Thanks for all the great responses, but I'm still stuck a bit on this passage:
The fourth objection universalists present is that several verses point to there being "ages" for believers yet to come in the after life, citing Ephesians 2:7 for example. The Bible refers to past ages in order to exalt God in His knowledge as the divine Creator in parallel with human ignorance (Isaiah 64:4; Deut. 4:32). The New Testament reveals the hidden wisdom of God, the Gospel, is a mystery that is revealed after long ages (1 Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 1:26; Romoms 16:25; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2).
With that in mind, the present era is the end of the ages according to 1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 9:26; and 1 Peter 1:20.
Dear Akira, please allow me to give you thoughts on the above. I will quote the verses then expound. I will quote from the Concordant Literal New Testament because I believe it is the most accurate version I can find to date.
1Co 10:11 Now all this befalls them typically. Yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained."
The above verse does not suggest that the eons have ended but that the ends of the eons have attained to the believer. What does this mean? The future eons have a goal in view. In what way have the consummations of the eons attained to us? What is God's goal for all humanity when the eons consummate? All will be justified, reconciled, be made righteous, be at peace with God, have the fruit of the spirit. All these blessings have attained to us now."since then He must often be suffering from the disruption of the world, yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, is He manifest" (Heb.9:26).
The above verse also does not suggest that all the eons ended when Christ died. Sin has not been repudiated out of the universe yet. Sin will still be guest to the universe during the millennium as well as on the new earth. It will finally be repudiated at the conclusion of the eons to come. Christ was manifest so that sin through His sacrifice would be repudiated at the conclusion of the eons."foreknown, indeed, before the disruption of the world, yet manifested in the last times because of you, who through Him are believing in God" (1 Pet.1:20).
The "last times" does not mean "the final eons."
Gal 4:4 Now when the full time came
, God delegates His Son, come of a woman, come under law, "
According to Paul, "when the pleroma of time" or "the complement of time came" God delegated His Son.
From Peter's perspective he really believed he was in the last times before the millennium was to come.
Much later after Paul wrote 1 Corinthians he penned:
"that, in the oncoming eons
, He should be displaying the transcendent riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:7).
So we know that Paul did not mean that the eons ended in 1 Corinthians 10:11.
In reference to Ephesians 2:7, the church as it lives in this age looks forward to the age of future consummation. Though the saved exist in this age, they are born from above as new creatures at the moment of their salvation. Now is a the dawn of a new age for them while they live in an age that is yet to end. These believers also look forward to the next age in which they will be incorruptible, conformed to the image of Christ (ref. Romans 8:29). Therefore when Ephesians 2:7 speaks of ages to Christians, it speaks righteously because Christians whom are born from above participate in two ages with the blessings of the Lord -the end of this age, and the coming kingdom of God.
Actually, that is not what Ephesians 2:7 is saying. Paul states from His vantage point that there are "oncoming eons."
If I am writing this on Saturday (and I am) and that I am sending this to be posted at 11:59 P.M. Saturday evening, and I know you and others are going to read it, I would say "during the day to come" rather than "the oncoming days" my post will be read. If I were to day it will be read during "the oncoming days" then you would assume that Sunday would not be the last day for it to be read.
Hence, Ephesians 2:7 isn't speaking of multiple ages that take place in the coming kingdom of God in the after life as the universalists must have occur to support their unscriptural position of purgatory.
Actually, Ephesians 2:7 is speaking of multible ages to come.
We are living in the present wicked eon (Galatians 1:4) and from that vantage point, Paul says "in the oncoming eons". There must be more than one eon to come because the eons and the worlds run parallel to each other. In other words, this eon is going to end when the great earthquake comes and all the cities of the nations fall. The Thousand year eon and world will end when the earth is destroyed by fire. Then the new heavens and new earth come.
Now the problem with the above scenario is that some Universalist Preterists believe we are already in the 1000 year eon and so there will be only one eon to come. I don't believe that.
If you wish to see some charts of the above please go here:http://www.saviourofall.org/charts/ChartOfJudgments.html