Good Day, Mark!
I have read through this post, just prior to page three's beginning and I perceive that you have been most patient and persistent with the humans you are asking things of. And most gracious and encouraging toward those who are attempting to answer your logical questions with a spirit of love.
Therefore, I have concluded that you are, indeed, seeking truth, both because of your patient persistence in asking and your forgiveness, with correcting words, toward those who don't seem
willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, even as you have put it.
If this conclusion about you is true and you are a seeker, then I think I may have an understanding to offer you and all who read this, that will be different in it's axiomatic foundation and therefore, in it's logical conclusions.
And if I am successful at conveying my mind to you, using only these limited things called 'words', I may impart to you something much better than answers to your questions: The ability to find
the answers to all the questions you can think of, yourself
It will take some time, hence you will have to continue to endure (hopefully you will find it pleasant) and be patient.
And I will be asking you questions to which I will expect answers, any answers at all
, except, "I don't know."
Are you game?
For now, I'll assume the answer is, "Yes".
The first thing I want to ask is: Do you know what an axiom
And do you know it's place
in logic for leading one to a logical conclusion?
The other kind of truth used in logic, besides axiomatic ones, are facts
. Facts are one kind of truth. But, not all truth is found in facts. And so, we humans learn to link the two kinds of truth together, axioms and facts, in order to build to a logical conclusion, which conclusion
we then assume is the truth.
This, then, is how we all
think. Without even thinking about it
And so I ask you and all else, to consider what I've offered, so far and see if you can perceive, for yourselves, the dirty little secret
(Oh yes, logic can be played dirty and has been much sullied by it's (ab)users, the wise and the prudent in this age's truths, even by those who label themselves "Little Christs".)
It is a most liberating secret to know.
Later, I will provide that secret, if no one else has perceived it. (And yes, please take that as encouragement, all of you, to offer up your thoughts.)
But, before I do, I want to ask you about this that you wrote:
Just for arguments sake, maybe there are MANY people who would NOT be interested in more of God's reward in heaven. Which brings me back to what I said at the start of this thread. SO WHAT! In the end I/everyone will be in heaven. Some with lots of treasure and allotment and others with less but IN HEAVEN REGARDLESS. The way that I see it (I am only going to throw this out as a for instance, I do not and will not live my life the way I am about to describe it) A person could be a Christian who tries and obey God but fails miserably, a Muslim who maybe believes that his suicide is honorable before God, a Jehovah's witness that believes that Jesus was NOT the Son of God, or even an Atheist who lives a reprobate life and never comes to Christ ever.
Here is where I disagree with the UR point of view. ALL of these individuals ALL OF THEM get to partake in Heaven at some point. According to UR's they will be "chastised" for an age. regardless of how long or how torturous that age is, it can't compare at all to eternal life or immortality. I've said it before, if that's the case, sign me up!
Among several, there are two axioms I perceive in your thinking that I would like to ask you about for them leading you to make these statements.
You tell me, then, if this is an accurate summation of one of those two axioms:
"Fairness is about everyone getting what they deserve. Those who work hardest should get the most reward and those who work least, the less. And those who do no work, but, instead, flaunt their inactivity and pursue pleasure... nothing at all. And those who fail, though they tried real hard, should be given a break."
Lots of humans, including myself, are used to thinking this way. It just seems so right
, doesn't it?.
Therefore, I would ask you to consider this parable of Jesus, with that
idea of fairness in mind.
"For like is the kingdom of the heavens to a man, a householder, who came out at the same time with the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
Now, agreeing with the workers for a denarius a day, he dispatches them into his vineyard. And, coming out about the third hour, he perceived others standing in the market, idle. And to those he said, 'You also go into my vineyard, and whatsoever may be just I shall be giving you.' Now they came away. Now, again coming out about the sixth and ninth hour, he does similarly. Now, about the eleventh, coming out, he found others standing. And he is saying to them, 'Why stand you here the whole day idle?' They are saying to him that 'No one hires us.' He is saying to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.'
Now, evening coming on, the lord of the vineyard is saying to his manager, 'Call the workers and pay them the wages, beginning from the last, to the first.' And, coming, those hired about the eleventh hour got a denarius apiece. And, coming, the first infer that they will be getting more. And they also got a denarius apiece. Now, getting it, they murmured against the householder, saying, 'These last do one hour, and you make them equal to us who bear the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'
Yet he, answering one of them, said, 'Comrade, I am not injuring you! Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Pick up what is yours and go away. Now I want to give to this last one even as to you. Is it not allowed me to do what I want with that which is mine? Or is your eye wicked, seeing that I am good?'
Thus shall the last be first, and the first last." ( Matt 20: 1-16 CLV)
And I would also ask if you could tell me what the main
lesson was in the parable of the prodigal son as told in Luke15: 11-32 "….A certain man had two sons…
? In other words what was it that prompted Jesus to tell this remarkably rich story about agape
Also, you wrote of the fairness of God, as opposed to the fairness of men, when you quoted Ezekiel 18:25 &29, with this conclusion:
IMO I think that if you read ALL of Romans Chapter 9 and Ezekiel Chapter 18 you will clearly see that God can do whatever it is He wants, when He wants and how He wants. Even if WE think it is unfair.
So, I would ask you: What was it Israel was saying that Jehovah was doing that was unfair and which prompted Jehovah to direct these words at them?
Eze 18:25 "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
Eze 18:29 Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?
In other words, tell me, in your own words, what was the wrong way of thinking
that Jehovah was trying to correct in the Israelites when He said this?
The second axiom I perceive that drives your thoughts, I sum up this way:
"What is there to stop me, or anyone else for that matter, besides the threat of hell
, from doing as I damm well please? Therefore hell must
exist just to keep anyone from thinking that they can get away with this kind of thinking.
Does that sound accurate to you?
If so, Does it sound 'fair' that there might be some who get to live lives of lies, enjoying the pleasures of sin, for a season and still get to heaven, after 'only some chastisement', maybe even ahead of those who gave all that great sin stuff up in order to please God in this life?
Let me ask you then, with that axiom in mind, what your thoughts are on this that Jesus said (in context, to his disciples about the persecutions they would face as they heralded the Gospel):
"And do not fear those who are killing
the body, yet are not able to kill the soul. Yet be fearing Him, rather, Who is able to destroy
'killing') the soul as well as the body in Gehenna." Matt 10:28 CLV
Why did Jesus use two different, but related Greek words, to describe these actions? What is
the difference between these two words that He choose to employ that difference here?
Which leads me to ask: "Why would both
of these things, body and soul, need to be destroyed
not just killed?"
And I will also ask: "What part of the human will survive the destruction process
For a hint to the answer of that very loaded question, I give you these words of Paul's concerning a particular human committing a particularly egregious sin:
"Absolutely, it is heard that there is prostitution among you, and such prostitution (which is not even named among the nations), so that someone has his father's wife.
And you are puffed up, and mourn not rather, that the one who commits this act may be taken away from your midst.
For I, indeed, being absent in body, yet present in spirit, have already, as if present, thus judged the one effecting this, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (you being gathered, and my spirit, together with the power of our Lord Jesus), to give up such a one to Satan for the extermination of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus
." 1 Cor 5: 1-5 CLV
And now I'm going to ask you a very hard question:
We know what flesh is… What is spirit?
I ask because Jesus said this, "Verily, verily, I am saying to you, If anyone should not be begotten of water and of spirit
, he can not be entering into the kingdom of God. That which is begotten by the flesh is flesh, and that which is begotten by the spirit is spirit
. You should not be marveling that I said to you, 'You must be begotten anew.' John 3:5-7 CLV
It seems to me that in order to understand what He means here, we need to know what spirit is, just like we already know what flesh is, if we are to know what He means by 'begotten anew'.
One more thing; a personal note. As I was coming to perceive the truth in the understanding that currently goes by the moniker 'Ultimate Reconciliation' or 'UR', which really wasn't a hard thing for me, given what I believe, I still found myself wanting to cling to the notion of that peculiar
hell that was translated into existence by King Jame's ulterior motivated interpreters
(That statement is one of historical fact. It is, therefore, a truth, not
And so, I had to ask myself an honest question in order to get past that wanting. I asked myself, "Why do you want
that hell to exist? Given the powerful proofs against it, why do you still
insist it exist?
My honest answer was because I liked the idea of very bad people suffering forever. I truly
liked it. I wanted
those who have done those horrible things that make my
blood boil, like those doctors that assist mothers in killing their babies in the womb, like child molesters and child pornographers and rapists and bigots and political liberals and all those who had personally
done bad things to me, like my ex, to burn forever in hell.
Of course, I didn't want it to be me
who would send them there; I wouldn't like that. But... if my God
sent them there… then
I could enjoy it!
And if by some miracle, any of them ever became a Christian then I guess I would forgive them, too.
Needless to say, this honest answer did not sound to me like I was someone who was possessed of the agape
(fondness and affection) that is
God, but possessed by something else foreign to it.
That was my turning point.
And so I will ask you the same honest question I asked myself: "If it could be proved to you that peculiar
hell that you know so well was actually translated
into existence, why would you
still want it to exist?"
I have many more things I can talk about and ask questions of. So, should you desire it, Mark, we can continue to exchange words until you are satisfied.
So, until your reply, I say, as always,
It's what you were created to be!