I wanted to recycle these 4 Questions, and then add some comments from Eric Stetson.
"For all the land which you see, I give to you and your descendants forever." (Genesis 13:15)
"Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:8)
After reading and studying these two Scriptures it appears to me that something is not in accord, because the physical seed of Abraham has not always retained possession of the land of Canaan. From A.D. 70 up to the middle of the 20th century, the people of Israel were scattered throughout this entire earth and thus did not possess their Promised Land endlessly, as the words forever and everlasting signify. Can you explain this?
The Bible also says that the Aaronic Priesthood is an everlasting priesthood, but the book of Hebrews clearly states an end to it. (See Exodus 40:15, Numbers 25:13, and Hebrews 7:14-18). Likewise, Leviticus 24:8 tells of the Mt. Sinai or Mosaic covenant as being an everlasting covenant, yet Jeremiah 31:31 prophesies its end with a second and better covenant. Hebrews 8:7-13 reiterates this prophecy as being fulfilled. Why the apparent contradictions?
If punishment in hell, which is described as a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, is everlasting, then why does God's Word clearly state the following?
"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." (Revelation 21:4)
Likewise, in Revelation 20:14 the lake of fire is referred to as the "second death." So how can the lake of fire, or the "second death," be an eternal place of punishment when God's Word clearly tells us that "death" will come to an end in Revelation 21:4? (See also I Corinthians 15:26)
Note--those that are NOT full Preterists will likely benefit most from Eric's comments below:
The words translated for ever and ever should rightly be translated for ages of ages; everlasting or eternal should be age-lasting.
Future, corrective punishment exists, but its duration is not for ever and ever. Fire and brimstone (sulpher) are both purifying agents.
God has a two phased plan to save ALL people. There is a special salvation for the elect who are relatively few in number. The elect are chosen from the nation of Israel and also from Gentile nations. They will be raised up and be with Christ at the First Resurrection which takes place at His second coming. It is described as a better resurrection. After 1,000 years, the rest of humanity will be resurrected and judged at the Great White Throne Judgment in the Lake of Fire, with the ultimate aim of bringing salvation, righteousenss and reconciliation for all people. After the GWT judgment all the resurrected unbelievers in their immortal spiritual bodies will be cast into the Lake of Fire. The earth will be cleansed by fire, which is both a literal and spiritual fire.
God's devouring physical fire will burn up all of man's physical works of the flesh. God's refining, consuming spiritual fire will remove all of the dross, scum, filth, and unbelief from the hearts of all unbelievers. God will also judge fallen angels and cleanse them with His fire.
Rev. 5 says, "But the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years were finished." This is the Second Resurrection which will consist of all those who did not have a part in the First Resurrection. This group of people will be all those who died as unbelievers, and all those who lived and died during Christ's millennial rule.
Rev. 20:15 is about the Lake of Fire and second death. Then contrast that with Rev. 21:1-6, which describes; a new heaven and a new earth...states "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people." Further, that God will be with them ...will wipe away every tear from their eyes; THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, NOR SORROW, NOR CRYING. And John states, "And he said to me "it is done!""
The important truth we now need to show is that God's redeemed people called the Bride, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem will be joined by all peoples and nations from this old earth as they repent and receive salvation. This truth is given the next verses of Rev. 21:24-26.
The Lamb's Book of Life is not a closed book, such that new names cannot be added to it. God will continue to add new names to it as people repent and accept Jesus Christ. Traditional Christianity does not understand this truth. If the Lamb's Book of Life were a closed book, then why are the nations still being saved and coming into the Holy City? Those who are privileged to be God's elect , the Bride of Christ, will actually be evangelising and helping our fellow human beings to leave the old earth and join us, God's Holy City, the New Jerusalem.
As Apostle Paul says, "God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all".
We are sure that the traditional teaching of eternal torture in "hell" for multiple billions of humanity is a great deception of Satan and a stench in the nostrils of God. The Word of God is abundantly clear that God's judgments lead to his righteousenss and salvation and not the the chambers of eternal torture. -- Eric Stetson
Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation. For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe. These things command and teach. 1 Timothy 4:9-11