Apologetics - Universal Reconciliation > Arguments Against Universal Salvation

Radio Bible's response to an inquiry about Universalsim.

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Gary Amirault:
The following letter was sent to someone who wrote to the Radio Bible folks about universal salvation. Perhaps some of you might like to send a reply to this letter to the representative who wrote it. How would you respond?

Subject: RE: apokatastasis
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 15:19:31 -0400
From: dvanderl@rbc.org
To: inquirer


Dear Inquirer,

On the basis of Scripture passages that express God's love for all (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9), that stress the vast scope of Christ's sacrificial atonement (2 Cor. 5:19; Col. 1:20; Titus 2:11; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2), and that imply Christ's atonement was made for all men (John 12:32; Rom. 5:18; Eph. 1:10 some Bible teachers (beginning with Origen of Alexandria) have embraced "universalism," the idea that everyone will eventually repent and be saved.

  

However, universalism is strongly contradicted by other passages like Daniel 12:2; Matthew 18:8; 25:46; Mark 9:48; Revelation 14:11 and 20:10 seem to indicate that the lost will endure eternal conscious torment.

All of the passages listed above refer to the reality of eternal punishment, but they must be balanced with the clear teaching of Scripture that there are degrees of punishment in hell.

My major doubts regarding the possibility of eternal salvation are related to the issue of free will. If God created us as genuinely free creatures, He will not coerce us to repent. I see no indication in Scripture that the devil will repent, nor his demons. I also see no evidence that there will not be some human beings who will forever rebel against their creaturely, dependent status.

C.S. Lewis's portrayal of the lost in The Great Divorce has had the effect of strongly reinforcing my doubts regarding universalism.

Ultimately, we must rest upon the justice and love of a heavenly Father who is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).

Dan Vander Lugt

RADIO BIBLE CLASS       DEPARTMENT OF BIBLICAL CORRESPONDENCE

UNIVERSALISM

A universalist teaches the ultimate happiness and well-being of every moral creature, whether human or angelic. Many religious people take this position. All adherents to this concept believe in the existence of God and an after-life. However, they differ greatly one from another in their definition of who God is and what He is like. Some have only a vague concept of a supreme Intelligence who is behind the universe. Others believe in the personal God revealed in the Bible and claim Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The universalists who have rejected the message of the Scriptures and want nothing to do with the holy God they reveal are not going to pay any attention to scripturally based arguments. We simply aren't going to reach them by quoting the Bible to them. We will help them most by living a Christ-like life before them, praying for them, and being tactful in our responses to them. Universalists who profess faith in Christ and declare their belief in the authority of the Scriptures should be open to an honest discussion of their view. Therefore, we will present the arguments for the universalists' position and follow with a brief critique.

Universal Atonement

First, universalists believe that Christ's atonement guarantees salvation for all mankind. They point out that Jesus went to Calvary that "He might taste death for every man" (Heb. 2:9). They remind us that Jesus Christ "gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim. 2:6). They call our attention to 1 Timothy 4:10: "For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

Universal Last Adam

Universalists who hold a high view of the Scriptures find a second pillar for their belief in Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, passages in which Christ is presented as the last Adam. We read:

Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous (Rom. 5:18,19).

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive (1 Cor. 15:21,22).

All mankind is subject to pain and death as a consequence of the sin of the first Adam. The effect is universal. Jesus Christ came as the last Adam to undo what the first Adam did. Therefore, the salvation He purchased through His death, burial, and resurrection must be just as universal as the death brought by the first Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Universal Restoration

The third pillar in the theology of universalism is the belief that the Bible teaches the eventual restoration of all things to their original pre-sin beauty. They see implications of this concept in Ephesians 1:7-14 and Philippians 2:5-11. They often quote Acts 3:19-21:

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of  restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

Their contention is that after the unsaved have endured an age of just retribution for their sins they will believe on Jesus Christ, receive His salvation, and share in the final restoration of everything.

Critique

The Bible does indeed speak of a universalism in connection with Jesus Christ and His salvation. He provided for the pardon of all. He is the last Adam for the whole human race. His sinless life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection form the basis for the blessedness of the millennial earth and the perfection of the eternal new heavens and new earth. But the full benefits of His redeeming work are applied only to those who are united to Him through faith. The emphasis of the New Testament is that we are saved by grace through faith, that we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, this believing must be done in the here and now. Jesus said, ". . . if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). Believers will receive "eternal life," and those who do not believe will experience "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish" (Rom. 2:5-10).

What about Paul's declaration that God is "the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe"? Doesn't this affirm that ultimately all will be saved? If this verse were the only one in the Bible dealing with this subject, it might be taken as affirming eventual redemption for everyone. But when we interpret it in the light of other Scriptures, we must come to a different conclusion. The Bible writers repeatedly referred to the destination of the lost as being eternal, using the same word which they employed to portray the everlasting blessedness of the redeemed and the eternality of God. Moreover, Jesus made it clear that His betrayer would be lost forever when He said, "It would have been good for that man if he had never been born" (Luke 14:21). This is not a true statement if Judas Iscariot, after thousands of years of suffering in hell, will be forgiven and spend eternity in heaven. God is the Savior of all men in that He is their "Preserver," lovingly watching over and caring for all mankind.

What about the claim of universalists that the Greek expressions aion, aionas, do not always express the idea of eternity. Is it true that these words literally mean "ages" rather than "forever"? Yes, as far as their etymology is concerned, they refer to ages instead of eternity. But in usage they usually mean "everlasting" or "forever." They are used to denote God's eternity and the everlastingness of the salvation He gives to those who believe. Therefore, they should be interpreted as referring to eternity unless the context makes it clear that they should be translated "unto the ages."

Universalists must face the fact that they cannot find in the Bible even one statement that directly affirms the ultimate salvation of those who reject God. Moreover, they cannot produce a verse which promises another opportunity for salvation after death. In addition, they have no solid reason for believing that people who rejected God in this world will be more likely to believe on Him after they die. The unsaved live as sinners, die as sinners, and will continue to be sinners after death. This is affirmed in Revelation 22:10,11:

And He said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.

The lost will be sinners forever and will therefore continue to be punished forever. This punishment will be based on perfect justice. In conclusion, the idea that everyone will eventually be saved is pleasant to contemplate, but it is not taught in the Scriptures. Therefore, we must earnestly and compassionately urge people to believe on Jesus Christ. And we must warn the unbelieving that their unbelief will lead to their eternal separation from God in hell.

s

dboutwell:

--- Quote ---Universalists must face the fact that they cannot find in the Bible even one statement that directly affirms the ultimate salvation of those who reject God.
--- End quote ---
  John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

--- Quote ---Moreover, they cannot produce a verse which promises another opportunity for salvation after death. In addition, they have no solid reason for believing that people who rejected God in this world will be more likely to believe on Him after they die.
--- End quote ---
Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Mat 23:15  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:37-39 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 
--- Quote ---The unsaved live as sinners, die as sinners, and will continue to be sinners after death.
--- End quote ---

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.
Luke 19:10   For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Php 2:10   That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Rev 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
--- Quote ---
This is affirmed in Revelation 22:10,11:

--- End quote ---
It is not the position of Christian Universalism that everyone will miss judgment, it is that they will repent with the righteous judgment of God. It seems to be the "few" who are spared the wrath of God. But that doesn't mean they burn in Hell forever.

As parents, we count to three and if the child has not obeyed, he gets in trouble. I have no problem with God counting to three. Those who have not bowed the knee up until then will do so after, if we are to believe what Paul/Isaiah/Jesus said.

When it was time for the supper, the doors were closed. When it came time for the flood the ark was closed. I think why traditional people have a problem with everyone being saved is because to them, the opposite of being saved is going to hell forever. If Hell, as we have previously believed in, does not exist, then the ones who don't believe do incur God's wrath and are punished according to their works and they don't get to rule and reign with the Lord, but they don't burn forever.

Just my thoughts.....

Debbie

John 12:32

97531:
Hi Gary


--- Quote ---I see no indication in Scripture that the devil will repent, nor his demons. I also see no evidence that there will not be some human beings who will forever rebel against their creaturely, dependent status.
--- End quote ---

This is one of the issues where most apologists get hung up on and I have found difficulty in even determining where UR claims that satan and his angels are redeemed apart from the All-in-all.

The other side, is if one is stuck on the the myth of the fall of Lucifer plus a third of the angels only referred to in Revelation, a prophetic book, then one's view of who or why satan exists is skewed.

I have shown how a traditional centre margin in a paper bible linking the 4 beasts of the throne associated to to the Seraphim's only mentioned in Isaiah is only by the six wings and nothing else.  The 4 beasts of John are each described and none of them are serpent in nature.  Together with this, the Cherubim and Seraphim are never ever mentioned in scripture in the same verse.

They are quick to call out our apparent "teachers" viz Origen yet when challenged on the fallacy of the Trinity and their "teachers" it's a no go.

In apologetics, they see us as not being able to discuss say two sets of proof texts.  Yet to address them you need to address other issues too and that is where we are perceived to reject their so called apologetics from scripture.

What is arrogant by the respondent is this


--- Quote ---What about Paul's declaration that God is "the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe"? Doesn't this affirm that ultimately all will be saved? If this verse were the only one in the Bible dealing with this subject, it might be taken as affirming eventual redemption for everyone. But when we interpret it in the light of other Scriptures, we must come to a different conclusion.
--- End quote ---

Precisely the point I just made, they are allowed to form an opinion based on "in light of other scriptures" yet we are not afforded the same courtesy.

You can prove them wrong time and again even using the faithful KJV only.  The biggest problem is the literalistic approach and acceptance of the translators being divinely inspired and not subject to any theological/political bias.  This is their first error.

The biggest single thing I pick up from these people, none tend to portray anything other than a "heavy".  In Afrikaans we have an expression called "Swaardra" which translated literally means Heavy Carry or heavy load.  The liberty we find in Christ is not apparent as they are yoked in bondage "religion" to laws and traditions of men.  How many times did Jesus not speak out against tradition?

The oddity of the writer comes in this;


--- Quote ---A universalist teaches the ultimate happiness and well-being of every moral creature, whether human or angelic. Many religious people take this position. All adherents to this concept believe in the existence of God and an after-life. However, they differ greatly one from another in their definition of who God is and what He is like. Some have only a vague concept of a supreme Intelligence who is behind the universe. Others believe in the personal God revealed in the Bible and claim Jesus Christ as their Savior.
--- End quote ---

Here we are thrown into a collective pot with all other beliefs yet (at least here at TM) we teach Jesus is the Way and not "all religions lead to God."  Ultimately that is what happens but still via Jesus in that "...every knee shall bow to the glory of God the Father" and not by Mohamed, Buddha, Krishna et al. (paraphrased).

The Unitarians have done much damage and by default we are associated to them merely by the word Universal.

The universalists who have rejected the message of the Scriptures and want nothing to do with the holy God they reveal are not going to pay any attention to scripturally based arguments. We simply aren't going to reach them by quoting the Bible to them. We will help them most by living a Christ-like life before them, praying for them, and being tactful in our responses to them. Universalists who profess faith in Christ and declare their belief in the authority of the Scriptures should be open to an honest discussion of their view.

rejected the message of the Scriptures - so we have rejected the message of scripture, yeah right!  We have rejected their interpretation of scripture.

want nothing to do with the holy God - so if we disagree on their teachings we want nothing to do with God, typical Pharisaical spirit. Our way or the highway.

living a Christ-like life before them - particularly this, they talk the talk but don't walk the walk.  Little wonder, the world rejects their version of Christianity, they in essence appear no different to the masses yet claim to be Christ-like.

Universalists who profess faith in Christ and declare their belief in the authority of the Scriptures should be open to an honest discussion of their view.

Anytime brother, anytime, note the emphasis.  Unfortunately, this requires research into a plethora of information.  Debate between "inside the box" with "outside the box" thinkers just run around in circles. 

The single biggest problem is they believe we choose God aka free-will.  Quote the dragging scriptures, I loved you first and other Jesus quotes, they lose their self justification for choosing to follow Jesus.

Did Jesus ask his disciples to follow him or did He command them to follow Him?


--- Quote ---Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous (Rom. 5:18,19).
--- End quote ---

Interesting the many is overlooked in the context of "many made sinners, many made righteous."  They obviously use the many to imply "not all" so hence "some were made sinners, some will be made righteous."  You decide what many means.


--- Quote ---For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive (1 Cor. 15:21,22).

All mankind is subject to pain and death as a consequence of the sin of the first Adam. The effect is universal. Jesus Christ came as the last Adam to undo what the first Adam did. Therefore, the salvation He purchased through His death, burial, and resurrection must be just as universal as the death brought by the first Adam in the Garden of Eden.

--- End quote ---
:thumbsup:


--- Quote ---The third pillar in the theology of universalism is the belief that the Bible teaches the eventual restoration of all things to their original pre-sin beauty. They see implications of this concept in Ephesians 1:7-14 and Philippians 2:5-11. They often quote Acts 3:19-21:

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of  restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began
--- End quote ---

Eph 1:7  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,
Eph 1:8  which He caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding;
Eph 1:9  having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
Eph 1:10  for an administration of the fullness of times, to head up all things in Christ, both the things in Heaven, and the things on earth, even in Him,
Eph 1:11  in whom also we have been chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will,
Eph 1:12  for us to be to the praise of His glory, who previously had trusted in Christ;
Eph 1:13  in whom also you, hearing the Word of Truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14  who is the earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Php 2:5  For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Php 2:6  who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,
Php 2:7  but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9  Therefore God has highly exalted Him, and has given Him a name which is above every name,
Php 2:10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth;
Php 2:11  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Act 3:19  Therefore repent and convert so that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Act 3:20  And He shall send Jesus Christ, who before was proclaimed to you,
Act 3:21  whom Heaven truly needs to receive until the times of restoration of all things,


--- Quote ---Their contention is that after the unsaved have endured an age of just retribution for their sins they will believe on Jesus Christ, receive His salvation, and share in the final restoration of everything.

--- End quote ---

I find it odd he cites the "proof texts" yet only quotes Acts.  For the benefit of readers quoted and highlighted.


--- Quote ---The Bible does indeed speak of a universalism in connection with Jesus Christ and His salvation. He provided for the pardon of all. He is the last Adam for the whole human race. His sinless life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection form
--- End quote ---


Up to here it is correct, but drifts off into an assertion of a literal 1000 years which of course would tie-in with 2000 + 2000 + 2000 + (rapture) +(7 tribulation or 3-1/2 depending on pre, mid or post trib rapture theory) + 1000 + Armageddon then New heaven and new earth.


--- Quote ---the basis for the blessedness of the millennial earth and the perfection of the eternal new heavens and new earth.
--- End quote ---

So while refuting Universal salvation, he digresses to to the "fuzzy logic" of the rapture belief.  Talk about circular.  To refute this is another 3 pages at least.


--- Quote ---But the full benefits of His redeeming work are applied only to those who are united to Him through faith. The emphasis of the New Testament is that we are saved by grace through faith, that we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
--- End quote ---

Now we have to define what is faith and whose faith it is.  Faith is a gift.  How do you receive a gift if it is not given since the author already agrees we have the Adamic nature.


--- Quote ---Moreover, this believing must be done in the here and now. Jesus said, ". . . if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). Believers will receive "eternal life," and those who do not believe will experience "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish" (Rom. 2:5-10).
--- End quote ---

Notice how less assertive this becomes.  He has taken us in one paragraph away from refuting UR to focusing on his belief system.

Continues...

97531:
Let's look at his scriptures (in context)

Joh 8:21  Then Jesus said again to them, I go away, and you shall seek Me and shall die in your sins. Where I go, you cannot come.
Joh 8:22  Then the Jews said, Will he kill himself? Because he says, Where I go you cannot come.
Joh 8:23  And He said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
Joh 8:24  Therefore I said to you that you shall die in your sins, for if you do not believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins.
Joh 8:25  Then they said to Him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Even the same which I also say to you.
Joh 8:26  I have many things to say and to judge of you, but He who sent Me is true, and I speak to the world those things what I heard of Him.
Joh 8:27  They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

Here Jesus was speaking to the Jews.  This text in no way proclaims if creation rejects Jesus they are condemned to die in their sins.  Likewise, with the next text in Romans, Chapter 2 is not a new topic, it follows from Chapter 1

Rom 1:21  Because, knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22  Professing to be wise, they became fools
Rom 1:23  and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.
Rom 1:25  For they changed the truth of God into a lie, and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Rom 1:26  For this cause, God gave them up to dishonorable affections. For even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature.
Rom 1:27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; males with males working out shamefulness, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error.
Rom 1:28  And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do the things not right,
Rom 1:29  being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; being full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, evil habits, becoming whisperers,
Rom 1:30  backbiters, haters of God, insolent, proud, braggarts, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31  undiscerning, perfidious, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful;
Rom 1:32  who, knowing the righteous order of God, that those practicing such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but have pleasure in those practicing them.
Rom 2:1  Therefore you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges; for in that in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things.
Rom 2:2  But know that the judgment of God is according to truth on those who practice such things.
Rom 2:3  And, O man, the one judging those who do such things, and practice them, do you think this, that you shall escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4  Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, and the forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Rom 2:5  But according to your hardness and your impenitent heart, do you treasure up wrath for yourself in a day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Rom 2:6  who will render to each according to his works;
Rom 2:7  indeed to those who with patience in good work are seeking for glory, and honor, and incorruptibility, everlasting life.
Rom 2:8  But to those who indeed disobeying the truth out of self-seeking, and obeying unrighteousness, will be anger and wrath,
Rom 2:9  tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man who has worked out evil; of the Jew first, and also of the Greek.
Rom 2:10  But He will give glory, honor and peace to every man who works good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Do you see eternal torment here?  I don't.  You could sum it up as what goes around comes around.


--- Quote ---Universalists must face the fact that they cannot find in the Bible even one statement that directly affirms the ultimate salvation of those who reject God. Moreover, they cannot produce a verse which promises another opportunity for salvation after death. In addition, they have no solid reason for believing that people who rejected God in this world will be more likely to believe on Him after they die. The unsaved live as sinners, die as sinners, and will continue to be sinners after death. This is affirmed in Revelation 22:10,11:
--- End quote ---

Debbie has covered this but I thought I would highlight reject God bit.  Again this is due to the false premise we have unlimited free-will that can override God's will.  What about the dragging? "No man can come to me unless the Father first draws [drag] him"(John 6:44)

In fact the god they reject is the merciless unjust god of the eternal BBQ.  He talks about God doing no coercion yet that is exactly what the hell-fire doctrine preachers do, coerce by fear of eternal torment.  We look at Paul's conversion, yes Paul chose to follow Christ :Yeahright:


--- Quote ---Revelation 22:10,11:
And He said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.

The lost will be sinners forever and will therefore continue to be punished forever. This punishment will be based on perfect justice. In conclusion, the idea that everyone will eventually be saved is pleasant to contemplate, but it is not taught in the Scriptures. Therefore, we must earnestly and compassionately urge people to believe on Jesus Christ. And we must warn the unbelieving that their unbelief will lead to their eternal separation from God in hell.
--- End quote ---

The closing statement is an opinion not supported by scripture but let us look at the lead-in text to this statement.

Rev 22:10  And he said to me, Do not seal the Words of the prophecy of this Book; for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11  He acting unjustly, let him still act unjustly. And the filthy, let him be filthy still. And the righteous, let him be righteous still. And the holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12  And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according as his work is.

Notice the lack of punishment!

Rev 22:13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last.
Rev 22:14  Blessed are they who do His commandments, that their authority will be over the Tree of Life, and they may enter in by the gates into the city.

The ones who keep the commandments will have authority over the Tree of Life and we enter NOW ALREADY into the gates of the city.

Rev 22:15  But outside are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and makes a lie.

Those outside are the "lost" or unbelievers, why, their eyes have not yet been opened, God has not done the drawing.


--- Quote ---Therefore, we must earnestly and compassionately urge people to believe on Jesus Christ. And we must warn the unbelieving that their unbelief will lead to their eternal separation from God in hell.
--- End quote ---

While this is very noble, we can only sow seed.  We cannot do what only God can do and that is the Dragging.  Why warn the unbelievers of a myth created by Greco/Roman imperialists?

Rather tell them the Good News that Jesus is the saviour ALL mankind and that HE (GOD) will never leave us nor forsake us.


Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will have their part in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

So if I teach hell is a myth and I am wrong, I am a liar therefor I will have my PART in the LoF.  But only if the LoF is literal.  Wasn't Revelation supposed to be symbolic?

1Co 3:15  If anyone's work shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss. But he shall be saved, yet so as by fire. 

dboutwell:

--- Quote ---And we must warn the unbelieving that their unbelief will lead to their eternal separation from God in hell.

--- End quote ---

Hmmmm.....I guess Paul let that slip his mind when talking to the "heathens" at Mars Hill. Come to think of it, Jesus didn't mention it to the woman at the well either, or the Syrophoenician woman, or the woman caught in adultery(if that story is part of the original). OR, the unrepentant thief on the cross. Or, the Jairus, or Nicodemus, or the man at the pool of Bethesda, Or, the lame man let down through the roof, or Caiaphas, or the Roman Soldiers...the list goes on.....

Debbie :dontknow:

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