souls" the metaphor in my mind is of the formation of a baby in the womb. So I am not thinking of a "soul" as a complete "thing" that could be "molded" but as a living being that grows through time. This helps make sense of why God created time. If all God wanted to do was pick the group of souls that goes to heaven, and toss the rest away into the garbage can of hell, it seems he could have done that without all the bother of creating this physical world with its temporal sequences. So what then is the purpose of this physical world and time? It appears that the formation of souls requires time because they are the product of growth and develop. And if this is the real purpose of Creation, then the "ticket to heaven" theology trivializes the Gospel and misses the real purposes of God which is the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and the formation and birth of its members (the wheat that grow along with the tares). Okay, but who are the tares


There are a lot of verses that present the Kingdom like a gradual growth process. Yes I pretty much view it as a gradual thing ...before I would have said 'unfolding' but thinking about it 'growing' is perhaps more natural in the context of time, ...the way I understand this is that the Kingdom of God is all those who are Christ's Inwardly we extend the KoG as we - through growth - bring our own hearts and minds into submission , outwardly we extend the KoG as the Good News conquers the hearts and minds of others


For example:


It is not for no reason that God uses the birth metaphor for entrance into His Kingdom. Indeed, when Christ was talking to Nicodemus, He explained that "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) As an aside, it is interesting to note that Nicodemus could not understand the words of Christ because of his "hermeneutic of literalism" which Christ described as "earthly" when He answered, saying: "Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? ... If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:10ff).

Richard

In John 3:5 He says 'unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God' Now I was converted in the Church of Christ so was taught this is a reference to baptizm ie one must be baptized to be saved (enter the Kingdom). Do you see any significance between 'seeing' and 'entering' What is your take on the water coming from the temple in Ezekiel 47.

Richard Amiel McGough
10-27-2007, 10:14 AM
Okay, but who are the tares
Now that's a good question. Christ called them "the sons of the wicked one" here in Matthew:


Matthew 13:36-40 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

This presents an apparent problem for Universalism. The tares are burned up, not redeemed. Something similar is seen in John 15:



John 15:1-6 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Those who "abide not" in Christ suffer the same fate as the tares. This also echoes the teachings of Paul transfered now to the metaphor of a building:



1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


But now we see a variation on the theme. Here the person's works are burned, but the soul is redeemed, whereas the other two passages sound like the soul itself is "burned" in the fire. Many folks therefore see the tares and the withered branches as suffering eternal damnation, but there are two other possibilities: 1) the burning could be purgatorial - it destroys the sinful works yet the soul "shall be saved" as Paul put it, or 2) the tares and the withered branches could be annihilated in the fire, just as literal tares and withered branches would be in a literal fire. I am not yet settled on the interpretation. That's one reason I like talking about it online. I'm hoping to learn enough to come to a conclusion on this matter.


Yes I pretty much view it as a gradual thing ...before I would have said 'unfolding' but thinking about it 'growing' is perhaps more natural in the context of time, ...the way I understand this is that the Kingdom of God is all those who are Christ's Inwardly we extend the KoG as we - through growth - bring our own hearts and minds into submission , outwardly we extend the KoG as the Good News conquers the hearts and minds of others
Very well stated. The KoG speaks of the place where God rules. The Lord's prayer is that God's Rule will be manifest on earth as it is in heaven. Each believer plays an essential role in accomplishing this Divine Purpose. It therefore gives real meaning to life. We have real and important work to do here on earth. God put us here for a reason. We are fellow-workers with God in bringing His Kingdom to earth. It is a vision filled with hope and purpose, and it is this message which is undone by the "end-time madness" that tells everyone God's purpose is just to get as many folks as possible into the Ark before He blows up the world in His Anger.

Ideas have consequences.


In John 3:5 He says 'unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God' Now I was converted in the Church of Christ so was taught this is a reference to baptizm ie one must be baptized to be saved (enter the Kingdom). Do you see any significance between 'seeing' and 'entering' What is your take on the water coming from the temple in Ezekiel 47.
Are you still a member of the "Church of Chirst"? Did they teach you had to be baptized by them only, or do they accept baptisms from other denominations as valid?

As for baptism - there is much confusion. The Gospel is not about any human works or rituals that we can perform. It is all about grace through faith in what Chirst has done. That's why Paul said "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" (1 Corinthians 1:17). The "baptism" (if that's the correct interpretation) in John 3 is linked directly to the Spirit - and that is its primary meaning in the NT - we are baptized by the Holy Spirit who seals us in Christ. I do believe the ritual of baptism is a command of Christ and should be obeyed, but it is an outward sign of an inner transformation. To suggest that something "magical" happens when you get dunked or sprinkled seems like a gross superstition to me. God is a spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and truth. The flesh profits nothing - and we are not born by God's Spirit through any outward action like physical baptism.

Richard

Abigail
10-27-2007, 11:13 AM
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 'For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. '


But now we see a variation on the theme. Here the person's works are burned, but the soul is redeemed, whereas the other two passages sound like the soul itself is "burned" in the fire. Many folks therefore see the tares and the withered branches as suffering eternal damnation, but there are two other possibilities: 1) the burning could be purgatorial - it destroys the sinful works yet the soul "shall be saved" as Paul put it, or 2) the tares and the withered branches could be annihilated in the fire, just as literal tares and withered branches would be in a literal fire. I am not yet settled on the interpretation. That's one reason I like talking about it online. I'm hoping to learn enough to come to a conclusion on this matter.

Do you think these verses could be understood as (I see problems but still wonder):

Christ lays the foundation and then His work was also building His disciples on the foundation of Himself (John 17:4, John 17:12). Our work is spreading the Gospel and making converts and guarding and caring for them as long as we live. We ourselves being converts are someone elses work and duty of care. So if we dont care for our 'converts' and they do not perservere in the faith then they are really stubble and will be burnt up on the day of fire but we ourselves, even if all our work is shown to be stubble, (if we perservere) will come through fire though we will be someone elses work and they will be credited.





Are you still a member of the "Church of Chirst"? Did they teach you had to be baptized by them only, or do they accept baptisms from other denominations as valid? In that I am a member of the Church Christ established ...yes!! :D , but I do not attend a church called the Church of Christ. I dont have one near me so I attend a Baptist church ...I think my old church would say I have strayed because my present church sings with music


As for baptism - there is much confusion. The Gospel is not about any human works or rituals that we can perform. It is all about grace through faith in what Chirst has done. That's why Paul said "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" (1 Corinthians 1:17). The "baptism" (if that's the correct interpretation) in John 3 is linked directly to the Spirit - and that is its primary meaning in the NT - we are baptized by the Holy Spirit who seals us in Christ. I do believe the ritual of baptism is a command of Christ and should be obeyed, but it is an outward sign of an inner transformation. To suggest that something "magical" happens when you get dunked or sprinkled seems like a gross superstition to me. God is a spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and truth. The flesh profits nothing - and we are not born by God's Spirit through any outward action like physical baptism.

Richard So then why do they say 'water AND the Spirit' ...I have an idea (other than water baptism)

Richard Amiel McGough
10-27-2007, 01:19 PM
Do you think these verses could be understood as (I see problems but still wonder):

Christ lays the foundation and then His work was also building His disciples on the foundation of Himself (John 17:4, John 17:12). Our work is spreading the Gospel and making converts and guarding and caring for them as long as we live. We ourselves being converts are someone elses work and duty of care. So if we dont care for our 'converts' and they do not perservere in the faith then they are really stubble and will be burnt up on the day of fire but we ourselves, even if all our work is shown to be stubble, (if we perservere) will come through fire though we will be someone elses work and they will be credited.
I can not imagine considering myself or my spiritual growth as a the "work" of another human being. Sure, we all contribute to each other, but there is no heirarchy amongst Christians. Let us be as children.


In that I am a member of the Church Christ established ...yes!! :D ,
Ha! I expected that play on words! I almost added a comment to my last post to avoid it but decided not to bother.


but I do not attend a church called the Church of Christ. I dont have one near me so I attend a Baptist church ...I think my old church would say I have strayed because my present church sings with music
I have heard that there are many variations in the church that goes by the name "The Church of Christ." Some are more exclusive than others. Some say you have to be baptised by them to be in Christ, others are more "liberal." If you want to tell us about your beliefs, maybe it would be good to start another thread. It could be interesting ...



So then why do they say 'water AND the Spirit' ...I have an idea (other than water baptism)
Folks have speculated about the meaning of "water" in that verse. Some say it refers to water baptism, but others think of natural birth since it is marked by the "breaking of water" of the amneotic sac. That fits will with the parallelism between flesh and spirit:


John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.


"born of water" parallels "that which is of the flesh" while "born of the Spirit" is just repeated. This suggests a fleshly meaning to "born of water" which in turn suggests natural birth.

That's just my first impression. There could be some other meaning.

Richard

Abigail
10-27-2007, 02:53 PM
I can not imagine considering myself or my spiritual growth as a the "work" of another human being. Sure, we all contribute to each other, but there is no heirarchy amongst Christians. Let us be as children. Works without love are nothing (1 Cor 13), but if people have love then they will not boast in their work because love does not boast. There is no heirachy in that we all build on the foundation of Christ. Nothing will stand unless it is on Christ. Someone had to have passed the word on to you. You are right in that God will ultimately give increase and so no man's work makes you grow (1 Cor 3:6) ...I see the mistake I made in my earlier post GAH!!! , but we do the planting and the watering ...and we cant plant ourselves (surely?) so this is done by someone else.


Ha! I expected that play on words! I almost added a comment to my last post to avoid it but decided not to bother. it was not meant to be a play on words but just a statment of fact



I have heard that there are many variations in the church that goes by the name "The Church of Christ." Some are more exclusive than others. Some say you have to be baptised by them to be in Christ, others are more "liberal." If you want to tell us about your beliefs, maybe it would be good to start another thread. It could be interesting ... I think most will say you need to be baptized ...that's how I uderstand it. Some are liberal on the music. I havent regularly attended a CofC for all of ten years now but I hear that they have not been untouched by the general tide of compromising the faith that seems to be sweeping the world



Folks have speculated about the meaning of "water" in that verse. Some say it refers to water baptism, but others think of natural birth since it is marked by the "breaking of water" of the amneotic sac. That fits will with the parallelism between flesh and spirit:



"born of water" parallels "that which is of the flesh" while "born of the Spirit" is just repeated. This suggests a fleshly meaning to "born of water" which in turn suggests natural birth.

That's just my first impression. There could be some other meaning.

Richard Yes, that is how I seem to think the water points - our fleshly part. After all the spiritual man will still have a fleshly body after the resurrection ...water AND Spirit

joel
10-27-2007, 03:40 PM
Let's consider some points;

1.) the soul is conscious and expressive when the spirit is united with the body. Otherwise, the soul is in the "unseen", which is unconciousness, when the spirit and body are separated.

2.) the soul is subject to suffering when the judgment is rendered. It is not annialated, or permanently put in a "hell" where it will be subject to "eternal" torment.

3.) Jesus has created, in Himself, a new creation. You, and I, in spirit, are part of the "new man", which is an entirely separate humanity, not associated with Adam, nor any of his posterity. This is where I agree with you in "being born again". It is not a new adjustment of the "old", but, an entirely "new humanity" where sin and death do not have any expression or authority.

Joel

Trumpet
10-27-2007, 07:23 PM
I agree with Joel on many points, but I think I use a slightly different criteria.
I too, think we need to be "Born again". And I don't mean "born once again", like it was something renewed. I believe it is a new thing; specifically as Jesus said, "except a man be born of water (the flesh from his parents)AND of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

I don't believe that you can inherit God. Jesus said, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

So your parents can't give you the spirit, and I don't believe that you have a spirit when you are born, unless under special circumstances (like John the Baptist), where God saw fit to give the Spirit to him in the womb.

I believe that we have a soul, that is made up of our mind, (thoughts, will, emotion, everything made up by our nervous system), and this is our decision mechanism.

And I believe that we have a body, that is more or less our vehicle of residence which responds to our soul's command.

I believe, unlike Joel perhaps, that our souls are very much the same "old man" that we had from birth, and that soul is capable of learning to follow the Spirit within us, or to follow it's own course, whatever that may be. But I believe that our Spirits are given to us by God, because of many reasons, (God only knows), and this Spirit is incapable of sin. This is why I believe that it is said not to "Grieve the Spirit", because your soul can offend, but your Spirit cannot.

I also believe that your soul is capable of being annihilated. More on that at another time.

Back to the subject at hand, I don't see how Evangelical Universalism is possible unless your "evangelistic" part is a non Christian type of evangelism, then what does it matter?

Richard Amiel McGough
10-28-2007, 08:18 AM
Let's consider some points;

1.) the soul is conscious and expressive when the spirit is united with the body. Otherwise, the soul is in the "unseen", which is unconciousness, when the spirit and body are separated.
I am a little challenged on this point. I personally don't know from the Bible if a soul is "unconscious" or not when it is not embodied. The only hint of that seems to be a few verses like Ecc 9:5 "the dead know nothing" and Psalm 6:5 "in death there is no remembrance of thee [God]." But those are in poetic rather than didactic books so we probably should not take those statements as doctrinal propositions. And there are other verses that suggest the disembodied soul is conscious, most notably 2 Cor 5:8 "to be absent from the body, and to be present to the Lord." It's hard to imagine Paul would say that if he knew that he would be "unconscious" when he was "absent from the body." I am guessing I probably missed your intent on this point?


2.) the soul is subject to suffering when the judgment is rendered. It is not annialated, or permanently put in a "hell" where it will be subject to "eternal" torment.
What then happens after the "judgment is rendered"? When Jesus spoke, it sounded like the judgment itself was for the soul to be "cast into everlasting fire" (Matt 18:8). Do you see this "everlasting fire" as purgatorial? Does a person come out once they are thrown in? Or is it just a metaphor for the "judgment" that the soul experiences?

Are you suggesting that the nature of the Final Judgment answers the question of the ultimate fate of all souls? I mean, are you suggesting that after the judgment all souls will be redeemed?


3.) Jesus has created, in Himself, a new creation. You, and I, in spirit, are part of the "new man", which is an entirely separate humanity, not associated with Adam, nor any of his posterity. This is where I agree with you in "being born again". It is not a new adjustment of the "old", but, an entirely "new humanity" where sin and death do not have any expression or authority.

Joel
Yes, the Bible presents the New Man in Christ vs. the Old Man in Adam. That is very clear. Are you suggesting that this will help answer the question of Evangelical Universalism?

Richard

joel
10-28-2007, 08:43 AM
And there are other verses that suggest the disembodied soul is conscious, most notably 2 Cor 5:8 "to be absent from the body, and to be present to the Lord." It's hard to imagine Paul would say that if he knew that he would be "unconscious" when he was "absent from the body." I am guessing I probably missed your intent on this point?


The soul, as distinguished from the spirit, is conscious when the body and the spirit are united. I do not agree that a "disembodied soul is conscious". If at the point of death, the soul, and the body, and the spirit are separated, then, only upon their reunion, will the soul be "conscious". And, that will occur when we are again in His presence, after resurrection.

Upon death, we await His coming for us. We do not go to Him.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
10-28-2007, 09:08 AM
I agree with Joel on many points, but I think I use a slightly different criteria.
I too, think we need to be "Born again". And I don't mean "born once again", like it was something renewed. I believe it is a new thing; specifically as Jesus said, "except a man be born of water (the flesh from his parents)AND of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
It looks like you, me, and Abigail agree that the "born of water" refers to natural birth.


I don't believe that you can inherit God. Jesus said, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

So your parents can't give you the spirit, and I don't believe that you have a spirit when you are born, unless under special circumstances (like John the Baptist), where God saw fit to give the Spirit to him in the womb.
I certainly agree that no child can "inherit" the Spirit of God from their parents. But I don't know what you mean when you say that we don't "have a spirit" when we are born. True, we do not have God's Spirit, but we do have a "spirit" that the Bible contrasts with God's Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:11 "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."


I believe that we have a soul, that is made up of our mind, (thoughts, will, emotion, everything made up by our nervous system), and this is our decision mechanism.

And I believe that we have a body, that is more or less our vehicle of residence which responds to our soul's command.
I would say that we ARE a soul, and that initially the soul is a body animated by spirit. That's how the word is introduced in Genesis 2:7:


Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground , and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [SPIRIT]; and man became a living soul [SOUL].

But this needs to be compared with the famous verse from 1 Thess 5:23:



1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole [B]spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Basically, there are two ancient theories of human nature. One asserts that man is tripartite having a body, soul, and spirit, whereas the other asserts that man is bipartite having only a body and a soul/spirit. The problem is that the words do not appear to be used in a consistent way throughout the entire body of Scripture. As noted above, Adam became a living soul when God gave spirit to his dead body. But elsewhere, the word "soul" seems to be used interchangeably with "spirit." Its not a simple study.


I believe, unlike Joel perhaps, that our souls are very much the same "old man" that we had from birth, and that soul is capable of learning to follow the Spirit within us, or to follow it's own course, whatever that may be. But I believe that our Spirits are given to us by God, because of many reasons, (God only knows), and this Spirit is incapable of sin. This is why I believe that it is said not to "Grieve the Spirit", because your soul can offend, but your Spirit cannot.
I don't think I really understand you on this point. I agree that God's Spirit that is within us through faith most certainly can not sin, because it is God's Spirit. Is that what you meant?


I also believe that your soul is capable of being annihilated. More on that at another time.
Christ seems to have mentioned that in Matt 10:28:



Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

But folks dispute the meaning of "kill" and "destroy" because the plain meaning contradicts their doctrine of eternal conscious torment. This really is one of my great theological frustrations. The doctrine has invaded the dictionaries. Strong's defines the word "kill" as follows:

αποκτεινω apokteino {ap-ok-ti'-no} from 575 and kteino (to slay);; v AV - kill 55, slay 14, put to death 6; 75 1) to kill in any way whatever 1a) to destroy, to allow to perish 2) metaph. to extinguish, abolish 2a) to inflict mortal death 2b) to deprive of spiritual life and procure eternal misery in hell

You see, the definition 2b was added to accomodate the doctrine that the soul would continue to exist forever even though Christ warns that it would be "killed" = "destroyed" or "abolished." Thus, the doctrine is "proven" by messing with the dictionary!

The same thing is seen with the word "destroyed" in Matt 10:28 (definition 1e):

απολλυμι apollumi {ap-ol'-loo-mee} from 575 and the base of 3639; TDNT - 1:394,67; v AV - perish 33, destroy 26, lose 22, be lost 5, lost 4, misc 2; 92 1) to destroy 1a) to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin 1b) render useless 1c) to kill 1d) to declare that one must be put to death 1e) metaph. to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell 1f) to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed 2) to destroy 2a) to lose

Now I'm not saying that those words could not have the meaning that Strong suggested. It certainly is possible. But that meaning is not "contained in the word." For example, if the Bible elsewhere clearly and unambiguously taught the anihilation of sinful souls, then theologians would, of course, alter their understanding of "kill" and "destroy" to mean "anihilate."



Back to the subject at hand, I don't see how Evangelical Universalism is possible unless your "evangelistic" part is a non Christian type of evangelism, then what does it matter?
What is a "non-Christian type of evangelism"?

I also would like to know specifically where Evangelical Universalism "crosses the line" to falsehood or heresy in you view. That would help the conversation greatly.

Thanks Trumpet! Great conversation.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
10-28-2007, 09:15 AM
The soul, as distinguished from the spirit, is conscious when the body and the spirit are united. I do not agree that a "disembodied soul is conscious". If at the point of death, the soul, and the body, and the spirit are separated, then, only upon their reunion, will the soul be "conscious". And, that will occur when we are again in His presence, after resurrection.

Upon death, we await His coming for us. We do not go to Him.

Joel
How then do you understand Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians 5:8?


2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.


Why would Paul be willing to be "absent from the body" if it meant that he would be unconscious? And what did Paul mean when he said he would be "present with Lord" if he were unconscious?

Also, how do you understand these words from Paul in Philippians?



Philippians 1:23-24 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.


Did not Paul suggest that he would be "going" to be with Christ when he died?

Richard

joel
10-28-2007, 12:02 PM
Richard,

Paul teaches in I Thess. as well as I Corinthians 15 that we will all be united with Christ, as those who are His, at the same time, not separately as if we were each to be joined to Him at our individual deaths. His return is our hope.

Those who have died, in Christ, will be raised from death. And those who are alive at His coming will not be united to Him separate from the dead who are raised. We will all be united to Him together. It is part of our "togetherness" that we, as members of His body, have in common with each other.

Those who have died, in Christ, will be conscious of nothing during the phase of their "death". The dead are aware of nothing.

When they are raised from the dead, and given a new body, they will be conscious of immediately being with the Lord. They may have been "dead" for a lengthly time, but, as to awareness, it will be as if instantantly.

Those who are His, and are alive at His coming, will not proceed to Him separately, but together with those who have been brought back to life.
Incredible as this may seem, it is the teaching of Paul.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
10-28-2007, 12:37 PM
Richard,

Paul teaches in I Thess. as well as I Corinthians 15 that we will all be united with Christ, as those who are His, at the same time, not separately as if we were each to be joined to Him at our individual deaths. His return is our hope.

Those who have died, in Christ, will be raised from death. And those who are alive at His coming will not be united to Him separate from the dead who are raised. We will all be united to Him together. It is part of our "togetherness" that we, as members of His body, have in common with each other.

Those who have died, in Christ, will be conscious of nothing during the phase of their "death". The dead are aware of nothing.

Hey there Joel,

Nice to be chatting!

I guess the thing that confuses me here is that Christ returns "with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 1:14) and "with all his saints" (1 Thess 3:12), and in Revelation there are many saints present with Him before the universal resurrection. I also don't understand how Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ if they were still waiting in the grave. Do you think of that as a special miracle?

And as for the dead being aware of nothing, do you derived that only from the Poetical books, or is something in the Didactic books that explicitly teaches it?

And most of all, I don't personally have any confidence in being able (myself) to speak so confidently about the details of the intermediate state between death and before the resurrection, since it seems to me that the Bible is not very clear on those issues. But I certainly appreciate your efforts to explain this to me. Do you think these issues are essential to understand the topic of "Evangelical Universalism" or have we digressed?


When they are raised from the dead, and given a new body, they will be conscious of immediately being with the Lord. They may have been "dead" for a lengthly time, but, as to awareness, it will be as if instantantly.
OK - I understand. That's how I used to deal with Christmas Eve when I was a kid. I'd think to myself "All I gotta do is fall asleep, and the next thing I know, morning will be here!" But I wonder if that really fits with what Paul said. And I wonder why we should believe it. Can you show me where it is taught in the Bible?


Those who are His, and are alive at His coming, will not proceed to Him separately, but together with those who have been brought back to life.
Incredible as this may seem, it is the teaching of Paul.

Joel
Yes, that does sound incredible - it will be amazing to be alive in this old flesh at the time of the universal resurrection!

Thanks for working on this with me. Now lets see if we can get the thread back on track. How do these ideas relate to the question of Evangelical Universalism?

Richard

joel
10-29-2007, 04:49 AM
Richard,

If we look closely at Paul's words in I Thessalonians 4;

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are sleep.
16 For the Lord Himself shall descent from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we evr be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Before those who are dead, in Christ, can accompany him, they must first be raised from the dead. This will occur all at once.
They will together be raised from the dead.
Those who are alive at his coming for His body will then accompany those raised from the dead in a company into the air to meet him in the clouds.

This is Paul's descriptiion of Christ's return to gather His body unto Him.

Joel

joel
10-29-2007, 07:53 AM
I guess the thing that confuses me here is that Christ returns "with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 1:14) and "with all his saints" (1 Thess 3:12), and in Revelation there are many saints present with Him before the universal resurrection.

"With all his saints" referred to in I Thessalonians 3:12,13 describes when we will all be together before God, in the presence of our Lord Jesus "with all his saints."

Jude 14 speaks of an event associated with judgment of the irreverent of which the saints will take part.

As to the teaching that when we die we are not immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord can be found, in part, in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Thessalonica believers were not clear as to the fate of those who had departed into death and that since they were still alive, what would occur in the future?

Paul explained that there is a hope that we should have, and, that we should comfort each other with this hope. I think that one of the key thoughts here is that of "togetherness". We are His body. We do not pass on into heaven as individual members. We pass on together. The dead are raised in groups. The body of Christ happens to be the first corporate group raised from the dead. This is yet future.

First, however, those who have been put into death must be revived. They (and "us" as well if we expire before His return) are to be resurrected. (This event is not to be confused with the general resurrection of all the remaining dead that will occur at the end of the ages). Paul, in I Thessalonians, is explaining what occurs to those who are "dead in Christ". It is a special hope.

Those, who are "dead in Christ", shall rise first. And, then, those who are "in Christ", and are alive at His return for His body, shall join them, to rise together to meet Him in the air.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration is not associated with this event of the raising of His body.
Jesus will be glorified, and His glory will surely include the influence of Moses and the Law, and Elijah and the Prophets, as evidenced by the images seen on the Mount by the disciples.

As for the death of humans, and the effect of death, and the purpose of death, there is no more meaningful section(s) of scripture than to study all of Paul's letters. It is there that we are shown that Adam was responsible to both death and sin entering into the system. Likewise, and on a greater scale, Christ is responsible for the ultimate elimination of both of these elements.

Paul's teachings include the revelation of "secrets" that have been hid, in God, from all previous generations. One of these secrets, as explained in I Corinthians 15 is that our physical bodies will undergo a transformation. If you tie together the truths explained in the resurrection of His body members of I Thessalonians 4, and the truths of I Corinthians 15, we are given a special secret that our bodies will be changed.

The new body that we receive will be both immortal and incorruptible. In other words, it will be subject to neither the effects of sin, nor the effects of death. This new body is but a prototype of that which will be received by all.

The universal subjection of humanity to both sin and death through Adam are overshadowed by the universal effects of the grace of God which comes through Christ. The truth of that is clearly presented in Romans 5. But, the church has been told that the grace of God can be refused by the stubborn will of man. Paul shows that in the short run this may be true, but, in the long run, according to the eternal purpose that He purposed in Christ, His ultimate purpose to be all in all cannot be thwarted permanently.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
10-29-2007, 01:44 PM
"With all his saints" referred to in I Thessalonians 3:12,13 describes when we will all be together before God, in the presence of our Lord Jesus "with all his saints."

Jude 14 speaks of an event associated with judgment of the irreverent of which the saints will take part.

As to the teaching that when we die we are not immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord can be found, in part, in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Thessalonica believers were not clear as to the fate of those who had departed into death and that since they were still alive, what would occur in the future?

Paul explained that there is a hope that we should have, and, that we should comfort each other with this hope. I think that one of the key thoughts here is that of "togetherness". We are His body. We do not pass on into heaven as individual members. We pass on together. The dead are raised in groups. The body of Christ happens to be the first corporate group raised from the dead. This is yet future.

First, however, those who have been put into death must be revived. They (and "us" as well if we expire before His return) are to be resurrected. (This event is not to be confused with the general resurrection of all the remaining dead that will occur at the end of the ages). Paul, in I Thessalonians, is explaining what occurs to those who are "dead in Christ". It is a special hope.

Those, who are "dead in Christ", shall rise first. And, then, those who are "in Christ", and are alive at His return for His body, shall join them, to rise together to meet Him in the air.
Thanks for explaining this Joel. I don't see any problem with your view on it, but I don't personally feel convinced about it yet. Like I said before, I'm not very confident about conclusions concerning the intermediate state between death and resurrection.



The appearance of Moses and Elijah with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration is not associated with this event of the raising of His body.
Jesus will be glorified, and His glory will surely include the influence of Moses and the Law, and Elijah and the Prophets, as evidenced by the images seen on the Mount by the disciples.
But how could Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus if they were still in the grave?

As for the meaning of Moses and Elijah, I believe they appeared as representatives of the Law the the Prophets which bear witness to Christ. I don't know what you mean by saying that "His glory will surely include the influence Moses and the Law, and Elijah and the Prophets." What kind of "influence" are you talking about?


As for the death of humans, and the effect of death, and the purpose of death, there is no more meaningful section(s) of scripture than to study all of Paul's letters. It is there that we are shown that Adam was responsible to both death and sin entering into the system. Likewise, and on a greater scale, Christ is responsible for the ultimate elimination of both of these elements.
I agree.


Paul's teachings include the revelation of "secrets" that have been hid, in God, from all previous generations. One of these secrets, as explained in I Corinthians 15 is that our physical bodies will undergo a transformation. If you tie together the truths explained in the resurrection of His body members of I Thessalonians 4, and the truths of I Corinthians 15, we are given a special secret that our bodies will be changed.
I agree. Paul teaches those who are alive at the Second Coming of Christ(not rapture) will be changed "in the twinkling of an eye"


The new body that we receive will be both immortal and incorruptible. In other words, it will be subject to neither the effects of sin, nor the effects of death. This new body is but a prototype of that which will be received by all.
Sounds true to me - except for the "all" since not all will receieve eternal life, unless, of course, Evangelical Universalism is true, but that's the issue we still need to determine from Scripture.


The universal subjection of humanity to both sin and death through Adam are overshadowed by the universal effects of the grace of God which comes through Christ. The truth of that is clearly presented in Romans 5. But, the church has been told that the grace of God can be refused by the stubborn will of man. Paul shows that in the short run this may be true, but, in the long run, according to the eternal purpose that He purposed in Christ, His ultimate purpose to be all in all cannot be thwarted permanently.

Joel
I think Romans 5 offers a lot of support for universalism. But it has yet to be tested in this forum to see if it will support that conclusion, or if that conclusion contradicts other passages from Scripture. I want to thank you for bringing us to a passage of Scripture that can be used to evaluate this idea. I'll give it more thought and write more if I get some insights.

God bless you bro! I pray our Lord keeps you in perfect health.

Richard

joel
10-30-2007, 01:23 PM
Richard,

I appreciate your kind words, and your concern for my health. Since my heart "episode" I have been doing very well.

When you are inclined to offer prayers for forum acquaintances, please hold up Shalag. She has brought her husband home who had a serious physical set-back, and will care for him there.

Winter will set in soon, and they live in remote Alaska where things can be very harsh indeed. She will need to be prepared for the months ahead.

She is a special sister, in the Lord, and she and her husband will be looking to the Lord to sustain them during this trying time. We simply do not know how good we have it until we hear of the trials of others.

Our love goes out to them as He is pouring it out in our hearts by His spirit. When one suffers in the body, we all suffer, and we rejoice when one rejoices. We serve a mighty God Who loves us through Christ with an incomprehensible love.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
10-30-2007, 02:11 PM
Richard,

I appreciate your kind words, and your concern for my health. Since my heart "episode" I have been doing very well.

When you are inclined to offer prayers for forum acquaintances, please hold up Shalag. She has brought her husband home who had a serious physical set-back, and will care for him there.

Winter will set in soon, and they live in remote Alaska where things can be very harsh indeed. She will need to be prepared for the months ahead.

She is a special sister, in the Lord, and she and her husband will be looking to the Lord to sustain them during this trying time. We simply do not know how good we have it until we hear of the trials of others.

Our love goes out to them as He is pouring it out in our hearts by His spirit. When one suffers in the body, we all suffer, and we rejoice when one rejoices. We serve a mighty God Who loves us through Christ with an incomprehensible love.

Joel
Hey Joel,

Thanks for letting me know about Shalag. She is indeed a dear sister, and she really loves the Lord and has contributed a lot to this forum.

:pray: I include you in my prayer for health, and thank our Lord that He is keeping you strong. :pray:

Your final paragraph deserves a frame, italics, and its own color:


Our love goes out to them as He is pouring it out in our hearts by His spirit. When one suffers in the body, we all suffer, and we rejoice when one rejoices. We serve a mighty God Who loves us through Christ with an incomprehensible love.
Well said! :thumb:

Denny
11-07-2007, 04:20 AM
Hey there Joel,

And most of all, I don't personally have any confidence in being able (myself) to speak so confidently about the details of the intermediate state between death and before the resurrection, since it seems to me that the Bible is not very clear on those issues. But I certainly appreciate your efforts to explain this to me. Do you think these issues are essential to understand the topic of "Evangelical Universalism" or have we digressed?

Thanks for working on this with me. Now lets see if we can get the thread back on track. How do these ideas relate to the question of Evangelical Universalism?

Richard

Hello All,

First of all, I will confess up-front that I am one of those "nasty" Calvinists. I much tend to be sober and passionate about the Scripture and some take this as offensive, sorry. IMO, Calvinism is a name that was given to us by our enemies. These enemies are of the type that always kill the messenger when it is really the Scriptural message that they despise. :eek: If one does not belive this just take a short cruise on the internet and see that nearly all Roman Catholic and Arminian websites have John Calvin as number 1, on their enemies list.

It is my belief that John Calvin, himself, would be enraged if he knew that his love for the Scripture and its perspicuity was being manhandled by his own name. Calvinism is a now commonly a nickname for all of those that participated in the Reformation, including the great Martin Luther and many, many others.

:focus:


...who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. [1Tim 2:4]

Any decent Reformed exegesis of this text, will show that "all men" in this context, does not mean all men without exception but all sorts of men or all men without distinction between them. Yes our God loves and saves even some sinful human kings!

Now, I propose this question; If God is not sovereign over His creation (including the will of men) and does not have the power nor will to accomplish His desires, (the salvation of all men without exception) then how can we know if He is able to accomplish His promisses of eternal life to His elected children?

Obviously, this is only a beginning of my "tirade" against what I believe to be the soul destroying and anti-Scriptural heresy of universalism, which is of itself powered by the Arminian heresy of the "free will" of men?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
11-07-2007, 08:51 AM
Now, I propose this question; If God is not sovereign over His creation (including the will of men) and does not have the power nor will to accomplish His desires, (the salvation of all men without exception) then how can we know if He is able to accomplish His promisses of eternal life to His elected children?

Obviously, this is only a beginning of my "tirade" against what I believe to be the soul destroying and anti-Scriptural heresy of universalism, which is of itself powered by the Arminian heresy of the "free will" of men?

Denny


God is sovereign over His creation.
He does have the power and the will to accomplish His desires.
We know that He is able to accomplish His promises, not only to His election, but, to all.

Before the creation, He purposed within Himself to head up all in Christ. No one can thwart that purpose.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. I Corinthians 15:22.

The all in the first part is the same as the all in the second part.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 09:28 AM
Hello All,

First of all, I will confess up-front that I am one of those "nasty" Calvinists.
Hey there Denny,

Since this was your first post, let me say Welcome to our forum!

:welcome:

Now I hate to start a converstation with a contradiction of your first sentence, but I don't think Calvinists are any nastier than any other "theological workgroup." On the contrary, it seems to me that Calvinists are sharper than most, which is why the victims of their wit often cry "foul!" when they are unable to defeat them in a fair competition.
:fencing:

But we'll see ... maybe you really are nasty! :lol:



I much tend to be sober and passionate about the Scripture and some take this as offensive, sorry.
I take that as one of the highest virtues! I'm really glad you are here, because I have some very strong differences with "Calvinism" as it has commonly been expressed, and I would love to dig down deep to the roots to discern the truth with you.



IMO, Calvinism is a name that was given to us by our enemies. These enemies are of the type that always kill the messenger when it is really the Scriptural message that they despise. :eek: If one does not belive this just take a short cruise on the internet and see that nearly all Roman Catholic and Arminian websites have John Calvin as number 1, on their enemies list.
And that proves my point that the "Calvinists" don't have a hold on the "nasty" camp.

But I do not agree that "Calvinism" is 100% Scriptural, because it looks to me like it is Scripture read through the lense of 16th century philosophical presumptions and methodologies. It is that philosophy that has failed you, not the Bible. For example, the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees is found nowhere in the Bible, but is fundamental to Calvinism. That's why I believe Calvinism is "unbiblical" in the strictest sense of the word.



It is my belief that John Calvin, himself, would be enraged if he knew that his love for the Scripture and its perspicuity was being manhandled by his own name. Calvinism is a now commonly a nickname for all of those that participated in the Reformation, including the great Martin Luther and many, many others.
And that's why most "Calvinists" call them selves "Reformed Theologians." But the problem there is that they try to hijack the entire Reformation and shoehorn it into their own theological system, which fails most famously with Martin Luther who was no "Calvinist."




:focus:

Any decent Reformed exegesis of this text, will show that "all men" in this context, does not mean all men without exception but all sorts of men or all men without distinction between them. Yes our God loves and saves even some sinful human kings!
I grant your interpretation is a valid possibility. But is it not the only possibility. There is nothing in the passage that necessarily restricts the "all men" to "all types of men." It could mean "all men" in the sense of "every individual man." Therefore, it is not an incontrovertible proof text for either position and intepreters are free to choose the interpretation that is consistent with their overall theological scheme.



Now, I propose this question; If God is not sovereign over His creation (including the will of men) and does not have the power nor will to accomplish His desires, (the salvation of all men without exception) then how can we know if He is able to accomplish His promisses of eternal life to His elected children?
So your theology says that God would be incapable of accomplishing His will without exercising "brute sovereignty" over all creation? That's a lousy view of God in my estimation. God is glorous beyond description, and His glory is true glory which means that it is truly admirable. Micro-managing a world through "brute sovereignty" is no glory at all. Its a monstrous mechancial vision of reality that feels more like a cross between Orwell's 1984 (http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/) and The Matrix (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/), whereas the real Gospel is more like "What Dreams may Come (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120889/)" in which Robin Williams willingly sacrificed himself and entered into the sufferings of hell to save his beloved wife.



Obviously, this is only a beginning of my "tirade" against what I believe to be the soul destroying and anti-Scriptural heresy of universalism, which is of itself powered by the Arminian heresy of the "free will" of men?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
It is WONDERFUL to have a passionate man with whom to discuss these very important issues Denny!

But as for "soul destroying heresy" - that's a most ironic turn of phrase for a number of reasons. First, if universalism is true then when all is said and done, every soul is redeemed so no souls are destroyed, whereas in your system a countless of souls are destroyed by the direct will of God. Second, why does an opinion of the number of the saved "destroy" a soul? I mean, how many souls need to be damned in order for your theology to work? 70%? 30%? 10%? What if I believed 99.9% got saved? Would that "destroy" my soul? If so, why? Exactly how does evangelical universalism "destroy souls"?

And finally, why is it "anti-scriptural"? The only question is "how many are saved." Given that God will save whomever He wants, the only question is if He wants to save everyone or not.

Richard

Denny
11-07-2007, 09:33 AM
The all in the first part is the same as the all in the second part.

Joel

You are much mistaken. The "all" in the first part was limited or relevatory only to those who read or participate on this website. To believe that I was adressing "all men" is a fantastic stretch of your own imagination.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 09:45 AM
God is sovereign over His creation.
He does have the power and the will to accomplish His desires.
We know that He is able to accomplish His promises, not only to His election, but, to all.

Before the creation, He purposed within Himself to head up all in Christ. No one can thwart that purpose.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. I Corinthians 15:22.

The all in the first part is the same as the all in the second part.

Joel
Hey Joel,

Good to see you bro!

I challenge your interepretation of I Corinthians 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." It is necessary that a person be "in Christ" in order to partake of His life. Thus, you are making this verse assert that "all will ultimately come to be in Christ." I don't see any justification for that. Here is how I would read it:

For as in Adam all [who are in Adam, which includes everyone because we are all born in Adam] die, even so in Christ all [who are in Christ] shall be made alive."

It is absolutely true that "in Christ all will be made alive" just like it is true that "in the lake all are made wet." But that doesn't mean that everyone is in the lake.

Richard

Denny
11-07-2007, 11:29 AM
Ram said: Since this was your first post, let me say Welcome to our forum!

Thanks for the welcome and thanks for all of your hard work on your website. I'm afraid that my computer skills are not even up to par with the average forth-grader but I'll do my best.:thumb:


Now I hate to start a converstation with a contradiction of your first sentence, but I don't think Calvinists are any nastier than any other "theological workgroup." On the contrary, it seems to me that Calvinists are sharper than most, which is why the victims of their wit often cry "foul!" when they are unable to defeat them in a fair competition.
:fencing

But we'll see ... maybe you really are nasty! :lol:

Thanks also for your sense of humor and affirmation that I do not believe myself to be "nasty" but that is a commonly held assertion by more than just a few.


But I do not agree that "Calvinism" is 100% Scriptural, because it looks to me like it is Scripture read through the lense of 16th century philosophical presumptions and methodologies. It is that philosophy that has failed you, not the Bible. For example, the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees is found nowhere in the Bible, but is fundamental to Calvinism. That's why I believe Calvinism is "unbiblical" in the strictest sense of the word.

This is, in a nutshell, the argument of the Arminians, is it not? The word "Trinity" is not found anywhere in the Scripture either. How did this word come into being and affirmed by all orthodox Christians without a systematic study of the propositional revelations of the Scripture itself?


And that's why most "Calvinists" call them selves "Reformed Theologians." But the problem there is that they try to hijack the entire Reformation and shoehorn it into their own theological system, which fails most famously with Martin Luther who was no "Calvinist."

Calling Luther a "Calvinist" was probably unfortunate on my part. However Calvin praised Luther often and considered him to be his brother in their mutual struggle against the RCC. They shared and believed in nearly all of the Reformed doctrines that we know today including but not limited to: total depravity, the bondage of the will, unconditional election, the limitation of the Atonement, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christos, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, not to mention their mutual horror of the RCC belief in traditional authority and all of the perverse pagan practices that comes with the RCC debacle.


I grant your interpretation is a valid possibility. But is it not the only possibility. There is nothing in the passage that necessarily restricts the "all men" to "all types of men." It could mean "all men" in the sense of "every individual man." Therefore, it is not an incontrovertible proof text for either position and intepreters are free to choose the interpretation that is consistent with their overall theological scheme.

http://www.the-highway.com/1Tim2.4.html

Again, this is your assertion and the argument of the Arminians and others.


So your theology says that God would be incapable of accomplishing His will without exercising "brute sovereignty" over all creation? That's a lousy view of God in my estimation. God is glorous beyond description, and His glory is true glory which means that it is truly admirable. Micro-managing a world through "brute sovereignty" is no glory at all. Its a monstrous mechancial vision of reality that feels more like a cross between Orwell's 1984 (http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/) and The Matrix (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/), whereas the real Gospel is more like "What Dreams may Come (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120889/)" in which Robin Williams willingly sacrificed himself and entered into the sufferings of hell to save his beloved wife.

I certainly hope you don't really intend for me to read about Robin William's personal horrors?:pop2::confused2:

Yes God uses "brute force" in the same way that our parents brought us to the birth of life in this world. That is, unless you believe that you gave them permission with your "free will" for your own conception?


It is WONDERFUL to have a passionate man with whom to discuss these very important issues Denny!

Again, thanks and so be it.


But as for "soul destroying heresy" - that's a most ironic turn of phrase for a number of reasons. First, if universalism is true then when all is said and done, every soul is redeemed so no souls are destroyed, whereas in your system a countless of souls are destroyed by the direct will of God. Second, why does an opinion of the number of the saved "destroy" a soul? I mean, how many souls need to be damned in order for your theology to work? 70%? 30%? 10%? What if I believed 99.9% got saved? Would that "destroy" my soul? If so, why? Exactly how does evangelical universalism "destroy souls"?

And finally, why is it "anti-scriptural"? The only question is "how many are saved." Given that God will save whomever He wants, the only question is if He wants to save everyone or not.

You spoke of "contradictions" earlier, so it follows that I must ask: What do you do with the Scripture about "a narrow gate" and that about "millstones around necks" and "Woe onto those by whom offenses come". Maybe these are just idle talk by Jesus, and His Father was not really serious with the penal implications to unbelievers in the crucifixion of His own perfect Son.

Universalism destroys souls by making people believe there will be another chance of hearing God's gracious words after their lives in this world. Not knowing that we are born in trespasses and sin and that this is our only second chance. Our God uses the means of the truth of Scripture to bring faith to His elected children and simply put, universalism is not the truth of Scripture.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the welcome and thanks for all of your hard work on your website. I'm afraid that my computer skills are not even up to par with the average forth-grader but I'll do my best.:thumb:
I'm sure you will do just fine.




But I do not agree that "Calvinism" is 100% Scriptural, because it looks to me like it is Scripture read through the lense of 16th century philosophical presumptions and methodologies. It is that philosophy that has failed you, not the Bible. For example, the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees is found nowhere in the Bible, but is fundamental to Calvinism. That's why I believe Calvinism is "unbiblical" in the strictest sense of the word.
This is, in a nutshell, the argument of the Arminians, is it not? The word "Trinity" is not found anywhere in the Scripture either. How did this word come into being and affirmed by all orthodox Christians without a systematic study of the propositional revelations of the Scripture itself?
You asked three questions. My answers are:

1) It matters not what the "Arminians" argue since their failures do not prove your philosophy to be valid. You need to make positive arguments for your philosophy.

2) Though the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, the DOCTRINE of the Trinity most certainly is! I assert that the DOCTRINE of the Eternal Decrees is not found in Scripture. I am talking about DOCTRINE, not trivialities of nomenclature.

3) As for "How did this word come into being and affirmed by all orthodox Christians without a systematic study of the propositional revelations of the Scripture itself?" - the answer is simple. The word "Trinity" aptly describes a genuine Biblical doctrine. The same can not be said of the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees. That doctrine is PURE HUMAN PHILOSOPHY without any foundation in the Bible. There is no clear and unequivocal passages to prove that God "ordained whatsover cames to pass"! I invited folks to prove this doctrine in another thread (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36), and as far as I can tell, no one succeeded. I would be delighted to pursue this particular question with you.



Calling Luther a "Calvinist" was probably unfortunate on my part. However Calvin praised Luther often and considered him to be his brother in their mutual struggle against the RCC. They shared and believed in nearly all of the Reformed doctrines that we know today including but not limited to: total depravity, the bondage of the will, unconditional election, the limitation of the Atonement, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christos, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, not to mention their mutual horror of the RCC belief in traditional authority and all of the perverse pagan practices that comes with the RCC debacle.
Yes, there is much agreement between Lutherans and Calvinists. But there are many differences too. But none of that really matters since we are not going to the Calvinists or to the Lutherans for answers. We appeal to the Bible, so to the Bible we shall go!




http://www.the-highway.com/1Tim2.4.html

Thanks for the link! It looks like an indepth study, so I will have to get back to you on it.




I certainly hope you don't really intend for me to read about Robin William's personal horrors?:pop2::confused2:
I'm sorry, but I must I insist! You see, I get all my theology from Robin Williams movies and TV shows, especially his early revelations transmitted through his Mork and Mindy (http://www.sitcomsonline.com/morkandmindy.html) series.

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/mork.jpg

But seriously folks ....




Yes God uses "brute force" in the same way that our parents brought us to the birth of life in this world. That is, unless you believe that you gave them permission with your "free will" for your own conception?
You misunderstood me concerning "brute sovereignty" (note that I did not use the term "brute force"). I agree completely that we do not "cause" our spiritual birth any more than a baby causes itself to be born by any act of its "will." But that has nothing to do with the argument I presented. I refute the idea that God's sovereignty determines "whatsoever comes to pass." Please note the distiniction. I do not refute the idea that "God causes the new birth" nor do I refute the fact that "God causes whatsoever He wills to happen." But neither of those statements are equivalent to the unbiblical assertion that "God ordains whatsoever comes to pass." That is where your philosophy has overridden the Biblical revelation. The Bible does not teach that God is incapable of creating truly free creatures made in His Image that do things He did not explicitly "ordain." He creates true freedom that shortcircuits your finite human philosophy.



You spoke of "contradictions" earlier, so it follows that I must ask: What do you do with the Scripture about "a narrow gate" and that about "millstones around necks" and "Woe onto those by whom offenses come". Maybe these are just idle talk by Jesus, and His Father was not really serious with the penal implications to unbelievers in the crucifixion of His own perfect Son.
The fact that Christ bore our sin on the cross does not necessarily imply the "penal substitutionary" THEORY of the atonement. Any serious discussion of these issues depends critically upon the recognition that the penal substitutionary THEORY is just that - a THEORY, and that it is a relatively modern therory in that it was not even invented (or discovered depending on your point of view) until the Reformation. I personally find the "penal substitutionary theory" of the atonement to be very problematic. We have much to discuss before drawing any conclusions based on that theory.



Universalism destroys souls by making people believe there will be another chance of hearing God's gracious words after their lives in this world. Not knowing that we are born in trespasses and sin and that this is our only second chance. Our God uses the means of the truth of Scripture to bring faith to His elected children and simply put, universalism is not the truth of Scripture.
This seems to be a good example of the inconsistency of the philosophical system known as "calvinism." First you tell me that God ORDAINS the ultimate destiny of each and every soul, then you tell me that some doctrine is "dangerous" because it will "cause" a soul to go to hell. So what are you saying? There are souls out there that would NOT go to hell if only we can get them to believe correct doctrine? If not, then exactly how is it that the "destruction of their souls" can be blamed on the faulty doctrine of universalism?

Great chatting with you Denny! I really love your passionate presentation of Gods' Word!

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 03:27 PM
http://www.the-highway.com/1Tim2.4.html

Again, this is your assertion and the argument of the Arminians and others.
Hey Denny,

I read that article, but unfortunately it presents a very weak argument. For example, here is how it answered the "Arminian" position:



The term "all men" taken by itself is capable of an absolute meaning but the the context of 1 Tim. 2 does not support it.
That "all" or "all men" do not always mean all and every man that were, are, or shall be, may be made apparent by nearly
500 instances found in Scripture. "Paul definitely mentions 'groups' or 'classes' of men; kings (v.2), those in high position
(v.2) etc., the Gentiles (v.7). He is thinking of rulers and (by implication) subjects, of Gentiles and (again by implication)
Jews, and he is urging Timothy to see to it that in [the] public worship [at Ephesus] not a single group be omitted"
(William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles).

Conclusion: ... The term "all men" does NOT refer to all men without exception. The term is to be understood relatively.
Why? Because there can be no metaphysical disjunction in God's will as desiring and His will as decreeing. Both
aspects of His will are in perfect harmony with each other.


See that? All he did was explain that "all men" could mean "all kinds of men" but he did not prove that it could not mean
"every individual." His argument therefore proves nothing except that the Arminian can not use 1 Tim2:4 as a "proof text"
for his position. And that's exactly what I wrote in my previous post:


I grant your interpretation is a valid possibility. But is it not the only possibility. There is nothing in the
passage that necessarily restricts the "all men" to "all types of men." It could mean "all men" in the sense of "every
individual man." Therefore, it is not an incontrovertible proof text for either position and intepreters are free to choose the
interpretation that is consistent with their overall theological scheme.

Richard

joel
11-07-2007, 03:48 PM
Good to see you bro!

I challenge your interepretation of I Corinthians 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." It is necessary that a person be "in Christ" in order to partake of His life. Thus, you are making this verse assert that "all will ultimately come to be in Christ." I don't see any justification for that. Here is how I would read it:

For as in Adam all [who are in Adam, which includes everyone because we are all born in Adam] die, even so in Christ all [who are in Christ] shall be made alive."

It is absolutely true that "in Christ all will be made alive" just like it is true that "in the lake all are made wet." But that doesn't mean that everyone is in the lake.


By your example, the most obvious difference between the lake and Christ, is that a lake does not act as the agent of creation. However, if it did, everyone, who is created, is in the lake if the lake first made everyone.

All things were created in Christ. All humans came into the world through Adam. Sin and death entered through Adam, and all became sinners and all died, because of Adam.

All things were created in Christ and came into existence through Him. And all things will be summed up in Him. He has repudiated sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and He has overcome death, and will eventually abolish it.

When He abolishes death, there will no longer be anyone subject to death.

If both sin and death were to exist forever, then, they would forever be bearing their fruit. They, however, through the victory of the sacrifice of Christ, will see their end.

Christ is both the last Adam, and the second man.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 03:57 PM
By your example, the most obvious difference between the lake and Christ, is that a lake does not act as the agent of creation. However, if it did, everyone, who is created, is in the lake if the lake first made everyone.

All things were created in Christ. All humans came into the world through Adam. Sin and death entered through Adam, and all became sinners and all died, because of Adam.

All things were created in Christ and came into existence through Him. And all things will be summed up in Him. He has repudiated sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and He has overcome death, and will eventually abolish it.

When He abolishes death, there will no longer be anyone subject to death.

If both sin and death were to exist forever, then, they would forever be bearing their fruit. They, however, through the victory of the sacrifice of Christ, will see their end.

Christ is both the last Adam, and the second man.

Joel
Hey Joel,

I can see you point of view, and I admire it for its Christ-centered clarity. But I still feel unable to assert that every soul will ultimately be redeemed on the basis of Christ being the creator in whom all things are summed up. I can see why eternal conscious torment would be excluded, since it is hard to see how an eternal evil like that could be "summed up" in Christ. But what about annihilation? If the souls that sin DIE and are annihilated, then all is still summed up in Christ.

How does that fit in with your understanding?

Richard

PS: I would be very interested to know how folks who believe in eternal evil reconcile that belief with the ultimate restoration of all things in God through Christ.

Denny
11-07-2007, 04:15 PM
Hey Denny,

I read that article, but unfortunately it presents a very weak argument. For example, here is how it answered the "Arminian" position:


See that? All he did was explain that "all men" could mean "all kinds of men" but he did not prove that it could not mean
"every individual." His argument therefore proves nothing except that the Arminian can not use 1 Tim2:4 as a "proof text"
for his position. And that's exactly what I wrote in my previous post:

Richard

OK, granted, but my point was also that to assume "All men" in 1 Tim 4:2, as ALL Arminians ALWAYS do, cannot be used as a proof text of God desiring all men, without exception, to be saved. If you will read it again you will see that Dr. Long, in his article, makes the very same conclusion as yourself that the verse is "difficult". It is a matter of hermeneutics, as you well know, that difficult verses must be interpreted by other Scripture or orthodox doctrine that is clear. But he goes on to show why only the Reformed interpretation is logically warranted. And, of course, with this you also disagree.

BTW, I can't keep up with you as I'm still working on a reply to your previous post.:smash:

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
11-07-2007, 04:47 PM
Hey Denny,

I'm with you on this typing thing! I'm slow as a turtle. When I get time between working and my family, and with my typing speed, I kind of get lost in the shuffle. :smash:

But to give some input to your question Richard, about eternal evil, one scripture comes to mind right now and that is Ps. 49: 12-20 vs. 12 - Nevertheless man being in honor abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. (He has his own honor, he doesn't abide in God. He will cease to exist.):(
vs 15 - BUT God will redeem MY soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.:applause:
vs. 20 Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

I never did believe that my dog would be going to heaven.:thumb:

Don

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 05:28 PM
OK, granted, but my point was also that to assume "All men" in 1 Tim 4:2, as ALL Arminians ALWAYS do, cannot be used as a proof text of God desiring all men, without exception, to be saved. If you will read it again you will see that Dr. Long, in his article, makes the very same conclusion as yourself that the verse is "difficult". It is a matter of hermeneutics, as you well know, that difficult verses must be interpreted by other Scripture or orthodox doctrine that is clear. But he goes on to show why only the Reformed interpretation is logically warranted. And, of course, with this you also disagree.
Hey there Denny!

Its really a joy to discuss these things with someone who graciously grants a point so we can move on to the next issue.

I'll take a closer look (as I find time) at that article you cited to see if he did or did not succeed in proving that "only the Reformed interpretation is logically warranted."



BTW, I can't keep up with you as I'm still working on a reply to your previous post.:smash:

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Don't worry about "speed" - that's not the issue on this forum. The conversations can take place at whatever pace is comfortable for all parties concerned. I have a dozen irons in the fire, and constantly shift from one to the other. The issues you brought up just happened to catch my attention today. And I do type pretty fast, since I do it every day.

Talk more soon (or when you find time, I guess! ;))

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 05:57 PM
Hey Denny,

I'm with you on this typing thing! I'm slow as a turtle. When I get time between working and my family, and with my typing speed, I kind of get lost in the shuffle. :smash:

But to give some input to your question Richard, about eternal evil, one scripture comes to mind right now and that is Ps. 49: 12-20 vs. 12 - Nevertheless man being in honor abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. (He has his own honor, he doesn't abide in God. He will cease to exist.):(
vs 15 - BUT God will redeem MY soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.:applause:
vs. 20 Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

I never did believe that my dog would be going to heaven.:thumb:

Don
Maybe not your dog, but my cats are getting in guaranteed! That's cuz they are purrrrfect! <snort!> :lol:

Now as for your passage from Psalms - it seems you are suggesting that it teaches anihilation of the soul after death. Is that correct? If so, I think I must disagree that we can use that passage to prove that point. The problem is that its obviously a poetic passage that is talking about the fate of wicked people in this world. It doesn't seem to be teaching us about our eternal fate in Christ. When it says that man "abideth not" you interepret that to be speaking of the after life. But when I read the Psalm, it seems to be saying that man does not abide here on earth for very long. In other words, it seems to be saying that we all die. This is emphasied by comparing us with the animals which also die. But I don't see any reason to think that the analogy between us and the animals should be carried beyond that to our eternal condition. Animals never are resurrected and brought into heaven but people are.


The correspondence with Ecclesiastes is striking:
Psalm 49:10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

Ecclesiastes 2:16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
There are many statements in Ecclesiastes that we know are not "true" in an absolute sense, but rather reveal the way life looks to a materialistic soul "under the sun", that is, under the natural light of this world with no spiritual light. It would be a grave error to base doctrine on these books alone. They are very important in the canon, but they can not settle these doctrinal issues. They have a different purpose in the house of God's manifold wisdom.

Or that's how I see it, anyway!

Richard

Denny
11-07-2007, 06:21 PM
Hey Denny,

I'm with you on this typing thing! I'm slow as a turtle. When I get time between working and my family, and with my typing speed, I kind of get lost in the shuffle. :smash:

But to give some input to your question Richard, about eternal evil, one scripture comes to mind right now and that is Ps. 49: 12-20 vs. 12 - Nevertheless man being in honor abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. (He has his own honor, he doesn't abide in God. He will cease to exist.):(
vs 15 - BUT God will redeem MY soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.:applause:
vs. 20 Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

I never did believe that my dog would be going to heaven.:thumb:

Don

Hi Don,

In fact it's not my typing that's the problem so much as all the thingamabobs and buttons, finding references and quotes and posting them to unfamiliar blog software. I've decided to hold off my reply to RAM until morning when I feel great and at my best with the little that I have.:sunny:

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
11-07-2007, 08:46 PM
Yea Richard, I also think that vs 12 is talking about the fate of those NOT in Christ, or in O.T. times, not of the faithful Jews.

Yes I'm speaking of termination of the soul of the heathen here, not those in Christ. I believe that when the heathen die, they just cease to exist, just like any animal. The light goes out, so to speak. I haven't come to a conclusion yet on whether or not a person in Christ can lose his/her salvation. And if they WERE able to lose it, I don't neccesarily know whether they COULD be annihilated. The spirit is an eternal thing.

I see this passage (the whole psalm) as a contrast between the heathen, and the psalmist.

I guess I'm getting a bit off subject, since you are looking more for answers to total reconciliation of everything in Christ.

I don't know a whole lot about Armenianism, or Calvinism, 'cause isms are like a prism. They break light down into it's parts instead of just looking at the whole beam, and then it turns into a joust to see which colors are the most important. We've got a BIG God, and He wields a BIG beam of light.

I know that I'm wrong much more that I'm right, especially when it comes to my own opinion. That's why I like this forum. It has a freedom of knowledge without judgement that you don't find often. Sometimes I can state my opinion, and then just sit back and shut up, and see where I am wrong. This ship is on a steady course, and thank God, I'm not drivin'. God's at the wheel, and He has all the answers, and we can see them only after we realize and admit to ourselves that we have shortcomings.

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2007, 09:08 PM
Yea Richard, I also think that vs 12 is talking about the fate of those NOT in Christ, or in O.T. times, not of the faithful Jews.

Yes I'm speaking of termination of the soul of the heathen here, not those in Christ. I believe that when the heathen die, they just cease to exist, just like any animal. The light goes out, so to speak. I haven't come to a conclusion yet on whether or not a person in Christ can lose his/her salvation. And if they WERE able to lose it, I don't neccesarily know whether they COULD be annihilated. The spirit is an eternal thing.

I see this passage (the whole psalm) as a contrast between the heathen, and the psalmist.

I guess I'm getting a bit off subject, since you are looking more for answers to total reconciliation of everything in Christ.
Yeah ... I'm pretty hesitant when it comes to the intermediate state, and ideas about what happens to unbelievers derived from the poetic books, because I don't have confidence that I could "get it right" and if God didn't bother to make it really clear, I figure its not very important for me to figure out. But on the other hand, these questions do impact our doctrines, so we need to search them out to the best of our ability.


I don't know a whole lot about Armenianism, or Calvinism, 'cause isms are like a prism. They break light down into it's parts instead of just looking at the whole beam, and then it turns into a joust to see which colors are the most important. We've got a BIG God, and He wields a BIG beam of light.
Yep! Gotta agree that that the isms can be prisms that refract whatever light they capture. Of course, prisms are very useful for analysing light ... but if you forget that they are just tools, and you start wearing your prismatic glasses thoughout your everyday life you may start thinking that those folks who keep talking about the PURE WHITE LIGHT are just plain nuts! Why can't the see that rainbow everywhere like I do?

http://www.rkm.com.au/ANIMATIONS/animation-graphics/prism-dispersing-light.jpg



I know that I'm wrong much more that I'm right, especially when it comes to my own opinion. That's why I like this forum. It has a freedom of knowledge without judgement that you don't find often. Sometimes I can state my opinion, and then just sit back and shut up, and see where I am wrong. This ship is on a steady course, and thank God, I'm not drivin'. God's at the wheel, and He has all the answers, and we can see them only after we realize and admit to ourselves that we have shortcomings.
I love your attitude bro! :thumb: Let us pray that this forum grows with more and more brothers and sisters who care more about God and His Truth than our own opinions. :pray: Amen!

Richard

joel
11-08-2007, 05:47 AM
Do you actually believe that there are certain people who are annihilated, and no longer exist? Or, that they will be raised from the dead, judged, and then, annihilated?

Or is death an intermediate state? The last enemy that will be destroyed is death (I Corinthians 15:26).

The lack of unity of faith on this matter causes overwhelming disputing, and untold grief.

Christ....has abolished death, and has brought forth life and immortality. (II Timothy 1:10)
How can we justify that this truth of this statement has limitations without, at the same time, placing limitations on His saving work?

Part of the misunderstanding is due to the meaning of the word, and word family of aion. The insistence on the part of those who say that aion is "eternal" also insist that death is "eternal" and that when certain people who stubbornly will not believe in His saving work will be consigned to the torment without end.

Either that is true, or, not true. There is no other 3rd position. And, if it is not true, then, it should not be spoken, or taught.

If, on the other hand, Jesus' sacrificial death is universally beneficial to all of mankind without exception, then, there is no limitation to His salvation.

And, the argument that is so often given that "If you teach that you will only encourage sin" is totally lacking in an understanding of Paul's teaching on sin and how it has been effectively conquered in the death of Christ as explained in Romans 6.

Death is now working in a new way. Until it will be abolished, it now "works" in the production of life. Read through II Corinthains and see if that is not so.

Christ has "led captivity captive" (Eph. 4:8), and has given gifts to men. He not only provided the release from the prison, but, He has destroyed the jail.

We are to grow up, and no longer be minors tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. (Eph. 4:14)



Joel

Denny
11-08-2007, 06:05 AM
There is no clear and unequivocal passages to prove that God "ordained whatsover cames to pass"! I invited folks to prove this doctrine in another thread (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36), and as far as I can tell, no one succeeded. I would be delighted to pursue this particular question with you.

No one has succeeded because you have already made up your mind, to protect your arrogant "free will", that they can't.


ACTS 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

ISA 46:9,10 Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.

EPH 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

ACTS 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.

ACTS 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

JOHN 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

ROM 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth

ROM 9:22, 23 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.

PRO 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

EPH 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

1PE 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

ROM 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

JUD 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.




Yes, there is much agreement between Lutherans and Calvinists. But there are many differences too. But none of that really matters since we are not going to the Calvinists or to the Lutherans for answers. We appeal to the Bible, so to the Bible we shall go!

Shame on you for implying that the Calvinists did not know something about the bible. It is nearly impossible to find a Reformed systematic theology that does not begin with the principle of Sola Scriptura.


I'm sorry, but I must I insist! You see, I get all my theology from Robin Williams movies and TV shows,

I'm actually beginning to wonder if this is not true.


You misunderstood me concerning "brute sovereignty" (note that I did not use the term "brute force"). I agree completely that we do not "cause" our spiritual birth any more than a baby causes itself to be born by any act of its "will." But that has nothing to do with the argument I presented.

OK, you may with my permission change "brute force" to "brute sovereignty" in my post.


I refute the idea that God's sovereignty determines "whatsoever comes to pass." Please note the distiniction. I do not refute the idea that "God causes the new birth" nor do I refute the fact that "God causes whatsoever He wills to happen." But neither of those statements are equivalent to the unbiblical assertion that "God ordains whatsoever comes to pass."

Richard, your refutation has been noted, and I refute your assertion that God is not in total and sovereign control over His creation in time.


That is where your philosophy has overridden the Biblical revelation. The Bible does not teach that God is incapable of creating truly free creatures made in His Image that do things He did not explicitly "ordain." He creates true freedom that shortcircuits your finite human philosophy.

This may be easily turned around by my saying that your finite human philosophy of the libertarian "free will" of men is absent from the teaching of the Scripture. The question is not what God is capable of doing but what does God do. Missing in your reasoning is the truth that true free will is not the ability to chose and struggled between chosing good and evil, but the ability and freedom to chose only the righteous good.


The fact that Christ bore our sin on the cross does not necessarily imply the "penal substitutionary" THEORY of the atonement. Any serious discussion of these issues depends critically upon the recognition that the penal substitutionary THEORY is just that - a THEORY, and that it is a relatively modern therory in that it was not even invented (or discovered depending on your point of view) until the Reformation. I personally find the "penal substitutionary theory" of the atonement to be very problematic. We have much to discuss before drawing any conclusions based on that theory.

The penal substitutionary Doctrine came into existence only in the 16th century because, in the progress of Christian dogma, that is when the Reformers (Church) finally and forever settled the soteriological disputes to the shame of the RCC. This progress also included the Doctrines[/B of justification by faith alone and imputed righteousness.

Anyone with their depraved "free will" nature is free to reject sound biblical doctrine.


This seems to be a good example of the inconsistency of the philosophical system known as "calvinism." First you tell me that God ORDAINS the ultimate destiny of each and every soul, then you tell me that some doctrine is "dangerous" because it will "cause" a soul to go to hell. So what are you saying? There are souls out there that would NOT go to hell if only we can get them to believe correct doctrine? If not, then exactly how is it that the "destruction of their souls" can be blamed on the faulty doctrine of universalism?

Richard, you know very well that this is a very unfair construct and that the Calvinists believe in compatiblism. There exists no [B]short answer to this imaginary "inconsistency" from the finite minds of men. False teaching is forbidden and dangerous to the souls of men because the Scripture says it is.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-08-2007, 10:31 AM
There is no clear and unequivocal passage to prove that God "ordained whatsover cames to pass"! I invited folks to prove this doctrine in another thread (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36), and as far as I can tell, no one succeeded. I would be delighted to pursue this particular question with you. No one has succeeded because you have already made up your mind, to protect your arrogant "free will", that they can't.
Hey there Denny,

I think there may have been a slight misunderstanding here. In the realm of theological discourse, our sacred duty is to help each other come to a proper understanding of God's Truth. I do my best to explain my understanding of Scripture, and I delight when someone like you comes along and forcefully challenges me so we can work together to discern the truth of God's Word.

Unfortunately, accusations like "No one has succeeded because you have already made up your mind" are highly corrosive to our mutual endeavor. Such statements block the path to the precious prize we both pursue. First, they needlessly offend and when the other responds in kind the conversation quickly descends into an ugly and unedifying mess of insults and accusations. Second, such statements contain no value. I have no idea which of my arguments you accepted and which you rejected, so I have no way to answer. Third, such statements are logically fallacious because the truth or falsehood of an argument does not depend on the motivations of the one who utters it.

So let us do our best to be at complete peace with each other in Christ our Lord even as we explore the differences in our understanding of His most holy Word! I am truly thrilled that you are passionate for His Truth. Indeed, it is because of your passion and your desire to bring others to a proper understanding that I am confident that you will henceforth focus your attention on the arguments rather than the man presenting them.

As for my statement concerning the lack of success others have had in providing valid arguments against my position, did you note that I carefully worded it, saying "as far as I can tell, no one succeeded"? My reason for saying it that way was because I did not want to come across like an arrogant man who claimed victory before all the arguments had been evaluated. Indeed, not many folks participated in that thread, so I know that there are probably many arguments that were not presented, so it would be absurd for me to claim absolute victory. That's why I said "as far as I can tell." I was trying to leave the door open to further conversation. That door remains open.




Yes, there is much agreement between Lutherans and Calvinists. But there are many differences too. But none of that really matters since we are not going to the Calvinists or to the Lutherans for answers. We appeal to the Bible, so to the Bible we shall go!
Shame on you for implying that the Calvinists did not know something about the bible. It is nearly impossible to find a Reformed systematic theology that does not begin with the principle of Sola Scriptura.
Please Denny, I must beg your indulgence. Give me a little grace! It was not my intent to suggest that "Calvinists did not know something about the Bible." I was just saying that we shouldn't go to Calvinists or to Lutherans for answers, but to the Bible. Your negative reaction really surprises me, because I was actually trying to lighten up the conversation with a play on words from Acts 25:12 "Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go."


OK, you may with my permission change "brute force" to "brute sovereignty" in my post.
I don't want to change your words Denny. I want to change your understanding. The phrase "brute force" carries very different connotations than "brute sovereignty." This is important because God does not exercise His Sovereignty by "brute force." A primary aspect of His Sovereignty, which as far as I know is almost altogether ignored in this debate, is that God can be sovereign without "forcing" much of anything because He is infinitely intelligent, infinitely wise, and omniscient. He doesn't need to "force" people and events to do what He wants. And He doesn't need to "micro-manage" every event. He's a lot smarter than that. He is able to create truly free creatures, made in His Image, and still accomplish all that He wills. And that's the reason I didn't use the phrase "brute force." It is entirely misleading.





This may be easily turned around by my saying that your finite human philosophy of the libertarian "free will" of men is absent from the teaching of the Scripture. The question is not what God is capable of doing but what does God do. Missing in your reasoning is the truth that true free will is not the ability to chose and struggled between chosing good and evil, but the ability and freedom to chose only the righteous good.





Now the conversation is getting on track! :thumb: You have made some excellent points. Your definition of "true free will" makes me think of John 8:34 "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." This idea is greatly expanded in Romans 6:
Romans 6:15-23 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 &#182; For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.




Now lets look at those words highlighted red:

ye yield yourselves
ye have obeyed
ye have yielded your members
yield your membersThe first three list things we ourselves have done with our own will, and the fourth is a command to do something with our will. Note the symmetry. Just as we did "yield ourselves" to sin, so we are commanded now to "yield ourselves" to God. If the first was an act of "liberatarian free will" why not the second?

It seems to me that the Biblical teaching is that man has a truly free will, and that his will has been trapped by sin. Once trapped, no man is capable in himself of getting free. Only the Gospel of God and the blood of Christ can fee us from sin. But I don't see anything that suggests the Calvinistic doctrine that the sinner qua sinner is incapable of responding to the Gospel. On the contrary, Paul states the the sinners did indeed OBEY "from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you" with the consequence that they were "then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Thanks be to God! This is the Gospel!




The penal substitutionary Doctrine came into existence only in the 16th century because, in the progress of Christian dogma, that is when the Reformers (Church) finally and forever settled the soteriological disputes to the shame of the RCC. This progress also included the Doctrines of justification by faith alone and imputed righteousness.

Anyone with their depraved "free will" nature is free to reject sound biblical doctrine.


Hey Denny, I think we need to get our terms clarified.

Theories can be true. Theories derived from the Bible can be stated as Doctrines. For example, the Trinity is a Theory in this sense because it is not explicitly stated anywhere in Scripture. But it also is a Doctrine because any valid treatment of Scripture proves that the Theory of the Trinity is a true representation of the Teaching of the Bible. Thus all orthodox Christians must believe in the Trinity.

Now you assert that the Theory of the Penal Substitutionary Atonement is a theory that is so unquestionable that it too must be taught as Doctrine. Well, that's fine, you can beleive what you want. But personally, I feel that my definitinal doctrine will do just fine if I stick to the beliefs taught in the Bible as expressed in the creeds of the ancient Church. All other issues are "in house debates." Christianity is in NO WAY defined by a personal theory about the Atonement.

Christianity is defined by the FACT of the Atonement!

I hope you can see the difference here. All Christians by definition believe in the Atonement wrought by Christ. He redeemed sinners. But the THEORY about how the atonement "works" is not a dogma of Christianity, and never has been.

Well, I really hope this post gets our conversation back on track Denny. You contributions are very valuable and very much appreaciated.

God bless you. I pray you go in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Richard

Denny
11-08-2007, 01:59 PM
RAM said:
I think there may have been a slight misunderstanding here. In the realm of theological discourse, our sacred duty is to help each other come to a proper understanding of God's Truth. I do my best to explain my understanding of Scripture, and I delight when someone like you comes along and forcefully challenges me so we can work together to discern the truth of God's Word.

I'm sorry Richard, but I believe that what you are saying here is at least somewhat disingenuous. You have already stated in another post that you believe Calvinism to be unbiblical. What is this but a nice way of saying you have already ruled the Reformed off your OPEN THEISM table?



Unfortunately, accusations like "No one has succeeded because you have already made up your mind" are highly corrosive to our mutual endeavor.

I'm very sorry about my "nastiness", but considering my previous comment what else can I say?


I am confident that you will henceforth focus your attention on the arguments rather than the man presenting them.

I am very sorry again Richard, but I do not yell ad hominems without careful consideration. This is your website and you have already stated many of your reasons and prejudices for rejection of the majority of the Doctrines of Grace


Please Denny, I must beg your indulgence. Give me a little grace! It was not my intent to suggest that "Calvinists did not know something about the Bible." I was just saying that we shouldn't go to Calvinists or to Lutherans for answers, but to the Bible.

This is indeed part of my problem with your apologetics. To refuse to consider the biblical opinions and life-long labor in the Scripture of the myriads of Christians who have gone before you, is absolutely more than foolish. (this is especially true for those who stood in awe of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura)

The Scripture is for all of us and not your own playground. When you belittle those who wrote the WCC, for instance, by not accepting their counsel you must prayfully consider that you just might be standing on very shaky ground. Why do you believe that your "ingenuous" and post-modern interpretations are so much more valuable than theirs?


I don't want to change your words Denny. I want to change your understanding.

Richard, when I came here I was honest about my love of the "Calvinists'" Doctrines of Grace. You, however, have been secretive and dishonest to myself and others about your love for OPEN THEISM. For this reason, I have decided that I can no longer participate on your website.


Richard said: God bless you. I pray you go in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Thank you for your blessing, and I will.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-08-2007, 03:29 PM
I'm sorry Richard, but I believe that what you are saying here is at least somewhat disingenuous. You have already stated in another post that you believe Calvinism to be unbiblical. What is this but a nice way of saying you have already ruled the Reformed off your OPEN THEISM table?
Hey Denny,

You seem really determined to be overtly offensive. But don't worry about it, I feel pretty "ducky" today and water seems to be running off my back with no ill effects. Let us thank God for the anointing of His Holy Oil that keeps our backs warm and dry in this cold and stormy world.

Now you say that my comments about being open to discussion are "at least somewhat disingenuous" because I expressed an opinion about a doctrine of Calvinism that I can not find in the Bible? I don't get connection. You seem to be saying that a man can not simultaneously have an opinion and be honestly open-minded to alternate viewpoints. Now granted, it seems like that might be an accurate description of your condition, but don't mistake it for mine. I am open to input, to discussion, and to correction on any opinion I hold.

You also have erred in assuming that I am an "open theist." I have never advocated open theism on this forum or anywhere else. And why not? Because I don't believe in open theism! I hardly know anything about it because I haven't studied it. I certainly am not advocating it.



Unfortunately, accusations like "No one has succeeded because you have already made up your mind" are highly corrosive to our mutual endeavor.
I'm very sorry about my "nastiness", but considering my previous comment what else can I say?
You could have omitted the nastiness and provided a logical biblical refutation of one of my arguments. That's called "intellectual discourse." Its what we do around here.



I am confident that you will henceforth focus your attention on the arguments rather than the man presenting them.
I am very sorry again Richard, but I do not yell ad hominems without careful consideration. This is your website and you have already stated many of your reasons and prejudices for rejection of the majority of the Doctrines of Grace
Did you really mean to say that you deliberately "yell ad hominems" after "careful consideration"? Isn't that a little like "I only poke myself in the eye after carefully considering how much I hate pain?" What I mean is, Ad hominems are logical fallacies. By definition, no rational person would deliberately attempt to prove a logical point that way. So which is it? Is it you, or your argument, that is being irrational here?

What I don't understand is this: You claim that "many of your reasons and prejudices for rejection of the majority of the Doctrines of Grace" have been stated on this forum. Great! Then that means I've let out plenty of rope by which to hang myself. If you are so confident that you have the truth, and my errors are so very grievous as to deserve insults over rational refutation, then you should have no trouble whatsoever refuting one or two of the most obvious of those many errors.

But that's not what you have done! You are just being rude. Why is that? I don't get it.



This is indeed part of my problem with your apologetics. To refuse to consider the biblical opinions and life-long labor in the Scripture of the myriads of Christians who have gone before you, is absolutely more than foolish. (this is especially true for those who stood in awe of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura)
This reveals the problem with the formation of your arguments. If anything is "absolutely foolish" it is for a man to presume to know that I "refuse to consider the biblical opinions and life-long labor in the Scripture of the myriads of Christians who have gone before" me. Exactly how did you gain this secret knowledge about the opinions I have or have not considered? Are you psychic? Your presumption is grossly arrogant and fundamentally erroneous. You know nothing of what I have or have not considered! How could you assert such a thing?

Now as for comment that "this is especially true for those who stood in awe of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura" - what in the world do you mean by that?! I advocate Sola Scriptura with my whole heart! Indeed, just two weeks ago in another thread, on October 30 in Post 4 (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showpost.php?p=3007&postcount=4) I stated that "The one great thing about Protestantism is the emphasis upon Sola Scriptura - the Bible Alone." So what exactly did you mean when you said I had some how "refused" to consider it?




The Scripture is for all of us and not your own playground. When you belittle those who wrote the WCC, for instance, by not accepting their counsel you must prayfully consider that you just might be standing on very shaky ground. Why do you believe that your "ingenuous" and post-modern interpretations are so much more valuable than theirs?
I'm sorry, but I bow down to no man nor any human document. May I suggest that you return to your stated position of Sola Scriptura and stop telling people that they must uncritically conform their minds to the WCC? Didn't you read my critique? It had NOTHING to do with any "post-modern" arguments - and why not? Because post-modernism is INSANE. The only things they've managed to deconstruct are their own minds.

Just look at the number of errors in your post Denny. You have falsely asserted that I advocate OPEN THEISM, you have falsely asserted that I "refused to consider" Sola Scriptura, you falsely asserted that I use "post-modern interpretations."

Where are the logical and biblical refutations of my arguments? I am eager to have any and all of my arguments tested. If you are not interested in challenging my arguments, what are doing here?




Richard, when I came here I was honest about my love of the "Calvinists'" Doctrines of Grace. You, however, have been secretive and dishonest to myself and others about your love for OPEN THEISM. For this reason, I have decided that I can no longer participate on your website.
I think your departure would be unfortunate, but it is probably a good idea. I have never advocated Open Theism, and I have no interest in playing the Windmill in your idiosyncratic production of Don Quixote.

http://www.BibleWheel.com/images/DonQuixote.jpg

I pray you remain forever in the blessed peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. By His Grace we stand.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-08-2007, 04:45 PM
Do you actually believe that there are certain people who are annihilated, and no longer exist? Or, that they will be raised from the dead, judged, and then, annihilated?

Or is death an intermediate state? The last enemy that will be destroyed is death (I Corinthians 15:26).
Hey Joel,

First, let me say "thanks!" for an excellent post. You efforts are really helpful in working through these questions.

As for my beliefs, I thought I was pretty clear about not knowing what to believe on this issue. I am not aware of anything in the Bible that would definitely prohibit annihilation of the damned, and there are plenty of verses that say the wicked will be destroyed. On the other hand, it seems that God may receive the greatest glory if He redeemed all creation including all souls that ever lived. This poses no fundamental difficulty from a monergistic (Calvinist) perspective because in that view the will of the creature has nothing to do with salvation, so God can save one, a dozen, or everyone. In Calvinism, people only go to hell because God does not desire to save them. But in synergist systems (Arminian) the will of the creature has a role to play, and many folks explain damnation not as the direct consequence of God's Eternal Decree but because of the recalcitrance of the creature. In that scenario, creaturely freedom means that some really nasty humans might never repent, and so they could never enter heaven. What then would God do with these creatures? I see only two possibilities. 1) Quarentine them in hell, or 2) annihilate them.

The problem with quarentining them in hell is they they still mar creation, and so God could not be the "all in all."



The lack of unity of faith on this matter causes overwhelming disputing, and untold grief.
Yes, it is very sad. Let us do our best to come to a knowledge of God's Truth on this matter.



Christ....has abolished death, and has brought forth life and immortality. (II Timothy 1:10)
How can we justify that this truth of this statement has limitations without, at the same time, placing limitations on His saving work?
Are you suggesting that universalism flows as a logical necessity from Christ's atonement? That seems a little extreme to me. The traditional understanding limits His atonement to those who repent and so become part of His Body.

Now I know in your previous post you suggested that all are (or will be) "in Christ" by virtue of Him as Creator. (Did I understand you correctly?) But if that's the case, then many verses that talk about being "in Christ" become problematic because they seem to imply that it is possible to be "not in Christ." How do you understand this?



Part of the misunderstanding is due to the meaning of the word, and word family of aion. The insistence on the part of those who say that aion is "eternal" also insist that death is "eternal" and that when certain people who stubbornly will not believe in His saving work will be consigned to the torment without end.
I agree that aion and olam have been thoroughly misunderstood, and that this misunderstanding has been the source of much error.



Either that is true, or, not true. There is no other 3rd position. And, if it is not true, then, it should not be spoken, or taught.

If, on the other hand, Jesus' sacrificial death is universally beneficial to all of mankind without exception, then, there is no limitation to His salvation.
I agree ... and if there is no limitation to His Salvation and there is universal hope, then that would be just about the best news I ever heard! And so the question of its validity is of great importance.



And, the argument that is so often given that "If you teach that you will only encourage sin" is totally lacking in an understanding of Paul's teaching on sin and how it has been effectively conquered in the death of Christ as explained in Romans 6.
Amen. Amen. Amen! The astounding irony is that folks do not recognize that they are presenting the exact argument that Paul answer when he asked "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"



Death is now working in a new way. Until it will be abolished, it now "works" in the production of life. Read through II Corinthains and see if that is not so.
I'm not sure what you are thinking of here. Are you talking about the "ministration of death" in vs. 3:7? Please clarify.



Christ has "led captivity captive" (Eph. 4:8), and has given gifts to men. He not only provided the release from the prison, but, He has destroyed the jail.

We are to grow up, and no longer be minors tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. (Eph. 4:14)


Joel
Amen. Let us quit ourselves like men, take strong meat, and discern good from evil in God's Word.

I think what I will need to do is to find the classic arguments against universalism and test them in the light of Scripture. If anyone has any suggestions of where to start, please post them here.

Richard

Denny
11-09-2007, 07:49 AM
You seem really determined to be overtly offensive. But don't worry about it, I feel pretty "ducky" today and water seems to be running off my back with no ill effects. Let us thank God for the anointing of His Holy Oil that keeps our backs warm and dry in this cold and stormy world.

OK Richard, you are talking sense and I have been impolite, assuming and unruly. I will make one more reply.

Please try to understand that I believe I have taken on more here on your website than I have the time or ability to patiently perform as "duty". As an aside, I marvel at all of the work you have done with your Bible Wheel and all along with earning a living in our broken world. I am surely, as you say, fighting with windmills. In short, I have made an error in judgment.

In my cowardice, I am refusing to stand alone in "Calvinist Red" while everyone around me is practicing terrorism and guerilla warfare. I have been through something like this before and decided that I am not a masochist. Unfortunately, I tend to forget things.

Please forgive me for my indiscretions.


Where are the logical and biblical refutations of my arguments? I am eager to have any and all of my arguments tested. If you are not interested in challenging my arguments, what are doing here?

Please don't say that I have not already challanged some of your arguments. What am I doing here indeed? It was stupid of me. As I should have known that I simply do not have the time to adequately prove your negatives when there already exists dozens of excellent Reformed websites with thousands of articles essays and books that do just that. So- to Reformed websites I return.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-09-2007, 09:59 AM
OK Richard, you are talking sense and I have been impolite, assuming and unruly. I will make one more reply.

Please try to understand that I believe I have taken on more here on your website than I have the time or ability to patiently perform as "duty". As an aside, I marvel at all of the work you have done with your Bible Wheel and all along with earning a living in our broken world. I am surely, as you say, fighting with windmills. In short, I have made an error in judgment.

In my cowardice, I am refusing to stand alone in "Calvinist Red" while everyone around me is practicing terrorism and guerilla warfare. I have been through something like this before and decided that I am not a masochist. Unfortunately, I tend to forget things.

Please forgive me for my indiscretions.

Please don't say that I have not already challanged some of your arguments. What am I doing here indeed? It was stupid of me. As I should have known that I simply do not have the time to adequately prove your negatives when there already exists dozens of excellent Reformed websites with thousands of articles essays and books that do just that. So- to Reformed websites I return.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Hey there Denny my friend! My brother! :tea:

Thanks for talking to me from your heart. :thumb:

I really don't think you will feel that you "stand alone in 'Calvinist Red'" around here, because others AGREE with you! And for that matter, I don't disagree with "everything Calvinist." The only area I have directly attacted is the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees, and I did that because I truly believe that it is a man-made philosophical doctrine. What's wrong with that?

Well anyway, I shouldn't start another debate ... my purpose here is to say THANK YOU for demonstrating the Spirit of Christ, and to assure you that you presence here is most welcome.


And on that last point - I know you may not have the time it takes to dig in deep to correct my doctrinal errors. That's fine and totally understandable. But you do say you know of some "excellent Reformed websites with thousands of articles essays." I would be very thankful if you could tell me where I could find the best Reformed arguments for the following issues:
1) The Doctrine of Eternal Decrees - I have never found a solid biblical argument for this doctrine. Sure, there are plenty of verses that prove God decrees certain things, but there is no biblical proof that God "ordained whatsoever comes to pass." Can you suggest a good online argument for me to interact with?

2) God does not love everyone - The fact that God saves some and not others seems to indicate that He really does not love everyone. I have heard James White suggest that the solution lies in the idea that God does not have to love everyone "in the same way" just like I love my children uniquely. But thats a lousy argument because sending someone to hell is no love at all. Do you know of any good Reformed argument that deals with this issue?

3) God is the author of Sin - I have never found a compelling Reformed solution to this. What is the best argument you know of? If you post a link, I will intereact with it.

Thanks bro, and God bless you greatly as you serve in His Kingdom!

Richard

Denny
11-09-2007, 10:15 AM
Richard,

Try, http://triablogue.blogspot.com/

You can find a multitude of Reformed thought and apologetics here.

If you want more, just follow their links.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-09-2007, 11:16 AM
Richard,

Try, http://triablogue.blogspot.com/

You can find a multitude of Reformed thought and apologetics here.

If you want more, just follow their links.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Hey Denny,

Thanks for the link - they have some interesting conversations going on. But I didn't see any links to concise arguments that I could engage. Do you know of any concise and compelling Calvinist answers to these three points that I posted?

1) The Doctrine of Eternal Decrees - I have never found a solid biblical argument for this doctrine. Sure, there are plenty of verses that prove God decrees certain things, but there is no biblical proof that God "ordained whatsoever comes to pass." Can you suggest a good online argument for me to interact with?



2) God does not love everyone - The fact that God saves some and not others seems to indicate that He really does not love everyone. I have heard James White suggest that the solution lies in the idea that God does not have to love everyone "in the same way" just like I love my children uniquely. But thats a lousy argument because sending someone to hell is no love at all. Do you know of any good Reformed argument that deals with this issue?



3) God is the author of Sin - I have never found a compelling Reformed solution to this. What is the best argument you know of? If you post a link, I will intereact with it.
Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-09-2007, 11:25 AM
Hey folks,

Getting back on topic ... Thomas Talbott is one of the leading Evangelical Universalists. He recently wrote a book called The Inescapable Love of God (http://books.google.com/books?id=mJ4dsmuY81IC&dq=reppert+beversluis&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=I3bZg49g43&sig=ExvS3YXmq7mcZW25GssC-zTC8E0#PPA57,M1). Click the link to read some of its pages where he expounds on Romans 5:18. Joel take note - Talbott agrees with your understanding of this verse.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-09-2007, 12:54 PM
Denny suggested that I look for pro-calvinist arguments on http://triablogue.blogspot.com (http://triablogue.blogspot.com/). So I went there and found that todays featured article is called "Universalism vs. Calvinism (http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/11/universalism-v-calvinism.html)" and thought to myself "well now, that's relevant!" since we are currently discussing the merits and demerits of Evangelical Unviersalism here on this forum.



The blog was in response to a parable (http://www.willamette.edu/~ttalbott/nivlac.html)by Thomas Talbott in which the Calvinist view of unconditional election is mapped onto skin color so that the non-elect are recognisable as those who born as albinos. Here is the first response on triablogue (highlights added):
At 12:50 PM , steve said...
Hi, Vic.

There are a lot of things I could say about Talbott’s parable, which is studded with straw man arguments about Calvinism, but for now I’ll confine myself to one observation:

Talbott is putatively attacking double predestination, but this is clearing the ground for his alternative—which is universalism. And universalism no doubt enjoys a certain superficial appeal. But it’s only appealing to pampered folks like Talbott who’ve led a charmed existence. I daresay that universalism is not the least bit appealing to the victims of horrendous violence and galling injustice.

It loses its superficial appeal the instant you swap in a very different illustration. For example, instead of a mother’s love for her “little albino child,” suppose we substitute a psychopath who rapes and tortures her little girl to death.

According to Talbott, the psychopath will eventually be saved, even though he may have to undergo a hellish process of purification. What would a normal mother have to say about his heavenly prospects?

"Look, Nivlac, I love Morg with all my heart, and I believe that the Book of Morg is indeed his holy Word. And I don't know what to say about your fancy arguments that seem to imply such awful things about Morg. But I do know this. No holy or just or loving Creator like Morg, no Creator of the kind that I worship, could possibly love and save the rapist and tormenter and killer of my little girl. Indeed, if he loves my little girl, as you say he does, then he cannot also love the rapist and tormenter and killer of my little girl. So if you are right about the meaning of these verses--mind you, I'm not saying you are right--but IF you are right, then these verses are just wrong; they are not a true revelation from Morg."


The last paragraph is a parody on the summation of Talbott's parable where the text in red actually says:
No holy or just or loving Creator like Morg, no Creator of the kind that I worship, could possibly hate this little albino child of mine that I love so much. Indeed, if he loves me, as you say he does, then he must also love my baby. The Calvinist answer seems like a gross absurdity to me. It appears to be inconistent with Calvinism and the Gospel. Steve's answer suggests the problem with universalism is that some people's sins are so bad that they should not be forgiven!

If steve really believes that "universalism is not the least bit appealing to the victims of horrendous violence and galling injustice" then it would seem that he also must assert that the Gospel itself would fail to be "the least bit appealing." This seems inconsistent to me. On the one hand, they correctly assert that God's justice is not impugned when He monergistically saves evil sinners, but on the other hand they assert that some sinners are so evil that justice would be impugned if God saved them!

It seems to me that most folks who argue against Universalism do so because the "good news" then would be just a little too good!

The fallacy here is that all Christians admit that God can save sinners, so all aguments against univeralism based on "justice" are fallacious. The issue of justice is already settled by Christ on the Cross. The only question is one of numbers. Does God save 10&#37;? 80%? 99.9%? 100%? How many people need to be damned for the "orthodox doctrine" to stand? Is one enough? If so, then perhaps we should understand that He already has been.

Richard

Denny
11-09-2007, 02:21 PM
Hey Denny,

Thanks for the link - they have some interesting conversations going on. But I didn't see any links to concise arguments that I could engage. Do you know of any concise and compelling Calvinist answers to these three points that I posted?

Richard, don't forget to look at the sidebar over at Triablouge. There are many, many articles there under the tab "Topical Index".


1) The Doctrine of Eternal Decrees - I have never found a solid biblical argument for this doctrine. Sure, there are plenty of verses that prove God decrees certain things, but there is no biblical proof that God "ordained whatsoever comes to pass." Can you suggest a good online argument for me to interact with?

http://www.the-highway.com/decrees.html


2) God does not love everyone - The fact that God saves some and not others seems to indicate that He really does not love everyone. I have heard James White suggest that the solution lies in the idea that God does not have to love everyone "in the same way" just like I love my children uniquely. But thats a lousy argument because sending someone to hell is no love at all. Do you know of any good Reformed argument that deals with this issue?

http://www.the-highway.com/c_banner.html

Check out, Few Saved, J.C. Ryle, Do you really believe that salvation is by grace alone by Jeff Nesbitt, The myth of "free will" by Walter Chanty


3) God is the author of Sin - I have never found a compelling Reformed solution to this. What is the best argument you know of? If you post a link, I will intereact with it.
Richard

This might help:

http://www.the-highway.com/c_anthropology.html
Added excellent article. http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sovereignty/appendix_02.htm

Off hand I couldn't find anything that addresses this issue specifically, but their are many around. I can say that in one sense God is the author of sin in that it was the result of His just and righteous judgment imputed and infused (due to his monstrous disobedience in the covenant of works) upon the first Adam and his seed. Thus we are born in "trespasses and sin". If God were not also merciful towards his children, our world could have been justly ended then and there in the Garden with no hope for salvation for His elect and also no common or temporal life in this world for the wicked either. Sin itself, is the doing of the depraved "free will" of the sinner. The Calvinist does not deny that men cannot act freely in their natural depraved nature which has limitations imposed by God in His predestinating sovereignty. The Reformed believe in Compatiblism (the compatibility between human responsibility and God's sovereignty in time) which is impossible for the finite mind to understand in the same way that it is impossible for us to truely understand the incarnation, ie: How can God be Creator and creature at the same time and in time? There is no logical "proof" of the incarnation but it is the Christian's cherished matter of faith. And yes, in opposition to you, I believe that not a single grain of sand moves on all of the worlds ocean beaches without His sure predestinating commands. This is my God of Glory.

Richard, I already know how you are going to chop what I just said up due to your denial of original sin, and I'm not going to reply because I only answered this post as a favor to your request.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

jeweledpastor
11-10-2007, 11:37 AM
I have read this thread with great interest, but much distress! :confused: Sometimes I feel that sound doctrine is a mountain I can never climb without finding a much higher peak upon reaching the top of my current uphill climb! To put it bluntly, sometimes these kinds of doctrinal discussions give me a headache and make me want to run away and hide! :hide:

However, I also feel it is a necessary climb, and so I applaud the discussion! I have often said that it is all too common for people to "believe" something without ever having examined what it is they "believe". We want others to go (think, in this case) for us, meet with God, then come down and tell us what He said. Much like the Israelites refused the invitation to meet with God, asking Moses to go for them.

But there are obvious dangers inherent in the refusal to go after the issues for ourselves. (I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, here!) Chiefly, that we would be persuaded by crafty men to believe in a lie. In this, I'm thinking of the huge number of people who were deceived into Islam by the persuasiveness of Louis Farrakahn (sp?). He was well spoken, he was intelligent, HE'D obviously thought about these things.......I'll believe what he says! Whereas, if they had listened to WHAT he was saying .... the content ... they would have heard the hate (I believe) and error masked by the smooth delivery.

So, given that I have not devoted a huge amount of energy or elbow grease to the question of Universalism and therefore am to be treated gently.... :D ..... here are a couple of "cents" I'll throw into the mix.

1) While on the cross, Jesus was accepted by one thief (which seems to imply that the other rejected Him?) to which Jesus replied Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. While it doesn't explicitly state that the other was damned to hell or whatever existence (or lack thereof) there is outside of God, it definitely shows that our will is crucial to the eternal destination of our being....whether we call this the soul or the spirit is another matter.

2) Add to this the fact that Paul makes the following statement in Romans.

Romans 1:16-25 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Add to that, in case we might think the "uncleannes" would end with death..


Romans 2:5-11 But, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrghteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, ad peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

And finally, having quoted scripture that I believe forms the basis for a successful argument against Universalism, I retreat to the example of the experience of Job. Who, having with his friends argued at length the justness of his trials was, with his friends, humbled by God at His appearance. And so I, like Job, may end all my arguments and "positions" by saying,


Job 42:2-6 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. 3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor myself,and repent in dust and ashes.

And so I exit, stage left, hoping that these words will not hang me in the end! Now I'll be in the audience, watching to see what happens next! :pop2:

Richard Amiel McGough
11-10-2007, 12:31 PM
This might help:

http://www.the-highway.com/c_anthropology.html
Added excellent article. http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sovereignty/appendix_02.htm

Off hand I couldn't find anything that addresses this issue specifically, but their are many around. I can say that in one sense God is the author of sin in that it was the result of His just and righteous judgment imputed and infused (due to his monstrous disobedience in the covenant of works) upon the first Adam and his seed. Thus we are born in "trespasses and sin". If God were not also merciful towards his children, our world could have been justly ended then and there in the Garden with no hope for salvation for His elect and also no common or temporal life in this world for the wicked either. Sin itself, is the doing of the depraved "free will" of the sinner. The Calvinist does not deny that men cannot act freely in their natural depraved nature which has limitations imposed by God in His predestinating sovereignty. The Reformed believe in Compatiblism (the compatibility between human responsibility and God's sovereignty in time) which is impossible for the finite mind to understand in the same way that it is impossible for us to truely understand the incarnation, ie: How can God be Creator and creature at the same time and in time? There is no logical "proof" of the incarnation but it is the Christian's cherished matter of faith. And yes, in opposition to you, I believe that not a single grain of sand moves on all of the worlds ocean beaches without His sure predestinating commands. This is my God of Glory.

Richard, I already know how you are going to chop what I just said up due to your denial of original sin, and I'm not going to reply because I only answered this post as a favor to your request.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Hey Denny,

Thanks for the links. I'm sure they will be helpful. And I really hope that you will feel free to comment here. I will do my absolute best to honor every word you write. But you are correct, I usually do "chop up" arguments because that is the essence of analysis, which means to "break something up into its constituent pieces" so we can gain understanding. Nothing wrong with that, is there? I'm sure we agree on this point of methodolgy.
:tea: <== two Christian brothers in agreement

The one thing I promise is that I will, to the utmost of my ability, remain in the peace of Christ and treat you and your words with full respect. I encourage you to post here because your strong convictions are like salt and light as we study these fundamental doctrines of the faith. Without people like you to challenge our conclusions, it is more difficult for us to discern truth because we all are subject to self-deception.

As for "original sin" - I presume you read the opening post of that thread where I asked if the concept of a "sin nature" is taught in the Bible. There were over sixty posts in that conversation, and as far as I could tell, no one was able to form a convincing Biblical argument that there was a transmittible change in "human nature" initiated by the fall. If you have any good links relevent to this issue, please post it.

There are many points you raised in you short post that would be wonderful to discuss further - God as the author of sin, compatablism, the existence of a sin nature, the meaning of God's glory .... but we need not try to solve every issue right now. That's the beauty of this forum. There is no rush, there is no stress. The conversations can span years, and probably will.

Talk more soon,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2007, 04:38 PM
I have read this thread with great interest, but much distress! :confused: Sometimes I feel that sound doctrine is a mountain I can never climb without finding a much higher peak upon reaching the top of my current uphill climb! To put it bluntly, sometimes these kinds of doctrinal discussions give me a headache and make me want to run away and hide! :hide:
Hi jeweledpastor,

I often feel the same way! That's why I supplied these much needed smilies:

:hide: :peep: :hide:



However, I also feel it is a necessary climb, and so I applaud the discussion! I have often said that it is all too common for people to "believe" something without ever having examined what it is they "believe". We want others to go (think, in this case) for us, meet with God, then come down and tell us what He said. Much like the Israelites refused the invitation to meet with God, asking Moses to go for them.
And I agree again. These discussions really are necessary. And when conducted in the right spirit, they can be very edifying. But they are risky too, because they can easily descend into .... well, you know.



But there are obvious dangers inherent in the refusal to go after the issues for ourselves. (I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, here!) Chiefly, that we would be persuaded by crafty men to believe in a lie. In this, I'm thinking of the huge number of people who were deceived into Islam by the persuasiveness of Louis Farrakahn (sp?). He was well spoken, he was intelligent, HE'D obviously thought about these things.......I'll believe what he says! Whereas, if they had listened to WHAT he was saying .... the content ... they would have heard the hate (I believe) and error masked by the smooth delivery.
Farrakhan is a very interesting (and disturbing) case. He has claimed to be both a Moslem and a Christian (http://www.religionnewsblog.com/18364/louis-farrakhan) and he claimed he was beamed up into a UFO (http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/farrakhan_claims_to_have_been_beamed_up_by_aliens/). And the worst thing is that he managed to gather hundreds of thousands of people to listen to him talk in Washington DC. :confused2: How'd he do that?



So, given that I have not devoted a huge amount of energy or elbow grease to the question of Universalism and therefore am to be treated gently.... :D ..... here are a couple of "cents" I'll throw into the mix.
I will do my best to ensure that everyone treats you with great gentleness here.



1) While on the cross, Jesus was accepted by one thief (which seems to imply that the other rejected Him?) to which Jesus replied Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. While it doesn't explicitly state that the other was damned to hell or whatever existence (or lack thereof) there is outside of God, it definitely shows that our will is crucial to the eternal destination of our being....whether we call this the soul or the spirit is another matter.
Good point. I think that it is pretty clear that the other thief went to the "place of judgment." The question then is "What happens in that place of judgment?" I have a book called "Four Views on Hell" (and another called "Two Views of Hell") where serious Bible-believing Christians attempt to discern what the Bible teaches on this matter. The extremes are "eternal conscious torment" far was than words could describe versus annihilation versus a purgatorial vision of hell which results in the ultimate salvation of everyone. There are big challenges involved with each of these views.



2) Add to this the fact that Paul makes the following statement in Romans.

Add to that, in case we might think the "uncleannes" would end with death..


Romans 2:5-11 But, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrghteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, ad peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

And finally, having quoted scripture that I believe forms the basis for a successful argument against Universalism, I retreat to the example of the experience of Job. Who, having with his friends argued at length the justness of his trials was, with his friends, humbled by God at His appearance. And so I, like Job, may end all my arguments and "positions" by saying,

That is a wise position! But I would ask, when you quote Paul concerning the "indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish" that befalls all those who do not "seek for glory and honor and immortality" - do you imagine that as eternal conscious torment? The problem I have with that idea is that I can not see any purpose in it at all.




And so I exit, stage left, hoping that these words will not hang me in the end! Now I'll be in the audience, watching to see what happens next! :pop2:
I hope to see you "enter stage right" soon! thanks for the comments.

Richard

jeweledpastor
11-12-2007, 05:33 PM
<<<<<<doing the vaudville shuffle, J.P. enters, stage right>>>>>>

MMMMMM, that popcorn was good while it lasted! :lol:


But I would ask, when you quote Paul concerning the "indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish" that befalls all those who do not "seek for glory and honor and immortality" - do you imagine that as eternal conscious torment? The problem I have with that idea is that I can not see any purpose in it at all.

I don't believe that it has any purpose either! However, one has to wonder what OUR thoughts on the matter have to do with reality. And, frankly, I would love to have this come down on the side of Universalism.

But then, what do we do about that pesky serpent? I have to admit, Richard, that all of this is way above my head! Every time I decide my opinion is A, I think, well what about B? And it seems that one could find evidence for whichever position you choose to take on this one.

My 22 year old son, bless his soul, had a discussion with me one day on the prospect of eternity. He say that eternity "scares the **** out of" him. And to an extent, I agree! I mean, what exactly will we be doing for all of eternity? Certainly NOT sitting on clouds playing harps, :pray:. So, a long and brain taxing talk commenced, concerning questions for which there are no answers in Earth.

Let me just say this. I enjoy these kinds of explorations more for the sake of the journey than for arriving at a particular destination.

Rest assured, I'll jump back into this one later with some more substantial posts! :fencing: Take this issue on with my sword in hand!

<<<<<<<exits stage left>>>>>>>

Regina

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2007, 06:03 PM
<<<<<<doing the vaudville shuffle, J.P. enters, stage right>>>>>>

MMMMMM, that popcorn was good while it lasted! :lol:



I don't believe that it has any purpose either! However, one has to wonder what OUR thoughts on the matter have to do with reality. And, frankly, I would love to have this come down on the side of Universalism.

But then, what do we do about that pesky serpent? I have to admit, Richard, that all of this is way above my head! Every time I decide my opinion is A, I think, well what about B? And it seems that one could find evidence for whichever position you choose to take on this one.

My 22 year old son, bless his soul, had a discussion with me one day on the prospect of eternity. He say that eternity "scares the **** out of" him. And to an extent, I agree! I mean, what exactly will we be doing for all of eternity? Certainly NOT sitting on clouds playing harps, :pray:. So, a long and brain taxing talk commenced, concerning questions for which there are no answers in Earth.

Let me just say this. I enjoy these kinds of explorations more for the sake of the journey than for arriving at a particular destination.

Rest assured, I'll jump back into this one later with some more substantial posts! :fencing: Take this issue on with my sword in hand!

<<<<<<<exits stage left>>>>>>>

Regina
Hey Regina,

Lovely post! I delight that you have some levity around this heavy heavy topic.

In answer to your question about "our thoughts" ... Of course our thoughts are not His thoughts, but we are having this discussion in hopes that our thoughts will become more like His. You see, we are all stuck with opinions. And if our opinon about the nature of eternity is wrong we could be slandering God if we teach that he hates some of His creatures with such an everlasting hatred that He denies them ALL HOPE for all eternity! :eek: Yikes! That could be a scandalous misrepresentation of the God who gave His son for us!

Or it could be the Gospel truth.

In any case, we can't avoid the conversation by noting the limitation of our thoughts, for it is that very limitation that often causes us to verbally misrepresent the Holy One of Israel.

And I agree, we may be entereing into "a long and brain taxing talk ... concerning questions for which there are no answers in Earth." But the problem is that we have inherited answers from our predecessors .... and it is our responsibility to do our best to discern if we heard them right, or if they were right, or if they even had a coherent answer or if ....

I think I'm gonna have to upload the classic "I've been hit on the head with a brick" smilie. :lol:

Richard

White
11-13-2007, 12:01 AM
Richard says:
Good point. I think that it is pretty clear that the other thief went to the "place of judgment." The question then is "What happens in that place of judgment?" I have a book called "Four Views on Hell" (and another called "Two Views of Hell") where serious Bible-believing Christians attempt to discern what the Bible teaches on this matter. The extremes are "eternal conscious torment" far worse than words could describe versus annihilation versus a purgatorial vision of hell which results in the ultimate salvation of everyone. There are big challenges involved with each of these views.
IHi Richard,

I just want to jump in for a few minutes, have learned a little on that subject since I came back to the Catholic Church on 11/17/1999 - of course, being an "evangelical" at heart, I could not understand the "purgatory" view since I originally belonged to the "rapture" crowd, but have changed my view on that as well just by studying Scripture and getting in touch with the HOLY SPIRIT.

To enter Heaven, one must be perfectly holy, becaue "nothing unclean shall enter it" says Rev. 21:27, Isaiah 4:4, Malachi 3:2-4. Paul says clearly in 1 Corinthians 3:13 and 15, that "each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done... If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire". and 2 Cor 5:10 : "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body".

Now, we do know that the rich man in the story with the beggar Lazarus went to hell, because he was tormented by fire and thirst and he begged for just a drop of water on his tongue, but the chasm was too wide and nobody can go from this side (Heaven) to that side (Hell). Purgatory however is not like that, because the souls in Purgatory will be released once they have been purified by the fire. The soul in Purgatory does never end up in hell but is on its way to meet the LORD in Heaven after Purification.

Let's put it another way, because I had this discussion with Codebreaker recently. The serial killer - Bundee (might be spelled wrong) - accepted Jesus before he was executed. Now, I believe that everybody who believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth that JESUS CHRIST is LORD & SAVIOR, will be saved. But what do we do with his sins - grave sins in this case - is he then entitled to sit in front of the Throne of God, having just accepted Jesus shortly before he was executed, with his grave sins still permeating his mind, body, heart and soul. Some purification is needed in my humble opinion, because, after all sin in actually caused by "sin demons" who have attached themselves to the body, blood and soul of the person. Burning them up in the fire to purify oneself would make sense. :thumb:

Here is another reason why I came to this conclusion : I was learning about the Jewish way of Life and was on my way to the Synagogue to get my dishes blessed for a "kosher Sabbath meal". But glass was "always kosher" as I was told by my Jewish Friend who was a girl. I asked : "Why is glass always kosher?" Cheryl did not have an answer, besides "the Rabbis say so". But I want to ask MY RABBI - what does HE say: "Because it has already gone through the fire" - so glass is kosher, because it has already been purified with "the fire" and is now considerd "kosher". Is anything "un-kosher" "un-clean" allowed in Heaven? I doubt it! :confused:

Also, Remembr the Wedding Guest were all properly dressed, but the one man was cast out "because he did not wear the proper garment" - the wedding garment is "PURIFICATION", To be WHITE AS SNOW is the request to stand in front of the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL and live! May you be HOLY as the Father and I are Holy. (Father and Son are HOLY) :yo:

There are many more Scriptures to study on this subject. But I'll have to get back later on this.
Thanks for listening.
Shalom to Jerusalem and the HOLY LAND, Shalom among Jews,
Christians and Muslims, with JESUS / Y'SHUA in the Heart of all.
Monique

Trumpet
11-13-2007, 09:37 AM
Hi all,

I have a lot to say, I've been wrestlingwith, and have a lot of questions on this subject, and I haven't made a decision on exactly where I stand. I'd love to come to some conclusions! As time permits, I'll jump in too.

I have a question about Pergatory. I was raised Catholic, but abandoned that before I was 20 yrs old, so I understand RCC. I met the Lord while I was in thew Navy at age 22. My question is, what do you do with the thief on the cross? Jesus told him that he would be with him [U]that[U] day in paradise. And our sins are forgiven and removed from us as far as the East is from the West, so I have no problem with a murderer seeing God after death. After all, these acts are committed by acts of our will, and as for these sins, I know in my own personal life, and in many others, certain sins never manifest themselves again after a true salvation experience. Indeed, even Paul was knocked down and had an experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and much of what we know of God began and emanated from that experience. And Paul was on his way to perhaps murder more Christians.

God bless! Don

jeweledpastor
11-13-2007, 09:48 AM
Wonderful post, Monique! I really appreciate your input, and your unique viewpoint that comes from exposure to the Jewish culture.

Sometime, I would love to hear your input on some Catholic doctrinal questions that have bothered me for a long time. They have come up again recently, as my brother is wanting to get engaged to a woman who is very much a Catholic. While both of us find lots to admire in the Catholic church, we both have some reservations which never have been answered to our satisfaction. (We grew up in a German/American community which was almost exclusively either Lutheran or Catholic. One guess where we went to church! :confused2:)

As to purgatory and the issue of cleansing by fire, the whole idea makes good sense to me. Especially when put together with the idea of "kosher" which you mentioned. More and more, lately, I've been thinking of the reality of sharing in the sufferings of Christ! But how does the purgatory question fit with universalism in the Catholic doctrine? I'm guessing they would not come down in favor of universalism. Just curious!

Richard, I am in total agreement that the engagement of our brains in "rightly dividing the word of truth" is a necessary exercise. We are the instruments which God uses to shine His light in the world. If the lighthouse has faulty glass, it distorts the light. But even faulty glass can shed enough light on the dangers of the world to bring ships safely into harbor! This isn't an excuse to leave the tough questions of the Word for others, but it is some comfort to me. After all, our responsibility is to seek Him with our whole heart! It's His responsibility to be findable......because HE said so. And I, for one, am perfectly comfortable in teaching only what I'm sure of in my mind and spirit. If asked about this question, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying simply, "my opinion is" or "I don't know because I'm still studying this question". I think there's much more danger in believing that we HAVE all the right answers than in admitting that we're still seeking them. So, having contributed nothing of substance to the question, I will again sit back and enjoy the process!

On a final note, I'm a little less "available" mentally for the rigors of this discussion than I normally would be. This is a period of intense trial and testing in my life. God is forcing some issues with me (personal things), along with some very immediate crises. I would ask for the prayers of the group for my step-mother, who just broke her hip Saturday night. And on that note, I need to go, but I'll be back!!!!!!!

Regina

Richard Amiel McGough
11-13-2007, 09:58 AM
Richard says:
Good point. I think that it is pretty clear that the other thief went to the "place of judgment." The question then is "What happens in that place of judgment?" I have a book called "Four Views on Hell" (and another called "Two Views of Hell") where serious Bible-believing Christians attempt to discern what the Bible teaches on this matter. The extremes are "eternal conscious torment" far worse than words could describe versus annihilation versus a purgatorial vision of hell which results in the ultimate salvation of everyone. There are big challenges involved with each of these views.
IHi Richard,

I just want to jump in for a few minutes, have learned a little on that subject since I came back to the Catholic Church on 11/17/1999 - of course, being an "evangelical" at heart, I could not understand the "purgatory" view since I originally belonged to the "rapture" crowd, but have changed my view on that as well just by studying Scripture and getting in touch with the HOLY SPIRIT.

To enter Heaven, one must be perfectly holy, becaue "nothing unclean shall enter it" says Rev. 21:27, Isaiah 4:4, Malachi 3:2-4. Paul says clearly in 1 Corinthians 3:13 and 15, that "each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done... If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire". and 2 Cor 5:10 : "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body".

Now, we do know that the rich man in the story with the beggar Lazarus went to hell, because he was tormented by fire and thirst and he begged for just a drop of water on his tongue, but the chasm was too wide and nobody can go from this side (Heaven) to that side (Hell). Purgatory however is not like that, because the souls in Purgatory will be released once they have been purified by the fire. The soul in Purgatory does never end up in hell but is on its way to meet the LORD in Heaven after Purification.
Hello Monique!

Great to hear from you, it has been a while.

You have brought up very relevent Scriptures. Rose has felt that the call from the "Spirit and the Bride" in Rev 22:17 offers hope for those who are thirsty in hell, because it says "Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." The rich man certainly was thirsty!

I agree that "one must be perfectly holy" to enter heaven. But how does one become "perfectly holy"? That is the question. Consider the word "sanctified" which means "made holy." The Gospel preaches that we have been "sanctified in Christ Jesus" (1 Cor 1:2) and "sanctified by the Holy Ghost" (Rom 15:16) and that "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Heb 10:10) Is there anything left to be done in this regard? The answer seems to be "no" since Scripture declares: "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Heb 10:14).

On the other hand, we all know that we still fall short of "holiness" and so there is a strong tension between the sanctification we have received by the finished work of Christ and our actual condition which remains marred by sin. It is difficult to explain how this all works out.

The idea of a cleansing in the afterlife offers one possible solution. But I need to clarify what I meant by a "purgatorial" view of hell. It is entirely different than the Catholic view in which saved souls get cleansed in purgatory before entering heaven and damned souls go to hell which serves no purgatorial purpose. The view I was talking about was the view that hell itself is purgatorial.


There is a fatal flaw in the RCC doctrine of purgatory because they teach that indulgences can lessen a soul's time there. But that contradicts the idea that purgatory is necessary for the cleansing of the soul before it can stand before God. Here is the RCC definition Purgatory (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm) found on the Catholic New Advent website:
Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.

And here is the definition of Indulgences (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm):
An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive. Regarding this definition, the following points are to be noted:
And finally, the Plenary Indulgence is defined as "the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory."

Putting these three definitions together, we arrive at the RCC doctrine that the Pope can set souls free from Purgatory by granting a plenary indulgence.

So what happened to the "purgatorial" purpose of Purgatory? If you can get sprung by a simple act of the Pope, then the argument that you need to be purged before you could stand before God's Throne is denied. Their teaching on indulgences directly contradicts their teaching on the purpose of purgatory. And what's worse, the Pope claims to accomplish what simple faith in Christ fails to do! The doctrine of indulgences is therefore logically incoherent and offensive to the Gospel.



Let's put it another way, because I had this discussion with Codebreaker recently. The serial killer - Bundee (might be spelled wrong) - accepted Jesus before he was executed. Now, I believe that everybody who believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth that JESUS CHRIST is LORD & SAVIOR, will be saved. But what do we do with his sins - grave sins in this case - is he then entitled to sit in front of the Throne of God, having just accepted Jesus shortly before he was executed, with his grave sins still permeating his mind, body, heart and soul. Some purification is needed in my humble opinion, because, after all sin in actually caused by "sin demons" who have attached themselves to the body, blood and soul of the person. Burning them up in the fire to purify oneself would make sense. :thumb:
Well, that could make sense ... but why not just have them instantly cast out by the infinite power of Christ, like he did many times in the Gospels? It seems to me that the idea of a purgatorial hell is that it is the suffering required to bring extremely hardened souls to repentence. It is the fire of an "inner working" of God's Spirit bringing the soul into a realization and conviction of its sin. To make it "thirsty" for God. Only then could the soul be redeemed. Please note that this is just speculation ... I don't have a strong opinion on this yet.



Here is another reason why I came to this conclusion : I was learning about the Jewish way of Life and was on my way to the Synagogue to get my dishes blessed for a "kosher Sabbath meal". But glass was "always kosher" as I was told by my Jewish Friend who was a girl. I asked : "Why is glass always kosher?" Cheryl did not have an answer, besides "the Rabbis say so". But I want to ask MY RABBI - what does HE say: "Because it has already gone through the fire" - so glass is kosher, because it has already been purified with "the fire" and is now considerd "kosher". Is anything "un-kosher" "un-clean" allowed in Heaven? I doubt it! :confused:

Also, Remembr the Wedding Guest were all properly dressed, but the one man was cast out "because he did not wear the proper garment" - the wedding garment is "PURIFICATION", To be WHITE AS SNOW is the request to stand in front of the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL and live! May you be HOLY as the Father and I are Holy. (Father and Son are HOLY) :yo:

There are many more Scriptures to study on this subject. But I'll have to get back later on this.
Thanks for listening.
Shalom to Jerusalem and the HOLY LAND, Shalom among Jews,
Christians and Muslims, with JESUS / Y'SHUA in the Heart of all.
Monique
This is a difficult issue. There is much to be discussed. Thanks for your help! :thumb:

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-13-2007, 10:11 AM
Hi all,

I have a lot to say, I've been wrestlingwith, and have a lot of questions on this subject, and I haven't made a decision on exactly where I stand. I'd love to come to some conclusions! As time permits, I'll jump in too.

I have a question about Pergatory. I was raised Catholic, but abandoned that before I was 20 yrs old, so I understand RCC. I met the Lord while I was in thew Navy at age 22. My question is, what do you do with the thief on the cross? Jesus told him that he would be with him [u]that[u] day in paradise. And our sins are forgiven and removed from us as far as the East is from the West, so I have no problem with a murderer seeing God after death. After all, these acts are committed by acts of our will, and as for these sins, I know in my own personal life, and in many others, certain sins never manifest themselves again after a true salvation experience. Indeed, even Paul was knocked down and had an experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and much of what we know of God began and emanated from that experience. And Paul was on his way to perhaps murder more Christians.

God bless! Don
Those are excellent points Don! :thumb:

The thief was with Christ that day - this does not cause a problem for the RCC docrine of purgatory because they believe that some folks don't have to go there. If the thief's repentence was so deep and total, and he died before he could commit any more sins, they probably would assert that he didn't need purgatorial cleansing. (Or if he did, maybe just a few hours worth so he could get in before the day ended!)

The real issue is that Chirst "did it all, all to Him I owe" - but this creates a tension because we struggle with our imperfect sinful condition that remains even after salvation.

One possible solution is in the idea of glorification when we are resurrected. We are then changed "in the twinkling of an eye." No need for a long drawn out "purging" because we have repented from the heart, and so Christ could transform us in no time at all. This makes more sense to me. And it is consistent with the purgatorial view of hell which is seen as the place where the unrepentent souls go while the Spirit of God works on them to bring them to repentence.

Are there any obvious problems with a pugatorial view of hell? (Remember, it has nothing to do with the Catholic view of purgatory.)

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-13-2007, 10:25 AM
As to purgatory and the issue of cleansing by fire, the whole idea makes good sense to me. Especially when put together with the idea of "kosher" which you mentioned. More and more, lately, I've been thinking of the reality of sharing in the sufferings of Christ! But how does the purgatory question fit with universalism in the Catholic doctrine? I'm guessing they would not come down in favor of universalism. Just curious!

It makes really good Biblical sense too, especially from verses like 1 Cor 3:15 "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." Indeed, the words purify and fire come from the say Greek word used in that verse:
πυρ pur {poor} a root word; TDNT - 6:928,975; n n AV - fire 73, fiery 1; 74 1) fire
This also is the root of "pyromaniac."

But the challenge is to understand how our "purification by fire" relates to the fact that Christ has already cleansed us of all sins. It would be great if this could be properly articulated.



Richard, I am in total agreement that the engagement of our brains in "rightly dividing the word of truth" is a necessary exercise. We are the instruments which God uses to shine His light in the world. If the lighthouse has faulty glass, it distorts the light. But even faulty glass can shed enough light on the dangers of the world to bring ships safely into harbor! This isn't an excuse to leave the tough questions of the Word for others, but it is some comfort to me. After all, our responsibility is to seek Him with our whole heart! It's His responsibility to be findable......because HE said so. And I, for one, am perfectly comfortable in teaching only what I'm sure of in my mind and spirit. If asked about this question, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying simply, "my opinion is" or "I don't know because I'm still studying this question". I think there's much more danger in believing that we HAVE all the right answers than in admitting that we're still seeking them. So, having contributed nothing of substance to the question, I will again sit back and enjoy the process!
Very well stated, my friend! And the words in blue are particularly worthy of repetition: "But even faulty glass can shed enough light on the dangers of the world to bring ships safely into harbor!" Let no one be silent about the Gospel just because they don't have all the answers! Simply preach with an honest heart submitted to God and He will do the rest. Indeed, He can even use our errors to further His Purpose!



On a final note, I'm a little less "available" mentally for the rigors of this discussion than I normally would be. This is a period of intense trial and testing in my life. God is forcing some issues with me (personal things), along with some very immediate crises. I would ask for the prayers of the group for my step-mother, who just broke her hip Saturday night. And on that note, I need to go, but I'll be back!!!!!!!

Regina
:pray: Father God, we ask that you be with Regina and her step-mother in this difficult time, and bring about a quick and complete healing of her hip. It is in the name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord that we pray. Amen. :pray:

Thanks for the great post Regina.

Richard

Trumpet
11-13-2007, 03:10 PM
Hi Richard,

Ever since I've been born again, I've always seen it like this.- We accept Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. He shed His perfect blood for us. In actuality, you are telling God the Father that you believe that Jesus has died for you (me) and his perfect blood covers our lives. (I believe this is the origin of the saying, "looking at something through rose colored glasses".) The Father no longer sees US, He sees His Son. Of course this leads to another discussion on what to do with the sins we commit after accepting Jesus.

I always look at it like this. I believe that I am made up of Spirit, soul and body, like it is suggested in 1 Thess. 5:23. My body is along for the ride, so to speak, and is the holding package, but there is a struggle between my Spirit, that is from God, and shows me the things of God, and my soul, which being my thoughts, will, and emotions, can either follow God's way, or my own.

I go my own way alot, which in essence is sin, if it is not in harmony with God, and I ask forgiveness for this, on a continuing basis, and this keeps my relationship with God clean. (Ever notice how a hidden sin affects your communion with God?) This is all attitude. Will we submit to God, or do we want it OUR way. In the end, I believe that an unsubmissive heart will be found out, and God will arrange things, or try to make us see the error in this over a period of time. But I think that a time could come that God will cut you loose and you can go totally your own way, because God will not override our wills. It's just like the Jews in AD 70. They were in covenant with God through the Jewish Religion until Jesus died for us. But after this, they were given a period of time to see that Jesus was the fulfillment of Judaism, and God gave them all the proof they needed, and they needed to shift over to accepting Jesus as their savior. But in the end, most Jews followed their own reasoning, and wouldn't let go of the religion that had a stronghold on their minds, and these are soul-decisions. There are many places in the Word of God that warn of this type thing. Deuteronomy 32, Hebrews 6, Jude, Peters books, lots, lots, lots.

I also believe that you can attain to higher levels of communion with God, but the training of your soul to follow God is necessary here, not to obtain a perfection in soul that can't be reached, but again, an attitude. The proof of your attitude is in the submissiveness of the soul.

So getting back, no I don't believe in any type of Purgatorative action after life on earth. I think that God continues to see us through the blood of Jesus. If you die, you are proclaimed "NOT GUILTY", because Jesus is NOT GUILTY. (Otherwise, we would be working our way to salvation.) -The things of your soul that have been renewed, and transformed will go to heaven and will be rewarded. The things that don't get transformed, will be gone. For God to see us as we were again, as before our salvation, would take an act of unbelievable rebellion, for God to give up on us. I don't know where this line is, nor do I want to know. I just know, that once crossed, you will never have a desire for God again, you probably would vehemently, openly hate Him, and it is impossible to repent as it says in Hebrews 6:6

Ted Bundy, I think, would enter heaven as "a saint covered in Jesus' blood", and the murderous part of Bundy would no longer exist.

My opinion, -- wish I could proove it more substantially!

God Bless Don

White
11-13-2007, 06:11 PM
Hi RIchard, Regina and Don and Everybody - May the LORD bless you!

The Case for and against Purgatory :


Luke 23:42: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom". He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." That does not mean that Purgatory / Place of Purification cannot exist, read on, especially C.S. LEWIS thoughts. Today can mean "eternity" from the point of death, not necessarily 24 hours since not even JESUS was "in Paradise" within 24 hours.... But of course, we would all love to immediately be in the presence of the LORD upon death, and Purgatory does not mean that you cannot achieve that goal. It is our goal to go straight to Heaven, but if we need further purification, Purgatory / Place for sanctification is waiting. You'll find the below mentioned quotes interesting. Enjoy.


Matthew 5:22
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'you fool', will be liable to fiery Gehenna. (23) Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." (Reconciliation with brother and God is the key and reminds me of the Mass)

This always bothered me: why would JESUS be so tough on calling somebody 'fool' - Gehenna is translated as "fiery hell" in some other translations, which I would interpret as Hell, but I believe it would be Purgatory which is a place of sanctification before entering Heaven and standing in front of JESUS who is HOLY and PURE.

The Church teaches that purgatory is the final purification, but not that it occurs in any special region in the afterlife. Just as we do not know how time works in the afterlife -- meaning that purgatory may take no time -- we also do not know how space works in the afterlife, especially for unembodied souls -- meaning purgatory may not take place in any special location.

The final purification may take place in the immediate presence of God (to the extent that God's presence may be described in spatial terms). In fact, in his book on eschatology, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger describes purgatory as a fiery, transforming encounter with Christ and his love:

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger now Pope Benedict:

"Purgatory is not, as Tertullian thought, some kind of supra-worldly concentration camp where one is forced to undergo punishments in a more or less arbitrary fashion. Rather it is the inwardly necessary process of transformation in which a person becomes capable of Christ, capable of God [i.e., capable of full unity with Christ and God] and thus capable of unity with the whole communion of saints. Simply to look at people with any degree of realism at all is to grasp the necessity of such a process. It does not replace grace by works, but allows the former to achieve its full victory precisely as grace. What actually saves is the full assent of faith. But in most of us, that basic option is buried under a great deal of wood, hay and straw. Only with difficulty can it peer out from behind the latticework of an egoism we are powerless to pull down with our own hands. Man is the recipient of the divine mercy, yet this does not exonerate him from the need to be transformed. Encounter with the Lord is this transformation. It is the fire that burns away our dross and re-forms us to be vessels of eternal joy."

Thus according to Ratzinger's way of explaining the doctrine, as we are drawn out of this life and into direct union with Jesus, his fiery love and holiness burns away all the dross and impurities in our souls and makes us fit for life in the glorious, overwhelming light of God's presence and holiness.

*********
C. S. LEWIS:

There are Protestants who believe in purgatory. One who was very explicit about it was C.S. Lewis. In his Letters to Malcom, he wrote:

"Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age, the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to him?"

"I believe in Purgatory. . . . Our souls demand Purgatory, don't they? Would it not beak the heart if God said to us, 'It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy'? Should we not reply, "With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I'd rather be cleansed first.' "It may hurt, you know'--"Even so, sir.'"

"I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering. Partly from tradition; partly because most real good that has been done me in this life has involved it. But I don't think the suffering is the purpose of the purgation. I can well believe that people neither much worse nor much better than I will suffer less than I or more. . . . The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much."

"My favorite image on this matter comes from the dentist's chair. I hope that when the tooth of life is drawn and I am 'coming round',' a voice will say, 'Rinse your mouth out with this.' This will be Purgatory. The rinsing may take longer than I can now imagine. The taste of this may be more fiery and astringent than my present sensibility could endure. But . . . it will [not] be disgusting and unhallowed."

But beyond Protestants like Lewis, who openly admit their belief in purgatory, it may be said that Protestants in general believe in purgatory, they just don't call it that. For every historic Protestant will admit that our sinning in this life does not continue into heaven. In fact, they will be quite insistent that although our sanctification is not complete in this life, it will be completed (instantaneously, they say) as soon as this life is over. But that is what purgatory is! -- the final sanctification, the purification. Thus it is permissible to say that many Protestants believe in purgatory without even realizing it.

***********

Enoch had a vision or visions of hell and / or purgatory - read on;

Enoch 90:25-27 - (Enoch is mentioned in Scripture and makes this book credible)

And those 70 shepherds were judged and found guilty and they were cast into that fiery abyss.

And I saw at that time how alike abyss was opened in the midst of the earth, full of fire, and they brought those blinded sheep, and they were all judged and found guilty and cast into the fiery abyss, and they burnt. Now the abyss was to the right of that house. And I saw their bones burning.

*******

2 maccabees 12:45
But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin. (Sounds like Jesus when HE decended to Hell/Purgatory to release the righteous souls from the beginning of time like Father Abraham, Isaac & Jacob and their wives and the prophets and those who suffered for their faith and.....)

39 On the next day, as had now become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen and to bring them back to lie with their kindred in the sepulchres of their ancestors. 40Then under the tunic of each one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was the reason these men had fallen. 41So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; 42and they turned to supplication, praying that the sin that had been committed might be wholly blotted out. The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened as the result of the sin of those who had fallen. 43He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin-offering. In doing this he acted very well and honourably, taking account of the resurrection. 44For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.
(Again by Jewish thought, we are to pray for the dead. Today Orthodox Jews remember the dead daily for 11 months and have special Services for their souls. Again this sounds like "Purgatory" because a soul can never be released from Hell. Hell is eternal separation from God.)

Ephesians 4:24
24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. What is TRUE HOLINESS, but a purified, sanctified man/woman ready to meet the Righteous Judge Jesus / Y'SHUA without any garbage bags (sins) attached.

1 Peter 1:7
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.Luke 12:2-5

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Who should we fear then, but LOVE casts out all fear and therefore when we follow the prompting of the HOLY SPIRIT, with a humble heart and contrite spirit, we will walk in HIS HOLINESS and because of our LOVE FOR JESUS we follow HIS advice : "Love the LORD YOUR GOD with all your heart, soul, body and strength... and love your neighbor as yourself... not easy, but HIS WORDS stand forevermore)

Conclusion :

According to both Jesus and Paul we should fear standing in front of Jesus, fearing the unstoppable, unavoidable, unrelenting and microscopic examination to which our lives will be subjected when we stand before Jesus. We must have a healthy, Godly fear and Purgatory can help release that fear, because we FOR SURE will stand in front of JESUS without any dirty, filthy, smelly rags but with a WHITE ROBE shining brightly. The Spirit and the Bride say: "Come"!

O yeah - one more thing - this morning I took my daughter to a Mall using an unusual route and we passed
a creek with a big sign : "PURGATORY CREEK" - maybe I'll just jump in for a quick dip !!!
God has a sense of humor, so laugh with HIM and with me.

Shalom to Jerusalem and the Holy Land
Shalom among Jews, Christians and Muslims with JESUS / Y'SHUA in the HEART OF ALL
Monique

PS: Richard put up a great "DON'T GIVE UP... link on my website : www.watchandpray.com/Dontgiveup.asp
Thanks my friend in Christ!

Denny
11-16-2007, 06:04 AM
Those are excellent points Don! :thumb:

The thief was with Christ that day - this does not cause a problem for the RCC docrine of purgatory because they believe that some folks don't have to go there. If the thief's repentence was so deep and total, and he died before he could commit any more sins, they probably would assert that he didn't need purgatorial cleansing. (Or if he did, maybe just a few hours worth so he could get in before the day ended!)

The real issue is that Chirst "did it all, all to Him I owe" - but this creates a tension because we struggle with our imperfect sinful condition that remains even after salvation.

One possible solution is in the idea of glorification when we are resurrected. We are then changed "in the twinkling of an eye." No need for a long drawn out "purging" because we have repented from the heart, and so Christ could transform us in no time at all. This makes more sense to me. And it is consistent with the purgatorial view of hell which is seen as the place where the unrepentent souls go while the Spirit of God works on them to bring them to repentence.

Are there any obvious problems with a pugatorial view of hell? (Remember, it has nothing to do with the Catholic view of purgatory.)

Richard
Richard,



Richard said:
Are there any obvious problems with a pugatorial view of hell? (Remember, it has nothing to do with the Catholic view of purgatory.)

I have a more fundamental question concerning this issue.

Is it possible that the universalists have pitted the biblical attributes of God's love and justice to the near annihilation of God's justice? This in the same but opposing way that many fundamentalists have advanced God's justice to the near destruction of His love.

And aren't the words "in Christ" significant?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-16-2007, 09:48 AM
Richard,
I have a more fundamental question concerning this issue.

Is it possible that the universalists have pitted the biblical attributes of God's love and justice to the near annihilation of God's justice? This in the same but opposing way that many fundamentalists have advanced God's justice to the near destruction of His love.
Hey there Denny!

I think you have hit upon an extremey important aspect of this problem. Folks from one side often say that the other side has over-emphasized an attribute of God, be it Love or be it Justice.

But there are real problems that all parties will usually admit. For example, the Calvinist doctrine really does seem to imply that God does not love everyone. That's a real problem for most Christians, even Calvinists. And on the other side, the Arminian view seems to imply that salvation depends on what a person does, which sounds like works righteousness.

This is why I insist on using only what the Bible teaches. I am convinced that the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees is not found in the Bible, and in as much as it is contrary to humans as genuinely responsible free moral agents, then it contradicts the plain teaching of the Bible. In any case, it should never be used as a foundation for any Calvinist doctrine until it is proved from the Bible - which I believe will never happen because the Bible doesn't teach it.



And aren't the words "in Christ" significant?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Indeed, they are the MOST significant words! And they lie at the center of the debate on universalism. Will everyone ultimately be reckoned as "in Christ" or not? That's the question. If the answer is "not" then universalism can not be true.

Excellent post Denny! :congrats:I would say that you hit the center of the bullseye with those two points.

Richard.

Trumpet
11-16-2007, 05:45 PM
Hi guys,

If I might give an opinion of what "in Christ" means to me.

Col. 3:1-4

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Do we qualify? Have we each surrendered? It is an ongoing action to seek, yet it doesn't add to the salvation already given.

We ARE dead. This is true if you truly accept Jesus' substitution for us, but it needs to be applied often, and can't be taken for granted.

This is giving up the "old man" and moving on with the "new man". But we need to beware, because the "old man" keeps trying to come back, but the "new man" has more than enough power to overcome, because the "new man" has the very Holy Spirit of God.

And didn't Jesus say to the churches in Revelation, "to him that overcometh". It's a continuing work.

God bless Don

Denny
11-17-2007, 06:52 AM
Hey there Denny!

I think you have hit upon an extremey important aspect of this problem. Folks from one side often say that the other side has over-emphasized an attribute of God, be it Love or be it Justice.

But there are real problems that all parties will usually admit. For example, the Calvinist doctrine really does seem to imply that God does not love everyone. That's a real problem for most Christians, even Calvinists. And on the other side, the Arminian view seems to imply that salvation depends on what a person does, which sounds like works righteousness.

This is why I insist on using only what the Bible teaches. I am convinced that the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees is not found in the Bible, and in as much as it is contrary to humans as genuinely responsible free moral agents, then it contradicts the plain teaching of the Bible. In any case, it should never be used as a foundation for any Calvinist doctrine until it is proved from the Bible - which I believe will never happen because the Bible doesn't teach it.


Indeed, they are the MOST significant words! And they lie at the center of the debate on universalism. Will everyone ultimately be reckoned as "in Christ" or not? That's the question. If the answer is "not" then universalism can not be true.

Excellent post Denny! :congrats:I would say that you hit the center of the bullseye with those two points.

Richard.


Richard said:
I would say that you hit the center of the bullseye with those two points.

Yes, I agree. And this is what I am struggling with. What I, at present, know and believe is that there has been no greater demonstration of God's love and justice in the events of human history than that which was demonstrated at Calvary by our Lord Jesus.

Also what is becoming much more clear to me, is that the real war of the cosmos is not between God and men but between God and the evil in the self-justified, true free will of Satan. Could it be said that God's creation of men has become the battlefield of this war rather than the war itself?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2007, 10:07 AM
Yes, I agree. And this is what I am struggling with. What I, at present, know and believe is that there has been no greater demonstration of God's love and justice in the events of human history than that which was demonstrated at Calvary by our Lord Jesus.

That's exactly how I see it too. God's Perfect Love and God's Perfect Justice met in Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. God found the way to remain perfectly Just even as He justified us sinners through faith. This is the heart of the Gospel.



Also what is becoming much more clear to me, is that the real war of the cosmos is not between God and men but between God and the evil in the self-justified, true free will of Satan. Could it be said that God's creation of men has become the battlefield of this war rather than the war itself?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

I think you are correct. Is that not what Paul teaches in Ephesiahs 3?
Ephesians 3:7-11 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
This is what's going on in the background of this whole drama we find ourselves born into: God is demonstrating His "manifold wisdom" through the church born of the Christ's Gospel.


This fits perfectly with my understanding of how God works. Is there much "manifold wisdom" displayed if God merely "ordained whatsoever comes to pass" like a cosmic script-writer in which the actions of all the chararcters are predestined from before the stage was ever built? I don't think so. On the contrary, the great glory of God's "manifold wisdom" is revealed when He "works all things" to redeem and justify truly free creatures while remaining perfectly righteous Himself. He emptied Himself on the Cross (kenosis, Philippians 2:7) and saves us proud sinners by humilating Himself (http://www.biblewheel.com/Wheel/Spokes/Vav_Philippians.asp). This is the wonder of the wisdom of God, which men call "foolishness."
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Richard

Denny
11-17-2007, 11:00 AM
Richard said:
That's exactly how I see it too. God's Perfect Love and God's Perfect Justice met in Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. God found the way to remain perfectly Just even as He justified us sinners through faith. This is the heart of the Gospel.



I think you are correct. Is that not what Paul teaches in Ephesiahs 3?
Ephesians 3:7-11 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
This is what's going on in the background of this whole drama we find ourselves born into: God is demonstrating His "manifold wisdom" through the church born of the Christ's Gospel.

We are in perfect agreement here. However, I am still opposed, at least for now, to the doctrine of the universalists. As on the battlefields of every war there is death, severe injury and refugees. I cannot escape the Scripture, which is in context, our Lord's words and sure promise to wicked and unbelieving men alone; "Vengence is mine", and "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness".

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2007, 02:59 PM
We are in perfect agreement here. However, I am still opposed, at least for now, to the doctrine of the universalists. As on the battlefields of every war there is death, severe injury and refugees. I cannot escape the Scripture, which is in context, our Lord's words and sure promise to wicked and unbelieving men alone; "Vengence is mine", and "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness".

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
:tea: It is good to find our points of agreement. Especially since they concern essential points of the Gospel.

I hope I have made it clear that I am not advocating universalism. I am evaluating that idea in light of Scripture. I have not come to a conclusion yet.

I understand your point about God's promised judgment upon "wicked and unbelieving" souls. But that doesn't really answer the question because we all were "wicked and unbelieving" before Christ saved us. So the question remains, how many souls will God save? 10% 50% 99.999% Does orthodoxy require that some souls be damned? If so, why? And how many?

Richard

Denny
11-17-2007, 04:39 PM
:tea: It is good to find our points of agreement. Especially since they concern essential points of the Gospel.

I hope I have made it clear that I am not advocating universalism. I am evaluating that idea in light of Scripture. I have not come to a conclusion yet.

I understand your point about God's promised judgment upon "wicked and unbelieving" souls. But that doesn't really answer the question because we all were "wicked and unbelieving" before Christ saved us. So the question remains, how many souls will God save? 10% 50% 99.999% Does orthodoxy require that some souls be damned? If so, why? And how many?

Richard




Richard said:
So the question remains, how many souls will God save? 10% 50% 99.999% Does orthodoxy require that some souls be damned? If so, why? And how many?

To me, at this present time, the answer to this is simple. It's none of our business but the business of God's grace and Spirit.


The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.' [John 3:8]

Denny

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2007, 08:58 PM
So the question remains, how many souls will God save? 10% 50% 99.999% Does orthodoxy require that some souls be damned? If so, why? And how many? To me, at this present time, the answer to this is simple. It's none of our business but the business of God's grace and Spirit.

Denny
OK - I understand that. But how then can we discuss the merits and demerits of universalism, since that question concerns how many are saved?

Richard

Denny
11-19-2007, 04:50 AM
OK - I understand that. But how then can we discuss the merits and demerits of universalism, since that question concerns how many are saved?

Richard

Richard,

I hope I am not confused by your question, but my initial response is that there are no "merits" to the idea of universalism because the Scripture obviously does not teach it. There will be an eventual separation of the sheep from the wolves and goats. The words in Scripture that tell us this are not expressed by mathematical percentages but in the relative words of "few" and "many".


Many are called (by the preaching of the Gospel) but few are chosen (by grace and the power of the Spirit alone [the elect]).

As for the words "in Christ", please consider my feeble definition. "In Christ" signifies those that believe by the mercy and grace of the Father alone and by the power of God's Spirit alone in the justifying work for our salvation found in Christ Jesus alone. People may not be judged by us as to whether they are saved or not because the righteous active and passive work (obedience) of Christ is "imputed" (credited) to us. From our eyes but not from God's eyes it is fact that we all remain sinners in our broken world.

You have rightfully said, and I cannot refute, that the doctrine of Eternal Decrees is unbiblical because it arrogantly presupposes that we may sit in on God's SECRET counsel. What I am suggesting is that your question about percentages presupposes the very same thing, i.e., that we can know who and exactly how many God has decided in His secret counsel, should or will be saved.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-19-2007, 10:43 AM
Richard,

I hope I am not confused by your question, but my initial response is that there are no "merits" to the idea of universalism because the Scripture obviously does not teach it. There will be an eventual separation of the sheep from the wolves and goats. The words in Scripture that tell us this are not expressed by mathematical percentages but in the relative words of "few" and "many".
I think I understand your point. You seem to be saying that the issue is completely settled in your mind by certain clear and definitive verses, and that any verses appearing to contradict your conclusion must be reinterpreted to fit in with it.

That's fine. I have no problem with folks coming to conclusions about issues! But I have not come to that conclusion as yet, so I still seek a clearer understanding of what the Bible teaches about this. And you still have much to contribute since you can challenge any interpetation that might suggest universalism.

As for the "mathematical percentages" you are absolutely correct. That is not how the Bible talks. I was not really seeking a numerical answer to that rhetorical question. I was trying to get us to think about why our soteriology would require that some be folks be damned in order for it to be orthodox.


As for the words "in Christ", please consider my feeble definition. "In Christ" signifies those that believe by the mercy and grace of the Father alone and by the power of God's Spirit alone in the justifying work for our salvation found in Christ Jesus alone. People may not be judged by us as to whether they are saved or not because the righteous active and passive work (obedience) of Christ is "imputed" (credited) to us. From our eyes but not from God's eyes it is fact that we all remain sinners in our broken world.

I do not think your definition is "feeble" at all. But it is a little "fat" in that it contains a lot more than just a defnition of "in Christ." What I mean is the doctrines of "Faith alone" and "Christ alone" were not articulated as such until the 16th century Reformation, but the phrase "in Christ" is a Biblical phrase found frequently in the NT and has been used since the beginning of the church. I would think therefore that the defnition of "in Christ" would not depend on doctrines unique to the Reformation.

My definition of "in Christ" would simply be this. A person is "in Christ" if Christ has redeemed that person. The person's life is "hid with Christ in God." Questions of how that happened (faith alone, Christ alone) must be kept separate or confusion will ensue.


You have rightfully said, and I cannot refute, that the doctrine of Eternal Decrees is unbiblical because it arrogantly presupposes that we may sit in on God's SECRET counsel. What I am suggesting is that your question about percentages presupposes the very same thing, i.e., that we can know who and exactly how many God has decided in His secret counsel, should or will be saved.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
You agree that the Doctrine of Eternal Decrees is unbiblical? :woohoo: We have come to agreement on a point!


Now as for your point, I hope you understand that I was not really suggesting that we could know the exact number, but that we should ask ourselves why orthodoxy depends on the anti-universalist idea that at least SOME people must be damned. Your answer skipped over that issue by simply asserting that we can't know the exact numbers but that it doesn't matter because the Bible declares many will be damned, and that settles the whole question of universalism.


But is it really that simple? There are many passages that suggest Christ really will succeed as "the Saviour of all men, especially those that believe." There are many passages that paint real pictures of real universal hope! For example:
Colossians 1:19-20 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Is that verse true? Did God reconciled ALL THINGS unto Himself through Christ? If so, what does that mean? It seems very difficult to argue that the "all things" in this passage does not mean "absolutely everything" because Paul explained what he meant by adding "whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." But even if you could argue that point, this passage and others like it contradict the confident assurance you stated that there are no "merits" to universalism. Indeed, one "merit" of universalism is that it would mean that God does not HATE the creatures He made! And another merit is that it explains how Revelation could be true. You see, Death and Hades are not supposed to be part of the New Creation! Yet you believe that the Bible teaches ETERNAL CONSCIOUS TORMENT which seems to me to directly contradict what the Bible says about the absolute perfection of God's new creation. I myself can not imagine a universe eternally marred by screaming wicked evil sinners that God upholds only so they can continue to suffer! Am I kinder of more loving than God? Of course not! How then are we to understand this horrifying doctrine?

It is for these reasons, and many more, that I sincerely believe we still have many real and serious issues that need to be settled concerning these Biblical doctrines.

God bless you Denny! Thanks for your contribution,

Richard

Denny
11-19-2007, 11:40 AM
Richard said:
I do not think your definition is "feeble" at all. But it is a little "fat" in that it contains a lot more than just a defnition of "in Christ."

Richard,

In my definition that you consider "fat" did you not notice the little word "by"?
This means "by the manner of" grace, Christ and the Spirit alone. I did not mean to imply that the total of these reformed doctrines must be absolutely known by the recipients of His grace. What I did mean is that sinning men may be and are condemned by the knowing denial and even ignorance of these doctrines. In other words, it is my belief, that forgiveness by definition needs a Spirit inspired forgivee. Even the thief on the cross, by expression of his new faith, admitted that he was a guilty sinner and that Jesus was innocent.

It is now my opinion that we could continue the techicalities of this argument to the end of our present world. So, I will only say that your argument is no longer with me but with the words of our Lord and savior.


'Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" [Matthew 7:21-23]

I do believe that these above verses are not only factual but prophetic.

How many times in your life have you heard someone say that he or someone else will go to heaven because of the "goodness" of his or their own free will that had been performed while here on this earth?

I think that we must also try to imagine the horror and permanence of an omniscient God telling someone that He never knew him.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-19-2007, 12:22 PM
It is now my opinion that we could continue the techicalities of this argument to the end of our present world.
Perhaps ... but I would hope that two sincere students of the Bible could interact like "iron on iron" and actually come to a conclusion that they both agreed upon. Or if not, at least they should be able to agree about the precise disagreement. As it stands, I don't think we have really come to that point yet. But if its not something you have the patience for, or inteterest in, then we can let it drop. I'm not trying to arm-wrestle you into any doctrinal position.


So, I will only say that your argument is no longer with me but with the words of our Lord and savior.

'Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" [Matthew 7:21-23]

I do believe that these above verses are not only factual but prophetic.
And I do believe that you have an extremely strong point there! And it is my acceptance of those words from my Lord Jesus Christ (and other like them) which makes me doubt that universalism could be true. That's why I tend towards annihilationism as the solution of the problem posed by the "universalist" texts. My respect for God's Word does not allow me to simply ignore them.

I also have strong doubts about the Doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment but I have not concluded whether it is Biblical or not. But it does present HUGE problems in light of God's Love and Power and even Justice, since it suggests that God creates humans for the express purpose of displaying "His glory" in punishing them forever. That's just not nice, and its questionable if it fits any proper definition of "justice."

Of course, I admit that the true God may not be "nice" and that our understanding of "justice" may be flawed. But if our understanding is flawed, then diligent study of God's Word and discussion of these issues becomes even more important since that is the only way we are going to correct our errors.


I think that we must also try to imagine the horror and permanence of an omniscient God telling someone that He never knew him.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
That's very well stated. It exposes the real meaning "knew" as "knew personally" as opposed to "knew about" (since the ominscient God "knows about" everything).

Great chatting Denny!

Richard

Denny
11-19-2007, 01:11 PM
Richard said:
That's why I tend towards annihilationism as the solution of the problem posed by the "universalist" texts.

As do I. This is even after years of almost at times being nearly assaulted by my Reformed brothers over the doctrine of Hell. I believe my God displays His glory in His love in Christ and He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

Peace,

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-19-2007, 01:38 PM
As do I. This is even after years of almost at times being nearly assaulted by my Reformed brothers over the doctrine of Hell. I believe my God displays His glory in His love in Christ and He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

Peace,

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Wow ... another point of agreement! Praise God!
:tea:

Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Richard

Denny
11-20-2007, 02:46 PM
Richard quoted Psalm 133:1
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is indeed, :applause: and it must be noted that disunity is never caused by God's grace in the Scripture which cannot be broken, but by the deceit and/or ignorance, of one or another or both of the children of Adam who are in dispute in our corrupted world.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2007, 05:39 PM
It is indeed, :applause: and it must be noted that disunity is never caused by God's grace in the Scripture which cannot be broken, but by the deceit and/or ignorance, of one or another or both of the children of Adam who are in dispute in our corrupted world.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Good point. And even when we disagree, it may be because one of us, or both of us, is ignorant of the full trurh God is teaching in His Word. But this need not cause any disunity between us as brothers if we both recognize our limitations, and do not affirm things we can not support from Scritpure.

It is wonderful to be able to discuss these important and exciting and difficult and wonderful things from God's Word with you Denny.

God bless you brother!

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
03-19-2008, 09:51 AM
Here is a good article by Dr. Stephen Jones advocating Evangelical Universalism:

If God Could Save Everyone, Would He? (http://dimensionsoftruth.org/stephen_jones/jones8.html)

alec cotton
03-28-2008, 12:59 PM
am new to this and a little bit ashamed. I thought that I new something until I stumbled on the bible wheel. Now I am aware that what I know would go on a postage stamp. What I don't know would fill a library. Now about this water which flows from under the alter in Ezekiel's vision. I take this to mean the river of righteousness which flows from the altar of Calvary. It started with a trickle and became a flood and flows to this present day for the healing of the nations. The trees alongside of the river are the people of The Way. In the Bible , fruit is most often a metaphor for result ,consequence or outcome. When Christians bear fruit then every one reaps the benefit whether good ,bad or indifferent, As the Master said 'You are the salt of the earth'.While I am here I might as well comment on the opening of that vision.. ' A man with a line of flax and a measuring reed in his hand.' The reed was six cubits by the cubit and an hand breadth. I see it this way. A cubit is four hand breadths. This great or royal cubit was five hand breadths. Now six times five is thirty. Six ,the number of man. Five ,the number of grace .Jesus was a 'Man full of Grace.'. 'A goodly price you priced me at; Thirty pieces of silver'. Most of the vision was to be measured by this standard (the man of Galilee). 'Behold a house ,One reed long one reed broad and one reed high. He is the centre of all things.
To Richard and all who visit this site I am truly grateful.
Alec

Richard Amiel McGough
03-29-2008, 09:23 AM
am new to this and a little bit ashamed. I thought that I new something until I stumbled on the bible wheel. Now I am aware that what I know would go on a postage stamp. What I don't know would fill a library.

I'm with you there Alec! If we took all the knowledge of everyone in this forum, we could start a stamp collection! :lol:

Of course, it would be a very wonderful stamp collection .... but still, no one has more than a small portion of the "Big Picture."



Now about this water which flows from under the alter in Ezekiel's vision. I take this to mean the river of righteousness which flows from the altar of Calvary. It started with a trickle and became a flood and flows to this present day for the healing of the nations.


I think that is a very good observation, and I think many people probably agree with you. But it seems to me that we should probably interpret the water as the Holy Spirit since that is what we learn from John 7:
John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

There is much to learn here. Jesus is the True Temple, and so He is the source of the living water. But each believer is also a "Temple of God" and so living water (the Holy Spirit) flows out of the belly of every believer. And this connects to a promise from Christ in Revelation:
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

And the promise of "living water" is repeated immediately after the revelation of the New Jerusalem, which is the Church of God:
Revelation 21:2-6 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And 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. 4 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: for the former things are passed away. 5 ¶ 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. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

And finally at the end of Revelation we find the same offer coming from the Spirit and the Bride:
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Thus I see a profound multifaceted threefold connection between Ezekiel, John and Revelation concerning the symbolic meaning of the water from under the Temple being the Spirit of God.

Of course, it could be symbolic of both the "blood of Christ" flowing from Calvary" and the "Holy Spirit" = that's the thing about symbolic language, there is a lot of overlap.



The trees alongside of the river are the people of The Way. In the Bible , fruit is most often a metaphor for result ,consequence or outcome. When Christians bear fruit then every one reaps the benefit whether good ,bad or indifferent,


Yes indeed, there are many Scriptures to support that understanding. For example:
Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

And John the Baptist used both the metaphors of fruit (good works) and people as the trees that bear that fruit:
Luke 3:7-9 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Given this boundless use of symblic language, I am always amazed when folks resist the symbolic interpretation of the Bible. Thanks for bringing up these important points Alec. :thumb:



As the Master said 'You are the salt of the earth'.While I am here I might as well comment on the opening of that vision.. ' A man with a line of flax and a measuring reed in his hand.' The reed was six cubits by the cubit and an hand breadth. I see it this way. A cubit is four hand breadths. This great or royal cubit was five hand breadths. Now six times five is thirty. Six ,the number of man. Five ,the number of grace .Jesus was a 'Man full of Grace.'. 'A goodly price you priced me at; Thirty pieces of silver'. Most of the vision was to be measured by this standard (the man of Galilee). 'Behold a house ,One reed long one reed broad and one reed high. He is the centre of all things.
To Richard and all who visit this site I am truly grateful.
Alec
Thanks again for the insights bro! I am glad you found our forum. I look foward to discussing things more with you.

God bless!

Richard

Victor
04-06-2008, 01:04 PM
Hello!

I think universalism is a tough subject. The best Bible answer is the one that makes the most sense in the overall interpretation of the book as a whole. But it is actually hard to determine that, since there are so many verses on the subject.

One thing that I do not agree with is saying that "this doctrine is heresy!" as a way to shut down the debate. It is not a simple matter to come to an understanding of the theological concept of the Trinity, for example, without testing other close possibilities, which are all heretic. I would never come to the correct understanding without comparing the possibilities with what Scripture says.

Although there are many verses that explicitly say that there are those that won't be saved (e.g. Matthew 7:13,14), a few things must be kept in mind, as I will discuss in this post.


Hi all! You are really opening up a can of worms on this one Richard. I've seen this posted in other forums,----and let me just say it will get everybody thinking, and probably stir up some issues.

(...)

And I'll bet that with enough thought in the right direction, (or revelation by God), the Bible Wheel would verify the real truth. That's one of the most beautiful things about the Bible Wheel, (and I thank God He is using you for this purpose Richard -You're doing an excellent job!) But without having a correct direction, we are blind to any verification.

Let's see if that pitchfork in the hay brings up some hiding thought.
Don
I have found the Bible Wheel to be VERY helpful in bringing doctrines into focus, and for confirming things written in the plain text but which could be overlooked. (...) Now how the Bible Wheel may help with the question of Evangelical Universalism, I don't know yet ... except to say that to see God's Word as a perfect circle does seem very inclusive, if you know what I mean.

Richard

1 Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.The Bible Wheel is very useful to confirm things that are clearly thought in Scripture. We don't derive "new doctrine" from studying the Wheel, since it is simply the Bible itself viewed with its inherent alphabetic organization. But it does enlighten many Bible teachings that are common blind spots in our minds.


Case in point - Richard quotes the premier Bible verse used by universalists:
1 Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

This verse is found on Spoke 10 of the Bible Wheel, governed by the Hebrew letter Yod and consisting of 2 Samuel, Jonah and 1 Timothy. If we turn to Jonah, we will find the explicit Word of the Lord:
Jon 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

There were no conditionals attached. God said that Nineveh would be overthrown, but the city was not!! The people of Nineveh responded to the preaching of Jonah with faith (Rom 10:17) and the Word of God through His prophet was not fulfilled!!
Jon 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
It seems like God wants to teach us a lesson here. He can turn on His already stated word, and the word about the condemnation of the wicked can be averted if He so wills. The verse in Jonah above says that all men in Nineveh repented, cohering perfectly with the verse in 1 Timothy that says that it is God's Will that 'all men be saved.'

These two fundamental Scriptures about the salvation of all - one in the form of a formal declaration and another in the form of a history lesson -are found on the same Spoke of the Bible Wheel!

Therefore, notwithstanding the Bible making many definite declarations about the destruction of the wicked, the Bible also shows that God's Word on their fate is not absolute and that if people believe and repent, God will forgive them and accept even a mass conversion!


One of the most important words beginning with Yod is Yeshua - Salvation - which is the basis of the name of our Lord. Indeed, salvation is promised to all that turn and repent and this word has a very special place on Spoke 10. The central book of this Spoke is Jonah, and the literary center of the book is the climax of Jonah's prayer in the belly of the fish:
Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation (Yeshua) is of the LORD.

The verse links to 1 Timothy:
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;


1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

The link of Jonah to the letter Yod and the theme of repentance can be seen in the following part of that story of repentance:

Jon 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn (yashuvu) every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

The above highlighted word begins with Yod and is the same found in a Yod alphabetic verse:
AV Ps 119:78 Let those that fear thee turn (yashuvu) unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. The very word encapsulating the spirit of the book of Jonah is a Yod KeyWord! This is discussed in Richard’s article Preaching the Fear of the Lord (http://www.biblewheel.com/Wheel/Spokes/Yod_Jonah.asp).

Yashuvu is a conjugation of the verb Shuv, denoting "turning around". Shuv is a Shin KeyWord. Curiously, if we take a look at the Bible Wheel and look for the the letter Yod (where we get the command yashuvu), and then turn around the alphabetic circle halfway through, we'll find the letter Shin (the key letter of shuv). The "turning around" idea seems to connect Yod and Shin.


Likewise, if we find Jonah in the Bible Wheel and turn around halfway through, we'll find the Gospel of John. Is there any link between John and Jonah 3 on the salvation of all? Of course! Here's the most important verse in that Gospel:
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Perfect symmetry! That's God's will - just like the people of Nineveh believed and were saved, so whosoever believes in Jesus will be saved! The same teaching is found in Jonah and John, which lie diametrically opposed on the Wheel.

Could there be, therefore, any hope concerning those that have already died and who have never believed the Lord? The book of Jonah seems to hint in that direction. Jonah himself said that his time in the belly of the fish was just like death itself:
Jon 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.This association between Death and the fish’s belly is reinforced by the NT, when the Lord Himself compared Jonah’s experience to His own death, and we know that He ‘tasted death for every man’. (Mat 12:39,40; Heb 2:9) Jonah in the belly of the fish is like Man in the depths of Sheol. And so maybe Jonah crying to the Lord for salvation is a picture that points to the possibility of dead ones repenting and God accepting their conversion 'in the belly of hell'.

I don’t know of course if there is a final Biblical answer. Perhaps the great lesson to be learned from Jonah’s story in Nineveh is how we should view the possibility of universalism. What if God saved everyone? How would we react? Like Jonas in chapter 4? The Bible often vividly pictures the condemnation of the wicked so universalism or mass conversions are unexpected. The little book of Jonah moves us to examine our hearts and reflect whether we would feel silly and proud for things going different than expected or joyful and exultant for the salvation of many.

It is like the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). He is received by his father in the end of the story, but his older brother gets frustrated for the turn of events. The last verse of the account is verse 32, and Jonah is Book 32. The last verse subsumes the whole spirit taught by the Book of Jonah:

Luk 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

In a nutshell: the whole issue of universalism is uncertain. I don’t have an opinion on it, so the best answer could be: 'Who knows? God knows what is best.' That 'who knows?' attitude was exactly the one the people of Nineveh had when they heard Jonah’s message:
Jon 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

The integration between Jonah on Spoke 10 and the letter Yod is strengthened in this verse and it helps us in this question of universalism. The word tell above is the translation of the verb Yada (to know, cognate of Yod, the name of the tenth letter) found in Yod Alphabetic Verses like the following:
Psa 37:18 The LORD knoweth (yada) the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

So Jonah 3:9 seem to teach: 'Who knows (yada)? God is Saviour.' Searching the whole Bible for the phrase 'who can tell if/whether God…', we will find only Jonah 3:9 and a verse in the remaining book on Spoke 10, 2 Samuel:
2Sa 12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? That is a true KeyLink in the KJV based on a Yod KeyWord. It shows how this 'who knows?' cogitation is taught on Spoke 10 of the Bible Wheel.


Spoke 10: Who can tell if God…?
2 Samuel <<>> Jonah

Whatever the outcome, we know that God will be righteous in his judgment of people. This knowledge is taught to us in Scripture and a Yod Alphabetic Verse encapsulates this Spoke 10 theme:

Psa 119:75 I know (yada), O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
This last verse does also remind us of the entire thrust of the book of Jonah!

Victor

Richard Amiel McGough
04-07-2008, 09:06 PM
Hey there Victor!

Excellent application of the Wheel to this difficult question, my friend. Your discussion of the Tenth Diameter makes a lot of sense to me:

http://www.biblewheel.com/images/tenthdiameter.gif

I've noticed many connections that are organized along the diameters rather than only the Spokes (e.g. the Ninth Diameter (http://www.biblewheel.com/Wheel/Spokes/Tet_Goodness.asp)).


The Spoke 10 connections you found reminded me of an old intuition I have had about a possible connection between the Number 10 and the Gentiles, or rather, the Nations of the World. I'm not sure where I got this idea, but I think it might be that the List of Nations is given in Genesis 10, where it specifically states that the nations were divided according to their "tongues" (i.e. language). This then links to the "ten men" from "out of all languages of the nations [Goyim]" who are contrasted with the "Jew" in Zecharia:
Zechariah 8:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations [Gentiles], even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
And of course the Gospel first goes out to the Gentiles in Acts 10, at which time the Gentile converts speak in tongues. This then links back to Genesis 10 which contains the first occurrence of the word "tongues" in the Bible (lashon in Hebrew, Strongs 1471) as well as the first occurrence of Goyim (Gentiles) where it is translated as "nations." Your insights into Jonah as that book relates to the salvation of the Gentiles makes a lot of sense in this context.

So there is a sense of something broadly universalistic going on on Spoke 10 and associated with the Number 10, but these intuitions have not congealed into anything solid as yet.

I think it is good to explore these ideas to see how (or if) they relate to the Bible Wheel since that might inspire insights, but I'm quite sure that the solution to the question (if there is one) will be found only by a careful exegesis of the text.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
10-12-2008, 08:47 AM
I received this message with many links supporting the view of Evangelical Universalism. There's a lot of "grist for the mill" -

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you cannot love an eternal torment god

For the first 500 years after Christ, universalism was the prevailing doctrine believed and taught by the Christian church.
These online books also explain why and how this changed.

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Prevailing.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Prevailing.html)

http://www.gtft.org/Library/miscellaneous/ChurchFathers.htm (http://www.gtft.org/Library/miscellaneous/ChurchFathers.htm)

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html)

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/DoctrineOfRetribution.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/DoctrineOfRetribution.htm)

Universalism The Prevailing Doctrine Of The Christian Church During Its First Five Hundred Years


The author, J.W. Hanson wrote 'The purpose of this book is to present some of the evidence of the prevalence in the early centuries of the Christian church, of the doctrine of the final holiness of all mankind. The author believes that the following pages show that Universal Restitution was the faith of the early Christians for at least the First Five Hundred Years of the Christian era. He has aimed to present irrefragable proofs that the doctrine of Universal Salvation was the prevalent sentiment of the primitive Christian church.

The salient statements and facts in all which will be found in these pages show that the most and ablest of the early fathers found the deliverance of all mankind from sin and sorrow specifically revealed in the Christian Scriptures.' And they were reading the Bible in its original language.

Up until now, after reading this post, many believers in eternal torment have said something like, 'I truly sympathize with your sufferings, but it’s what the Bible says that matters, not whether or not it makes you suffer.' That’s why I want to say right at the outset that many of the links posted here show that a correctly (literally, not interpretively) translated Bible actually teaches universal salvation, not eternal torment, or even annihilation.

I’m 69 years old. The idea that God lets anyone suffer forever has caused me more suffering, including a twelve year nervous breakdown 1966-78, than all the other sufferings of my life combined.

This suffering was caused by the fear produced by not being able to love a god who would let anyone suffer forever and wondering what this god would do to me for not being able to love him. Even though I was and am trusting for my salvation in what Jesus accomplished by His death and resurrection, through the power in the blood of His cross, I was, and still am unable to love a god who would let anyone suffer forever. Here are testimonies similar to mine.

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/hells_fruit.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/hells_fruit.html)

http://greater-emmanuel.org/Hope4You/consequences.html (http://greater-emmanuel.org/Hope4You/consequences.html)

If you are like me and cannot love a god who would let anyone suffer forever, you can copy and paste (if necessary) the following urls into the address bar and find out that a literally (not interpretively) translated Bible actually teaches universal salvation, not even annihilation.

THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD

If necessary, copy and paste the following urls into the address bar.
http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/circularity.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/circularity.htm)

At the top and bottom of that same THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD page, there is the following link to fourteen other writings in the same series that are related to this same subject.
http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/index.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/index.htm)

Don’t kid yourself. If anyone suffers forever JESUS IS DOING IT TO THEM

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/circularity.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/circularity.htm)

THE GOD THAT CALVINIST AND ARMINIAN ETERNAL TORMENTORS PROFESS TO LOVE

The eternal torment theology of the Arminian Christian relies on so-called 'free will' and luck.

The god that Arminian eternal tormentors profess to love says to his fallen creatures

'Unless you are lucky enough to find out about my son during this lifetime, and even if you are that lucky, if you don’t have the good sense to cooperate with my son properly before you die, then I am going to raise you from the dead and I will sustain you alive in an inescapable state of eternal torment forever.'

The eternal torment theology of the Calvinist Christian relies on God alone, not 'free will' at all. It is summed up by the word TULIP: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and the Perseverance of the elect.

The god that Calvinistic eternal tormentors profess to love says to his fallen creatures

"I created most of you for the purpose of torturing you forever. However, I am going to choose a few of you undeserving ones to go to heaven where you will be happy forever." John Calvin said there will be infants a span long in hell because they were not among the elect. (A span is the distance between the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger.)

And then both the Arminian and Calvinistic eternal tormentors say that the feelings that they have for this god of theirs is 'love.'

To read a description of eternal torment combination Calv-Arminianism see
ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE IN JESUS CHRIST – Charles Slagle
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Absolute-Assurance-in-Jesus-Christ.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Absolute-Assurance-in-Jesus-Christ.html)

This next url sums up the end result of all three
http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/circularity.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/circularity.htm)

Without God’s sustaining power everyone would cease to exist.
So if anyone were to suffer forever, our all-powerful God (Who is Love in essence, not just loving) would be fully 100% responsible for it. We would have to conclude that any definition of the manifestation of 'love-in-essence' includes eternally sustaining people alive in an inescapable state of suffering.

What a travesty; what a revolting definition of love it is that God, Who is love personified, would grant any creature a will so strong that they can choose themselves into an irreversible state of never ending suffering (Arminian), or they deserve to suffer forever just by being born into the human race (Calvinist)!

Thank God the Bible does not teach such an insane idea! Yes, God is just but He is not justice personified. However, God is Love personified. That is why He will temper all of His administrating of justice only to be for the good of the individual being judged.

Here is what the God that universal transformationists love and worship with complete abandon will do. He will complete the process of salvation for the first fruits of election, (the remnant chosen by grace), after the first resurrection. Then He will complete the process of salvation for the non-elect after the great white throne judgment. For some, it will include an experience in the lake of fire.

Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to guarantee that any necessary "kolasis aionian" (age-during corrective chastisement) will be 100% effective in changing wrong attitudes. All acts of sin have been forgiven for everyone. Attitudes cannot be forgiven. Attitudes must change. This is what the lake of fire which is the second death will do. It will last no longer than God sees is good for everyone involved.

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/TheLakeOfFire-Eby.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/TheLakeOfFire-Eby.html)

You can Google up good articles on this subject by typing in kolasis aionian

Also see

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/index.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/index.htm)

For anyone who cannot love an endless-hell god ---
BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALIST RESOURCES

Copy and paste the following urls into the address bar

http://www.christian-universalism.com/links.html (http://www.christian-universalism.com/links.html)

http://www.christianuniversalist.org (http://www.christianuniversalist.org/)

Also see

Information, and frequently asked questions in support of a correctly (literally, not interpretively) translated Bible teaching universal salvation,

http://www.tentmaker.org/bloglinks.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/bloglinks.htm)http://www.tentmaker.org/sitemap.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/sitemap.html)http://www.tentmaker.org/ScholarsCorner.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/ScholarsCorner.html)

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/index.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/index.htm)

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThreateningsExplained.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThreateningsExplained.html)

(If necessary, copy and paste them into your address bar)

and they will learn that the Bible actually teaches universal salvation instead, not even annihilation.

Or, they will go to the search engine at the top of http://www.tentmaker.org (http://www.tentmaker.org/) and will type in a key word or phrase from any argument or scripture passage. Ten articles will come up refuting the claim that the Bible teaches eternal torment or annihilation. Then they may click to the next page and ten more articles will come up, and so on and so on for many pages.

The many entries in my guestbook that is accessed towards the bottom of my front page at http://greater-emmanuel.org/Hope4You/ (http://greater-emmanuel.org/Hope4You/)

and the many entries at http://www.tentmaker.org/visitorcomments.htm (http://www.tentmaker.org/visitorcomments.htm)
show just how much this information is helping people.

Also see http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/hells_fruit.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/hells_fruit.html)

This was the information that enabled me to recover from a twelve year nervous breakdown 1966-78, and it gives me great joy to keep learning that it is helping more and more other people too!! I’m 69

I am also going to guide you to the testimony of a man whose experience was almost identical to mine. Even the thought processes that took him into, through, and out of his breakdown are the same as mine. His name is Charles Slagle.
He responds to the question, "Which view of salvation is true?"

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Absolute-Assurance-in-Jesus-Christ.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Absolute-Assurance-in-Jesus-Christ.html)

POST SCRIPT: For those of you who believe the Bible teaches annihilation rather than universal salvation, consider the following,

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EternalDeath.html (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EternalDeath.html)

rodgertutt
10-14-2008, 06:54 AM
People who can love an 'eternal torment' god will not be interested in the following information

If necessary copy and paste the following title into Google

http://www.godfire.net/eby/circularity.html

THE LAW OF CIRCULARITY

But people who cannot love an 'eternal torment' god will discover that all of the arguments against the Bible teaching universal salvation have been refuted in the following links.

If necessaary copy and paste one of the following titles into Google

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThreateningsExplained.html

BIBLE THREATENINGS EXPLAINED

http://www.tentmaker.org/bloglinks.htm

Information on Hell and Universal Salvation

http://richardwaynegarganta.com/universalsalvation.htm

UNIVERSAL SALVATION ONLINE UNIVERSITY

Richard Amiel McGough
10-14-2008, 09:30 AM
It seems to me that Christians are either divided internally, having the connection between their heart and mind completely severed, or they go insane contemplating the doctrine of eternal conscious torment.

An instructive case study is that of Jonathan Edwards who described the doctrine of eternal conscious torment as "exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet" in his "Personal Narrative (http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/articles/full.asp?id=38%7C%7C116)":



From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God's sovereignty, in choosing whom he would to eternal life, and rejecting whom he pleased; leaving them eternally to perish, and be everlastingly tormented in hell. It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me. But I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced, and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty of God, and his justice in thus eternally disposing of men, according to his sovereign pleasure. But never could give an account, how, or by what means, I was thus convinced, not in the least imagining at the time, nor a long time after, that there was any extraordinary influence of God's Spirit in it; but only that now I saw further, and my reason apprehended the justice and reasonableness of it. However, my mind rested in it; and it put an end to all those cavils and objections. And there has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, in respect to the doctrine of God's sovereignty, from that day to this; so that I scarce ever have found so much as the rising of an objection against it, in the most absolute sense, in God's strewing mercy to whom he will shew mercy, and hardening whom he will. God's absolute sovereignty and justice, with respect to salvation and damnation, is what my mind seems to rest assured of, as much as of any thing that I see with my eyes; at least it is so at times. But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God's sovereignty than I had then. I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has very often appeared exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. But my first conviction was not so.

The first instance that I remember of that sort of inward, sweet delight in God and divine things that I have lived much in since, was on reading those words, I Tim. 1:17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever, Amen. As I read the words, there came into my soul, and was as it were diffused through it, a sense of the glory of the Divine Being; a new sense, quite different from any thing I ever experienced before Never any words of scripture seemed to me as these words did. I thought with myself, how excellent a Being that was, and how happy I should be, if I might enjoy that God, and be rapt up to him in heaven, and be as it were swallowed up in him for ever! I kept saying, and as it were singing over these words of scripture to myself; and went to pray to God that I might enjoy him, and prayed in a manner quite different from what I used to do; with a new sort of affection. But it never came into my thought, that there was any thing spiritual, or of a saving nature in this.

Yes indeed, how happy selfish little Johnny Edwards would be for himself if he were "rapt up to him in heaven" - but what about his fellow creatures twisting and turning and writhing in the ultimate agony for all eternity? What happened to the connection between his mind and his heart? Did he lose all compassion for his fellow man? How is it possible that such a demonic doctrine could be described as "exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet"? Even God himself has said that he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked! How is it then that Edwards took such delight in the everlasting sufferings of others?

Richard

rodgertutt
10-14-2008, 10:27 AM
In stark contrast to Jonathan Edwards lets soak our brains in the glorious writings of teachers who believe the Bible teaches universal salvation.
Doing this enabled me to recover from a twelve year nervous breakdown 1966-78 caused by my inability to love an endless hell god, and also STAY recovered. I'm almost 70 now.

ENJOY!

http://www.gtft.org/Library/index1.html

AND ESPECIALLY

http://www.gtft.org/InTheGarden/index.html

rodgertutt
10-14-2008, 10:30 AM
MY TRIBUTE TO RAY PRINZING

Ray Prinzing is my hero. His writings can be Googled up and read online. Just type in Ray Prinzing.

During my twelve year nervous breakdown caused by my inability to emotionally cope with the idea that God lets any creature suffer forever in hell, every morning, as I washed my family’s dishes, I would listen to one of Ray Prinzing’s many tapes.

I have listened to 178 of them several times, and 23 of them many times

In addition to these tapes, I always read every issue of his periodical GOSPEL ECHOES which he later renamed LETTERS OF TRUTH and gleaned many pages of his writings into my personal journal.

Many people have a hero, someone in their life that made a contribution to their welfare so significant that it is far above the influence that anyone else has had.

Ray Prinzing is that hero to me.

For several years my 95 year old dad called me from his nursing home each evening. Each time he called I read a portion of my over four thousand page journal to him, and many of these readings are the gleanings that I wrote from Ray Prinzing’s writings and tapes. Many nights my dad fell asleep listening to one of Ray’s tapes.

As I listened to Ray’s tapes during my nervous breakdown (1966-78) I gradually became more and more sure that I was going to recover. The contents of his tapes gave me the courage, in 1978, to take a public stand that I believe that the Bible teaches universal transformation, not endless suffering in hell, or even annihilation. (I’m 69)

My panic attacks completely stopped.

And now I spend most of my time offering people, in various ways, the information that helped me recover and helps me stayed recovered.

The current issues and many back issues of UNSEARCHABLE RICHES magazine (started in 1909) from the CONCORDANT PUBLISHING CONCERN, and the GRACE AND TRUTH magazine from England have both been a great help to me.

In addition to Ray Prinzing’s tapes and writings there is one particular book and one particular set of tapes that have been very influential in my life.

The book is A.E. Knoch’s ALL IN ALL. In spite of the claim that there are contradictions in it, and in spite of 'cult-buster' Don Hewey’s other attempts to discredit it, (arguments to which Richard Condon has responded), ALL IN ALL remains, in my opinion, one of the best of all the many books that I have read in support of the Bible teaching universal transformation.

Don Hewey is a believer in the inspiration of the King James Version. When he accuses A.E. Knoch of "contradicting the Bible," in many cases what he really means is that A.E. Knoch contradicts the KJV, because the Concordant Translation does not rely on the Received Text from which the KJV was translated. Don Hewey therefore also attacks the RSV, the NIV, and other modern translations. For this reason much of what Don writes just doesn't make any sense.

As far as Knoch calling the life that Lazarus will be raised to as it being eonian and unending, it is both. Lazarus will have unending life and that life will allow him to live through the oncoming eons which is called '"eonian life."

But even if Don Hewey’s criticisms had any merit, they would still not detract from the fact that this book IRREFUTABLY proves that the Bible teaches universal salvation, not eternal torment, or even annihilation.

Richard Condon’s detailed rebuttal of Don Hewey’s criticisms of ALL IN ALL can be read at
http://gtft.org/Library/condon/QuestionsWithoutAnswers.htm
Hewey's arguments against A.E. Knoch's book ALL IN ALL are the same ones that he uses against A.C.Thomas in QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS. Richard Condon responds to them one by one.

The tapes that I referred to are a set of eight 90 minute cassettes called HUMAN CHOICE AND THE DEITY OF GOD by James Coram. I have listened to this set of tapes several dozens of times and consider my knowledge of their content to be priceless.

Both ALL IN ALL and the HUMAN CHOICE tapes can be obtained online at
http://www.concordant.org/

Ray Prinzing has now passed on, but his influence is so wide spread that he will not be forgotten on this earth for many, many years, if ever. And that is a very good thing!

rodgertutt
10-14-2008, 10:35 AM
RAY PRINZING IS MY HERO AND MENTOR

GOOGLE UP RAY PRINZING TO READ SOME REALLY GREAT WRITINGS

During my twelve year nervous breakdown caused by my inability to love a god who would allow anyone to suffer forever, I would listen to a Ray Prinzing tape while I washed the dishes of my family every day. Through the years that I repeatedly listened to these tapes I became more and more confident that that I was going to recover from my breakdown.

In the opinion of Rodger Tutt of Toronto, Canada, the following are the best of all of Ray Prinzing’s taped sermons.

6 CHRIST OUR MERCY SEAT
8 NO SUBSTITUTE
9 TRUST
16 SEE NO EVIL
29 THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE
30 GOD’S WONDERFUL VENGEANCE
32 SUFFICIENT THE EVIL
35 CHANGING THY STRENGTH
36 AS KINGS AND PRIESTS
38 REVELATION TO REVELATION
42 THE TREE OF LIFE
48 KEPT IN PEACE
51 GOD’S RIGHTEOUS JUDGEMENTS
55 ALLEGORY OF RACHEL
56 NONE SHALL BE LOST
59 REPENTANCE TOWARDS GOD
61 AND GOD REPENTED
63 THE END OF THE LORD
71 URGED ON BY FAITH
76 MINISTRY OF SALT
89 BLESSINGS REWARDED OR INHERITED
90 NO CONDEMNATION
95 NOT SOMEHOW BUT TRIUMPHANTLY
101 PASSING THROUGH
104 THE INTERPLAY OF GOOD AND EVIL
105 THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
109 PLENTEOUS REDEMPTION
111 OF THE SAME LUMP
119 HELD TOGETHER BY LOVE
121 ESTABLISH THE SECOND
122 ESTABLISH THE SECOND, PART TWO
123 ESTABLISH THE SECOND, PART THREE
128 ADVANCE IN ADVERSITY
131 ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT
133 AFTER THE PRESSURES
134 THE POLISHED SHAFT
135 INTERNAL TRIUMPH
136 RECONCILED INTO HIMSELF
138 AT PEACE WITH YOUR CALLING
142 THE HIDDEN ONES
143 GOD’S GENTLENESS TO MAN
147 BEYOND DISCIPLINE
148 BEHOLDING HIM
149 DELIVERANCE
150 ENTER THY CHAMBERS
151 GOD OF THE VALLEY
152 GOD OF THE MOUNTAINS
153 IN QUIETNESS
154 IN CONFIDENCE
158 RENEWED INTO HIS MIND
160 EAT THE BOOK
161 HOLD FAST TO THE HEAD
162 THE SEVENTH MAN
164 SORROW TURNED INTO JOY
165 MAKE READY A PEOPLE
166 DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS
167 THE BIRTHRIGHT CHALLENGE
168 MY FATHER IS GREATER
169 HIS PARTICIPATING PRESENCE
170 CHANGES, TYRANNY OR BLESSING
171 TILL HE PLEASE
172 IN HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE
173 KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL
174 THE SWORD GUARDED WAY
175 THE HEAVENLY VISION
176 DEFEATING THE ACCUSERS
177 NEITHER TOIL NOR SPIN
178 THE LAW OF CIRCULARITY
180 HE THAT SHALL ENDURE
181 LIFT UP A STANDARD
183 MUCH MORE
186 WHEN GOD HIDES HIS FACE
187 FAITH VICTORIOUS
188 DIVINE CONFIRMATION
189 WAIT FOR WISDOM’S CHILDREN
190 GOD CHOSE OUR FATHERS
192 LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER
194 EARTHEN VESSEL SINKS
196 A VERY PRESENT HELP
197 A NEW COAT, YEAR BY YEAR
198 COME UP HITHER
199 UNDER HIS SHADOW
200 A HUSHED SECRET
201 EXPECTATION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
202 RETURNING INTO GOD
203 PUT A DIFFERENCE
204 FROM EAST TO WEST
206 TIME OF YOUR SOJOURNING
207 HIS HAND IS STRETCHED OUT
208 WHAT SHALL I DO?
209 TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS
210 GIVE DILIGENCE
211 LIVING EPISTLES
215 THE LORD THY REARWARD
216 THE ANGER OF THE LORD
217 GOD APPOINTED HORIZIONS
218 HOLD FAST TILL I COME
219 ACTIVELY RESTING
221 AN INNER REJOICING
222 BLESS ME INDEED
224 NO MORE ECCENTRIC
225 NOT A SPIRIT OF FEAR
226 FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS
227 AND SUDDENLY
228 THE HEAVENLY HOST ATTENDS
229 FIT FOR THE KINGDOM
230 JUDGEMENT UNTO VICTORY
231 GOD IS IN CONTROL
232 THE LORD OUR HELPER
233 OUR THREEFOLD JUDEGMENT
235 GOD COUNTED THE COST
236 THY LIFE FOR A PREY
237 THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
238 FROM POVERTY TO RICHES
239 ABIDING IN GOD
240 PARTS OF HIS WAYS
241 CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
242 MASTER OF MYSELF
243 ANNOINTED EYE SIGHT
244 FAITH THAT OBTAINS
246 THE FURNACE FOR GOLD
247 RAISE UP THE FOUNDATION
248 SHALL PROSPER IN HIS HAND
250 INWARD REVELATION OF THE SON
251 KINGDOM LIFE TRANSFORMING
252 SO GROWS THE KINGDOM
253 AFTER YE HAVE SUFFERED
254 CHOSEN TO KNOW HIS WILL
255 HEALING THE BREACHES
256 OUR THREEFOLD RESURRECTION
257 A THORN FOR THE FLESH
258 THE MINISTRY OF WAITING
259 THERE IS A RIVER
267 HEARING, LEARNING, COMING
268 THE LORD ALWAYS BEFORE ME
269 HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED
270 GOLD IN THE MAKING
271 MAKE TO LACK, READY TO FILL
273 ACQUAINTED WITH THE ALMIGHTY
274 EACH IN HIS OWN RANK
278 GOD’S UNFINISHED WORK
280 FULLY PERSUADED
285 CONTINUALLY WITH HIM
286 SURRENDERED TO HIS LORDSHIP
295 TO RECONCILE ALL THINGS
296 ENIQUITY SHALL HAVE AN END
297 OVERFLOW WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS
298 THINGS BELONGING TO PEACE
301 HIS DESIRE IS TOWARD ME
302 REFINED AS SILVER
303 AND GOD REMEMBERED
304 LOOSE THE PRISIONER
305 ASPECTS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE
306 GOD’S INDWELLING CONTROL
307 OUT OF HIM WE CAME
308 GRACE UPON GRACE
309 JUDGEMENT RESTS FOR A LIGHT
310 HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER
312 THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID
315 THE DEVIL DESTROYED
316 TOTAL AVAILABILITY
317 VIEWING THE THIRD DAY
326 KINGDOM AUTHORITY
339 GOD SO LOVED HE GAVE
340 NO MORE EXACTORS
342 WORSHIP CREATURE OR CREATOR
352 BUT GOD MUCH MORE
371 THE RICHES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
374 REVELATION A POSITIVE BOOK
375 THE CITY ENLARGED
377 HIS TABERNACLE IS WITH MEN
379 GOD’S GREAT SECRET CHRIST
383 THE LAMB UNSEALS THE BOOK
385 FREEDOM OF THE GLORY
387 ESTABLISHED BY GRACE
386 YESTERDAY, TODAY, FOREVER
390 FIRE IN REDEMPTION’S PLAN
393 WE PREACH CHRIST
398 POSSESSED BY CHRIST
401 THE AIM OF INSTRUCTION
405 FATHER GAVE ME A COMMANDMENT
408 EAGLE VISION

NOW HERE ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST OF THE RAY PRINZING TAPES

GOOGLE UP RAY PRINZING TO READ SOME REALLY GREAT WRITINGS

Ray Prinzing’s very best, and his two extra good tapes.

30 GOD’S WONDERFUL VENGEANCE
101 PASSING THROUGH
104 THE INTERPLAY OF GOOD AND EVIL
109 PLENTEOUS REDEMPTION
123 ESTABLISH THE SECOND, PART THREE
138 AT PEACE WITH YOUR CALLING
215 THE LORD THY REARWARD
216 THE ANGER OF THE LORD
217 GOD APPOINTED HORIZONS
226 FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS
230 JUDGEMENT UNTO VICTORY
232 THE LORD OUR HELPER
235 GOD COUNTED THE COST (extra good)
236 THY LIFE FOR A PREY
237 THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
248 SHALL PROSPER IN HIS HAND
255 HEALING THE BREACHES
295 TO RECONCILE ALL THINGS
315 THE DEVIL DESTROYED
339 GOD SO LOVED HE GAVE
352 BUT GOD MUCH MORE
385 FREEDOM OF THE GLORY
387 ESTABLISHED BY GRACE (extra good)

Richard Amiel McGough
10-14-2008, 10:53 AM
Hey Rodger,

Do you have a link to mp3 files of Ray Prinzing? I googled him but only found a few files scattered here and there.

Richard

rodgertutt
10-14-2008, 11:39 AM
Ray's tapes are no longer available, but you can read my gleanings from his best tapes on my site at
http://greater-emmanuel.org/Hope4You/Gleanings.html

Just click on the number of the tape and my gleanings from that tape will come up.

His book on universal salvation can be read online at
http://www.sigler.org/sirius8/rpredemption.htm

He has many other good books on line as well.

For me, just reading the titles of the many Google pages with Ray prinzing on them is an inspiration for me. :-)

Silence
10-14-2008, 07:01 PM
For the last two months I have been reading at Tentmaker.org and have finished several of the books in the "Scholar's corner". The reverence these authors have for the Word of God and His character, their thoroughness and honest diligence in researching all sides of the issues, along with the high quality of the writing there has been a big blessing and encouragement to me. I even found this website and forum through their website (I think it was a post on one of their forums, but I don't remember). It is encouraging to see that more people all the time are looking for the truth and finding the way back to it.
I grew up catholic and always sensed an unspoken taboo about questioning what I was told. When I went through my rebellious late teen years and quit going to church I decided to get a bible for myself and read it. It took me almost ten years of frustrating on again/off again attempts to read through it three or four times, and reaching the end of my hope and strength before God finally got through to me that He was not sitting up in heaven tapping His toe waiting for me to get myself right, but it had been Him that had kept me coming back to His word again and again after every time I had given up in frustration. After this experience I have always felt that He is also the One who prods me to question what people teach about the bible. And to question what I believed. It is not very comfortable at first, but God has always been stronger than my doubts and has been faithful to show me that the Rock I can stand on is bigger than I have been told.
When I was born again and first began to attend a church that taught directly from the scriptures and encouraged every one to get a concordance/Hebrew & Greek dictionary for study, the bible started to be exciting instead of stifling and boring. It wasn't long though, before my study of the scriptures not only began to show me how little I knew, but also how little those who had been teaching me knew. This will probably be a lifelong process. A few years ago I noticed that when Paul warned the elders in Ephesus to be on guard against false teachers speaking "misleading" things arising from within the church, he was speaking to elders who knew the language that he had taught them God's word in, and this would be the same language these false teachers would be using in their attempts to draw others after themselves. How much easier is it for us to be mislead when we are not even fluent in the language the scriptures were written in? Thank God there are sites like tentmaker.org that make available detailed reference material that clears up a lot of the confusion that allowed wrong teaching to get a foothold in the church.

rodgertutt
10-14-2008, 08:00 PM
I too have, and continue to be, greatly helped by the temtmaker site!
http://www.tentmaker.org/

Especially BIBLE THREATENINGS EXPLAINED
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThreateningsExplained.html

There is another site that I'm sure you all will enjoy because it is so comprehensive on the subject.

UNIVERSAL SALVATION UNIVERSITY
http://richardwaynegarganta.com/universalsalvation.htm

Silence
11-06-2008, 08:33 PM
I am having trouble posting on another thread and it may be because the post is too long so I am trying here with a short post to find out if it will work.

gregoryfl
11-07-2008, 04:22 AM
Hey all,

Some would say that God would have to, if he is indeed going to bring everyone to a saving knowledge of Christ, going to have to do so without "violating their free will."

Perhaps this is too simple an illustration, but it helps me understand that it can be loving and good to bring a change to someone's will. That illustration is one everyone living is familiar with-the parent/child relationship.

Consider how we are to raise our children. Do we merely try to coax them gently into doing the right thing, or avoiding the wrong thing, but nothing more, because we are afraid of violating their will? Furthermore, what would most people call parents who do such things? The term negligent is a common one.

A loving parent will do all that is necessary to get the child to "willingly" do what is right and beneficial for them, and avoid doing what is wrong and harmful. Such a "violation" [I don't like to use that term, as it is a loaded one to elicit negative emotions] of their will, if done in love and care, is a very good and necessary thing, when needed.

Yet we as adults get emotional about preserving our will and so, in our minds, we end up with a view of God more like the negligent parent, coaxing, begging, pleading, but nothing more, so as not to violate our "almighty free will." As Jesus might have said, If we, though being evil, can at times get out the rod of correction and spank our child to break their will in love to keep them from danger, how much more so will our heavenly Father do so? I see how a loving parent deals with a child as a wonderful shadow of the reality of how our heavenly Father deals with his creation. I am one who believes that all will willingly acknowledge with joyful hearts that Jesus is indeed Lord to the glory of God the Father, and that he will lovingly and gladly do whatever it takes, even if it is to bring them through the fires of his presence while they hate him, tormenting them with his love until they finally come to their senses.

I would love to hear what you all think of this,

Ron

rodgertutt
11-07-2008, 06:47 AM
Without God’s sustaining power everyone would cease to exist.
So if anyone were to suffer forever, our all-powerful God (Who is Love in essence, not just loving) would be fully 100% responsible for it. We would have to conclude that any definition of the manifestation of 'love-in-essence' includes eternally sustaining people alive in an inescapable state of suffering.

What a travesty; what a revolting definition of love it is that God, Who is love personified, would grant any creature a will so strong that they can choose themselves into an irreversible state of never ending suffering (Arminian), or they deserve to suffer forever just by being born into the human race (Calvinist)!

I like the way Richard Condon responds to the idea of "free will." He wrote
"If God is really not willing that any perish, then why will they perish? Don't give me this free will nonsense. "No man can come to Me," Jesus said, "except the Father draw him" (John 6:44). Salvation is indeed a gift from God, sovereignly given, to whomever God chooses, when He chooses, and He will indeed grant it to all mankind, in due time (Titus 2:11, 1 Tim 2:6). It does not depend on man's acceptance. Left to themselves, no man would ever choose God (Rom. 3:10-11). At the present time, God bestows benefits of life, food, health, rain, etc, to saints and sinners alike (Acts 17:25). He also has ordained for all mankind to experience a portion of both good and evil as well. The experiences of life are all preparatory to, and in anticipation of, our eternal life with God.

Some say all are given equal opportunity . . . "? Nonsense. This is patently untrue. The Scriptures clearly show that all mankind was plunged into it's present state of being lost by the actions of one man, Adam (Rom. 5:12). All mankind are born sinners. In the history of the world, very few of mankind have ever been given the opportunity to believe in the "only name given under heaven, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Salvation is a gift, sovereignly given to those of God's choice. It was procured by the obedience of One Man, Christ Jesus, and His death on the cross (Rom. 5:15-18). It is for all mankind, it is presently enjoyed by all who believe, and will be bestowed on all mankind in due time (Romans 3:22, Titus 2:11, 1 Tim 2:6). God's mercy is based on the fact that all sin has been judged in the person of His Son. God has subjected the whole creation to the experience of evil, in order to extend mercy to all (Rom 8:20). Romans 1:20 says that man is without excuse for denying God's existence. But the free gift of salvation has not yet been revealed to all mankind; only to a few now, in due time to all (Titus 2:11, 1 Tim 2:6)."
Richard Condon's website is at http://www.gtft.org/

I also like J. Preston Eby's slant on the subject.

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/FreeMoralAgent-Eby.html
http://www.godfire.net/eby/freeagent.htm

Rose
02-05-2009, 08:35 PM
Richard,
I guess we need a new thread to discuss whether every soul is saved or not so we can get back to our progression through Paul's letter to the Romans.

When that thread gets established, one question would be why Christ told the apostles to spread the Gospel (what's the urgency if all are saved anyway?).

The other question that comes to mind concerns all the NT teaching on non-believers "perishing". What was that referring to? I suppose the tares are saved after they are burned up by God?

Peace to you all,
DaveHi Dave,

I would say the urgency to spread the Gospel was because the message of New Covenant being given to the whole world (Gentiles) is what determined when the end would be.....that is to say the end of the Old Covenant age.

Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Before the Old Covenant completely vanished away the message of the New Covenant needed to be spread to the Gentiles. I would say that even though I think everyone will ultimately be saved, it will be because individually each person will make that choice.

God Bless,

Rose

rodgertutt
02-06-2009, 05:15 AM
On the subject of "PERISHING" and "DESTRUCTION" and "PERDITION" and "FREE WILL"
I found the following helpful.

http://www.tentmaker.org/FAQ/perish.htm

http://hell-fact-or-fable.com/destruction1.html

http://hell-fact-or-fable.com/destruction2.html

http://hell-fact-or-fable.com/destruction3.html

"What About how the Bible says that those who do not believe will perish?"

Whenever you see Jesus use a word such as 'perish' or 'destroy,' the original word is 'apollumi.' The Greek word 'apollumi' means to 'to lose, or to be lost.' It is the same word Jesus used when He said
"I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 15:24).
and
"Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep'" (Luke 15:4-7).
This word, 'apollumi,' is used to describe a sheep which was lost and then was found and restored. And Christ uses this same exact word in the following verse:
"Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28-29). (The word translated as "Hell" in this verse is actually Gehenna, the city dump outside of Jerusalem)

The original word for 'destroy' there is 'apollumi' which means 'to lose or be lost.' This verse is not speaking of an eternal annihilation of a soul, but of a temporary losing of the soul, just like the 'lost' sheep that was later found. It is the same with all the times you see Jesus speaking of someone 'perishing.' Such as in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

A better translation would be 'whoever believes in Him should not be lost.' We are all lost until God finds us. Those who die yet unbelieving will experience further 'apollumi,' or being 'lost' in the lake of fire, which is the second death. But God has promised to destroy all death once and for all and grant belief to all at the consummation of the ages.
Those who are 'lost' or 'perished,' are like the lost sheep. The lost sheep was perished, but the shepherd sought it out and restored it. We are all like the lost sheep before God finds us. Even now we are. We are all 'apollumi', or 'lost and perished' as the lost sheep was. We are separated and alienated from God. But the lost sheep did not stay that way. And neither does anyone else. The Good Shepherd does not stop looking until He has found the last one.
http://www.tentmaker.org/inspirationals/ninetynine.html

The word perish is the same Greek word as "be lost."
The tense is, shall not "be in a state of perishing" or in a state of "being lost."

The first fruits of election (the remnant) are granted the gift of saving faith and will enjoy "aionian" age-during life, while the non-elect will experience age-during "kolasis aionian" which means age-during corrective chastisement. But the non-elect will also be saved when God's plan for the ages of time has been consummated and He becomes All in all. 1Cor. 15:28

joel
02-06-2009, 06:29 AM
Roger, the keys to understanding what you declared is in the meaning of the words. Our commonly used translations (KJV, etc.) which use English words for the Greek words of the original, often fail to express a more accurate understanding of what is being said.

This is why a diligent study of the original through the many tools provided, (the Bible Wheel's gematria data base, for example) gives the believer who is a novice to the Greek (I count myself with that group) a more clear understanding of the words.

The two examples that you gave are excellent illustrations;
1.) apollumi......which is commonly rendered as "destroy".....is more correctly stated to mean......."to be put out of the way"......to be "lost".....as you pointed out....the lost sheep of the house of Israel were not "destroyed"...they were lost.......which is clear in the verse stated, but when expressed in other sections the translators chose to give it a more harsh, and permanent meaning which distorts the truth.
2.) aionios.....the translators gave it the overwhelming meaning of "eternal". But and aion, "eon" is an era, or age, or limited amount of time with both a beginning and an end. To insist that it means "eternal" clouds the true meaning of many sections of scripture.

Thanks for your valuable input.

Joel

rodgertutt
02-06-2009, 06:46 AM
Thanks Joel.
I found the following chart of God's plan for the ages of time to be very helpful!

The introduction says
"Mistranslation of the Greek word "aion" is a master stroke of diabolical genius. Perhaps no other word erroneously translated, could more effectively pervert man’s image of God and cause such widespread confusion in the church. Because the understanding of the eons and Gods purpose in them has been lost, the church is divided on such important teachings as man's destiny, grace, election, salvation, security of the believer, judgment and other Issues. The following work by Joseph E. Kirk is offered in the hope that the serious seeker after scriptural truth will be aided in his quest."

Here is the link to the chart.
http://www.saviourofall.org/Tracts/Eons2.html

Richard Amiel McGough
02-06-2009, 08:37 AM
Thanks Joel.
I found the following chart of God's plan for the ages of time to be very helpful!

The introduction says
"Mistranslation of the Greek word "aion" is a master stroke of diabolical genius. Perhaps no other word erroneously translated, could more effectively pervert man’s image of God and cause such widespread confusion in the church. Because the understanding of the eons and Gods purpose in them has been lost, the church is divided on such important teachings as man's destiny, grace, election, salvation, security of the believer, judgment and other Issues. The following work by Joseph E. Kirk is offered in the hope that the serious seeker after scriptural truth will be aided in his quest."

Here is the link to the chart.
http://www.saviourofall.org/Tracts/Eons2.html
Hi Rodger,

I agree - Joel pointed out one of the central errors that has confused Christians for centuries - the meaning of "aion" (age/eon) and "aionios" (of the age/eon). And I think the description "diabolical genius" may not be an understatement.

Richard

rodgertutt
02-06-2009, 10:06 AM
Here is another link that helped me about the Greek word "aionian," especially as it deals with the two most common arguments that God will cease to exist, and the life of the believer will come to an end if aionian doesn't mean eternal.

Matthew 25:46 - 'Aionian' or 'Eternal'
http://www.savior-of-all.com/aionian.html

CWH
06-19-2010, 07:13 AM
That statement is absolutely false. And you should know this because it has been explained a number of times. Every person who is ever saved is saved BECAUSE OF Christ's sacrifice - no one is saved any other way. It doesn't matter if God saves only 10% through the cross, or 50%, or 90% or 99.9999% or 100% - every person who is ever saved is saved BECAUSE OF Christ's sacrifice - no one is saved any other way.

The Sacrifice of Christ tells us how people are saved, not how many people are saved.

All the very best,

Richard

What is there to be saved? As universalists (which I believe many preterists are) say that everyone ultimately will be saved, it doesn't matter how many percentage of people will be saved by the cross. It doesn't matter if Jesus died on the cross or not as ultimately everyone will be saved.

Many Blessings.

Richard Amiel McGough
06-19-2010, 08:36 AM
It doesn't matter if Jesus died on the cross or not as ultimately everyone will be saved.

Many Blessings.
Hey there Cheow,

I'm sorry, but your comment is obviously false. If Jesus did not die on the cross, then no one could be saved.

Anyone who get's saved, get's saved because of the cross of Christ. That is how people get saved. It says absolutely nothing about how many people get saved.

All the very best,

Richard

CWH
06-19-2010, 09:02 AM
Hey there Cheow,

I'm sorry, but your comment is obviously false. If Jesus did not die on the cross, then no one could be saved.

Anyone who get's saved, get's saved because of the cross of Christ. That is how people get saved. It says absolutely nothing about how many people get saved.

All the very best,

Richard

Are you an universalist Richard? Do you believed that everyone will be ultimately saved? or are you saying that if Christ did not die on the cross then nobody will ultimately be saved. How about those who were born way before jesus died on the cross, were they saved? I am asking this question as I want to dig deeper into the understanding of universalism.

Many Blessings.

Rose
06-19-2010, 09:11 AM
What is there to be saved? As universalists (which I believe many preterists are) say that everyone ultimately will be saved, it doesn't matter how many percentage of people will be saved by the cross. It doesn't matter if Jesus died on the cross or not as ultimately everyone will be saved.

Many Blessings.

Hi Cheow,

I don't understand why some folks have such a problem with universal salvation..:confused: It's like if people don't come to Christ in the same manner as they did, or before they leave this fleshly body, then one can't be saved. So many rules, so many restrictions....come on folks lighten up! :winking0071:

Christ gave His life so ALL could be saved, so if God says ALL can be saved....then ALL can be saved. What's the problem folks...all things are possible with God.

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
06-19-2010, 09:14 AM
Are you an universalist Richard? Do you believed that everyone will be ultimately saved? or are you saying that if Christ did not die on the cross then nobody will ultimately be saved. How about those who were born way before jesus died on the cross, were they saved? I am asking this question as I want to dig deeper into the understanding of universalism.

Many Blessings.
Yes, I am a Universalist. I believe that all creation will be reconciled to God through Christ, as it is written:
2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
It is God's Will to save everyone through Christ:
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Christ gave himself for ALL, not "some." That's why he is the savior of the whole world, not just a few:
1 Timothy 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 11 These things command and teach.
He took away the "sins of the world" - not just the sins of a few:
1 John 2:2 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Folks are free to dispute this doctrine, but they are not free to deny that there are many Scriptures that support it.

Folks who did not hear the Gospel in this life are saved just like anyone else after they die. What do you believe happens to folks who lived before Christ? Do you think God torments them forever in hell for being born to soon?

All the very best,

Richard

CWH
06-19-2010, 10:23 AM
Hi Cheow,

I don't understand why some folks have such a problem with universal salvation..:confused: It's like if people don't come to Christ in the same manner as they did, or before they leave this fleshly body, then one can't be saved. So many rules, so many restrictions....come on folks lighten up! :winking0071:

Christ gave His life so ALL could be saved, so if God says ALL can be saved....then ALL can be saved. What's the problem folks...all things are possible with God.

Rose

Not so simple Rose,

How do you explain this:

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

27Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?"

28Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother[f] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

If there is universalism, and when the disciples asked Jesus,"who can be saved?" I would expect the answer from Jesus as "It's ok, ultimately everyone will be saved". But Jesus did not said that, instead He said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." meaning it is impossible for man to saved himself and enter into the kingdom of heaven by his own effort except through God. And Peter replied by saying, "Look, you said it is impossible to enter the kingdom of heaven and be saved through our own effort right? But look, we have given up everything to follow you, are you saying we gave up everything to follow you in vain?". Jesus replied that what they gave up to follow him will be rewarded many times and be given eternal life during the resurrection.

Many Blessings.

Richard Amiel McGough
06-19-2010, 10:46 AM
If there is universalism, and when the disciples asked Jesus,"who can be saved?" I would expect the answer from Jesus as "It's ok, ultimately everyone will be saved". But Jesus did not said that, instead He said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." meaning it is impossible for man to saved himself and enter into the kingdom of heaven by his own effort except through God. And Peter replied by saying, "Look, you said it is impossible to enter the kingdom of heaven and be saved through our own effort right? But look, we have given up everything to follow you, are you saying we gave up everything to follow you in vain?". Jesus replied that what they gave up to follow him will be rewarded many times and be given eternal life during the resurrection.

Many Blessings.
The words "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" contain the answer. God is able to save all people! You believe he will save only some people. But with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, including the salvation of sinners.

So what do you believe? That some sinners are better than other sinners, so God saves them and throws the rest of the "really bad" sinners to hell forever?

Are you better than the people God is going to punish forever?

All the very best,

Richard

CWH
06-19-2010, 11:19 AM
The words "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" contain the answer. God is able to save all people! You believe he will save only some people. But with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, including the salvation of sinners.

So what do you believe? That some sinners are better than other sinners, so God saves them and throws the rest of the "really bad" sinners to hell forever?

Are you better than the people God is going to punish forever?

All the very best,

Richard


Are you better than the people God is going to punish forever?

When did I give the impression that I am better than the people God.....? Hope this is not a sarcastic remark. I am not this type of person.

Where in that verse "all things are possible with God" means the salvation of all sinners? What it simply means is that what is impossible for man to enter into the kingdom of heaven by his efforts is possible with God's efforts; nothing is impossible with God.

Many Blessings.

alec cotton
06-19-2010, 11:25 AM
The Bible is the only standard that is acceptable to me . In it there is abundant evidence to demonstrate that after death there is horrendous suffering to be avoided. It is made plain that there are degrees of penalty for wrongdoing in the body. It is also made crystal clear that there are levels of reward for (good) deeds done in this life. If anyone has the wit or the wisdom to show me the error in this assumption then I will be a much sadder but a wiser man.
Alec

Richard Amiel McGough
06-19-2010, 11:29 AM
The Bible is the only standard that is acceptable to me . In it there is abundant evidence to demonstrate that after death there is horrendous suffering to be avoided. It is made plain that there are degrees of penalty for wrongdoing in the body. It is also made crystal clear that there are levels of reward for (good) deeds done in this life. If anyone has the wit or the wisdom to show me the error in this assumption then I will be a much sadder but a wiser man.
Alec
I agree completely that there is "horrendous suffering to be avoided" in the afterlife. I believe that God judges all. I just don't believe that God will successfully redeem some sinners and fail to redeem others whom he will torment for all eternity. Why would God supernaturally keep sinners alive just so he could punish them?

Richard Amiel McGough
06-19-2010, 11:42 AM
Are you better than the people God is going to punish forever?
When did I give the impression that I am better than the people God.....? Hope this is not a sarcastic remark. I am not this type of person.

No - it was not sarcastic. It was a genuine question designed to help you see that all sinners are in exactly the same situation. No one can "save themselves." With men it is impossible. But with God, ALL THINGS are possible! He is able to save every sinner if he so desires.



Where in that verse "all things are possible with God" means the salvation of all sinners? What it simply means is that what is impossible for man to enter into the kingdom of heaven by his efforts is possible with God's efforts; nothing is impossible with God.

Many Blessings.

The question was "Who then can be saved?"

The answer was that humans are powerless, but nothing is impossible with God. Therefore, God is ABLE to save everyone if that is his will. The only question that remains is "Is it God's will that all be saved?" The Bible explicitly declares YES!
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will [thelo] have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
The word "will" in "will have all men to be saved" is thelo, which also is the word that appears twice in this passage:
Matthew 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt [thelo], thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will [thelo]; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
The Calvinist solution to this dilemma is to declare that God has two wills - a "decretal will" and a "hidden will." The "decretal will" is exemplified in the Ten Commandments. E.g. God commands that we do no murder. But obviously, it is God's hidden will to allow men murder if that is their heart's desire, or there would be no murder since God could stop it by using his omnipotent will. Personally, I think there are problems with the Two Wills doctrine (and Calvinism in general).

Richard

Rose
06-19-2010, 11:44 AM
If All people don't eventually get saved, could someone please explain these verses to me....or is God contradicting Himself?
.
1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 4:9-11 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.


John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 17:2 As thou hast given him (Jesus) power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

1 John 2:22 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Rom.11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Rose

CWH
06-19-2010, 05:33 PM
If All people don't eventually get saved, could someone please explain these verses to me....or is God contradicting Himself?
.
1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 4:9-11 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.


John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 17:2 As thou hast given him (Jesus) power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

1 John 2:22 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Rom.11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Rose

I think some of the issues lie in the word "might"(in bold red). If I did an operation so that I might save a person's life does not mean my operation done on that person will definitely saved that person's life. Other words included in the same category are shall, should, will ( in bold red).

1) If there is universalism, Jesus would have said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and ultimately everyone will find it.

Instead Jesus said, (Matthew 7)
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

2) If there is universalism, Jesus would have said,"25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all man will be saved."

Instead Jesus said, (Matthew 10)"25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." meaning only God can save man if He wills, man cannot save himself by his own efforts.

Many Blessings.

Rose
06-19-2010, 10:16 PM
I think some of the issues lie in the word "might"(in bold red). If I did an operation so that I might save a person's life does not mean my operation done on that person will definitely saved that person's life. Other words included in the same category are shall, should, will ( in bold red).

1) If there is universalism, Jesus would have said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and ultimately everyone will find it.

Instead Jesus said, (Matthew 7)
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

2) If there is universalism, Jesus would have said,"25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all man will be saved."

Instead Jesus said, (Matthew 10)"25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." meaning only God can save man if He wills, man cannot save himself by his own efforts.

Many Blessings.

It appears my friend that you are bound and determined that God is not going to have Mercy upon ALL. I can't for the life of me understand why you would want to "nit pick" at words to try and make them appear to be saying something other than "salvation for all", but if that is what you want to believe I am not going to try and talk you out of it....:p

Rose

EndtimesDeut32/70AD
06-19-2010, 11:07 PM
If All people don't eventually get saved, could someone please explain these verses to me....or is God contradicting Himself?
.
1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 4:9-11 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.


John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 17:2 As thou hast given him (Jesus) power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

1 John 2:22 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Rom.11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Rose
This is a nice collection of verses that when added together may seem to support 'universalism'. But I would have thought a little higher of your methods and that you should have stayed away from making doctrines from layered verses without taking note of the contexts of the times. That is the poor hermeneutic that has led to so much of the dispensational perspectives. It is after good inductive study and contextual understanding and interpretation that we can begin to formulate opinions that must then be checked against other truths and understandings before BEGINNING to formulate a 'doctrine' for ones individual life. This is formulating a belief or doctrine and then aligning verses taken out of their contexts to attempt to support said doctrine. I think that is worse than Eisegesis. This is emphasising the literal and logistic words above it's contextual meanings of which Richard recently mentioned the dangers and problems.

I think the use of the word all in many if not every one of these instances is a contrast against any special race such as the jews. Romans 11 is especially evident of this fact. Remember they were coming out of the mosaic covenant which was to the Israelite people. But the Gospel had been preached to Abraham saying.... Through you will ALL nations of the earth be blessed. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob were of the nation/race area of Syria. But salvation againt the law of sin/death through forgiveness of sin would not be only to the Syrians or the later jews but to individuals in all nations/races.

Paul goes on to say what kind of blessing he had in mind when he said that "blessed is the man to whom is not imputed sin" and 'blessed is he who's sins are forgiven and not counted against him. This Gospel and blessing harkens back to the imputation of sin against the law of sin/death from the Garden. Thus, the emphasis is that justification by faith and through being drawn by God is available to all persons under Adam (and of any people of the various races and nations that developed after Noah) through the second Adam. Australian aborigones etc, etc, are not excluded from the Everlasting Gospel of the Creator and the Promise of eternal life and the Holy Spirit. Daniel 7 uses the words 'all peoples, tounges, nations. The same is in Revelation.

BUT, these verses do NOT go agains other verses and doctrines which negate the universalist perspective, no matter how much we would wish for those perspectives to be true. For those who recieved Him, he gave the power to become children of God, even to those who believed on his Name (character of a Good God and a Good Creation). "All who call upon the name (Character of a Good God and Good Creation) will be saved.

These verses of universalist support are found wanting and lacking. Do you have some others?

The first Tim 4 passage does not seem to fall into the meaning of 'all kinds or races' of people. When I read that verse I think of the teachign of the disciples and us being the 'salt' of the earth and without it the earth and continuation of life cannot be preserved (saved). Thus it is through those who believe in the Living God/Creator come to earth that the earth is preserved (saved). The word 'salvation' does not always mean soteriological rebirth by the Spirit of Christ against the law of sin/death. As in Isaiah 59 which Paul quotes in Romans 11, the Salvation mentioned there was going to be the deliverence from oppression and unjust judicial and govornmental system by Christ through the controlling of the Roman armies. All judea and the rest of the area (world) was going to be delivered and saved from the goals of judaism/humanism/atheism.

Reading the chapter of my sig name would indicate that those who became the idolotrous group, sacrificing to gods that were not God were utterly destroyed and had an unfavorable end and latter end.

In order for 'universalism' to be true there would have to be the universal salvation of ever soul in history past, present and future, with 'eternal life then referring to a method of self improvement by becoming 'born again' and children of God.

BUT, the primary soteriological concept of 'salvation' or being 'saved' is being saved and "RE-BORN to a restored one to one relationship and purposefull life of Glorifying the Good Father/Son/Holy Spirit/Creator. John 3:16-18 and vs 36 indicate that the world of natural birth in Adam and those individuals without the rebirth are 'condemned' due to being without the rebirth of being justified by faith against the law of sin/death through the covenant of Mercy. (Edenic)
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Vs 36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

I agree that these are not always simple issues BUT I don't think that our walk with Christ Always insists that we must have every angle 'doctrinalized' so that we can debate and compartmentalize scriptures. Sometimes there is a re-formulation of perspectives that we've previously had as we are taught by the Spirit.

I vote:
Unitarian....many ways yes.

Universalist....no.

Clifford
06-20-2010, 06:01 AM
Yes, I am a Universalist. I believe that all creation will be reconciled to God through Christ, as it is written:
2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
It is God's Will to save everyone through Christ:
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Christ gave himself for ALL, not "some." That's why he is the savior of the whole world, not just a few:
1 Timothy 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 11 These things command and teach.
He took away the "sins of the world" - not just the sins of a few:
1 John 2:2 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Folks are free to dispute this doctrine, but they are not free to deny that there are many Scriptures that support it.

Folks who did not hear the Gospel in this life are saved just like anyone else after they die. What do you believe happens to folks who lived before Christ? Do you think God torments them forever in hell for being born to soon?

All the very best,

Richard

Hi Richard,

All those verses you quoted above just say it is God's will that all men be saved and Christ has provided salvation for all men. It is just saying God has done His part. However, since we are free moral agents and God has given us the freedom to make our own choices whether they are good or bad it is still up to each individual to receive the salvation that God has provided. God is not going to force his will on anyone. God will let us lie or steal for example even though it is not his will. In the same way God is not going to force anyone to receive His salvation, even though that is His will. God's righteousness is not automatically imputed to us but is received by faith, which is the part we play.


It is God's Will to save everyone through Christ:

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.


God's will is not always done as can be seen in our present world.


Christ gave himself for ALL, not "some." That's why he is the savior of the whole world, not just a few:

1 Timothy 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 11 These things command and teach.

It is just saying that Christ has provided salvation for all men, but it is still up to each person to receive that salvation by faith. God will not force it on a person.


He took away the "sins of the world" - not just the sins of a few:

1 John 2:2 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

He provided salvation for the whole world, but that salvation is not automatically imputed to every person. Each person must receive that salvation by making that choice.

Clifford

Rose
06-20-2010, 09:45 AM
This is a nice collection of verses that when added together may seem to support 'universalism'. But I would have thought a little higher of your methods and that you should have stayed away from making doctrines from layered verses without taking note of the contexts of the times. That is the poor hermeneutic that has led to so much of the dispensational perspectives. It is after good inductive study and contextual understanding and interpretation that we can begin to formulate opinions that must then be checked against other truths and understandings before BEGINNING to formulate a 'doctrine' for ones individual life. This is formulating a belief or doctrine and then aligning verses taken out of their contexts to attempt to support said doctrine. I think that is worse than Eisegesis. This is emphasising the literal and logistic words above it's contextual meanings of which Richard recently mentioned the dangers and problems.

I think the use of the word all in many if not every one of these instances is a contrast against any special race such as the jews. Romans 11 is especially evident of this fact. Remember they were coming out of the mosaic covenant which was to the Israelite people. But the Gospel had been preached to Abraham saying.... Through you will ALL nations of the earth be blessed. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob were of the nation/race area of Syria. But salvation againt the law of sin/death through forgiveness of sin would not be only to the Syrians or the later jews but to individuals in all nations/races.

Paul goes on to say what kind of blessing he had in mind when he said that "blessed is the man to whom is not imputed sin" and 'blessed is he who's sins are forgiven and not counted against him. This Gospel and blessing harkens back to the imputation of sin against the law of sin/death from the Garden. Thus, the emphasis is that justification by faith and through being drawn by God is available to all persons under Adam (and of any people of the various races and nations that developed after Noah) through the second Adam. Australian aborigones etc, etc, are not excluded from the Everlasting Gospel of the Creator and the Promise of eternal life and the Holy Spirit. Daniel 7 uses the words 'all peoples, tounges, nations. The same is in Revelation.

BUT, these verses do NOT go agains other verses and doctrines which negate the universalist perspective, no matter how much we would wish for those perspectives to be true. For those who recieved Him, he gave the power to become children of God, even to those who believed on his Name (character of a Good God and a Good Creation). "All who call upon the name (Character of a Good God and Good Creation) will be saved.

These verses of universalist support are found wanting and lacking. Do you have some others?

The first Tim 4 passage does not seem to fall into the meaning of 'all kinds or races' of people. When I read that verse I think of the teachign of the disciples and us being the 'salt' of the earth and without it the earth and continuation of life cannot be preserved (saved). Thus it is through those who believe in the Living God/Creator come to earth that the earth is preserved (saved). The word 'salvation' does not always mean soteriological rebirth by the Spirit of Christ against the law of sin/death. As in Isaiah 59 which Paul quotes in Romans 11, the Salvation mentioned there was going to be the deliverence from oppression and unjust judicial and govornmental system by Christ through the controlling of the Roman armies. All judea and the rest of the area (world) was going to be delivered and saved from the goals of judaism/humanism/atheism.

Reading the chapter of my sig name would indicate that those who became the idolotrous group, sacrificing to gods that were not God were utterly destroyed and had an unfavorable end and latter end.

In order for 'universalism' to be true there would have to be the universal salvation of ever soul in history past, present and future, with 'eternal life then referring to a method of self improvement by becoming 'born again' and children of God.

BUT, the primary soteriological concept of 'salvation' or being 'saved' is being saved and "RE-BORN to a restored one to one relationship and purposefull life of Glorifying the Good Father/Son/Holy Spirit/Creator. John 3:16-18 and vs 36 indicate that the world of natural birth in Adam and those individuals without the rebirth are 'condemned' due to being without the rebirth of being justified by faith against the law of sin/death through the covenant of Mercy. (Edenic)
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Vs 36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

I agree that these are not always simple issues BUT I don't think that our walk with Christ Always insists that we must have every angle 'doctrinalized' so that we can debate and compartmentalize scriptures. Sometimes there is a re-formulation of perspectives that we've previously had as we are taught by the Spirit.

I vote:
Unitarian....many ways yes.

Universalist....no.

Hey Endtimes,

I'm surprised at your respond to my example of a few of the many verses that directly point to eventual salvation for all, given the fact that you continually point people in the direction of Deut.32.

I think it is much less complicated than looking to a particular hermeneutic...it pretty much boils down to either everyone has an opportunity at some point in their existence (in this life or beyond) to make a decision from an informed conscientiousness, or they don't. Otherwise our fate depends on being born at the right time and place to hear the Gospel and then to be able to understand what is being taught by a competent preacher. Is our destiny in the hands of random chance? I hope not!

As you said in your post, the purpose of salvation is to restore mankind to a relationship of communion with God, and I believe that God will not be satisfied until every last soul is restored to Him. Even if there were only one verse in the entire Bible that implied God's Mercy is poured out upon ALL....that would be enough for me! If it is within God's power to bring all of mankind back into unity with Himself - it will be so.

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
06-20-2010, 10:11 AM
Hi Richard,

All those verses you quoted above just say it is God's will that all men be saved and Christ has provided salvation for all men. It is just saying God has done His part. However, since we are free moral agents and God has given us the freedom to make our own choices whether they are good or bad it is still up to each individual to receive the salvation that God has provided. God is not going to force his will on anyone. God will let us lie or steal for example even though it is not his will. In the same way God is not going to force anyone to receive His salvation, even though that is His will. God's righteousness is not automatically imputed to us but is received by faith, which is the part we play.

Good morning Clifford,

Glad you found some time to chat. :yo:

I agree that those verses can legitimately be interpreted to mean only that "Christ has provided salvation for all men." Alternatively, they could mean that God actually wills the salvation of all people. It is the interpreters choice.

But your argument that "God is not going to force his will on anyone" seem obviously false to me. We see God forcing his will on people throughout the Bible. Did Adam and Eve leave the garden of their own free will, or did God kick them out forcefully? And did not God forcefully impose his will upon the entire population of the planet when he drowned them in the flood? And when God confused the languages at Babel, was that not an act of his will? And when God thew the false prophet into the Lake of Fire, did he not impose his will upon him? From beginning to end, the Bible presents God as imposing his will upon people. How could we forget the famous verse: WHO HAS RESISTED HIS WILL? Rom 9:19

I do not see how the idea that "God is not going to force anyone to receive His salvation" relates to this question. No one is suggesting that God is going to have to "force" people to receive his goodness! I do not understand why everyone seems to couch this question in these terms. Did God "force" you to believe in him? Or did his Spirit work in your heart to soften it and to turn you towards repentance? There has never been any "force" in salvation, so there is no reason to introduce the idea when we say that God will successfully save all. He does not use force, he uses his wisdom and his omniscience, and his patience and his love. He wins souls. He does not "force" you, me, or anyone to be saved.



It is just saying that Christ has provided salvation for all men, but it is still up to each person to receive that salvation by faith. God will not force it on a person.

Again, no force - God calls, God works within the soul to bring every man to repentance because that is his true desire. He gave us freedom because we are made in his image. But with freedom comes danger, so God saves us from the consequences of the freedom he gave us because he is a loving God. He's not like an insanely abusive parent who places poisoned candy before his child and says "Don't eat that or you'll die" and then leaves the kid alone and sends in the devil to tempt the kid to eat the candy! Surely, there is more to the story than that!



He provided salvation for the whole world, but that salvation is not automatically imputed to every person. Each person must receive that salvation by making that choice.

Clifford
Again, no one is suggesting an "automatic imputation." Everyone will be saved the same way you and I were. Christ was preached, we were convicted of our sin, and we repented, and believed the Gospel! That's the only way anyone is ever saved. There is no "automatic" anything in the idea of Christian Universalism. It has always been understood as the long and slow outworking of what Christ accomplished on the Cross.

Great chatting,

Richard

EndtimesDeut32/70AD
06-20-2010, 11:33 AM
Hey Endtimes,

I'm surprised at your respond to my example of a few of the many verses that directly point to eventual salvation for all, given the fact that you continually point people in the direction of Deut.32.

Rose

The hermeneutic that arrives as this deduction using the verses you presented is held in question and opposed and thus the deduced 'doctrine' is also held in question. They do not point ot eventual salvation for all. The word 'all' is often used in contrast against 'salvation' for only individuals of the Jews of the mosaic covenant or religious people. The 'salvation' is available for 'all' kinds, classes, races, nationalities, education levels, etc of people. There is a difference between the word 'all' and 'every'.

As for having the 'right' preacher. Paul says in Romans 1 that the Creation itself (including the image of God formed in man) testifies to the glory, character and attributes of the Creator.....so that they are without excuse.

Rom 1:18-21ff

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not the gospel of the Religion of churchianity or even 'christianity' but the everlasting Gospel of the CREATOR whom Jesus was in flesh. God can draw poeple to call upon His name using only the Creation, but often times the observance of that Creation and the created ability of man to communicate through spoken and written word will draw a seeking soul to the written/spoken and then the Living WORD of God. (It did me)

Not sure how the pointing people to Deut 32 as the latter end of the mosaic covenant as administered through the minds of the leaders of 70 AD's national Israel's enemies (Deut 32:42) relates to or is an antithesis of this perspective.

Hebrews says that it is appointed for a man once to die and then the 'judgment', thus I don't think there is reconciliation afterwards at least not according to that verse. A person also lives in the present tense 'judgments' (and freedoms) of his accountability to God for his soul even before the end of his/her life.

I sense that you may be well grounded in this perspective for now and this discussion could lead to much debate (even heated) of opinion and pulling verses out of contextual and intended meanings rather than foundational truths from both sides of the issues.
Just as you left others to their beliefs, unless we look at the contextual understandings and intended meanings of the verses in question, I'll not participate in such discussions or 'heated' debates but would defer to the teaching and ministry of the Holy Spirit to clear up any erroneous perspectives that either one of the sides may have. That being said; there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus and many of us are working through thoughts and perpectives about things.

I know Richard and others on this forum have criticized the tendency to accumulate a group of verses that are removed or twisted from their contextual and intended meanings to support one's perspective. Such as the support for dispensationalism or bodily resurrection and that is what I see being done here. The scriptures and words are twisted or pulled from their contextual and time/socialogical settings, understandings and intended meanings to support a doctrine that is not being talked about in those sections or at that time period. Remember, Paul wrote letters of support and education to the churches he had visited. He was not neccessrily writing doctrinal thesis statements to be disected and reworded 2000 yrs later. That is the method of the talmudic rabbi's who gave us dispensationalism. Inductive study through the submissive guidance of the Holy Spirit is needed to determine if any of these verses you mentioned refer AT ALL to a universalist perspective.

Again, Romans 11 is the perfect example. Paul was saying that all types, nations, and classes of individual people Including jews were concluded in unbelief and condemned so that God might not have favorite races but have mercy to individuals in all types, classes, nations through belief.

For as ye (the believing reader, primarily of the nations) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their (the jews) unbelief: Even so have these (remaining jews primarily before the desolation) also now not believed, that through your mercy they (those elect to recieve as known from previous context) also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all (all people including national israelites) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all (nations of people INCLUDING national Israelites) (not every individual) God was not holding special universal salvation for the unbelieving israelites just due to their ancestry. But the national jews were all being individually held in unbelief and condemned in Adam. He has concluded all races, nations, peoples in unbelief/sin, so that he might not have a favored race, but have mercy available to individuals in all races, nations, peoples through belief in Christ against the law of sin/death/judgment. Note again John 3:17,18,36
Note the jealousy factor of the unbelieving Israelites being made 'jealous' of the Spirits indwelling and hopefully being provoked unto belief in Deut 32:29 which Paul quotes in Rom 10:19.

If Paul was teaching univerasal salvation why would his heart be heavy and he himself wish that he were crucified (cut off) for the sake of those of his 'bretheren'.? Why would he refer to a remnant being 'saved'... etc.. etc.

This has nothing to do with "all persons" being 'saved' but that the jews were all also individually concluded in unbelief/sin under Adam and had no special privaledge or relationship with God due to being a jew of the mosaic covenant so that he might have mercy made available on an individual level on ALL levels of persons under Adam (not just under Abraham or Moses). This again puts judgment on the peoples of the mosaic covenant ...(the administration of death) as Richard and I were talking about in the other thread.

Richard Amiel McGough
06-20-2010, 12:02 PM
Remember, Paul wrote letters of support and education to the churches he had visited. He was not writing doctrinal thesis statements to be disected and reworded 2000 yrs later. That is the method of the talmudic rabbi's who gave us dispensationalism. Inductive study through the submissive guidance of the Holy Spirit is needed to determine if any of these verses you mentioned refer AT ALL to a universalist perspective.
Well stated. :thumb:

I think that an "inductive study through the submissive guidance of the Holy Spirit" gives solid reason to think the verses from 1 Timothy should be understood in a universalist sense.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
I am familiar with the anti-universalist arguments such as "all" means "all types" and I admit that as a possibility so I do not believe that this is an indisputable "proof text." But it does give good evidence for the universalist understanding.

And for that matter, I don't think "proof texting" will yield a proper understanding of Scripture anyway. We need to perceive the "Big Picture" - and that picture is based on the revealed nature of God which is utterly and completely inconsistent with the concept of Eternal Conscious Torment of his creatures. Therefore, we know that concept simply can not be true any more than a triangle could have four corners. It contradicts God's self-revelation.

Richard

Rose
06-20-2010, 12:14 PM
Again, Romans 11 is the perfect example. Paul was contrasting the salvation going out to and being recieved by individuals in 'all nations' after having been first recieved by many in Israel but still being rejected by some others.

For as ye (the believing reader, primarily of the nations) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their (the jews)unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they (those elect to recieve as known from previous context) also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all (all people including national israelites) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all (nations of people INCLUDING national Israelites) (not every individual) God was not holding special universal salvation for the unbelieving israelites just due to their ancestry. But the national jews were all being held in unbelief and condemned in Adam. He has concluded all races, nations, peoples in unbelief/sin, so that he might not have a favored race, but have mercy available to individuals in all races, nations, peoples through belief in Christ against the law of sin/death/judgment. Note again John 3:17,18,36
Note the jealousy factor of the unbelieving Israelites being made 'jealous' of the Spirits indwelling and hopefully being provoked unto belief in Deut 32:29 which Paul quotes in Rom 10:19.

This has nothing to do with "all persons" being 'saved' but that the jews were all individually concluded in unbelief/sin under Adam and had no special privaledge or relationship with God due to being a jew of the mosaic covenant so that he might have mercy made available on an individual level on ALL levels of persons under Adam (not just under Abraham or Moses). This again puts judgment on the peoples of the mosaic covenant ...(the administration of death) as Richard and I were talking about in the other thread.

Hi Endtimes,

I'll try to present my point as clearly and concisely as possible. The reason I quoted the verses I did was to show the intent I feel God is defining for us in Scripture. It is God's will that all people be reconciled to Him - so if it be God's will then it will come to pass in due time - whether it be in this life or in that which is to come.

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
06-20-2010, 12:28 PM
Hi Endtimes,

I'll try to present my point as clearly and concisely as possible. The reason I quoted the verses I did was to show the intent I feel God is defining for us in Scripture. It is God's will that all people be reconciled to Him - so if it be God's will then it will come to pass in due time - whether it be in this life or in that which is to come.

Rose
If the Gospel glorifies God because it reconciles the world to God in a way that he can remain just while justifying sinners, then the eternal existence of the unreconciled in hell would be a great blemish on his glory!

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
I think once it is understood that God reconciled all the world to himself when the Savior of all the World took away all the sins of all the world, the universalist position will become self-evident.

Richard

Rose
06-20-2010, 01:01 PM
If the Gospel glorifies God because it reconciles the world to God in a way that he can remain just while justifying sinners, then the eternal existence of the unreconciled in hell would be a great blemish on his glory!
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
I think once it is understood that God reconciled all the world to himself when the Savior of all the World took away all the sins of all the world, the universalist position will become self-evident.

Richard

Very well stated my dear....:clap2:
The will of God is abundantly clear, and that is that all men be reconciled to Him....that is why He sent His Son.
Eph.1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,...11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Rose

EndtimesDeut32/70AD
06-20-2010, 01:20 PM
[QUOTE=RAM;22052]Well stated. :thumb:

I think that an "inductive study through the submissive guidance of the Holy Spirit" gives solid reason to think the verses from 1 Timothy should be understood in a universalist sense.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Your not doing 'inductive study" but inducting the 3 or 4 verses from their chapters context, subject and intended scope. Paul or whover penned for him was a composer of letters that can be used for teaching grammatical construction. The chapter and the book have a subject and a topic. The paragraphs usually have introductory and summary sentences or phrases.

Your removing these verses from the context of their book, their chapter, subject, topic, scope and so forth.
Here is one perspective.
http://www.intervarsity.org/bible-studies/inductive-bible-study-hints

What is the subject of the book and the chapter.
What is 'good and aceptable in the sight of God? (from verse 2)
Why is it good and acceptable? (the use of the word 'For' in vs 3.
How does this fit with the rest of the chapter including the adornment of women?
What is he really saying and encouraging them to do and to be like and WhY?
Isn't he encouraging them to live in harmony and Peace and be a testimony to the harmony both in nature and especially in their Spirit? Isn't he saying that the temple of God is those believers lives and they need not and should not adorn themselves to be pleasing to others or to attempt to put a facade of attraction upon that which is already attractive by Peace and radiance (from the inner change, not nature).

Could the second part of vs 6 have any relevance to the upcoming desolation and judgment upon judea?

Could the use of he word 'will' be more understood as 'intends' or desires to offer through their testimony and that their testimony/behavior could effect others. It is defined as "would" or intends and reflects of his intention for others to come to mercy through the Peace reflected in those under Timothy's charge.

inductive study is that which continues to ask questions of the text. It discovers for example that the Priests would have a saying of "All Israel shall be saved" to which they would then add sins and behavior which would exclude one from being 'saved'. And then it considers if that discovery weighs in on Pauls usage of 'all Israel" in either Romans 9 or 11.
And for that matter, I don't think "proof texting" will yield a proper understanding of Scripture anyway. We need to perceive the "Big Picture" - and that picture is based on the revealed nature of God which is utterly and completely inconsistent with the concept of Eternal Conscious Torment of his creatures. Therefore, we know that concept simply can not be true any more than a triangle could have four corners. It contradicts God's self-revelation.
If a person chooses rebellion and unfaith in the Creator/designer and his mercy and seeks to go his/her own way in selfish rebellion/hate/unbelief or in self justification or self righteousness in light of the testimony and harmony of the creation, they have chosen their own path. And I'm not sure I know what I think concerning a few of these issues BUT they are not proven or expressed by the proof texts that your choosing. Your hermeneutics are ATROCIOUS on this issue as if you've turned a willfull eye and your not dealing with them. And where do you understand the 'revealed nature' of God apart from both the written and Liviing WORD. And I dont' know where I am with respect to "Eternal conscious torment" or anihilation/end, thus no comment, but neither do I judge or condemn others to such judgment due to behavior, etc.

Again, It seems that your well rooted in this doctrine and I expect further discusion to be fruitless at this time. As Rose stated to others, we'll leave each other to believe what they do at this time.:yo:

EndtimesDeut32/70AD
06-20-2010, 01:37 PM
Hi Endtimes,

I'll try to present my point as clearly and concisely as possible. The reason I quoted the verses I did was to show the intent I feel God is defining for us in Scripture. It is God's will that all people be reconciled to Him - so if it be God's will then it will come to pass in due time - whether it be in this life or in that which is to come.

Rose
I fully understand that is your perspective, but you've mistaken the meaning of those verses by taking them from their contextual meanings and subscribing them and their literal (not literary) words to your statements. You may believe as you wish, but this is the method of cults (and religionists and dispensationalists:eek:) Also missing is the clarification, refinement, hedge and boundaries provided by contrasting statements and teachings. :yo:

Bye for now.

Rose
06-20-2010, 02:18 PM
I fully understand that is your perspective, but you've mistaken the meaning of those verses by taking them from their contextual meanings and subscribing them and their literal (not literary) words to your statements. You may believe as you wish, but this is the method of cults (and religionists and dispensationalists:eek:) Also missing is the clarification, refinement, hedge and boundaries provided by contrasting statements and teachings. :yo:

Bye for now.

Well my friend, I think you are way out of line in comparing the perspective from which I am viewing Scripture to that of the method of cults...:eek: It's one thing to disagree, and quite another to strike a low blow. :nono: Let's keep our conversations civil.

My viewing Scripture from the "Big Picture" is totally in keeping with proper hermeneutical methods. The simplest and clearest understanding of the Bible as a whole is that of God's plan of reconciling the world to Himself, through His Son, Jesus Christ.


Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
06-20-2010, 07:47 PM
I think that an "inductive study through the submissive guidance of the Holy Spirit" gives solid reason to think the verses from 1 Timothy should be understood in a universalist sense.1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Your not doing 'inductive study" but inducting the 3 or 4 verses from their chapters context, subject and intended scope. Paul or whover penned for him was a composer of letters that can be used for teaching grammatical construction. The chapter and the book have a subject and a topic. The paragraphs usually have introductory and summary sentences or phrases.

Hey there ETD32,

I'm glad you feel free to speak freely! I will honor you by doing the same. :winking0071:

You said "Your not doing inductive study ..." - to which I am compelled to reply DOUBLE DUH DUDE! - the fact that I did nothing but quote those verses makes it pretty clear that I was not "doing an inductive study." I merely stated my opinion that an inductive study of that passage would support the universalist doctrine.

I think a careful study of that passage and it's context could be helpful and interesting. I will answer your specific questions at that time.



inductive study is that which continues to ask questions of the text. It discovers for example that the Priests would have a saying of "All Israel shall be saved" to which they would then add sins and behavior which would exclude one from being 'saved'. And then it considers if that discovery weighs in on Pauls usage of 'all Israel" in either Romans 9 or 11.

I agree completely that all those things must be discussed to come to a full and correct understanding.



If a person chooses rebellion and unfaith in the Creator/designer and his mercy and seeks to go his/her own way in selfish rebellion/hate/unbelief or in self justification or self righteousness in light of the testimony and harmony of the creation, they have chosen their own path.

Most people do not "choose" rebellion and unfaith - they are born absolutely IGNORANT of any religious dogma, and most conform to whatever religion they were born. Historically, most people died in complete ignorance of the Christian Gospel. The "testimony of creation" does not move them one inch towards understanding the truths of the Gospel that can be known only through special revelation. Romans 1 specifically condemned THOSE WHO KNEW GOD - it has nothing to do with those who began by not knowing God. Those people are dealt with in Romans 2 where Paul explained that they lived or died by conscience since they did not have the Law.



And I'm not sure I know what I think concerning a few of these issues BUT they are not proven or expressed by the proof texts that your choosing. Your hermeneutics are ATROCIOUS on this issue as if you've turned a willfull eye and your not dealing with them. And where do you understand the 'revealed nature' of God apart from both the written and Liviing WORD. And I dont' know where I am with respect to "Eternal conscious torment" or anihilation/end, thus no comment, but neither do I judge or condemn others to such judgment due to behavior, etc.

I also am not sure about a lot of these issues. So much of our opinions have been forced upon us by tradition. Most folks have not been able to think for themselves.

Your assertion that my "hermeneutics are ATROCIOUS on this issue" is a bit premature given that we have not discussed it in any depth as yet.

You ask "where do you understand the 'revealed nature' of God apart from both the written and Liviing WORD." My answer is every man's answer - I use my GOD GIVEN MIND. Folks who claim to base their teachings only on the Bible are making an outrageously false claim. Any attempt to interpret the Bible is based upon logic and intuition and personal experience and personal history and knowledge and ignorance and everything else that defines a person. To suggest it is based only "on the Bible" completely fails to match depth of reality.



Again, It seems that your well rooted in this doctrine and I expect further discusion to be fruitless at this time. As Rose stated to others, we'll leave each other to believe what they do at this time.:yo:

I see no reason to think that conversation would be fruitless at this time. I'm happy to leave you to believe whatever it is that you believe, but I would be even happier to discuss it further.

All the very best,

Richard

kathryn
06-21-2010, 04:28 AM
May I ask ED32 where he finds his understanding in the Law? The Law is an expression of God's nature, will and purpose and answers the question of universal salvation/redemption quite clearly.
If you study the Law of Jubilee and the Law of redemption, you'll soon see that the law demands that Jesus Christ as our kinsman redeemer, redeem all that was lost in Adam. The only relevant question is whether or not Jesus Christ really did this or not. The blood has never lost its power, nor did Jesus fail in any point of law to do all that the Father asked of Him. The law was fully satisfied.
After Jesus was resurrected and appeared to his disciples, he said in Luk. 24:44 "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
The problem is, we study the prophets and the psalms, but its been my experience (and I include myself in this) that we don't give the same consideration to the law. Within it, this very basic issue is resolved quite clearly.

EndtimesDeut32/70AD
06-21-2010, 05:10 AM
[QUOTE=RAM;22060]Hey there ETD32,


You said "Your not doing inductive study ..." - to which I am compelled to reply DOUBLE DUH DUDE! - the fact that I did nothing but quote those verses makes it pretty clear that I was not "doing an inductive study." I merely stated my opinion that an inductive study of that passage would support the universalist doctrine.

I think a careful study of that passage and it's context could be helpful and interesting. I will answer your specific questions at that time. Those types of questions are just the tip of the process of inductive interpretation even before doing word definitions and their various possibilities. Inductive study pounds the text with questions to determine the authors original intent. How does this perspective fit and flow with the previous and following chapter and the book? Thus in order to do an inductive study of those 4 verses, one must view their possible intended meanings and inclusion in light of all the surrounding information.


Most people do not "choose" rebellion and unfaith - they are born absolutely IGNORANT of any religious dogma, and most conform to whatever religion they were born. Historically, most people died in complete ignorance of the Christian Gospel. The "testimony of creation" does not move them one inch towards understanding the truths of the Gospel that can be known only through special revelation. Romans 1 specifically condemned THOSE WHO KNEW GOD - it has nothing to do with those who began by not knowing God. Those people are dealt with in Romans 2 where Paul explained that they lived or died by conscience since they did not have the Law.
We disagree with a few points in this section, but it's not the point of the topic of the post. The "Gospel" is not the "Christian Gospel" of a 'religion' but the Everlasting Gospel of the Creator of Life and the Creation...come in flesh!! to eradicate the law of sin/death to those who recieve. The 'religious' influence of moral law and code from the commandments do not give freedom of LIFE and mutual respect or love for others lives. These were some of the points made by Paul in Romans which we opened in the other thread.


Your assertion that my "hermeneutics are ATROCIOUS on this issue" is a bit premature given that we have not discussed it in any depth as yet.

I see no reason to think that conversation would be fruitless at this time. I'm happy to leave you to believe whatever it is that you believe, but I would be even happier to discuss it further.

All the very best,

Richard

I think there is room here to do an inductive study or at least to answer the questions I posed.:thumb: But an inductive study cannot be done on 3 or 4 verses. An inductive study seeks to determine the intentions of the author and to let the text speak for themeselves. Even from just the immediate surrounding context I come to a different intention of the 3 or 4 verses than what you say that they mean.

Clifford
06-21-2010, 05:59 AM
If Universalism is true than the statement Jesus made to the Pharisees that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven would be false since a person must have his sins forgiven to be saved.

Matthew 12:31-32 'So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

Another statement Jesus made seems to contradict Universalism.

Luke 13:1-5: 1 About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 2 'Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?' Jesus asked. 'Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. 4 And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.'

Jesus said unless they repented they would perish. If they were eventually all going to be reconciled to God He would not have said they would perish. To me perish means death or the end of something.

In John 8:24 Jesus makes a similar statement.

Jesus continued, 'You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.'

If God was going to offer them opportunities after death to be reconciled why would it matter if they died in their sins? Jesus was giving them a solemn warning about dying in their sins for a reason.

Clifford

CWH
06-21-2010, 06:55 AM
Great post Clifford :congrats:

I would like to add a few more passages to support that universalism is false:

1) "For many are called, but few are chosen," (Matt. 22:14).

2)"And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. 23And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, 24"Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25"Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26"Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers,'" (Luke 13:22-27).

3)And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28for the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly," (Rom. 9:27).

Many Blessings.

Richard Amiel McGough
06-21-2010, 11:37 AM
Great post Clifford :congrats:

I would like to add a few more passages to support that universalism is false:

1) "For many are called, but few are chosen," (Matt. 22:14).


Many are chosen for what, Cheow? Individual salvation (going to heaven and avoiding hell forever), or participation in the Kingdom of Heaven? I get the impression that you identify the "Kingdom of heaven" with "heaven" as the place where believers go after they die. Is that view justified? Here is the full context of the passage you quoted:
Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven [this is speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven] is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city [what does this symbolize?]. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find [that's everybody], bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 ¶ And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
What is the sentence "Many are called but few are chosen" talking about? To understand this, we need to understand the meaning of the entire parable. It sounds to me that the "marriage of the Kings' Son" is the same thing we read about in Revelation 19, especially since it also speaks of the destruction of the rebellious city (which, by the way, coheres with the interpretation of Mystery Babylon as apostate Jerusalem).

Those "called" were first century Jews who were warned of the destruction soon to come upon Jerusalem. This teaching saturates the NT. It begins with the preaching of John the Baptist:
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Jesus Christ also called the apostate Jews a "generation of vipers" when he proclaimed the judgment that would soon come upon them in 70 AD:
Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Note particularly that this passage is in the immediate context of Matthew 22:14, the verse that you suggested had something to do with the eternal destiny of individual souls. I think the context makes it clear that Christ was warning first century sinning Jews about the fate that would befall them in this world if they did not repent and believe the Gospel. Their eternal destiny is not mentioned in these passages. There is no reason God could not throw them in the fire to burn up their sins while saving their souls, as it is written:
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Paul taught something similar a couple chapters later in the same book:
1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
It is not our place to judge the eternal destiny of any soul. We must discern when God's Word is focusing on judgments that he poured out on people and nations in this world (e.g. idolaters (Exo 32:27), Miriam (Num 12:10), Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, Jerusalem, etc.). We know, of course, that Scripture speaks of our hope for life beyond this world, but it is not at all clear that the "many are called and few are chosen" is speaking of that. In general, I get the impression that "the elect" refers to the first century Christians that were chosen by God to establish his church. In other words, he chose people for a purpose, not for salvation per se. This has been on my mind for some time. We should discuss it.

All the very best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
06-21-2010, 11:42 AM
3)And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28for the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly," (Rom. 9:27).

That prophesy was fulfilled in the first century when God saved the believing remnant of Israel and brought judgment down upon those who rejected him in the day of visitation. The context shows it is talking about the salvation of the remnant of believing Jews and the inclusion of believing Gentiles:

Romans 9:27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. 28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth." 29 And as Isaiah said before: "Unless the LORD of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah." 30 ¶ What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
It does not say that the unbelievers (whether Jews or Gentiles) would be consigned to a never-ending hell of conscious torment.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
06-21-2010, 11:53 AM
If Universalism is true than the statement Jesus made to the Pharisees that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven would be false since a person must have his sins forgiven to be saved.

Matthew 12:31-32 “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

Another statement Jesus made seems to contradict Universalism.

The problem with this example is that the passage itself is ambiguous. What is the "sin against the Holy Spirit" and why would God arbitrarily choose never to forgive this particular sin? The typical explanation is that it is the sin of attributing Christ's miracles to the devil, and it can not be forgiven because a person who believes that Christ is the devil would never go to him for forgiveness. I do not find this explanation satisfying. It feels like a nit-picky technical word game explanation - not organically connected with reality which is vitally important if we are going to use it to understand why God would consign some of his creatures to eternal everlasting never-ending PAIN SORROW EVIL DARK DAMNATION! I don't think we are appreciating the depth of EVIL involved in the doctrine of hell. To understand it, we need only imagine that we are locked securely in a coffin, buried a mile under the earth with absolutely no hope of ever escaping. The sides of the coffin are so hot your flesh is sizzling. Absolute darkness. No hope. The coffin is filled with black beetles that crawl over your skin taking bites of flesh that God miraculously grows back so you can suffer like this forever. This goes on forever and ever. YOU REALLY NEED TO CLOSE YOUR EYES AND IMAGINE THIS AS TRUE!!! They never stop feasting on your flesh. Your screams are unheard. You are absolutely isolated in PAINFUL DARKNESS for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever - Oh how you pray for death! But God will not give you that mercy. He hates you with an everlasting hatred. And he is all-powerful, so he can make you suffer forever and ever! You will suffer in outer darkness utterly alone and in agonizing pain for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever ....

We really need to look closely at the implications of this doctrine. We need to own the doctrine as if we ourselves were suffering under the ETERNAL DAMNATION OF ALMIGHTY GOD!!!

Until we are able to actively imagine the infinite evil of the doctrine of hell, it is ludicrous to discuss it as an interesting exercise in abstract theology.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
06-21-2010, 12:07 PM
Here's a thought - the Jew in hell looks longingly back for the sweet days in Auschwitz when his suffering under Hitler was nothing compared to his suffering under the Lord God Almighty!

That is the Doctrine of Hell in a nutshell.

EndtimesDeut32/70AD
06-21-2010, 12:55 PM
Gal 6:10; As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Pas (ALL)
1) individually
a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything

2) collectively
a) some of all types


"... 'The whole world is gone after him.' Did all the world go after Christ? 'Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.' Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? 'Ye are of God, little children', and 'the whole world lieth in the wicked one.' Does 'the whole world' there mean everybody? If so, how was it, then, that there were some who were 'of God?' The words 'world' and 'all' are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture; and it is very rarely that 'all' means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts—some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted his redemption to either Jew or Gentile." (Charles H. Spurgeon, Particular Redemption, A Sermon, 28 Feb 1858).


I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men;

1Ti 2:2 For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Even though he states "all men" in verse 1, it seems obvious that the particular subject is Kings and those in authority AND so that they may lead a quiet and peacable life......honesty


1Ti 2:3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

WHAT is good and acceptable in the sight of the Savior? Prayer for all (types) of men (including Kings) and the calling and changing of hearts of Kings that they might be saved.. etc. ?? Or leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty?? Prayer for their administrations to provide for the christians to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty??? All of the above..???


1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1Ti 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Isn't Paul saying that individual Kings and rulers are not excluded from the need of being re-born NOR are they to be despised (as evidence from the words "without wrath or doubt" vs 8); and also that neither are they a Mediator or Lord between God and man. see vs 5. God is neither Prejudiced against, nor a respector of titles/persons with regards to the reality of all status of individual men coming short of the Glory of God and needing to be rectified/redeemed to that reality. It is Gods will who created them in His image that they not be excluded from being thought worthy or needy of being reborn in a Spirit/Father relationship.

Even those who would have been oppressive kings? ESPECIALLY those who would have been oppressive kings?? :rolleyes:

KIngs, and others in authority, such as even Priests, religious leaders, are not the mediator or diseminator of "Gods will" between God and individual men. The everlasting covenant of mercy/spiritual life and rebirth is administered by the Spirit/Father individually, internally, not corporally.


1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Are kings and others men in authority outside of the need or possibility of the ransom and freedom of Christ.?

In 1 Tim 2, could the inclusion of the word "all" in the context of talking about prayer for KINGS indicate that they (KINGS), political figures and other even possiby rulers were not to be an excluded class from particular/individual belief/faith/redemption in the Creator. They were not to be despised and cast off. Would the political, religious and civil atmoshpere of the Roman empire, where paganism, greek mythology and ceasar deification were administered by some kings and rulers have consideration with the context of this section?

How would Christ being the Mediator over Kings and those in authority AND his being given as a ransom for all (including Kings, etc) be testified in due time.?? (Implying the then near future) Could this "testified in due time" refer to the upcoming use of the "heads of the leaders of the enemies" (Deut 42:32) to accomplish the desolation and end of the oppressive, inferior mosaic covenant and the freeing of the saints from Judea, and thus from other oppressive kingdoms? Could he have been planning an open display showing that HE (Christ/God) is KING of Kings and Lord of Lords, so evident from the fact that the favor of the God of Israel, the ALMIGHTY was given to the saints of Peace and the son of Man (Dan 7) as they escaped to Pella and flourished?

Titus REFUSED to wear the victory wreath in the Victory Parade through Rome after the desolation.... saying "there is no honor in a battle won when an enemies own God has turned against them. Is the Kingdom of God of individuals reborn now and perpetually the dominant kingdom upon the earth And respected by govornments and kings on an individual/associated level?

As in other instances the use of the word "all" does not seem to imply EVERY SINGLE individual, but rather is used to include types or classes of people which could have a tendency to be considered excluded. The context of the topics usually reveal the class or type that might be thought to be excluded. In this case the words ALL seem to intend for the original reader to specifically 'INCLUDE" kings and rulers" as in need of and some to recieve redemption AS well as the need for prayers that God might instruct them to administer their 'kingdoms' and rulerships to permit the living of a a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. It is the 'will of God' that this class of men also be included (and not excluded) in the invitation and recieving of the gospel of the God who created all men. I think of Cyrus who was raised up for the very purpose of making the decree for the captives of Babylon to be permitted to return to the 'promised' land. When he discovered that even his name was prophesied before he was born and that he was prophesied to administer this decree, he believed in the God of Heaven.

This is a quick beginnings of an 'inductive study" and is not intended or able to answer other questions about Hell/eteranal damnation, definitions of 'Salvation', born again, etc etc.. This does not 'disprove' universalism, but to me it shows that these words and verses cannot be used to support the doctrine because Paul is not talking of every single individual man but of all classes, types, status, races, etc. He's talking of definition 2 from the 2 definitio of Pas. The 3 or 4 verses cannot be taken out of their context to attempt to make them say something that they did not mean in their original context and to their original audience. Again, that is the method of hermeneutics which leads to false theology.

Kings and rulers in authority who may even have had oppressive or ungodly/inhumane administrations were not to be counted outside of the possibility of redemption/adoption as sons and it appears that it was God's will that the Spirit would find some of those in that class of people through the prayers, testimony and mercy of those in the 'kingdom'.

This makes one wonder and want to research the particular political and religious/civil atmosphere in the city where Timothy was located and what the word 'king' would be similar to today.

Since I dont' have alot to add beyond this, I'll perhaps only watch your response to this. I think I've stated my perspective I have at this time considering what I thought/think was the twisting and misuse of the word 'all' to attempt to support universalism. Aparently Spurgeon (for one) understood things similarly.

Enlightened
06-21-2010, 01:25 PM
Although I am not a believer in eternal torment, nor do I believe in a Hell other than the grave, but we cannot ignore the fact that the book of Revelation doesn't give us any proof of reconciliation.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Those not found in the book and were judged as evil, according to their works, were cast into the LOF. There is no reconciliation seen here, nor are we shown anywhere in the scriptures of anyone ever escaping the LOF after being cast in.

This isn't eternal torment, but it is final.

Rose
06-21-2010, 04:58 PM
Although I am not a believer in eternal torment, nor do I believe in a Hell other than the grave, but we cannot ignore the fact that the book of Revelation doesn't give us any proof of reconciliation.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Those not found in the book and were judged as evil, according to their works, were cast into the LOF. There is no reconciliation seen here, nor are we shown anywhere in the scriptures of anyone ever escaping the LOF after being cast in.

This isn't eternal torment, but it is final.

Hi Enlightened,

I believe the book of Revelation is the document that records the final days of the demise of the Old Covenant system.

The second death is the annihilation of the Old Heaven and Earth; it fled from before the face of God and was found no more. As Peter tells us, the Old Heaven and Earth (Old Covenant system of the Law) was cast into the Lake of Fire, dissolving with a fervent heat.
2Pet.3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
That system is gone....in its place is the New Heaven and Earth (New Covenant brought in by Christ), with the body of believers being the New Jerusalem. Those who have not entered in through the gates of the New Jerusalem still abide in sin, but the Old Covenant system has been annihilated - it no longer remains.


Rose

Enlightened
06-27-2010, 10:38 AM
Hi Enlightened,

I believe the book of Revelation is the document that records the final days of the demise of the Old Covenant system.

The second death is the annihilation of the Old Heaven and Earth; it fled from before the face of God and was found no more. As Peter tells us, the Old Heaven and Earth (Old Covenant system of the Law) was cast into the Lake of Fire, dissolving with a fervent heat.
2Pet.3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
That system is gone....in its place is the New Heaven and Earth (New Covenant brought in by Christ), with the body of believers being the New Jerusalem. Those who have not entered in through the gates of the New Jerusalem still abide in sin, but the Old Covenant system has been annihilated - it no longer remains.


I understand the removal of the old covenant, but if that judgement was a one time deal, and not a continuing process today (destruction of the wicked) then what does the bible teach about those that die (physically) in the new covenant and are judged? If these verses do not explain that, then what does?

Rose
06-27-2010, 03:04 PM
I understand the removal of the old covenant, but if that judgement was a one time deal, and not a continuing process today (destruction of the wicked) then what does the bible teach about those that die (physically) in the new covenant and are judged? If these verses do not explain that, then what does?

I think the judgments of Rev.20 when the old heavens and earth flee from before the face of God are specifically pertaining to the time of the Old Covenant system passing away and then in Rev.21 there is the New Heaven and Earth coming in.

On the other hand, the judgment that each person experiences after death is what I think Paul was referring to in these verses.
Rom.14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

2Cor.5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Heb.9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:


Rose

Clifford
06-27-2010, 08:47 PM
The problem with this example is that the passage itself is ambiguous. What is the "sin against the Holy Spirit" and why would God arbitrarily choose never to forgive this particular sin? The typical explanation is that it is the sin of attributing Christ's miracles to the devil, and it can not be forgiven because a person who believes that Christ is the devil would never go to him for forgiveness. I do not find this explanation satisfying. It feels like a nit-picky technical word game explanation - not organically connected with reality which is vitally important if we are going to use it to understand why God would consign some of his creatures to eternal everlasting never-ending PAIN SORROW EVIL DARK DAMNATION! I don't think we are appreciating the depth of EVIL involved in the doctrine of hell. To understand it, we need only imagine that we are locked securely in a coffin, buried a mile under the earth with absolutely no hope of ever escaping. The sides of the coffin are so hot your flesh is sizzling. Absolute darkness. No hope. The coffin is filled with black beetles that crawl over your skin taking bites of flesh that God miraculously grows back so you can suffer like this forever. This goes on forever and ever. YOU REALLY NEED TO CLOSE YOUR EYES AND IMAGINE THIS AS TRUE!!! They never stop feasting on your flesh. Your screams are unheard. You are absolutely isolated in PAINFUL DARKNESS for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever - Oh how you pray for death! But God will not give you that mercy. He hates you with an everlasting hatred. And he is all-powerful, so he can make you suffer forever and ever! You will suffer in outer darkness utterly alone and in agonizing pain for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever ....

We really need to look closely at the implications of this doctrine. We need to own the doctrine as if we ourselves were suffering under the ETERNAL DAMNATION OF ALMIGHTY GOD!!!

Until we are able to actively imagine the infinite evil of the doctrine of hell, it is ludicrous to discuss it as an interesting exercise in abstract theology.

Richard

Hi Richard,


The problem with this example is that the passage itself is ambiguous. What is the "sin against the Holy Spirit" and why would God arbitrarily choose never to forgive this particular sin?

I don't think it matters whether we know what the sin against the Holy Spirit is. The point I was making was Jesus said there was a sin that could not be forgiven in this world or the world to come. From the context of the passage it was evident that the Pharisees who were attributing the works of the Spirit of God to the Devil were guilty of this sin. Therefore if a person commits this sin he/she will not be forgiven and thus can never be reconciled to God.

The explanation that I think makes the most sense of why God cannot forgive this sin is that those people who saw the works that Jesus was doing through the Spirit of God and attributed it to the Devil had to have had such hard hearts and seared consciences that they were beyond the point of being drawn to repentance, thus that sin could not be forgiven.

The rest of your post about how horrible Hell is does nothing to disprove the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell. All of our doctrines have to be based on what the Bible says not on an emotional appeal.

People say how can a loving God send people to an eternal Hell. God allows people to make their own choices in this life and some people have chosen to reject God because of rebellion or sin or various other reasons. God is just honoring their choices. Our choices in this life have consequences not only in this life but for eternity. That was what Jesus was talking about when He said store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven and if you give a cup of cold water to the least of his childern you will not lose your reward. That is showing our choices and actions in this life has repercussions not only now but after we pass from this life. There are just certain things in this life we do not understand about why God does or allows certain things because we only see a partial picture of life while God sees the whole picture.

For example, there are some people who see all the suffering and evil in the world and from that conclude that a loving God would not permit such evil so they reason that God is not loving or does not exist.

There a quite a few scriptures that speak about Hell, many of them spoken by Jesus Himself. You can try to explain them away by saying they are metaphoric or allegorical because they do not fit your particular doctrine. Even if they are metaphorical or allegorical that would not disprove the doctrine of Hell. Many times allegories are used in literature to convey a truth, much like Jesus used parables to convey truth.

Enjoying our discussions,

Clifford

Rose
06-28-2010, 07:59 AM
Hi Richard,



I don't think it matters whether we know what the sin against the Holy Spirit is. The point I was making was Jesus said there was a sin that could not be forgiven in this world or the world to come. From the context of the passage it was evident that the Pharisees who were attributing the works of the Spirit of God to the Devil were guilty of this sin. Therefore if a person commits this sin he/she will not be forgiven and thus can never be reconciled to God.

The explanation that I think makes the most sense of why God cannot forgive this sin is that those people who saw the works that Jesus was doing through the Spirit of God and attributed it to the Devil had to have had such hard hearts and seared consciences that they were beyond the point of being drawn to repentance, thus that sin could not be forgiven.

The rest of your post about how horrible Hell is does nothing to disprove the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell. All of our doctrines have to be based on what the Bible says not on an emotional appeal.

People say how can a loving God send people to an eternal Hell. God allows people to make their own choices in this life and some people have chosen to reject God because of rebellion or sin or various other reasons. God is just honoring their choices. Our choices in this life have consequences not only in this life but for eternity. That was what Jesus was talking about when He said store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven and if you give a cup of cold water to the least of his childern you will not lose your reward. That is showing our choices and actions in this life has repercussions not only now but after we pass from this life. There are just certain things in this life we do not understand about why God does or allows certain things because we only see a partial picture of life while God sees the whole picture.

For example, there are some people who see all the suffering and evil in the world and from that conclude that a loving God would not permit such evil so they reason that God is not loving or does not exist.

There a quite a few scriptures that speak about Hell, many of them spoken by Jesus Himself. You can try to explain them away by saying they are metaphoric or allegorical because they do not fit your particular doctrine. Even if they are metaphorical or allegorical that would not disprove the doctrine of Hell. Many times allegories are used in literature to convey a truth, much like Jesus used parables to convey truth.

Enjoying our discussions,

Clifford

Hi Clifford,

I'm going to jump in here and give my 2 cents worth...:p

To my understanding it make no sense to say that:

"God allows people to make their own choices in this life and some people have chosen to reject God because of rebellion or sin or various other reasons. God is just honoring their choices. Our choices in this life have consequences not only in this life but for eternity."

When we as naive humans have no real basis for making an eternal choice. How can a man decide his own eternal destiny when he can't even fully understand the Bible (that's why there are so many doctrines, everyone has there own interpretation). It's like asking a 5 year old to make choices on which University he is going to attend....if he tells you anything it will probably be "I hate school and I don't want to go".:p

Everyone has their own particular doctrine about hell, whether it be because of how they were raised in the church or because of some other reason....we all interpret Scripture from our own viewpoint - and where do we get our viewpoints from? Life's experiences.

When we attempt to interpret Scripture it must be from the perspective of who was being spoken to, the circumstances, and the time period of the event. When Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of His day about forgiveness He was addressing specific issues concerning those who were under the law of the Old Covenant. They knew what he was speaking of in the context of their religion which they were taught in - it is far different to apply those consequences to someone outside of that context...even though the truth contained in the account may apply for all time.

Rose

Clifford
07-02-2010, 07:49 PM
Hi Clifford,

I'm going to jump in here and give my 2 cents worth...:p

To my understanding it make no sense to say that:

"God allows people to make their own choices in this life and some people have chosen to reject God because of rebellion or sin or various other reasons. God is just honoring their choices. Our choices in this life have consequences not only in this life but for eternity."

When we as naive humans have no real basis for making an eternal choice. How can a man decide his own eternal destiny when he can't even fully understand the Bible (that's why there are so many doctrines, everyone has there own interpretation). It's like asking a 5 year old to make choices on which University he is going to attend....if he tells you anything it will probably be "I hate school and I don't want to go".:p

Everyone has their own particular doctrine about hell, whether it be because of how they were raised in the church or because of some other reason....we all interpret Scripture from our own viewpoint - and where do we get our viewpoints from? Life's experiences.

When we attempt to interpret Scripture it must be from the perspective of who was being spoken to, the circumstances, and the time period of the event. When Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of His day about forgiveness He was addressing specific issues concerning those who were under the law of the Old Covenant. They knew what he was speaking of in the context of their religion which they were taught in - it is far different to apply those consequences to someone outside of that context...even though the truth contained in the account may apply for all time.

Rose

Hi Rose,


When we as naive humans have no real basis for making an eternal choice. How can a man decide his own eternal destiny when he can't even fully understand the Bible (that's why there are so many doctrines, everyone has there own interpretation). It's like asking a 5 year old to make choices on which University he is going to attend....if he tells you anything it will probably be "I hate school and I don't want to go".:p

If people are not responsible for the choices they make as you say, then how can God,

judge everyone according to what they have done. (Rom 2:6)

Then it goes on to say,

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
(Rom 2:7-9)

That sounds like God is going to reward people according to the choices they have made.

Again the Bible says;

And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. (Rev 20:12-13)

That says clearly God will hold people accountable for the choices they have made.

Now you might say that some people did not know God's law so they could not be held accountable. But the scripture has an answer for that.

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. (Rom 2:14-15)


When we attempt to interpret Scripture it must be from the perspective of who was being spoken to, the circumstances, and the time period of the event. When Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of His day about forgiveness He was addressing specific issues concerning those who were under the law of the Old Covenant. They knew what he was speaking of in the context of their religion which they were taught in - it is far different to apply those consequences to someone outside of that context...even though the truth contained in the account may apply for all time.

Truth transcends time and can be applied for all time and all peoples. For example, the Ten Commandments were spoken to a particular group of people but those truths are relevant for all time.

The truth is that God will hold each person accountable for the choices they have made in this life. If they reject the Gospel that is an eternal choice they are making whether they realize it or not.

Clifford

Rose
07-02-2010, 10:03 PM
Hi Rose,



If people are not responsible for the choices they make as you say, then how can God,

judge everyone according to what they have done. (Rom 2:6)

Then it goes on to say,

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
(Rom 2:7-9)

That sounds like God is going to reward people according to the choices they have made.

Again the Bible says;

And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. (Rev 20:12-13)

That says clearly God will hold people accountable for the choices they have made.

Now you might say that some people did not know God's law so they could not be held accountable. But the scripture has an answer for that.

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. (Rom 2:14-15)



Truth transcends time and can be applied for all time and all peoples. For example, the Ten Commandments were spoken to a particular group of people but those truths are relevant for all time.

The truth is that God will hold each person accountable for the choices they have made in this life. If they reject the Gospel that is an eternal choice they are making whether they realize it or not.

Clifford

Hi Clifford,

It is one thing to be held accountable for the choices we make according to the knowledge we have, and quite another to be judged for not accepting a particular faith.

No one would dream of holding a 3 year old accountable for shooting his brother with a gun he picked up that was laying around, because he doesn't have the knowledge to know what he's doing. I think the same holds true for many folks who have been presented with a version of the Gospel that they can't accept or understand....it seems like there is a different formula for salvation with every church denomination, so it has to go beyond a simple "yea" or "nay". We are held accountable for the choices we make from the knowledge we have.

Yes, Truth transcends time and is eternal, but first one must understand what that Truth is. Think of all the people who have lived since Christ came in the 1st century who have never heard the Gospel in any shape or form....how will they be judged? I would say according to choices they made from their hearts. God has given us all a conscience that leads us to Him.


Rose

joel
07-03-2010, 05:02 AM
......Yes, Truth transcends time and is eternal, but first one must understand what that Truth is. Think of all the people who have lived since Christ came in the 1st century who have never heard the Gospel in any shape or form....how will they be judged? I would say according to choices they made from their hearts. God has given us all a conscience that leads us to Him.


All are under sin.

The blood of Christ covers the sins of any who seek its shelter.

Any who do not whether they heard and didn't listen, or, never heard......
are not availed of the shelter....and will be subject to the wrath of God when they are judged......in that the law written in the hearts served as a tutor to Christ just as the written law served that same purpose.

But the law served another purpose......there was increase of the offenses that both magnified the stubborness of man's heart, and.........gave a sufficient background for the revelation of God's grace.

Joel

CWH
07-03-2010, 07:29 AM
All are under sin.

The blood of Christ covers the sins of any who seek its shelter.

Any who do not whether they heard and didn't listen, or, never heard......
are not availed of the shelter....and will be subject to the wrath of God when they are judged......in that the law written in the hearts served as a tutor to Christ just as the written law served that same purpose.

But the law served another purpose......there was increase of the offenses that both magnified the stubborness of man's heart, and.........gave a sufficient background for the revelation of God's grace.

Joel

Good point joel,

Yes, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If all of us has sinned regardless of whether we have heard the gospel or not, then we are all destined to hell. What saved us is the forgiveness of God and this is through love of God through faith and good works. And for those who have heard of the gospel, then the more God expects us to have more faith and good works. I believe God out of His kindness, do give us a second chance in which all people do have another chance to hear the gospel and that is after the 1,000 years are over and then Satan will be out to "test" those who are faithful and good resulting in the second death and then comes the judgement to judge those according to what they have done. And those who have done nothing good and faithful during the second chance according to the record book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire:

Revelation 20:The Thousand Years
1And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

Satan's Doom
7When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Dead Are Judged
11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Many Blessings.

Rose
07-03-2010, 09:30 AM
All are under sin.

The blood of Christ covers the sins of any who seek its shelter.

Any who do not whether they heard and didn't listen, or, never heard......
are not availed of the shelter....and will be subject to the wrath of God when they are judged......in that the law written in the hearts served as a tutor to Christ just as the written law served that same purpose.

But the law served another purpose......there was increase of the offenses that both magnified the stubborness of man's heart, and.........gave a sufficient background for the revelation of God's grace.

Joel

It cannot be so!

Our God, Creator of the universe, long-suffering, and full of compassion and mercy.....

would not subject His creations to His wrath, when He alone chose the time and place of their birth....

and consequently whether or not they would hear the Gospel.

Why would God stoop down to act in the ways of man?

Pouring out anger on the innocent....

who by His own design are ignorant of salvation.

For who of their own accord would choose by default to go to Hell - when Heaven waits at the door?

Rose

Rose
07-03-2010, 09:43 AM
Good point joel,

Yes, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If all of us has sinned regardless of whether we have heard the gospel or not, then we are all destined to hell. What saved us is the forgiveness of God and this is through love of God through faith and good works. And for those who have heard of the gospel, then the more God expects us to have more faith and good works. I believe God out of His kindness, do give us a second chance in which all people do have another chance to hear the gospel and that is after the 1,000 years are over and then Satan will be out to "test" those who are faithful and good resulting in the second death and then comes the judgement to judge those according to what they have done. And those who have done nothing good and faithful during the second chance according to the record book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire:

Revelation 20:The Thousand Years
1And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

Satan's Doom
7When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Dead Are Judged
11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Many Blessings.

Hi Cheow,

I'm glad you are at least open to the possibility of a "second chance" to hear the Gospel, but I am still amazed at the hardness of both yours and Joel's response.

The words you speak of God sending people to hell for not professing a prescribed doctrine seems to flow so easily from your tongues. It's like you don't comprehend the magnitude of what you are saying.

Can you for a moment imagine sending your small child off to eternal punishment, where you would never see him again, simply because he didn't profess a prescribe doctrine to you which he had never even heard.

That sounds crazy right? Well that's exactly what you and Joel are saying.


Rose

joel
07-03-2010, 01:35 PM
Can you for a moment imagine sending your small child off to eternal punishment, where you would never see him again, simply because he didn't profess a prescribe doctrine to you which he had never even heard.



No....I cannot.

I did not say that God's wrath was eternal.

Where do think I said that? If that is what you thought I said, please let me know where I said that....and what I said.

I believe the scripture clearly teaches that all are under sin, subject to the wrath of God.

I have never said that the wrath is ever on-going, never abated, never satisfied, never ending.

That is what others may believe.....but not me.

It is aionion. It lasts for a period of time and when it has done its myterious work, it will come to an end. Death will be abolished. Sin will be overthrown in a finality that began in the victory of Christ.

Love will last. Light will prevail.
Hate and darkness will fail.
Sin and death last for the times aonian.
The victory of Christ lies beyond them.

Joel

Clifford
07-03-2010, 02:41 PM
It cannot be so!

Our God, Creator of the universe, long-suffering, and full of compassion and mercy.....

would not subject His creations to His wrath, when He alone chose the time and place of their birth....

and consequently whether or not they would hear the Gospel.

Why would God stoop down to act in the ways of man?

Pouring out anger on the innocent....

who by His own design are ignorant of salvation.

For who of their own accord would choose by default to go to Hell - when Heaven waits at the door?

Rose

Hi Rose,

The Bible says otherwise.

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. (Rom 2:5-11)

Did you read that? He will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.


Pouring out anger on the innocent....

who by His own design are ignorant of salvation.

The Bible does not support that statement. In Romans 1:18-20 it says:

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

They have no excuse for not knowing God because creation testifies to His existence and will draw people to Him if they so desire.

Clifford

CWH
07-03-2010, 05:53 PM
Hi Cheow,

I'm glad you are at least open to the possibility of a "second chance" to hear the Gospel, but I am still amazed at the hardness of both yours and Joel's response.

The words you speak of God sending people to hell for not professing a prescribed doctrine seems to flow so easily from your tongues. It's like you don't comprehend the magnitude of what you are saying.

Can you for a moment imagine sending your small child off to eternal punishment, where you would never see him again, simply because he didn't profess a prescribe doctrine to you which he had never even heard.

That sounds crazy right? Well that's exactly what you and Joel are saying.


Rose

HI Rose,

Yes, I am open to the possibility of a second chance but this is just an assumption which is not confirmative.

I have given the example of the potter and the clay. God is the potter and we are the clay. The potter has the right to make us in whatever shape he wants and he has the right to shatters us if we, the clay that is used is not of good quality or the pots that he made were sub-standard. Why would a potter keep all those sub-standard clay and pots in his storeroom which he cannot use or sell?....might as well destroy those pots and used the clay to make good and better pots.

Yes as parents we do love our children and want the best for them but if you have a very defective child sometimes you would rather that child of yours not be born into this world in the first place. You know that very defective child of yours is going to suffer and perhaps get humiliated and you as a parent will feel depress and also suffer to see the child of yours growing in such a sorry state. I believe that when God destroy His incorrigible, wicked, "very defective" children, he will feel sad as well. What good is keeping all these incorrigle, wicked, "very defective" children forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever?

BTW, what is the lake of fire for if it is never going to be used at all if everybody ultimately goes to heaven? It's like saying what the use of building the gallows when no criminal is going to be hang at all and ultimately all will be pardoned?

Many Blessings.

Rose
07-03-2010, 07:11 PM
HI Rose,

Yes, I am open to the possibility of a second chance but this is just an assumption which is not confirmative.

I have given the example of the potter and the clay. God is the potter and we are the clay. The potter has the right to make us in whatever shape he wants and he has the right to shatters us if we, the clay that is used is not of good quality or the pots that he made were sub-standard. Why would a potter keep all those sub-standard clay and pots in his storeroom which he cannot use or sell?....might as well destroy those pots and used the clay to make good and better pots.

Yes as parents we do love our children and want the best for them but if you have a very defective child sometimes you would rather that child of yours not be born into this world in the first place. You know that very defective child of yours is going to suffer and perhaps get humiliated and you as a parent will feel depress and also suffer to see the child of yours growing in such a sorry state. I believe that when God destroy His incorrigible, wicked, "very defective" children, he will feel sad as well. What good is keeping all these incorrigle, wicked, "very defective" children forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever?

BTW, what is the lake of fire for if it is never going to be used at all if everybody ultimately goes to heaven? It's like saying what the use of building the gallows when no criminal is going to be hang at all and ultimately all will be pardoned?

Many Blessings.
Hey Cheow,

First off, we can't compare ourselves to God the "Potter". God is not like us humans who make defective pots because our workmanship is flawed....God is perfect and he can make every pot into a good one, useful for His purpose.

The LOF is a figurative place, that is used to describe what happens to the works of our lives that are made of wood, hay, and stubble.


Rose

Rose
07-03-2010, 07:42 PM
No....I cannot.

I did not say that God's wrath was eternal.

Where do think I said that? If that is what you thought I said, please let me know where I said that....and what I said.

I believe the scripture clearly teaches that all are under sin, subject to the wrath of God.

I have never said that the wrath is ever on-going, never abated, never satisfied, never ending.

That is what others may believe.....but not me.

It is aionion. It lasts for a period of time and when it has done its myterious work, it will come to an end. Death will be abolished. Sin will be overthrown in a finality that began in the victory of Christ.

Love will last. Light will prevail.
Hate and darkness will fail.
Sin and death last for the times aonian.
The victory of Christ lies beyond them.

Joel

Any amount of torment is too much!

I think many Christians give God a "bad rap" making Him out to be a God who pours out His wrath on His creations simply because of how He made them.

The God I believe in is the one who Jesus portrayed on earth when he spoke of the Good Samaritan...

And the one who would go the extra mile to help a brother....or forgive his brother 7 X 77.

The one who would leave the 99 to find the 1...

And the one who would turn the other cheek at an offense....all the while praying for his enemies.

That is the God I believe in...:pray:

Rose

Rose
07-03-2010, 08:12 PM
Hi Rose,

The Bible says otherwise.

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. (Rom 2:5-11)

Did you read that? He will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.

It's funny how so many Christians are quick to point out the verses containing Gods wrath which were spoken to specific people who were doing acts of wickedness, but forget about the many places especially in the parables where Jesus speaks over and over again of the long-suffering of God and how He is not willing that any should perish.

The way I see God portrayed by Christ, is of a God who is willing to go the extra mile and seek out all who are lost. A God rich in compassion and mercy and one who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Peace, Love, and everlasting Kindness are all names given to the God I believe in.

If I am to follow the example set by Jesus, can I expect any less of God, who tells me to love my enemies and forgive those who offend me?


The Bible does not support that statement. In Romans 1:18-20 it says:

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

They have no excuse for not knowing God because creation testifies to His existence and will draw people to Him if they so desire.

Clifford

So, did the American Indian know God? They worshiped creation and called its creator Mother Earth. I believe they did - they just called God by a different name, but it was still the Creator of heaven and earth. I believe any heart that seeks after its Creator will find Him.


Rose

Clifford
07-04-2010, 03:36 PM
I would like to get back to the original title of this thread: Evangelical Universalism, Gospel or Heresy? and pose a question to those who believe in Universalism. If Universalism is true then why is there such urgency in the Bible to become reconciled to God?

For example in Luke 13:3 Jesus said;

"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

If Universalism is true they would not perish since they would get endless chances after death to repent and would finally repent and come to God.

In John 8:24 Jesus said:

That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.'

If Universalism is true what would be the big deal about them dying in their sins since they would get endless chances after death to repent?

If Universalism is true why did many of Jesus's early followers including most of His apostles suffered martyrdom to spread the Gospel if it was not so urgent for people to hear it before they died?

Clifford

Rose
07-04-2010, 05:31 PM
I would like to get back to the original title of this thread: Evangelical Universalism, Gospel or Heresy? and pose a question to those who believe in Universalism. If Universalism is true then why is there such urgency in the Bible to become reconciled to God?

For example in Luke 13:3 Jesus said;

"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

If Universalism is true they would not perish since they would get endless chances after death to repent and would finally repent and come to God.

In John 8:24 Jesus said:

That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.'

If Universalism is true what would be the big deal about them dying in their sins since they would get endless chances after death to repent?

If Universalism is true why did many of Jesus's early followers including most of His apostles suffered martyrdom to spread the Gospel if it was not so urgent for people to hear it before they died?

Clifford

I say if it is so urgent that everyone repent before they die, then why are there so many people who have never heard the Gospel in this life?

We are born into this world of sin...not by choice, so how can a person be held accountable for something he has no control over?

There is no way the Gospel has reached every person at any time in history, and sometimes it was whole races of people like the American Indian....so what about them?

Rose

CWH
07-04-2010, 06:55 PM
I say if it is so urgent that everyone repent before they die, then why are there so many people who have never heard the Gospel in this life?

We are born into this world of sin...not by choice, so how can a person be held accountable for something he has no control over?

There is no way the Gospel has reached every person at any time in history, and sometimes it was whole races of people like the American Indian....so what about them?

Rose

Have you read what I have written? Now written in bigger font:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If all of us has sinned regardless of whether we have heard the gospel or not, then we are all destined to hell. What saved us is the forgiveness of God and this is through love of God through faith and good works. And for those who have heard of the gospel, then the more God expects us to have more faith and good works. I believe God out of His kindness, do give us a second chance in which all people do have another chance to hear the gospel and that is after the 1,000 years are over and then Satan will be out to "test" those who are faithful and good resulting in the second death and then comes the judgement to judge those according to what they have done. And those who have done nothing good and faithful during the second chance according to the record book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire:

Many Blessings.

Rose
07-04-2010, 07:55 PM
Have you read what I have written? Now written in bigger font:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If all of us has sinned regardless of whether we have heard the gospel or not, then we are all destined to hell. What saved us is the forgiveness of God and this is through love of God through faith and good works. And for those who have heard of the gospel, then the more God expects us to have more faith and good works. I believe God out of His kindness, do give us a second chance in which all people do have another chance to hear the gospel and that is after the 1,000 years are over and then Satan will be out to "test" those who are faithful and good resulting in the second death and then comes the judgement to judge those according to what they have done. And those who have done nothing good and faithful during the second chance according to the record book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire:

Many Blessings.

Sorry Cheow, I do not believe there is a literal Hell, or a LOF, or that God sends anyone there!

Peace to you,

Rose

Clifford
07-05-2010, 01:59 PM
It's funny how so many Christians are quick to point out the verses containing Gods wrath which were spoken to specific people who were doing acts of wickedness, but forget about the many places especially in the parables where Jesus speaks over and over again of the long-suffering of God and how He is not willing that any should perish.

The way I see God portrayed by Christ, is of a God who is willing to go the extra mile and seek out all who are lost. A God rich in compassion and mercy and one who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Peace, Love, and everlasting Kindness are all names given to the God I believe in.

If I am to follow the example set by Jesus, can I expect any less of God, who tells me to love my enemies and forgive those who offend me?



So, did the American Indian know God? They worshiped creation and called its creator Mother Earth. I believe they did - they just called God by a different name, but it was still the Creator of heaven and earth. I believe any heart that seeks after its Creator will find Him.


Rose

Hi Rose,


It's funny how so many Christians are quick to point out the verses containing Gods wrath which were spoken to specific people who were doing acts of wickedness, but forget about the many places especially in the parables where Jesus speaks over and over again of the long-suffering of God and how He is not willing that any should perish.

No, I have not forgotten about the many places where Jesus speaks over and over again of the long-suffering of God and how He is not willing that any should perish. But on the other hand you can't just ignore the verses speaking about God's wrath and judgment on those whose refuse His mercy.


The way I see God portrayed by Christ, is of a God who is willing to go the extra mile and seek out all who are lost. A God rich in compassion and mercy and one who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

I agree. But after going the extra mile and showing long-suffering towards the sinner and they still refuse to come to God then there comes a time for judgment as it says in Romans 2:5.

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.


So, did the American Indian know God? They worshiped creation and called its creator Mother Earth. I believe they did - they just called God by a different name, but it was still the Creator of heaven and earth. I believe any heart that seeks after its Creator will find Him.

God will hold them accountable for what they knew and how they acted upon it. Since they never heard the Gospel or the name of Jesus, God would not hold them accountable for that. Like it says in Romans 2:5-6.

He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.

Since they were seeking after God the best they knew and followed their conscience, God will judge them according to that and reward them accordingly. As it says in Romans 2:14-15

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

Clifford

Clifford
09-12-2010, 08:43 PM
After doing some reading on Evangelical Universalism by it proponents I still think it is a doctrine with little Biblical support and is mostly derived from assumptions. The main biblical support comes from a couple of verses in Romans 5 that say as in Adam all died so in Christ all will be made alive. However as with any other scriptures they must be interpreted in light of the teaching of the whole bible. There are many more verses that speak of hell, destruction, the lake of fire etc.

One major weakness in the doctrine of Universalism as I see it is if it were true then why all the warnings by Jesus and the rest of the New Testament about the dangers of continuing in your sin and not repenting. For example, if Universalism is true why would Jesus say that it is better to enter life maimed then to be thrown into hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die. If everybody is saved why warn them about something that would never take place? Or why would Jesus say not to fear those who can kill the body but afterwards can't touch the soul, but fear him who after killing the body has the power to destroy your soul in hell. If Universalism is true why scare people with untrue statements? Jesus also said what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul. If Universalism is true you would never lose your soul. Or why would Jesus tell the Jews if they did not believe he was who he claimed to be they would die in their sins. If Universalism is true big deal, you will eventually believe Jesus was who he claimed to be. In the Gospel of Luke some men came to Jesus and told him about a tower that fell down and killed some people. What was Jesus's response? "Unless you repent you too will likewise perish. If Universalism is true nobody will perish because they will all be saved.

There are many more verses in the rest of the New Testament that I could quote that are at variance with the doctrine of Universalism but maybe will save them for another post so this one won't get too long.

So in summary it is a doctrine built around a couple of misinterpreted verses while ignoring many other verses that would lead one to believe otherwise.

Clifford

Richard Amiel McGough
09-12-2010, 09:37 PM
After doing some reading on Evangelical Universalism by it proponents I still think it is a doctrine with little Biblical support and is mostly derived from assumptions. The main biblical support comes from a couple of verses in Romans 5 that say as in Adam all died so in Christ all will be made alive. However as with any other scriptures they must be interpreted in light of the teaching of the whole bible. There are many more verses that speak of hell, destruction, the lake of fire etc.

We need to back up a bit and ask about the origin of our ideas of "hell" as "conscious eternal torment." The first thing to note is that many of the verses that speak of "hell" are actually talking about nothing but the "grave" (sheol). Here is Strong's definition:

7585 she'owl
Meaning: 1) sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit 1a) the underworld 1b) Sheol - the OT designation for the abode of the dead 1b1) place of no return 1b2) without praise of God 1b3) wicked sent there for punishment 1b4) righteous not abandoned to it 1b5) of the place of exile (fig) 1b6) of extreme degradation in sin
Origin: from 07592; TWOT - 2303c; n f
Usage: AV - grave 31, hell 31, pit 3; 65
See that? Exactly one half of the time it is translated as "grave" as in "a hole in the ground" and then it is translated as "hell" an equal number of times. Obviously, the translators really messed things up with this word. And worse! Strong's messed things up even more. His dictionary inserted a massive theological construct into the definition! This is typical of Strong's concordance - we discuss it a bit in a thread called Strong futuristic bias in Strong's definitions (http://biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1466). One of my favorite examples is his definition of parousia:

Strong's 3952 parousia {par-oo-see'-ah}
Meaning: 1) presence 2) the coming, arrival, advent 2a) the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God
:eek: Who knew that the lexicon of secular Koine Greek would be so densely packed with literalistic futurist Christian theology???

Yes indeed, we can all be sure that the word "parousia" had that specific meaning in the common language of first century Greeks! Nice "lexicon," eh? :hysterical:

So anyway, getting back on topic ... the primary concept translated as "hell" is merely "grave." We must keep this in mind as we review the origin and biblical validity of the concept of "eternal conscious torment."

Another important term is "gehenna" - also translated as "hell." This too is a HUGE error, since gehenna more accurately means "garbage dump."

1067 geenna {gheh'-en-nah}
Meaning: 1) Hell is the place of the future punishment call "Gehenna" or "Gehenna of fire". This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.
The literal and denotative meaning is "where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned."



One major weakness in the doctrine of Universalism as I see it is if it were true then why all the warnings by Jesus and the rest of the New Testament about the dangers of continuing in your sin and not repenting. For example, if Universalism is true why would Jesus say that it is better to enter life maimed then to be thrown into hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die.

The answer is extremely simple. Life has value! God wants us to pursue the good in this life. Would you warn your child to stay away from drugs and prostitution only because of the danger of going to jail??? Of course not! You love your child and so you would warn her strongly of how she could ruin her precious life by sinning. You would warn her not to let her life lead to the "garbage dump" just like Jesus.



If everybody is saved why warn them about something that would never take place?

Universalism does not say that the wicked would not suffer for their sins. It just says that God will ultimately redeem all. But some are redeemed as through fire - and that is something I'd like to avoid.

1 Corinthians 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The idea of eternal torment denies God's ability to redeem some people which means that there will be eternal evil in God's universe.



There are many more verses in the rest of the New Testament that I could quote that are at variance with the doctrine of Universalism but maybe will save them for another post so this one won't get too long.

It will be good to review them with you.




So in summary it is a doctrine built around a couple of misinterpreted verses while ignoring many other verses that would lead one to believe otherwise.

Clifford
I think that the doctrine that God will redeem all creation through Christ is plainly taught in many Scriptures. He took away the sin of the world. He is the savior of the world. He is the savior of all men, especially those who believe. God reconciled the world to himself in Christ. Etc.

So there's plenty to talk about. It's not just a few verses here or there. It is the "BIG PICTURE" of how God redeemed all creation in Christ.

All the best,

Richard

CWH
09-13-2010, 05:03 AM
The answer is extremely simple. Life has value! God wants us to pursue the good in this life. Would you warn your child to stay away from drugs and prostitution only because of the danger of going to jail??? Of course not! You love your child and so you would warn her strongly of how she could ruin her precious life by sinning. You would warn her not to let her life lead to the "garbage dump" just like Jesus.

Richard

What happens if your child still wants to stay with drugs and prostituition and you warn your child again, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects, you warn...she rejects!"]:blah:.......Now, Richard, where do you draw the line? When is the last straw? Do you have an alternative since you love your child so much?...and then one day, she tells you off, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!".... Now, Richard, where do you draw the line? When is the last straw? Do you have an alternative since you love your child so much?

Perhaps, again you will kneel down before her and beg, "Stop sinning my child please, or you willl really ruin your life. Father loves you so much and do not wish to lose you!" And she replied, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!" Again you will kneel down before her and beg, "Stop sinning my child please, or you willl really ruin your life. Father loves you so much and do not wish to lose you!" And she replied, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!", Again you will kneel down before her and beg, "Stop sinning my child please, or you willl really ruin your life. Father loves you so much and do not wish to lose you!" And she replied, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!", Again you will kneel down before her and beg, "Stop sinning my child please, or you willl really ruin your life. Father loves you so much and do not wish to lose you!" And she replied, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!", Again you will kneel down before her and beg, "Stop sinning my child please, or you willl really ruin your life. Father loves you so much and do not wish to lose you!" And she replied, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!", Again you will kneel down before her and beg, "Stop sinning my child please, or you willl really ruin your life. Father loves you so much and do not wish to lose you!" And she replied, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!", Again you will kneel down before her and beg, "Stop sinning my child please, or you willl really ruin your life. Father loves you so much and do not wish to lose you!":pray: And she replied, "GO TO HELL, STOP INTERFERING WITH MY LIFE, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!".......Now, Richard, where do you draw the line? When is the last straw? Do you have an alternative since you love your child so much?

Then last alternative, you kneel and plead, "Look child, I am going to kill myself, if you will not stop sinning and ruin your life!" And she replied, "Carry on, Go to Hell. Here is the gun!", and again you kneel and plead, "Look child, I am going to kill myself, if you will not stop sinning and ruin your life!" And she replied, "Carry on, Go to Hell. Here is the gun!", and again you kneel and plead, "Look child, I am going to kill myself, if you will not stop sinning and ruin your life!" And she replied, "Carry on, Go to Hell. Here is the gun!", and again you kneel and plead, "Look child, I am going to kill myself, if you will not stop sinning and ruin your life!" And she replied, "Carry on, Go to Hell. Here is the gun!", and again you kneel and plead, "Look child, I am going to kill myself, if you will not stop sinning and ruin your life!" And she replied, "Carry on, Go to Hell. Here is the gun!".......Now, Richard, where do you draw the line? When is the last straw? Do you have an alternative since you love your child so much?:bawl:

And then.....BANG!:sFi_machinegunnest:..."It's Finished"! :sos:
And you child will......:clap2:

The when you open your eyes and you saw God in front of you, and God asked, "!".......Now, Richard, where do you draw the line? When is the last straw? Do you have an alternative since you love your child so much? :confused:

God answered: "Richard! I gave up! You should have given up your child long ago and you will not come to this end!":eek:

And This is exactly what God will do and He did!
Matthew 21:33-46
33 "Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; 35 and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. 37 Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, `They will respect my son.' 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' 39 And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" 41 They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons." 42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: `The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it."

Many Blessings

Richard Amiel McGough
09-13-2010, 11:47 AM
God answered: "Richard! I gave up! You should have given up your child long ago and you will not come to this end!":eek:

And This is exactly what God will do and He did!

Wow Cheow! You really knocked me for a loop with this one! :dizzy:

I agree that God will sometimes "give up" on sinners in this life and bring judgment down on them. We saw that with Pharaoh and the apostate leaders of Jerusalem who were judged in 70 AD. But to think that God ultimately gives up on a soul forever??? That is worse than any horror movie I could ever imagine! :eek:

I don't really know what to say to you. You have read the Bible and the Bible says it all. What more could I add?

It's funny in a sad sort of way, but your super-repetitive post made a parody of God's Word when He repeated Himself over and over and over again, saying the opposite of what you said about Him:

Psalm 136
1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Have you ever meditated upon the parable of the Prodigal Son? He blew all his money on loose living! And then ended up eating with the filthy pigs!

Did his father give up on him?

Why do you think Christ taught us that parable?

I think you should Google the phrase "God never gives up on us." Take a little time, sit back and read all the pages. Google says there's only 120 MILLION of them! If nothing else, read the first on the list. It is called God Never Gives Up - Not Ever! (http://sigler.org/slagle/godnever.htm) It is written by a man who had been driven mad (literally) by the Doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment. He got better when he came to understand that God is not a monster who casts people into a pit of eternal torment, but rather a God who loves the world so much he entered into our suffering so he could redeem us from it.

All the very best,

Richard

Clifford
09-13-2010, 08:25 PM
I think that the doctrine that God will redeem all creation through Christ is plainly taught in many Scriptures. He took away the sin of the world. He is the savior of the world. He is the savior of all men, especially those who believe. God reconciled the world to himself in Christ. Etc.

So there's plenty to talk about. It's not just a few verses here or there. It is the "BIG PICTURE" of how God redeemed all creation in Christ.

All the best,

Richard

I agree it it plainly taught that Jesus took away the sin of the world, that he is the savior of the world etc. But the Bible also clearly teaches that we must believe in order for that salvation to become real in our lives. Just like if you were starving and I said come over to my house and I will give you something to eat. If you did not come over and died of starvation, would it be because I did not provide food for you or that you choose not to partake of what I provided? Same way with God he has provided salvation for all men, but not all choose to partake of it. That is plainly seen throughout scripture. There are some people who disobey and rebel against God and suffer the consequences.

Reading through the Gospels Jesus again and again warned people of the consequences of continuing on in their sin and not believing in him.

"Repent or perish"

"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul?

"Fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell"

Sounds like Jesus is telling us of dire consequences if we do not turn to him.

I don't think hell is a place where God is actively torturing people. It is a place devoid of the presence of God, where people are left to their own devices, and their sins and evil desires constantly torment them, that is what makes it hell. Just because a place like that will exist forever does not mean God is defeated as you say. When God created man with the ability to make choices he knew that some would make the wrong choice if they so choose.

Clifford

gregoryfl
09-14-2010, 04:48 PM
Have you ever considered what those in the Eastern Orthodox Church believe?

Ron

gregoryfl
09-17-2010, 03:46 PM
I guess the silence means no. :lol:

Bob May
09-18-2010, 08:18 AM
Hi all,

Mt 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
Mt 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
Mt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

It is easy to see someone else's sin when you are outwardly keeping the law and ordinances.
It is not so easy to see your own sin or God's true nature in such a case.

True repentance is first changing the Mind.
It was the Pharisees here that needed to learn something, not the sinners.
The sinners knew they were sinners, (and were sitting eating with Jesus) The Pharisees thought they were "whole." (and stood apart from him)

Bob

gregoryfl
09-18-2010, 09:45 AM
I agree Bob. Very good point.

Ron

Bob May
09-18-2010, 05:54 PM
I agree Bob. The love of Jesus, to some, is 'heaven'. To others, it is 'hell.' While I am not in total agreement with the Eastern Orthodox church on this point, this is basically what they understand hell to be, to experience the love of God as torment, because of their rejection of him, while believers experience it as bliss, because of receiving him. Anyway, that is all I will say on the subject.

Ron

hi Ron,

My post was not answering yours. I thought I was commenting on the subject of repentence earlier on in the thread.
Still trying to catch up to the train here. I'll be back to post after I get caught up.

Bob

gregoryfl
09-18-2010, 06:15 PM
Sorry for the confusion. I know you were not addressing what I had posted. I was just agreeing with your post and tying it in with what I was attempting to share. I adjusted my post to avoid any further confusion.

Ron

Bob May
09-19-2010, 12:21 PM
Whew,

Finally caught up. There are so many ideas here it is hard to keep track.
I learned a lot and will keep learnng from what I've read here and also things in my own experience that have had light shed on them from this discussion.
Here are some thoughts.

First, post # 138
From Kathryn;

""If you study the Law of Jubilee and the Law of redemption, you'll soon see that the law demands that Jesus Christ as our kinsman redeemer, redeem all that was lost in Adam. The only relevant question is whether or not Jesus Christ really did this or not. The blood has never lost its power, nor did Jesus fail in any point of law to do all that the Father asked of Him. The law was fully satisfied.
After Jesus was resurrected and appeared to his disciples, he said in Luk. 24:44 "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."

So, were all of the captives set free??
Yes, at Pentecost. When the Spirit was poured out upon all flesh. Has/had everyone taken advantage of this fullfilment?
No. Not everyone had been born as yet.

Bob

Bob May
09-19-2010, 01:07 PM
Hi all,
And I do mean "all"
A lot in this discussion hinges on the word "All" There seems to be types of men in this context of Paul's preaching. Those who are part of his lineage, Jews, and everyone else.

Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Taking things in context is a very important practice when trying to sort things out.
If it is a RULE, it is a manmade one as far as I am concerned.
Does it bring us to the "unsearchable" riches? Or to the "fellowship of the mystery" which has been hidden in God since the beginning?

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.

There is a place where we begin to "trust our hearts' in the matters of understanding scripture.

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

I am very much leaning toward the idea that everyone will be saved at some point.
There is very much evidence on both sides but having come out from a very Law based church and seeing how blinding that can be, I see the possibility that the same thing can happen after you recieve the Spirit.

Bottom line is what is the nature of God? For a person "under the Law" He seems pretty harsh.
For someone "under Grace" their idea of God has changed,...or should.
Do we "paint by numbers" or listen to the Spirt of God?

If something is keeping us from hearing from the Spirit, like putting rules on how we are to study scriptures, and we follow that instead, are we commiting the unpardonable sin????,
(See how easy it is to turn Grace into Law?)

Paul calls the scripture "Oracles". That means they speak. How they speak is not up to us, but we should learn to listen.
I have recieved many things from scripture when a line just "comes into my mind" unbidden. Many times it is in perfect "context" with what I need to know or was thinking about. "Ask and ye shall recieve.."

Is God breaking His own rules? Or is He breaking man's rules?
Or am I just deluded?
Take your pick.

Bob

Bob May
09-19-2010, 06:19 PM
John 8
Joh 8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
Joh 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
Joh 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
Joh 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

((Now, as an experiment, I am going to change the words in verse 5 to illustrate a point. I am not misquoting. I am not quoting at all here. Just illustrating a point.))

NOT Joh 8:5 Now the New Testament says that such should be cast into the lake of fire to burn and burn or cast into outer darkness where the worm dieth not etc., etc., but what sayest thou?

Joh 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
Joh 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. ((Or throw her into the outer darkness or whatever,...))
Joh 8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Joh 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Jesus is illustrating something by bending down and writing letters in the dirt.
He stands back up and gives his answer. Then bends back down and continues to write in the dirt. Then he stands back up and speaks to the woman and says he does not condemn her.


Joh 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

Joh 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

Jesus way of dealing with the adulteress is "from above". The spirit giveth life the letter killeth.
Jesus was not dealing with the woman according to the letter of the law which would have made it necessary to stone her.
We are also to deal with from above. And someone might say; ""But Jesus knew the Father so he was able to know what the Father thinks.""
So are we able to because if we know Jesus we know the Father.

And if we stay in his word and if there are two witnesses; the bible (Word) and the Spirit we can stay on course. If it is just the words in the book we lost it.
Joh 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

"..If we continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed..." We are his disciples or students. He teaches us. Does he teach us the letter, which goes against his character, or that which is "behind the letter" or spirit which is his character?

This entire chapter in John speaks of looking beyond the appearances in order to find TRUTH. To look from above. The Pharisees saw Jesus as just a man. Jesus saw them as sons of the devil even though he admitted that they were of the seed of Abraham (after the flesh). They saw the answer to the problem as stoning the woman. Jesus did not condemn her.
It is easy to turn the New Covenant into Law and ourselves into Pharisees of Grace. The letter killeth whether old Testament or New.

Just my take,
Bob